How Long Will Zip Ties Last?

cable ties

Zip ties are a wonderful bit of manufacturing that we use throughout all aspects of our life. As we’ve discussed continually on this blog, whether you decide you need some new zip ties for an art installation, hold a car together, or even use them for (gasp!) practical uses like combining wiring or in an industrial setting, these little plastic beasts can be pretty amazing.

But we’ve always wondered … How long do zip ties last? When do they need to be replaced? Are certain colors better than others? What are alternatives to zip ties if you DON’T want them to last forever? Luckily, we found some answers!

Depending on what sites you check with, most zip ties and cable ties will have varying longevity. In most cases, these ties are used by wiring companies, cable companies, and others to bundle together cables (obviously) and additional items. So these groups of people need their cable ties to last longer. Some people quote the longevity of these ties being anywhere from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 10 years if exposed to the outside elements. But that is for high quality, black colored cable ties. When you have white cable ties, the use tends to be much less, often quoted at about a year. That’s a big difference! Other people offer the same time ranges, some up to 20 years depending on material the cable tie is made out of and where it’s used, and others noting that cable ties made from nylon and exposed to heat will speed the expiration date of these ties up quicker. So when you’re buying your ties, keep these factors in mind.

But what if you DON’T want your wiring to be tied together for 10 years? Or, if you’re using cable ties in a bit of role playing, being tied up for 10 years could be pretty hazardous. In those cases, quick use and re-usable cable ties like beaded cable ties allow for multiple use. Cable ties like these made from a polyethylene material are done so with multiple uses in mind. We haven’t been able to find if there is a major difference in the longevity of these types of multiple-use cable ties, but if we do we’ll let you know.

Either way, it’s good to know that when you use a zip tie to hold something in place, that it will be there for a while!

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