We’ve talked about cable tie tensioning and installation tools before, which often provide better results than pliers and diagonal cutters, and are especially useful for repetitive tasks.
But what about cutting nylon cable ties for removal? I was surprised to learn that there are tools specially made for this.
It makes perfect sense, too. I have cut and removed cable ties from wire bundles before, and I can’t be the only one nervous about the potential for nicked or damaged insulation or wiring.
I usually not opt to break cable ties rather than cut them, but that too can be a problem when dealing with more delicate wires and cables.
ACT – Advanced Cable Ties, Inc – offers 2 types of cable tie removal tools. Both have similar features – beak-like jaws that are designed slip behind tightened cable ties, and wire-cutter-like blades to slice through them.
One style is just a cable tie removal tool, and the other features a built-in wire stripper.
Both tools are made in the USA.
If you want to spend a little less, Automation Direct has a similarly-styled tool by SapiSelco, available with green or orange handles.
Rennsteig went in a different direction, with a tool designed to break off cable tie heads.
Here’s how it works:
It’s worth noting that the Rennsteig look like cable cutters, but they do not look to break and not shear off cable tie heads.
The Rennsteig is difficult to find in the USA, but it was worth including due to its different approach. It’s quite a bit pricier than the cutting tools shown above.
These are specialty tools, and I am sure some readers will chime in that not everyone will need a uni-tasker for cutting or removing cable ties.
But what if you’re working on something where you absolutely need to minimize the risk of damage to the cables or whatever else is being secured by the zip ties?
There’s also time-savings to consider. Let’s say you have 50 or 100 cable ties to cut through. Are you going to use flush-cutters? A knife? Pliers for breaking smaller cable ties? Or would you rather plow through the tasks with a removal tool like these, where there’s less chance of a small slip-up that could ruin your day or worse?
Obviously not everyone will need a tool like this, but I can definitely see the benefit for repetitive and critical applications.
The ACT tools are made in the USA, and they strongly resemble wire strippers made by Stride/Imperial-Tool.