SAE Cable – the Ultimate Guide to How to Choose

The SAE cable is a cable used to charge vehicle batteries and power various automotive and motorcycle accessories.

You may be confused, how to choose the right SAE cable? Before answering this question, you need to learn some necessary knowledge.

That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to tell you everything you need to know about SAE cables.

So let us achieve.

CHAPTER 1: What is SAE?



SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers is an international professional association that develops global standards for engineering industries. The organization’s standards harmonize the production of different types of cables and electrical equipment and offer a foundation for all manufacturers to be on the same page.

SAE standards enable manufacturers to improve their quality of products and meet safety guidelines. The SAE cable in the scope of our article is used to establish a connection between a battery and other devices.

Specification of SAE Cable

The SAE cable can be called a ‘hermaphrodite’ connector because it features both male and female connectors. The cables are generally used for automobiles and motorbikes though you can also use them for solar panels and alternative energy applications.

It is one of the components of a PCB that are soldered to provide it extra sturdiness.

The SAE cable comes with two conductors and commonly utilized to provide a maintenance charge to a car’s battery.

When harnessed with a battery system, the polarity of the terminals is designed to prevent any incidents of the short circuit even if the exposed ends come in contact with the metal vehicle chassis. For this reason, the exposed terminals of the cable are connected to the negative outlet of the battery. On the other hand, the positive end of a battery charger is often exposed and hooked up with the concealed SAE connector.

The circuitry of the battery charger also contributes to reducing any possible risks of short circuits. Lead-acid batteries have higher chances of experiencing short-circuits, so you need to use a good quality SAE cable to mitigate the risks.

SAE Cable

Next, we will discover the implications of SAE connectors and discuss the widely used SAE battery connector.

SAE Cable

CHAPTER 2: SAE Connector

The SAE connector is mainly used for automotive applications and solar solutions. But their versatility means you can also use them for other industries. One of the common types of SAE connectors is the SAE battery connector. Let’s find out a bit about it!  

SAE Battery Connector


Battery Connector

The SAE battery connector is a simple cable that connects your battery to other devices like chargers. It has rings or clips at one end to connect to the battery and features a standard SAE connector on the other end. The cable also has a 15 Amp to 25 Amp fuse in between for protecting the battery.

You can set up the cable and connect a battery tender to charge your vehicle or motorcycle battery.

The SAE battery connectors don’t have the risk of a short circuit even if the unexposed end comes in contact with metal. For this reason, they are suitable for use with different types of automotive parts safely.

For example, you can use an SAE cable with a round end and an SAE connector on the other end to hook up a heated vest. The SAE cable connects easily with the SAE cable connector to establish a connection. You can channel the SAE connector from the side of your bike and connect battery tender or other devices.

The SAE battery connector features two ring terminals which you have to connect to the positive and negative points of the battery. The terminals are generally color-coded in red and black for your convenience.

You can buy longer SAE connector cables which can measure 25 feet. These are ideal for use in the garage, where you need to have power access for the battery charger, which can be located away from the vehicle.

Some manufacturers can use different connectors, but SAE is preferred because they are easy to use, affordable, easily available, and safe.

In the next chapter, we will discuss SAE plugs and then look at the SAE adapter.


 SAE plugs can be used for basic wiring and general-purpose applications in motorcycles and cars. The SAE plug at the end of the cable enables you to connect different accessories and charger boxes. Most of the SAE plugs are compatible with motorcycle tank bags.

The SAE plugs are used across different industries and applications such as alternative energy, utility and off-grid solutions, recreational vehicles, vehicle installations, emergencies, and more. Their versatility also makes them suitable for navigation equipment, mobile phones, and laptops.

The SAE plugs are made for low-voltage though you can find many products which handle a higher amount of voltage for use in RVs, trucks, and other heavy-duty applications. You can find different lengths of SAE plugs for automobiles of all sizes.

After the initial job of setting up the SAE, plugs are over. You can look forward to a toolless assembly then onwards.

SAE Adapter

SAE Adapter

You will find different types of SAE adapters that can be used with a wide range of applications. For example, you can have a USB adapter right inside your vehicle (we will discuss in detail about SAE to USB a bit later) or take advantage of a male to female adapter to establish a connection.

Another type of SAE adapter is commonly used to connect traditional SAE chargers or jumpstart equipment to newer cables. These are sometimes used in power sports applications and automobiles and provide an easy way to connect different equipment. Generally, the adapters are designed to achieve minimal power loss and maximum current flow.

One form of SAE adapter is quite common in cars and helps you light up your smoke. The convenient SAE to electrical lighter adapters sit comfortably in the dashboard of your vehicle and are connected to the battery on the other end.

Different accessories and equipment manufacturers also produce custom adapters to accommodate their products. For example, you can find custom adapters that fit with chargers, solar panels, heated clothing, GPS, and other SAE devices.

Now it turns to find out more about SAE to USB cable.

SAE Cable


When it comes to choosing the right SAE cable, the other thing is to know what type of cable you need first.

SAE cables come in all shapes and sizes and are made to suit different needs. We have already discussed some of the applications like heated clothing and battery chargers that use SAE cables.

The advancement of technology and change in our lifestyle has led to new types of SAE cables to meet our modern needs. We use some gadgets as a part of our daily life which need a power source to keep functioning.

