How to Escape from Zip Ties

cable tie gun

Whether you're escaping a home invasion or simply making a break from some hostile jungle commandos, knowing how to free yourself from plasticuffs (also known as zip-ties, cable ties, or wrist ties) might just save your life one day.

ITS Tactical shows us how, and as with most things, proper technique is all in the wrists. ITS Tactical (short for Imminent Threat Solutions) is a site started in 2009 by some military veterans and folks in the special operations community. The best part of their method is its reliance on science and not brute strength.

Watching the news any night of the week is testament that being able to defend yourself, and finding ways to escape life-threatening situations may be your only chance of survival. MacGyver got out of some pretty sticky jams because he was mentally prepared.

The video to the right goes over the basics and how to escape when bound from the front. Be sure to head over to ITS Tactical's full post that details:

  • Escaping from zip ties when bound from behind
  • Shimming zip ties
  • Creating a friction saw to cut through zip ties
  • Slipping out of zip ties
  • Escaping from dual zip ties
  • Being a passive victim
  • and how various hand positions affect the techniques

→ More on Home Defense: Check out “The Best Weapons for Home Defense

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Jonathan Nguyen

    Now I can rest knowing that I’ve learned everything I need. =)

    This is exactly what I need to know being on a ship in the Navy. Things can get rambunctious at times.

  • Daniel

    Wow, impressive. And their full blog post is very informative. I can’t wait to browse through their entire site.

  • Tanya Johnson

    This is some interesting read. we never know what will happen to us in the future. Its better to know this type of things for self defense even if not needed rather than not knowing it in the time when we needed it.

  • Shikha Singh

    This article has a clear thought about escaping from zip ties. I appreciate this kind of article because it really helps a lot especially for a beginner like me.

  • Erick

    Lets see him do that with his hands behind his back

    • Andrew

      Per the article, he does do it behind his back. Check out his other videos.

  • Amanda Rose

    Another knowledge stored to my memory. we never know it might become handy someday.

  • Glenn Quagmire

    Don’t let the ladies see this one. Giggity.

  • Jay

    Problem: No one zip ties you from the front. When being restrained by law enforcement, military, or anyone else who uses zip ties they always zip tie you with your hands behind your back. They do this BECAUSE this trick is well known by the criminal element. So can you show a video on how to get out of zip ties with your hands behind your back?

    • Andrew

      Jay, yes click through to the article. They go over several different positions including behind the back.

  • your mom

    Awesome, considering this is how they detain drunk drivers at the beach… :p