10 Best Cable Reels of 2024

Written by: - Garden Maintenance Expert

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The Best Cable Reels

The Best Cable Reels
  1. Best with stand-alone on/off switch - Masterplug HMU15134SL-PX Pro-XT Four Socket Cable Reel

  2. Best heavy duty 50m cable reel - SLx 50 Metre Heavy Duty Four-Gang Cable Reel

  3. Best heavy duty 25m cable reel - Masterplug Four Way Cable Reel

  4. Best heavy duty 20m cable reel - Status Four Way Socket Cable Reel

  5. Best 2 socket cassette reel - Status Two Way Outlet Cable Reel

  6. Best 4 socket cassette reel - SMJ Electrical Pro Cable Reel

  7. Best 2 socket open cable reel - Schneider Electric Thorsman Two-Gang Extension Lead

  8. Best weatherproof cable reel - Masterplug Two Way Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel

  9. Best budget 2 socket cassette reel - Centurion EXT1038 Two Socket Extension Reel

  10. Best budget 4 socket cassette reel - Masterplug SCT0413/4W-MP Four Socket Cassette Reel

Cable Reel Reviews

Editors Choice
  • You get 15 metres of heavy gauge, highly visible power cord to use all your corded tools around the house and garden. It’s easily long enough for the average garden size.
  • For such a compact little reel, it’s surprisingly easy to wind up the cable. The big winding handle on top and comfortable reel knob make it a bit easier than normal.
  • Alongside the thermal cut off protection and in-line power switch, I’m a fan of the LED power light. It means you know without checking if you’ve remembered to switch it on at the wall.

  • Even though this extension reel is ideal for powering up your garden tools, it’s not suitable for prolonged outdoor use. For that, you’ll need splashproof outdoor plug sockets with covers.
  • Some users have complained that the rear winding handle is uncomfortable to hold on to when reeling in a lot of cable. It’s not quite as ergonomic compared with the SMJ RP2010.
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
15m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

The Pro-XT line of cable reels from electronics experts Masterplug features some of the best extension cords you can buy. The Masterplug HMU15134SL-PX four socket cable reel in particular offers top protection for the extension lead in a nice compact package. It’s a handy four socket extension for around the home and garden.

Featuring a fluorescent yellow 15-metre long heavy gauge cable and compact grey plastic reel, it’s one of the best-looking extension leads I’ve tried out. There’s a thermal cut-out reset button and the cable reel has a stand-alone ON/OFF switch which I think is a genius little feature. And there’s less chance you’ll mow over a bright yellow extension lead too!

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Runner Up

2. SLx 50 Metre Heavy Duty Four-Gang Cable Reel

Best heavy duty 50m cable reel

best cable reels SLx 50 Metre Heavy Duty Four Gang Cable Reel
  • Why stop at 25 metres of cable when you can have 50? There’s more than enough extension cord for the biggest gardens, camping trips, or outdoor parties.
  • I like these simple types of cable reels. There’s a lot less that can go wrong compared with the closed in cassette types of extension leads.
  • The yellow extension cord isn’t just easy to see, it’s also nicely flexible. Some cheap extension leads are stiff and not easy to work with. This extension lead feels strong but it’s still pliable.

  • With longer cable lengths, you need to take your time when winding it back in. The spool of cable is likely to fall off the extension reel unless you keep it under tension with your foot.
  • 50 metres of cable is great when you’ve got long distances to cover. Don’t be tempted to run high Wattage machines with the extension cord left reeled in though. It’ll overheat and cut out.
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
50m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

Sometimes, you need a serious amount of extension cord. Luckily, British tech firm SLx have got you covered. Their 50-metre heavy-duty cable reel is just the job for those of us lucky enough to have huge gardens! It’s robust, easy to wind up, and has a brilliant high contrast colour to stop it from getting lost on the lawn.

This large-size cable reel comes with a chunky rubber handle on top for when you need to take it with you. Underneath that is a simple cable reel setup that’s home to four sockets. They’ve got a thermal cut-out button in case the heavy duty cable reel heats up, and it’s fused with a 13 Amp plug. And the yellow-jacketed extension lead is so bright that there’s no excuse to trip over it!

