Product Type: CMS network accessories
Newest Review: ... where you normally find a whole 'spaghetti heap' of cables. Here you can use these CMS Cable Ties to bundle the cables together to ... more
Use you imagination and their uses are limitless
CMS Nylon Cable Ties
Member Name: Randal
CMS Nylon Cable Ties
Advantages: Useful, simple to operate and low cost
Disadvantages: One use operation
I've been using cable ties for many many years for a whole variety of little jobs around the house and in the car, and it is often one of those really useful simple little devices that many people are simply unaware of, or indeed unaware of how useful they can really be with a little imagination.
For those unfamiliar with what they are, you may well have already seen them in DIY or supermarkets and not realised that they were cable ties, or more commonly referred to as tie wraps. This particular brand is manufactured by CMS which is one of many companies that make such cable ties, and is the brand that I happened to purchase from my local DIY store for £1.50 for 100 of the 290mm long versions when I was after a few for a job at home. They are basically a thin strip of nylon plastic, with various lengths available from 98mm (about 4 inches) up to about 550mm (about 18 inches), with various widths between 2.5mm up to 9mm. The CMS variety comes in either black or white, but you can also find other brands in a variety of colours (if you want to colour co-ordinate them).
How do they work? If you look at the strip, one side has a series of small moulded 'teeth' along the length of the one side of the strip, with the other side being smooth. At one end you had a moulded hole through which you pass the other end (the tongue) of the strip. As you pull the strip through the hole, it creates a loop in the strip, and as you continue to pull, you'll hear a series of clicks from the hole as the loop gets smaller. The clicking is the lock activating in the hole against the teeth on the strip, which is basically locking the strip in the hole in that position each time you pull. Of note, it is a one way lock, in that you can pull the strip harder, thus reducing the loop, the lock will lock the strip in that position preventing the strip pulling back through the hole, (which would increase the size of the loop. There is no way of opening the loop out again and the only way to remove a cable tie once it has been locked is to cut through the strip. Hence, these items are one use only and not reusable.
So now we know how they operate, what can you use them for? Well the clue is in the title - 'Cable Tie', where you can create that strip loop around a bunch on cables and then pull the strip tighter through the hole until it creates a nice snug fitting loop around the cables. The lock in the hole secures it in that position and that's it - simple to use and fit. Fully adjustable in a variety of sizes to accommodate a whole variety and number of cables and widths. If you want to be flash you can cut off the spare strip sticking out of the hole to give a neater finish.
So looking at the whole cable security thing, these things come into their own behind your TV, DVD, Sky box etc arrangement where you normally find a whole 'spaghetti heap' of cables. Here you can use these CMS Cable Ties to bundle the cables together to tidy everything up. But I've also taken it a stage further using other brands as well to colour code things with additional coloured tie wraps. So red is all the cables to the Sky box, blue to the TV, yellow to the kid's game console, black for the surround sound etc. Overall, it just makes it easier to trace things if I need to move things. I've also managed to do a similar thing behind my desk by colour coding the speaker cables, the printers, the webcam and microphone etc.
But use your imagination a little and you'll find that these aren't just restricted to securing cables. In a dishwasher, you often find those little flip up/fold down plate or cup holders and dividers which often come loose or fall out. With a bit of ingenuity, I've managed to secure these in position to the dishwasher trays using the smaller 98mm CMS cable ties. I've had 4 of these in various positions in my dishwasher for the past 18 months going through a whole variety of wash programs with no ill effects and they are still holding everything firm. In the garden, as well as securing plants to posts and fences, I've linked 2 or 3 of these 290mm CMS ties together (with the strip of one passing through the hole of another to create a larger loop) to repair cracked frost damaged plant pots to hold the pot together. Of note, I've done this before with other brands that have remained in position throughout the winter with no problems, and I have no reason to doubt that these CMS versions will last the same. Similarly, I've used them to hold a split shaft and casing together on a tool, and to repair key rings. My dogs were playing one day and managed to break one of their collars, where we did a temporary repair on it using a tie wrap to hold it together until we managed to get him a new one.
Negative points? As I said before, these are 'one use only', in that once they are done up, the only way to undo them is to cut through the strip. So perhaps a little wasteful, but they are relatively cheap to purchase in bulk.
In summary, these CMS versions are good quality, easy to fit and do up and hold whatever you want very securely, and as yet I have never had one ever come undone, despite being boiled and soaked in a dishwasher or frozen in the winter air. To be truthful in terms of quality, they are perhaps just as good as any other cable tie that you can commonly buy from a DIY or car parts store. But for their usefulness, simplicity and low cost, I would give them a 5 star recommendation.
Summary: 5 stars for their usefullness, simplicity and low cost.
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