A cable tie (also known as a wire tie, hose tie, steggel tie, zap strap or zip tie, and by the brand names Ty-Rap and Panduit strap) is a type of fastener, for holding items together, primarily electrical cables or wires. Because of their low cost and ease of use, cable ties are ubiquitous, finding use in a wide range of other applications. Stainless steel versions, either naked or coated with a rugged plastic, cater for exterior applications and hazardous environments.
The common cable tie, normally made of nylon, has a flexible tape section with teeth that engage with a pawl in the head to form a ratchet so that as the free end of the tape section is pulled the cable tie tightens and does not come undone. Some ties include a tab that can be depressed to release the ratchet so that the tie can be loosened or removed, and possibly reused.
Cable ties were first invented by Thomas & Betts, an electrical company, in 1958 under the brand name Ty-Rap. Initially they were designed for airplane wire harnesses. The original design used a metal tooth, and these can still be obtained. Manufacturers later changed to the nylon/plastic design.