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View Full Version : Power cords on Makita tools, disintegrating..



DR
08-05-2011, 08:39 AM
Anybody else having the problem of the power cords on Makita potable power tools disintegrating?

Three tools, abrasive cutoff saw, circular saw and router, all 5 to 12 years old. The outer rubber on these cords is cracking and breaking off. The tools themselves are functioning like new.

This is not uncommon on power cords, I've had others do this, but these are the only Makita tools I've owned and they're all doing it. I have a number of Porter Cable tools that get equivalent usage and are far older with no cord problems at all.

I don't expect cords to last forever, but I have to think this situation is somehow unique to Makita.

Dawai
08-05-2011, 09:03 AM
All that chinese rubber is crap... All recent car tires purchased are pretty crappy.. dry rot. We got some six months old on the Honda Fit, were cheap mind you.. but... rotting off the rims now with plenty of tread.

Buy a chinese inflatable tire from HF, get a lot of use from your air compressor.
Mikey says they are made outa screen wire..

Dr Stan
08-05-2011, 09:12 AM
Gee and in another thread I'm getting crap for not liking Chinese machine tools. Glad to find someone else who is not enamored with Chinese goods. :D

JoeLee
08-05-2011, 09:20 AM
I had a heavy extension cord I made up for one of my welders. The cable was #8 / 3 SOW SOO or something like that. It was made by Royal Electric. Within about 5 years I noticed the outer jacket was cracking much like yours. The cable was never exposed to weather or sun light. I came to the conclusion that the manufacturer had the crap made in china. I have some rubber extension cords that are 40 + years old and look and feel like new. I brought the cable back to the local HD and they replaced it. I see this with a lot of power tools and other things........ stiff vynal cords that are a real pain to have on any power tool or appliance.

JL......................

mototed
08-05-2011, 09:55 AM
Have had to replace the cord on my Dewalt 4 1/2" grinder a few times.
I always thought it was because I usualy set it down on the welding table and the UV light from the arc was rotting it out.

Ted

JoeFin
08-05-2011, 10:13 AM
Have had to replace the cord on my Dewalt 4 1/2" grinder a few times.
I always thought it was because I usualy set it down on the welding table and the UV light from the arc was rotting it out.

Ted

Mine too - but I'm positive it is not from UV light

J Weber
08-05-2011, 11:04 AM
I have had cords go bad on a lot of power tools.Dewalt and Milwaukee.The Porter Cable stuff seems to be holding up. I got a roll of 3M fusion splice tape that I use to wrap the cracked areas.Some I have replaced with SO cord.
I came to same conclusion you guys,lousy rubber

dfw5914
08-05-2011, 11:37 AM
Same problem here with Makita tools and some other brands to a lesser extent . The Makita stuff is easily the worst, it just totally crumbles.

lakeside53
08-05-2011, 12:11 PM
I think it's UV or ozone related, but it may be water and gasoline starting the problem. Not all cords are classified as water/gas/oil resistent, some are just water.

I replace cords on all types of tools for my contractor friends so often they never get a chance to rot, but my Makita cutoff saw that has has been outside for 15 years needs replacing. I replaced my Makita drill cord maybe twice in 25 years, but it gets a lot of grief.

I doubt Makita has a "special cord" made just for them.

I use SOxxx cord that's water oil and gas resistent (If forget the exact designation).

Boucher
08-05-2011, 12:20 PM
I had a similar problem that turned out to be resulting from storing the tools in a compartment next to where PVC cleaner and glue were stored. The evaporating solvents were migrating next door and degrading the power cords.

DR
08-05-2011, 12:26 PM
One solution to the power tool cord problem I've found is to look for OLD burned out tools. Usually these are free or almost free. Salvage the cords for replacement in newer tools.

New replacement cords are a small fortune so that method is out.

lakeside53
08-05-2011, 12:34 PM
Doesn't your local hardware store sell SOxxx cord by the foot?

I always put on on nylon Hubble/Leviton etc plugs anyhow - they can be run over many times :)

lakeside53
08-05-2011, 12:36 PM
I had a similar problem that turned out to be resulting from storing the tools in a compartment next to where PVC cleaner and glue were stored. The evaporating solvents were migrating next door and degrading the power cords.


