Everything You Need To Know About Cable Ties 

What is a Cable Tie?

A cable tie is also often known as a ty-wrap or zip tie and used to fasten or bind several electronic cables or wires together or to route cables and wires together in a manageable format. 

Some other names they go by are:

•    Zip tie/zipper tie
•    Wire tie
•    Hose tie
•    Steggel tie
•    Mouse belt
•    Rat belt
•    Wire wrap
•    Zap strap
•    Tie wraps

Most of the cable ties used are made from nylon, making them very flexible. The tie has a "tape" section with teeth that engage with a pawl in the head to form a ratchet. When the free end of the tie is pulled the cable tie tightens but will not undo. 

Some ties do have a tab that can release the ratchet so that the tie can be loosened, removed, or even re-used. There is also a stainless steel version, either naked or coated with a rugged plastic, ideal for external use and hazardous environments.


The History

Cable ties were patented in 1958 by Thomas & Betts, a US-based electrical manufacturing company started in 1898 by two young engineers, and eventually bought by Swedish-Swiss technology company ABB Group in 2012. Introduced under the brand name 'Ty-Rap', they were for use in the aviation industry, and the basic design hasn't changed much since. 

Cable ties were made initially in stainless steel but changed to plastic and nylon in the late 1960s, initially with a steel pawl, with the first all-nylon cable tie produced in 1968. This self-locking, one-piece cable tie was very similar to the cable ties in current use. There are now many styles of cable tie, including beaded, releasable, pull tight, parallel entry, and tear-off types. 

What types of cable tie are most common?

Here are some of the main types:

Nylon serrated Cable Ties 

For the bundling and securing of cables, lines and hoses. The design of the head and ratchet guarantees a high tensile strength while allowing a low insertion force; these ties all feature serrations allowing a solid hold onto the cable, hose or pipe bundles. Usually, just single-use, handling from 12 to 350mm, with loop strength of up to 140kg.  Available in many colours, widths and lengths combinations.

Velcro brand Hook and Loop

Velcro brand Hook and Loop cable tie fasteners offer better protection of cable bundles from overtightening and are a BICSI requirement for use on telephone cables, optical fibre and network cables. Hook and Loop ties are also suitable for use for temporary installations are both releasable and reusable.

Hook and Loop is the technology used in all Velcro products including Velcro Cable Ties, Velcro Tape and Velcro Dots & Circles.

Releasable Cable Ties

Releasable cable ties are ideal for many industries. Ideal for temporary installation or to remove cables were required, giving you an option for a temporary fix. These are available in different colour, lengths and material. Ideal if you need to repeatedly open and close the tie. These are both used for the industrial and commercial applications, recommended for bundling products such as extension cables, garden hoses, and also harnesses. 

Stainless Steel Cable Ties

Stainless steel cable ties have regained popularity in recent years due to their substantial fire resistance over nylon. They are ideal to use in conditions where additional strength, security and fire resistance is required. These stainless steel cable ties have a non-releasable locking mechanism with its unique Metal Ball Bearing. 

Cable Tie Mounts

These designs of cable tie mounts offer a secure fixing with a single drill hole (from 5.5 to 8mm) where speed, simplicity and a reliable firm fixing base are required. Ideally suitable for use in control cabinets, telecoms equipment or domestic appliances where the use of screws, nuts or bolts are not advisable.

Self Adhesive Cable Tie Bases

Available to use as either self-adhesive or screw mounting.

SAF Self-Adhesive Clip With Flexible Flat Design

These clips are for use in applications were self-adhesive solutions is the only answer or where it isn't easy to access.

Saddle Mounts

Screw mounting saddles to take cable ties

Clips and Clamps

An assortment of clips and clamps made of plastic, aluminium or steel also with protection profile. Ideal for use in applications which are difficult to access, or we have ranges for areas where self-adhesive is the only possible fixing method. Initially developed for the automotive industry for various applications they are easy to assemble.

As a leading UK supplier, Cable Management Warehouse set high-quality standards in the manufacturing of their indoor and outdoor cable ties.

•    Velcro brand hook and loop cable ties 
•    serrated nylon cable ties
•    releasable cable ties 
•    Cable ties made of stainless steel 
•    cable tie fixings and mountings

Cable Management Warehouse offers you outstanding quality cable ties at very competitive prices that are all manufactured from superior quality stable materials, available to you in a wide range of colours and sizes.

No1 Tip If Your Cable Tie Is Too Short

Join two of them together by pushing the tape end of one into the head of the other until it engages with the teeth. 
Trim the excess tail, and you have a longer cable tie.

How To Re-Use Single-Use Cable Ties If You Are In A Jam

Cable ties can be re-used, even the ones not specifically designed to be re-useable.

If you need to undo a traditional cable tie, use or a pin in the locking ratchet mechanism, push down and slip the tail out.

Remember though; they are designed for single-use, so even though it's technically possible to undo them and re-use, the teeth will wear down and will not have the same tensile strength or grip!
CMW distributes a wide variety of cable tie solutions. If you are unsure which type you should get and what you are looking for, you can get the help you need by contacting us. Speak to the team to get help with picking the right products for your requirements.