Generally all welding cables are used for very similar applications. However not all welding cables have the UL or CSA approvals on them. Now that does not make these cables unsafe. It just means that as a consumer you need to make sure you trust the manufacturer. This way you’ll know you are getting a safe and quality product. The three main variations of welding cable are the Class K, the Class M and the Super Vu-Tron.
The Class K welding cable is made from 30 AWG copper strands. This is also known as the standard welding cable. It is not UL or CSA approved like some of the other classes of welding cables you can find. The cables come in black and red. Although there are other colors available upon customer request. Because of the copper stranded conductor as well at the rubber insulation of the cable they have good flexibility. They are used mainly for secondary voltage resistance welding leads as well as for power supply applications that do not exceed 600 volts.
A Class M welding cable has 34 AWG copper strands. This is to make the cable more flexible. The Class M cables are both UL and CSA approved. This kind of welding cable also comes in the same colors as the Class K welding cable. This variation of welding cable just like the Class K cable is very flexible. The Class M cable however is more flexible because it is made with even smaller copper strands. The cables have very similar temperature ratings as well as the exact same voltage ratings. What makes this cable more expensive is the fact that the copper strands are smaller making it more flexible. And the fact that this cable is both UL and CSA approved, while the Class K cables are not.
The super vu-tron welding cable is a Class M cable. It is a slightly different version made of the same 34 AWG copper strands. The super vu-tron has an orange colored jacket for safety. The orange color is a trademark of General Cable. The welding cable has a good abrasion resistance and is also weather and ozone resistant because of the special jacket that the cable has. The cable comes in sizes ranging from a 6 AWG all the way up to a size 4/0. The super vu-tron cables also have a temperature range of -50°C up to 90°C.
The welding cables are listed in order of price. The Class K welding cables are the cheapest and then working your way up the Super Vu-Tron cables are the most expensive. That leaves the Class M cables in the middle. Each cable is slightly different even though they are all intended to be used for generally the same thing.
Written by: WesBell Electronics Inc