Cord reels are round, drum-shaped, revolvable devices used to wind cords up in a spool-like fashion. They provide safe storage for a variety of cord types, granting them a protective space away from those weather conditions that would corrode them or reduce their effectiveness and shorten their lifespan. They also keep cords up off the ground, where they could be tripped on. Cord reels are also used to dispense, rewind and transport different types of cord, such as electrical cord, conductive cord, industrial cord, extension cord and lifting cord.
Quick links to Cord Reels Information
Applications for Cord Reels
Cord reels have applications in quite a few industries, such as:
- Automotive Manufacturing
- Chemical Processes
- Commercial Manufacturing and Services
- Industrial Manufacturing
- Medicine and Transportation
A few cord reel applications within these industries include crash carts, extension cord retraction, long horizontal electric cord retrieval, industrial machinery and refueling.
Materials Used in Cord Reels
The materials with which a cord reel is made depends on the requirements of its specific cord application. For example, cord reels intended for use with lightweight electrical cords are typically built using wood and/or plastic. Conversely, cord reels made to support heavier applications are usually made from strong metals like steel or stainless steel. There are, in addition, a variety of different kinds of cord reels designed to meet different requirements and price ranges. Standard manual cord reels, which are generally less expensive than other types, wind cords using a hand crank. Another common and quite popular cord reel type is the automatic cord reel, which may also be known as a retractable cord reel or a spring-loaded cord reel.
No matter their name, all of these cord reels have built-in mechanisms that allow the cord reels to wind themselves, with only a small tug on the end of the cord required to get the process started. However, while all retractable cord reels may be considered automatic, not all automatic cord reels can be considered retractable. Rather, retractability is an optional feature. Also, some spring loaded cords go so far as to feature a locking mechanism, which can sense whether one of these tugs is an intentional signal from the operator, or whether he or she is simply moving farther away with the cord. While automatic hose reels are incredibly convenient and burden operators with little stress, they are, as a whole, on the more expensive end of the cord reel spectrum.
Features of Cord Reels
Electrical, or electric, cord reels are usually constructed using one of five basic configurations.
These configurations are:
- Live Connection
- Storage Reel
- Cable Assembly
Portable cord reels feature a lifting handle that allows them to be easily carried by hand from one place to another. Live connection cord reels, on the other hand, are named after the electricity that they allow to pass through a cord or cable while it is still attached to the reel. Live connection cord reels are able to do this with the help of connection hardware.
Next, storage cord reels feature a number of different items that assist with storage, such as rope or paper. Meanwhile, reel and cable assemblies are cord reels with different optional features mounted on a cable and wire.
Finally, collapsible cord reels can be flattened, which is a practical way of increasing storage space.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Cord Reels
Prior to selecting a cord reel, cord reel customers must consider a few different factors. First of all, they should know their price range. Second of all, customers must know what type of cord they will be winding, as this will affect the weight and material(s) their cord reel needs to possess. In addition, they should consider their personal mobility/health and the scope and frequency of use their cord reel will receive. This will help determine if a retractable or non-retractable cord reel is best for their purposes and what type of wind and rewind mechanism they need.
For example, a customer with limited mobility will not want to buy a cord reel with a hand crank, as hand cranks require considerably more labor than automatic retractors. All cord reels, except manual, or crank, cord reels have some sort of rewind mechanism that is connected to the reel. Manual cord reels can rewind, but the rewinding must be done by hand crank. Pneumatic, hydraulic and electric rewinding are all automatic rewinding processes that are reliant on the drive of a motor connected to a reel. Spring rewinding, which is different from all other types of rewinding, relies on an internal spring to bring the cord back.