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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 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 and are, owing to their shape, commonly used as furniture (usually coffee tables) for college students and others seeking inexpensive furnishings.
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.
Often manufactured from recycled plastic, these reels are environmentally friendly and used for lighter weight cables.
Nowadays the steel drums have replaced the orthodox wooden drums in the cable and wire industry, but mainly in the offshore industry. Steel drums are normally welded as a fixed drums, but collapsible steel drums do also exist. The steel reels/drums are manufactured in an eco-friendly manner and are more durable than wooden drums, but to a significant higher cost. These steel reels are not as easily stolen. The off shore industry today prefers steel reels/drums instead of wooden or plywood or plastic reels/drums, but the traditional land based industry preferred wooden drums due to lower cost. 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.