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How to Choose a Circular Saw Extension Cord

Most people are familiar with extension cords. They allow you to use an electric-powered appliance or machinery further away from an outlet. It is important to know that certain tools require specific extension cords with the proper amperage and wattage capability. Today’s article will cover all you need to know about circular saw extension cords. 

For starters, I will do a quick overview of extension cord terminology. 

Extension Wire Gauge:  Every extension cord has an AWG (American wire gauge), which can either be 18, 16, 14, 12 and 10. The wire gauge refers to the thickness of the wire. A lower gauge number means the wire is thicker and can carry higher electrical currents. 

Amperage Rating: Every electrical tool has an Amp rating that indicates the amps that the tool runs on. Most circular saws have an amperage of  12-15 amps. You will want an extension cord that can carry the amps of your saw. 

Wattage Rating: This revers to the amount of Watts that the extension cord can carry. Most circular saws have a range of 1,200 to 1,400 Watts. 

What gauge extension cord for a circular saw?

For a circular saw, you will need an extension cord of at least 14. However, longer extension cords and more powerful circular saws will need a 12 gauge extension cord. 

Best Circular Saw Extension Cord

The best extension cord for a circular saw is the Thonapa Outdoor Extension Cord. It has a wire gauge of 12, and can carry currents up to 15 amps. 

extension cord for circular saw

Below is a picture of the extension cord with the table saw.

circular saw extension cord

They have cord lengths that range from 6 feet up to 100 feet. It has a very durable design and is perfect for outdoor use. It also features a LED light that indicates when the power is on. I use this extension cord for both my circular saw and my table saw. 

This extension cord has a rating of 12/3.

Related: How to change blade on a circular saw

What does 12/3 mean on an extension cord?

A 12/3 rating means that the extension cord has a 12 gauge diameter and has an input for 3 wires/prongs. 

Length of a circular saw extension cord

It is important to note that the longer the extension cord, the lower gauge you will need. This is because an extension cord will disperse some of its energy the longer it is, so it is important to have a heavy duty extension cord for longer cords. 

For example, a 6-foot long 14 gauge extension cord will easily handle most circular saws. However, longer cords of 25 or 50 feet will need a higher powered cord (such as a 12 or 10 gauge) so that it doesn’t overheat.

If you are using a generator, you should check out the best extension cords for a generator.

Do circular saws need heavy duty extension cords?

Some circular saws do not need a heavy duty cord and can operate on a 14 gauge cord. However, cords that are longer than 25 feet will likely need a heavy duty extension cord that is 12 gauge rating.

12 gauge extension cords are also great for space heaters.

On the other hand, you would definitely need a heavy duty extension cord for a hybrid table saw.

Can you use a circular saw with a regular extension cord?

No, you should not use a regular extension cord for a circular saw. Regular extension cords are meant to power appliances such as TVs, lamps, and other household items. 

Most regular extension cords have 16 gauge wires and will overheat if you connect it to a circular saw. This is very dangerous because it can be a fire hazard. 

It can also cause damage to your circular saw since it can’t handle all of the electric current.