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Lightning cables are an essential tool for Apple mobile devices. Without them, you won’t have a way to recharge your iPhones and iPads. Unfortunately, Lightning cables can break easily thanks to slammed doors, unexpected foot traffic, or forceful pulls.
Whether you’ll looking to make your Lightning cables more durable or hoping to fix a wire that’s already frayed, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’ll look at ways to avoid Lightning cable disasters.
Frayed Lightning cables are a common problem. Before heading to the local Apple store or another retailer to replace a damaged cord, consider these simple DIY solutions to extend the life of your cable.
One of the least expensive ways to fix a frayed cable is to use a few pieces of electrical tape. Wrapping the part of the cable that’s damaged a few times should immobilize it and keep it from breaking further. This solution is a short-term fix, depending on the quality of the electrical tape.
You can pick up a roll of electrical tape on Amazon for around $5 for an economy brand. You also find electrical tape at brick-and-mortar retailers such as Target and Walmart.
A Pen Spring
A lot of people online suggest using a spring from a ballpoint pen to fix a damaged cable. To do so, slowly wrap it around the base of your frayed cable. You’ll need to stretch the spring a little bit for the repair to be successful. Once in place, your cable won’t bend near the damaged section.
For this solution to work, you need to make sure the spring isn’t too narrow. Otherwise, you’ll make the situation more troublesome because the spring will yank the cable in the exact area you’ll hoping to patch. This is a good preventative measure to use before you damage your cable too.
Another quick fix is to heat shrink your damaged cable. Heat shrink tubing is available in various styles and sizes. Be sure to buy tubing at least 1/4″ in diameter to fit over your cable. Once you place it over the cable, use a heat gun or hair dryer to activate it. The melted tubing will keep your cable secure, while also reinforcing the damaged area.
Fix or Secure
Whether you’re looking for a solution to repair a frayed cable or want to protect it from future problems, the following solutions should do the trick. These are good for both.
An interesting product to use with your Lightning cable is Plasti Dip, synthetic rubber that comes in a can. The best things about Plasti Dip that it works on most surfaces and dries quickly. As a bonus, Plasti Dip also protects coated items from moisture, acids, and corrosion, and safeguards against electrical shock or vibration.
You can purchase Plasti Dip for as little as $9 for an 11-ounce can. It’s available in various colors and sizes.
I’ve been using Sugru ever since a coworker suggested I use the moldable glue to reinforce the cable for my new MacBook Pro. Others seem to like the product too, because it has many uses.
In your hands, Sugru feels a lot like reinforced chewing gum or hard putty. Once it cures for 30 minutes, Sugru turns into flexible rubber.
Sugru is available in multiple colors and packet sizes. A 3-pack is priced at $12 while an 8-pack is $22. You can purchase it through the Sugru website or at retailers such as Target.
One final solution is to use cable protectors, which attach to both ends of your Lightning cable. Despite the name, these also work with frayed wires. Unfortunately, cable protectors are quite pricey.
For example, the TUDIA Klip Snap Cable Saver is $8 for a pair. That’s $8 for a single Lightning cable. Regardless of the price, cable protectors might be the ideal choice, depending on your situation.
Would you rather not spend the time to fix a frayed Lightning cable? You can certainly go back to the Apple store and claim the warranty. You can also buy some new Lightning cables, either from Apple or a third-party vendor.
The official replacements are available directly from Apple starting at $19 each, depending on the length of the cable. You can also find these cables at retail outlets such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. Cables from third-party vendors continue to grow in popularity. However, before buying an off-brand Lightning cable, there are a two important points to consider.
First, make sure the product’s advertised as being MFi Certified. Hardware peripherals with this distinction have passed tests created by Apple and are guaranteed to work with the company’s devices. Second, watch out for fake products.
Back in October 2016, Apple announced that many of the “genuine” Apple power adapters and charging and syncing cables sold on Amazon.com were fakes. Apple is now suing many of the companies behind those products claiming trademark infringement.
In a statement to 9to5Mac, the company noted that Amazon “has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. We work closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”
Hopefully, Amazon has resolved this problem. As a good rule of thumb, make sure your third-party cables purchased through Amazon have an “MFi Certified” mark on them when they’re received.
Still have some concerns? Buy your third-party Lightning cables from Apple. Wires offered through the company’s online and retail stores are guaranteed to be MFi Certified.
Frayed Lightning cables aren’t the end of the world, but rather an annoyance that’s easy to correct. Whether you want to fix the damaged cable or replace it, there are many choices available.
What do you do with frayed Lightning cables? Let us know using the comments below.