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Also Good

3. Masterplug Four Way Cable Reel[ SAVE 11% ]

Best heavy duty 25m cable reel

best cable reels Masterplug Four Way Cable Reel
  • It’s useful to have at least 25m of reach, even if you don’t think you’ll use it often. You can never have too much cable!
  • Having 13 Amps maximum output is really handy. It won’t cut out if you try to use power hungry tools or gardening equipment, for example.
  • The extension lead is a good quality 3-core one with excellent insulating properties. This is a heavy duty cable reel that should last well.

  • You need to be careful when using extension cord reels of this length. If you’re only pulling out a couple of metres, the coiled cable will start to produce a lot of heat.
  • More than a few users have complained about the plastic reel being flimsy. With all that extension cord to deal with, I’d prefer something a bit more robust.
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
25m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

The Masterplug LDCC2513/4BL-MP Four Socket Open Cable Reel is one of the best extension reels on the market thanks to its 25m cable, comfortable handle and safety rating for use with high Amp electronics.

Masterplug are indoor and outdoor power experts with a huge range of quality extension reels, cables and travel adapters. The cable reel I got hold of is a great addition to any garage or home workshop due to its rugged steel frame and extra-long extension lead. Unless you’ve got an enormous garden, it’ll reach just about anywhere you need it.

Rated for 13 Amps, it can handle the most demanding equipment including lawnmowers and corded power tools when the extension lead is fully unwound. It stands up nicely on the frame and you can reel everything back in again using the big winding handle.

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4. Status Four Way Socket Cable Reel[ SAVE 3% ]

Best heavy duty 20m cable reel

best cable reels Status Four Way Socket Cable Reel
  • This four socket cable reel is really well built. It’s heavier than the Masterplug 25-metre reel, so it shouldn’t wobble about when winding it back up.
  • It’s good to see that this cable reel can handle the full 13 Amp load. Compared with some extension cord reels that can only handle 10 Amps, this is less likely to cut out during use.
  • There’s a small clip on the side of the extension reel that you can use to “lock” the reel in place. It will help you avoid paying out metres of cable accidentally.

  • Not having a comfortable grip on the handle is a bit of a shame. The unit weighs close to 3 kg, and if you’re paying out cable by walking with it, a better grip would be welcome.
  • A green power cable on grass isn’t always the easiest thing to see. If you want to avoid mowing over the extension cord, a contrasting colour would be more effective.
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
20m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

Built for when you need four sockets and 20 metres of cable, the Status four-way extension lead is a reliable open cable reel that is ideal for use around the home and even in the garden. I looked at the 20-metre version, but you can get different cable lengths and up to a whopping 50 metres for the biggest of gardens.

The bright green or red case is made from tough plastic and the cable reel is made from black tubular steel with a plastic handle. A rubber grip on the handle would have been a nice touch, but it’s not uncomfortable to reel out and back again.

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5. Status Two Way Outlet Cable Reel

Best 2 socket cassette reel

best cable reels Status Two Way Outlet Cable Reel
  • The big handle on the top of the cassette reel makes it comfortable to move around, and gives you plenty of grip when reeling the extension lead back in.
  • If you’re using this extension reel indoors, it’s pretty hard to miss the cable. Luminous green should show up well on most floors and help you to avoid trips and falls.
  • Rated for 13 Amps, there’s not many tools or gadgets in your house that you can’t power up. Lower current 10 Amp extension cables can’t handle power hungry devices like kettles or big drills.

  • Fitting 18 metres of cable into a cassette like this doesn’t come without its own problems. Most cables of this length would be on open reels to help avoid cable tangles.
  • An obvious disadvantage that this cable reel has is a lack of plug sockets. 18 metres of extension lead is great, but just two sockets is not going to be enough sometimes.
Type
Cassette
Plug Sockets
2
Cable Length
18m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

The Status S18M2G13ACR4 is a two-socket cable reel from West Yorkshire’s cable experts Status. With 18 metres of extension lead to reel out, you shouldn’t have any problems reaching the bottom of your garden or the top of your tallest ladder.

