All About Coiled Cords

You’ve seen them at concerts, in hospitals, and probably even in your own home. Coiled cords are ubiquitous, but what are they really for, and why does everyone use them? 

Coiled cords, also called retractile or Curly cords, consist of metal wires encased in a flexible, spiral jacket. The wires can be made of copper or aluminum, while the spiral jacket is typically made from an insulating material like thermoset or thermoplastic resins such as PVC. The material helps protect the wires inside from moisture.

All coiled cords have straight sections as well as curly sections. The latter is the parts that stretch. Depending on what they will be used for, retractile cords can be fitted with connectors and other components.

What Are the Advantages of Coiled Cords?

  1. They are stretchable and space-saving: The spiral jackets allow them to stretch. This gives you additional length when you need it, such as if a power outlet is located too far from your equipment. In addition, they self-retract. This means you do not need to wind them up when you are not using them.
  2. They do not get tangled: You do not have to spend precious time untangling wires when you choose coiled cords. They automatically go back to their spiral shape.
  3. They are very durable. They are designed and built to stretch and recover their original assemblies over and over again.
  4. They are versatile: They can be built to transfer power, data, and signal.

Coiled Cords and Their Applications

The unique advantages of retractile coiled cords have made them a must for individuals and businesses in a range of industries, from telecommunications to medicine. Your cell phone charger probably has a coiled power cord. Helicopter pilots also often use headsets that plugin using coiled audio cords. Defibrillators also have curly coiled cords that connect the paddles to the main unit.

Coiled cords are used for many types of applications, including:

  • Aeronautical
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Medical
  • Military

Factors to Consider When Buying Coiled Cords

  • Insulating Wire Materials: Choose cords with thermoplastic or thermoset insulation. Thermosets and thermoplastics are typically flex-resistant and will not crack or break when bent. Also, they do not soften or melt easily when exposed to high temperatures. The use of a heat-resistant, flexible spiral jacket makes retractile cords safe for use even in harsh environments.

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-insulated spiral coiled cords have a maximum temperature range of 55°C to 105°C and are resistant to abrasions and moisture. Neoprene (polychloroprene), on the other hand, is resistant to oil and solvents. In addition, it is flame-retardant. Neoprene-insulated retractile cords are used widely in military applications due to these qualities.
  • Coiled Size: Coiled cords come in many sizes, from short cords such as those used in phone chargers and extra-thick cords used in industrial and military applications. You should choose a size that best fits the cord’s intended use.
  • Shielding Coiled Cords: The insulating jacket protects coiled cords wire from scratches and spills. However, it cannot protect the wires inside them from electromagnetic interference (EMI). If you will be using the cords in applications that require protection from EMI, you should choose shielded variants.

    Shielding is made from cable metal, usually copper or aluminum wire. It can be one or more thin layers of aluminum or a braided mesh woven into the wires. It prevents EMI by acting as a barrier against electromagnetic energy, minimizing noise from other electrical power sources.
  • Extended Coiled Length: A coiled cord should be able to extend several feet more than its retracted length. Autac USA, for example, offers 12-inch coiled cords that can stretch for up to five feet of wire.

Choosing a Reputable Coiled Cords Manufacturer

Choose coiled cords manufacturer with a reputation for a top-notch power product. An electrical manufacturer’s track record in product manufacture and assemblies should be a major factor in your wire purchase decision.

Also, consider the electrical company’s ability to customize your power cords wire. Electrical companies should be able to make coiled cords custom in a variety of gauge sizes, assemblies, and colors. The company you choose should also allow you to specify the custom number of power conductors, type of shielding, and insulating and jacketing materials.

Autac: Providing Electronic Coiled Cords for Every Industry

The coiled cord, also known as the recoil extension cord, retractile cord, or curly cord, is one of mankind’s greatest high power extension inventions. Its spring-like coiled shape allows it to extend further when in use and retract to take up less space when not in use. This flexible coiled extension cord can be used for a variety of cable purposes. In fact, different fields like communications, electronics, robotics, medical, and more use the retractile cord for their electrical machinery. The uses of coiled cords are virtually limitless.

If you are looking for high power retractile coiled cords, turn to Autac. Our assemblies manufacture custom coiled extension cords to meet various cable applications and cable specifications. Do you require a cord that can match your industrial ice cream-making machines? We have it! Perhaps, you need curly cords that will be a good fit for your telecommunication cable assembly? We can have them made! No matter the industry, our team can work with you to design an extension cord that meets your needs. 

About Our Company – Coiled Cords

Robert N. Bunkle, our founder, strongly believes the philosophy “The customer comes first.” As such, he sought to create a company that values its customers and provides them with quality services and products. In 1947, he founded Autac and strived to implement this principle in his work. Thanks to his key value, the company flourished and prospered.

Nowadays, we are internationally recognized as the leading manufacturer of first-rate retractile cords. To this day, the Burkle family continues to run Autac the way our founder had intended, by valuing customers and establishing a “team management approach” to customer service.

Our motto is “Service Through Inventory.” We demonstrate this through our extensive on-hand inventory of finished coiled cables and straight bulk cables. Since we have numerous coiled cords in stock, we can provide our customers with short lead times and a quick turnaround. When you urgently need a retractile extension cord, we can deliver your order within a day.

Our Coiled Cords Products

With more than 400 part numbers in stock, Autac boasts the world’s largest inventory of quality retractile extension cords. Our company produces coiled cords that come in a wide variety of gauge sizes, number of conductors, lengths, and colors. You may choose a retractile cord from our inventory or reach out to us to have a custom cord that meets your requirements and specifications. Here is a list of our products:

  • Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) Power Cords
  • PVC Power Cords
  • PVC or Auta-Prene ® Communications and Electronic Control Cords
  • PVC or Auta-Prene ® Shielded Cords
  • Auta-Prene ® Test Leads
  • PVC Shielded Cords
  • PVC Miniature Cords
  • PVC Miniature Cords With Foil Shield
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) Power Cords

Most stock items are available in four retracted lengths: 12”, 24”, 36”, and 48”. Each one is manufactured to meet UL/CSA specifications. Our conductors include soft tinned copper and soft bare copper. You have the option to choose between unshielded or shielded cords. We also provide various insulation and jacketing materials, such as PVC, TPE, Polypropylene, Polyurethane, and Neoprene. Additionally, we offer ROJ jackets and strip conductors.

Place an Order Today!

When you need a custom recoil extension cord, get in touch with the professionals at Autac. Our team will work with you to create a coiled cord that meets your business needs. If your case is more urgent, you may also choose from our vast selection of curly cords in stock. We can give you speedy access to the stock items listed above. Learn more about our product by visiting our website.

Are you working on a project that may need a retractile cord? Reach out to us today. We distribute cords in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Most orders can be shipped within one day. You may contact us through our phone number 203-481-3444 or our email