Let’s face it, human technology has come a long way. Smartphones, laptops, medical equipment, heavy duty engines, space travel, the list goes on and on. As humans, it’s only natural that as we admire some of society’s progress we might overlook or forget about the small but mighty inventions and innovations. You know, the game changers that go under the radar. Things like zip ties.
You might be thinking, are zip ties really that much of a game changer? The short answer is yes. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, and zip ties are sold by the billions every year. What’s more, they are used in countless industries with applications limited only by how far your imagination can go. They’ve even been to Mars. So, maybe it’s time to give zip ties a little more love and appreciation. To that end, let’s take a look at everything from some frequently asked zip tie questions to nifty zip tie facts. For the most part, this blog will put a little extra emphasis on long zip ties.
When Did Zip Ties Become Popular?
Zip ties were first invented in 1958 by Marcus C. Logan. He invented them after touring a Boeing aircraft factory and noticing that workers were injuring their fingers on waxed nylon cords used to hold cables together. Shortly after, they were mass manufactured by Thomas & Betts under the brand name Ty-Rap. From that point onwards, zip ties (both branded and unbranded) became incredibly popular, and for good reason. They are versatile and affordable and pose a quick solution to a variety of issues. It’s no wonder they are still popular today.
What Is the Difference Between Cable Ties and Zip Ties?
There isn’t one! If you were wondering the same thing, there’s no reason to feel silly. Lots of people ask “Are cable ties the same as zip ties?” Cable ties and zip ties are the same thing. In fact, they are also known by a few other names, such as:
- cable zip ties
- zipper ties
- wire ties
- wire wraps
- hose ties
- mouse belts
- rat belts
Regardless of length, size, or material, these names can all be used interchangeably. Rest assured, whatever you call them, these handy gadgets will still prove helpful in a variety of settings.
Are There Different Sizes of Zip Ties?
Yes, there are many different sizes of zip ties. In addition to material, cable tie classification and size is typically based on a few different factors. They are length, width, and strength. Let’s break each of these down a bit more.
How Long Do Zip Ties Come? How Long Is a Standard Cable Tie?
While zip tie length can range from a few inches to several feet, you might be thinking, “how long can zip ties actually be?” If you are new to the zip tie world, the answer may surprise you. In the following list we rank common lengths from short to extra long zip ties:
- 4″ zip ties
- 4.3″ zip ties
- 5″ zip ties
- 6″ zip ties
- 6.3″ zip ties
- 8″ zip ties
- 10.2″ zip ties
- 11″ zip ties
- 12″ zip ties
- 14″ zip ties
- 15″ zip ties
- 18″ zip ties
- 20.5″ zip ties
- 21″ zip ties
- 24″ zip ties
- 26.7″ zip ties
- 32″ zip ties
- 36″ zip ties
- 40″ zip ties
- 48″ zip ties
- 60″ zip ties
As you can see, some of the longest zip ties can be several feet long. So whether you need 4 inch or 4 foot long zip ties, you can find all the sizes listed above at reputable retailers, like at ziptie.com, for example.
Are All Zip Ties the Same Width?
No, zip ties can vary in width. While length is often measured using inches, to be more precise, width is often referred to in millimeters. From small to extra large zip ties, some standard zip tie widths are:
- 2.5 mm
- 3.6 mm
- 4.5 mm
- 4.6 mm
- 4.8 mm
- 7.9 mm
- 8.5 mm
- 9 mm
In addition to material, zip tie width is a key determining factor in the strength of a zip tie. As you might expect, the thicker the width, the stronger the tie.
How Much Weight Can a Large Zip Tie Hold?
The strength of a zip tie — i.e. the amount of weight it can hold — varies. It is also important to note this is also referred to as tensile strength. While length does not have much of an impact on tensile strength, width and material do. In general, zip ties can hold anywhere from 18-350 pounds. Naturally, thinner zip ties fall towards the lower end of the strength spectrum. If you are wondering “how much weight can a large zip tie hold,” or “how much weight can heavy duty zip ties hold,” the answer is generally upwards of a couple hundred pounds. In fact, the typical tensile strength categories include:
- 18 lbs.
- 40 lbs.
- 45 lbs.
- 50 lbs.
- 75 lbs.
- 120 lbs.
- 175 lbs.
- 200 lbs.
- 350 lbs.
Can Zip Ties Be Used for Cable Management?
Yes, zip ties can be used for cable management. In fact, zip ties often provide an equally effective alternative to hook and loop (a.k.a. velcro) straps or other cable management solutions. After all, zip ties are fast, sturdy, easy to use, and fairly inexpensive — especially when buying in bulk. While zip ties were initially intended to be used on airplane equipment, their practicality soon made them a favorite among many in the cable management crowd, including IT and data experts.
If you do decide to use zip ties for your cable management, it’s important not to over-tighten them. Not only can this cause physical damage to the wires, but it can also make it difficult to cut the zip ties when you need to. It’s also a good idea to use zip ties for longer term cable management needs just because the only way to remove a zip tie is to cut it. While they are not expensive to replace, this additional detail is just another way to become even more proficient in zip tie use! For these reasons, some people elect to use hook and loop ties since they are reusable. Whatever you want to go with, our experts can help you find exactly what you need!
Will Zip Ties Hold Up Outside?
The short answer is yes, but it depends on the material used. Some zip ties are better equipped to withstand outside elements like sun exposure or cold weather. For example, at ziptie.com, some of our standard entry level cable ties are designed to withstand temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need zip ties that are extra tough when exposed to sunlight, other products like our stainless steel ties, for example, are even more durable. They can withstand temperatures ranging from -112 degrees to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, they are UV resistant, meaning the sunlight won’t damage them much if at all.
What Are Military Grade Zip Ties?
Military grade zip ties mean that a zip tie has been engineered to meet the same specifications or requirements as that of the military. Because military personnel are subject to conditions like extreme humidity, heat, cold, dryness, fire, smoke, and more, it’s important for their zip ties to be durable and effective in any condition. Like many of our zip tie offerings, military grade zip ties have stringent durability requirements such as:
- tensile strength
- temperature rating
- fire, water, and dust resistance
They come in varying sizes, colors and strengths.
Can You Join 2 Zip Ties Together?
Yes you can! All you have to do is put the end of one zip tie into the head of another. Then, just repeat the process as much as you need to to create a long zip tie that suits your needs. Of course, having one 36 inch zip tie might be sturdier, quicker, and more aesthetically pleasing than having three 12 inch zip ties put together. So while it is possible to join multiple zip ties together, it might be easier and more effective to just purchase extra long zip ties!
Ziptie.Com: Your Cable Tie Company
When you need zip ties, there’s no shortage of places to look. So, what sets one company apart from another? At ziptie.com we believe that our defining qualities include our:
- extensive catalog of products
- variety and quality of materials used
- commitment to excellent customer service
- ability to deliver whatever quantity you require
- capabilities to create custom products to meet your needs
Being a vendor is one thing, but being an industry leader, consultant, and extension of your team is another. At ziptie.com we are proudly committed to providing a best in class experience for our customers from start to finish. After all, when you’re relying on cable ties for your work, nothing else will cut it.
We are so confident in our products and the rigorous in-house testing they go through that we even offer a quality guarantee. If there are any issues, we will replace or refund your order. Plus, with our inventory, you can rest assured that we can get you whatever zip ties you want in a reliable and timely manner. We can deliver to most of the U.S. in one to three business days and guarantee delivery within 5 working days of your purchase no matter where you are in the country.
Explore our cable tie offerings or give us a call today: +1-855-947-8433 (between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST).