Two essential tools: WD-40 to make stuck things loose and duct tape to keep loose things stuck.

Posted: Mar 7, 2011

Velcro Cable Ties

A super value on these workshop organizers

Less than $7 for 100 ties from Amazon

I hate twist-ties with a holy passion. Tedious to put on and they poke out after you have them in place. And if you need to remove or adjust them, you have to endure all that tedious twisting again. Hower, they are cheap.

On the other hand, I love "hook & loop" cable ties. Fairly easy to put on and adjust, they do have a couple of drawbacks. One, they can be a bit hard to get tight, since they tend to spin around whatever you're bundling together since you can't really hold the end that's inside. And they're expensive. I've been using Belkin 6" ties for a while, even from Amazon they're almost 70¢ apiece.

So I was skeptical when I saw this package of 100 Velcro-brand ties for such a low price. At less than 7¢ each, I thought "how good can they be?" But since I'm an Amazon Prime member, shipping was free and I could return them if they were crap. Amazon would pay return shipping, so I had nothing to lose.

So imagine my glee when it turned that not only were they not crappy, they're the best cable ties I've ever used!

The ties come in four rolls of 25 each. They're die-cut from a continuous ribbon, so they're lightly attached end-to-end. Just pull one loose and yank a bit to pull it off. You also have to pull out the little bit inside the loop hole.

That loop is the real secret of what makes these ties so special. The idea is that you're supposed to wrap the tie around one of the wires and through the loop and leave the tie on that wire. And, in that ordinary usage, they're fine. But, since these ties are cut from a continuous roll, the hook & loop material runs continuously on both sides, including that loop. So the loop will also stick, which lets you lock the tie without having to actually wrap the tie around.

I know, that's hard to visualize. So here's some photos of a tie being put around a piece of PVC pipe. Put the tie around whatever you're bundling, then run the tie through the loop. Now, grab the tie right where it comes through with one hand and the tab with the other. You can easily pull the tie very tightly, then (because the hook material is on the tab) just push down the tab and the tie is tightly locked, even though the other end is still loose! Now, just wrap rest of the tie around and it's securely in place.

I like keeping things neat, especially wires and cables. These Velcro ties let me induldge my obsession easily and very, very inexpensively. Even if they didn't have that neat little locking loop, the fact that they're so dirt-cheap* would earn them a place in my shop (and house and garage and office ...).

* "dirt-cheap" is another phrase I've never understood. Have you ever purchased dirt? It's definitely not inexpensive.

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