Workshop Tricks: Tangle-Free Power Cords

Dirt Farmer Jay, who does a lot of useful videos about homesteading, gardening, and rural living, offers this video tip for a superior, less kinky way to store power cords. The basic steps are:

  1. Starting from one end work all of the twists out of the cord
  2. Plug the male end into the female end
  3. Grab the doubled cord below the loop that marks the half-way point and flip it over so the loop is facing down
  4. Push the doubled cord through the loop and grab it with your other hand
  5. Repeat to form a chain

Jay ventures into controversial territory when he says you can keep sections of the cord chained during use. (Jay claims he’s been doing this for years and never had a problem with overheating.) However, as the discussion on the YouTube post and elsewhere attest, some people swear this is dangerous while others says it’s OK as long as the power applied is within the cord’s rating and the load is not sustained over an extended period of time.

If you’re uncomfortable with doing this, you can still chain-stow your cable as he suggests, just make sure to completely unchain it before use.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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