How annoying are tangled extension cords? The folks who make the RoboReel Power Cord Reel think they're annoying enough that you'll want to buy a $300 solution. The RoboReel is one of those incredibly well-made devices that brings a lot more technology to a problem that most folks think that problem deserves.
But if you regularly use extra-long (as in up to 50 ft) extension cords and struggle with keeping them coiled up when you're not using them, you're probably going to want one of these. If you own a business and need long extension cords and have potential liability issues if someone trips over an uncoiled cord, then you can tell yourself that it's a wise safety investment.
The RoboReel features three outlets at the end of its 50-ft 12 gauge cable. The cable retracts at the push of a button and you get two buttons to choose from: one at the end of the cable by the outlets and one on the top of the ball that stores the retracted cord. The retraction is fast until it's not: the cable slows down near the end of the retraction (for safety reasons) and you can adjust the slowdown point based on where you've got the RoboReel set up.
The model we tested is the floor model. It comes with a bench mount bracket that allows you to secure it to a table. You buy an additional bracket for $10 or get a wall mount for $34.99. And you can buy the RoboReel in a ceiling-mount model that keeps your cords off the floor. Both models rotate 360° and give you a 100 ft. diameter for your power cords. The cord has some built-in smart tech that prevents it from retracting if you're actively using an outlet and the power automatically shuts off if the cord gets cut.
The company is about to launch an Air Reel model that looks almost exactly like the power cord version at a slightly lower price. There's also a fantastic-looking Water Management system that comes with either 100 ft of 5/8" hose or 150 ft. of 1/2" hose and a host of attachments for your yard needs. That one's going to set you back $699, but tangled water hoses might be the only thing more annoying than tangled power cords.
If tangled cords are a part of your workspace, the RoboReel might fix your problem. It feels incredibly solid and it absolutely adds a level of safety to a garage or workshop.