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You always hear about repairs made with Baling wire, but sheesh, try and find the stuff these days. The reason it was used for repairs, besides the fact that soft ductile wire is ideal for binding stuff to other stuff, is that it was a common waste item down on the farm. Since hay bales are no longer tied with wire, what are you going to do? There are still companies that distribute baling wire, but what if you just want to pick up a small amount? It seems that rebar tie wire is an acceptable substitute, and you can get a 3 lb. coil of generic “tie wire” pretty cheaply. I have several small coils of wire I’ve picked up at yard and estate sales and it comes in handy!

So what do you guys think, Hot or Not? — especially in light of its seeming unavailability and alternative materials such as duct tape?

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25 Responses to Hot or Not: Baling Wire?

  1. Blind says:

    I’ve got safety wire floating around my garage. Need it for leashing bolts and screws and such on my motorcycle. Usefull when I need to tie something off too. Good stuff. Comes in small amounts and is cheap. So I’m going to assume it’s similar to bailing wire and say it’s good to have.

  2. Galadriel says:

    We just use baling twine instead, for myriad holding-things-to-other-things when duct tape won’t work (and even usually call it “haywire”).

  3. Margaritamixer says:

    I agree with blind. Safety wire is a great option. I buy safety wire anytime I see it at estate sales.

  4. Matt says:

    Give me safety wire and twisters along with almalgamating tape and I can fix just about anything on the side of the road.

  5. johnnyp says:

    Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen that stuff in a while. I remember my newspapers were bundled using that stuff. The distributor had a cool machine that would count an order
    then bundle it. I believe it has been replaced with a .50 inch plastic strap with metal crimps.
    I know, some of you are saying what is a newspaper.

  6. JKB says:

    I picked up a spool of mechanic’s wire from Tractor Supply to keep around for the odd job.

  7. bajajoaquin says:

    Never having lived on a farm, or in a rural area, there was never any bailing wire around. However, being city folk, there were a lot of wire coat hangers. Not as easy to work with, but they get the job done (and get your keys out of the car).

    So, wire lying around from random sources: Hot.

  8. Dazrin says:

    A friend of mine uses the leftover wire left behind by garage door installers in new houses. It has been very handy for us.

  9. Wheels17 says:

    I’ve found the lashing wire used to hold phone wires and cable TV to the suspension cables laying on the ground. It’s lighter than bailing wire, maybe 16 gauge, but it’s stainless steel and can be easily “cut” by repeated flexing with your hands if you don’t have any tools. Worth picking up.

  10. Jim K. says:

    At least I’m not the only one who picks up rolls of wire at estate sales. My wife always laughs, then again I didn’t hear her laughing when her bumper (mostly) fell off her car and I was able to tie it up in a jiffy and get her rolling again.

  11. Larry says:

    I have a roll of aircraft safety wire that does well as a stand-in for baling wire. Much stronger, doesn’t rust, thinner, and available in small rolls from Aircraft Spruce.

  12. ChrisW says:

    I like the hanger wire used for drop ceilings. It comes in long rolls and 6 to 8 foot lengths which are folded in half.

  13. Dr Bob says:

    One farm store chain I frequent sells “merchant wire”. They have two gauges in rolls of 20 ft. It’s a solid steel wire, very bendable, yet stiff.

    It’s very handy.

  14. Brau says:

    Hot. I recently bought another roll, and after seeing the comments here I might go back and buy another. There are some things that ties and duct tape just won’t do, and bailing wire sure fits the bill.

  15. Will Atwood says:

    Guess out here in Dogpatch, pardon me, New Mexico we are living in a time warp ’cause I have about 200 bales of hay all baled using baling wire in my barn. Baling wire is larger in diameter than tie wire but tie wire is a good substitute for baling wire if haywire isn’t available. My dad used to say that “Everything in Colorado has at one time or another been held together with baling wire, including the state constitution. Thank you all for the bellylaugh.Have a good day.

  16. tim says:

    Invaluable stuff for the blacksmith in me. I use it all the time to hold pieces in place when forge welding. The low carbon content lets it blend right into the finished weld.

  17. Old Donn says:

    Guess I don’t get out much. I’ve always had a roll of this stuff in the garage, figured everybody else did too.

  18. Fritz Gorbach says:

    Hot – tons of uses for wire. I keep s.s. safety wire, and mechanics wire in the shop and the truck. Typically use it for lashing various things together, oh, and once in a while as safety wire.
    Kudos also to the ceiling hangar wire. Quite often we are able to get stocks of that from other contractors on jobsite, and it is very handy. Good for, well, temporarily tying things out of the way on the job things, making hooks to hang parts from the shop ceiling for washing/painting, making a short fish to push or pull wires, probably a hundred other things, I cant think of. Works just like a coat hanger, only straight and not so brittle.

  19. David Bryan says:

    And then there’s the Clamptite clamp-making tool for tie wire, which you can check out at clamptool.com.

  20. Paul says:

    This stuff is handy, if you just want a small roll, check in the suspended ceiling section of your home depot or where ever, it goes by ceiling hanger wire. My local tractor supply company has this stuff cheap also.

  21. ambush says:

    I use 18-gauge mild steel tie wire, its also branded as mechanics wire. It works great for hanging brake calipers out of the way, securing torque converters to transmissions etc.

  22. cheerIO says:


    Safety wire + pliers = Better hose clamp than anything manufactured.

    Don’t forget to wear your safety goggles working with any wire.

  23. james b says:

    I like rebar tie wire, but it is kinda soft. The drop ceiling hanger rods are cheaper than destroying a welding rod, so I use those when I need something with a bit more stiffness. I’ll have to get some safety wire, sounds like good stuff.

  24. melvin says:

    I use stainless mig wire for this purpose. It’s quite a bit stiffer than baling wire so pliers are pretty well mandatory however it’s stronger too and will hold a hook shape better. Plus being stainless it won’t rust in you truck or when that temporary muffler hanger repair lasts eight years. Availavle in different sizes too.

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