All Replies on Why hasn't anyone griped about this yet?

  • Advertise with us
View runswithscissors's profile

Why hasn't anyone griped about this yet?

by runswithscissors
posted 01-22-2013 11:31 PM

32 replies so far

View chip73's profile


55 posts in 2211 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 12:46 AM

I have a Rigid jig saw with a long rubber cord and I love it. My circular saw has a stiff cheap plastic/rubber cord and is very annoying in cold weather. Jig Saw is my only Rigid tool but the cord is great and has great flex even in the cold.

-- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

View Steve Esterby's profile

Steve Esterby

285 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 02:35 AM

I have used a cheap ryobi drill for one reason…..the nice long rubbber cord…..I just bought a new one… had a short,stiff plastic cord…....Last one I will buy…...Really pi..ed me off!

--,the best teacher is repetition.

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2938 days

#3 posted 01-23-2013 02:45 AM

I agree. I still have my Grandfathers black and decker drill (1960?) with the original cord. The new cords fall apart after about 5 years.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3525 days

#4 posted 01-23-2013 02:50 AM

I agree. This is especially a pain when it’s so cold in my shop. As soon as I read your first sentence, I thought of the excellent rubber cord on my Bosch saber saw, and then you used that as an example!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3229 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 02:55 AM

Cut them short and use an extension cord. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bbasiaga's profile


1232 posts in 1993 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 05:00 AM

...except the manual expressly forbids using extension cords! They get you on both ends (of the cord, as it is)


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3229 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 05:07 AM

”...except the manual expressly forbids using extension cords! They get you on both ends (of the cord, as it is)”

ha ha ha – real men don’t read manuals! :-)

Extension cords are a way of life.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 05:48 AM

On a related note, why don’t power tools come with some type of cord keeper that prevents the cord from falling out of an extension cord. That’s the biggest gripe I have about my electric chainsaw.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


6849 posts in 3366 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 08:13 AM

Actually I prefer the silicon rubber as they are the most flexible and durable! Pure rubber ones tend to crack and, I have to agree with you on those plastic ones, the are stiffer than …............ (fill in the blank)!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Woodbum's profile


812 posts in 3063 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 12:45 PM

I replace the plastic with rubber cord material ( like SO cable) and a decent plug, if the tool has a cheap cord in the first place. I learned a valuable lesson 35 years ago when doing home remodeling and framing…don’t buy plastic cords, especially long extension cords. They will not last in the cold winters outside. I’ve been trying to follow that ever since.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2017 days

#11 posted 01-23-2013 12:47 PM

Rick – they do have that, just tie a knot

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2967 days

#12 posted 01-23-2013 01:00 PM

I like Makita tools as a rule, but the one thing that puts me off getting any more is the short, stiff plastic cord on the jigsaw and 1/2 sheet sander.
The bean counters have obviously been at work on those product lines. The two Makita drills I have though have decent rubberised cords.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2631 days

#13 posted 01-23-2013 02:41 PM

My biggest gripe is the cord length. Several of my power tools have 6 ft cords. I hate this. Far too often, 6ft is not quite long enough which makes an extension cord necessary. Not a huge problem, but definitely one of lifes little “first-world” hassles. IMO, the industry should adopt one of two options:
1- Make the cords 1 ft OR integrate a male receptacle into the tool. Seeing as how extension cords are often used with portable power tools anyway, why not just go with it and eliminate the cord all together? I like the idea. I could then just buy one or two high-end 8-10ft extension cords. Heck, I might use the previously mentioned idea of simply snipping the cord off, and making it 12-18”.

2- Make the cord at least 8 ft. The industry may already be heading in this direction. Many of the tools I purchased 5-10+ years ago, had 6 ft cords. However, the sander and biscuit jointer I recently purchesd had 8ft and 10ft cords (respectively). The additional few feet doesn’t seem like much, but for whatever reason, that extra few feet greatly reduces my need for an extension cord. Cord length is not something I used to look into before purchasing a tool, but these days, it a big selling point for me.

View aaroncgi's profile


33 posts in 1974 days

#14 posted 01-23-2013 06:26 PM

I agree, the plastic cords are a real pain when it’s cold – and it’s usually cold in my part of the world, except for the summer months (and not exactly hot, even then).

