For electricians, a constant supply of cable ties to different specs and colour codes is part of everyday working life. Cable ties are essential to modern life and working practices to the extent that life would now seem unimaginable without them. But it’s probably fair to say that the humble cable tie hasn’t made all that much technical progress for a couple of decades – until now with the new ratchet-less versions available via 3M.
The new steel barbed cable ties which have been introduced by 3M are designed to provide extra strong and more reliable fastening for electricians working in different areas and with many applications. These are the first alternative cable ties with real design difference brought to the market for quite a while. Specifically, they offer the possibility of precisely tightening each tie without the miniature ratchets we’re all used to seeing - yet are still both durable and reliable cable ties.
They’re designed to bundle and fasten wires and to harness components with ease and feature a completely smooth nylon headed strap with a stainless steel barb. When you engage the cable tie, the barb then bites into the nylon strap, thereby providing an even tighter grip than existing cable ties – with a stronger and long-lasting hold.
The main advantage of the new design is that there are infinite locking in positions – you don’t have to find a specific position via the notches. This enables positioning of the ties to be more precise and infinitely variable to the point where it is engaged. This will be particularly helpful for electricians working in difficult to access areas – and in higher safety spec areas where long-lasting, accurate performance is usually a central requirement. The nylon strap has a ribbed pattern which gives it additional grip and helps prevent any slippage.
There are plenty of cable tie sellers online. You can find cable ties here to fit whatever specification you need and the new designs should be available soon from leading suppliers such as RS Components, Farnell and Maplin. They’re available in natural colours and black and in seven lengths between four and 28 inches.
Finding the right cable tie for the job isn’t always as straightforward as many non-techies think. There are several types available depending on the task at hand including beaded cable ties which can be released and, therefore, reused and traditional “ladder-style” ties for general bundling and retail type applications.
Electricians often need to use identifiable cable ties with built-in flags for identification, or parallel entry ties which are tamper-proof with low profile heads. There are also tear-off versions which are quick release and don’t need to be cut.
The new 3M cable ties, though, add a new dimension to this specialised world and surely will be welcome addition to the toolboxes of sparks the world over.