Extension Cord Reels Reviewed & Rated for Quality
You know that moment when you are working in your garage or mowing a lawn and the cord suddenly pulls you back? And you just stand there, looking in the outlet, waiting for the cord to extend magically? But the solution never comes, and it’s just you, your short cord and a distant outlet, staring at each other. Then is when we promise a new beginning to ourselves and say: “I really have to buy an extension cord reel!” The moment passes and we are back again to the internal triangle with our power tools and distant outlets! If you’re tired of that never-ending circle and you finally want to make your life easier, it’s time to get this device! Don’t wait for a new Monday or start of a new month to come. It’s always a good time to make things right! Seriously, how did you even get so far without extension cord reels?
- Iron Forge Cable
- Flexzilla ZillaReel
Picking a reel might seem like an easy task, but it’s quite the opposite. Don’t make that mistake and buy the first one you find in the nearest shop. There are many things that a reel has to fulfill to allow for a flawless and safe performance. If you’re not prepared for this, fear no more, we got your back! Not only that we prepared a guide for you to follow when searching for the perfect product, but we also provided a list of 10 best reels on the market! Among the best extension cord reels out there, you’ll certainly find the one suitable for your personal needs. Now, we may start with:
10 Best Extension Cord Reels
Iron Forge Cable
This is a 12 gauge extension cord reel that you can use to power up a wide range of tools and machines. It’s retractable and therefore very easy to use. The cord goes back in without your help, and you get to lock it on the place if you want. Not to mention a built-in circuit breaker and LED plugs. With the LED indicator you’ll know for sure that everything runs smoothly and that your cord is powered!
Here we come to the best part – this is both portable and stationary unit! It includes a mounting bracket that attaches to the ceiling or to the wall. This is very convenient if you want an extension cord to be mounted in your garage all the time. However, if you need to move it around according to your tasks, Iron Forge allows for that too! There is a handle on the top that allows for more portability. How cool is that?
Safe and Durable
The provided cord is 40 ft long and vinyl-covered. This makes it very durable and safe for use. The coating is protected from overload and water and oil resistant. You can safely use it both indoors and outdoors, no sunlight or rain will damage it!
The only drawback is the lack of quality mounting screws. The included ones are fragile and awkwardly sized, so you’ll have to buy new ones. This shouldn’t take you too much time, you can find them in the nearest workshop. We find this as a minor issue that should have been resolved by now!
Cost and Value
Although this one comes with a high price tag, the lifetime warranty well compensates it! We also couldn’t argue with the price considering a wide range of features that come with this reel. It's also super reliable and durable. Without a doubt, you’re going to love it!
Retractable and easy to use
Built-in circuit breaker and LED plugs
Both portable and stationary
Durable and safe
Included screws need to be replaced
You can mount this unit on your wall or hang it at the ceiling if you want more free space in your garage. The mounting bracket also allows for the unit to rotate up to 180 degrees. This is very useful because it allows for more efficiency when performing your tasks.
The reel features a LED indicator to let you know that the power runs through the cord. It also has three outlets that allow for more capacity and a built-in circuit breaker. All this makes it completely safe for use and very convenient! Also, we shouldn’t forget to mention the adjustable locking mechanism. During the retraction, you can adjust the length of the cord wherever you find it convenient!
Lightweight yet Sturdy
This reel included a 50 ft long yellow cord. It’s made of heavy gauge that is resistant to oil, water, and harmful sun rays. It’s also super visible thanks to the bright color and doesn’t tangle like most of the other cords. Therefore, you can use it indoors as well as outdoors without any issues! The reel itself is made of durable polypropylene. The plastic makes it lightweight yet it's sturdy enough to withstand a wide range of impacts. On the other hand, because it’s lightweight you can easily move it around according to your tasks.
Cost and Value
With outstanding quality comes a higher price, we learned that by now. However, ZillaReel is worth every penny! If you don't believe us, you should definitely hear the voices of many satisfied users. They would gladly buy it again!
Mounts on a wall or ceiling
Swivel mounting bracket
LED plugs and circuit breaker
Adjustable locking mechanism
50 ft long cord
Lightweight yet very durable
On the expensive side
So be prepared to hear a lot of praises for this one! This reel works like a charm. The cord goes in and out smoothly and you get to control it with great ease. We also liked how we can turn the power on and off by using a switch on the reel. It’s very convenient because you don’t have to unplug the cord from the outlet every time you need a break!
This reel comes with a 40 ft long cord. The housing covers the cord only partially so you can track its length as you pull it in and out. This design is also convenient because it prevents cord to tangle. Additionally, the 4 outlets make it versatile too. You get to move it around freely and power up your devices both indoors and outdoors.
