Understanding the Different Types of Cable Ties

You might think shopping for cable ties is easy. But it’s not. There are hundreds of different cable tie sizes, specifications, materials, and types available today.

Fortunately, Ram Products is here to help. Today, I’m going to break down the advantages and disadvantages of the most common cable ties on the market today:

Cable tie materials

Nylon cable ties

Nylon cable ties tend to be the most common. They typically have an operating temperature between 40 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. They also come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, lengths, and tensile strengths. If you’re not working in extreme conditions and don’t require exceptionally-high tensile strengths, then nylon cable ties should work perfectly fine for your job.2

Stainless steel cable ties

Stainless steel cable ties are popular for any applications which involve liquid and/or extreme temperatures. Stainless steel cable ties can easily survive temperatures ranging from -100 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Making them even more durable is the fact that they have a tensile strength of over 200 pounds.


Velcro cable ties can easily be reused over and over again. They can wrap securely around cable bundles and are ideal for temporary cable arrangements – but not suited for long-term use in extreme conditions.

UV protected cable ties

Also known as black cable ties, UV protected cable ties are commonly seen in outdoor applications. These cable ties feature oil resistant properties and can resist most environmental contaminants. They’re commonly made using nylon 12 grade material.

Natural cable ties

Like UV protected cable ties, natural cable ties are resistant to chemical, grease, and oil-based materials. They’re also fire-resistant and are typically constructed from 6.6 nylon grade or 4.6 nylon grade.

Tefzel cable ties

Tefzel cable ties are immediately distinguished from others by their unique aqua/blue color. Tefzel has unique physical 2properties that make it particularly resistant to environmental hazards, including chemicals, extreme temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and gamma or ultraviolet radiation. Tensile strength of Tefzel ties ranges from 18 to 120 pounds.

Cable tie types and features

Releasable cable ties

Releasable cable ties feature a releasing mechanism that allowed them to be reused over and over again. A releasable nylon cable tie, for example, can be untied by gently applying force in a specific direction.

Metal detectable cable ties

These unique cable ties feature a distinct teal color and are manufactured from a combination of metals and polymers. Tensile strength ranges from 20 to 120 pounds and these ties typically feature a maximum operating temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re commonly used in the beverage, food preparation, and pharmaceutical industries and are designed specifically to show up clearly on x-ray machines and metal detectors.

Blank flag identification ties

Certain cable ties have “blank flags”. Users can write on these blank flags to indicate various features. You might write down where the cables are going or identify specific technical information about the cables. Or maybe you just want to draw a smiley face. In any case, blank flag identification ties help you specify various information about a cable bundle for any users who may need to access it.

TYPE 1, TYPE 2, TYPE 11, TYPE 21, TYPE 2S, and TYPE 21S cable ties

Cable ties are regulated by NEMA, which tests and classifies different types of cable ties. NEMA’s TYPE classification system can be broken down into five broad categories, as seen in the chart below:4

When buying cable ties, you may see these TYPE classifications listed. Alternatively, cable ties may also include an SA Mark or a UL Listing Mark.

Screw mount cable ties3

Screw mount cable ties feature a mounting area for screws. You can use screw mount cable ties to attach cable bundles to a fixed surface or to other cable ties. It’s a helpful way to separate different bundles and clean up messy cable arrangements.

Colored cable ties

Colored cable ties typically feature identical technical properties. They’re generally made from nylon material and offer a tensile strength between 18 and 100 pounds. You can use colored cable ties anytime you’re trying to color-code different cable arrangements. Cables with a green cable tie may be going to one part of the building while cables with an orange cable tie may be going to another. Aside from color, these cable ties feature identical properties.

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