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Spring-loaded Recoil Winder aims to end cable management misery


February 6, 2012

A small and medium Recoil Winder

A small and medium Recoil Winder

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A new Kickstarter product to address that First Worldiest of First World problems, errant electronics cables, is off to a flying start. Since launching the project page, the Recoil Winder family of spring-loaded, self-winding cable holders has attracted five times the starting goal of US$10,000, and with 19 days to go. Seeing a Winder in action, it isn't hard to see why. The spring-loaded mechanism appears to be very quick and easy to use, and the result is so neat it's hard to watch one in action without imagining a future free of boxes, drawers and cupboards full of entwined masses of seemingly self-tangling cables.

There are three sizes of Recoil Winder. The Small Winder is designed with Apple earbuds in mind, and doesn't struggle with those with small integrated microphones. The Medium Winder is designed for other headphones and "light weight USB and charging cords" up to 47 inches (1.2 meters) in length. The Large Winder will take 60-inch (1.5-meter) cables, though only those of "small diameter". Having seen the video, "small" doesn't appear all that tiny, as the larger winders appear to be able to handle cables as broad as are likely to see everyday use - just don't try to wind up a 4-core armored electrical cable. The product range is completed by the rack, a neat, black stand that houses three Winders of any size.

It doesn't really matter what's on the ends of the cable, either. The demo videos show chargers, Wii Nunchuk's and USB cables all wound in the blink of an eye because, to wind a cable, you first fold it in half. The fold is then hooked onto the Recoil Winder, and, with a small tug, the Winder promptly winds up the cable with its spring-loaded action.

For a moment, it appeared that unwinding a cable might prove a point of concern, the action being conspicuously absent from the two prominent videos on the Kickstarter product page. But shrewd would-be investors cottoned on and this question is now top-most in the FAQ. The designer has issued a video response, and, sure enough, unwinding a cable turns out to be as quick and easy as winding one up.

Investors can opt for a broad variety of packages from US$8 for one small Winder, up to $2500 for 125 sets of Winders, a set being a rack with one Winder of each size. A single set will set you back $30, while two can be had for $55.

Even during writing, the pledges continued to rise, standing (as I write these very words) at $50,251 from just over a thousand backers, with a mean investment of $47. It would appear that a significant number of investors see the product as the answer to their cable management nightmares, and want to take advantage of introductory prices to stock up on a good number of Winders.

Given the backing this product has received with so much time remaining on the clock, the signs are as positive as can be that inventor David Alden has come up with a winning piece of industrial design. You can see a video of his innovation at work below.

Product page: Recoil Winder

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Okay, I\'ve tried other things and found it\'s not worth my time to manually wind up the cords after every use. Spring loaded is really cool and seeing it in action made the difference.

I\'m going for it.


This product is amazing! We are so glad that it was featured by James Holloway on Gizmag , as well as other great bloggers and reporters, as a good tech writeup. This a must have gadget for people everywhere.

Kickstarter is a great system that truly works to help start-ups succeed.

Thanks James, John

John Ciampa

Messed up my hand in a car accident a week ago, I can definitely see myself using this thing. Have you ever tried coiling a wire with only 1 good hand? It\'s bloody hard.


So much money! Gives me a .... well... same thing as the white one in the picture (imagine it upside down).


It is very well done, but I can envision a lot of headphone wires breaking due to the sudden pull and stop at the end.

Maybe it knows when to stop??

The wires are going to fatigue early at the center point as well. For those of you that have broken an earphone set know that the wires are extremely small and delicate. Many USB type cables also use extremely fine wire.


Velcro Reusable Self-Gripping Cable Ties, 0.5 Inches x 8 Inches Long, Black, 100 Ties per Pack for $7

Aside from being a whole lot cheaper, cable ties allow for folding up part of a cord or cable to shorten it. They can also bundle several together. The ties also stay attached to the cord so they can't get separated and lost.

My laptop bag and misc. tech gear bag are full of cords tied up with these Velcro ties.

The recoil winder gizmo would do for a few things that are always used at full length but they're not going to replace the ordinary cable tie.

Gregg Eshelman
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