Allied Encyclopedia: SOOW Cable vs SJOOW Cable

Product_Knockout“Our Product Knock-out series is a match-up between two similar products. In boxing terms, think same weight class, same caliber, and same level of experience and amount of exposure. The purpose of these posts are for you to see a side-by-side view of two similar products, and to be able to understand which one will be crowned champ for your specific purposes. Take your seats and prepare for battle, because the gloves are coming out.”

SOOW and SJOOW cords are identical in most respects; they are both flexible, stranded multi-conductor cables insulated with a synthetic rubber. They have heavy-duty thermoset jackets, which resist water, oils, solvents, sunlight, ozone, weather, and abrasion. Both are rated from -40°C to +90°C. SOOW and SJOOW cables are both varieties of “service cord.” Service cord is used in all kinds of appliances and motors for industrial and construction equipment. There are many types, and they are named according to their characteristics.

What is SOOW Cable?

SOOW cable is a portable cord cable that is rated to 600V. This cable is designed for heavy-duty industrial use. It is commonly used in applications for remote control wiring circuits, fire alarm controls, temperature control systems and motor leads. The letters in SOOW will tell you about this cable’s specific characteristics.

S- Service Cord

OO- Oil resistant jacket and insulation

W- Weather Resistant

With the breakdown of the letters we can see that this cable is a service cable that is weather resistant with a oil resistant jacket and insulation and is rated to 600V.

What is SJOOW Cable?

SJOOW cable is stranded bare copper portable cord. It is designed to be used with many portable tools and equipment, portable appliances, small motors and associated machinery. The letters in SJOOW will tell you about the specific characteristics of this cable.

S- Service Cord

J – Junior Service, rated to 300V

OO- Oil resistant insulation and oil resistant jacket

W- Weather Resistant

With the breakdown of the cable letters we can see that this cable is a weather resistant, junior service cord that has an oil resistant jacket and insulation.



SJOOW and SOOW cable both may be used for portable tools and equipment, portable appliances, and small motors. However, SOOW’s greater voltage rating means the cable is functional in a wider range of applications, including construction equipment, cranes, hoists, and other industrial machinery. Because SOOW cord can be used in a wider variety of applications, it’s usually offered in a greater selection of gauges and conductor counts than you’ll find with SJOOW cord. The physical difference between the two cord types is jacket thickness, making the practical difference a matter of voltage. The SOOW cable has a thicker jacket, so it can accommodate up to 600 volts. The thinner SJOOW can only be used in applications up to 300 volts, and that’s why it has the ‘J’ for “junior service” in its name.

Naturally, the larger O.D. and broader versatility of the SOOW cable makes it more costly than SJOOW. If your application does not exceed 300 volts, you can save yourself some money and go with the junior service cord. To learn more, view our full selection of SOOW, SJOOW, and other types of service cord.

Winner by unanimous vote? Instead, it seems as if the match has ended in a technical decision.
In this case it looks like our crowned champ depends on your specific application use.

(For more on SO cord definitions and portable cord letter meanings, see this Allied Encyclopedia article.)

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Phoenix, AZ; Bedford, NH; Pewaukee, WI; Rochester, NY, Tampa, FL; and Mt. Juliet, TN. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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