How to use metal cable ties

How to use metal cable ties

Our complete guide to the metal cable tie – the indispensable and undisputed king of the cable tie.

What is a metal cable tie?

A metal cable tie is the same, and serves the same purpose, as a nylon cable tie but is manufactured from stainless steel. Many manufacturers of metal cable ties use 304 stainless steel but at cableties-online, we supply only marine grade 316 stainless steel cable ties.

Types of metal cable ties

At cableties-online, we supply stainless steel cable ties plus PVC coated stainless steel cable ties and epoxy resin coated metal ties. Additionally, we also stock metal detectable cable ties, nylon ties with a metal content which allows them to be detected by scanning equipment such as X-ray machines.  

How strong are metal cable ties?

Much is made of the tensile strength of cable ties, which is measured in kilograms. Briefly, tensile strength refers to how much weight a cable tie can bear, without breaking. Our metal cable ties are available in two widths, the tensile strength of the 4.6mm wide metal tie is 89kg and the strength of the 7.9mm wide metal tie is 160kg. Our article ‘How strong are cable ties?’ looks at the tensile strengths of all our cable ties.

How does a metal cable tie work?

Our metal cable ties are completely smooth on both sides, unlike nylon cable ties which have one ridged side, and they feature a roller ball locking mechanism. The end of the cable tie is fed through this locking mechanism and held securely in place by the roller ball.

Features of metal cable ties

In addition to their high tensile strength (see above), metal cable ties have a working temperature range of -80°C to +538°C. They are durable and safe, conforming to the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671), and are able to withstand extreme weather and environmental conditions. They do not degrade under prolonged UV exposure and the stainless steel means they do not absorb moisture, making them highly resistant to corrosion. 

What are metal cable ties used for?

Used around the world in industries such as shipbuilding, electronics and mining, metal cable ties are the perfect choice for any situation requiring resistance to chemical attack, and extremes of temperature. They will not perish nor dry out, and they do not emit gases or particles, making them an ideal solution for air handling systems and industrial and commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. Their tensile strength enables them to be used when stabilising the heaviest of plant machinery too. Metal detectable cable ties are widely used within the food and pharmaceutical industries where they can easily be detected by scanning equipment.

Metal cable ties must not come into contact with galvanised steel as the two metals will react; in such situations, we advise using coated metal cable ties.

How to use metal cable ties

Metal cable ties are hard to grip (because of their smooth sides) and they can be difficult to tighten manually. We therefore recommend they are used with a cable tie installation tool which will automatically tension the tie and cut off the excess, leaving no sharp edges.

If you need any help or advice about any of our products, send us an email to or give our friendly sales team a call on 01623 412160.