The ultimate guide to cable management

The Ultimate Guide to Cable Management

Cable management usually refers to the organization of cables within an installation, appliance or a cabinet, e.g., cable junction box, outdoor utility cabinet or data cabinet. It also applies to outer cables in order to prevent tangles known as cable spaghetti.

This guide is designed to help you choose the most appropriate cable management options for your application. We strongly recommend that you try the solutions you need before you buy – request free samples so that you can ensure they’re exactly what your application requires. You can also download free CADs to help with your design.

What you need to know

If you already have an idea of what you need, jump to that section now by clicking on the link below:

Cable bushings Enable wires to pass safely through a grounded conducting barrier, e.g. sheet metal, a transformer or circuit breaker.
Cable clips Secure wires and cables on a surface.
Cable clamps Provide support while defining a route for cables along a wall or within an application.
Cable conduit Used to route wiring in a structure, such as a building. Protects cables against damage caused by sharp objects, impact and moisture.
Cable grommets Protect wires and cables from abrasions that pass-through holes.
Cable ties Hold small bundle of wires or cables together to keep them organized.
Cable tie mounts A fixing element for cable ties, applied to surfaces.
Cable wraps and sleeves Organize wires and cables into one bundle.
Cord grips Prevent cable damage and failure and used to pass cables into an enclosure or control device. Usually used in industrial settings to control the bend or stop a cable from being pulled out of a system.
Heat shrink tubing Insulates wires, providing abrasion resistance and environmental protection. Available in different colors to allow for color coding.
Twist ties Ideal for circuit and electrical boards. Hold wires in place, away from panels.
Applications for cable management A glance at the cable management solutions used by applications.
Materials: Overview Learning more about materials can help make your choices easier.


Cable management solutions

Here are the solutions available to help you keep your cables organized and protected. You can learn from our video:


Cable bushings

Bushings protect wires and their passage openings. By insulating these openings, bushings protect the wires from damage, for example, as caused by pulling, tugging or abrasions. The insulation also prevents short circuits by ensuring that wires are separated. There are many different types, with their own advantages. You can learn more by viewing our complete range of cable bushings.

Examples of cable bushings include:

Cable clips

Cable clips secure long cables and wires that run between components outside of a housing, such as a data cabinet. Think of them as a device for cable mounting, that keeps your cables neat. Of course, cable clips can run along walls, fixtures and furniture, but the point is, if you want to keep your cables – and people – safe, then you want cable clips.

Typically, cable clips – also known as wire clips – contain an apparatus for bundling cables together securely and then another component for holding the cable clip and bundled cables. You can get these two components separately, but a cable clip that combines these elements is faster to work with.

How you secure the cable clip is another consideration. One type is designed as a single piece. It secures cables on one end, and on the other, a hole for your fastener enables you to affix the clip to your surface. Keep in mind, however, the surface has to be suitable for nails or screws. If it’s not, then your best option is an adhesive cable clip. You can stick this to your surface and remove it easily as needed.

To get an idea of the choices available, view our vast range of cable clips.

Examples of cable clips:

Cable clamps

These are similar to clips, though clips are usually used for smaller cables. Cable clamps are the support for cables and define their route. That route can be within a structure’s wall, an electric cable enclosure, instrumentation or any other application that houses cables. Establishing a route is important, as it allows electricians to later trace the cables for troubleshooting or identification. It also prevents random inductive coupling, which results in interference problems caused by cables running too close to high-power electrical equipment.

You can still use ties for bundling, but you’ll need fewer of them, as cable clamps secure your bundles. Clamps can often make building an enclosure faster. With the clamps installed, the cables and conductors can then be routed and quickly snapped into place.

Your choices are varied. Adjustable cable clamps, as the name says, allow you to open the clamps and make easy adjustments. P-clip cable clamps, so named because of their shape, protect your cables from damage caused by vibrations. A C cable clamp allows bundles to easily slide in and out of the clamp.

Our guide, How to Choose the Right Cable Clamp, can help you make the right choice for your application. You can also view our wide range of cable clamps.

Examples of cable clamps include:

Cable conduit

Conduit encloses, supports and protects cables. It can be rigid, or you can get flexible plastic conduit for cables. An example of a rigid material used to make conduit is metal. The benefit to this type of cable conduit is its grounding and bonding qualities, which minimize electromagnetic interference; likewise, it blocks the emissions of the power cables it’s housing. Conduit with a metal base is usually used for general factory wiring and connections to machines, and some choices can also give you flexibility.

Your alternative is plastic cable conduit. This is highly flexible, accommodating bends that you might need. If crushed, its high-impact strength enables swift recovery.

You might also need conduit accessories, such as corrugated conduit clips. See our full range of conduit clips to discover your options. Another area you might need to consider are cable fittings, also known as conduit fittings. These are connectors that link one piece of conduit to another.