It’s a well-made and robust cassette-style cable reel with the cable tucked inside the high visibility green plastic casing. If you only need two sockets then this is one of the best cassette cable reels you can get hold of for the money.

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6. SMJ Electrical Pro Cable Reel

Best 4 socket cassette reel

best cable reels SMJ Electrical Pro Cable Reel
  • The big built-in handle is well thought out. It leaves your hand in a natural position to wind the long cable up comfortably. It’s nice and light too which makes the job easier.
  • A yellow power cable makes a change from lime green or bright orange. It’s very easy to see indoors or outdoors, it shows up against grass and just about any flooring you might have.
  • The patented honeycomb structure makes this a rigid yet lightweight piece of kit. Compared with the flimsy plastic on some cable reels, this feels like it’s built to last.

  • Be careful that you know what power rating you need before buying this extension cable. It’s only rated to 10 Amps. This means high current tools and gadgets will trip the safety mechanism.
  • Compared with the Masterplug 25-metre extension cord, some users have found the plug sockets to be too tight. It can make getting your plugs in and out a real pain.
Type
Cassette
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
20m
Rating
10A
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

The SMJ Electrical SP2010 Pro Cable Reel is a cassette-style cable reel. It uses a patented rigid plastic housing that feels seriously solid but is still lightweight at just 1 kg. I like the bright yellow cable, it’s easy to see it no matter how untidy your work area is. All the safety bases are covered, and the rewind action is fast and smooth.

Proudly designed here in the UK, the RP2010 Pro Cable Reel is just one product from Berkshire-based SMJ Electrical. They’ve been making quality electrical goods since 2001, so they know all about how to make the best extension lead.

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7. Schneider Electric Thorsman Two-Gang Extension Lead

Best 2 socket open cable reel

best cable reels Schneider Electric Thorsman Two Gang Extension Lead
  • There’s not much to go wrong with this cable reel. The frame is robust, the reel mechanism is simple, and the handle feels strong. It’s a well made piece of equipment.
  • It’s BSI Kite marked to comply with BS 1363 as well as BS EN61242. That means it’s a safe socket to use and has a thermal cut out in case the cable reel overheats.
  • Alongside the Masterplug 25m cable reel, this is one of the longest on my list. Having plenty of extension cable is incredibly useful. Vacuuming out the car would otherwise be difficult.

  • Be aware that you can easily overheat a long cable reel if you run high current devices through it when it’s fully wound. Unwind the cable to avoid tripping the cut-out switch.
  • Some users have noted that the plastic used for the cable reel is a bit thin. It’s still able to wrap up the cable, but you might need to go easy to avoid it bending out of shape.
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
2
Cable Length
25m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

French electrical equipment manufacturer Schneider Electric have close to 200 years experience making everything from home automation equipment to industrial robotics. They should really know how to make one of the best extension leads on the market, and I’m not disappointed. Their open cable reel is a simple, robust, and safe 25 m extension cord that will reach the far end of almost any garden.

Designed as a simple open reel extension cord, you get 25 metres of heavy gauge cable and a pair of sockets to plug into. There’s even a little clip to keep the plug connected to the cable reel. The reel section stands up on a tubular steel frame that’s steady enough to not fall over with a gentle tug, and it’s easy to wind in the cable when you’re done. It’s a simple heavy duty cable reel that feels bombproof and should last for a long time.

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8. Masterplug Two Way Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel

Best weatherproof cable reel

best cable reels Masterplug Two Way Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel
  • Knowing the weather in the UK, it’s a good idea to use weatherproof sockets. Rated to IP54, the sockets are protected from dust and water. You shouldn’t use anything else outside.
  • The bright orange extension lead is ideal for outdoor use. Compared with the green cables on the Status reels, there’s no excuse for mowing over this cable!
  • As you’d expect from the best outdoor cable reel, 13 Amps are supported. That means powering up your lawn mower or hedge trimmers won’t trip the cut-off switch.

