Retractiles. Coil Cords. Slinkies. Curly Cords.

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Posted On:
February 09, 2022

Retractiles. Coil Cord. Slinkies. Curly Cords.

A cable of many names and many useful functions.


Applications that can benefit from a retractile cord over a common straight cable include:

High flex life applications

A retractile coil cord is a great option if your cable will be used on a robotic arm or a security camera to handle torsional and rotational movement. A coil cord handles this stress for greater flex life.

Hand held medical devices 

Coil cords also work well in many medical applications. For example, if a surgeon needs to use a hand-held tool, a retractile will ensure that the cable is not working against the surgeon’s hand and arm movements.

Unique environments that can benefit from a retractile cord over a common straight cable include:


A coil cord may be selected simply because they are more appealing to the eye such as in an architectural lighting application.

Safety considerations

Worried about cords laying on the ground and possibly tripping an employee or worse, a customer? A retractile cord may be a good consideration as the retractile will snap back into place after use.

Quick adjustments

Do you have an application that requires adjustments depending on the operator? Perhaps something needs to be adjustable either vertically or horizontally? A coil cord will quickly allow for adjustments without adding any additional cable to get in the way.

Limited space

Speaking of cable getting in the way…Working in tight spaces? Utilize coil cords to eliminate the amount of cable that needs to be contained in a cabinet or within a helmet.

Northwire Retractile Cord datasheet
Download Data Sheet

Learn more about Northwire retractile coil cords by downloading this data sheet today!

Download Data Sheet

Considerations for customizing your retractile coil cord

Factors to keep in mind to choose the proper materials for your retractile coil cord:


Will the cable be exposed to extreme temperature or any fluids to possibly include chemicals?

Retracted vs. extension lengths

Northwire utilizes a 5:1 ratio. So, if a cable is 5 feet when retracted, it can extend up to 25 feet.

Tangent direction and length

Parallel (tangential) vs. drop (axial).

Overall diameter of the coil or coil O.D.

This will determine what size mandrel is utilized when baking in industrial sized ovens.

Hopefully this article offers thoughts for your end application and whether a retractile coil cord would be a good choice.

Northwire Design Engineers can partner with you to select the right materials and components for your end application.


Request a quote today!