Ah, cable ties. If you haven’t suffered a scratch or two from cable ties, you’re either really lucky or have never come across them before.
Cable ties, also known as nylon zip ties, are fantastic for many different types of bundling, tying, wrapping, strapping, and connecting tasks. I’ve used them for everything from securing wires in place, to double-securing soft tubing around a barb fitting.
I’m sure you have your own stories about how you’ve used cable ties, and would love to hear about it in the comments section.
Cable ties are adjustable, which is partially what makes them so versatile. But because they’re adjustable, there’s almost always a loose tail piece hanging loose.
So what do most users do to make their cable tie look a little neater? They tighten the ties and then cut off the excess length. It’s that sharp stubby cut end that will eventually nick and bite someone.
Lee asked for some help coming up with a way to avoid sharp cable tie ends:
For cable ties, I deal with them almost in a daily basis, and of course need to cut the end in case it got caught into the machines. But… problem comes, when cleaner or operator need to change the wear & tear parts, they cut themselves. What is your advice on flush cutter?
A little over a year ago, I posted about nylon cable tie tools. That’s what you want.
Sure, you could use scissors, diagonal cutters, or even flush-cutting pliers, but they’re never the best tool for the job. Sometimes they come close.
I have a pair of Lindstrom angled tip cutters that the company sent to me way back for testing, and they work beautifully on smaller sized zip ties. But I only resort to them when a proper cable tie tool won’t fit.
I really don’t like using wire cutters or other pliers-styles cutters on zip ties unless I have to. I often end up with a sharp corner, or a protruding nub that I snip and hack away at it until it gets even worse and I have to resort to an electrical tape or duct tape cover.
The cable tie tool that’s shown above costs just $10. The more cable ties you anticipate needing to properly tension and trim, the more money you might want to spend on better and more durable tools.
All of the ones I’ve seen work on a similar principle. You tighten a cable tie and then twist a tool to shear off the excess length. Some tools might cut the tie, but shearing is usually easier on tools.
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Oh, and if a basic cable tie installation tool doesn’t fit your needs, there are more durable models and more featured models. If you’re installing nylon zip ties on a daily basis, you might want to step up to an installation tool that offers controllable tension, such as the Panduit GTS tool ($166 via Amazon).
Do you have any cable tie flush-cutting tips or tools to share?