You can learn how to size conduit in our handy guide. You can also view our range of cable conduit to learn more about your choices.

Cable duct

A cable duct is a type of conduit. It’s extremely helpful when your cabinet needs higher-packing density than normal. As digitalization spreads, cable ducts are becoming more commonplace. Cable ducts are useful as a space-saving routing system for your cables. It makes maintenance and repairs easier, while providing safety. Plastic cable ducts are the most popular option, as they provide a degree of flexibility.

Examples of cable conduit include:

Cable grommets

Grommets seal off and protect cables from sharp panel edges. Not only do they provide cable strain relief, but also aesthetic appeal. The grommet size you need should match the size of the panel hole diameter and the panel’s thickness. Rubber cable grommets are the most common and come in different shapes that push into place. Rubber is also common for grommet strips, which are placed over a panel’s edges for a finished appearance. Nylon grommet strips are another option.

Different types of grommets include diaphragm grommets. These are ideal for tight radii in panel cut-outs and holes. They contain a thin central film, which can be pierced to enable different sized wires to pass through into an enclosure or through a panel. Membrane entry grommets are ideal for limited space, providing good flexibility and aesthetics. Stepped grommets, named because of their stepped sections, can fit multiple cable diameters. They’re used to protect cables passing through panels. To learn more about this vital cable management solution, you can see our complete range of cable grommets or read our article, A guide to rubber grommets

Examples of cable grommets include:

Cable ties

These are fasteners that bundle your cables and wires together, keeping them organized while preventing damage. They’re the most common solution for managing cables, simply because they’re so effective. Plastic cable ties are the most commonly used, though you can find them in different materials, along with different sizes and even colors.

They also come in different types. A marker cable tie is essentially a standard cable tie, but with a tag for writing on. Belt cable ties have a quick-release mechanism. Along with hook and loop cable ties, these are examples of reusable cable ties. A good point to remember: releasable cable ties can usually be used multiple times. Heavy duty cable ties bundle heavy cables, while weather resistant cable ties are ideal for outdoor use. You can find all of these cable ties in our extensive range. You can also learn more in our Guide to Cable Ties.

Examples of cable ties include:

Cable tie mounts

Push mount cable ties affix directly to surfaces, but another option are cable tie mounts. These provide secure fixing to any surface for your cable ties. Think of it as a cable tie mounting base.

You can attach them to walls, panels – just about any structure.

Cable tie mounts are also useful for preventing damage to cables and conductors by routing them away from moving parts. They can isolate conductor bundles from pinch points created by, for example, weatherproof outdoor cabinet doors and hinges.

They’re available in different sizes, and the one you choose will depend on the size of your cable ties.

Also, the material of the mount should always be suitable to the environment where you’re using it. Most cable tie mounts come in nylon, as it’s a good all-round material: strong, durable and offering good resistance to heat and chemicals, e.g., masonry cable tie mounts, designed for mounting in block or concrete walls. Some cable tie mounts also combine nylon with stainless steel.

Mounting types vary, but fall under three main methods: push-in, screw or self-adhesive cable tie mounts. To learn more, read our Guide to Cable Tie Mounts. You can also learn more about specific solutions by viewing our range of cable tie mounts.

Examples of cable tie mounts include:

Cable wraps and sleeves

Cable wrap and cable sleeves bundle cables, keeping them organized and protected from damage. The difference between them lies in materials and the ease in accessing cables when you need to.

There are two main types of cable wrap: spiral cable wrap and slit harness wrap. Spiral wrap is cut in a spiral design. This enables you to route cables at any point from the bundle to a different direction. You can also apply spiral cable wrap to the re-routed bundle. Its design and construction mean that it’s highly flexible. This makes it perfectly suited for robotic applications, where cables need flex and move around.

With a special tool, black slit harness wrap slides over cables and wires easily. It’s crush resistant, also used for hoses, and has some degree of flexibility. Because bundling can be done so quickly, this type of wrap is extremely cost effective.

When we talk about a cable sleeve, what’s actually meant is a braided cable sleeve. This is a cable management sleeve that organizes your cables and wires, while optimizing space and conforming to irregular shapes. It acts as a wire covering, protecting against moisture, abrasions and other threats.

You can learn more with our Guide to Spiral Wrap and The Difference Between Cable Conduit, Wrap, Sleeves and Tubing. It’s also worth viewing our full range of cable wrap and sleeves.

Examples of cable wraps and sleeves include:

Cord grips

Sometimes called cable glands, cord grips perform several important functions, mostly in industrial applications. They’re often used as an enclosure cable entry. That is, you pass the cable through the cord grip, which then passes the cable through a bulkhead or into a control device. The purpose is to control the arc of the bend and prevent the cable from being pulled out, while also providing cable strain relief.

