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Technology is great, a lot of us would be lost without it, but along with all these wonderful gadgets whether they are computers. games consoles or kitchen appliances come wires and cables. An abundance of them in fact. So many that behind our TV unit resembled spaghetti junction. Ok if you don't need to move anything but recently we needed to unplug all these and move the TV unit out. The reason being 3 extremely excited cats and 1 poor terrified little bird. It was such a tangle behind there we decided to sort it all out resulting in the purchase of some Excel Hook and Loop cable ties.
These are such a simple little idea and originally designed for computers and printers etc, I assume this because I bought mine in a little independent computer shop in our local town. However since buying them I have used them for different cables all round the house. I bought a pack of 20 for approximately £5.00. Mine were white and I have seen them since in black as well.
The cable ties are simply little strips of varelco with one end being wider with a little slot cut across it, the other end is just rounded. To use the cable ties you simply wrap the tie around the cables you want to tidy up, post the rounded end of the tie through the little slot at the wider end and pull. The tie will fit snugly around the cables and being varelco or hook and loop as its sometimes called it will grip and stay closed.
The cable ties I bought are 2cm's wide and approximately 15cm's long.
We have found these little ties so useful, we have tidied all the wires behind out television stand, they are now all neatly laid behind there totally out of sight. If we need to unplug and remove anything its a simple job. There no more sitting and untangling a pile of cables.
I have also used these in the kitchen where I have several things plugged in behind the fridge freezer, once again instead of a jumble behind there its all nice and tidy. If you do need to remove one of the cable ties it isn't a problem, they can be used and reused many times.
Another area that these are ideal for is behind a computer desk, I have actually taken mine into work and tidied my cables which I'm sure health and safety would have had something to say about. They make life so much easier and tidier.
I would certainly recommend these little hook and loop cable ties. they wont cost a fortune and can be reused many times. They wont damage your cables either. If untidy tangled wires and cables bug you then these may well be the answer.
Like most people, I have an absolute giant bird's next of cables behind my desk at home that run the various aspects of my computer. Two printer leads with power cables going out one way, monitor and webcam with power leads going another, speakers over there, usb phone chargers and Bluetooth cables in the corner, external drives and power leads, keyboard, mouse - the list goes on. I used to wrap all the cables together as best I could using those plastic cable ties, but every so often I wanted to move something, or put something new in, and I'd have to cut all the plastic ties in order to get the cables out or through, which was a real pain.
But one day in the local market, I spotted these reusable Excel Hook & loop cable ties which drew my interest. For £3.50, I could get 20 ties, but the best thing was that they came in different colours - black, red, green, blue and white. I ended up buying 4 packs of 20 - one in each colour of red, green, blue and white. My idea was that I could colour code my cable runs around my desk in order to identify what was what. So use the green ties for the printers, the blue for the monitor and webcam etc.
What are these Excel Hook & Loop cables ties? The ties I have are 230mm long by 20mm wide, although I noted on the stall that they also did a version slightly longer at 330mm. They are pretty flexible in themselves, and that is one of the key selling points in that they won't be so rigid on your cables, and hence, less likely to damage your cables. To do them up you just wrap them around your cables and put the thinner section through the hole in the other end of the tie, pull tight and it will then lock itself in the closed up position, holding your cables firmly in place. But the beauty of these is that they are reusable. So instead of just cutting them off, as you would with normal cable ties, these can just be undone by initially pulling the thin end to release the lock, and then working the thinner section back through the hole, thus releasing your cable bundle. Re-adjust your cables, put one in, take one out, whatever, and then refit the cable tie again. A very easy and simple process to do.
I've had these now for about a year, holding and gripping a number of very nicely colour co-ordinated cable bundles behind my desk, and to date, each has probably been undone and reapplied perhaps 3 or 4 times as I've moved things around, and they still work very effectively. The only issue I've had was with one bundle that ran along a skirt board to my printers. In total there were 5 cables in the bundle, with these wraps about every 300mm or so along the run. Where the problem was was that one of our dogs has a bed by the desk, which sits against these cables, and I think as he's moved around in bed, gently knocking the cables, the ties have slightly worked loose. So of the 7 ties along this run, 3 worked loose, and these were the 3 behind the dog's bed. So it appears that if you do the cables up with this tie and leave it undisturbed, it appears to hold ok. But if it is in a position where the cables move, or the tie gets rubbed against, it appears that that action causes the tie to slightly come loose. In my case, it didn't come totally loose so that the cables fell out, it was just allowing the cables to splay out a bit. All I did was retighten the 3 cable ties with a quick pull on the thin end and everything was back to normal.
