Tool Review: Great Stuff RoboReel Power Cord System

Feb. 11, 2013
Power cord winds itself and keeps user safe from electrical hazards in extreme situations.

The Great Stuff, Inc. RoboReel Power Cord System features a motorized rewind with no springs and a custom, and comes with a replaceable cord that won't corkscrew. Easily retract the cord with a power switch on the main unit, or plug-in end of the cord, this unit provides 360-degree rotation and comes with 50' of 12 gauge cord. Includes emergency power shutoff, overheat protection and a four-year, 4,000-wind warranty. Made of resins that are oil-, gas-, chemical- and UV-resistant, the RoboReel is ceiling mountable and portable.

The Review

Lou Fort, lead technician at Huntingburg, IN-based K.A.R.S. Inc., is used to using droplights for his extension cords, since these lights can be wound up pretty easily after all. However, sometimes he needs this droplight for one thing and he either has to walk to the far end of the shop for another droplight or roll out the dirty extension cord from the closet, do his work, and roll it up again to put it away. When he received the RoboReel Power Cord System, he was awfully curious to find out what it could do.

Set-up for the portable unit was easy, all he had to do was mount it (other versions come with a stand and can be simply placed on the floor.) The only "set up" it needed was holding onto the round button on the power strip until it lit up. The unit was then live with power and ready to go.

"The RoboReel is the easiest, safest, extension cord I have ever used in my life," Fort said. "Having my extension cord on a reel keeps it from becoming a tangled up mess, which can take forever to straighten out."

Fort found it extremely easy to operate. "I leave it plugged in 24/7. The RoboReel turns off the power to the cord when retracted, restoring power when extended 18 inches automatically," he explained. "The RoboReel's power retraction system has eliminated the need to walk the cord back to ensure it doesn't whip around causing damage to anything or anyone.

"The RoboReel can also be retracted from its base, I found that feature to be quite handy more than a time or two."

This motorized extension cord is built to last, not only because of its warranty, but also the ease of fixing the unit for the years of use after its warranty is up. "The manual is worth hanging onto for proper maintenance," Fort noted.  "It has instructions on replacing the cord or other parts when needed in the future. The manual also covers the units' features in more detail along with troubleshooting tips should you need some."

When asked if there were any features he would improve, Fort said there were "none."

However, he had no problem listing things he did like: "Let me start with it's safety, if the cord gets cut it will shut the power off. Power to the extension cord receptacles, all three of them, can be turned on or off from either the base or receptacle end. Having built-in 'thermal' protection reduces the risk of fire. The extension cord can be retracted from either the base or receptacle end. You can extend the cord to any length desired without having to over extend to find a latch like a spring-style reel cord. The cord base pivots a full 360 degrees, so no matter which way it's mounted it maintains full functionality."

"The RoboReel Portable Power System is a game changer, I give the RoboReel a 10+," Fort said. "I used the RoboReel to power up battery chargers, heat guns, vacuum cleaners, work lights, inductive heater systems, etcetera. The RoboReel powered pretty much anything that needed power, from an extension cord."

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