How to remove a zip tie from your finger?
We hope you never need this information — but better safe than sorry.
It’s something we don’t want to think about, and hope never happens, but being kidnapped or otherwise restrained does happen (luckily, rarely!).
That’s why it’s first important to know self-defense techniques. And in the scary instance where you find yourself restrained with zip ties (again, the chances are not high!), you’ll be glad to know there are some tricks you can use to free yourself.
Zip ties are hard to get out of and they’re also easy for criminals to acquire and use. They can be purchased pretty much anywhere and aren’t hard to get around someone’s wrists.
When tied up, the natural instinct is to twist and wiggle your wrists out of the ties, but this will lead to pain and cuts. It can also worsen the situation, causing the zip ties to tighten and lock. Instead, remain calm and passive, not letting your attacker know they’re in for a fight. Then, try some of these sneaky tactics to get out of the makeshift restraints.
First up, try to slip out of the ties. Turn your wrists so they’re facing inward and try to work your way out. Try to get your thumb out first, then continue to slip out your fingers.
If that doesn’t work, you may be able to dismantle the locking device. The lock bar of the zip tie holds it all together, so if the bar is lifted from the track, the ties can be removed. You can lift the bar using a fingernail, pin or credit card (if you can get your hands free enough to use an object). This method would likely be the easiest if there are multiple people being held captive, as you can help each other remove the zip ties.
The third technique is simply breaking the ties. Taras Kul, also known as “Crazy Russian Hacker,” shared a video to YouTube with tips on this third technique. Watch and learn:
First, tighten them as much as possible. The tighter the zip tie, the easier it will be to break. Make sure the clasp of the tie is in-between your wrists and raise your arms up.
From there, hit your forearms against your hip bones until the ties snap or bring them down quickly into your stomach. If you’re bringing your wrists into your stomach, your elbows will flare out and you should try to get your shoulder blades as close together as possible.
These last two options should break the ties at the weakest point — the lock or clasp. The men in the video did have to try a few times, however, so make sure you’re hitting your wrists pretty hard. It will likely be uncomfortable, but it’s worth it if you can escape.
And to cover all of your bases, here’s a video on how to escape from duct tape.