What's that plastic "pod" on my tool's power cord?
I received a router as a gift, and it has a 3"-long black plastic "pod" near the end of the power cord. What is it? If it's not important, can I remove it without damaging the router?
—Allan Hawley, Wappapello, Mo.
We checked with several power-tool manufacturers, Allan, and it turns out that pod is simply an anti-theft device that deactivates when scanned at a store's checkout register. It serves no other purpose, and you can safely remove it if you wish. But be warned: It won't come off easily even after removing the screws because it has internal snap connectors. One manufacturer suggested busting it with a hammer; just be sure to avoid damaging the cord.
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