Best 10 Cable Reels
As Of July 2022
We did the
Best Choice for Gardens
- Adjust the cable around your furniture conveniently as it’s fully flexible
- Operate it safely with the built-in thermal cut-off switch
- Save money & cover your needs thanks to its affordable & robust operation
- Worry-free to cover replacement needs with the included 2-year warranty
Work Unrestrained With The Best Cable Reels
Do you work around the house with a lot of cables? Are they always in your way making you extra cautious not to trip? Cables, and wiring, in general, can become damaged if you use them frequently. You may have a pet in your garden that likes to chew on the outlet while you’re powering the lawn mower, for example.
Have you ever run into a situation whereby you were reeling back in an outlet, only to discover that it’s ruined? Having a cable reel can make the biggest difference. They are reliable power solutions that provide you with a trouble-free and secure environment to work in. Do you need a socket cable reel to plug your power tools for your jobs? To ensure that you get the best cable reels and value for your work, we have put together this buying guide to help you properly select your own.
Why do you need cable reels?
Many people have used them for years to transport cables, wires and fibre optics. They give you a flexible solution to store the cable for the electrical connection needs in your home or workplace. Imagine bringing an important project in your home or garden to a pause because you lack the necessary equipment to connect to a power source. Frustrating, right? Regardless of the project you are working on and the tools you are using, an extension cord is vital to cover your power needs. For that reason, check out the following benefits in owning one of them.
1. They improve your work efficiency.
As a professional or DIY enthusiast, a reel is quicker to set up. Thus, it enhances the efficiency and convenience of your workspace, improving your tool's performance and your productivity as well. So, instead of running around trying to connect wires, find a power switch for your tools and deal with messy cables, you get to concentrate on your job to get the best result. You won’t have to worry about carrying a charger for your tools on the go; the cord reel’s length will help you always have power, even at the far end of your garden!
2. They are cost-efficient.
Cable reel extension leads are more affordable because instead of buying a separate reel and lead, you get a two-in-one high-quality and heavy-duty design that works effectively. They are typically a better investment for long term use, recyclable and multifunctional to use for other purposes.
3. They are safer and more practical.
Exposing your cables on the bare floor, especially when connected to a power source, puts you and anyone around it at higher injury risk. Also, you don't want your kids tripping over them and getting into accidents or your pets chewing on them and causing damage. Hence, a cord reel will help to prevent this from happening, as the wires are neatly wrapped around the reel when you are not using them.
4. They can withstand different jobs.
Whether you just want a flexible extension lead connector for your decking maintenance or hedge trimmer, or you need a heavy-duty cable reel for power tools on a construction site, you can easily find one that is durable enough to withstand different temperatures, chemicals, corrosion, and other conditions of your work environment without wear and tear.
5. They make wiring transportation and organisation easy.
Cord reels eliminate the need to go through the stress of folding lengthy wires after use. Some have retractable designs that make it easier to wound the cable on the drum with just the press of a button. So, you don't have to bend down to fold wires or cables when you finish using it. Additionally, they are easy to transport because the cables or wires are organised in a single space, and most of them feature an ergonomic handle for effortless carrying.
13 things to look for when buying cable reels
It's easy to get confused when choosing the best wire reel as there are so many designs and types in the market. Regardless, this buying guide will help you see through the crowd and pinpoint just the right one for you. Have a look at the top features to consider before buying the perfect one.
A cable reel is a one-time investment because it is designed to handle long-term use. However, there are various types for different applications. For instance, the type for construction sites and other work environments is different from the socket extension lead you should use for your sprayers, lawn scarifier, or various devices in your home.
The most common cable reel materials are wood, plywood and plastic. Wooden drums or reels are usually sturdy to handle demanding jobs. They are made from resinous wood, which adds to their durability, allowing them to carry heavy cables without damage.
Plywood cord reels are less expensive than wooden options but can only carry lightweight cables and wires. These are best for commercial use and in the building industry. Plastic cord reels are mostly made from recyclable plastic, making them environmentally friendly. They are lightweight but sturdy and are better for lighter cables and cover your needs for applications requiring low power.
3. Cable Length
The ideal cable or wire reel should be long enough to meet your needs. Better yet, it should be a few meters longer than what you need to add some versatility if such a need arises. The cable length depends on your reason for wanting to invest in a reel or extension. So, ensure to measure or at least have an idea of the length of cable that will be perfect for the job. Thankfully, various sizes range from 5m up to 50m long so that you can find a fit for your project.
