First off, welcome to my site. This article is going to be about buying the best extension cord for your new electric lawn mower. I’m going to go over the PDF that is in my navigation bar at the top of my website and I will do a few examples for you so that you understand how to use that PDF and get the best power cord for your situation.
Table of Contents
The reason I feel it is so important to go over electric lawnmower extension cords is because I see, in almost every instance on Amazon, people buying the wrong size extension cords when they purchase a new electric lawn mower. This is probably happening with all types of electric power tools but since I’m focused on mowers on this site that is where I saw it.
Some people are a bit confused by the way the wire gauge numbers are related to the wire size. The short explanation is that the smaller the number the bigger the wire. A 16 gauge wire is 1/16th of an inch in diameter. A 8 gauge wire is 1/8th of an inch in diameter. The smaller number “8″ has twice the diameter of the bigger number “16″. The bigger the wire the more juice that can flow through it. Keep this in mind.
Read the rest of the Extension Cord Guide:
For instance say you were looking at the Black & Decker electric lawn mowers and you had been going through the various models and decided to go with the Black & Decker MM875 Lawn Hog 19 inch 12 amp electric mulching mower with rear bag. Now this mower is rated at 12 amps. Let’s also suppose that you need to go ahead and get a 100 foot extension cord to be able to reach the far corners of your yard from the closest outlet. The power cord for electric lawn equipment is related to how far you need to go and how many amps the equipment uses.
If you go into the Extension Cord PDF that is at the top of my website and download that file, which you should do, we can do a few examples referring to that file. I would like you to be familiar with that before you purchase either a lawn mower or an extension cord, because in order to get the best power and longevity out of your new lawnmower you need to get the right extension cord. Let me show you what I mean. Watch this video first and then we’ll get to the examples: – (Return to Top)
Extension Cord Mistakes Video
14 Gauge Extension Cord Example
Now as you can see from that video most people are buying too small of a an extension cord, by gauge, for the length they need and for the equipment that they purchase. Let’s take this MM875 Lawn Hog with the 12 amp motor and use it as an example. You want a 100 foot extension cord because, let’s say, the corner of your yard is about 90 feet away from your outlet. So what we need to do is open up that file. Remember the larger the number the smaller the wire. Now scroll down to the 14 gauge wire section on page 4 of the PDF. Now go down in that section to the 100 foot row. With a 14 gauge wire running 10 amps through a 100 foot long cord you have a voltage drop of 5.1%. Remember if you read the whole PDF you should never exceed 5% voltage drop. You probably would be okay with that 10 amp motor but you are stretching it at 10 amps to use a 14 gauge wire. Remember the MM875 has a 12 amp motor, as does the Black and Decker MM1800, so this would be totally inadequate. – (Return to Top)
12 Gauge Extension Cord Example
Now go down to the 12 gauge wire section and look at the 100 foot row. Unfortunately this chart only goes 10 amp, 15 amp, 20 amps and 30 amps. But even at 15 amps this is still only a 4.8% voltage drop. The 12 gauge wire is much safer for your motor and to be able to get all the power that this piece of equipment was designed to deliver. Now you can figure out exactly what the drop would be for a 12 amp motor by doing a little math. The easiest way to do this is to use the 10 amp column. Divide the 3.2% drop by the 10 amps in order to get the percentage drop per amp. This gives you .32% per amp. Then take the .32 and multiply it by 12 giving you 3.8%. This is not near the 5% drop so the cord would be perfectly safe. – (Return to Top)
Electric Lawn Mower Extension Cord Combo
Now let’s take the example of not buying a 100 foot 12 gauge cord but buying a 50 foot 12 gauge cord and a 50 foot 14 gauge cord. If you do a setup like this I would be sure and buy an enclosed cord connector like this Connector or this Connector. First let’s figure out the drop for a 50 foot 14 gauge wire. Remember were working with a 12 amp motor. So we go to 14 gauge wire section we look at the 50 feet and we look at the 10 amp column we divide the 2.5% by 10 to give his .25 per amp. Take that number and multiply it by 12 and you end up with a 3% drop. Now go to the 12 gauge wire section for 50 feet look at the 10 amp column divide the 1.6% by 10 giving you .16 per amp. .16 times 12 equals 1.9%. Now add the 1.9% with the 3% and you end up with a 4.9% drop. That would be adequate but you’re right at the limit. It is less expensive to buy those two cords than the more expensive 100 foot 12gauge cord but it would be adequate. – (Return to Top)
My Choice and Other Considerations
For me I like the cord to be adequate for other equipment also and since I have a very heavy-duty circular saw that is 15 amps I would go ahead and get the 12 gauge cord. Coleman Cable makes some good extension cords and I would take a look at this one – Coleman Cable 02589 12/3 vinyl outdoor extension cord with lighted end or the one linked at the top image. Also remember you’re working in the yard and you want to be able to see the cord. Do not buy a green outdoor extension cord for mowing. My favorite is the bright yellow but orange is fine and blue is even okay. The green colored cords are just an accident waiting to happen. Be sure and also think about a good pair of gloves and some eye-protection. Depending on the mower you get ear-protection should also be considered. – (Return to Top)
To cleaner and Quieter Mowing,
Get the Best Cord for Electric Lawn Mowers HERE