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Cable Reels Information

Broadcast and pro-audio applications. The reels are stackable with side mounted connector panels.Cable reels are used for storage, unwinding, and winding of conductive cable or lifting cable. Electric cable reels have contacts for maintaining live power during winding. Reels are devices around which lengthy, continuous items such as cable, wires, paper, etc., are wrapped for transportation or storage. Reels are available as simple storage devices although more advanced styles are self-winding. They are also available with live connections that allow an item like a hose or electrical cable to be used while still on the reel.

Cable Reel Configuration

Cable reels come in one of five common configurations. These include collapsible, portable, live connection, reel and cable assembly, and storage reel.

Collapsible reels can be collapsed or broken down for compact storage or bulk shipment.

Portable reels are hand transportable. They are supplied with a lifting handle.

Live connection reels are outfitted with connection hardware to allow electricity to be passed through it while the cable is still on, or partially on, the reel.

A reel assembly includes a reel, a wire and possible features mounted on the cable. An example would be an electrical cord, on a reel, with a light attached.

A storage reel is a reel that carries items other than cable or hose, such as paper or rope.


Video Credit: mshakeelm/ CC BY 3.0


Important specifications for cable reels include flange diameter, core diameter, inside traverse, the outside diameter of the cable to be carried on the reel, and the length of the cable to be carried on the reel.

  • The flange diameter is the outside diameter of the reel flange.
  • The core diameter is the diameter of the interior of the reel or core.
  • The inside traverse is the distance from inside to inside of reel flanges.

Cable Reel Rewind Options

Cable reels have several rewind options. These include manual or crank, electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, and spring.

  • In a manual or crank rewind reel no rewind mechanism is associated with the reel. A hand crank or other manual method is required to rewind the hose or cable.
  • Electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic rewind reels are driven by a motor drive which rewinds the reel.
  • A spring rewind reel uses an internal spring to rewind the wheel.

Materials of Construction

Materials of construction used for cable reels include wood, steel, stainless steel, and plastic.

Image credit:

Hannay Reels


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