Masterplug put a real effort to make this device very durable. The sturdy reel can withstand quite a lot, from bumps to harsh weather conditions. A durable steel base also helps a lot! The unit is lightweight and therefore very portable. There’s also a handle on the top of the unit that makes it easier to carry around. The plastic piece at the bottom of the unit allows for locking the cord so it doesn’t swivel around when not in use. It’s quite useful this little thing!
We only have to warn you about one possible issue. Although it has overload protection and no issues were ever reported, the cord can get really warm over time! Don’t let it sit out there, unsupervised. Make sure to check it every once and a while!
Cost and Value
Finally, we have one top-notch product to meet the needs of those who are on a limited budget. You can get this amazing extension cord reel at an attractive price, so hurry up! Your garage can use a device like this, and your life is about to become so much easier!
Features a power switch
40 ft cord included
An attractive price
It could get warm at extended use
Alert Stamping 5020TFC
This is a 12 gauge extension cord reel that includes 20 ft long cord. The cord is weather resistant suitable for outdoor use. It’s also very flexible and it doesn’t tangle at all! Also, the outlet has a LED indicator light to let you know that the power is running through the cord. Lastly, like all other safe-to-use cords, this one comes with a built-in circuit breaker!
However, don’t forget that this reel has only one outlet. If you need something to power up several tools or machines, this is definitely not it.
As we mentioned above, this is a very durable reel. It’s made from powder-coated steel that can withstand quite a lot. People use it for professional purposes as well as for occasional use in the garage or workshop. Additionally, because it’s very compact you can move it around according to your needs. This design also allows for simple mounting and saves a lot of free space. You can even let it rest on your garage shelves!
The unit has a little hook on the top of the unit for mounting. However, we didn’t like that it comes without mounting hardware. You’ll need to buy a big hook or something else to hang this unit from the ceiling or mount it on the wall.
Cost and Value
If you thought that we don’t have any more great news, you were wrong! This high-quality product comes at an attractive price, so >you can easily make it a part of your garage equipment. We definitely consider it one of our favorites!
12 gauge with 20 ft long cord
Suitable for outdoor use
Outlet with a LED indicator
An attractive price
Only one outlet
Doesn’t include a mounting hook
ReelWorks offers a 12 gauge reel with 65 ft long cord. Although the cord is pretty long, the quality reel doesn’t allow for it to get tangled. It goes in and out smoothly, so you won’t have any issues there. This is a retractable extension cord reel so you get to adjust the length of the cord to your current needs. The locking mechanism is quite sturdy and holds the cord pretty well. Of course, there’s also a built-in circuit breaker for more safety.
When it comes to the reel itself, we have to address our surprise with its durability. It’s made of plastic but a heavy-duty one that can withstand quite a lot. It also has a swivel bracket for easier mounting, although the opinions are different for this feature. Some users claim that the installation is a way easier when you remove the bracket. Try it out and see how it works best for you. It’s quite simple to remove 2 screws and take off the bracket. What we find as a bigger drawback is the lack of clear instructions. The company should really make an effort to send a better-written manual!
Cost and Value
If you want to make this product a part of your equipment, be prepared to add some extra cash! We can’t deny that ReelWorks offers excellent value. It’s just that some users will have to opt for a more affordable extension cord reel!
12 gauge and 65 ft long cord
Easy to operate
The retractable and adjustable locking mechanism
Built-in circuit breaker
Made of high-quality plastic
The mounting is easier without a swivel bracket
Southwire E-238 by Designers Edge
This is a portable 12 gauge reel with 6 grounded outlets! Yes, you read it right, this one allows for 6 cords to be attached. You can power up not only one but 6 different tools! Just make sure not to overload it, of course. It’s a versatile device, but not immune to malfunctions. Although we have to notice that it has a 15-amp circuit breaker. This prevents possible overloading, and no damages are ever reported!
The reel comes with a 50 ft long cord that has 3 prongs. It’s a super bright green cord that is highly visible and quite durable. The plugs have LED lights to let you know about the power running through the cord.
Stable and Durable
Southwire stands on a metal base that ensures excellent stability. It adds to the entire durability of the reel. The cord goes in and out easier when the reel stands firmly on the ground. This is also innovative because other reels rarely stand in an upright position. It’s worth mentioning that this is a compact one designed for around-the-house usage. That’s why it’s so lightweight and portable. It also has a convenient handle on the top that allows for easy transportation.
We have one minor and one bigger issue with it. The first is the knob that makes it possible to wind the cord back up. It is rather small which makes the process more difficult. The second (and bigger) is the fact that the cord tends to slip over the reel and tangle around! There’s no easy solution for this one, and the company should resolve it in the future with a better design.
