Zip Ties vs VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties: Which Is Better?
When it comes to DIY there are many tools and materials which you will need to complete the job both effectively and efficiently. Of course, many of these items you will likely already have such as hammers, saws, and electric drills. Though zip ties and cable ties are often overlooked, even mocked sometimes, for their ease of use. Though despite this they are undoubtedly an incredibly useful tool for many DIY jobs from mechanical work to home design jobs. Zip ties and cable ties have been competing with one another for many years and now the VELCRO® brand has entered the game with their very own cable ties. So, which is better, the zip tie or the VELCRO® brand cable tie?
To answer this question we must explore a variety of different themes in this blog from the history of these small plastic items right through to their different uses and structural integrity. There is no question that zip ties and cable ties alike have a far more interesting history than many would think and differences between them are also much greater than perhaps meets the eye. So, in this blog we’ll explain in detail which each item is and how they are made along with their histories and of course which is better suited to you.
What is a cable tie?
Naturally one of the first questions which we must answer in the blog is, what is a cable tie? As you may well expect there are many ways of answering this question as these products have been around for a long while and have seen multiple variations and iterations. Though, for the purposes of this blog we shall explain the most modern form of cable tie.
Essentially, a cable tie is a form of fastener that was invented to fit a variety of different purposes making it a multi-functional tool for the modern DIY enthusiast. Due to their material these items are low-cost, strong, and easy to use making them a firm favourite among many construction workers and industry specialists. In fact, cable ties are so successful that they are widely recognised as professional tools in the construction industry with many trained individuals choosing to carry them. Electricians for example often use cable ties to organise and group together large cables.
What are they made of?
Most cable ties are created using flexible nylon plastic which forms the main tape of the cable. This cable then features a ratchet gear track and a small pawl on the opposite end with an open case. A ratchet is a fairly simple mechanical invention by which the small teeth on the cable are designed to make it impossible for the small pawl to move in the opposite direction. Essentially, this means that with each click that the pawl makes along the ratchet, it is effectively locked in place and cannot become loose without damaging force. This has, of course, made the cable tie both a convenient and strong method of fastening.
The design of the ratchet has been so successful that it features in a myriad of modern inventions that many of us now take for granted. The clock, handcuffs and slacklines are just a few more examples where this ingenious technology has been used to brilliant effect.
Stainless steel cable ties
As you might expect, with such a successful invention, there have been many iterations and developments with the cable tie over the years. The stainless steel cable tie for example was designed for instances where a flameproof cable tie would be needed. The steel makes these ties incredibly resistant to heat and brilliantly versatile as a result. Clearly these ties are less transportable though they are much stronger.
Outdoor cable ties
There are also cable ties which have been specifically designed to withstand the pressures and strains of constant outdoor use. You may well be wondering what the difference is between outdoor and indoor use when it comes to plastic items such as a simple cable tie. Well, it is well known that plastic is an extremely resistant material that can endure for hundreds if not thousands of years. However, it does have one very specific weakness when it comes to prolonged time outside. The sun and its subsequent ultraviolet (UV) light work to break down the plastic and, in time, the exposure to this UV light breaks down the fabric of the plastic with detrimental effects such as severe fractures and breaks.
To combat this issue many cable tie manufacturers have created a new form of tie designed to deal with the pressures of UV light and withstand it for far longer than the original ties. Though, how can you fight back against the powers of UV? Well, designers have created a material that contains 2% carbon black which protects the polymer chains from breaking down.
The progression of cable ties
There is no question that over the years cable ties have become increasingly popular and now they are a must-have in most people’s toolbox. Though, why have they become this popular? Well, in short, this all comes down to convenience. There is no question that the ratchet strap design makes these products incredibly easy to use which makes jobs that would usually take an extensive amount of time quick and easy. For DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople alike this is an incredibly desirable factor. With VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties in particular there is a great deal of time put into the creation of the product which is why they are so often quality items.
Inevitably this technology will continue to progress and the VELCRO® Brand is one of the leaders in this push for advancement. They are constantly striving to improve cable ties and make them better in almost every metric. This leads us to the final section of this blog and arguably the most important. So, keep reading to find out more about zip ties and VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties.
Zip Ties or VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties?
So, now we have come to one of the main questions: Which is better, Zip Ties or VELCRO® Brand Cable Ties? This is a question which is asked by many tradespeople up and down the country every week as everyone tries to understand what is the best use of their money. Of course, choosing the right product will ensure that your project runs smoothly and you have the correct tools for the job at hand. After all, the last thing you or your team want is your materials or tools to fail on the job. This will, inevitably, slow your project down and cost you money. So, let’s get down to answering this question in detail.
On the topic of quality, there are a few major things to discuss which will all combine to create a product that is truly efficient. As you might expect we will need to discuss the design, material choices, and construction method to fully understand which product comes out on top here.
As for the first of the three metrics, it is undeniable that the VELCRO® brand Cable Ties win here. The VELCRO® brand cares deeply about its designs and has a large team within the company that is solely responsible for the design aspect of the cable ties. So, you can certainly rely on them to have a well-thought-through and reliable design.
When discussing the second topic it is again clear which is the winner. Standard zip ties often use cheap plastics which have very little standing when it comes to strength and longevity. While this does make the product cheaper it remains far inferior to the VELCRO® brand Cable Ties.
And finally, in regard to the final point, the VELCRO® brand Cable Ties have a well-established and trusted construction method with quality checks throughout the process to ensure that every cable tie is built to the impeccable standard that the VELCRO® brand demands.