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How it works

The humble nylon cable tie has been around since the 1950s, and hasn't changed much during that time.

Often the first choice for most applications, they're not ideal. They damage cables, they leave sharp edges, and a lot of plastic gets wasted. In many cases, up to 80% of the tie ends up as landfill.

So we've developed the rapstrap as a more efficient alternative. Now when you cut the end off, you just use it again! Made from elasticated polyurethane, a single 300mm rapstrap typically replaces up to 5 standard ties, greatly reducing waste and lowering costs. It's soft, flexible and extremely versatile, it won't pinch or crimp like nylon ties can, and it's flexible enough to be used on plants or other delicate installations. We think it's an innovation long overdue.

The rapstrap's cellular tie strip can loop and weave into a multitude of
different configurations.

This "self-terminating" system means that the rapstrap gets progressively used
up from the back, whilst the front end (with the tongue still attached) is kept and
used again. rapstrap is supplied in convenient tear-off sheets of 6. To remove a
rapstrap for use, simply tear down quickly from the tongue end and start tying!


If rapstrap is used correctly the remaining portion can be cut off and used
again and again. As a result, a single rapstrap can perform several ties,
and just gets a little shorter with each use. This can dramatically reduce
waste, and save money.

This animation shows the basic principle. Note how the tie is looped through
a cell at the rear of the strap each time it is applied.

Use rapstraps again and again

Alternatively, the same rapstrap can be used as a single temporary tie:
just rethread it back through the same hole.

Then pull to undo when needed. Once fastened like this, a rapstrap can be
removed in under a second!

rapstraps are fully removable and reusable

rapstraps are fully removable and reusable

rapstrap tip!

Tie rapstraps to cables so they’re always to hand

rapstrap derives its superior performance from a combination of the special
shape of the cells, and the strong and flexible qualities of the polyurethane
from which the rapstraps are made. This patented design is a clever piece
of engineering which allows the cells to deform during use, and this in turn
allows one portion of the tie strip to pass through another.

The cells do this by folding along their spine, which makes them narrower and
able to pass through one another. As each cell in turn gets pulled through, it
automatically changes shape and glides through to form a loop in the rapstrap.

However, when pulled backwards, this folding process occurs in the opposite
direction, and this makes the cell's horns stick out. In this configuration they
snare the outer cell and so lock the tie in place. This prevents the tie from
coming undone.


rapstrap tip!

Pre-stretch rapstrap to bind larger items

It is not immediately obvious how to best use a rapstrap, and a common
mistake is threading the tongue through an inappropriate cell.

To fully exploit rapstrap's usefulness, it is important to always thread
through a cell at the end of the strip. This maximises the loop size,
which will automatically adjust to the correct diameter as the rapstrap
is pulled tight.

Then simply cut-off any remaining rapstrap (the front portion), and use it
again. Note how the unused front section has become a new rapstrap,
and can be used again. If you continue like this, a standard 300mm rapstrap
will typically yield up to 5 ties, with minimum wastage.


Firstly, DON'T cut off the tongue end! Instead, re-thread it back through
exactly the same cell, but in the opposite direction. Each cell has a
special notch cut into it which helps when re-inserting the tongue.

Pull the tongue back through the cell as shown, and then keep pulling to
release the rapstrap. An extension of this technique is to leave rapstraps
tied in a half-way stage. These ties are then ready to be removed and will
come free when the tongue end is pulled. In practice, this is a very
efficient way of implementing a "quick-release" fastening, since the final
untying process can happen very rapidly, normally in under a second.


rapstrap tip!

To assist removal, skip the end cell and use it as a grip

For further information contact:

Dragons’ Den

Backed by Duncan Bannatyne and
James Caan, rapstrap is one of the
Den's big success stories.

Learn more

Dragons' Den