The chances of being kidnapped are rather rather slim but many still wonder what to do if it happens and you are left alone tied up with a zip tie? While this may sound like a scene from a favorite action movie, knowing how to break free from a Zip becomes extremely important in such scenario.  Zip tie also known as cable ties comes in different forms but the mechanism for breaking out of one remains fairly the same.

How does a Zip Tie Work?

Understanding how a zip tie works help in understanding the mechanism of breaking free from one.

The regular zip tie is made from nylon. It is a tape comprising a flexible tape section with teeth that engage with a pawl in the head to form a ratchet. This occurs so that as the free end of the tape section is pulled the cable tie tightens and does not come loose. By this forward movement would tighten the tie while a backward motion would lock it in place.

Here’s are some tips to get out of a Zip Tie

  1. Maintain a passive mood, let your captor believe that you have no means or plan of escape and are powerless. This would create the chance for you to be left alone.
  2. When alone. conquering a zip tie can be achieved by friction, cutting through, slipping free or breaking it. While the other method requires an additional tool, the breaking free methods relatively easier and would be described in the following steps.
  3. Position your restrained hands in front of you,
  4. Raise them up as high as you can,
  5. With a swift motion, swing your arms down towards the ground and pull your hands as far apart as possible
  6. It often would not work on the first attempt. if it doesn’t, try again
  7. When free get to a safe place and call for help.


If you have a burglar alarm system in place, you may be able to hop your way over and still press the emergency button.  Also, if you have a key fob or your security system has smart phone control, then getting the police notified via your monitoring company is only one step away.  While it is not a fun thought to have, it is good to always have your bases covered and think what you might do if you were to be tied up with a Zip tie.

Here’s a video (a bit freaky) for more information.

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