Product Type: Mayflex network accessories
Newest Review: ... Hook and Loop cable ties. These are such a simple little idea and originally designed for computers and printers etc, I assume this bec... more
Colour co-ordinate your cable 'bird's nests'!!
Excel Hook & Loop
Member Name: Randal
Excel Hook & Loop
Date: 21/12/11, updated on 21/12/11 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Reusable and easy to apply.
Disadvantages: Can work loose if cables disturbed.
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.
Summary: Being reusable and for 20p each, you get your money's worth from them.
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