Cable Tidying Guide

July 12, 2005 | 09:06

Tags: #cables #cable-tidying #guide

Split Loom

When it first hit the modding scene back in 2001, Split Loom became the most desired cable management solution for every modder, and we were the first to review it all that time ago, having imported it from the US! Now, four years later, we have only one UK supplier we know of: ( But whilst it is at the top end of expense compared to other products, it’s still a highly desirable solution.

Cable Tidying Guide Split loom and Spiral wrap Cable Tidying Guide Split loom and Spiral wrap
Left: bad Split Loom applied badly. Right: good Split Loom applied well.
What is it?
Split Loom basically consists of a flexible corrugated tube of coloured plastic with a slit down one side you can slot your cables into.

How easy is it to use/reuse?
Even though starting is a bit of a pain, I’ve found that bending the loom backwards to open up the slit allows you to get a rhythm going and easily zip down, pushing in the cable as you go. Once you’ve “broken the seal” on a new length of loom it becomes easier and easier to reuse but it you cannot overfill it otherwise the cables spill out. This becomes a problem if later you need to add another wire, or have a couple of large cables you want to lump together, so it’s important make sure your loom is big enough to accommodate all the wires you intend to put in it.

How does it look?
It completely covers all your unsightly, non-colour-co-ordinated cables into a nice, tidy, single coloured solution. The loom can look bulky, especially in a smaller case and overfilling it makes it look unsightly, however, if done right it can definitely become a very aesthetically pleasing solution.

Compared to other solutions it’s at the expensive end of the scale, in the UK at least. In the US it can be had for cheaper but compared to how far a 100 pack of zip ties goes, it’s the equivalent to lining the inside of your case with gold plating. Look to pay around £3 per metre.

What should I use it for?
Lugging small amounts of cables together. If you’re going for a colour theme, it’s definitely worth splashing out.

Spiral wrap

Another popular solution - and one that's easy to obtain in the UK – is Spiral wrap. Online shops with a case modding section will undoubtedly have spiral wrap in there somewhere, usually in a range of colours and sizes to suit every need. Even your local Maplin Electronics stocks a range of transparent stuff. Sometimes it’s referred to as EZWrap, cable wrap or similar.

Cable Tidying Guide Split loom and Spiral wrap
What is it?
A length of coloured or colourless plastic that has been cut in a corkscrew, spiral style meaning you can untwist it and wrap it around your cables keeping them together.

How easy is it to use/reuse?
Pretty easy. Again, once you get a rhythm going it goes on exceptionally easy - but it still does take some time and if you want to add another cable you have to unwrap it all, then start again (or try and push it up between the other wires which generally doesn’t work). It’s extremely frustrating to undo and redo all your good work just to add one more wire. It does, however, 'expand' to accommodate a bigger circumference of wires then its starting size, an attribute which makes it more versatile for future use, but if you go too big it tends to permanently stretch the plastic.

How does it look?
It can look good if you don’t stuff too many cables in. You can get it in a whole range of colours and sizes to colour co-ordinate if need be. It’s not the ultimate solution in aesthetics, but it does hide the cables and keep them neat at the same time – job done.

Generally pretty cheap, a metre can cost anywhere from around 80p a meter for the cheapest, smallest stuff to more specialist stuff (like UV reactive) which is a couple of pounds / dollars a metre (translate that into roughly 1:1, £:$).

What should I use it for?
Smaller solutions in clear view, but can easily be used again for larger needs with not too much extra cost. Something carefully planned: because of the nature of application you should consider exactly what you need in it before using it, to save you unwrapping it all and doing it again.
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