  • Don’t be tempted to use this as a permanent outdoor extension cord. For any permanent outdoor power, you should have it connected via an RCD and bury the cable.
  • IP54 protection against dust and water incursion doesn’t mean you can leave this extension cable out in all weathers. It’s splash proof, not water proof!
Type
Open Reel
Plug Sockets
2
Cable Length
20
Rating
13
Overall Score 5
Build Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
5

Another quality cable reel from Masterplug is their HLP2013/2IP two-way weatherproof cable reel. When you want to run your garden equipment and not worry about the weather, the pair of dust and splash-proof sockets with protective flip covers are just the things you need.

Whether you’re mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges, it’s the best cable reel for outdoor use. With 20 metres of cable to play with, you’ll reach even the furthest corners of your garden without worrying about rain stopping play.

Although you should never use an outdoor cable reel as a permanent electricity supply for an outside building or shed, you can rest easy knowing that the Masterplug HLP2013/2IP comes with a safety cut-out switch and complies with all British safety standards.

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9. Centurion EXT1038 Two Socket Extension Reel

Best budget 2 socket cassette reel

best cable reels Centurion EXT1038 Two Socket Extension Reel
  • 10 metres of cable is the minimum length I would personally have for an extension lead. There’s nothing worse than coming up short when you need power on hand!
  • Compared with the winding action on the Masterplug extension cord, this winding handle is a lot more solid. It’s easier to reel in the cord without it getting bunched up inside the case.
  • One of the advantages of having just two sockets on an extension cable is the space saving. With less face taken up by sockets, it’s smaller overall.

  • An obvious disadvantage that this cable reel has compared to some of the others on my list is that you can only plug in two devices at once. You can never have too many sockets!
  • Even though this extension cable is sold as “heavy duty”, it’s not exactly built like a tank. The plastic casing is thick enough, but I wouldn’t want to rely on just this cassette.
Type
Cassette
Plug Sockets
2
Cable Length
10m
Rating
10A
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

The Centurion brand produces all sorts of safety equipment for home and commercial use. Their EXT1038 extension reel is a handy extension cable for a reasonable price.   

Boasting 10 metres of extension cord and two sockets to plug into, this is an ideal budget cable reel for reaching a bit further than some of the competition. Conforming to BS EN 61242 safety standards, the cassette contains a thermal cut-out in case of overheating.

Designed to power up two devices up to 720 Watts when wound up, or 2,400 Watts when fully unwound, this is just enough cable to reach across even the biggest rooms in the house. For the price, it’s one of the best 2-socket extension reels you can get right now.

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  • The two “keyhole” type holes on the back of the cable reel mean you can easily attach it to a wall. It makes it easier to plug in your gadgets rather than scrabbling around on the floor!
  • This cable reel is hard to beat on price. For a four-gang extension cable that conforms to all British safety standards, it’s not expensive at all.
  • Weighing less than 1kg, you can happily take this extension cable with you without adding too much weight. The 4 metre cable and wind up reel don’t take up lots of space either.

  • This isn’t a heavy duty cable reel. The plastic used is quite thin. You won’t be able to use and abuse this extension cord for long without it breaking.
  • Four metres of cable sounds like a lot. In practice, you won’t be powering up corded tool at the back of the garden though. I’d rather have 10 metres as a minimum for outdoor work.
Type
Cassette
Plug Sockets
4
Cable Length
4m
Rating
13A
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

With more than 30 years in the business, Masterplug know a thing or two about making cable reels. The Masterplug CT0413/4W-MP is a basic and inexpensive round extension lead that comes with several useful safety features.

The white casing holds 4 metres of power cable and gives you four sockets to plug into. There’s a thermal safety cut-off in case the unit overheats, and a safety button you need to press to make it work again once it’s cooled down.

If you’re looking for a safe and reliable little four-socket extension cable, this is a good choice. It’s not got the longest extension lead on my list, but you don’t always need loads to play with.

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Harry's Smart Buying Tips

  1. The best cable reels should be tough and durable with a comfortable winding handle for the extension lead. They should also be convenient to carry.
  2. There are two types of cable reels. Open cable reels are constructed from a metal frame that stands on the floor. They contain a drum that holds an extension lead wound around it.
  3. Cassette cable reels have the extension cord enclosed in a plastic casing to keep the cable safe from scuffs when wound.
  4. The reel typically houses 2 or 4 gangs or sockets.
  5. The extension lead itself can range from 3 to 50 metres in length and is usually rated for a load of 10 or 13 Amps.
  6. An extension cord that’s not fully unwound in a reel can become hot. For extra safety, the best cable reels feature a thermal cut-out that conforms with BS EN61242.
  7. More expensive cable reels feature a stand-alone on/off power switch.

