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Adventures in Tool Repair: A ‘Current’ Event

“How would you like your grinder, sir?”

“Well done, please. Thank you.”


Time and time again, we see tools that look like they need to be admitted to the burn ward at the local hospital. A defective tool straight from the manufacturer is possible, but rare. Sometimes, the tool is either over-used or abused. But there are other circumstances that can cause a tool to ‘spontaneously combust’, so to speak. Today, I’ll be focusing on one reason in particular: Extension Cords.

Extension cords come in a variety of lengths and gauges. The wire in these cords carry electricity very well because copper is an excellent conductor, but there is a drawback: There is still some resistance in copper and resistance causes heat! All tools require a certain amount of amperage to run correctly. The amp draw of any power tool can be found on the decal sticker/plate where the model is found. Using the incorrect length and gauge of extension cord will causes the voltage to drop, which in turn will cause the tool to run slower that intended. This can have a devastating effect on the cord, and more importantly, the tool!

Example: If you have a 25 foot, 16 gauge extension cord, you should only use a tool that uses 13 amps or less.

Below is a link for choosing the right extension cord for many different home applications. Using the correct extension cord can not only save your brand-new power tool, but it can also prevent electrical fires in your own home. Safety is key when using any kind of electrical apparatus. A little bit of knowledge regarding extension cords can easily prevent a hefty repair bill, or even worse… An insurance claim.

Extension Cord Guide