The difference between SOOW and SJOOW power cords is quite simple, but in order to fully comprehend the major benefits that each offers you have to first understand their applications. Power cords or power cables are one of the main components of electrical systems. The first end connects into a power source while the following end is placed into an electrical device. The SJOOW and SOOW are designated as power cables because of how they can safely transfer power from one source to another.

SO / SOOW Power Cord

Similar to other cabling categories, the power cord section has independent meanings for each letter. The "S" in "SO" stands for "Extra Hard Service." This means that the wire is able to be used in applications requiring 600 volts or less. The second letter, "O" stands for "Oil Resistant," which means the outer jacket of the cable is oil resistant.

 SOOW Portable Power Cord

SJO / SJOOW Power Cord

SJO having similar lettering in its name means the characteristics are going to be almost the same. The only significant difference for this cable would be the "J" or "Junior Service." Junior Service as explained below is rated for hard service or 300 volts. The insulation thickness is the main difference, with the extra hard service "SO" cables requiring thicker insulation to accommodate for higher voltage ratings, while the SJO constructions require thinner insulation with their lower voltage rating. 

 SJOOW Portable Power Cord


What to Keep In Mind

Keep in Mind!

When purchasing SJO and SO portable power cords it’s important to keep your application in mind. The application will be the deciding factor for what cable is the most beneficial.

For Example, Many customers will order the SO portable power cords because of their ability to handle higher voltages when in reality, their applications would only require the junior service (300 volts). 

This happens more often than you'd think and is basically overkill. The SO portable power cords are more expensive and take up extra space. By understanding your applications' maximum requirements, you can lower your costs, and although it may only be by a little, when purchasing thousands of meters of wire, every cent counts.


Power Cord Lettering Breakdown

  • S = Extra hard service (rated for 600V)
  • J = Junior (hard) service (rated for 300V)
  • V = Vacuum cord (rated for 300V)
  • P = Parallel cord
  • E = Elastomer jacket (UL or NEC only)
  • T = Thermoplastic jacket
  • O = Oil resistant outer jacket
  • OO = Oil-resistant outer jacket and inner insulation
  • W = Weather and water-resistant  - outdoor rated (note: this is NOT the same as Type W, another kind of portable cord)


Portable power cords are very reliable products and are used frequently because of the variety of constructions. We typically stock 26 different constructions, each of which provides a wide range of benefits. One of the most noticeable benefits comes from the water-resistant and oil-resistant constructions. These 2 attributes single-handedly make those constructions very durable, reliable, increases their shelf life and enable them to be used in challenging locations.

Some of these applications are:

  • Production lines
  • Extra hard use in process industries
  • Other manufacturing facilities
  • Garages
  • Portable lights
  • Battery chargers
  • Portable stage lights
  • Heavy tools
  • Equipment exposed to oil/chemicals
  • Severe flexing application
  • Applications in tough environmental conditions

Portable Power Cord


Additional Portable Power Cord Constructions

If you are unsure of whether you should be using a power or portable cord or are just curious about which subtype would best suit your application? Our highly knowledgeable and experienced sales team would be more than happy to assist you with any of your power cable and portable cord inquiries. Request a quote online, email, or call us today!



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