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These cheap-ass tie-downs from Kwik Tek look pretty slick.  Unlike ratchet-types, they simply lock and unlock to hold the strap in place — kind of like the strap on a backpack.  We’re not suggesting that you throw away your ratcheting tie downs, but in our experience you just can’t have too big a variety of gear to tie-down crap to your truck or trailer.

And hey — for $8, why not have a set?  You never know when you’ll want to tie down something small and they’ll be just the ticket. 

Another hint: Get yourself a strong duffle bag in which to store all your tie-down gear.  It’s far better than stuffing it all under the back seat.  Also, always properly wrap and stow your tie downs after use so they’re not a tangled freakin’ mess when it comes time to get one out.  If you’ve ever spent ten minutes looking for the other end of a specific tie down in the bag (or under the seat), you know what we mean. 

Kwik Release Tie Down Set [Kwik Tek]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


6 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: Cam-Lock Tie Downs

  1. Evan N. says:

    I’ve had straps like these for years and they work very well. If you want to be sure they won’t come loose, just tie the loose end coming out of the buckle around the taut part of the strap, sort of like the knot that finishes up a trucker’s hitch. I have both these kind and the ratcheting kind, and use both.

  2. Rob says:

    I’ve used these and they don’t work very well. The wire spring inside gets stuck in the strap, and the teeth slip.
    Get the load binding kind and save yourself the money.

  3. TL says:

    I got a bunch of these (of varous lengths) with a cartop rack about ten years ago. They are the first thing I reach for whenever I need to tie down a load. While not as strong as a ratcheting tie down, my experience has been that they work very well and are much faster to get in place.

  4. Stuart says:

    They work for holding but when you need a TIGHT strap to stop stuff slipping, they cannot beat a ratcheting strap. Then again it’s what I use since I HATE ratchet straps that require 3 bloody hands to release them. (My Workplace does not buy the best ones)

    When I am “The Decider”, I buy these type (link) which do tighten instantly with a yank and release quickly by pulling one lever – you can substitute a super long length rope into them if desired:

  5. Stuey says:

    I picked up a few like this and a few ratcheting types last year when I had to move a lot of stuff. I have to say – I like the ratching types a lot better, and they’re not much costlier. I paid $4-$5 per @ walmart and stronger ones for $12 for a set of two. Still, these do come in handy – I used a few to bundle together a few loose pieces of lumber and it was much less bulky than a ratcheting mechanism would have been. There are other uses too where they come in handier, such as cinching together sleeping bags or blankets.

  6. Scraper says:

    I agree with the others. I have used this kind and the ratchet kind for many years. If you have something heavy or if you are going long distance, the cam locks are not the good. They will loosen as you travel (at least mine do). Whereas the ratchet style tend to stay tighter.

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