Now primarily I've used these on my various computer cables. But I've also used the spare ones around the back of my TV, with the associated gaming console, Sky box, theatre system and hard drive creating another bird's nest there. Once again, a quick sort out and these ties have created some nice colour co-ordinated runs so that I can clearly identify everything and where it all runs to and from.
In summary, with these ties working out at just under 20p each, their reusable nature means that you get your money's worth of use out of them. They are easy to apply, and once in position, they hold well. But you do need to consider that you may have problems with them if the cable bundle needs to move around or flex. Only a minor issue, but one worth pointing out. So balancing everything up, these Excel Hook & Loop cable ties have a 4 star recommendation.
I was not looking for cable ties when I saw these in a computer shop, however after spotting them I realised that I could probably do with them for the abundance of cables behind our television and out computer table. They are not like normal cable ties that you may use for a wheel trim or for cable tying, these are reusable. This hopefully means that this is a one of purchase!
==Price and availability==
I bought the cable ties from a computer store called D.M Computers, they were priced at £3.80 for a pack of 20 cable ties. This is enough for me, I have 5 behind the television which keeps the wires in a nice neat line and discreetly out of sight.
There were two choices of colour in the shop, white ones and black ones. I chose black as the majority of my cables are black so it looks more discreet. The ties are 2cm wide and are 23 cm long. They are bendy and extremely flexable making it easy to wrap them around the wires and fasten them together. Cheap cable ties are often quite rigid and snap easily.
The Excel hook and loop ties fasten easily and the motion can be completed with one hand. The long thin section needs slipping through the hole on the end and then pulling tight around the wires you want to hold in place. The cable tie holds itself in place without any need to do anything, to loosen you need to push the thin section back out the hole on a slight angle otherwise it will catch on the side and not move. This is easier than I have made it sound! They do not crush the cables they hold and are really flexible. Occasionally the cable ties may need tightening as they do loosen off over time.
These are good value for money and work out at about 20p per tie. They are reliable and easy to use, perfect for the office and home use.
With so much technology in our homes we all have high traffic areas with multi-sockeets containing a number of plugs powering TV Sets, Digiboxes, DVD/Blue Ray players etc etc. Another example is the Home PC with a whole host of things such as the Monitor, Tower and Printer/Scanner. Keeping wiring tidy can be a tough job and I often have the same hassle of working out which plug belongs to which item when I am connecting the DVD player up, for example.
Cable ties are a great way of not only organising wiring for simplicity of use, but also for keeping wiring tidy and avoid unsightly tangles and birds nests. The Excel hook and loop cable ties are a great product and so simple to use. They come in a multitude of colours, ranging from blue, green, black and white, giving a good choice for the user. I use the black ties as they usually match the colour of the wires. They are very simple to use, simply having a hook at one end of the tie and a loop at the other. These connect together to create a secure fastening to hold wires together.
Installation of the cable tie is very simple. The other advantage of using this product is that the cable ties are reuseable unlike a lot of similar products available. The cable ties are also very flexible and therefore won't damage the cabling they are holding, whilst ensuring a safe grip. The cable ties are durable and feel strong enough as to not snap easily, although I dont fix them too tightly on my cabling, just enough to hold them together.
The Excel Hook and Loop cable ties are available online for £5.47 for a pack of 20 with a length of 330mm. They are also £4.03 for a 20 pack of 230mm cable ties - these are ideal for tidying up a number of general household cables. I think overall they are a handy product to have about the house and 20 of them is more than enough. I use a number of them, mainly in the living room and bedrooms to keep wires in order and as they are reuseable I can't imagine requiring the other cable ties I have left just yet.