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Sold by Woods under the YellowJacket brand, this little gizmo is the pinnacle of cube-tap evolution, plain and simple.  It turns a single extension cord outlet into five, and locks itself onto the cord that feeds it.  There’s one lock for the inlet and a second lock for one outlet, so you can insert this at the junction of two cords and they won’t come apart. 

Look for more pics after the jump.

The locking mechanism is deceptively simple, and works surprisingly well with a variety of cord diameters and jacket materials. The package explains it well:

yellowjacket3.jpg   yellowjacket5.jpg   yellowjacket4.jpg

Note: Click on smal pics for larger ones. 

Curiously, the package says to use a cord having a “minimum wire size of 12 AWG” — despite the adapter’s 15-amp rating — which matches that of 14 AWG. I couldn’t bend my gonzo 10 AWG Genset cord tight enough to fit the locking mechanism, however.

Also of note are the little “web” areas between the outlets on either side.  There are no electrical parts there, so they’re a natural place to drive screws if you want to secure the adapter to a mobile tool stand or something.

This adapter works well enough — and is sturdy enough — that I’ve almost stopped looking for user-appliable multi-outlet cord ends.  Why is it that you can build your own extension cords with single outlets, but the triple-tap ends don’t seem to be available in do-it-yourself format?  The bulky 4×4 box is hardly optimal, but it’s been my only option for building distribution cords — until now.

Street pricing starts around $11.

5-Outlet Adapter [Lowe’s]
Street pricing [Froogle]
Buy It Now from Amazon [What’s this?]

 

9 Responses to Hands-On: The YellowJacket 5-Outlet Adapter

  1. nrChris says:

    Not bad for the money, but I will be sticking with my handy boxes for doing on-bench work–I like the continuity of having standard switches and outlets instead of one big hunk of yellow plastic. I could see, however, leaving one of these on the end of a standard extension cord as a permanent fixture.

    Right now, I only have one standard extension cord left–the rest have had the receptacles replaced with outdoor boxes, waterproof covers, and switched outlets. I think that, like with clamps, you can never have too many switches.

  2. Rick says:

    My momma always said – you can never be too rich, too thin, or have two many switches..

  3. I lucked out and found some Hubbel cord grips at a surplus store. I grabbed the only two they had, and if I ever find more at that price, I’m buying another dozen. I just like that I can literally do chin-ups on the box at the end of my 10/3 cord.

    As for the boxes, I haven’t been impressed with the plastic ones I’ve found at the big-box stores. I’d like something like the KH Industries or Daniel Woodhead cord-reel ends, with two outlets facing either way and a solid cable gland at the entry. But nobody seems to sell those in hobbyist quantities.

    For the time being, I just use the 4×4 metal box with rounded corners, and try to avoid puddles with the end. It’s still bulkier than I’d like, as what I’m aiming for is the Y-shaped 3-outlet end that you can buy on extension cords.

  4. Eric says:

    it shows it as only $6.97 at lowes.

  5. bc says:

    I bought one… been pleased… it was 5 bucks… saves me time… it’s worth it.

  6. Jeff T says:

    I got that exact one from Lowes too. That thing is sweet.

    I recommend it if you’re using extension cords a lot. Might not be for everyone though.

  7. Mike V says:

    I’ve had one for quite a while now and it really helps me out.

    I’m in an older underwired farmhouse and while I’m slowly working to change that (after I figure out 50 years of creative rewiring) this thing really makes it a lot easier if you need multiple tools.

    The cord catch thingy does seem to be getting close to breaking though but that’s after a LOT of use.

  8. john says:

    These are dandy for building projects. I’ve made 4×4 boxes
    before. These devices are more compact and makes running
    a number of tools easy.

  9. BruceT says:

    The OP said, “Curiously, the package says to use a cord having a “minimum wire size of 12 AWG” – despite the adapter’s 15-amp rating – which matches that of 14 AWG.”

    The adapter’s 15a rating is likely per outlet, just like duplex wall outlets on a 20A circuit.

    There are three good reasons for specifying 12AWG cord – A:You are plugging into a circuit protected by a 20A breaker, so there should be no wire smaller than 12AWG (except line cords on the devices themselves), B: you may connect it on the end of a 100 foot extension cord where line loss in 14AWG could drop voltage low enough to damage the motor on your Hilti hideously expensive tools, or C: You could run 5 tools simultaneously off this thing and 14AWG won’t carry that load.

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