What makes a good charging cable

Your cable influences the charging speed of your device so even if you have the latest fast charger you might still not be charging at the fastest possible speed.

What is the difference in cables?

From the outside many cables all look the same but on the inside, the construction is different and many cables have a slow only design. It all comes down to the wires ability to carry a fast speed.

Inside a USB cable are 4 wires,

USB cable inside wires
The inside diagram of a USB cable.
  • The white and green are for data .
  • The red and black are 5v and carry the power for charging, these determine charge speed.

The amount of power your cable can carry is determined by the size of the 2 5V wires inside, a standard cable is 28 gauge and is capable of  about .5A, this is the standard charge rate. A faster charger cable has larger internal wires (mostly 24 gauge) that can carry larger currents of 2A or more.

Phone cable USB gauges
The size difference between a 28 and 24 gauge wire, easy to see here on the chart, but difficult to distinguish once it is made into a USB cable.

The relationship between gauge and total current is basic electrical physics, a wire is limited in the amount of current it can transfer therefore a larger wire can carry more current. This effect is even worse if you buy really long USB charger cables, you get a longer cable at the price of charging speed. Cable makers can make a low gauge cable cheaper than a fast one, so that is why fast charger cables are usually more expensive as the wires inside are larger. As most devices now are fast compatible I expect to slowly see all third party cables become faster. Currently, there are mostly slow standard cables in the market so if you are ready for fast charging, be sure to check your cables are also ready for your latest device and charger.

Cables like these come in cool colours and are long and convienent however, most are low gauge and really slow down your charging speeds.

Cables like these come in cool colors and are really long. Most of these style cables though are high gauge and really slow down your charging speeds. Ok if you are in bed or in the office but not useful for fast charging and on newer phones. Some of these cables are so long that if you are using it while charging the battery may not even charge.

Need a fast charging cable?

Firstly check your device is fast charger capable and you have a charger capable of supplying the faster rate. Then check the original cable that came with your device, some larger phones and tablets come with fast good size cables so test with that first, if you don’t have the original grab a fast charger cable that matches your device and desired length and enjoy your fully compatible fast charger system.

We have a few fast charger brands for Android and for Apple we recommend BlitzWolf or Remax.

View our recommended Apple, Android and TypeC cables.

If you have any other tips and tricks about fast charging share with us and comment below.

  • yes it may be due to not a genuine cable. only genuine cable can do the fast charging

    • Aaron Gardiner

      nope not true I have an samsung s6 edge with fast charging capable and I got a cheap fast cable off amazon and it works exactly like official one from Samsung

      • Sarah

        Can you share a link of the cheap charging cable for the s6 from amazon??

      • Gabriel Maruga

        Like Sarah said.. where is the like to this amazing,Ong cheap cable?

      • Selena Marie Wilson

        Huh, that IS amazing, since I’ve had zero luck with any cable that isn’t a genuine Samsung one after my cat chewed my tablet’s original cable (rapid charge) all to hell.

        Of course, I didn’t know all of this stuff then–compatibility, cable gauge relation to charging speed, etc. I figured a cable is a cable…sure, the OEM one will work better, and one that exceeds the current the device can handle can fry it, but same voltage/amperage and I should be good, I figured.

        Not. Even.
        I also figured a run of the mill cable would work just fine with the rapid charge adapter.
        Yeah, mixed results there.

        From cheapest Walmart fare to pricier Belkin ones, I’ve gone through several cables in six months and spent more than if I’d just ordered the right cable from Samsung.
        Most of them worked okay at first…charged slower, but I expected that.
        What I didn’t expect was that after anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to few months, each cable would charge more slowly over time and stop charging the tablet completely or would just suddenly no longer charge it (without interference from my cat’s teeth).

        Some of them would still charge my phone (which isn’t a rapid charge device), but some quit working entirely.

        I don’t know if it’s related, but my tablet started taking longer to charge even when I finally got smart and got the right cable, and at first refused to charge at all when power was on…then took 2 days to fully charge even with the power off.
        It’s finally charging normally again after a week of using the proper adapter + cable, thank God.

        • BW Ampcore cables are built better than your standard cables and are covered by a year and a half warranty. They are compatable with your samsung S6 too. https://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Cables-c-2894.html?brand=21

          • Selena Marie Wilson

            It’s a galaxy tablet, 9.5 inch. I don’t own an S6 lol.

          • In that case, just check the list to make sure your exact tablet model is supported. They are solidly built and should perform better than your previous cables.
            Although that is a strange thing that it gradually reduced speeds, possibly corrosion on the connectors?

  • carnby77

    I believe the size of the conductor is important..or you can always short the 2 data pins together to bypass and make the cable goto maximum current which is 2 amps…

  • can you explain how wire size and length affects charge rate?

    I deal with electronics a lot and it is my understanding that wire size affects the ampacity of a wire. that is the maximum current it can handle. if a wire is undersized, it does not necessarily reduce the amperage that is flowing; rather, it heats up because it can’t handle the amperage. that is why we have to size wires to accommodate the amperage that they will be used for. so if a wire is too small, I would expect it to heat up, not reduce the charge rate.

    in regards to the length of the wire, this does not affect charge rate (amps) either. wire length affects voltage drop. so if the wire is not sized properly and is too long, the voltage drop will be excessive and the voltage on the end of the wire will be reduced. this should not affect the charge rate though, unless the voltage drop is so high that the charger just can’t charge the battery at all. however, just going from 24 ga to 28 ga wire should not result in that dramatic of a difference in voltage drop when we are talking about a few feet of wire.

