At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is a Cable Threader?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

There are a number of different products and tools that can be referred to as cable threaders, all of which are designed to assist in running cables and wires through walls, below floors, and above ceilings. One common type of cable threader is also referred to as a fish tape. These devices are typically made out of spring steel, and are used to guide cables and various types of wiring through walls. Another type of cable threader consists of lengths of flexible rod that can be passed through a wall, and then used to pull through a cable. Cable threader straws are a similar product that can be forced through insulation materials, creating a path for a cable to pass through.

Cable threaders are a class of tools that are used to assist in passing different types of wires through the void spaces behind walls, above ceilings, and below floors. They can be used for electrical wiring and multimedia cables, and are also useful for pulling wire through conduits. There are many ways to conceal audio and video cables for home theater installations, including beneath carpet, behind moldings, and flat cables can even be concealed by paint or wallpaper. The preferred method is often to run the cables behind walls, which can be a difficult operation due to the flexible nature of most cables. One way to make the job somewhat easier is to use some type of cable threader.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One common type of cable threading device is referred to as a fish tape, as it is used to "fish" cable through walls. These devices typically consist of spring steel that is wound tightly on a reel, though materials such as nylon and fiberglass can reduce the chances of electrocution. In order to use this type of cable threader, one hole is drilled in a wall, ceiling or floor where the cable run begins, and another where it ends. The fish tape is then passed into one hole, manipulated through the void space, and then passed out the other hole. A cable can then be attached to the tape and pulled through to the other side.

Another kind of cable threader works in the same way, though the construction is significantly different. These cable threaders are made up of flexible rod segments that can be screwed together to reach a desired length. The tool is then passed through a wall, hooked to a cable and used to thread it through. Cable threader straws are similar, though they are hollow, and designed specifically to pierce through insulation. A flexible cable may then be passed through the hollow center, after which the straw can be removed.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman holding a book
      Woman holding a book