Several years back, we were gifted the Husky 50 ft. Retractable Extension Cord Reel. I hung it up, and it became a nice addition that allowed us to provide power to parts of our warehouse that had never wired for electrical. We used the retractable extension cord reel casually on the weekends when we needed to plug in a battery charger or power tool.
We enjoyed having this retractable cord so much that I ended up purchasing another Husky Extension Cord Reel from Home Depot and installed it on a different building. Let’s take a closer look at the unit and see if it’s something I will continue to recommend and use.
Husky Extension Cord Reel Specs
The Husky 50 ft. Retractable Extension Cord Reel is an indoor product rated for general use. This means it is designed to be used inside a closed garage or shop for homeowners and hobbyists. It includes a circuit breaker that can be reset if it is tripped under a heavy load. The cord real uses a 14/3 gauge cord and is rated at 13 amps and 1625 watts.
The circuit break reset switch does work as advertised. We have put our extension cord under a load several times and had to click the reset switch. I would recommend this cord for basic use around the home. If you require more amperage for demanding applications, you will need to look at other products.
Plug Ends on Husky Extension Cord Reel
The retractable cord is 50 ft. and will give you great reach in a shop. It’s nice having three outlets, especially when doing some woodworking using multiple tools. One thing to keep in mind is the unit is only rated for 13 amps. It does feature a reset switch, but if you’re using tools that have a heavy electrical draw, this may not be the unit for you. The main downside to having a triple outlet terminated end is you won’t be able to use the cord with an electric blower, as they require a single-ended outlet.
Nothing to see here. It comes standard with a three prong plug end on about 4 ft. of cord that terminates inside the housing. You will need to mount the reel close to an outlet.
Electrical Guts of the Husky Extension Cord Reel
If you have never seen the inside of an extension cord reel, it’s pretty interesting. The housing has contacts that are wired directly to the plug end. These contacts rub against the spool as it spins, which is what allows you to have constant power in a retractable extension cord.
Underneath the black disc on the spool is the wiring from the extension cord that is connected to the circular contact points. I never had issues with losing power with this retractable cord reel, so the design of the electrical contacts has worked well.
The Internal Spring Fails in 2-5 Years
We have owned two of the Husky 50 ft. Retractable Extension Cord Reels and the internal springs have failed on both. I have used both extension cord reels casually for 3-4 years, so we have gotten some good use out of them. One unit broke before the other, and we ended up just using it as a manual extension cord.
Because they are costly units, I decided to open one up to see if I could repair the issue. The spring on these units is inside the white housing and is not serviceable. Based on our experience from owning two units and reading some reviews online from other users, most people are getting anywhere from 2-5 years of use before the spring fails.
Well before the spring fully fails, you will start to notice it getting weak to the point it is hard to get the unit to pull the cord in. Once this starts to set in, it’s not far off from a complete failure. The cord will still function to provide power, but you will no longer be able to auto-wind the cord inside the unit. Of course, the time you get out of your retractable extension cord reel will rely heavily on how much it is used daily.
What Am I Going To Use Moving Forward?
I searched online what the best extension cord reel was, and all it yielded was a bunch of affiliate websites with “buy on Amazon” buttons. I went on to the Home Depot and Northern Tool websites and started reading the reviews for various models of extension cord reels. What I found was one common theme among all the cord reels, whether they cost $39 or $249. The spring inside the unit that winds the cord will eventually break.
At the time of writing this, the Husky 50 ft. Retractable Extension Cord Reel cost $69. This is a great price considering it would cost you $37 just to purchase a similar 50 ft. extension cord with 14/3 wiring. I have not decided whether I will purchase two new retractable reels or regular extension cords. The “keep it simple” side of me says go with regular cords, but having retractable extension cords for the last several years has become a convenience we have surely enjoyed.