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Power Tool Flex - worth cutting & putting connectors on?

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sammo

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Hi

Does anyone know about electrical flex?

I am thinking of cutting all the trailing electrical leads off my power tools, then add a slim connector (like this http://www.maplin.co.uk/euro-line-socket-219727) close to the tool body - and effectively use extension leads as and when i need them. This will help keep my tool storage tidy and stop the inevitable knotting of the power leads.

I would like to do this with what I can only describe as 'nice' flex - by this i mean, you know when you buy a quality power tool, it has a really nice power lead that 'feels' nice, is flexible and easy to roll into a tidy loop, rather than the cheap hard plastic type.

My problem is i don't want to ask for, when looking at online suppliers so cost comparison is difficult

TIA

Ps feel free to let me know if this is a daft idea and shouldn't bother.

Oh and finally - why are 110v tools a lot cheaper than 240v (especially 2nd hand)

Chris
 

Grahamshed

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Not sure what the nice cable is called but I suspect that the reason 110v is cheaper secondhand is simply because not so many people would want it. You need a transformer. New 110v which is mostly used by the trade on building sites etc is no cheaper as far as I can see.
 

sammo

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So a definition of a nice cable.... 3 core Soft and malleable, not prone to twisting down it length, they tend to feel heavier than non-nice ones. the TREND T5 router has a nice cable on it; the MacAlister electric plane doesn't.
The TREND cable behaves it's self when stored, the cheaper tools seem to have a life of their own!

All my current tools are standard 240v

But I am looking at a few 1/2 routers - and notice that a transformer and the 110v model (off good old flea bay) go for less than the 240v version. As this is destined for a router table the weight of and where to put the transformer is not an issue.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Sammo

The problms I can see are the socket you show goes on the lead end not the power tool, the mail line connector will have exposed live pins if you do it that way round, the other way will be o/k, apart from the problems of machines using different size fuses.

Arctic grade cable is soft and flexable http://www.alertelectrical.com/prod/410 ... -flex-blue that would be good on your power tools.

Pete
 

marcros

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i did the same with my router table/woodrat- I couldnt get the freud router in 240v because they had stopped making them. I did buy that one new, there was no saving on 110V but there was over a trend/hitachi etc by buying the freud. If you can get the Freud FT3000VCE secondhand, you will get a brilliant table router with above table adjustment and plenty of power.

I have since got a few other 110v tools cheap- simple supply and demand. Having got a transformer, I really dont mind which version I get. Most of my tools are only used in the workshop, so it isnt a matter of lugging transformers around and up stairs etc. If something would see a lot of use in the house, or in various locations, I would go for 240v on that tool. Be careful of trade tools that have had a hard life. I got a 110V jigsaw off here from somebody that had stopped doing site work which was ideal. It hadnt been abused, just he had a genuine need for a 240V (and even bought the same model as a replacement)- a regular poster that I trusted. eBay CAN be a good way of getting rid of tired tools that have been used and abused. I tend to only buy tools sold by the user on ebay- not selling on behalf of somebodys mate, bulk clearance lots, sold the transformer last week but worked when I last used it 10 years ago etc. I probably miss some bargains, but at least if somebody has used it they know about it.
 

Giff

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Hi Sammo
Generally rubber cable is more flexible and "nicer" than pvc. Geoff
 

Hudson Carpentry

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marcros":1s2rph11 said:
Be careful of trade tools that have had a hard life. I got a 110V jigsaw off here from somebody that had stopped doing site work which was ideal. It hadnt been abused, just he had a genuine need for a 240V (and even bought the same model as a replacement)- a regular poster that I trusted.
Was that me by any chance, sounds just my story when I got rid of all my 110v and I got a 240v version of the same jig saw I had in 110v?

Anyhow 110v is a legal requirement for commercial on site work 240v isn't allowed. In the domestic site you can have 240v as long as you have it attached to an RCD plug.

110v 2nd hand tools are cheaper as there is less of a demand for them and they tend to get battered on site. You also need to purchase a transformer to power them if you don't own one already which lowers the price more.

I also agree that you should put the end with the exposed pins on the power tool. This will save not only the risk of shock but accumulating saw dust getting into the pin receiver holes causing risk of fire and even stopping the socket from being received.

The one you link to is only rated at 6amp so is a fire / burn risk if you use it with a tool for a prolonged time that demands more than 6amp.

You can get different versions of these connectors and if you plan on doing this then maybe you should get 3 different leads. One end that will only fit into 3amp tools, one into 5amp and the other 13amp. This way there all protected properly and you can't mix the different fused leads up.
 

sammo

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Hi all thanks for the help, so need to find some decent rubber cable. As to the sockets and plugs I plan to get 10 amp (which should be more than enough) will also make sure that I get them the right way around. Feels line a winter project to me, also plan to insulate the roof, all I need its a cheap source of "Kingspan"
 

Louise-Paisley

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generally rubber cable is not as durable as a pvc cable and much easier damaged but more flexible. Rubber cable is rarely used for extension leads these days as these tend to be laid around the floor, walked on, have things dropped on, driven over by vehicles and all manner of abuse, appliance cords are normally subjected to less abuse as they are shorter and only used in the immediate vicinity of the tool.

However there are good and bad PVC flexes, some are more malleable than others, you get what you pay for.

