Tips and Advice on Cable and Wire Markers

  1. Why Use Cable Label Products
  2. Why Wire Markers Are Important
  3. What Wire and Cable Markers Do
  4. Ensuring the Safety of Your Wire and Cable Markers
  5. Cable Tie Labels
  6. Dispensers Keep Your Wires in Order
  7. The Many Uses of Cable Labels
  8. Cable Installation Don'ts
  9. Benefits of a Wrap Labeler
  10. Types of Wire Markers


Why Use Cable Label Products

Tired of trying to figure out which cable is a USB, which is a FireWire, and which are your network jacks?

Cable labels are a way to provide a quick, easy method to clearly identify your cables. It's an affordable method for labeling cables on the backs of terminals or desktop computers or for cable identification in cable connecting boxes.

A label will make your wire easy to read and can be situated so that it can be easily read in hard to reach areas such behind computer desks and crowded wiring closets. For some labels, the marking surface can be rotated 360 degrees for easy viewing.

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Why Wire Markers Are Important

Wire markers and cable markers attach to wires and cables. Wire marking and cable identification has become a vital component in most electrical system installations. This is because of the ever-increasing demands for:

  • security
  • maintenance upgrade
  • trace-ability

Wire markers and cable markers differ widely in terms of product specifications. For example:

  • ptfe heat shrinkHeat-shrinkable sleeves are often made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE),polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), or fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP).
  • PTFE or FEP sleeves are well-suited for applications that require high resistance to chemicals, solvents, or ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Flex-tag wire markers are designed for bendable wires and cables.
  • Rip tags are installed with cable ties instead of with adhesives. These are a good choice for wire marking or cable marking applications in areas that are subject to spills of fuels, lubricants, or solvents
  • A hot stamp wire marker allows operators to use one wire guide for a range of harness wires.
  • A bench top laser wire marker is designed to process both single core wires and multi-core cables.

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What Wire and Cable Markers Do

Wire markers and cable markers attach to wires and cables and help you identify them. Many different types of wire markers and cable markers are available. Basic wire marker and cable marker categories include:

  • labels
  • sleeves
  • tags

Specialized products include:

  • cables labeledlaser wire markers
  • insert markers
  • tie-on cable markers
  • hot stamp markers
  • number kits
  • heat shrinkable sleeves
  • shrink-tag markers
  • cable identification marker plates
  • flex-tag wire markers
  • rip tags

Wire markers and cable markers are used in a variety of application and industries. Some products are designed for use with valves, laboratory instruments, motors and industrial components. Other wire markers and cable markers are designed for computer cables or electrical wires. Wire marking and cable marking products for specialized application such as rail transportation are also available.

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Ensuring the Safety of Your Wire and Cable Markers

Wire marker and cable marker suppliers are located across the United States and around the world. They comply with a variety of safety and quality standards from organizations such as:

  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
    ul and csa

Wire and cable markers that meet U.S. military standards feature a MIL-SPEC, MIL-STD, or MIL-DTL designation.

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Cable Tie Labels

Cable tie labels are labels designed primarily for use on twinax, coax or any other cables where labels are seldom moved.

The cable-tie attachment enables the tag to be affixed securely to any size cable and be held in a relatively rigid position for easy of viewing, depending on the tightness of the cable tie attachment

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Dispensers Keep Your Wires in Order

Labels on your cables and wires should be legible, durable, reliable and easy to use. You do not want labels to unwind and fall off or become tangled or mixed up. Label dispensers can help you achieve this. Here's how two dispensers work:

  • wire marker dispenserWire Marker Dispenser: among the most user-friendly portable wire marker system available on the market today. Each dispenser contains 10 rolls of marker tape, labeled zero through nine. Each roll contains 76 individual markers with a pre-determined length to accommodate most common wire sizes. Each individual marker is mounted on a silicone release liner and has an acrylic adhesive. This item is small enough to be hooked on a tool pouch or carried in a shirt pocket.

  • rite and wrap dispenserRite & Wrap Dispenser: this pocket-sized disposable dispenser contains a roll of pre-cut self-laminating wire markers. Each marker has a white area available for legend inscription using a pen or pencil. After marking, simply pull back on the marker liner and the marker is dispensed. On application, the transparent portion of the clear vinyl marker wraps around itself to protect the white write-on area.

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The Many Uses of Cable Labels

Cable labels can be used on many different types of technology. Some examples include:

  • unitag on cablesPS2/XBox/GameCube
  • PC's and Notebooks
  • MP3 and CD Players
  • RCA Cables
  • PDA's
  • Video/Optical Cables
  • Cellular Phones
  • AC Adaptor Cables
  • Digital Cameras
  • Extension Cords

Cable labels usually cost between $5 and $10 for an eight pack.

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Cable Installation Don'ts

Before you slap a cable label or wire marker on those cables, you must install them. When installing cable in your home or an industrial setting, there are a few rules experts say should always be followed.

  • Do not cut unlabeled cable. Label cable before routing it, or you'll lose track of which cables go to which rooms.

Do not allow cable to be stretched, pinched or kinked, or data will travel over it more slowly. Also, do not tie tie-wraps too tight - they should ideally be able to slide around a little

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Benefits of a Wrap Labeler

Labelers can put clear crisp scannable bar codes, graphics and human readable text on boxes or other items. There are industrial wrap labelers that will label both the corner and the side of the product. The benefits of this are two-fold:

  • It reduces label and machinery cost
  • It allows for product identification on two sides

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Types of Wire Markers

The type of wire marker you use should depend on where you use them and with what printing technology you use.

For example, for bench/desktop wire and cable markers, it's best to use blank labels, sleeves and tags that can be printed using a higher volume printer.

For pre-printed wire and cable markers, it's best to use blank or pre-printed labels you can write or print on. Label marker sleeves are an economical and durable solution when you only need two or three digits for identification.

And for portable printer wire and cable markers, use blank labels, sleeves and tags that can be printed using lower volume printers.

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