Compare Product Features

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature you want to see.

  • Masterplug HMU15134SL-PX Pro-XT Four Socket Cable Reel
    best cable reels Masterplug HMU15134SL PX Pro XT Four Socket Cable Reel
    • 5
    • Open Reel
    • 4
    • 15m
    • 13A
  • SLx 50 Metre Heavy Duty Four-Gang Cable Reel
    best cable reels SLx 50 Metre Heavy Duty Four Gang Cable Reel
    • 5
    • Open Reel
    • 4
    • 50m
    • 13A
  • Masterplug Four Way Cable Reel
    best cable reels Masterplug Four Way Cable Reel
    • 5
    • Open Reel
    • 4
    • 25m
    • 13A
  • Status Four Way Socket Cable Reel
    best cable reels Status Four Way Socket Cable Reel
    • 5
    • Open Reel
    • 4
    • 20m
    • 13A
  • Status Two Way Outlet Cable Reel
    best cable reels Status Two Way Outlet Cable Reel
    • 5
    • Cassette
    • 2
    • 18m
    • 13A
  • SMJ Electrical Pro Cable Reel
    best cable reels SMJ Electrical Pro Cable Reel
    • 4.3
    • Cassette
    • 4
    • 20m
    • 10A
  • Schneider Electric Thorsman Two-Gang Extension Lead
    best cable reels Schneider Electric Thorsman Two Gang Extension Lead
    • 4.3
    • Open Reel
    • 2
    • 25m
    • 13A
  • Masterplug Two Way Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel
    best cable reels Masterplug Two Way Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel
    • 5
    • Open Reel
    • 2
    • 20
    • 13
  • Centurion EXT1038 Two Socket Extension Reel
    best cable reels Centurion EXT1038 Two Socket Extension Reel
    • 4.3
    • Cassette
    • 2
    • 10m
    • 10A
  • Masterplug SCT0413/4W-MP Four Socket Cassette Reel
    best cable reels Masterplug SCT0413/4W MP Four Socket Cassette Reel
    • 4.3
    • Cassette
    • 4
    • 4m
    • 13A

How to Choose The Best Cable Reel

When you need to reach the back of your garden or the very back of your loft, it makes sense to use the best cable reel you can get your hands on. There are a few different types of cable reels to choose from and a few safety precautions to take before you start though.

Cassette or Open Cable Reel?

An open cable reel is built with a metal frame that stands on the floor and a drum that holds the extension lead wound around it. You can pull the extension cord out or hold the handle and walk with it to where you need to go.

Cassette cable reels work in the same way but the cable itself is hidden inside a plastic casing. This keeps the extension lead safe from scuffs and cuts when wound up, but cable tangles can occur and be harder to unwind.

How to Use a Cable Reel Safely

Unless you buy a weatherproof cable reel, you should never attempt to use a cable reel in the rain or on wet ground. Cable reels are not meant to be used as permanent electric supplies for outbuildings or gardens and should only be used to temporarily power devices.

Be careful when you reel out an extension lead as it can easily cause trips and falls. If you’re using an extension cable to power a lawn mower, always remember where your cable is routed to avoid cutting it. This is when a high-visibility cable comes in handy.

Never overload a cable reel – it’s not designed to have high-load electrical devices plugged in. Always refer to safety guidelines on the case.

Cable Reel FAQ's

Why does my cable reel have a different power rating for wound and unwound cable?

When you power a device with your extension reel, it creates heat within the cable. This heat needs to be able to dissipate into the air around it, but if the extension lead is wound up it’s got nowhere to go. A mass of wound-up cable can become extremely hot and fuse together and even catch fire. Luckily, the best extension reels have thermal cut-offs, but it’s better to not risk it and always run your extension cord reels completely unwound.

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