Cable tie cutters, why do you need them?

Zip ties or cable ties are great self-locking fasteners for tying things together. They are particularly useful for cable management. Electricians use them to bundle together electrical cables and wires to keep everything neat and tidy, especially on cable tracks and trays. Auto mechanics too use these plastic straps to manage the car and motorcycle wiring looms and to fasten items together. Zip ties also make excellent DIY fasteners. You can use them as split rings to hold together a bunch of keys or as a temporary replacement for a broken zipper pull tab. Some people use tie wraps to file papers while others use them to hang things. There is just so much you can do with zip ties.

cable ties for looms
Zip ties for managing motorcycle wiring harness (source: Amazon)

A zip tie fastener is very easy to install. You simply loop it over with the grooved side facing inside and put the tail through the slot in the head. As you pull the tail through to get the right fit, the tab on the head locks the zip tie to prevent it from coming loose.

Although nylon zip ties are great for fastening things, they can be a problem to remove. And unless you are working with the releasable type, the best way to remove a nylon cable tie is to cut it off.

Types of cable tie cutting tools

You can use different tools to cut cable ties including scissors, a utility knife, and various cutting pliers. For the longest time, I thought dikes were the best pliers for cutting zip ties. Until I came across a type of lightweight cutting pliers with hooked jaw ends. They are by far the best cable tie cutter tool I have come across.

The cable tie cutters have sharp cutting blades like micro cutter pliers but the ends are hooked. Their cutting blades are also longer than those of the micro cutters.

Some cable tie cutters come as wire stripper pliers with cutting blades at the end of the jaws and bent tips. These are for me the best version of zip tie cutter pliers because you can use them to cut zip ties and strip wires. I am sure you’d also love them because they eliminate the need to carry two tools in your EDC pouch.

What makes cable tie cutter pliers the best tool for cutting zip ties?

There are two reasons why zip tie cutting pliers are the best for removing zip ties. The first reason is that the sharp hooked jaw tips make it extremely easy to get underneath tight cable ties and snip them off without nicking whatever they are binding. This is the main feature that makes cable tie cutters a cut above any other tool you can use to cut zip ties.

Before I learned about these nifty cutting pliers for tie wraps, I used to accidentally nick and cut into the material around the zip ties. This became a serious problem when dealing with electrical cables because a cut into the insulation material can cause dangerous electrical hazards. But with these hooked zip tie cutters, it is easy to get the teeth under the ties and lift them up before cutting. This eliminates the risk of notching the material or scratching the surface of the tied object. Now I can even afford to be less cautious when cutting zip ties.

The second reason why cable tie cutters are the best tool for removing cable ties is that they give you more control when cutting. You will not have to deal with zip ties flying at a speed of sound when you cut them. Also, good zip tie cutters trim off zip tie tails without leaving sharp edges. They cut straight and flush.

Who needs zip tie cutting pliers

Basically, cable tie cutters are for anyone in a profession or hobby that involves removing and replacing zip ties. It does not matter how many tie wraps you deal with every day. These pliers are the absolute game-changer.

If you have been using diagonal cutters or a utility knife and think they are the best for cutting cable ties, you haven’t tried cable tie cutter pliers. Because the moment you will start using them, you will not want to go back. These are hands down the best snips for cutting zip ties.

The hooks at the end of the cutters get under any tight cable tie easily to line it up for a clean cut. Moreover, the cutting edges are sharp enough to snip off zip ties without damaging anything around the strap. What you may have to live with, however, are minor scratches on the surface as the teeth dig under the tight straps.

So there you have it. That’s all about cable tie cutters and why you need them in your EDC bag. If you know someone who is looking for a reliable tool for removing cable ties, you can share this article with them.

Wrap up

In summary, cable tie cutters are the best for cutting and removing zip ties for the following two reasons:

Reason 1: Cable tie cutters easily get underneath tight cable ties and snip them off.

Reason 2: Cable tie cutters cut zip ties flat without leaving sharp ends.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. As a handy person, he possesses a variety of pliers (both general-purpose and specialty pliers) which he uses to complete various tasks. When Julio is not blogging, he spends his time in the garage fixing cars or building stuff.