How to Coil Any Kind of Cord

Prevent kinks and create neat order out of ropes, lines, extension cords, etc. by coiling them after use.


  1. Image titled Coil Cord Step 1
    Make sure that the medium you are coiling is clean and ready to be put away.
  2. Image titled Coil Cord Step 2
    Your dominant hand will be the coiling hand, your non-dominant hand will just hold the coil. Take one end of the cord or rope into your non-dominant hand. Have the end fall about an inch out of your hand either towards you or away from you. This will determine whether the line will be coiled clockwise or counter-clockwise.
  3. Image titled Coil Cord Step 3
    If you are holding the line in your left hand (you are right-handed) and the end is facing towards your body, this means that you will be coiling counter-clockwise. If the end is facing away from you, the coiling will be clockwise. The opposite will be true for left-handed coilers.
  4. Image titled Coil Cord Step 4
    Now run your coiling hand (the dominant) along the line from your holding hand until you have both arms spread wide (an wingspan of rope).
  5. Image titled Coil Cord Step 5
    Bring your dominant hand toward your holding hand and use your index finger and thumb to twist the line in the direction that you want the coil to go (usually a 180-360 degree twist does the trick).
  6. Image titled Coil Cord Step 6
    Lay the rope into your holding hand and you should have the first of many neat, non-kinking coils.
  7. Image titled Coil Cord Step 7
    Repeat 4-6 with the next arm lengths of rope until you reach the last arm length.
  8. Image titled Coil Cord Step 8
    With this last length of line you can finish the coil in a variety of ways. One simple way is to take the last length of rope and wrap it three or four times around the outside of the coils that you made, then thread the end through the upper of the area between the coils and pull it tight, the coil should now be secured and you can use the extra length to tie the coil to something in order to store the line.
  9. Image titled Coil Cord Step 9
  10. Image titled Bundle of cords


  • At step 9 - if you make the last length of rope twice as long, then allow a short length of the free end to lay with the coil (and holding it there with your non-dominant hand) then bind the whole coil with the doubled rope before passing the loop through the coils, you end up with a loop to hang the finished coil from - useful if you intend to hang the coil on a hook.
  • If you do use the original described method of completing the coil and wind up with a single length of rope to tie the coil up with, use either a clove hitch or a round-turn and two half hitches to tie it up.
  • What if the far end of the cord/rope is not free to ***twist? Maybe it's tied to something or just very very far away. Coil like the ****Roadies do, alternating left and right loops. Start just as before and every other loop lay on the opposite side of the growing coil. This will take some practice, as you have to shift your non-dominant hand's grip for the loops that are laid on the "back" side of the coil. Using this technique will allow you to neatly coil even the most stubbornly twist-resistant cords. Plus, there's no twist built up in the cord so that when you uncoil it, it won't tangle as easily.
  • In step 5 above (rotating the cord using your fingertips while coiling) if during the coiling process the rotation of the cord is done in alternating directions (for example, rotating the cord with fingertips first counter-clockwise, then clockwise, then counter-clockwise, then clockwise, etc.) while coiling it, it allows a clean, organized, flat-lying coil to form and solves a host of problems, including preventing the figure eights above (**), doesn't matter how long the cord is or whether or not the end can twist (***), will coil the cord on one side of the coil which, when deploying the cord, allows it to quickly peel away from one side of the coil as opposed to (****)"Roadie" coils which easily knot up and twist when deployed, and yes, it also accommodates old, or stiff, seemingly twist-resistant cords such as coaxial cable.
  • Extension cords, because they do not have a natural lay to them and because they are more rigid, are usually harder to coil nicely. The older the cord is, the more difficult it will usually be to coil it.
  • Practice how much twist it will take to make the line lie down nicely: twisting too much will make the coils into **figure-eights (sometimes desirable) and not twisting enough will leave part of a kink in the line.

Article Info

Categories: Tools