Best Extension Cord Reels: Access Power Wherever You Go
Run multiple pieces of equipment simultaneously with these extension cord reels
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PUBLISHED ON October 9, 2019
An extension cord reel is a useful tool for working with power tools and large equipment. It is a convenient accessory since you don’t have to connect multiple wires to get the length you want. If you are scouting around for some of the best extension cord reels on the market today, consider the following options in our buying guide below.
- Best OverallIron Forge CableSummarySummaryA 40-foot, two-in-one mountable and portable extension cord reel.ProsProsAutomatically retractable. Has a circuit breaker. Water and oil resistant. Protected against moisture, sunlight, and abrasion. Flexible cord. Includes three electrical outlets. It can run high-power tools. Backed with a lifetime replacement warranty.ConsConsSmall mounting screws. Weak retract spring. A lightweight and fragile design
- Best ValueBayco Retractable Metal Cord Reel with 3 OutletsSummarySummaryAn affordable, 30-foot retractable metal cord reel with three outlets.ProsProsIncludes an LED status light and mounting brackets. Lightweight and compact design. Heavy-duty metal housing. Great retraction. It can be mounted on a ceiling. Safe and reliable. Backed with a one-year warranty.ConsConsThe low power rating for workshop use. The wire may be too short to be mounted on the ceiling. Not fire-resistant.
- Honorable MentionGoodyear Extension Cord Reel Heavy DutySummarySummaryA 40-foot, heavy-duty cord reel with an LED lighted connector.ProsProsEfficient design. Great for working in the dark. Flexible. It maintains its shape in extreme temperatures. Protected from overcurrents. Resistant to water, acids, alkalis, UV rays, ozone, and kinking. Made of flame-retardant material. Safe.ConsConsInadequate user instructions. Doesn’t roll up evenly. The recoil springs may fail with frequent use.
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- Note the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to where you can use the extension cord. Do not use an indoor extension cord for outdoor or heavy-duty applications, or you may risk exposing yourself to an electrical shock or potential fire.
- Exercise extra caution when using extension cords around heavy moisture or wet areas. Insulate naked wires to avoid getting shocked. Also, remember to wear shoes when working with electricity.
- Be mindful of where you install the power cord and the location of the type of tool you power. For instance, it’s easy to cut a ceiling-mounted power cord if you are powering a chainsaw, and that can be deadly.
- Keep the extension cord out of reach of children. Disconnect the plugs once you are done using them, and roll the cord back to its reel for safekeeping. Loose cords around the house can be a safety hazard.
Q: How do I know if an extension cord reel is suitable for outdoor use?
A: Most outdoor extension cords are over 40 feet long. The extension cord should also be splashproof or waterproof, and that is often indicated with an IP44 marking on the reel. The connectors should be sealed with a cap, and the plug should at least have a sealing pod. In addition, an outdoor extension cord reel has a higher power rating that can handle outdoor equipment like lawnmowers and power generators.
Q: Is it safe to get aftermarket replacement parts for the extension cord reel?
A: If you know how to pair the aftermarket replacement parts to avoid a short circuit, then you can do it. Most people purchase aftermarket overheating protection units for their cable reels to prolong the life of the units. You can also get an aftermarket storage reel if the retractable spring in your original storage reel is faulty. Just be careful not to cut or damage the cord when installing aftermarket parts.
Q: Do I have to roll out the entire cable length for heavy-duty jobs?
A: It’s better to ensure that the cable is completely rolled out from its reel during power-intensive jobs to avoid overheating, especially if your unit doesn't come with an overheating protection unit. The cables can become very hot (over 149 degrees Fahrenheit) during heavy-duty jobs and can melt if coiled up on a reel.
Our top pick is the Iron Forge Cable. It won't tangle with other cords in your workspace when pulled to its maximum length, and the cord rolls and retracts seamlessly back in the reel.
If you are looking for an affordable extension cord reel that can help you perform light household tasks, we recommend the Bayco Retractable Metal Cord Reel with 3 Outlets. It can be fixed on a wall or a ceiling, and its metal housing guarantees its durability.