How to undo a cable tie

How to undo cable ties

Can you unfasten cable ties and how do you remove a cable tie without breaking it? Our latest guide tells you everything you need to know.

There’s no doubt that cable ties play an indispensable part in a variety of domestic and commercial settings and the uses and applications for them are vast. While they are designed to be a permanent solution for bundling cables, there may be times when you need to undo one, for example if you have tied it in the wrong place or have left wires out of the bundle.

How to undo a cable tie

It is possible to undo a cable tie without resorting to cutting through it with a sharp knife, in the case of nylon cable ties, or a metal cutter in the case of stainless steel cable ties, but once cut, the cable tie cannot be used again. To undo a plastic cable tie, the ratchet that locks the tie in place when tightened can be depressed with a screwdriver and the tie undone. Similarly with metal cable ties, pushing the ratchet up with a screwdriver will release the tie. It may seem obvious to know how to loosen cable ties but one way to avoid having to do so is to use releasable cable ties.


Releasable cable ties

Offering the same tensile strength as standard nylon cable ties, releasable cable ties have a unique design which allows them to be reused. They feature a clever pawl with either a nylon tab or a button catch, depending on the cable tie width. When this is released the teeth of the tie release the head, allowing the tie to loosen and be removed.

Applications for releasable cable ties

Releasable cable ties are the perfect solution in any situation where you need to undo and then redo a tie. For example, when bundling cables and wires together, a releasable cable tie will allow you to add more wires or remove them from the bundle, quickly and easily, making them perfect for home or office cable management. When securing banners at an event, releasable cable ties can be used for temporary banners that will need to be taken down at the end of the event and are useful for travelling exhibitions and art installations. The Rapstrap is particularly useful in the garden, where trailing or climbing plants need to be secured to supports such as trellis or canes, as the absence of sharp edges make them suitable for use with tender or delicate plants.

Releasable cable ties from cableties online

Our releasable cable ties come in a choice of width, up to 9.0mm, and length up to 450mm, in 6 popular colours. Until deliberately released, the cable ties will remain securely fastened. We also supply the Rapstrap, an innovative tie seen on Dragon’s Den. Manufactured from elasticated polyurethane, and featuring a quick release system, the Rapstrap can be pulled at one end, undone and reused.  

To discuss your temporary cable management requirements or for any information on our product range, call us on 01623 412160 or email us at