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Thread: Power tool cords

  1. #1
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    Power tool cords

    Hi. Can anyone recommend a nice soft flexible cord to replace the cord on angle grinders etc.
    I have replaced the cords before but with ordinary extension cord cable which in the cold weather
    kinks and goes hard and cracks I notice the original power cords are soft and flexible even lying on the floor
    no matter how cold it is Is there a special cord for that purpose ?
    Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
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    Re: Power tool cords

    I’ve used SO type cable on some of my old Milwaukee
    tools. Also made extension cords out of it. It’s nice and
    pliable, unlike the cords on the new power tools. Might
    not last as long as that stiff plastic crap.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Power tool cords

    The best you can get immediately is 12/2 (12awg 2 conductor and ground) or 14/2 SEOOW (best) or SOOW (2nd best) cord (available by the foot from HD or Lowes) with Leviton industrial heavy duty plug ends (old school black and white nylon ones, also from HD or Lowes).

    That will likely outlast the tool and will remain flexible in cold weather. What you don't want in a cord is any designated with a T, which indicates the body is thermoplastic, the kind that gets stiff in the cold.

    Alternatively you could buy a cold weather extension cord (again available at the big hardware stores) and use that with leviton plugs as well.

    Both options have the advantage of being infinitely and field repairable.

    Keep in mind neither of these options will be OSHA compliant.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 03-06-2021 at 10:15 AM.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Power tool cords

    This explains the differences in SOOW, SEOOW and some other portable cord....

    https://www.wireandcableyourway.com/...-portable-cord

    Best regards to all,
    Lance

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  8. #5
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    Re: Power tool cords

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBlues View Post
    The best you can get immediately is 12/2 (12awg 2 conductor and ground) or 14/2 SEOOW (best) or SOOW (2nd best) cord (available by the foot from HD or Lowes) .
    One note to avoid confusion, conductors in a cable or cord are called out by the number of insulated conductors, therefore the cord you reference is 12/3 and 14/3 respectively because all 3 inner conductors are insulated which qualifies them as current carrying conductors. In Romex, where the grounding wire is not insulated, it is called out as 12/2 or 12/2 with ground etc. since the grounding conductor is not insulated and therefore cannot be used as a current carrying conductor.
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  10. #6
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    Re: Power tool cords

    ***12/3 or 14/3*** NOT 12/2 or 14/2.


    Thanks for the correction bigb.


    I actually knew that, I just get so used to dealing with romex I revert back to that.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 03-07-2021 at 01:01 PM.

  11. #7
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    Re: Power tool cords

    You'll be fine with SJOOW found at the box stores, purchase by the foot.

    SJO= Jr 300v and under

    SO= can handle 600v
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  12. #8
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    Re: Power tool cords

    I just searched osha rules for cord repair. It is sort of a Schrodingers Cat of tool repair. They can be repaired according to section 1926, but only if it returns them to the state exactly as they came from the factory, and they came from the factory unrepaired...

  13. #9
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    Re: Power tool cords

    McMaster-Carr carries a line of extension cords that they list as harsh environment. They are SJEOW with molded plugs at both end. I cut the female end off and use them to replace power tool cords. Cost less than buying SJ cable and the plug ends and the male end is molded on so it is "almost exactly" as the tools came from the factory.

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  15. #10
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    Re: Power tool cords

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    I just searched osha rules for cord repair. It is sort of a Schrodingers Cat of tool repair. They can be repaired according to section 1926, but only if it returns them to the state exactly as they came from the factory, and they came from the factory unrepaired...
    Yea, we had a safety guy come through where I was working back in the 1990's,,
    EVERY DIY extension cord,, and repaired power cord on any tool was required to be tossed,,

    They brought in a 20 foot roll off dumpster,, to put the cords in,, it wasn't big enough, they brought in another,,
    We probably made Grainger stock jump 2 points that year,, with all the power tools and extension cords we bought.

    Heck, there were cords going to 300 or more coffee pots,, let alone the cords that were used for doing work,,,,,,

    I replaced a Milwaukee drill cord once,, I got the replacement directly from Milwaukee.

    Josey,, did you check to see if the OEM offers a replacement cord??

  16. #11
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    Re: Power tool cords

    Quote Originally Posted by jncaruso View Post
    McMaster-Carr carries a line of extension cords that they list as harsh environment. They are SJEOW with moulded plugs at both end. I cut the female end off and use them to replace power tool cords. Cost less than buying SJ cable and the plug ends and the male end is moulded on so it is "almost exactly" as the tools came from the factory.
    I trust the SO by the foot cord to meet standards.

    Chinese extension cords have been proven to short change you on the copper content and fraudulently mark CSA and other approvals.

  17. #12
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    Re: Power tool cords

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    I trust the SO by the foot cord to meet standards.

    Chinese extension cords have been proven to short change you on the copper content and fraudulently mark CSA and other approvals.
    Cords I'm talking about from McMaster-Carr are made by General Cable Carol brand and are marked made in the USA with the date manufactured.

  18. #13
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    Re: Power tool cords

    Lets not forget that most grinders, drills ect are double insulated and dont use a ground....

    To avoid having a useless wire making my cord bulkier I buy replacement cords from the local power tool guy.
    12 ga 2 wire (no ground), molded plug, flexible wire

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