Zip Tie Removal Tool

600

2

12

Introduction: Zip Tie Removal Tool

About: make fun

No doubt all users of zip ties have mistakenly cinched them down and had to take it off later. The easy way is to just cut it off. This is quick but it ruins the zip tie. With this tool you can remove them and reuse them several times reducing waste and saving the environment (just a little bit)! Making 2 of these tools takes less than 5 minutes on a bench grinder so what do you have to loose?

Supplies

used utility blade

zip tie

bench grinder, Dremel or similar

5 minutes of time

Step 1: Materials and Tools

This project will require you have a utility blade (preferably used and dull), bench grinder, Dremel, or lots of patience and a stone.

First, take a look at the size of zip ties you regularly use. If you care to be precise, measure the width if the zip tie.

Perhaps the most important step is to grind off the sharp edge of the utility blade. Please don't skip this step.

You can grind 2 tools in a single utility blade. My "thick" tool is about 2.5mm across and 4mm deep. I just eyeballed this on the grinder. The "thin" tool is about 1.5mm and 5mm deep. You can layout the dimensions with a marker if you are not comfortable eyeballing it on the grinder.

Step 2: Grind and Deburr

My eyeballed 2 tool version is pictured here. This took only a few minutes on a bench grinder. I tapered the thickness down a bit on the grinder and slightly rounded the edges with a stone.

Step 3: Using the Tool

To use the tool you can just force it under the tongue however this may damage the mechanism.

If you want to reuse the zip tie you can gently tighten it so that the ratchet disengages but not so tight that it clicks to the next serration. Next slip the tool between the tongue and the serration and pull out the serration to remove..

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    12 Comments

    0
    mykiscool
    mykiscool

    11 months ago

    Just like shimming handcuffs.

    0
    schochj
    schochj

    Reply 11 months ago

    i don't see it.

    0
    mykiscool
    mykiscool

    Reply 11 months ago

    When you get out of handcuffs (I've done this as part of a contest at defcon) you put a small piece of metal into the ratchet and lift it so that it doesn't contact the teeth anymore.

    0
    oragamiunicorn
    oragamiunicorn

    11 months ago

    I normally use a flat screwdriver to do this. so stupid that we should have to, as, with an extra few mm of plastic in the mold, any cable tie could be manufactured to be reusable, when i can i try to use larger ties as they are easier to pry back open, and will possibly handle repeated interference better.

    0
    schochj
    schochj

    Reply 11 months ago

    they do make them, search amazon for "reusable zip tie".

    I find the hard part of undoing a zip tie is simultaniously holding the tool and getting the zip tie loose. A screw driver works well but it can be hard to hold unless it is perfectly sized and sticks in the head all by itself.

    0
    oragamiunicorn
    oragamiunicorn

    Reply 11 months ago

    I know they make them, my point was that there is so little difference between the reusable and the disposable ties that it seems just wrong for the environment and the consumer that any disposable ones are made at all, and in my experience if you go to an average shop you either can't find reusable one or end up paying a lot more.


    0
    aaahotdog
    aaahotdog

    Reply 11 months ago

    Totally agree. I guess this is a classic example of planned obsolesence. A few extra mm and you could reuse, however then the manufacturer would not sell as many. Fill up the landfills I guess.

    0
    aaahotdog
    aaahotdog

    11 months ago

    well done. In the past I've used jeweler's flat blades, but I'll have to make one to try it. Thank you for sharing.

    0
    schochj
    schochj

    Reply 11 months ago

    thanks! I'm sure many things can work as it is very simple. I thought the used utility blade was something folks might have lying around and when I tried it it turns out to work well.

    0
    robertsteel
    robertsteel

    11 months ago

    They are annoying bits of useless pollution so good job for making them re-useable . Bloody electricians cut them off right down low so they don't get stuck and cut by them but in doing so make the pollution bit with the cut end then make more pollution when the thing has to be cut off.