What do I look for when buying a spring retractable cord reel?

If you are in the market to buy a cord reel, you may have some questions. Whether you want something to be permanently mounted on your garage wall or you need something that can be mounted on a cart so it’s portable, there are some things that you’ll want to consider.

Metal or Plastic

One of the first things you might consider when looking at purchasing a reel is metal or plastic. Do you want a metal cord reel that’s durable and strong? Or do you want a reel that’s maybe lighter in weight? If so, you may consider a reel made from plastic. Depending on your application, a metal or plastic reel could benefit you differently. Especially in terms of weight. If you are mounting it to something portable, you may not want it to be heavy. But if your reel is going to be completely stationary or outside, you may want to consider a more heavy-duty material like metal.

Mobile or Permanently Mounted

Also, it is important to know if you want your reel to be mobile or permanently mounted. If you are going to permanently mount your reel then you’ll want the traditional inlet and outlet cord. For someone who is looking for a mobile reel, there are reels that have the inlet and outlet reversed. This means when you mount your reel on a cart to make it mobile, the inlet cord is the long length of cord that is wrapped up on the spool, and the outlet cord is the short stationary one. This allows you to plug in your reel and move your cart around by having the cord unwind off your reel and using the outlet on the cart.

UL Listed?

Another important thing to consider is whether the reel you are looking to purchase is UL listed or not. Being UL listed is important if you want the reassurance of the safety of your reel. UL listed means that the reel has been tested by UL, an independent agency to be sure that the reel performs under the rated load. Benefits of this include not having to completely unwind your reel to make sure it does not overheat. To see if the reel you are considering buying is UL listed, look for the UL listed logo on the tag or packaging.

Amperage and Voltage

Amperage and voltage are another important thing to consider. Depending on your application you might require a higher rating of volts or amps, or you may not need as much if your application is less demanding or if the reel is occasionally used.

Other Features

After all of that is considered, you can start looking into more specifications such as the number of outlets on the cord endings, if you want a light on your reel, and the length of the cord. All these attributes can be chosen when ordering your reel. Be sure to consider your application, how often you are going to be using your reel, and the environment your reel is going to be in.

Purchasing a reel might be overwhelming if you are not sure what to look for. By considering what you do know about your application, environment, and preferences, it can all be a piece of cake.