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As a carver I have several hand power tools, some of which are top end, but most are "value" purchases. All of these tools have cables to connect to the mains. In the summer this is not too bad, but in the winter the cables are stiff and difficult to handle. However, I notice that the cables on the top end tools are of different, softer, material and are still flexible in the cold. Does anyone know the technical name for this type of cable? I would like to change all my tools to this type of cabling.
Thanks.
Knotty
 

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The outer coverings are different colors. That suggests different materials.
I made up my own extension cord from stranded 12/3 with a neoprene cover.
20m/65' long. Went to a cable supply business and they simply pulled it off the big spool.
Not cheap but much more flexible at lower temperatures.

I understand how kinked and stiff most hand power tool cords can be. Without doing the autopsy, I don't think it's worth the trouble to try to replace the power cords, even if you find better material.
I suggest that you try to get your work space up to some habitable temp!!!!
 

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You seem to think that it is the outer covering over the drive cable that is the primary contributor to stiffness. Could it not actually be the flex cable itself?

George
 

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it's the electrical "cable"

You seem to think that it is the outer covering over the drive cable that is the primary contributor to stiffness. Could it not actually be the flex cable itself?

George
A PVC coated/covered cable will get very stiff in colder weather. A rubber covered cable will be easier to manage when cold. The best extension cords I found were from Harbor Freight, neon green and very flexible. You could cut off the receptacle and rewire your tools with the cords.
 

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We have an introduction section where you can say a few words about yourself. If you fill out your profile in your "User Control Panel", you can list any hobbies, experience or other facts. You can also list your general geographical location which would be a help in answering some questions.

You have to be careful when using extension cords as power tool cords. The only green cords on the HF site are 14 gauge. Make sure your cord is of the correct gauge before changing it. Some tools would need 12 gauge.






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A PVC coated/covered cable will get very stiff in colder weather. A rubber covered cable will be easier to manage when cold. The best extension cords I found were from Harbor Freight, neon green and very flexible. You could cut off the receptacle and rewire your tools with the cords.
What makes you think he is writing about electrical cable?

G
 

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because I read the post

As a carver I have several hand power tools, some of which are top end, but most are "value" purchases. All of these tools have cables to connect to the mains. In the summer this is not too bad, but in the winter the cables are stiff and difficult to handle. However, I notice that the cables on the top end tools are of different, softer, material and are still flexible in the cold. Does anyone know the technical name for this type of cable? I would like to change all my tools to this type of cabling.
Thanks.
Knotty
What makes you think he is writing about electrical cable?

G
He is not going to change out all the flexible drive cables on his power tools, only the electrical supply cord because they get too stiff in the cold to maneuver precisely.

Other posters here have a similar response to mine...with one exception... :eek:
 

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It would be highly unlikely that a hand held carving tool would require a 12 GA power cord, which would supply a 15 AMP motor.
Why do you get so defensive when a suggestion differs from yours? The point to checking the gauge of wire is that it's wise to do that. The OP used the term 'carving', which could have meant wood shaping tools. That could mean routers. Some members use different terms. For example we have a member that calls sanding...grinding.

So, I'm not being tool specific when discussing power cords. Just a heads up in being aware of tool demands when replacing a power cord with a yard extension cord.






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My reply is based on the assumption that the OP is referring to the power cords on the tools.
I have similar experiences of working in cold weather with these stiff power cords, it can be a real PITA. If it's cold enough they can even break.
The stiff power cords are made of plastic (PVC). A cord made of rubber is much more flexible and I've found that an oil resistant rubber cord is the most flexible.
Of course you have to check that the replacement cord is of the correct gauge for the tool.
To change the cord you have to open up the cover on the tool. Be careful with that, there can be surprises happening when doing that like springs popping out or small parts falling out. (DAMHIKT)
Also if there is a warranty on the tool it may not apply if the cover has been opened.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the comment Robson. I agree about warming my shop... trouble is I do a lot of wood removal outside and I'm in Hampshire UK. I'll checkout the neoprene covered cable angle. Several replies have referred to the gauge of the copper in the cable. Over here we refer to the current rating of cables. All our domestic wiring is rated at 13 amps and it makes sense to have extension cables with the same rating, even though no individual tool needs that much. So, any idea of the current rating of 12 gauge?
Regards, Knotty.
 

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Greetings Woodnthings, and thanks... yes you are right, 12 G is a bit of an overkill. I looked at the site you recommended. I reckon 16/3 will do me fine. Now all I've got to do is find a supplier in UK!
 

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The cheapness of power cords on tools is a pet peeve of mine. Why install a stiff piece of junk cable on a power tool that requires detailed attention to operate. The cheap stiff cable gets in the way and distracts the operator from safe operation. :furious:

Sorry, that's my rant of the week.

I noticed that the gauge of the wire directly on the power tool is usually a smaller gauge than what is required on an extension cord or the circuit. i.e. a 12 amp rated saw will need a full 15 amp circuit which has a minimum wire size of 14 gauge but you will be hard pressed to see 14 gauge wired up to that saw.

As far as flexibility someone earlier mentioned "SO" cable which is very good from my experience.
 

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While there are others on this site that are much more educated on the topic of electricity, I find myself making a few general comments. When it comes to the original power cord on tools, manufacturers take into account many things when deciding what cord to use (minimum gauge required for power, length of cord in relation to potential voltage drop, cost, potential liability, etc) and then go with what will meet their needs while posing the least chance of a problem. When changing out this cord for a longer one, also keep in mind potential volt age drop. This can ruin motors. Manufacturers tend to have maximum cord lengths and minimum gauge requirements for a reason and these not be discounted.

Mark
 

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I find the same problem with air hoses, I have made up a 10' long 1/4" rubber hose that is basically an extension to use with my nailers.

I guess the reason some tools come with crappy cables is because a good rubber cord is probably worth almost as much as the rest of the tool.

In another life I can pay $5.00 for quality rubber appliance cords with plug or I could buy plastic extension cords from Walmart for $1.00 and use them.
 

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Yes its true FrankC re price. I agree, I get that for sure and I buy my share of cheapness too so I help feed the demand, but it's still frustrating. I know, that's my problem not the tool's.
 

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