Beaded Zip Ties / Cable Ties

Beaded cable tie

A beaded cable tie

Beaded cable ties are a distinctly different kind of zip tie from the standard zip ties that we’re used to. The unique design of beaded cable ties make them easily releasable and reusable without damaging the zip tie itself. The downside of beaded cable ties is that they are not nearly as strong as standard zip ties and break comparatively easily.

A standard zip tie is a strip of nylon with teeth on one side and the tail end feeds through the ratcheting head on the other end. The beaded cable tie uses a radically different design. The plastic strip itself is molded such that it looks like a series of beads. The head of the beaded cable tie is a flat piece of plastic with two different sized holes.

The tail end of the beaded cable tie can feed through the larger hole in the head, and then the narrow point between beads can slip down into the smaller hole, effectively locking the beaded cable tie into place.

The beaded cable tie is a one-piece design that is molded from a single piece of plastic.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The principle advantage of the beaded cable tie is that is it easily reusable. While reusable versions of standard zip ties are made with a lever that can release the zip tie, in practice these have a limited number of uses before something breaks.

The beaded cable ties on the other hand have no moving parts and their reusability is inherent in the design.

On the down side, a chain is only as strong as the weakest links, and a beaded cable tie’s weak link is that narrow section between the beads. Beaded cable ties can withstand far less force than regular zip ties. Most people could pretty easily grab a beaded cable tie in both hands and pull it apart.

As a result beaded cable ties are primarily used to attach very lightweight objects: attaching tags onto carrier bags or totes, for example. They are also useful for tying together lightweight cables in an application where you know they’ll need to be removed and readjusted frequently.

But for many of the other zip tie uses — such as attaching signs or other items onto fences or hooks — the beaded cable tie just isn’t strong enough and a standard zip tie or releasable zip tie should be used.

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