A guide to cable clips

Plastic cable clips for electrical applications

Cable clips are used to secure long wires and cables to a surface. They’re a convenient component for keeping cables tidy and out of the way, protecting from damage and avoiding trip hazards.

You can attach cables to walls, pin cables to skirting boards, run wires through electrical enclosures, on panels, behind fittings – all with the help of cable clips.

How to use cable clips

Cable clips come in different designs, but they all have a cradle or hook for securing the cable in place. How you mount and affix the clip to a surface can also vary, as illustrated by the different types, below. Some have a hole for your fastener to secure the clip to your surface. Of course, the surface will have to be suitable for nails or screws. You can attach cable to walls without nails with self-adhesive cable clips. Peel off the backing and stick the clip to your surface to secure cable to walls or anywhere else.

Whenever you’re thinking about wiring, you need to consider flammability ratings. We urge you to check out Standards and approvals in cable protection. This will help you choose the right wire fastener clips not only for your application, but also for meeting safety standards.

What’s the difference between a cable clamp and cable clip?

Cable clamps help define the routing of wires and cables, while cable clips can just as easily be called cable mounting clips or wire mounting clips. That is, cable clips mount cables or wires to a surface. Some cable clamps can be used in the same role fulfilled by cable clips. You can learn more about cable clamps in our Guide to choosing the right cable clamp.

Types of cable clips and their uses

Cable clips include wire clips, also called cable wire clips, and some clamps and wire saddles.

​Cable clip – extended metal rail

Cable clip – extended metal rail

Electrical enclosures require DIN rails, which are metal rails used to mount circuit breakers, terminal blocks and other types of electrical equipment. These clips slide into grooves of the rail and are designed specifically to handle the equipment’s wires and cables.

Screw-mount wire clip

Screw-mount wire clip

This style is comprised of two pieces. Typically used on panels, the clip’s keeper bar can be removed for maintenance or changes to the cables. A flat-head machine screw is used to secure the clip.

​Adhesive-mount wire clip

Adhesive-mount wire clip

Double-sided foam tape for quick and easy installation, which can be removed without damaging the surface. These sit flush with the surface they’re affixed to. The arm bends to secure the wires or cables, preventing damage with its thick, protective foam.

​Nail-in cable clamps

Nail-in cable clamps

Cable nail clips are ideal as wire clips for walls. These can be used as coaxial cable clips and to install fiber optics and cables for other communication systems.

Adjustable adhesive-mount cable clips

Adjustable adhesive-mount cable clips

The ratcheting feature holds and locks cable bundles securely. Performs in high-vibration applications. This style is especially handy, as it can be reopened for routing changes and will not reopen unless the tab is released.

​Flat cable clamps

Flat cable clamps

Flat cable clips are designed to securely hold and protect fiber and cable. Its low profile makes it ideal for densely packed computer chassis or wall-mount rack enclosure server cabinets. Also used as ethernet cable wall clips and to secure wire to walls.

​Wire saddles – locking, snap-in

Wire saddles – locking, snap-in

Reduces strain on wires and cables while keeping them stable within PCBs. The snap-in fastener makes these fast and easy to install.

Cable spring clip

Cable spring clip

Ribbon cable locking clip secures ribbon cable, in computers, round cable and tubing. When made in nylon or acetal, these screw-down cable clips are flexible enough to remove cables when necessary, without removing the clip itself.

​Plastic wire clip – adhesive mount

Plastic wire clip – adhesive mount

The top of the wire holder clip flips over to hold wires of 1mm in place securely. Also called a wire cord grip. The self-adhesive backing makes these small wire clips easy to affix to your surface area. Used to route wires along enclosures and equipment.

Steel P-clamps with rubber cushion

Steel P-clamps with rubber cushion

You can use these as cable wire fasteners in small sizes the same way you’d use clips. Typically used in automotive and machinery.

Wires secured with cable clips

Metal cable clips vs. plastic cable clips

Metal clips for electrical wiring are available as stainless-steel cable clips, steel and even aluminum, copper. Steel cable clips are usually zinc plated to protect against corrosion. Of course, stainless steel is famously corrosion resistant, as is aluminum. Rubber cable clips, such as P-clips, are usually stainless steel or steel with a rubber lining, as in the example above. These materials make them excellent at electrical insulation and vibration absorption.

If there’s a chance your copper or brass cable clip will come into contact with galvanized steel, choose another material. The contact will induce rapid corrosion. In these instances, plastic wire clips, such as nylon cable clips, are a great choice. Nylon is also an extremely cost-effective way to manage cables.

Application is important when deciding between metal and plastic. If wiring a building, any plastic clips – or any plastic cable management solution – should not be used as the only method of support. Use metal supports along a building’s entry and exit routes in case of fire, for the simple reason that plastic melts and falling cables are an obvious hazard. Always check your local guidelines and requirements. Plastic is a safe bet for most other applications.

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions, which you can download. You can also request free samples to make sure you’ve chosen exactly what you need. You can also learn more from our Ultimate guide to cable management. If you’re not quite sure which solution will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch. Request your free samples or download free CADs now.


Email us at sales@essentracomponents.com or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 800-847-0486.