Wrist Straps Q and A – Part 1

Q: What is a wrist strap?

A: A wrist strap is the combination of a wrist band and a cord (usually coiled) that is used to ground an operator that handles ESD susceptible devices.09070

Q: Metal wrist straps last many times longer than fabric. I know it is dependent on conditions, but what is an average life expectancy of both in your best judgement?

A: Fabric: Under normal conditions, we expect the clasp portion of a fabric band to last forever – a lifetime. The band material can be replaced or washed as needed.


Metal: 3 years–5 years, but we rarely see one of the these that has failed due to normal use. The bands are designed with a series of springs and those springs can break if over-stretched, but that is about the only wear point on a metal band. See a video on how the metal bands are made HERE

Q: Do cords break/wear out faster than the wrist straps?

A: Yes. the cord will be subject to far more wear than a wrist band in most applications.


Q: Can I buy new cords or bands separately?

A: Yes. Customers also find that they need a different style cord (length, material, banana angle) or band (metal, fabric, color) after their initial purchase.


Q: Are ALL fabric wrist straps considered to be elastic?

A: Desco’s are, but no, not ALL fabric wrist straps are elastic.  Desco uses 36 strands of lycra spandex in the fabric to maintain contact with the wearer skin throughout normal motions. Some low quality wrist strap bands have minimal or no elastic fibers in them and only rely on a “tight cinch” of the band to maintain contact with the wearer’s skin. These types of bands are subject to intermittencies because the “tight cinch” is uncomfortable for the wearer and will loosen during normal (un-normal) movements by the operator.

Q:  When looking at all that is available, why the big disparity in wrist strap pricing with yours and your competitors?

A: The disparity in price is largely based on the quality of the raw materials and workmanship in manufacturing Desco wrist straps.  Some differentiating features are:

  • 300 series stainless steel machined snaps on wrist band
  • Silver plated polypropylene yarn used in band material
  • Lycra spandex elastic
  • 300 series stainless steel used on metal clasp parts
  • Replaceable band
  • Patented barrel type banana plug with machined contour spring support.
  • Cord bending Life Test average >1,000,000 cycles
  • Cord break load average 30 pounds.
  • T-2940 tinsel conductor and 7 strands of polyester wrapped with copper for flexibility and strength.
  • Date coded
  • UL Listed
  • Made in Chino, CA USA

 Q: Is anyone’s quality really that much better?

A: Yes.  Anybody that moves to continuous monitor system or an ESD Protected Area access control system that does not allow an operator into the ESD Protected Area or to continue working in the ESD Protected Area realizes that there is a massive difference in the quality. Quality assurance departments that track performance of wrist straps quickly realize that putting the product that they are handling at risk in favor of an ill-functioning wrist strap is not worth it.

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