A reader recently mentioned quick-connect adapters for power tool cords, and yesterday when I spoke to Benjamen he brought up a video he remembered seeing which discussed the same.
Here’s the general idea: instead of working with x-number of power tools each with their own power cords, you cut or more elegantly remove their power cords and attach a quick-connect tail instead. Then, you build one or more wall-pluggable connectors to serve as the power cord.
In a recent video by Marius Hornberger, embedded below, he shows off how he removed the power cords to his tools to create a quick connection system.
Some brands’ tools have removable cords, but only Festool comes to mind in having a brand-wide standard.
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Milwaukee’s Quik-Lok removable power cord was featured on some of their tools. The only one I’ve seen was a circular saw, but I’m sure there are others.
Festool’s corded tools have a twist-on connector. Owning a couple of Festool tools, I can tell you that it works pretty well. If I’m using several tools for a project, I’ll often have the power cord plugged into the dust collector, and swap tools as needed, rather than keeping a power cord attached to all of the tools being used. It’s rare for me to use each tool at the same time or even back and forth.
In his video, Marius uses Neutrik powerCON True1 connectors, which is one of very many different types of connectors that Neutrik offers. For instance, right next to my keyboard I have a Neutrik pass-thru USB connector that I had recently ordered for an upcoming build.
Neutrik powerCON True1 connectors feature:
- Breaking capacity (CBC)
- Chuck-type strain relief
- IP65 water/dust resistance
- VDE-certified according to IEC 60320
- 250Vac max
- Lockable 16A single phase connector (20A in USA)
- Unique duplex chassis connector with inlet and outlet
- 6-12mm cable outer diameter range
- 12AWG wiring
- -30°C to 80°C operating range
The breaking capacity means that it can be connected or disconnected under load, which suggests you can disconnect something that’s running. You can’t, or shouldn’t, do that with other connectors, though. Some of Neutrik’s other connectors specifically advise against this.
This connector system as a “twist to lock” mechanism.
I have seen other options before, and there are certainly cheaper ways to implement a quick-release modular cord system on your power tools. But this looks like the most promising that I’ve seen.
It’s $9 per connector, and you’ll need one per tool plus one for a power cord. You might also need some cabling to build your own cords – that’s something I haven’t looked into yet, but a heavy duty extension cable might be a good place to start.
The “duplex chassis connector with inlet and outlet” refers to a 2-power appliance connector. In addition to connectors that attach to power cords, and a few options of pre-connected adapters, Neutrik has “chassis” connectors that allow you to build lockable connectors to AC-powered equipment. I only mention this because for those building their larger own power tools or accessories, this modular quick connect system might look even more attractive.
For those of you still rocking corded portable tools, is this something you would consider doing?