When it comes to cable management, cable ties (aka “zip ties”) are one of the simplest solutions out there for bundling up cords and wires. They’re cheap, they’re easy to use, and they work fast. There’s just one problem: they’re only good for a single use. As soon as you need to cut them off to reconfigure your cables, they’re useless – you have to start over from scratch. This is all thanks to the locking-head that most standard cable ties have; while it’s great for keeping things in place, it also makes it impossible to remove or adjust a cable tie once the tie has been applied. There’s no turning back.
And talk about the waste. In addition to the fact that you have to throw cable ties away after just a single use, there’s also the issue of all those good-for-nothing clippings that come from trimming the “tails” of cable ties flush after installation. That’s a lot of wasted plastic, and don’t forget that you paid for it. But that’s not all: cable ties are also subject to over-tightening, which can damage cable insulation and compress conductors so much that data signals are interrupted or completely cut off.
Wow! Is it me, or did I just go on (and on) about the drawbacks of zip ties? Don’t get me wrong, they’re actually a great product, it’s just that those are a few points that you have to consider if you’re going to be using them on a large scale or in conjunction with especially sensitive cables. This all leads up to me introducing you to Mille-Ties, a revolutionary new breed of cable ties that are kinder, gentler, and yes, reusable.
Instead of being composed of a solid plastic strap with a molded-on locking head, the Mille-Tie is built like a chain, made up of many individual links or cells. It stretches, flexes, and bends to conform to cable bundles without putting stress on them, and is virtually impossible to overtighten. Mille-Ties ratchet snugly around cable bundles, but their design causes them to automatically stop tightening as soon as they’ve reached their tensioning limit, so you don’t have to worry about damaged or malfunctioning cables.
MIlle-Ties also greatly reduce waste because after you complete a tie and trim the tail off, you can actually use the excess to make another tie. The Mille-Tie is designed so that all of the larger cells (that’s every other cell) act as locking heads, so as long as the cut-off tail is long enough to make it around your cable bundle, you can use it just as you would a full-sized Mille-Tie. Pretty cool, huh?
And finally, I’ll go into that whole removable/resuable thing I mentioned earlier. While they won’t let go until you purposely remove them, Mille-Ties don’t lock permanently, so it’s incredibly easy to reuse them. Once you have a Mille-Tie tightened around your cable bundle, all you have to do is thread the end back through the same cell, leaving just a tiny loop behind. This leaves you with a little release-tab to pull on to release the cables while leaving you with an intact cable tie that’s ready to use again.