Zip tie tool

Does anyone know of a zip tie/cable tie tool that actually flush cuts after it pulls them tight? I picked up a couple off the 'Zon and they leave nasty sharp ends sticking out. Uncool.

https://www.mcmaster.com/5401T11/

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Seconded, great for making zipties tight and flush. We don’t use them for wire management zipties as they get to tight for that purpose.

I was lucky enough to find a Thomas & Betts ERG50 cheap second hand. Fantastic tool, can’t recommend it enough.

I was unlucky enough to lose it at a field set-up in Montreal, so if it turns up in a road case in Manchester could someone hold it for me?

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Automation Direct sells them. Almost all of them are adjustable to get the tension correct for the zip tie you are using. I would not count on any of them leaving baby smooth cuts.

The one from AD looks like the one I got off Amazon that left a pretty long and sharp tail… Have you used that model before?

I have a handful of zip tie guns from different sources. I have at least a couple from AD. They run together so I don’t really remember which is which. My experience is that it is more about the tension adjustment than the gun. Too high tends to stretch the tail leaving a sharp edge.

Afaik it’s inherent to the design. Tried close to a dozen guns and they’ll all get your wrist.

The real zip tie gun is some decent needlenose and hakko CHP-170.

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We just pull by hand and then hit them with flush cutters. I think ours is McMaster 3621A36. Not hard at all to get a zip tie head that’s smoother than a Cadillac on a freshly-paved highway.

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We also do this but with a spare pair of snap on flush cuts because i was in nascar and wanted to be bougie with my tools lol

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Pull and flush cut is our current state of the art. Just hoping there is another level out there :wink:

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I just use these, and instead of cutting it parallel with the cutters, I cut it perpendicular (but still flush against the zip tie) and it tends to not be sharp.

Can you post a photo of this?

The professional quality Hakko flush cutters are pretty inexpensive. I gave up on trying to save one or two dollars on off-brand ones because the cutting jaws never lined up properly.

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And… test data! On the right is a $20 Amazon tool. Middle is the cheap McMaster tool. Left is the expensive McMaster tool, a Thomas&Betts ERG50. Middle and left I’d call an actual flush cut!! Right, not so much.

Sorry, my phone doesn’t play well on uploading…

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mmmmhmmmm

I’mma need a wrist test on that one. Will investigate the ERG50 though…

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I felt it carefully. I wasn’t willing to Blood sacrifice for it, though!
The ERG50 is, um, pricey.

Creates sharper cuts:

Creates smoother cuts:

I lived my whole life thinking it would create sharper cuts the second way but I did it cuz I had to cut a zip tie in a tough position at work and my life has been changed lol

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Another round of zip-tie shootout. The gold standard is stegg85’s method on the right.


Top view of the cuts:

And the contenders :slight_smile: Cheap-O off Amazon, CK 95003 from McMaster, Panduit GS2B, and Ty-Rap ERG50. The CK is the cheapest that does a solid job. The Panduits are available on Fleabay for $40-50. NOTE: the tension is important for function! If you have the tension set way too low for your zip-tie, you will get a sticking out end even with the Ty-Rap tool! It really needs to pull, stretch, cut, and allow snap back.

Gratuitous detail shot of the working bits of the Panduit. Note the tiny, sharp, single bevel blade in it. A little grinding on the end could improve its trimming performance further.

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