A guide to the tensile strength of cable ties

Cable ties on red cables

The strength and reliability of cable ties, also commonly known as zip ties, is reflected in tensile strength. Cable tie tensile strength is primarily based on a combination of factors such as the material composition and dimensions of the cable tie. We’ve written this guide to help you understand cable tie tensile strength so that you can make the right choice for your application. We’ll cover:

What is Cable Tie Tensile Strength?

Cable tie tensile strength refers to the maximum amount of force or load that a cable tie can withstand before breaking or failing. Think of it as a measure of the strength and durability of the cable tie when subjected to tensile or pulling forces.

Cable tie tensile strength is typically specified in pounds (lbs) or kilograms (kg). The value indicates the maximum load that cable ties can withstand without breaking or deforming significantly. Higher tensile strength values indicate stronger and more robust cable ties capable of handling greater loads.

When selecting cable ties for a specific application, consider the anticipated tension or pulling forces that the cable ties may experience. The appropriate cable tie tensile strength ensures that they can securely fasten and support the cables or components without failure.

Different materials that make cable ties, such as nylon cable ties or stainless steel cable ties, may have varying tensile strength values, depending on the type of nylon or grade of stainless steel. Always make sure you have the cable tie tensile strength needed for reliable and secure fastening.

What is minimum looped tensile strength?

This refers to the minimum load capacity that the looped portion of cable ties should be able to withstand without breaking or deforming significantly.

When using a cable tie, the looped end is inserted through the head or locking mechanism and pulled tight to secure the cables together. The minimum loop tensile strength tells you the strength required for the looped portion to maintain its integrity and securely hold the cables or objects in place. When we talk about cable tie tensile strength, this is what is meant. 

Essentra Components provides the minimum tensile strength value for cables, which helps you select the correct cable tie tensile strength for reliable and secure fastening.

How to Measure Cable Ties

In addition to the minimum tensile strength, accurate measurements will help ensure that the cable ties are suitable for your application and can withstand the necessary loads effectively.

First, it helps to measure the cable tie bundle diameter, which is the diameter of the cable bundle that you plan on securing. This determines the sizes of cable ties that you’ll need. Group the cables or objects you intend to fasten with zip ties into a bundle. Use a flexible measuring tape or a caliper to measure the maximum outer diameter of the bundled cables. Make sure to measure at the widest point of the bundle.

To measure zip ties themselves:

  • Length Measurement: Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the distance from the locking head to the tip of the cable tie. This measurement determines the usable length of the cable tie.
  • Width Measurement: Some people refer to this as zip tie thickness. Measure the width of the cable tie along the strap part. 

Wire clips, also known as cable clips, might serve your purpose better than cable ties, depending on your application. You can learn more about these components in our Guide to Cable Clips. 

You should also check out our Guide to Cable Twist Ties and watch our video, Types of Cable Ties & Clips.

Cable ties in industrial setting

Cable Ties: Sizes

Pay special attention to the middle column in each cable ties sizes chart below. The cables or components you’re bundling should not exceed that weight. 

Note, more sizes are available, which you can check out by following the links. The examples in each zip tie size chart are to illustrate what you should pay attention to when determining the cable tie tensile strength needed for your application. 

Standard cable ties

Standard cable ties – Nylon 6/6

Tough, high-quality standard nylon cable ties are suitable for a wide range of electrical applications. These standard cable ties come with a built-in locking mechanism to prevent accidental removal. Also available are heat-stabilized locking cable ties. If your application is outdoors, consider using weather-resistant standard cable ties, which stands up to UV rays. 

Size: length x width Minimum loop tensile strength Maximum cable tie bundle diameter
3.780 in x 0.100 in 18 lbs 0.910 in
5.910 in x 0.140 in 40 lbs 1.480 in
6.300 in x 0.180 in 50 lbs 1.520 in
14.960 in x 0.250 in 100 lbs 4.330 in
8.580 in x 0.300 in 120 lbs 2.010 in
14.960 in x 0.300 in 120 lbs 4.330 in
24.020 in x 0.350 in 175 lbs 7.01 in
9.060 in x 0.500 in 250 lbs 2.480 in


Standard cable ties - releasable thumb press

Standard cable ties – releasable, thumb press

Also made of nylon 6/6, these standard cable ties remain locked until intentionally released by pressing your thumb against the tab. These are great for temporary bundling purposes or if frequent maintenance or changes are necessary. 

Also available are standard cable ties with a releasable tab.

Size: length x width Minimum loop tensile strength Maximum cable tie bundle diameter
8.094 in x 0.300 in 30 lbs 1.880 in
5.500 in x 0.210 in 40 lbs 1.250 in
6.000 in x 0.190 in 50 lbs 1.500 in
14.570 in x 0.190 in 50 lbs 4.020 in


Stainless steel cable ties

Stainless steel cable ties

Self-locking and made from 304 and 316 grade Stainless Steel. They’re easily installed by hand and are ideal for assemblies in various environmental conditions. Stainless steel cable ties provide strength and durability, while resisting extreme temperatures. Use 304 grade for indoor or outdoor applications and grade 316 if the environment is corrosive. Operating temperature range: –328°F to 1000°F (–200°C to 538°C).

You can learn more about these grades in our guide, 304 vs. 316 Stainless Steel: What’s the Difference?

Size: length x width Minimum loop tensile strength Maximum cable tie bundle diameter
7.913 in x 0.18 in 100 lbs 2.008 in
39.291 in x 0.18 in 100 lbs 11.969 in
20.512 in x 0.31 in 250 lbs 5.984 in
32.992 in x 0.31 in 250 lbs 10 in
39.291 in x 0.31 in 250 lbs 11.969 in


You can find additional information about the different types of cable ties, their different applications, and materials in our Guide to Cable Ties.

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If you’re not quite sure which solution will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

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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.