Alcohol in todays' gasoline can't help either.

Bill736
08-05-2011, 12:41 PM
The life of power cords also seems to be related to the climate . Many of my dad's tools and machines ( all made in the USA) had power cords that were disintegrating . He lived in South Florida. In fact, plastics and rubber items in general seemed to disintegrate in that climate, including most of the plastic interior parts in his cars.

Highpower
08-05-2011, 12:59 PM
Have not had any issues with power cords, but I have had problems with Snap-On screwdriver handles self destructing. Just sitting in the drawer they would secrete something oily overnight and be sitting in a puddle the next day. Clean them off, wipe up the mess and set them back in the drawer. Next day same thing.

Over time they would finally dry out and start cracking and flaking, turning white and powdery. (Standard black handles.) The Snap-On dealer replaced a couple (handles) and said they would probably just do the same thing again. :mad:

JoeFin
08-05-2011, 02:02 PM
One thing I think we are all forgetting here - WD-40 EATs synthetic rubber for breakfast. Some thing I think the HSM guys have an abundance of all over their shop

Ask me how I know ...

Daminer
08-05-2011, 03:20 PM
Bought a 3/8" makita drill about 1981, steady homeowner use, so the internals are starting to show age, but the cord (light grey color) is still in great shape.....

The belt sander bought 5 years ago has cracked insulation at the end of the strain relief already.....Not much use on the unit.....Definitely a downgrade of cord material quality.....

Jim

garagemark
08-05-2011, 03:29 PM
Every single power tool I own has the same issue (six drills, four side grinders, three orbital sanders, porta-band, saws-all, three routers, jig saw... tired of writing). None of my tools are in a climate controlled area, so it's hot as hell in the summer and cold as dickens in the winter. Most of my cords last about four or so years. I usually buy direct replacement molded end cords and simply change them out once they start to go.

Cheaper than heating and cooling the shop! ;)

Mark

mike os
08-05-2011, 04:06 PM
my guess... oils, solvents, coolant etc

my metal tools show conciderable more "deterioration" than my wood tools.... and are in different buildings......

Gravy
08-05-2011, 08:40 PM
Have not had any issues with power cords, but I have had problems with Snap-On screwdriver handles self destructing. Just sitting in the drawer they would secrete something oily overnight and be sitting in a puddle the next day. Clean them off, wipe up the mess and set them back in the drawer. Next day same thing.

Over time they would finally dry out and start cracking and flaking, turning white and powdery. (Standard black handles.) The Snap-On dealer replaced a couple (handles) and said they would probably just do the same thing again. :mad:

They've been doing that for at least 20 years. The smell is quite distinctive. It's imprinted in my olfactory centers as "Disintegrating Snap-On screwdriver odor". Fortunately, my Snap-On dealers have always replaced the handles on the spot.

Oddly, the only disintegrating power cord I've got is on my lone Milwaukee USA-made 1/2" drill that was made well before the outsourcing frenzy. It's just the jacket - the individual conductor insulation is just fine, so I wrap it with some Scotch 88.

sasquatch
08-05-2011, 09:22 PM
Sorry if i missed this in previous responses, but wonder if this is due to ozone being released off electric motors running close by. Heard that will really mess up motorcycle and car tires if stored in a closed in room with a running electric motor?

Just a thought.

firbikrhd1
08-05-2011, 10:37 PM
Although I have no evidence I suspect that tool makers and now being "encouraged" to use environmentally friendly products that biodegrade more rapidly than rubber/plastic items manufactured in the past. Perhaps that is part of the problem.

I too had the Snap-on screwdriver handle issue and as a Snap-On Dealer many years ago replaced many handles for customers. Personally I switched over to Mac Tools wood handle screwdrivers for that reason and they are easy to grip with oily hands. I also like the square shank.

jacmarhal
08-05-2011, 10:50 PM
I also had a problem with US made DeWalt 4 1/2" grinder cord. Had to eventually replace it with a flexible vinyl one. Also have a dry rot problem with the strain relief on my Porter Cable Tiger Saw, but the strange thing is that the power cord itself is still fine. Wonder if the grade of rubber that's used is the actual problem.