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2-Gauge vs. 4-Gauge Battery Cables

It is no rocket science that battery cables have to be incredibly strong because they undergo a lot of stress. So indeed, their endurance, toughness, and durability are non-negotiable characteristics. But how do you know which battery cables will be best for you? 

Most people find it difficult to choose between two and four-gauge cables. Besides, why does it even matter? Because it has an immense effect on the battery’s performance and longevity. 

If you are stuck in the same dilemma, the following guidelines and recommendations will benefit you. 

Differences and what to consider 

Apart from the gauge, there are some other significant aspects that you should consider when shopping for battery cables: 

Diameter

AWG (the American Wire Gauge) basically describes a wire’s thickness, also known as the diameter. In terms of these measurements, four gauge wires are thinner than two gauge wires. Why does that make a difference? The thickness of the cable is directly proportional to how much current it can carry. So, the thicker the wire, the more amperes it can support. 

Resistance 

This one is usually underrated and often forgotten by a lot of people. The resistance of a wire means the amount of power needed to transfer current through it. Two gauge wires generally have a lower resistance compared to four gauge wires. So naturally, it plays a huge role when deciding what cables to get because it directly impacts the battery’s performance. 

Current Amperes 

Thick cables can carry more current, so they are an essential aspect to look into when you go shopping for battery cables. Usually, manufacturers specify how much current a particular cable can support. If you can’t find it on the packaging, ask the seller.

Cable Length 

Apart from the convenience of having long or short cables, there is another important factor here: resistance. Most people don’t know this, but longer cables offer more resistance to current.

Does bigger gauge mean better wire?

Many people wrongly assume that if the wire has a bigger diameter, it is more desirable. This is not always the case! Different gauges are ideal for different purposes: a bigger gauge means that the wire is less flexible and heavy. Thinner wires are more flexible, lighter in weight, and offer their own set of pros. On the other hand, thick wires give you the benefit of handling higher currents, which thin wires don’t. So, it’s crucial to choose a more appropriate wire for your requirements; select the one that fulfills your criteria. 

Recommendations 

Now that you understand the basics of these different kinds of cables, let’s talk about popular recommendations and what you should try: 

Two gauge cables for commercial use 

TEMCo WC0180-50′ 2 Gauge Welding Battery Cable 

Specifications

  • 50 feet
  • 205 Max Amperes 
  • Up to 600 volts
  • -58 degrees Fahrenheit to 221 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Annealed 30 gauge, bare copper conductor

Review 

Apart from its incredible resistance to flame, grease, oil, water, abrasion, tears, and cuts, this particular battery cable is also very flexible. Moreover, it’s available in two color variations (red and black), and you can choose from several different size options. Most consumers love this wire for its durability, high quality, and easy usage. You can cut it and strip it easily, without damaging the wire or making your fingers ache! 

Pros & Cons

  • It’s easy to store. 
  • It doesn’t lose strands when you cut it. 
  • You can get a good length of cable at a reasonable price. 
  • It has a smell that some people find irritating. 

Two gauge cables for personal use 

Windy Nation 2 Gauge 10 Feet Pure Copper Welding Cable 

Specifications: 

  • Maximum 600 volts
  • -55 degrees Celsius to 125 degrees Celsius 
  • Polyolefin material

Review

This pure copper, tough, and highly flexible cable has an EPDM insulation jacket that’s resistant to fire and most solvents (including lubricants, grease, diesel, gasoline, and saltwater). It is also tinned to protect it from corrosion. Moreover, the closed-end design protects it from outdoor environments. Lastly, you can solder and crimp the wire easily. 

Pros & Cons

  • It offers excellent conductivity. 
  • The cable is annealed according to ASTM standards. 
  • The flared barrel end ensures an easy entry. 
  • Some people have complained about receiving wires somewhat shorter than promised. 

Four gauge cables for commercial use 

EWCS 4 Gauge 20 Feet Extra Flexible Welding Cable

Specifications: 

  • 600 volts
  • EPDM rubber 
  • -40 Degrees Celsius to 105 degrees Celsius

Review

If you’re looking for a four gauge cable that is super flexible and easy to work with, try this one. It is resistant to water, sunlight, and several other materials, so it is very long-lasting and durable. And despite having incredible flexibility, it has enough strength to withstand and endure the responsibilities of a battery cable. 

Pros & Cons

  • The cable is resistant to UV, water, gas, and oil. 
  • It comes with a considerable length. 
  • It’s high-quality and easy to work with. 
  • Some consumers have had size problems with this cable, claiming that it is slightly big or small. 

Four gauge cables for personal use 

Cartman 4 AWG 18″ Battery Cables

Specifications:

  • 95% tin-plated copper
  • SAE 4 gauge copper 
  • -15 degrees Celsius to 105 degrees Celsius

Review

Last but not least is this Cartman battery inverter cable. It has been a crowd favorite for a while, and for all the right reasons! This copper wire has zinc-plated copper terminals, a PVC insulated jacket, and incredible flexibility; all these characteristics make it easily usable and versatile. It is also resistant to heat (ab To 105 degrees Celsius) and stays flexible in extreme conditions. 

Pros & Cons

  • It is resistant to oxidation and corrosion. 
  • Ultra flexibility increases its possible applications. 
  • The Cartman cable comes in several size options, so you can choose one that fulfills your requirements. 
  • The terminal clamp is slightly stiff, so it is tricky to work with. 

In Conclusion

Choosing between two popular cable types is tricky. But if you know what benefits you’re looking for and what both types of cables are ideal for, making the right decision is not that hard. Just make sure you know what your needs and preferences are. Then, see which product fits the criteria well and, voila! You have your perfect battery cable! 

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