Cost and Value
This may come as a surprise considering the value it provides, but Southwire is actually well-priced! If you opt for an affordable reel for everyday use in your garage, this may be the perfect option for you.
12 gauge reel
6 grounded outlets
15-amp circuit breaker
50 ft long cord and 3 LED prongs
Stable and durable
The cord slips from the reel
Tacklife comes with a 50 ft long cord with triple tap connector. This gives you an option to attach more than one tool on the reel! It has a locking mechanism that you can adjust according to your current need. The retraction of the cord is automatic and works pretty well. Also, we shouldn’t forget a built-in circuit breaker that prevents possible overloads. If the power is to much for the cord to handle, the reel disconnects immediately. You can turn it back on with a simple press of the button!
The reel is made from several durable materials. It features polypropylene cord and has a stainless steel base. The reel itself is made of ABS plastic for more durability. All in all, we were quite satisfied with its performance and construction. It makes everyday tasks a lot easier!
However, there are some things that are necessary to address. Although the company states that this reel is easy to install, we have some people complaining about it. In fact, they find that the mounting hardware included in the package is quite fragile.
Cost and Value
Tacklife is one of those super useful devices that also comes at a reasonable price. Although it's not the cheapest option out there, it won't be hard on your pocketbook either. You’ll also get a bag and a 1-year warranty. Seems like a real steal!
50 ft long cord and 3 outlets
Built-in circuit breaker
Hard to install
A somewhat fragile mounting hardware
This is a 12 gauge reel made of durable polypropylene and it’s rather compact. It allows for the wall- and ceiling-mount and yet it’s very portable. You get to carry it around with great ease or even transport it where your job is taking you. It comes with a 40 ft long cord and features such as a locking mechanism, a circuit breaker, and a reset button. All in all, you get to adjust the length of the cord according to your needs and to operate it at your convenience.
The reel itself is quite durable, but things are not very different with the included cord. It has a triple tap and LED lights indicators. The cord is specially designed to prevent possible overloads and damages. All in all, the entire thing is easy and safe to use. Not to mention how durable it is. Most people reported using it for years without a trace of an issue!
The package also includes mounting hardware for easier installation. However, we still think they could have done this part better! Some users even complained about the difficulty of mounting the reel on the ceiling.
Cost and Value
You know how this goes, to get a quality and durable reel you’ll have to add some extra cash. We assure you, this is a smart investment, but some people will still opt for a more affordable option.
40 ft long cord
The locking mechanism, a circuit breaker, and a reset button
Triple outlet with LED lights
Not so easy to install
The 12 gauge cord is super useful and offers a 15-amp plug. You can adjust the cord according to your needs by using a locking mechanism. There’s not much to say about this one except to repeat over and over again how versatile and durable it is. All the provided features make it a perfect option for both DIY and commercial use.
As we mentioned earlier, this one is made from reinforced steel. It proves to be incredibly durable and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The corrosion-resistant finish keeps it safe from harsh weather and the sturdy housing protects it from impacts. It’s pretty clear that is made to last!
You can mount it with great ease thanks to the provided mounting hardware. We haven’t recently seen such heavy-duty hardware! It ensures excellent stability no matter if you install the reel on the wall or hang it on the ceiling.
Cost and Value
We are not going to lie to you, this one is going to cost you an arm and a leg! Don’t get us on the wrong way, it offers incredible value, but most people won’t be able to afford it. Those who purchased it, though, think it’s the best choice they ever made!
12 gauge with a 15-amp plug
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Heavy-duty mounting hardware
This is made from high-quality materials. It ensures durability above all, and it’s suitable for outdoor use. You can even leave it out there at harsh weather, the extreme conditions won’t damage it at all! It’s a retractable reel which also eases the process of taking the cord in and out. Lastly, let’s not forget about a 15-amp circuit breaker that gives more security and protection from overloads.
The reel has 4 outlets and a LED light that notifies about the power status. The cord measures up to 50 ft which is enough not only for home but for commercial use as well. There’s also a convenient handle on the top of the unit that allows for easier transportation. The reel is lightweight, so you won’t have any problems with carrying it around. You can also mount it on a wall or ceiling thanks to the provided mounting bracket.
We only didn’t like the part when the cord won’t get back on the reel. You’ll have to bring the cord back manually because it doesn’t retract all the way!
Cost and Value
This reel is not as cheap as some other products on our list, but it still won’t be too hard on your pocketbook. We actually think it’s reasonably priced considering the things it provides. Most of the users agree on this one wholeheartedly!