I also agree on the shortness issue. Only a few of my tools – notably my Bosch ROS and my Skil Router, have what I would consider adequate length. These two tools also have nice flexible cords, not stiff plastic.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the cord on my new Ridgid R4512 is both short and stiff. The manual says not to use an extension cord unless absolutely necessary. Well, it’s going to be absolutely necessary, unless you only perform crosscuts and you want the table saw up against a wall (or you happen to have outlets in the center of your floor)! You’d think in a $529 product designed to be in the middle of a room, they could use a longer cord. While stiffness isn’t as big a deal with a stationary tool like this, you would still think at the price point, they could have a nice 12-15’ flexible cord. I’d gladly have paid another $15-20 for the saw to have a cord long enough to actually use. That’s what it cost me to buy a new extension cord at HD.

-- Aaron

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2017 days

#15 posted 01-23-2013 06:33 PM

Im right there with you Aaron. I just got a Grizzly G0490, and its $1000 price tag couldnt buy a longer cord for it either. I have all of my outlets on the ceiling, so its a challenge to get it plugged in for sure.

View Grumpymike's profile


2238 posts in 2313 days

#16 posted 01-23-2013 07:18 PM

The reason the manufacturers say not to use an extention cord is that most of us have the home owner utility grade of extention cord with 14 guage and some import cords with 16 guage conductors. Most of us won’t pay the price for the 10 or 12 guage cords.
I’m not going to do the math here, but if you plug your tablesaw into a 14 guage 50’ cord, there will be a voltage drop in the cord.
This voltage drop will make the motor run harder and hotter, and most likely shortening the life; as well as letting the tool run at a lessor effiiciency.
I also like the softer power cords with the silicone sheaths. I have converted several stiff plastic ones to the softer type … and using the proper guage.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2833 days

#17 posted 01-23-2013 07:50 PM

Never seen a plastic cord on a tool, if I do I’ll skip buying the tool.
Interesting item Rick; only issue is it seems like yet another item to have to keep track of. Tying the cord has always worked well for me, especially going up a ladder and seems cheaper.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2689 days

#18 posted 01-23-2013 07:59 PM

”The manual says not to use an extension cord unless absolutely necessary.” I am pretty sure that’s the manufacturers lawyers worrying about liability and not an operational concern.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View JayT's profile


5627 posts in 2209 days

#19 posted 01-23-2013 08:01 PM

The one tool I own that there are no complaints about the cord is a Fein Multimaster. It is a good quality cord and 16 ft long.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View oldnovice's profile


6849 posts in 3366 days

#20 posted 01-23-2013 08:04 PM

Grumpymike is correct, the motor will run hotter under load as it is not getting the sufficient voltage.

But the extension cord way also get hot enough to melt. A 14 gauge conductor in an extension cord has ~6 amp maximum current capacity and a 2HP 110VAC TS motor will require ~13 amps to operate properly so there is a good possibility of the extension cord insulation to melt and cause a short circuit and/or fire.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2631 days

#21 posted 01-23-2013 08:15 PM

I ran a 2hp TS with a 16g cord…....until I ran a piece of 8/4 Oak. The circuit breaker tripped almost instantly.
I reset the breaker twice before I realized that I was trying to suck too much voltage through too small of a cord.
Once I plugged the saw directly into the wall outlet, all was well.

Lesson learned- spend the extra money for heavy gauge extension cords.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2512 days

#22 posted 01-23-2013 08:42 PM

When we read all those safety rules in the front of the instructions, most of which seem so silly, you have to imagine people who have never handled a real tool before. I have a neighbor who runs a hair dryer out to his BB-que to light it faster with one of those two-wire brown extension cords, and bitches when the breaker blows. Ought to be more concerned about setting his outlet/house on fire.
Some people just do not understand anything about electricity, and think they can run 18 ga. lamp cord extensions to power up 10-12 amp appliances.

As far as the vinyl cords vs. synthetic or natural rubber, the pricing is almost twice. Go look at the pricing at any local big box of these cords on the roll. When you make 10,000 sanders a year, it adds up to quite a bit, right to the bottom line. Same with length. They try to hold their pricing, fighting for pennies, because everyone else is doing the same thing.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View aaroncgi's profile


33 posts in 1974 days

#23 posted 01-23-2013 08:53 PM


Your points are well taken, and like most power tools, my Ridgid manual lists lengths of extension cords and and appropriate gauges for each. Since I only wanted to extend the cord 15’ and not 50’ or 100’, 14 gauge is more than adequate. I would have purchased the 12 or 10 gauge if necessary, but it’s total overkill for me. I’ll happily do a little math. Assuming a 15A draw, a 14 gauge 50’ cord will drop the voltage about 4 volts, or about 3% on a 120V circuit.

