As someone who used to love reading about the exploits of great men and women throughout human history, I remember feeling a bit disappointed after discovering how Alexander the Great “solved” the legendary Gordian Knot. In fact, it made me think that it was — for the lack of a better word — a doofus move. Lately, however, I think that I’m finally starting to understand the man. See, as someone who covers gadgets, my affinity for all sorts of electronic devices comes with one drawback: having to deal with cords. My gaming laptop? It comes with an adapter cord. My bazillion external hard drives? A bazillion cords. My gaming consoles, speakers and media players? Cords, cords and more cords. Even my smartphone and tablets come with — you guessed it — cords for recharging their juice.
As somewhat of an obsessive compulsive dude with a little bit of neat freak in me, walking into my living room and seeing all the cords snaking around my television from nearby electronic devices tends to push all the wrong buttons on my emotional psyche. So one day, I decided to avail myself of a bunch of cord organizers. One of the items I managed to lay my grubby paws on is the Cord Hog, a ball-shaped spool that has six grooves for winding wayward wires. At first glance, it would be easy to look at the Cord Hog — which costs $5.99 for a set of three — as a gimmick. Aside from its weird shape, the little plastic sphere looks about just as low-tech as can be. Heck, the only thing missing was a shady and highly energetic salesman waxing poetic about how it could remove tough stains and slim down your waistline while also serving up a moist, tender piece of chicken. Then I started spooling the cables from my laptop and nearby hard drives into the Cord Hog. Surprisingly, this thing actually works. After a bit of winding here and some spooling there, I was eventually able to shorten and organize the cables from four devices: my ASUS G74SX laptop, two external hard drives and my Behringer iNuke Boom Junior. Nice. A vertical slit in the back makes it easy to spool in cords and also makes it possible to use more than one groove for a single cable if the cord is a bit on the thick or long side. The fact that it could accommodate the chunky cables of my gaming laptop was also a plus.
Now, although the Cord Hog does a good job of organizing cords it also has drawbacks and limitations. For starters, because it’s designed to organize cords for several gadgets, its compact size means that you’ll want to use it for stuff that’s in close proximity to each other. You’ll also want to use it for devices that you don’t plan on moving around a lot because it can be a bit of a pain to spool and unspool your cords frequently. Although it can accommodate some thick wires, it’s small size doesn’t make it practical for super chunky ones because they can be a bit tough to wind into the proper circumference to fit and also tend to hang out and may even lift up the Cord Hog from the floor.
Still, the Cord Hog gets the job done, especially for a little doohickey that looks so deceptively simple. Used the right way, it can easily turn a messy nest of cords into a neat and less garish scene. It also comes in different colors for folks who are even more persnickety than I am and want to color code their stuff, especially for folks who plan to use more than one of these. Best of all, it’ll help rid yourself of those Alexander the Great-like feelings of wanting to hack your cords in two.