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Thread: Retractable Extension Cords

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Retractable Extension Cords

    Anybody have a recommendation for a ceiling mount retractable extension cord as far as brands? There are a ton listed on Amazon. Also thinking minimum of 14 GA and perhaps 12 GA. Thoughts?
    Tim in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas

  2. #2
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    I can't give you a recommendation as I don't use one of these, but by all means, if you can find a 12 gage, buy it. It will be worth the extra cost and be more flexible for how you use it. Even with lower amerage tools, it can run cooler...one of the dangers of tightly coiled cords is heating.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Thanks, never thought of the heating issue. Not a heavy user on a continuous basis. Planer, jointer, drum sander most likely uses. Just wanted to get the cords off the floor for tripping hazards.
    Tim in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas

  4. #4
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    In the new shop that hopefully will grace the back yard later this year, I'm considering just using a strain-relief drop from above to feed convenient power to the bench. It would be a twist lock just high enough to still reach and have a pigtail I can plug in for those times I need/want power at the bench as I'm not interested in putting power through the floor at the present time in planning. I personally would rather do that than use a reel. Bu that's a subjective thing.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Gold Coast, Australia
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    All of the retracting type cords I have seen have an inbuilt little circuit breaker that pops well under what you would expect.

  6. #6
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    Heat build up in a reel is a very real danger if the load is continuous for more that several minutes. It's possible to melt a tightly wound cord even if the current is below the cord's rating.

  7. #7
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    Peoria, IL
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    Another major issue is running high load through the copper wipers on the contact ring inside the reel. They don't last a long time under high loads. A top grade 12ga is almost $700 at McMaster Carr, and even they wear out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Fairfield County, CT
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    I have had good success with this Bayco model - https://www.baycoproducts.com/produc...s/item/sl-8904 - have two in service and am happy. 12 ga, multi tap.

  9. #9
    I have some 12 ga reels. Reviews for lots of them say the ratchet does not work right and they don't want to stay out, I have bought one and it did this brand new. I have had the best luck lately with ones from Tractor Supply that are 140 bucks. I use them for hand tools, I would never run a heavy duty machine off one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
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    Southwest WI
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    We had several of these in the foundry I used to do maintenance at. Most of them were reelcraft brand. they held up pretty well, and the brushes were replaceable. We did have a couple big 3 phase ones im not sure the beand on those.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
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    Redmond, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim walker View Post
    Anybody have a recommendation for a ceiling mount retractable extension cord as far as brands? There are a ton listed on Amazon. Also thinking minimum of 14 GA and perhaps 12 GA. Thoughts?
    No clue if this is a decent reel or not but it sounds like a pretty good deal on a 12g reel:
    https://tools.woot.com/offers/reelwo...Slickdeals+LLC

    ReelWorks 12AWG x 80' Premium Grade 3C/SJTOW Cord Reel with Triple Tap Connector

    $100.99

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
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    7,537
    HF has a couple of them. One is 12ga. Mine works well.

  14. #14
    I've had a couple. On Amazon, I'm 'Tool Junkie' and have done reviews under that for 10+ years, but others are using the name now, too.

    Here's the one I've used: ReelWorks Extension Cord Reel Retractable Longest Industrial 12awg x 80' Foot Commercial Premium Grade Ultra Flexible 3C/SJTOW Glow Strip Cable and Led Light Up Triple Tap Connector Use Indoor/Outdoor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PM96JQ7...1E8D0Y95R13BYE

    But wait for it to go on a Lighting deal, if you can. 12/3, and it would pop using my Bosch portable TS, until I put it on a 20 amp breaker (my 15 amp had like one long run wire thru numerous outlets in my shop. Now I have a dedicated 20 amp circuit to each one in my ceiling! ).

  15. #15
    Aside from the risk of overheating the cord while reeled up, I've seen the slip ring contacts heat up and melt things. Too risky for me. Fixed cords hanging from the ceiling seem much safer.

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