|Top = Single-use wire tie, Bottom = Removable wire tie (note the release lever on lower tie)|
|CABLE BUNDLED WITH SINGLE USE WIRE/CABLE TIE|
Wire and cable ties are marvelous little inventions. They are made from long-lasting plastic or nylon and they are available in a variety of lengths. Plastic wire ties came into wide spread use in the 1970's as a replacement for "lacing" which was a labor-intensive technique for using super-durable, waxed-string to bundle wires together. During my years of designing and installing cruise ship sound systems I used 10's of thousands of cable ties.
I'm an "outside the box" DAW kinda guy so that means there are hundreds of wires that need to be bundled together in my recording studio.
Typical plastic cable ties can not be reused. Single-use wire/cable ties can only be safely removed using precision wire cutters. If you value the cable in a bundle secured with a plastic wire/cable tie you need to be very careful you don't cut into it when trying to remove a plastic tie. I've seen many sets of scissors ruined by someone trying to cut a plastic wire tie off a bundle of wire. I've also seen many cables ruined by someone trying to use a knife to get a wire tie off but slashing the cable accidentally instead.
I buy single-use 11" wire and cable ties by the 1000, in large bags so I get the lowest cost per piece but you can also buy smaller bags of 100-pieces to keep the purchase price low. All of that works well for installing cables but what about winding them up for storage?
MEET REUSABLE WIRE AND CABLE TIES
|5" REUSABLE WIRE/CABLE TIE|
Reusable wire and cable ties have an extended latching gripper, a little lever or release switch which allows a person to release the wire/cable tie and open it back up. On regular wire/cable ties this little gripper part has no handle which makes them single-use.
Beyond the obvious benefit of not filling landfills up with more plastic waste, reusable ties don't require a tool to open them back up. You can undo one with your bare hands, no tools, knives or scissors needed.
I stock reusable wire/cable ties in a handy 5-inch length which works great in my recording studio for coiling up a 20-foot guitar or microphone cables.
I wind up microphone cables, guitar cords, video cables and ethernet cords and put a single reusable cable/wire tie on each to keep them organized and prevent them from becoming a tangled mess.
Besides the savings of not replacing a single-use wire/cable tie with a new one, reusable ties don't require wire cutters to remove them, you can use your bare hands, just press that little handle and open the tie up for reworking the enclosed wires.
BEST TOOL FOR REMOVING WIRE TIES
|PRECISION FLUSH-CUTTING WIRE CUTTERS|
A small precision set of flush cutting wire cutters is the best tool for removing and trimming single use wire/cable ties. A high quality, precision wire cutter can set you back $20 or more but if you take care of it this tool can last a lifetime. Here is a small Xcelite™ brand wire cutter I bought over 44 years ago (amazing how time flies). I still rely on these cutters when doing precision wire work like building LDC microphones.
|44+ YEAR OLD SET OF XCELITE™ FLUSH CUT WIRE CUTTERS|
If you invest in precision cutters you should use them only for cutting thin wires and cable ties to avoid damaging the precision blade. Never cut hard steel like guitar strings, paperclips or coat hanger wire, these will ruin the cutting edge of your pricey precision cutters.
|MODERN XCELITE™ FLUSH CUT WIRE CUTTERS|
Flush-cutting means one side of the wire cutters is perfectly smooth and allows you to trim a wire tie flush without leaving a sharp nub or protrusion to accidentally cut yourself on later.
|FLUSH CUT MEANS NO SHARP EDGE LEFT BEHIND WHEN TRIMMING TIES|
WIRE TIES, REMOVEABLE WIRE TIES AND PRECISION WIRE CUTTERS
Some things I take for granted, I've used so many wire ties I don't even think about them or how amazing they are. Same for the little wire cutters, I keep them hidden in a drawer so some chucklehead does not wreck them trying to cut the wrong thing.
|TOP SINGLE USE WIRE TIE, BOTTOM REUSABLE WIRE TIE, NOTE RELEASE LEVER|
Reusable wire ties have become an everyday item around my studio. I leave them in odd places so they're handy for winding up cables.
I hope reusable wire/cable ties help keep your cables organized.
Thanks for reading High on Technology. Good Music To You.
©April 2022 by Mark King. It's not ok to copy or quote without written permission.
|WHITE 11" SINGLE-USE WIRE/CABLE TIE|