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I usually store electric appliances by coiling up their cables. Unfortunately this causes the cable jacket and insulation to break long before any other part of the machine, rendering a perfectly fine appliance unusable.

Below are two recent examples. The break is always close to where the cable exits the hard-plastic casing of the appliance, and it usually appears within only a few years after I bought the product.

Cables of tools like electric drills seem to be made of another, more flexible material, and I haven't yet had one of them break, even after decades of use.

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How can I prevent cables from breaking when I coil them?

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    The one on the right is far from unusable, wrap some electrical tape around the break to make sure it doesn't tear anymore and it'll be fine to use – Keith M Dec 13 '18 at 13:28
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    The stuff power drill cables is made off tends to be stinky, porous and hard to clean ... probably not something you want in a kitchen :) – rackandboneman Dec 13 '18 at 14:18
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    In many cases you can open up the appliance and re-terminate the flex. – Peter Green Dec 13 '18 at 23:04
  • This that peter green said; open the device, cut the cable where it is broken, throw away the short bit and reattach the cable. It's now shorter but you can probably do this a few times before you renew the entire cable – Caius Jard Dec 14 '18 at 14:45
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    @PeterGreen Sure, but that is not the question. The question is how to prevent the cable from breaking in the first place. – user26382 Dec 14 '18 at 17:19
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You're rolling them too tightly. Cables have a minimum bending radius: get below this radius and you damage the cable.

Make loops that are at least 10 cm in diameter. This also applies to the bend where the cables goes into the appliance.

This also means you can't wind the cable around the appliance. Use Velcro cable ties to keep the cable together instead.

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    You can also use twist ties, like the ones found on bread, if you want to be cheap. – jpmc26 Dec 13 '18 at 18:22
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Coil the cable separately (not around the appliance). You might try using a Velcro-like "hook and loop" tie on the cable to keep it wound. Use Over/Under Coiling so that it unwinds without any twists.

A visual guide to over/under (AKA flip-coiling).

Another guide just in case.

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Reinforce the cable when it is new using a substance that is pliable when it sets (e.g. Sugru). Here's a demonstration on the Sugru page, they are repairing a cable but it's even better if you apply it as reinforcement before it starts wearing out.

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    Won't that lose all it's pliability when it's cured? As in, all of a sudden your cable is about as stiff as a brick? – Mast Dec 14 '18 at 4:15
  • @Mast - No. The whole thing about Sugru specifically is that it sets to a flexible plastic. It’s expensive but I’ve never seen anything near as good. – Tetsujin Dec 14 '18 at 11:04
  • @Mast I've used it for cables before and it's great--I usually won't open a pack for a cable, but any time I have leftovers I'll grab the nearest cable. I added a link to the Sugru page, "Step 4" is the flexibility after it's cured (depending on how thick of a layer you use). – user3067860 Dec 14 '18 at 14:06
  • I've used both shrink tubing and sugru for this kind of repair and fund sugru better for cables that will take a lot of wear and tear. Make sure to use a rolling pin (or other roller) to roll it thin and flat before wrapping. – sal Dec 20 '18 at 20:29
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I have some appliances like that, they just come with a lousy quality cable from the factory. They will fall apart no matter what you do, it's not your fault. I had one on an egg cooker, it couldn't take the heat the appliance itself produced... it turned brittle, there was no way to avoid it.

If you have a hot-air gun (candle or lighter might also work), you can use heat-shrink tubing for a new layer of insulation. Those tubes are cheap, much cheaper than sugru in any case... the main issue is getting the tube past the plug. So either you have to use a tube with a huge shrink factor, or just take the molded plug off entirely and replace it with a custom one that is meant to be user replaceable.

heat-shrink tubing

If it's a really bad case and obvious that the cable will fall apart completely before soon, it would be better to open the appliance itself and replace the cable entirely. For broken appliances that still have good cables, keep the cable before throwing it out, so you can use it as a spare parts in the future.

  • The equipment in the question is designed for 240V (judging from the plugs). Your picture shows a connector which does not look like it's intended for such voltages. That does not necessarily invalidate your answer, but it does mean it's a somewhat poor choice of picture. – kasperd Dec 14 '18 at 15:17

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