twist ties primary

Save your power cables with a little help from twist-ties

I've owned four Mac laptops over the last decade or so, but I've gone through countless power adapters. Invariably, the adapters fail because the cord frays where it meets the brick or the connector that plugs into the computer. Argh. So annoying. While you might not be able to prevent power adapters from failing, this simple hack could help extend the life of your power adapter or computer cables.

What you'll need

supplies
  • The power brick or cable that you want to help protect
  • 2 twist-ties
  • Cyanoacrylate-based glue (likeĀ Super Glue or Krazy Glue)
  • A sheet of newspaper or plastic to place on your work surface
  • About 15 minutes

How to do it

Step 1: To start, take a twist-tie and snugly loop it around the connector end (or brick end) of the cable, about a half inch from where the cable meets the brick or connector. Place a small amount of glue on the very end of the cable, slide the twist-tie loop down onto the glue, and let it dry for a couple minutes.

Be sure to follow the instructions that came with the glue and heed any warnings it provides. You may want to protect your work surface from damage with a sheet of newspaper or plastic. And make sure you don't get glue on any connectors; otherwise, you might render the cable unusable.

start

Hook the twist-tie around the end closest to the connector or power brick, then use a little glue to hold it in place.

Step 2: Wrap the twist-tie on the cable in a helix fashion. It should be in a fairly tight helix to provide the cable with ample protection.

helix

Cable-wrapping in progress.

Step 3: Once you reach the end of the twist-tie, loop it snugly around the cord as you did in step 1, and apply a small about of glue to the end to keep the twist-tie in place.

The end result

And that's it. Once you're done, you should get something that looks like this:

finished product

The finished product.

At this point, go ahead and repeat these steps on the other end of the cable.

We use this trick on various power adapters in our lab, and so far, it's worked pretty well for us.

Do you have any cord-care tips of your own? Share them in the comments.

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