Here's an example of the kind of breaker I'm thinking of:

enter image description here

They come with the lead neatly curled up. Is this curl meant to be maintained for some reason once the breaker in installed? Or is it just a convenient way to store the wire for packaging purposes?

Assuming you don't need the curl, then I guess it would be correct (or at least, acceptable) to straighten it out and route it neatly in the panel box the same as you would any other wire?

Note - as far as this question goes, I'm not asking about the actual electrical details of where the wire gets attached, just about this curling issue.

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    Generally the wire is left curled because it saves installation time and allows "the next guy" to instantly recognize what that wire is all about. Anyway, don't get sucked into the poor practice of nipping off every wire so short it can only reach the breaker position it's in right now. Best practice is to have branch wires (hot AND neutral) be long enough to reach any breaker space in the panel, and pigtails be long enough so the breaker can be placed anywhere in the panel. That way the panel doesn't devolve into a clutter of wire-nuts WHEN you need to move stuff around. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 1 at 20:02

There is no reason electrically to leave it curled up. You'll be perfectly fine straightening it out. I'm assuming this is an add on to an existing panel. If a new panel, I'd seriously consider a PON (plug on neutral) style panel. This eliminates the need for the pig tail. Last year I wired my son's new house with a SquareD PON QO panel and loved how it turned out. Very clean.

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