How to mount a power strip

Power strips are a necessity when you don’t have enough outlets, but they can be unwieldy. One way to get them to stay where you want is to mount them to your wall, desk, workbench, or entertainment center to keep them out of the way. Here’s how to mount a power strip.

I used this trick to mount a power strip to my train table, my desk for my work computer, and to a monitor stand I made for one of my retro computers. It works well. This allows me to keep it where I want it, whether that means completely in reach in the case of a workbench, or out of sight but very easy to reach, in the case of my retro computer monitor stand.

What you’ll need to mount a power strip

You can mount a power strip with surprisingly few tools and materials. Here’s what you need:

  • Power strip (of course)
  • Masking tape
  • 2-4 wood screws with heads small enough to fit the mounting holes
  • Marker (optional)
  • Drill
  • small drill bit, such as 3/32 inch, for pilot holes
  • Phillips head drill bit

Be sure to check the fit of the screws you want to use. In most cheap power strips, a drywall or construction screw is too big. I find #4 or #6 wood screws fit.

For those of you who use the metric system, an M2.5 is the closest equivalent to a #4 screw, and an M3 is the equivalent of a #6 screw. Presumably the heads on those screws is similar in size to the US counterparts.  A 2mm drill bit would be a good size for a pilot hole for either type.

Also, this is the time to make sure you have the right device for your application. Do you need a power strip, or do you need a surge protector? They aren’t the same.

Make a template from tape

Power strips have mounting holes in the back of them. The easiest way to transfer the spacing from the power strip to the place you want to mount it is to cover the back with masking tape.If you’re going to just use two of the four, either make sure you get the correct two, or cover the whole unit and get all four points. The reason is because you may have to rotate the tape, so if your power strip is asymmetrical, you won’t get what you intended.

With the tape on the back of your power strip, either poke marking holes in it, or mark the holes with a marker.

How to mount a power stripYou might also want to write indicators on your template stating which side is up. This will help you get the position you want if you’re trying to mount the strip flush against one or more edges of your desk or entertainment system.

Apply the template where you want to mount it

Next, apply the template to the mounting surface. Be sure to line it up and get it straight and level, if you care about that. It’s possible no one will see it, so you may not care. But if you do, triple check your work before you start drilling holes.

Then drill pilot holes for your screws. Make sure the screws fit in the mounting holes of course, and drill your holes slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws to get a good fit. You don’t necessarily need all four screws.

How to mount a power strip
If you look closely, you can see I didn’t quite get my template straight before I snapped this photo. Double check before you drill your pilot holes.

If you’re mounting the power strip to the wall, you’ll need to drill oversized holes and use wall anchors, unless you mount one side on a stud. Here’s how to find a stud. If you can use a stud, then you only need anchors on the other side. Wall anchors are sufficient to support the weight of a power strip, but you don’t want to just use screws driven straight into drywall. It’ll hold for a while, but it’s anyone’s guess how long.

Drive in your screws, ensuring you leave a gap between the screw heads and the surface for the power strip to snap onto. You may need to test fit.

How to mount a power strip

With your screws in place, snap on the power strip. With most designs, you snap it onto the screws and then slide the power strip to lock it into place.

how to mount a power strip
This setup could still use some cable management, but at least the power strip is out of sight while its power switch is very much within reach.

And that’s it. It can be tricky to mount a power strip where you want it, but with these tricks, it’s something you can do in just a few minutes.

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