Why hasn't anyone griped about this yet?

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Forum topic by runswithscissors posted 01-22-2013 11:31 PM 2319 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3128 posts in 3033 days

01-22-2013 11:31 PM

One of my pet peeves with power tools is plastic cords. They are annoyingly stiff, and I’ve seen them so bad it can make the tool difficult to handle. Rubber cords are so much more satisfactory, especially nice long rubber cords—like the one on my Bosch saber saw, for example. How many pennies do the manufacturers save by using plastic? Is there any functional advantage to plastic cords?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

32 replies so far

View chip73's profile


61 posts in 3221 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 12:46 AM

I have a Rigid jig saw with a long rubber cord and I love it. My circular saw has a stiff cheap plastic/rubber cord and is very annoying in cold weather. Jig Saw is my only Rigid tool but the cord is great and has great flex even in the cold.

-- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

View Steve Esterby's profile

Steve Esterby

285 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 02:35 AM

I have used a cheap ryobi drill for one reason…..the nice long rubbber cord…..I just bought a new one… had a short,stiff plastic cord…....Last one I will buy…...Really pi..ed me off!

-- [email protected],the best teacher is repetition.

View mbs's profile


1686 posts in 3948 days

#3 posted 01-23-2013 02:45 AM

I agree. I still have my Grandfathers black and decker drill (1960?) with the original cord. The new cords fall apart after about 5 years.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View ChuckV's profile


3355 posts in 4535 days

#4 posted 01-23-2013 02:50 AM

I agree. This is especially a pain when it’s so cold in my shop. As soon as I read your first sentence, I thought of the excellent rubber cord on my Bosch saber saw, and then you used that as an example!

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4239 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 02:55 AM

Cut them short and use an extension cord. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3003 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 05:00 AM

...except the manual expressly forbids using extension cords! They get you on both ends (of the cord, as it is)


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4239 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 05:07 AM

”...except the manual expressly forbids using extension cords! They get you on both ends (of the cord, as it is)”

ha ha ha – real men don’t read manuals! :-)

Extension cords are a way of life.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Woodknack's profile


13549 posts in 3388 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 05:48 AM

On a related note, why don’t power tools come with some type of cord keeper that prevents the cord from falling out of an extension cord. That’s the biggest gripe I have about my electric chainsaw.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4376 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 08:13 AM

Actually I prefer the silicon rubber as they are the most flexible and durable! Pure rubber ones tend to crack and, I have to agree with you on those plastic ones, the are stiffer than …............ (fill in the blank)!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Woodbum's profile


946 posts in 4073 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 12:45 PM

I replace the plastic with rubber cord material ( like SO cable) and a decent plug, if the tool has a cheap cord in the first place. I learned a valuable lesson 35 years ago when doing home remodeling and framing…don’t buy plastic cords, especially long extension cords. They will not last in the cold winters outside. I’ve been trying to follow that ever since.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3027 days

#11 posted 01-23-2013 12:47 PM

Rick – they do have that, just tie a knot

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3977 days

#12 posted 01-23-2013 01:00 PM

I like Makita tools as a rule, but the one thing that puts me off getting any more is the short, stiff plastic cord on the jigsaw and 1/2 sheet sander.
The bean counters have obviously been at work on those product lines. The two Makita drills I have though have decent rubberised cords.

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3641 days

#13 posted 01-23-2013 02:41 PM

My biggest gripe is the cord length. Several of my power tools have 6 ft cords. I hate this. Far too often, 6ft is not quite long enough which makes an extension cord necessary. Not a huge problem, but definitely one of lifes little “first-world” hassles. IMO, the industry should adopt one of two options:
1- Make the cords 1 ft OR integrate a male receptacle into the tool. Seeing as how extension cords are often used with portable power tools anyway, why not just go with it and eliminate the cord all together? I like the idea. I could then just buy one or two high-end 8-10ft extension cords. Heck, I might use the previously mentioned idea of simply snipping the cord off, and making it 12-18”.

2- Make the cord at least 8 ft. The industry may already be heading in this direction. Many of the tools I purchased 5-10+ years ago, had 6 ft cords. However, the sander and biscuit jointer I recently purchesd had 8ft and 10ft cords (respectively). The additional few feet doesn’t seem like much, but for whatever reason, that extra few feet greatly reduces my need for an extension cord. Cord length is not something I used to look into before purchasing a tool, but these days, it a big selling point for me.

View aaroncgi's profile


33 posts in 2984 days

#14 posted 01-23-2013 06:26 PM

I agree, the plastic cords are a real pain when it’s cold – and it’s usually cold in my part of the world, except for the summer months (and not exactly hot, even then).

I also agree on the shortness issue. Only a few of my tools – notably my Bosch ROS and my Skil Router, have what I would consider adequate length. These two tools also have nice flexible cords, not stiff plastic.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the cord on my new Ridgid R4512 is both short and stiff. The manual says not to use an extension cord unless absolutely necessary. Well, it’s going to be absolutely necessary, unless you only perform crosscuts and you want the table saw up against a wall (or you happen to have outlets in the center of your floor)! You’d think in a $529 product designed to be in the middle of a room, they could use a longer cord. While stiffness isn’t as big a deal with a stationary tool like this, you would still think at the price point, they could have a nice 12-15’ flexible cord. I’d gladly have paid another $15-20 for the saw to have a cord long enough to actually use. That’s what it cost me to buy a new extension cord at HD.

-- Aaron

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3027 days

#15 posted 01-23-2013 06:33 PM

Im right there with you Aaron. I just got a Grizzly G0490, and its $1000 price tag couldnt buy a longer cord for it either. I have all of my outlets on the ceiling, so its a challenge to get it plugged in for sure.

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