Why did I wait so long??

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Review by Tedstor posted 12-06-2011 05:24 AM 4084 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Why did I wait so long?? Why did I wait so long?? Why did I wait so long?? Click the pictures to enlarge them

Easily accessible power is priceless in the shop. While installing new outlets would have been the preferable remedy, it wasn’t particularly practical in my case.
This cord reel has solved a lot of problems for me. At 30 ft, its long enough to reach any point in my workshop/garage, and can even reach onto my driveway if necessary. And being mounted on the ceiling makes it easy to manage the cord, keeping it off the floor and away from my feet. The reel includes all the needed hardware to mount from the ceiling OR from the wall. I’ve actually meant to install one of these in my shop for quite a while now. But finding an affordable product that didn’t look like junk took a while.
I found this one in Amazon’s “warehouse deals” for $25. Color aside, it appears to be identical to the reel that Lee Valley sells for $70. In any case, it seems to be as well built as any I’ve used in the past. A great product at a great price. I’ve checked Amazon’s site a few times since my purchase. It appears Amazon’s warehouse keeps these in stock on a regular basis. But even if you can’t grab one of these particular gems; I can’t encourage you enough to find an alternate reel to buy. A definite upgrade to any shop.

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1691 posts in 3479 days

11 comments so far

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 12-06-2011 03:02 PM

I bought essentially the same reel from Costco at least ten years ago. Apart from soldering a slip ring pickup a couple years ago, it’s still working great and getting constant use. Most convenient convenience outlet in the shop.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View woodjunkie's profile


35 posts in 3514 days

#2 posted 12-06-2011 07:16 PM

10 amp 16-3 Wire. You must be running light duty tools on it or resetting the breaker alot. I would recommend 12-3 cord with 15 amp minimum rating.

-- He: Can I get the plans for that? Me: Plans???

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3479 days

#3 posted 12-06-2011 11:35 PM

Hand drills, dremel, sanders, work lights, etc. No breaker issues yet.
Larger machines are positioned next to wall outlets.

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3781 days

#4 posted 12-07-2011 02:12 AM

I use something similar too. It is very handy to have.

View baldeaglebaby's profile


35 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 12-07-2011 04:16 AM

I have one similiar also and I love it. Ranks right up there in most used tool rankings. You got a great price on this!

View Fallon's profile


96 posts in 3974 days

#6 posted 12-07-2011 04:31 AM

I have a Harbor Freight one that looks pretty similar. Had it jam on me once or twice & you need to manually make sure the cord wraps evenly to both sides of the reel or it stops retracting. Really convenient. I have a Kobalt (Lowes) retractable air hose that has an open reel that has jammed & tangled about as much, but is not as susceptible to the lopsided winding creating the trivially easily fixed jam.

I’d recommend either style over all I think. They are way handy keeping cords properly wrangled.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 3439 days

#7 posted 12-07-2011 03:02 PM

We had 10 of this same model at work in a commercial application they work well for 3 years but in a home shop situation I am sure your cord real will last a life time.At the cabinet shop I worked at thees cord reals were beat on bad and operated in a highly humid environment.If it stops working take it apart and clean the segmented copper contact wheel, dust collects around the wheel and breaks the contact between the brush and the wheel.
Also like muleskinner mentioned the solder joint between the feed wire and the brush contact can come loose over time so if it stops working check inside befor throwing it in the trash can.

View dustyal's profile


1320 posts in 4321 days

#8 posted 12-07-2011 05:05 PM

Have one of these from Craftsman in garage for years. Real handy. But, you may want to watch. Less expensive are usually 16 gauge wire. More expensive is 12 gauge while 14 gauge is in between price. So, know what loads you want to plug into it.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Roco54's profile


18 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 12-07-2011 08:16 PM

The cable reel is a great thing, specialy for uses in the midle of the shop, and I agree with woodjunkie – #12-3 conductors with 30ft supplies 20 Amps safely, but one has to consider also the wiring from the panel, or sub-panel, to the plug, that probably is #14.
When the benches are against the walls, I like to run wire mold raceway along the walls. Working with power tools like drills, sanders, hand routing etc. the power cord run is allways from the back. The location of plugs is a very personal thing and some people locate them above the work benches and some in front just below the work surface.
For power supply to stationary machinery in clusters, like table saw+thikness planer+ jointer the ideal is to have plugs on the floor but that needs carefull planing and running conduit below the floor. If one is building a new shop or installling a wooden subfloor on sleepers, it is an excelent opportunity to do that. FWW magazine , issue No 223, winter 2011-2012, has a very interesting shop layout, where the owner of the shop runs some power supply to machinery, and even dust ducting under the floor. But this is utopian, since most of us adapt existing spaces to woodworking shops.
In any case, power is a very much negleted safety hazard in the shop and one should pay a bit more attention to it.
Just my 2 cents…:-))

-- Life is what we make of it

View WoodenSoldier's profile


161 posts in 3791 days

#10 posted 12-08-2011 07:44 AM

I’ve got one of these also. I hung a 12 foot piece of strut along the ceiling of the garage and put this cable reel on a small trolley. It works great! Not only can I pull the cord out the reach anywhere in the shop, but I can actually move the reel around the shop as well.

-- Create something everyday.

View Bill_Steele's profile


723 posts in 2577 days

#11 posted 01-15-2016 05:44 AM

I have a cord reel as well. I mounted it to the ceiling and then mounted screw eyes to the joists in certain spots and I use carabiners as guides to hold the cord. I can route the cord over to my workbench and plug in from overhead.

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