    • Tony Mari

      You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I should have figured it was going to be bad as soon as I saw the word ampicity. You say there is no dif in just a few feet. Do the math, sir.

      • i most definitely do know what I’m talking about. even if i didn’t, you don’t have to be rude when someone just asks a question. I do voltage drop calculations all the time.

        I will do the math for you.

        if the cord is 6 feet long, and is running .5 amps at 5 volts , the voltage drop with a 28 gauge wire is .39 volts and with 24 gauge wire it is .15 volts. I don’t see how that difference of .24 volts would affect the charge rate by that much as with some cords I got for my kids don’t even charge at all. that’s why i searched for this article, to try to understand it.

        so if you want to explain why a little more voltage drop can be the difference between a decent charger and a wire that does nothing (phone says it is not charging) I would appreciate it. but if you are going to attack me for a spelling error, please don’t waste your time. I will find the answer somewhere else.

        • If you are dealing with fast charging you are using 1.5-2.4A of current, that is when the voltage drop becomes more significant. The acceptable range for USB is 5V +/-5%, assuming your charger is delivering 5V that is only a .25v acceptable loss.
          Devices can be sensitive to input voltage, so if it drops beyond the USB 5V spec it might not accept the charge (no charge), or charge less efficiently (slower).
          Fast chargers are also more sensitive to the voltage as both the charger and device will communicate on the data lines to negotiate the charging rate, if the voltage drop is beyond their acceptable range, it will drop to a slower rate to minimize the voltage drop.

          • thanks, that is helpful! I was not aware that there is communication going via the data lines. that would explain some of it.

          • No worries , happy to share my knowledge, phones these days are more sensitive/smarter at what they accept before they charge, mostly due i think to the dangers of exploding batteries, to extend the battery lifetime and also to protect from bad chargers.

            For more standard charging devices, just the length of the cable, V dropping too much can be enough to just reject the charge.
            QC3 is one tech that uses multi voltage, so can increase the voltage at continuously variable amounts up to 12V, so these are even more regulated and constantly communicate with each other.
            There are some higher gauge longer charging cables that will charge without much loss, but most of the bargain long cables will charge slow.
            And with fast charge being a benefit these days, it is a feature most enjoy.

            The next step is PD charging, using Type C, that uses higher voltages also and is built to power more than 100W on a cable.
            Because they jump to higher voltages the actual wires are not much thicker.

          • Dr. Dan

            You are absolutely correct, Samsung cell phones such as the Note 5 have advanced battery charging technology that very carefully monitor input voltage.

            If the voltage drops below a set point with a low battery which should be accepting a fast charge the phone will drop the current until the voltage reaches the proper level to match the battery discharge state.

            In other words a battery that should be accepting 5.1 volts at 2.1 amps is only seeing 4.9 volts at 2.1 amps the charger switches to normal cable charging to prevent a fire.

            If you have a newer Samsung phone that accepts fast charging then this is very easy to prove. Just buy yourself a cheap cell phone charging cable at the 99 cent store plug it into a nearly discharged phone and you will see a notification pop up that says phone is CABLE CHARGING and it will give you and estimated time till the phone is charged.

            Now grab that heavy Samsung cable that came with your phone and plug it in. Something interesting will happen, the notification that comes up will now state CABLE FAST CHARGING and the estimated time will be cut in half.

            Samsung phones do this to prevent a fire from over heated charging cables not rated for fast charging.

            In other words a battery that should be accepting 5.1 volts at 2.1 amps is only seeing 4.9 volts at 2.1 amps the charger switches to normal cable charging to prevent a fire

            A lot of people commenting don’t seem to understand how to measure the electrical length of wire in a circuit. Mots people think a 4 foot charging cable is electrically 4 feet long. It’s not the total electrical length of the circuit is 8 feet long and likewise a 6 foot charging cable is electrically 12 feet long

      • Blett

        A few feet is not going to matter because they have pushed the amps up to 3amp and did nothing with the current so it has more push behind it so upping the wire size will allow more current. the distances that a charging cable is has no impact because they are short in general now if it was say 50ft or more then i could see distance being a problem.

    • Blett

      Dude I was thinking the same thing this guy has no clue what he talking about but the smaller the wire, the greater the resistance for any given length and I have yet to find a charging cable to get hot under charging. I mean we are talking about 5v and the 3amps is how its boosted to quick charge giving you 15 watts. I am a industrial electrician buy trade and an instrumentation tech for 15 years. I know it’s not the same thing as electronics but the amount of space you have to go to get any kind of significant voltage drop is way longer than any charging cable I have seen. His little chart of wire gauge was way off in my opinion too I mean 24awg is used in most communication and data transfer(think ethernet CAT5-CAT6 and that has 8 wires in it) that’s about the same size as most chargers and they only have 4 two for charging and two for data. Just think I can install a flow or pressure meter 300 to 400 feet away on a 16awg wire running a 24v loop powered signal with no degradation of signal or power and that is not even the max that the meter can go. I have seen them 600ft away from the DCS or PLC. Just think of it this way ampacity is pressure and current is flow so a bigger gauge will give you more flow and boosting to 3amps will give it more push.

      • if you want to compare electricity to water, amps is flow (gallons per minute) and volts is pressure.

        also data transfer can’t be compared to charging.

        there’s no opinion in voltage drop calculations… just google it there are lots of online voltage drop calculation tools

        I think the point is that there is more than twice voltage drop from going between 24 and 28 gauge wire. if the cable is several feet long that can bring the voltage down below what is needed to get the charger to work properly.