Few parts on our bike are as elegant yet forgettable as the humble zip tie. Unless you’ve got fully internal cable routing, you’ve probably got a few of these tiny black feats of engineering keeping your bike nice and neat. And they probably sit just inches from your legs while you’re riding. The couple millimeters of plastic left behind by a traditional cable cutter can be surprisingly stiff and sharp. Get tangled up with your bike in a crash or graze one while pedaling, and you might find yourself with a gash big enough to need its own set of zip ties to close up.

So instead of using an imprecise cable cutter for your zip ties, use something that cleanly cuts flush every time. What’s probably most handy is a box cutter or razor blade. Rest the blade against the business end of the zip tie and slice flat and perpendicular to cut it off, clean and smooth.

A set of flat-edged nail clippers will do the same, or if you want to be a high-roller, there are a few specially designed flush cut trimmers on the market that cut cleanly every time. Going for that extra tool will take a few extra seconds, but remember, a stitch in time saves nine, though if you follow this hack, you probably won’t get any stitches.

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