Twist off your zip ties, don't cut them


Originally published at:


I’m sold, learn something new everyday.




Well it might seem funny to you now to fill up the google hits for “twist off your zip ties” with useless articles that contain no advice whatsoever for people who need to escape from their captors. But what happens when someone gets hurt?


Cut or twisted, if they both end up in the trash, what does it matter?


Headline announces how to remove the zip tie when its finished its purpose. Video shows how to apply the zip tie with a nicer finish.

Confusing headline is confusing


I’ve poked some pretty fuckin nasty holes in myself futzing with things that turned out to be held together with There! I Fixed It! zip tie arrangements. Those things are sharp.


Pretty much what i thought. My impression, after reading the headline, was that the video covered how to undo zipties after their need to be holding something was done. Actual video covers how to better “cut” the tail without leaving a sharp edge.

Ok then.


comma splice


Nail Clippers (in a pinch).
Else use a purpose built tool tighten and flush trim them in one motion.

Article title edit:
Twist off your zip ties, don’t cut them ----> Twist off your zip tie tails, don’t cut them


Well MY tale of being lured to this thread under false pretences involves it being easier than you’d think to misread “zip ties” as “nipples”


I use the small blade on my Swiss Army Knife to undo the lock tab on zip-ties so you can ease them open again without cutting anything. You can use them again after that. I have some I’ve taken off then reused several times. Works great but I’ve only done it on whole zip-ties, not ones with the excess cut off/twisted off. I grab the tail and pull it to give the blade room to get in there.


A small pair of flush cut snippers will cut the tail such that it can’t hurt you.


[ed. to add: Woops, this was meant to be a general reply to the topic, not a reply directed to @apenzott . The “you” in the text below is meant to be the generic rhetorical “you.” Sorry 'bout that.]

Well, of course you get crappy results if you use scissors.

Use your flush-cut side nippers. This is what they’re FOR. (All God’s Maker chillun got flush-cut nippers, don’t they?)

In response to the video’s titular query “Are you using zip ties wrong?”, I can only say, “No, but apparently you are.” (-:

(And BTW, I love “HOW-DO” as a tag. It’s even dorkier than “HOWTO” used for non-*nix things. Perfect for this sort of cruft.)


Don’t try this if you’re using stainless-steel zips. (-:


I wonder what the womanly method is that’s recommended over at the Womancrafting channel.


I definitely rolled my eyes hard at the channel name. Mancrafting? I get the sentiment of skilled manual work, but… again… mancrafting? If you have to compensate that hard to remind yourself that you’re a man then that’s just sad. I’ll continue to watch Tested, where they teach, show and advocate making skills for people of all sorts.


Video is not about about removing the entire zip tie but the excess tail of the zip tie.


am I the only person that cuts to leave a few millimeters of tail extra, then melts the tail into a little blob with a Bic lighter or match?

if you don’t have pliers handy, and do have flame, it works great. you have to leave a few mm extra: if you cut the tail flush and then melt it, the heat will deform the ratchet part in the female end and breaks it.

never knew about the twist-off method, though. will try.


i am fine with it, since usually man-anything these days inevitably seems to be something negative (see “mansplaining,” “manspreading,” etc etc )… it’s nice to have it be something POSITIVE, like dudes who are crafting and into DIY stuff.