It’s easy to believe that abductions really only happen in movies and television crime dramas. The truth is, it could happen to anyone at practically any time. What can you do if you find yourself confined in a dark, unfamiliar place with your hands bound?

One of the most common binding instruments in an abduction is the humble zip tie. Thankfully, there are a few ways—three to be exact—to get your hands free from one.

Pay attention, because each of these methods could save your life one day!

Chances are you won’t ever get abducted and bound by a zip tie, if you did, would you know how to escape? Luckily, it’s not as hard as you think. There are actually three genius ways to do so, and each one is essential to learn.

YouTube channel Imminent Threat Solutions demonstrates three proven ways for escaping from zip tie restraints. They know that the threat of kidnapping, although rare, is still very real, and their methods could save your life.

For the first method, they bought the strongest ties they could from their local hardware store. During a kidnapping scenario, your captors will likely use the strongest materials available.

 The first thing they point out is the small locking bar within the zip tie that secures the plastic tightening ridges. This is the key to removing the tie. All it takes is slight pressure, and the zip tie will slide right off.

The locking mechanism can actually be released with only a fingernail. Of course, this only works if you have long fingernails or if your hands are bound in such a way that you can actually bend your finger back into the safety release opening. There’s more…


If you have a small thin piece of metal on you, that will work even better! The trick, as with your fingernail, is to finagle the metal into the small opening in the lock, releasing the bind.

The smaller the metal piece, the better. You don’t want to draw any attention to yourself during an escape attempt.

There’s a second way to remove zip ties. This method takes a lot more dexterity, so you’ll want to try it out at home several times to perfect it. The Imminent Threat Solutions demonstrator starts in a standing position so viewers can get a close look at how his hands are bound…

Then, he sat down on the ground with his feet out in front of him. The key to this escape technique is to have both your legs in front of you. If you’re not in this position, try to wiggle your way into it. Your life depends on what you do next!

 Then, you’ll remove a shoelace from one of your sneakers (assuming you’re still wearing them). This lace is going to be the key to your escape, so try your best not to allow you captors to take your shoes.

Now, tie a loop in one end using a slipknot. Make sure the slipknot is secure and won’t come undone under stress. If you don’t know how to tie a slipknot, watch the second video. It will drastically improve your chances of survival!

Now that you have the loop and slipknot tied on one end, do the exact same thing to the other end of the lace. Once you have both loops securely fastened, place one around each of your feet, but not before you try this one important step…

Before looping each end of the cord around your right and left foot, make sure the lace weaves through the zip tie, so you’re left with a triangular shape like in the photo below. Now, you’re ready to begin your escape using the friction from the lace!

The third method of escaping zip ties completely depends on the positioning of your hands when you’re bound. The man in the video explains that, if given the opportunity, try to have your captors bind your hands in this position where your fists are side by side.

It may not appear like it to your captors, but this positioning allows you enough wiggle room to slip free once the zip ties are on. If you rotate either your right or left wrist 90 degrees, one hand should slip free.

What if your hands are bound like this, with one wrist on top of the other? This is when things get a bit more complicated. To escape this one, you’ll actually need to learn how to flex your wrists in such a way that one of your hands is able to slip free…


As soon as your hands are bound, work your wrists back and forth until one of the palms of your hands is able to lie flat on top of the other balled-up fist. It might take several minutes of maneuvering for this to happen.

Now, pull your wrist as hard as you can through the zip tie, working it slightly left and right while you do so. Keep in mind that this might hurt. The blood may start to leave your fingertips, but power through the pain. It’s more important to escape than to give up…

Are you ready to see these three methods in action? For the first method discussed, watch the video below. This one only requires a long fingernail or a small metal object. For the other two methods, check the next pages…

 This second video offers viewers a detailed explanation of how the friction saw method works. Be warned: it’s not the easiest to master, but if you can learn to maneuver your hand and feet properly, it’s incredibly useful. Not as useful as method three, however…

Here’s a video showing how that third and final method is to be pulled off. All three of these techniques take practice, and hopefully you’ll never need to put them to use. But in the rare case that you do, these tricks could very well save your life!

While you might not like to think about the possibility of being abducted, you can rest a little bit more easily now that you’re prepared!

Please share these important tips with your friends below!