Another function is to protect your cable from damage. A cord grip seals against contaminants such as debris, oil, moisture and dust. This makes it suitable for use not only in dry applications, but those where wet conditions exist. Other common uses for cord grips include material handling, machine tools, motors and pumps.

Examples of cord grips and accessories include:

Heat shrink tubing

Heat shrink tubing encases cables in plastic tubing. A hot gun is then used to shrink the tubes, which form a close-fitting casing. Heat shrink tubing is flexible and has excellent mechanical strength. It’s used to protect a connection between a wire and a connector, while offering protection and sturdiness It also provides strain relief for your cables, helping them perform at optimal level. If that’s a priority, choose heat shrink tubing over braided cable sleeves.

Heat shrink tubing is available in different colors – green and yellow typically signals that the tubing is highly flame retardant, while clear usually means it is not. If that’s not relevant to your application, clear heat shrink tubing is a good choice when you need electrical insulation and mechanical performance.

You can learn more from our article, Heat shrink sizing and materials, and about specific solutions by viewing our wide range of heat shrink tubing.

Examples of heat shrink tubing include:

Twist ties

Cable twist ties are used to route cabling in electronic enclosures, such as panel boards and NEMA electrical enclosures. Cable tie mounts and cable clamps do this too, and with more precision, but flexible twist ties can sometimes be the better option. This is the case if you need to add cables and conductors during and after cable installation. One big advantage of twist ties is that they make laying in the cable extremely fast. They can be reopened and closed again, so carrying out changes or maintenance is easy.

Some of the twist ties we offer come with adhesive backing, which works well when your surface is slightly uneven or curved. If mounting holes are present, standoff twist ties and twist ties with fir tree mounts snap easily into place. You can even get twist ties that take cables from angles, rather than on top.

To learn more, don’t miss our Guide to Cable Twist Ties. You can also view our full range of twist ties, which shows your choices available.

Examples of twist ties include:

Applications for cable management

Some cable management solutions are especially popular with various industries and therefore, applications. We’ve put together a guideline to help you make your choices.

Consumer Appliances and Electronics

Office Equipment

Indoor Cabinets

Outdoor Cabinets

Equipment Manufacturing



Materials: Overview

Here’s a look at the most common materials that make cable management solutions.



Tough, strong and abrasion resistant, Nylon has a very low coefficient to friction. With high elasticity, it also provides resistance to tears, chemicals, and can be formulated to stand up to UV rays.

Nylon 6/6, the grade most often used, meets UL94 V-2 flammability ratings. Nylon can also be heat stabilized for continuous or extended exposure to high temperatures. For example, you can have the same cable tie, but manufactured for different applications. Natural-color cable ties are designed for indoor use, while black UV stabilized cable ties are best used outdoors.

Example: Cable Ties and Cable Clamps

Polyethylene (PE)

Tough and durable, Polyethylene has high impact strength. It also has high ductility, and as a result, provides a degree of flexibility. It’s crush resistant, protecting applications against damage.

Example: Grommet Strip

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene, also known as PP, is semi-rigid and has good fatigue resistance. It also offers superb electrical and chemical resistance (including acids, polyhydric alcohols, neutral salts and basic salts) and has an operating temperature range of -20°C to 90°C, or -4°F to 194°F.

It does have lower tensile strength than nylon 6/6, but it’s also more flexible. PE can also stand up to UV exposure, and does not absorb or emit moisture.

Example: Ball Cable Ties, Split Cable Conduit

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC has good resistance to oils and low permeability to gases. It’s inherently self-extinguishing, which makes it an excellent material for wire and cable insulation.

Example: Adhesive Mount Cable Clamp

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM is a type of synthetic rubber, which gives it flexibility. It also provides excellent sealing. A cost- effective material, EPDM and stand up to temperatures of 218°C, or 425°F.

Example: Grommets

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel provides high tensile strength and can stand up to extremely high and low temperatures. All stainless steel contains a minimum of 10.5% Chromium, which is what gives the material it’s corrosion resistance.

Example:Cable ties


High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is flexible and economical. It has excellent resistance to most chemicals, but poor resistance to oil and grease.

Example: Cable Conduit


Polyolefins are thermoplastics and include materials such as HDPE. They have good chemical and physical properties. Their incredible versatility and easy processability is why they’re the most popular plastics available.

Example: Heat Shrink Tubing

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)

TPE is considered more of a rubber because it’s dense, flexible and soft. With excellent weather resistance, it also doesn't tear easily under friction and has high-impact strength.

Example: Grommets

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions. You can also request free samples to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

You’ll like our flexibility too, if it’s just a small order you need, no problem. Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch.

Request your free samples or download free CADs now.


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