Arctic grade flex is generally quite a good quality PVC flex.. http://www.eland.co.uk/electricalcable/ ... cable.html be aware that not all blue and 110 yellow sheath cable is Arctic grade ;)

H07RN-F rubber cable is a good quality rubber flex.. http://www.eland.co.uk/electricalcable/ ... s7919.html
 

devonwoody

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I changed the lead plug on the hedge cutter years ago, but it does pull apart too easily if it gets snagged when using, I suspect same could happen in a workshop and restarting a cut with most tools is not ideal.
 

marcros

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Hudson Carpentry":1utv5jw0 said:
marcros":1utv5jw0 said:
Be careful of trade tools that have had a hard life. I got a 110V jigsaw off here from somebody that had stopped doing site work which was ideal. It hadnt been abused, just he had a genuine need for a 240V (and even bought the same model as a replacement)- a regular poster that I trusted.
Was that me by any chance, sounds just my story when I got rid of all my 110v and I got a 240v version of the same jig saw I had in 110v?

Anyhow 110v is a legal requirement for commercial on site work 240v isn't allowed. In the domestic site you can have 240v as long as you have it attached to an RCD plug.

110v 2nd hand tools are cheaper as there is less of a demand for them and they tend to get battered on site. You also need to purchase a transformer to power them if you don't own one already which lowers the price more.

I also agree that you should put the end with the exposed pins on the power tool. This will save not only the risk of shock but accumulating saw dust getting into the pin receiver holes causing risk of fire and even stopping the socket from being received.

The one you link to is only rated at 6amp so is a fire / burn risk if you use it with a tool for a prolonged time that demands more than 6amp.

You can get different versions of these connectors and if you plan on doing this then maybe you should get 3 different leads. One end that will only fit into 3amp tools, one into 5amp and the other 13amp. This way there all protected properly and you can't mix the different fused leads up.
I think it was. A great Bosch jigsaw!
 

sammo

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devonwoody":qbit40wt said:
I changed the lead plug on the hedge cutter years ago, but it does pull apart too easily if it gets snagged when using, I suspect same could happen in a workshop and restarting a cut with most tools is not ideal.
Thanks for the info - I happen to work in IT, and plan to purchase the plugs that have a lock on - the idea behind these is that IT-Servers can be unplugged by accident when pulling on other cables, or taking out another server. The plugs I will get have a simple device that locks into, you then have to manually release them - therefore avoiding the accidental pull apart.
 

Giff

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Sounds like a good idea sammo a bit like the Festool system where one lead fits multiple machines.Can you tell me which plugs you are using. Thanks Geoff
 

Phil Pascoe

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I tried one lead for several tools about twenty years ago, and found it not all that successful. One problem is that the connectors have to be either very close to the tool, or about five feet or more away, otherwise they snag on the edge of any sheet stuff you're working. It didn't suit me well.
I had an expensive lesson with a sixth sheet DeWalt sander - I was sanding a door lining in a hurry, whizzed it up to the top and as it only had six feet of flex it went flying out of my hand and wrecked itself. Ever since then I've always put twelve to fifteen feet of flex on every power tool. Watch out for discarded vacuum cleaner leads - they are often good quality flex.
 

Dibs-h

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Pete Maddex":1yjiixfc said:
Hi, Sammo

The problms I can see are the socket you show goes on the lead end not the power tool, the mail line connector will have exposed live pins if you do it that way round, the other way will be o/k, apart from the problems of machines using different size fuses.

Pete
+1
 

Phil Pascoe

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:) I remember years ago seeing an uncle of mine dancing around his garden holding a lawnmower lead that he had wired with the male flat connector wired live. I never made that mistake.
 

Shultzy

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Sammo, I've done exactly what you are intending to do. All my hand -held tools are fitted with euro male plugs. I agree with phil.p, the plug needs to be close to the tool. Mine are none locking and I've never had problems with the leads coming apart.
 

Eric The Viking

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+1
Caution: some of these suggestions aren't legal!

I've done this with the lawnmower cable. It has a silly Flymo-unique connector, now with 6" cable terminating in an IEC plug.

Those 6A IEC connectors are rated thus because of heating. The kettle equivalent has the same size connectors but different, heatproof plastic (and a key to stop you plugging the 6A sort into a kettle). The kettle ones are 10A, IIRC. You'd probably be fine using 6A ones with routers, etc for short periods of time (the pins get very hot on kettles, but that's mainly because of heat conducted from the element, not the current passed by the connector). Power tools aren't on for long periods of time, or for those that might be, don't mod their cables! That said, I really dislike the cable re-wirable ones. IMHO, the design is inherently unsafe and rather rubbish.

You can get higher power connectors: Shuko (German/EU) ones are rated at 10A. The proper, re-wirable version is good, but the in-line sockets (which you need for power cables) tend to be moulded and hard to find otherwise. Connectors with rectangular pins make a poorer connection than round pins, so round-pin things will be more compact (usually) for a given current rating.

There are also industrial ones: look at the Neutrik "Powercon" series - better connector but much more expensive.

For flexible PVC cable: look for "arctic grade". It has chemicals in it to ensure it stays flexible at low temperatures.
 

Losos

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sammo":l0c395k6 said:
I am thinking of cutting all the trailing electrical leads off my power tools, then add a slim connector (like this http://www.maplin.co.uk/euro-line-socket-219727) close to the tool body
Hi sammo - this is exactly what I've done, the connectors you show are known as IEC type, just make sure you use a MALE in line type for the tool and a FEMALE in line type for the cable. You can even buy plastic sheaths to go over the two so outside use in the rain is no problem.

I have all my extension cables hanging on the wall, all different lengths and even a 'curly' one (Salvaged from an old kettle :!:) it has made life so much easier and the tool box has more room so I can put a few accessoroes in the box as well now.

One of the best things I ever did :lol:
 
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