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Cable ties belong in the esteemed category of tools that includes gaffer’s tape, super glue, and locking pliers — they’re almost infinitely useful, and if you’ve got some, you’re halfway to fixing nearly anything. However, if you’ve ever spent time bundling up a bunch of cables just right, only to have to snip apart all your hard work when you notice what you did wrong, you owe yourself a big bag of releasable cable ties.

I hate wasting stuff, and it’s always bugged me that you have to destroy a perfectly good cable to undo it. The first time I saw these reusable ties, I thought, “Duh, why haven’t I seen these before?” They’re identical to standard zip ties, except for a plastic tab sticking out from the ratcheting mechanism that locks the tie in place. Press this tab while pulling on the locking part to release the tie and gain access to whatever it’s holding.

Prices vary depending on the manufacturer, retailer, and quality of the material used, but generally the releasable ties cost a little more than standard ones.

[Thomas and Betts]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] (B000L9CLJ8) [What’s This?]


6 Responses to Cable Ties Don't Have To Be Forever

  1. Mark Alger says:

    Every cable tie I’ve ever encountered could be disengaged by slipping a small, flattish object (say, a jeweler’s screwdriver blade) between the “pawl” and the “rack” parts. This disengages the locking mechanism, allowing the tie to be pulled loose with ease. I’d bet — oh… say a nickel — that something the like is the trick with these things — at some large multiple of the unit price.


  2. mike t says:

    I bought the releaseable ties from harbor freight, its too easy to accidentally release them, way too easy, also they dont have the strenght of the regular ties and break much easier. Maybe other brands are better???

  3. ChrisW says:

    I too bought the HF ties. They are weak and a lot easier to release than others, but I only use them for light duty temporary ties anyway.

  4. Joe Birmingham says:

    Years ago, I worked for a distributor that included some cable tie lines. There is a huge difference in quality from on brand to the other. I have never used the Harbor Freight ones but the bulk variety pack I bought at Home Depot have a high failure rate and they dry out and become brittle over a few years.

    The two top brands that we sold were Catamount and Panduit. The guys who actually used them in factories like the Panduit product better but the purchasing department always liked Catamount because they were slightly cheaper.

  5. kevin says:

    I use cable ties quite often. The ones we get through our Bowman guy have a metal clip that locks the tie . They are releasable with a pic or piece of stiff wire and they hold like crazy. A bit more expensive than the ones that lock with a plastic clip, but way worth it for quality work.
    My experience with the reusable ones….I have to agree with mike t….to many chances of them getting loosed through the riggors of life.

  6. Chad Conrad says:

    As an owner of a distributor that sells Catamount cable ties and Thomas & Betts Ty-Raps, the reusable ties are not worth the time it takes to fasten them. The Thomas & Betts Ty-Raps with the stainless steel insert (which is what kevin is referring too) is one of our biggest sellers. He is absolutely correct in that “they hold like crazy”. If you have sensitive applications that require true holding strength the T&B Ty-Raps are your best bet and are defininately worth the extra expense. As a distributor we have tested and looked at the imported cheaper cable ties and have found that based on the high pull out ratio’s and inferior quality, it is just not money well spent for us or our customers.

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