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jjrbus 07-07-2012 01:51 PM

Cord tangles
Wife has tool she uses everyday. The cord is a 2 wire round cord about 7 feet long and 3/16 diameter and maybe 16 or 18 gauge. The wire constantly (not sure of proper term?) tangles, balls up on itself, coils up on itself?? It is an annoyance for her.

Any way to fix this? any input appreciated. JIm

DangerMouse 07-07-2012 02:51 PM

I had a cord that did that, no idea why except maybe where/how it was made. I rewired the thing and never gave it a second thought. Got any photos?


joecaption 07-07-2012 03:00 PM

Replace the cord with a new piece of wire,
Any Lowes or HD sells premade cords for power tools.

ratherbefishing 07-08-2012 10:28 AM

A new cord may be the solution, OTOH, it may be caused by the way she wraps up the cord when she puts it away. Try laying the cord, stretched out straight, in the sun. Once it's soft and straight, bring it inside. Then explore a different way to wrap the cord without twisting it. (My wife is particularly resistant to this kinda stuff.)

A former TV cameraman showed me a technique for coiling cords that has eliminated tangles and knots for me.

This video is a little tedious, but shows how to do it.

princelake 07-08-2012 12:13 PM

find a round post (telepost works great) put the cord around it holding it at either end and rub back and forth on the post, it'll take all the kinks out, just rub back and forth till it coils properly

ThomasHickey 07-08-2012 10:23 PM

I agree with the above. However, don't do this in a place too public, it may look a little suspicious.

jjrbus 07-09-2012 08:08 AM

Thanks for all the input! Cord appears to coil during use, not storage? I can pull the cord straight, but does not last long?

Thurman 07-12-2012 06:54 PM

An electrical tool that she uses "every day", has a 2-wire cord (most likely 16ga.), and the cord will self-tangle. These cords are stranded copper wire, having many small strands in them. The problem with these type cords is that the small single strands of wire will "roll over" each other within the insulation, they will not lay properly within each other anymore and the "tangles" will be there. We did experiments with this where I worked years ago to prove this. One thing we learned was to hang the tool by the male plug end and let it hang for a few days. Do not use any extra weight on the tool, and occasionally rub the cord between your fingers from top to bottom. Sometimes this will help to put the wires back in place with each other, but not always. A good power tool cord has three wires within the outer insulation jacket and these wires are pre-twisted at the factory to help prevent this very problem.

jjrbus 07-14-2012 01:36 PM

Thanks Thurman. Good and what is available are 2 different things. The tool end of the cord is of course molded to fit the clippers (used in beauty salon on customers so duk tape fix is out)

I believe I may be able to reuse the molded plug, how would I determine and or find quality cord?


RetiredUBClocal 07-14-2012 06:11 PM

The guy in the video is dead wrong, you should never wrap a cord around your elbow. When you do you twist the wires inside. You should wrap it like a mountain climber wraps his ropes by letting the rope swing free. I really don't know how to explain it here but if you wrap a cord around your elbow every day you will ruin it very soon. To wrap a tool cord start at the tool end and make a small circle, 6 to 8 inches across. When you have about three feet left, flatten the circle, wrap the remainder around a few time, loop and tie the end and it will look like new forever.

ratherbefishing 07-14-2012 11:45 PM

You either watched a different video than the one I linked to, or only watched the first minute with the sound off. He clearly says that wrapping around an elbow is wrong, then shows a better way.

Thurman 07-15-2012 06:32 PM

Thanks "RetiredUBClocal", this is the way I wind up my cords. My son gets a laugh out or me when I go to wind up my cords after working on a project, two (2) 100 ft., two (2) 50 ft. cords. I lay them out straight and pull them to me while twisting them just a bit so they "lay" back onto the previous loop. NO tangles this way. One day I'll get my laugh when I see him doing his cord(s) the same way.

RetiredUBClocal 07-16-2012 04:12 AM

Yes, I only watched it until around 1 minute when I shut it off, I'll have to go back and see it again.

Evstarr 07-16-2012 10:25 AM

I have cords that are well over 15 years old with no kinks and twists in them following the no elbows method. An old electrician taught me years ago. He explained it as being like coiling a lariat for a rodeo. And I can lay out a cord for use without tangles in about 5 seconds. Just hold the end and give the coil a little spin as you throw it towards the work area!

As a side benefit. These methods make it easy to examine the cord for damage each use.

If its a clipper cord, I'm guessing your wife winds the cord around the tool handle and then slides it off the end to use the tool? This is why it is unruly. Tell her the cord has a 'lay' to it just like her customers' hair and she needs to adjust her technique to not fight it!

Not much will save a crappy cord though.

ratherbefishing 07-16-2012 02:47 PM

If it's a cllipper that stays plugged in all the time, her technique as she passes it from hand to hand and back to the hook may be contributing to the tangles. My office phone cord is always twisting. I'm pretty sure it's because I answer with my right hand, then transfer the reciever to my left to write. I must always flip the reciever the same way, because the cord always gets tighter coils after a few days.

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