How Many Types of Cable Ties Are There?
Many types of cable ties can be made from assorted materials with a few variations on the basic design. This basic design generally includes three parts:
- The head: This is the area at the top of the cable tie that houses the securing mechanism and the tail of the zip tie once it is secured.
- The shank: This is the piece that secures the zip tie in place. There are a few different variations of the shank, but the most common one is a square shank with a tongue that clicks into the grooves on the stem and prevents the cable tie from coming undone. This mechanism can also be called a “pawl and ratchet.”
- The stem: This is the long “tail” of the zip tie that holds the grooves (sometimes called “teeth”) the shank clicks into. The grooves are the most common type of stem for cable ties.
Types of cable ties you’ll find on ZipTie.com include:
- Cable Ties - This is the zip tie that most of us are familiar with—typically made from nylon, the design features a pawl and ratchet that allows movement in one direction. They come in many different lengths and sizes for a variety of uses.
- Extern/Low-Profile - A variation of the basic cable tie, extern ties have a low-profile head that allows them to fit in smaller spaces.
- Stainless Steel - These cable ties use the same design but are made with industrial strength 304 Grade stainless steel. They are extremely strong and commonly used when moisture is an issue as they do not corrode. This makes them ideal for automotive, aerospace, nuclear, utility, and construction applications.
- Screw Mount - A screw mount zip tie has an additional piece that juts out from the top of the zipping mechanism. This allows you to secure the cable tie with a screw on any applicable surface, giving you the ability to tuck cables under desks or overhead beams (or whatever application works for your situation).
- Sharp Tip - With a triangle tip for easy fastening, these plastic zip ties improve the blunt end design of many cable ties.
- Beaded - Beaded zip ties are a variation of the basic design. Rather than using a square shank with a tongue that catches the teeth on the stem, the stem has beads at regular intervals. The shank is usually a loop that fits over the beads that have a small groove to pull the shank down on the stem between the beads to secure it. Beaded zip ties with this design can be reused, which greatly benefits certain applications. However, some beaded zip ties use an alternate design for the head, where a funnel is pulled over each bead. Because the exit of the funnel is smaller than the entrance, this prevents this type of beaded zip tie from being reused easily.
- Double Loop - A double loop cable tie can be used to secure two bundles of wire with the same tie. The head has two shanks (like for beaded double loops), or two slots in the shank to allow this to happen. After wrapping around the first bundle and pulling it through one shank, the stem can then be wrapped around the second segment and secured through the second shank.
- Reusable/Releasable - Releasable zip ties include a mechanism on the shank that lifts the pawl to free it from the ratchet. This allows the zip tie to be released and reused many more times. Some beaded zip ties can fall into this category as well.
- Handcuff - These zip ties are primarily used by law enforcement. They feature a long stem with two shanks that allow two loops to be placed on an individual’s wrists. As they can only move in one direction, it’s important to take precautions to not overtighten and keep a safety tool on hand to cut the ties in case of overtightening.
- Fuel Hose - Also known as “radius cable ties” or “clamp ties,” this unique design has a head that provides an even compression around the object being secured. The radial head allows a 360 degree seal, with the stem making contact with the object all the way around. This is commonly used for soft rubber hoses like fuel, water, or air lines as they provide an even seal.
- Hook & Loop - With stiff nylon hooks that catch soft nylon loops, these reusable cable ties are often used to secure electrical cables. They are perfect for preventing over tensioning, especially for delicate applications like computer or server cables.
Another way you can categorize cable ties is by length, color, or pack size. Here at ZipTie.com you can:
Shop by length:
Shop by color:
Shop by pack size:
- 1 Each
- 1,000 Pack
- 500 Pack
- 100 Pack
- 50 Pack
- 25 Pack
What Is Cable Tie Classification?
Essentially, if a cable tie meets certain criteria laid out by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or CSA in Standard 62275, they will be marked with the appropriate designation. Have you ever seen a product marked as “UL type 21s cable ties” or maybe you’re wondering, “W are Type 2S cable ties?” These are referring to the cable tie classification system.
You’ll usually see cable ties marked as Type 1, 11, 2, 2S, 21, or 21S if they meet these standards for testing. These classifications help people know if the cable tie they select is appropriate for their application. For example, Type 2S and Type 21S are usually suitable for securing and supporting conduits and cables in building construction. Other types will probably not meet the building codes that the construction industry is required to follow.