Heavy duty zip ties (aka “cable ties”) usually hold between 120 and 175 pounds. Some of the strongest zip ties can handle up to 350 pounds. This is the tensile strength of zip ties, or the maximum load it can support when stretched before breaking.
When you’re working on projects that call for heavy duty zip ties, you want to make sure you choose the correct tensile strength. If you go too light, you risk snapping your zip ties. If you go too heavy, you’ll spend more money on extra strength you don’t need. So as you shop around for the best option, you’ll want to consider a few things we’ll discuss in this blog.
What Are Large Zip Ties Called?
Large zip ties are commonly referred to as “cable ties.” For heavy duty purposes, most manufacturers will offer two categories of tensile strength:
- Heavy Duty Cable Ties – These work well for projects that require tensile strength between 120 and 175 pounds.
- Extra Heavy Duty Cable Ties – If you need something more Hulk-like, look for extra or ultra heavy duty cable ties. These usually support anything above 175 pounds up to 350 pounds.
Are Metal Zip Ties Stronger Than Plastic?
Metal zip ties are stronger than plastic ones in a few different ways. For example, compare the specs on these nylon and metal cable ties offered by ZipTie.com:
Black Nylon Cable Tie
- Length: 8 inches
- Width: 5/16 inches
- UV Resistant: Yes
- Tensile Strength: 120 pounds
- Temperature Range: -40°F to 185°F
Stainless Steel Cable Tie
- Length: 8 inches
- Width: 3/16 inches
- UV Resistant: Yes
- Tensile Strength: 200 pounds
- Temperature Range: -112°F to 1,000°F
While each cable tie is 8 inches long, the stainless steel cable tie can hold 80 more pounds than the nylon one. The temperature range is an important factor to consider as well. Nylon can become brittle when exposed to extreme lows and melt at high temperatures, meaning metal may be the better choice in these areas.
What Are the Strongest Zip Ties?
Extra heavy duty cable ties made of stainless steel are the strongest zip ties you’ll find on the market. These tap out at around 350 pounds of tensile strength. If you’re looking for zip ties that are this tough, check out these two stainless steel options:
- 14-inch Stainless Steel Cable Tie, 350-lb Tensile Strength, 100-Pack
- 26.7-inch Stainless Steel Cable Tie, 350-lb Tensile Strength, 100-Pack
If you’d prefer nylon zip ties instead, you’ll likely only find tensile strength up to 175 pounds. Some examples include:
- 48-inch Natural Multi-Purpose Cable Tie, 175-lb Tensile Strength, 50-Pack
- 32-inch UV Resistant Black Multi-Purpose Cable Ties, 175-lb Tensile Strength, 25-Pack
- 18-inch UV Resistant Black Multi-Purpose Cable Tie, 175-lb Tensile Strength, 50-Pack
Why Do My Zip Ties Keep Breaking?
Extreme weather conditions, poor manufacturing, and improper use are all reasons why your zip ties might be breaking. If your search for heavy duty zip ties is a result of frustration from zip ties that break too easily, consider the following:
- Check the Specs – First, if you have packaging for the breaking zip ties, grab it to check the specifications. Quality zip ties will, at minimum, list tensile strength, UV resistance, temperature range, and bundle diameter.
- Assess Weight – Your zip ties may not be strong enough, so double-check their tensile strength. If it’s challenging to weigh whatever you’re zip tying, test some zip ties in the next category up of tensile strength to see if that does the trick.
- Account for Moisture – Nylon is a hygroscopic material, meaning it loses and absorbs moisture from its surroundings. This moisture is a crucial component of the flexibility of a nylon zip tie. This is why nylon zip ties typically come in plastic bags—to retain moisture. Improperly stored zip ties can lose their moisture, become brittle, and break easily when first used. Low humidity can also shorten the lifespan of a nylon zip tie.
- Consider Temperature – The specs on your zip ties should state the lowest and highest temperature your zip ties can withstand. If they’re breaking, it might be because they aren’t heat- or cold-resistant enough.
Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you’re buying quality zip ties, like those on ZipTie.com. Our main focus is on zip ties, so we can ensure we provide the highest quality products. You can search by:
- Tensile strength
- Bundle diameter
- Pack size
We also carry specialty ties, like beaded double loops, fuel hose ties, reusable/releasable ties, and much more. Whatever the job, we have the zip ties you need—start browsing today! And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, give us a call (+1-855-947-8433 between 8:30 AM-5:30 PM EST) to discuss your zip tie needs and order by phone.