Along our journey, we have touched base with professionals throughout the industry. After hearing from experts in the fields of consumer safety, construction, and electrical engineering, we have decided to put together a list of some of the best ways to store an extension cord. Take the time to review these methods and you will find that your extension cord will last many years.
1.) Velcro Cord Wraps & Coiling
Have you ever spent time coiling your power cord, only to have it unwind and become tangled? If you are going to store your cord with this method, we recommend Velcro cord wraps. For only a couple of dollars, you can purchase numerous Velcro straps to fasten your coiled cord in place. We suggest finding one with a small hole, or clip that will let you keep the strap wrapped around the cord when not in use. While it may seem frugal to buy one long strip of Velcro and cut it, we would recommend against this as they simply do not stay put once unwrapped. It’s beneficial to have a strap that stays attached, even when unfastened.
2.) Mounted Cord Reels
Sometimes you know that an extension cord is going to stay in one fixed location such as a workshop, or in your garage. In these situations, it will make more sense to mount the cord on a retractable cable reel. This is one of the most convenient ways to store your extension cord in a fixed location. The downside of this method is that many cable reels come with cords that are too thin for their length, which could be a potential fire hazard. Another downside is if your cord breaks or wears, it is somewhat harder to inspect while within the reel. It is a good idea to find a quality cord for your purpose and find a reel that will support that cord.
When visiting the hardware store, you may have seen spools in the extension cord section. While it may be tempting to try this device, we recommend against them. In our use, spools tend to lean more on the awkward side of usage and sometimes even make cord wrapping more of a chore. You will still need to unspool the cord before using, they tend to wear cords, and depending on the material could be costly.
4.) Over-Under Coil
In a regular coil, you will typically make a loop on top of another loop, which actually bends an extension cord out of its regular shape, making it more troublesome to handle further down the road. When using the over-under method, you are working with the cords natural cord rather than against it. Your cord is then stress-free. When properly executed, you can easily throw a 50-foot over-under-coiled cord in a straight line while standing in one place. This is a great time saver. Combine this with a Velcro strap and you can easily store the whole cord on a utility hook, or throw it in a tool/gig bag. Check out YouTube to see many examples of how to perform this move.
5.) The Chain Link
This approach takes a little more practice to master, but it does its job well. Your cord will stay organized and will be ready to transport. The chain link approach stores nicely on a hook or inside a 5-gallon bucket for example. Much better than the typical around the arm coil. While it's not the worst offender on the list this method may still twist your cord – and it's not quite as convenient as the over-under approach.