Cable reel

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Steel wire reel in Muurame, Central Finland
Cable reels in Muurame, Central Finland
RG-59 cable reel

A cable reel is a round, drum-shaped object such as a spool used to carry various types of electrical wires. Cable reel which can also be termed as drums have been used for many years to transport electric cables, fiber optic cables and wire products. Cable reels usually come in four different types, each with their own uses: wood, plywood, plastic and steel.

Wooden drums[edit]

Wooden drums come in three different varieties: steel-tyred for multiple use, export for sending abroad, and one-way drums for single trip use. Wooden drums can carry heavy loads and are constructed in resinous wood.

Discarded wooden reels can often be obtained cheaply (or easily stolen) from construction sites and are, owing to their shape, commonly used as furniture (usually coffee tables) for college students and others seeking inexpensive furnishings.

Plywood drums/reels[edit]

Plywood reels are used for transporting lighter loads and are a cheaper alternative to other types of drums, used extensively in the building industry and by commercial electricians. Often made of birch or poplar ply, they are both strong and light-weight. In normal situations, plywood reels are used only once and then destroyed.

Plastic drums/reels[edit]

Often manufactured from recycled plastic, these reels are environmentally friendly and used for lighter weight cables.

Steel drums/reels[edit]

Nowadays the steel reels have replaced the orthodox wooden reels in the cable and wire industry. They can also be made as collapsible steel drums or collapsible steel reels. The steel reels/drums are manufactured in an eco-friendly manner and are more durable than wooden drums. The life of a drum is longer and hence the overheads for the purchaser/user decrease as compared to those for the user of wooden drums. These steel reels are not as easily stolen. The major industry today prefers steel reels/drums instead of wooden or plywood or plastic reels/drums. The steel reels can be loaded with a different range cables and wires from the most heavy cables to the lightest wires. So it can be said to be multipurpose reel.

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