What's so special about our leads?

At Tough Leads, we only supply premium quality extension leads, built to withstand every day on-site conditions. We believe that using only the highest quality components creates leads which are not only safer, but will significantly out last any other extension lead, at a price which remains affordable.

  • We only use industrial quality H07RN-F cable to ensure that the leads can withstand harsh conditions.
  • All 13A and 15A plugs and sockets are rubberised for extra durability.
  • Products use the highest quality 16A and 32A IEC60309 IP44 plugs and sockets, which have incredible strength and durability to withstand on-site use. We generally only use Menneke, PCE and Gewiss brands.
  • All extension leads are constructed to comply with BS7671.
  • 16A leads use the larger 2.5mm cable to ensure performance at long lengths and for use with higher currents.
  • Custom lengths can be made, together with any combination of plug and socket available across the globe (subject to them being safe and meeting regulations for use within the UK or delivery destination).
  • All items are hand made in our specialist workshop.
  • All items are PAT tested and marked with a unique number for full traceability.

What’s so special about H07RN-F black rubber cable?

We use H07RN-F rubber cable, as it is specifically manufactured for harsh environments and its safety and performance under extreme conditions simply cannot be beaten. Our leads will withstand tough daily on-site use for considerably longer than any other type of cable.

  • Extremely flexible, bending to 6 times its overall diameter.
  • Very good mechanical resistance to impact and abrasion, making it ideal for harsh environments on-site.
  • Unlike normal PVC cables, it doesn’t tangle itself into a giant birds nest! No matter how long it is stored coiled up, it instantly straightens.
  • Resistant to accidental exposure to a wide range of chemicals, including most oils and greases.
  • Whist we would never recommend that you submerse an extension lead, it’s good to know that just in case it ends up running through a puddle, it’s actually submersible to a depth of 100m.
  • Retains its flexibility and performance over a wide temperature range from -25 to 60°C.
  • BS7671 IEE regulations require the use of H07RN-F on construction and demolition sites.

What’s so special about H07BQ-F orange rubber cable?

H07BQ-F rubber cable offers many of the benefits of black H07RN-F rubber, with the advantage of being bright orange in colour. The cable has a silicone appearance and is exceptionally tough. Whilst at a distance it looks similar to the much cheaper orange PVC artic cable used for caravan hook-ups, it is in an entirely different league.

Why don't you sell any products using blue arctic flex?

Blue ‘arctic’ flex is commonly used for extension leads available at major DIY stores and online. Yellow arctic cable was originally designed for 110v construction site use, where it offered flexibility down to -25°C.

Whilst a blue 230v version is available, it is not tested to the same standards and is not recommended for use below 5°C. Compared to H07RN-F it is far more prone to mechanical and UV damage. Further information on the key limitations can be found in this excellent article within Wiring Matters.

Aren’t CY ‘flexible armoured’ cables becoming trendy?

There does seem to be a growing trend to use CY ‘flexible armoured’ cables for extension leads. However, other than looking nice, we’re not convinced that they are at all suitable as:

  • The cable is not rated for use outside, as the PVC sheath is not waterproof and has particularly low UV resistance. The picture below shows damage to a CY left outside due to the sheath becoming brittle:

  • The sheath is prone to mechanical damage. The wire mesh visible underneath is often mistaken as armour, leading to the incorrect term 'flexible armoured cable'. It is in fact purely for screening, not mechanical protection.
  • Outside use is not supported by BS7909 2011 (Electrical Safety at Events) 
  • The minimum operating temperature is -5°C, and it becomes stiff at low temperatures.

  • It can only be bent to 10 times its overall diameter.

  • It requires proper glands to earth the metal braid to ensure safety, which are often omitted and are too large to be used with 13A plugs and sockets. In the absence of the correct gland to connect the wire screen to earth, in the case of a fault it may become live. The picture below shows an example of this occurring on an installation where CY was incorrectly installed outside and the wire shield is live at 240v!