Heat shrink tubing: it’s such a simple and inexpensive product, but there aren’t many other materials out there that are as useful or versatile. Sure, most people use it for insulating cables or protecting wire splices, but there are a million other ways to put heat shrink to work. We hear from customers all the time who have invented uses for heat shrink that would put even MacGyver to shame. There’s the guy who repaired his glasses, a young lady who reassembled a broken curling iron, and a fitness enthusiast who needed to improve the grip on his home pull-up bar. It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention, but it seems that that whole “invention” thing is a lot easier when one has some heat shrink laying around.
While the most die-hard heat shrink users (network technicians, electricians, custom car hobbyists and case modders) tend to keep multiple feet or even spools worth of the stuff around, buying heat shrink in quantity may not make sense to others who just want to use it for odd repairs around the house. In cases like these, a heat shrink tubing kit is the way to go. These kits include a variety of heat shrink in different sizes and colors, which has been pre-cut into usable lengths so you just have to choose a piece that suits your project, and shrink away. You’ll find that heat shrink is perfect for protecting soldered joints or spliced wires, for holding mlutiple cables together, and even for providing some much-needed strain relief to older cords that have a tendency to hang heavily from their connectors when plugged in. But like I said before, those are just a few standard uses – we think you’ll cook up some far more inventive ways to use heat shrink when the need for a quick fix arises.
To read more about our customers’ and employees’ heat shrink improv, check out “The Handyman’s Guide to Improvisation: 7 New Ways to Use Heat Shrink Tubing” in the CableOrganizer.com Learning Center.
Whether you’re a hobbyist who’s into case modding or automotive customization, or you just want to lend some extra strength and insulation to cables and hoses, heat shrink tubing is an easy and affordable way to get the job done. If you’re not familiar with heat shrink, it’s a flexible plastic tubing that fits over wires, cables, splices, hoses — anything generally cylindrical in shape — and shrinks snugly to the object it’s covering when heat is applied. This happens because the plastic used in heat shrink tubing is “crosslinked” (exposed to radiation) so that it’s physical properties change and it shrinks propotionately when exposed to heat.
As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of the post, heat shrink tubing is a great way to add extra support and insulation to cables, wire splices and hoses without adding extra bulk. Even though it only forms a thin skin over things, that “skin” greatly increases resistance to chemicals and fluids, provides strain relief for cable connectors, and just plain looks good. That’s right — many people use heat shrink for no reason other than the fact that it gives cables a custom, cosmetically-enhanced look. Heat shrink is also terrific for color-coding cables that need to be easily identifiable.
Our heat shrink tubing comes in a 2:1 shrink ratio, which means that its original, unshrunk state is twice the diameter of the smallest shrunken diameter it can achieve. Shrink ratio and diameter measurements are very important to keep in mind when you order heat shrink, so know the diameter of the object you want to cover, as well as how snugly you need the heat shrink to fit. For example, if you need 2:1 heat shrink to fit tightly around a cord with a ⅛” diameter, you wouldn’t want to use tubing that has a diameter more than ¼”.