Many companies have started making SAE cables geared towards the gadgets like SAE to USB cable.

SAE to USB Cable


USB has become a popular format for the different electronics around the world. Having a common interface makes it easy to keep all your devices up and running with simple charging options.

SAE to USB cables enable you to charge your cameras, mobiles, tablets, GPS navigation, and more just by connecting them to the USB port.

SAE to USB cables has an SAE connector at one end and a USB port at the other end. The SAE connector is hooked to the battery unit of your vehicle or motorcycle, while USB connectors are placed on the dashboard or your fuel tank.

You can also find SAE to USB adapters, portable or dongle-shaped devices with a UBS port, and an SAE connector. You may need to use a separate SAE extension cable to connect the adapter to the battery.

The SAE to USB connectors delivers different power levels, such as 1.1 Amp, 2.1 Amp, and 3 Amp.

 USB connectors

You should check the power compatibility of your device before connecting them to the UBS ports. A low power level automatically protects the battery from total discharge.

The voltage of your battery is also another important consideration as not all SAE to USB cables can sustain the same amount of voltage. Some can sustain as high as 12 Volts while others can support low outputs of 5 Volts.

You can find a single or multiple USB ports on an SAE to USB cable or adapter. The USB end sometimes comes with a protective cap to seal the ports when they are not used.

There are also a few things that make your SAE to USB cable safe and efficient. You can look for safety features like protection for overheating, short circuits, and high voltages. Also, it’s better to go for cables and adapters which are water, dust and weather resistant.

In our next chapter, we will give a brief overview of the SEA connector extension cable.

CHAPTER 5: SAE Connector Extension Cable

Extension Cable

Many times you may not find the length of your SAE cable adequate for your purpose.

Sometimes the battery chargers need to be connected with a wall AC outlet, and the SAE cable may not reach the vehicle parked outside. You may also want to have a bit of freedom and charge your devices sitting by the side of your motorcycle. At times the standard battery SAE harness falls short in length, leaving you in a fix!

An SAE connector extension cable comes to the rescue in such situations by offering you an extra length of the cable. You can connect them to the SAE plug and hook the other end to the battery charger or your device.

SAE cables have specific standards which define their scope and application. We will take a look at the common standards in the next chapter.

CHAPTER 6: SAE Cable Standard

SAE cables have different standards suitable for use in the automotive industry. J2183, J1127, J2863 are some of the standards in use. We will take a look at some common standards and find out what they are used for.

J2183 is a single core SAE cable used to supply DC electricity between 60 Volts and 600 Volts. You can use them for high-energy applications like solar grids and high-power automotive needs of trucks and RVs. J20320 SAE cables are ideal if your job involves assembling ignition cables.

The J1127 is the commonly used low voltage battery cable used in motorbikes and cars to connect the battery to different devices using an SAE plug. The J1128 is the low voltage primary cable necessary to charge your vehicle battery and jumpstart it. J2863 is meant explicitly for an automotive trailer tow connector and can withstand high loads of DC.

Usually, you don’t have to confuse yourself by remembering and evaluating all the SAE standards. The manufacturers of SAE cables duly declare the specifications of their products and the applications so that you can choose easily based on your needs.

We have almost arrived at the end of our article. Before wrapping things up, we will take a look at different types of SAE connectors to cables.

CHAPTER 7: SAE Connector to Cable


 Like we have already discussed, you can get your hands on different SAE connectors to the cable. You need to determine your need and application to choose the right connector. We will explore the common type of connectors so that you can find it easy to make your choice.  

SAE Connector with Leads

Connector with Leads

SAE connector with lead is used as automotive cables and suitable for rearview camera systems. The cables have a standard SAE plug at one end while the other end is exposed so that you can connect them to any wire or connector.

The SAE cables are designed to withstand high levels of heat, oil, solvent, and abrasion. The insulation material allows the cable to have a low-temperature resistance and high scrape strength.

SAE to SAE Connector

The SAE to SAE connector comes with SAE plugs at both ends, as the name implies. You can use it for automotive wiring and connecting to the various vehicle and motorcycle accessories. The cables are also suitable for military, industrial and agricultural use and work with older SAE models without any problem.

The SAE cables are also made to be solvent resistant, heat resistant, and weather resistant. You can use them for any application which demands the transfer of DC power. Generally, the cables have smaller over a mold which allows you to fit them in tight spaces.

SAE Connector with Battery Clamp

with Battery Clamp

You can take the help of an SAE connector with a battery clamp to directly supply power to your devices from the battery. It features a conventional SAE connector in one end and two clips or clamps on the other to connect to the battery.

The clamps are color-coded in red and black to know which one goes to the positive and which one connects to the negative.


SAE cables have a wide range of applications in different industries such as automotive, agriculture, military, and renewable energy. They come in different specifications, which you must be aware of after reading this post. Knowing the specifications is necessary for choosing the right SAE cable and the success of your project.  

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Specialized products like smartphones and laptops cannot be equipped with traditional rigid circuit boards without compromising their compact design or lighter weight. An ideal solution is a flexible PCB that is a comparatively newer technology and is being used widely in medical, automotive, and consumer electronic products.

You can order SAE cables with custom specifications or international standards by getting in touch with us. We can manufacture high-quality and safe wiring solutions meeting your design and parameters. You can go for customized lengths, insulations, connectors, and more, depending on your project.

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