Videos

5 Sleeves for Covering Cables

Clean up your cable mess

In this video we’re going to take a look at 5 different types of cable wrap. As a maker, I use this stuff to gather and protect wires in my projects, but it’s also good for managing cables from your computer or TV. I was surprised to learn there were so many different types of this stuff — velcro, spiral, split, braided tube. I’m going to show you what each one is like. I have links for everything in the description. And by using those links you help support my videos and the Cool Tools blog.

First up, I have this velcro style braided cable wrap ($23). It comes in this flat reel. You roll out however much you need, cut it, and fold it around your cables. The hook and loop keeps it secure.

It’s a good look, and very common around office buildings. The velcro makes it easy to undo, or pull out a cable along the way. But it also adds a little flap that sticks out, which depending on how concerned you are about the look of your project, feels a little sloppy.

One quick tip about working with this braided wrap is that you can avoid a frayed edge by using a hot knife, or hitting the edge with a torch or lighter.

If you just cut it with scissors, the ends tend to unravel and it’s messy

The best option is to use a hot knife. I have a cordless one. This cuts right through and melts the edges together as it goes so it doesn’t unravel.

You can also use a heat gun or torch or lighter, but the edge is a little more globby than what you get with a hot knife.

Next up we have this polypropylene spiral wrap ($13) from WingOfFly. It comes in a bunch of colors and like most of these options you can get bigger or smaller diameter. This is the smallest I found, which is an 8mm diameter.

It’s interesting stuff. It’s hard and smooth, and kinda slippery. And it’s UV resistant. It looks like an old school telephone cord, which I kinda like.

To use these, you cut the length you want and then wrap it around your cables like you’re wrapping a bandage.

It’s a little more work than some of the other methods here, but the end result is smooth and seamless. It’s also really colorful, which I like.

Next, we have a different version of the braided sleeve ($7). Instead of using velcro, this design has a stiff, open split down one side that stays closed on its own.

You can get it in different sizes, but at this smallest ¼-inch size, you can use it to dress up a cable or two.

To me, this stuff looks better than the velcro option, and seems to be just as easy to put cables in and out of.

Next we have this common black polyethylene spiral wrap ($9). This stuff is cheap and easy to find. It’s very flexible. And like the polypropylene wrap you put it on by wrapping it around over and over.

My main complaint about this stuff is that it just looks a little sloppy. It kinda looks like you wrapped your cables in electrical tape.

You can also find clear versions of this stuff, which I like a little better, but still isn’t a great look.

The upshot of this stuff is that you get a nice, thick, protective layer around your cables. If you’re trying to protect a lot of little fragile electronic wiring from heat and wear and tear, this is the most practical option I’ve found.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re making your own cables, you can buy these uncut braided tubes in a bunch of different designs.

The trick with these is that you run your wiring through, slip on some heatshrink for the ends, attach your connectors, and then heat shrink the ends in place for a nice, finished look.

So there you go, 5 different cable wrap options. Maybe one of them is perfect for your next project. Again, you can find Amazon links for everything in the video description. And you can find thousands of reader recommended tools like these at Cool-Tools.org.

Tools:
1/2″ Side Entry Cable Wrap Braided Sleeving with Hook & Loop Fastener

WINGOFFLY 5pcs x 6.5Ft 8mm Cable Management PP Hose Protector Sleeve Spiral Wire Wrap

TechFlex F6N0.25BK Flexo F6 General Purpose 1/4-inch Braided Cable Sleeve

Copapa 21M 68 Ft PE Black Polyethylene Spiral Wire Wrap Tube PC Manage Cable 6mm 1/ 4”

1/4 inch Flexo PET Expandable Braided Sleeving

Related tools mentioned:
Hot knife – Dremel Versa Tip Precision Butane Torch

09/5/18