4. Multiple Outlets
If you are a professional, we advise that you opt for a reel or extension with a single plug socket to avoid overloading it with your work lights, hammer drills, and other power tools. Also, check for thick cords because they can carry more power than other types with lighter extension cords. For home use and DIY, a cable reel extension lead with multiple outlets will come in handy for your various appliances. Nevertheless, ensure that the extension has a higher capacity than the tools and appliances you want to connect.
5. Safety Thermal Cut-Out
For a cord extension to be deemed fit for use anywhere, it should have a thermal cut-out feature, which prevents overheating by automatically and safely cutting off power from your extension reel. When the lead is overloaded, the reel shuts down on its own for your safety and to prevent your appliances or garden tools from damages.
Regardless of the safety cut-out and surge protection feature on an extension lead, the amp capacity should be more than what your appliances or tools require. For appliances that require moderate or low power in your home, a 9 or 10-amp capacity will be ideal. On the other hand, go for a 13-amp or higher capacity if you want a premium option. Brands like Masterplug and SMJ Electrical have different electrical adapter extensions with a capacity of 13amps, which means they can withstand heavy-duty usage and are perfect for high-power appliances.
7. Ergonomic Carry Handle
As a professional who needs to transport their cable drum or reel from one job site to another, you can agree that a carry handle offers value and convenience. The carry handle gives a comfortable grip that makes it easy to transport the reel, irrespective of the weight and size.
8. Reel Housing or Drum
The exterior housing should be durable enough to withstand any condition in your workspace and protect the cable and entire reel mechanism from dirt, water, chemicals and more. Also, the housing should have a wide opening for smooth and easy retraction. For instance, a wood cord reel is ideal for big construction sites, while plastic is better in homes.
9. Weather Capabilities
There are different extension reels for varying weather conditions. Indoor cord reels, which usually have low wattage, are not weatherproof. Outdoor reels and other sturdy options have waterproof and weather-resistant designs that make them sturdy enough to withstand extreme temperatures. Ensure to check out the specifications on the cables before you buy any.
Do you want to hang the extension lead on the ceiling, mount it on the wall, or lay it on the floor? It's important to consider this because some options come with specific installation designs. If you choose to lay the cord on the floor, then invest in high-visibility cables to avoid tripping over them or even damaging them by mistake.
The price for these tools usually varies with materials, brands, and some of the features mentioned above. Regardless, you can get an affordable option from a reputable brand from £5 to £20. But if you want a high-end design, your budget should range from £30 to £50.
A durable product should serve you comfortably for a few years. Hence, ensure that whatever product you intend to buy comes with a viable guarantee just in case it gets faulty. It will give you peace of mind that your replacement needs are covered for an extended period. Some manufacturers included limited 1 or 2-year warranties, while others offer up to 25-year lifetime warranties.
13. Retractable Design
The cord reel should have an auto or self-retracting design with well-adjusted springs that will make it easy for you to wound the cables back on the reel when not in use instead of doing it manually. Most, if not all, cord reels come with a winding and unwinding handle to make your life easier while you’re operating it in the garden. That way, you don’t have to worry about kneeling and folding the cable manually.
What types of cable reels are there?
The type you purchase depends on your needs. Some cables cannot withstand high-power usage, while others are designed specifically for that purpose. Let's see the available types you can find on the market.
- Indoor extension reels have a low wattage that is just enough for your household appliances.
- Outdoor reels are sturdier than indoor ones and have a high-power capacity for power tools. They usually feature a weather-resistant design and thick cables or wires to help them last through many uses.
- Contractor reels have very high wattage that can withstand the power capacity of those robust tools in construction and other job sites. They are both weatherproof and chemical-resistant, and you cannot use them indoors.
Cassette VS Open cable reel: Which one is better?
Both open cable reels and cassette reels function effectively to keep your cable organised and provide you with a flexible option for your electrical needs. Cassette reel or case reel has a closed design where the cable is stored in a hidden case (usually plastic) but tends to cause it to tangle when wound up.
The open cable type has an open design that allows you to see the cable wound around it. This is ideal because, even if it has an auto retract design that winds the cable around the drum with just a press of a button, you can still organise the cable or wires to prevent it from tangling.
Both open cable and cassette reel have a metal frame that serves as the foot, lifting the drum a few centimetres from the ground, and a handle for easy transport.
A cable reel or extension lead is an easy solution for your electrical connection needs, whether at home or on your job site. From being cost-efficient to improving your work efficiency, making it easy to transport and safe to use cables anywhere, it is necessary hardware to invest in.
With this buying guide, we are confident that you will make the right choice according to your needs and preferences. Are you ready to extend your tools' range in the safest way possible?