It may be interesting to note that the R4512, while peaking just over 15A at startup (I have seen 16-19A), settles down to about 5.3A after the initial inrush surge. It may draw a bit more current when under a load, though I’m not sure exactly how much. I would expect the stalled motor current (Locked Rotor Amps) to be the same as the startup current. With no load, the voltage drop from my 14 gauge 15’ cord is only 0.4V, or about 1.2V at startup.

-- Aaron

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 2902 days

#24 posted 01-23-2013 09:08 PM

I agree with JayT, the Fein multi master has a high quality cord that’s long enough to be used most places without an extension cord. One of the (many) thing I like about Festool is the long, flexible, detachable cords which can be easily replaced if they get worn out or damaged.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View aaroncgi's profile


33 posts in 1974 days

#25 posted 01-23-2013 10:10 PM


Can you please explain your source for a 14 gauge extension cord (and I note you didn’t specify the length) being rated for only 6A? This doesn’t jive with any power tool manual I’ve seen. And as noted, the manuals are as much to cover manufacturer liability as to ensure proper operation, so are likely conservative. Last I checked, normal house wiring of 14 gauge is rated for 15A at 120V.

You would have to seriously undersize your extension cord to get it hot enough to melt. The example I gave of 15A draw on a 14 gauge 50’ cord, dropping 4V, gives a power dissipation of 60W. That’s quite a lot, but it’s spread over 50’ of cord, which is a pretty good chunk of copper. Every 14 gauge 50’ cord I can find is rated at 15A. That’s not to say that you want that much current or voltage/power drop, but using 14 gauge isn’t immediately a safety concern without knowing more information.

-- Aaron

View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3241 days

#26 posted 01-23-2013 10:19 PM

The best thing you can do is to cut the old cord off, leaving just enough for a new plug; then use an extension cord. Tools with short cords are easier to store in tool boxes and drawers.

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#27 posted 01-24-2013 12:23 AM

Rick – they do have that, just tie a knot

Marcus, that doesn’t work at all on my electric chainsaw, the cord is too stiff, the knot loosens and it comes right apart. Doesn’t work on many other cords either. Not to mention it’s tough on the plug over time.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


6849 posts in 3366 days

#28 posted 01-24-2013 02:45 AM

aaroncgi After I posted I thought that was a little low and I did some more investigation.

This is the source of my first post

Wikipedia states a better, and what I thought should be the, rating at 15 Amps for a 50’ extension cord.

A lot of physical properties come into play for actual Ampacity of extension cords, number of strands/conductor, spacing of conductors, insulation of the individual conductors, cable insulation, and ambient temperature so it is best to read the specification on the extension cord!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2920 days

#29 posted 01-24-2013 03:42 AM

I agree about plastic cords in the cold weather. When I lived and worked in Wisconsin I put a stiff plastic cord in the back of my van and did not coil it up. I had it just laying there in a large mess. Next day I hit a small bump in the road and heard the whole cord “Explode” in the back of the van. When I stopped I had to trash the cord because the plastic had shattered about every foot or so. It was about -20 degrees that day. I worked in construction my whole life and we tied the cords as shown above, all the time with no problems … the summer. The best solution I have seen, was a guy screwing on sheet rock with a drill, had replaced the cord on the drill with a 50 foot long cord. No knots for him.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2476 days

#30 posted 01-24-2013 05:28 AM

If the tool has a stiff cheep cord I pass on it I only buy tools I will use and a stiff cord does not work for me.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#31 posted 01-24-2013 06:15 AM

What is really annoying is quality or high dollar tools that use cheap cords. They do it to save money, but doesn’t that just cheapen the product?

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Grumpymike's profile


2238 posts in 2313 days

#32 posted 01-25-2013 01:10 AM

aarongci … you can use any size cord on your saw that you want to, but I have alot of money invested in my saw and I will not save $3 on a 14 ga cord and threaten my $800 saw … Thats just sayin’ ya know.
On hand held saber saws and the like, I do use the 14 ga.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics