What Is the Function of Cable Ties?

Cables ties, also known as zip ties, have become a staple for many folks and industries alike — and for good reason. Cable ties can be used for a variety of purposes, are cost-effective, and come in different shapes and sizes to meet your specific needs. But, as they continue to be used in innovative ways, it begs the question: what was the original function of cable ties? We answer that question, discuss cable tie classifications, and cover more cable tie basics in the following article!

Who Holds the Patent for Zip Ties?

These days, zip ties have become a generic piece of equipment. Originally however, Marcus C. Logan invented zip ties in 1958, referred to at the time (and patented) as Ty-Rap cable ties. As the cable tie inventor, his net worth was understandably difficult to estimate. However, some sources suggest that over 28 billion zip ties have been produced since their invention. Speculation aside, however, Logan was clear about his intentions when creating the original cable tie. 

In 1956 (two years prior to his invention), Logan was touring a Boeing aircraft plant and noticed employees had to manually and laboriously knot together thousands of feet of electric cable. Not only was this a tedious process, but because of the waxed nylon cords, employees frequently cut their fingers and hands, causing serious safety concerns. Knowing there had to be a better solution, Logan went to work creating what would ultimately become the common cable tie.

What Are Cable Ties Used for Today?

Nowadays, there are just about as many cable tie uses as there are actual ties. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the real limit of cable tie applications is only your imagination. While they were originally created to help secure cables and wires, zip ties are now used across several industries like:

  • Agriculture
  • Professional sports
  • Construction
  • Entertainment
  • Space travel (that’s right, just check out this article on how NASA used zip ties on Mars!)

Professional uses aside, cable ties are also used in more creative ways like:

  • As a key ring
  • As a lock
  • As a zipper pull
  • To seal food bags
  • To childproof cabinets
  • To hang outdoor lights

What Are the Types of Cable Ties?

There are several types of cable ties, depending on which way you categorize them. Generally speaking, they are organized by the following criteria:

  • Length
  • Width
  • Strength
  • Material


Cable tie lengths start off fairly short at around 4 inches. Some of the longer cable tie offerings come in around 5 feet long. Of course, there are cable ties at just about every length in between. Plus, you can always connect two or more cable ties together if you want to create the exact length you want. To learn more about all the standard lengths of cable ties, check out our cable tie page.


Since cable ties are generally less than an inch wide, it makes more sense to discuss them in millimeters. Skinnier cable ties begin at widths of 2.5 and 3.6 mm, while thicker ties come in at 8.5 and 9 mm. Typically speaking, between two cable ties of the same material, the wider cable tie will be stronger.


For most cable ties, strength is referred to as tensile strength or the amount of weight the tie can withstand without breaking. If a cable tie were to break, the weakest point is where the tie comes together. Too much weight could pull the ends apart, causing the tie to separate. Alternatively, sometimes if there is way too much weight, the body of the tie might split.


Cable ties can come in several different materials to meet your specific needs. The most common materials used to create cable ties include:

  • Aluminum
  • Fabric
  • Nylon
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 

What Company Makes Zipties? ZipTie.com!

As a leading cable tie manufacturer, we at ZipTie.com are passionate about what we do — empowering what you do. Countless individuals rely on zip ties to fuel their careers and their hobbies. That’s why it’s important to have a partner you can rely on. We offer a wide variety of high-quality zip ties to meet your needs, not to mention our commitment to an enjoyable customer experience. We also provide custom quantities and products for a truly unique solution.

The bottom line is we deliver what you need, when you need it, where you need it. Explore our offerings or call us at +1 (855)-947-8433 to place your order today!

Shopping Cart