134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2003
I had heard some criticism of this item from some who said the Wonder Winder was "light duty," etc. I have only had mine for a couple of weeks, but I don't get the sense that it's light duty for my application (in a hobbyist-level dedicated woodworking shop). I might look to something a bit heftier if I were planning on retracting and extending my extension cord more than 3 or 4 times per day every day... but I can't see this tool ever going bad under my definition of normal use (which is 1 or 2 cycles every 2 or three days).
It's heavily made, and yes... it's a lot of plastic, but it's thick plastic and doesn't have a cheap feel to it at all.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it does protrude a long way from the wall. For me, this is no big deal... but if I were using it in a garage where I had to walk by it a lot, it would definitely be in the way.
Overall, it works as advertised, it's well-made, and adds to the safety of your work environment by keeping the cord off the floor. Plus, when the cord's not getting stepped on all the time, it doesn't get that coating of dust and grime that sometimes appears on cords that stay on the floor.
158 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2004
Been using this in my garage for 3 months now, works as advertised. Wraps up my 100 foot extension cord like a charm. Only scores 3 stars for the following reasons:
1) Plastic is wearing at the cord output mouth. My cord is not always coming stratight into the front; usually it is on the side. The friction from this is wearing at the plastic (and probably my cord too). Only time will tell if this becomes a bigger problem. Seems they could have avoided this by rounding off the molding of the mouth.
2) The unit extends out for the wall a good distance. Would like to have a swivel option to swing it out of the way. This would also improve #1.
3) The all-plastic construction worries me. It has held up for 3 months, but I am curious to see how it is working in a year from now. It is pretty sturdy plastic, but still plastic.
4) At nearly $27, someone is making a good profit on these things. Unless they were able to meet my #1 - #3 improvements, I feel this would be more appropriately priced at $19.99.
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2004
[ July 2004 ]
You find this kind of device in catalogs that are full of gadgets that appear to cleverly solve some niche problem, but if you ever buy them you find that they don't really improve your life.
This isn't one of them. It works, pretty much, and it's a heck of a lot easier than a more conventional cord winder. A couple of times I have had problems winding a cord that was wet and so slippery, but other than that it winds the cord up pretty fast, and rather to my surprise the cord has always fed out without tangling.
Mounting is a little tricky because you want to get the device upright, but it twists as you attach the device to the mounting bracket so it's hard to find the exact right orientation for the mounting bracket.
Occasionally when it's fully extended the cord gets detached from the bottom of the bag or gets aligned straight through the hole, and so it needs a bit of help to get started winding.
I want another one so that I can keep one in the garage and one on the back porch.
[ November 2008 ]
Still the best winder I've found.
[ March 2012 ]
[ November 2012 ]
Broke the handle, had to buy another one. Still happy.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The product description says "Winds 100 feet of cord in 30 seconds". I don't think that is possible. Perhaps if the cord came straight from the store (never used) and was laid out perfectly straight in front of the crank for its entire length and the person doing the cranking was a strong armed athlete... But the cord that has been in use and acquired some kinks (as they all do) will take much longer. And if the cord was outside in the cold weather which makes the cord stiffer it would take significantly longer.
I bought the winder for 100 feet electric cord I use to power a Toro power shovel. Last winter when I was just coming back from back surgery dealing with the cord was harder on my back then pushing the power shovel. I needed to find a better solution than winding it around my elbow. This crank is likely to take me 10 minutes to wind the cord into the net, but for me it is worth it because even though it is not as easy as advertised it is still easier on my back than winding it around my elbow. And once cord is in the net it is neater than the loose bundle that I create by coiling it around my arm.
I am attaching several photos to the customer photos for this product (visible if you click on customer photos under the stock photo).
The winder came in 8 parts (see photo 2) and a long sheet of instructions. It was fairly easy to assemble and install. I am not very handy yet it took me only about 15 minutes. The instructions for the assembly and operation were clear. The unit protrudes 11 inches from the wall, plus it is installed onto a mount which is 1.5 inches. So you need a total clearance of 12.5 inches. The width of the unit is 2.5 inches. Photo #1 shows the mounted winder.
The mount has 4 mounting holes. The instructions are to attach the mount using the two horizontal holes. But the stud where I wanted to mount the winder was not wide enough to use both of those holes. So I mounted it using the top hole and one of the horizontal holes. So far this mount appears to have sufficient stability for the crank to work.
The unit comes with two mounting bracket. I plan to put one mount outside but I have doubts that the winder will work on the cold stiff cord, given than it was difficult to coil a warm pliable cord. I suspect that after using the power shovel I will have to bring in the cord uncoiled, have it warm up, and then coil inside the house.
Update: The winder worked ok. It did slip some and required a bit of guiding by hand so it was not fast, but easier on my back than winding the long cord without it.
When you mount the bracket locate it at a height where the crank of the unit is at a comfortable level to crank it. When you coil the cord you will need both hands. As you crank with one hand, the other hand will be pushing on the lever that pushes the cord against the drive wheel. (Photo #3 shows where the cord goes between the level and the coiling wheel). If the cord does not stay in the center of the wheel, the wheel does not grab it and the cord does not coil (Photo #3 is taken from above and shows a good view of the cranking mechanism.)
I am a bit disappointed that it took quite a bit of work to get 100 feet of the cord into the net. As you see in the photo#1 100 feet filled the net pretty much to the top, I am not sure how 150 feet cord would fit into the net. The mechanism that pushes the cord against the wheel seems to be the weakest point of the winder, as the cord often slips and needs to be readjusted. But overall it did work, so I am ranking it as 3 star "OK".
Ali Julia review
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2002
Easy to use and works like a charm. You may have to rewind a little slower with stiff extension cord like the "Yellow Jacket" brand, but still a dream. The only complaint that I have is that you only get two female wall brackets. I'd pay extra to buy a few more to put in more locations around the house.
70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2003
I have purchased two of these. They are GREAT...after a few modifications.
1.) Straightline sand the contact wheel. Out of the box, there just isn't enough grip to keep the cord winding properly. But after sanding the wheel, it works MUCH easier.
2.) Drill a small hole in the lever, and attach a 2" compression spring between the lever and the wall. This will help apply pressure to the contact wheel, freeing one hand, and assuring an easy rewind. To unwind cord, place a chunk of 1x4 between the lever and the wall. The cord will unwind uninhibited.
It may sound confusing and complex, but it really IS the cat's pajamas!
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2006
The description says "Holds 150' of 16/3 cord, 100' of 14/3 cord, or 75' of 12/3 cord," but I couldn't get even the first few feet of a 12/3 cord loaded into it. The cord didn't naturally fall into a neat coil in the bottom, and trying to guide it into place by reaching through the net was impossibly tedious. Even if did persevere and get it loaded, I wouldn't be willing to wrestle it back in every time I used the cord. That defeats the whole purpose of a reel.
The cord I'm using is a very high quality, very flexible silicone insulated outdoor cord that's almost impossible to kink. I laid it out straight in the sun before trying to reel it in, as suggested by the instructions, but it was still impossible.
Since I don't have a 16 or 14 gauge cord, I don't know how it would work with them. It must be great, from all the favorable reviews. My cord may just be too flexible or rubbery for it. A cheaper, stiffer cord might slip right in. It does seem to be sturdily made and a clever idea, but I can't use it.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2006
This product winds and stores cords well as most have testified. However, it has a wall mount issue.
The Problem - The alignment of the locking ears to the wall braket orientation is off about 10 degrees. The instructions for mounting lack adequate graphics and wording to guide you - dispite a warning that "it may be neccessary to use added pressure the first few times the unit is locked into wall bracket".
The Problem Details - The circlular wall bracket has 4 holes for screw mount and an "up" arrow to indicate the direction for mount. If you assume that the up arrow (on the inside of the backet) should be the orientation of mount you would be wrong. If you went ahead and secured it to the wall with the screw holes at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock the unit itself would not be level when mounted. My unit came with 2 wall mount backets and both had this disorientation.
The Solution - Note the orentation of the wall bracket when attached to the unit before securing it to the wall. Do this several times. Find true north / top center on the bracket and mark it with a pen. Take the bracket off the unit and place it on the wall orienting your center mark at the top. Then mark holes and screw the bracket into the wall. This offset changes the orientation of the mount when attaching to the wall by turning it clockwise several degrees but keeps the unit straight up and down when mounted. My brackets were off about 10 degrees.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2001
I recently purchased a wonder winder to place in my shop, after a few weeks I have found that it is the most used tool I own. This product is well thought out and constructed. The wonder winder takes the headaches out of using electric cords. No longer will you have to spend frustrated time untangling electric cords. Simply pull the cord out of the winder winder, and when you are done turn the crank for a few seconds and the cord is neatly coiled agian. Not only is this product a time saver it is also a money saver. Unlike other cord winding devices, the wonder winder is constructed of very sturdy material. You don't have to worry about breaking the wonder winder if you drop it or treat it roughly. The wonder winder is an excellent product and it makes a great gift, I highly recommend it to anyone.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
I've had the Wonder Winder for 6 years now, through winter and summer and it is excellent. I use it for my weed whacker and mower in the summer, and toro snow thrower in winter. It retracts 100' of heavy yellow Polar cord with ease, wet or dry, dirty or salty, cold or hot. I took care to train the cord to wind in one direction the first 3 times I used it, and in the winter I am sure to have the cord lying straight behind me - this guarantees that everything will wind up as fast as I crank. I only wish for more mounting plates.
It is so nice to have a product that works as advertised, lasts well, a pleasure to use.