How to Reinforce Power Cords So They Don't Fail


The first thing to fail on every power tool I’ve ever owned is the tapered-rubber strain relief that feeds the power cord into the tool.

The large flexible tail breaksReinforce Power Cords off and, eventually, the wires break or short, putting the tool out of service.

Official factory replacements are not always stocked locally - and they are often expensive.

Recently, after doing a major tune-up on my truck, I discovered a handy, inexpensive alternative to the factory replacements - the rubber spark-plug boots used on many modern engines.

  • After the spark-plug wire has been pulled out of the boot, almost any power cord can be pushed through the center hole with the help of a little silicone spray.
  • The flanged end can be carved with a utility knife to fit just about any tool mount. The result is a flexible, durable strain relief that costs nothing. 

I’ve fitted them with success to my sidewinder, trim, chop and portable table saws.

If your car or truck doesn’t use this style spark-plug boot, check at your local auto-repair shop for their throwaways.

- Fred Staal, Isleton, Calif.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press

To request a reprint of this feature, e-mail Christina Glennon at Fine Homebuilding.


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