A Buying Guide for Retractable Extension Cord Reel


Cord reels accommodate different extension cords, such as retractable extension cords, grouped into various categories according to the user’s preference, such as indoor, outdoor, and heavy-duty use. Retractable cord reels have increased across many industries for use in different applications and home use. Buying a good cord reel is essential; however, it can be a challenging process. In this post, we discuss ways of selecting a retractable extension cord reel.

Selecting the Best Retractable Extension Cord Reel

Choosing the best reel is tricky due to the several brands and models with varying characteristics that are in the market. Therefore, we look at tips to help ease the process and make the experience pleasing.

1. Consider the Safety Features

Any equipment you buy must be safe for anyone to use. Incorporating safety measures such as integrated circuit breakers or a self-lock feature has made extension cord reels user-friendly, especially in environments where power is involved. Circuit breakers automatically break the flow of current in case of an electrical problem to prevent unnecessary damages. The self-lock feature stops the retraction cord reel from continuously winding the cord when in use.

2. Cord Length

Extension cord reels have a limit to the length of cord that can be used. In most cases, the minimum size is usually 40 feet, suitable for indoor use due to the constricted areas. Other models fit cords 50 feet long and are mainly used for outdoor applications. The length of your cord influences how far you can be from the power outlet. Long cords allow for flexibility, so to achieve that, go for longer lengthed extension cord reels, and short lengthed reels are perfect for short cords; however, it’s advisable to have an extension cord not smaller than 14/3.

3. Material

When shopping for a retractable extension cord reel, most people focus on the casing materials and overlook the cord’s material. Both parts should be made of materials that can withstand the working environment. Most cables are made of PVC but ensure the material you pick is resistant to oil, water, acids, alkalis, and UV rays. The extension reel casing is available in different materials like polypropylene which is lightweight and durable, or steel, ideal for heavy-duty applications and is strong and sturdy. The casing material should withstand all weather conditions and last long.

4. Number of Outlets

Extension cord reels can have two outlets (2-way cord) or three outlets (3-ways cord). Reels with three outlets are all-purpose and suit all your needs. The 3-ways cord represents hot, neutral, and ground wire connection. The ground wire connection lowers the risk of shocks or electrical fires by dispersing the power surges.

5. Operation of the Reel

Check the mechanical function of the extension cord reel before purchasing it. It should retract the amount of wire you need and lock to allow use. Ask the seller to guide you through the process, ensuring you are satisfied with the reel’s operation.


Use the tips above to make your retractable extension cord reel selection easy and get the best kind that fits your needs. Also, consider the price and quality of the extension reel and understand how it works to help keep your cords tangle-free.


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