Indoor and outdoor use
15-amp circuit breaker
50 ft long cord
Doesn’t fully retract
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Extension Cord Reels
If you’re interested in the criteria used in the evaluation of our 10 picks, we prepared a short list to give you a slight insight. Here are some things that were crucial for ranking these products:
Easy to Use
The best performing extension cord reels are at the top of the list! What does it mean, you may ask? It means that each one of them that allows for easier operations collected some extra points. For example, the smooth retraction is very important because it allows for a cord to go in and out easily. Also, it’s useful for a reel to have a locking mechanism that locks the cord on a certain length. All these things allow for easier use. We took them all into consideration and ranked the products accordingly!
Safety Features of Extension Cord Reels
Although all our best picks are completely safe (they are the best, after all), they do differ in some extra safety features. We are mostly referring to circuit breakers and power switches. Each reel that has a high level of overload protection and features a power button collected some extra points.
The Durability of Extension Cord Reels
Our biggest concern was durability, of course. A reel has to be made of sturdy materials. It has to be durable enough to withstand harsh working and weather conditions. You should be able to use them indoors as well as outdoors without any worry about damaging them. They also have to ensure flawless performance for many years of continuous use! Those products that do meet these requirements are at the top of our list.
Mounting Positions for Extension Cord Reels
This one is simple too – the more mounting positions a reel allows for, the higher it is on the list. However, this is not all! We had to make sure that every extension cord reel really does allow for easy mounting. Even the most versatile ones could come with brackets and hooks that are difficult to work with. We also had to strip some points to the lack of hooks, screws, and other installation pieces. They are, after all, necessary for the simple and full installation.
Cost and Value
Last but not least, the balance of cost and value was crucial in the evaluation of our 10 best picks. We had to make sure that you’ll get enough value for the money! Also, we provided some short reviews to give you a slight insight into what to expect from a certain price range. Hopefully, this will help you make up your mind!
Other Factors to Consider When Buying Extension Cord Reels
Have you already make up your mind? We thought so! There are so many top-notch products on our list that you had to find at least two of them that suit you perfectly. However, we recommend taking some extra steps before the purchase. It’s more like going through the most important points all over again to make sure you made the right decision! Here’s what we have in mind:
First thing first, you should determine the length of the cord. Most users opt to get longer cords ’’just in case’’. We recommend sticking with the necessary length! Why is that? The longer the cord the less the power it conducts. Extra long cords are also not convenient because you might tip over them or they get tangled easier. They are also harder to retract in one motion. So if you don’t need an extra long cord, stick with the shorter one!
Do you need a heavy-duty reel? Of course, we all want it to last for years so that we don’t have to bother again with a new purchase anytime soon. Still, if you intend to use it indoors, you might save a few bucks on heavy-duty protection. You don’t need all those bells and whistles that come with first-class products if you won’t take it outside. On the other hand, if you do intend to use it in harsh conditions, you should go for the highest protection. You better add the necessary amount of money to protect your reel and your tools!
You should consider the fact that not all extension cord reels allow for many mounting options. They are not all compact as well. If you need a portable reel that you can carry around your household, you should aim for a compact one. Get the lightweight reel and you can buy mounting hardware later on if you want to attach it on a wall or ceiling. Yet, if you need a heavy-duty reel rather than a portable one, go for the bulky units. They offer outstanding durability and mount by provided hardware. You’ll have to make a compromise!
Lastly, it’s important to determine what else you expect from a reel. Do you need a mounting bracket? Does it have to be a swivel or a regular one? How about LED indicators, multiple outlets, circuit breakers, and other additional stuff? As we said, determine what you need and what you expect from a reel to have, and then go for a particular one. This way, you won’t be disappointed with the lack of features and you’ll be fully satisfied with the reel you got!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I need an extension cord reel?
A: When working in your workshop, garage, or yard, it often happens that the power outlet is located far away from you. This is not such a big issue when working with small devices or tools that you can carry around. But how can you bring power supply to the heavy machine that can’t be moved? A reel is also useful when working with portable tools such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, airless sprayers, and more. Not only that you’ll be able to move around more, but you’ll task will become way easier!
Q: How can I mount extension cord reels?
A: If you want to have a stationary reel, you can mount it on your ceiling by using a hook or on a wall by using a mounting bracket. Actually, in most cases, the provided bracket allows for both types of mounting. The installation is quite simple. You’ll only need a pair of screws (almost always included in the package) and a drill. The process should take only a few minutes! You can also go for a portable type with a stable base. This one you can carry around at your convenience and it will remain firmly on the ground once you position it.
Q: How long cord do I need?
A: It depends on the size of your workshop, garage, yard, or other places where you intend to use the reel. We recommend sticking with the exact length you need. If possible, measure the location where you intend to use it and then go for a certain length. If needed, add a few inches, nothing more. You don’t want a less powerful cord that tangles around if you don’t need it at all!
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