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Tree Care Industry Assoc.

International Society of Arboriculture

Frequently Asked Questions

General    |    Installation    |    Post-Installation    |    Strength    |    Specifications

General Questions

Why Should I cable using Rigguy Wire Stops®?

  • Ease of installation 
  • Fewer parts to inventory 
  • Greater strength 
  • Significant cost savings 
  • Small size and simplicity 
  • Installation in tighter places 
  • Better appearance 
  • Minimized tree invasiveness 
  • Conformity to ANSI A300 standards 
  • Invented by an arborist, for arborists

How does a Wire Stop® work? 

The six wires surrounding the internal taper are pulled deeper into the block as the pressure from the tree increases. This inward movement locks the captured wires ever tighter between the internal taper and the external block. The seventh wire (the center wire) is bent over the taper to hold the system in place if the cable slacks in the wind.

How do Wire Stops® compare to traditional terminal hardware?




1.25 inches


1.5 feet

2.3 oz


1 lb 11 oz

Virtually 100% of strand


Limited to weakest part

No metal to metal rubbing


Thimble rubs strand and eyebolt

7/16th of an inch

Bore size in tree

11/16th of an inch


Parts per end


2-3 min per end

Installation time

10 min or more per end

No minimum distance between limbs


Need 5 feet between limbs

Extends only 1.25 inches outside of limb


Extends 1.5 feet on inside of limb and also out the back



approx. $27.50


  • all comparisons using 3/8” EHS strand
  • traditional terminal hardware cost quoted using 5/8”x18” common grade eyebolt
  • pricing current as of 11/2009

Does the Wire Stop® conform to the ANSI A300 standards? 

Yes the Wire Stop® conforms to all the “should” clauses in the standards.  We have petitioned the ANSI Standards Committee to include the Wire Stop® (or a generic name) in the upcoming revision of the standards.

I like your stuff! Do you have any new products under development? 

Yes. We are in the process of developing several new products and are open to your suggestions. We see problems as the first step in the development of a new product.

Installation Questions

How much time does a typical Wire Stop® installation take?

The ends themselves should not take more than 2-3 minutes each to install.

Can I use malleable cable for a Wire Stop® installation or is EHS cable required?

Use only EHS. It is 2-3 times as strong, costs about the same and holds the wire pattern necessary for a good installation.

Can I bend the cable strands out after installing a Wire Stop®?

No. The wires need to be free to move into the block to hold properly. The wires, however, can be bent in over the taper, if you desire.

What tools do I need to install a Wire Stop® compared to a traditional terminal installation?

We recommend heavy-duty long-nose pliers and a pair of Felco C-3 wire cutters (available for order on our website) to install the Wire Stop itself. 

You will also need a drill and auger to drill the holes for the wire. A come-along and wire grab can be used to tension the system. Small bore augers are also available for order from our website in 18” & 24” sizes.

Are there any installations where you would recommend a washer behind a Wire Stop®?

Yes, on extremely soft wood. Just make sure that the washer does not impede the wire entering the stop in any way.

What is the most common difficulty in installation?

Making sure the wire strand is properly opened to an evenly distributed pattern. It can be tempting to bend or manipulate the wires rather than just reversing their normal lay. This is not advised and could result in a system failure. The even distribution of the outer wires around the taper is ESSENTIAL to proper installation of the Wire Stop®.

I am having trouble opening up the cable correctly in order to insert the taper onto the center wire. What tips can you offer me?

Try opening and closing the strand several times. The more the strand is opened and closed, the easier it will open to its reversed lay and the proper evenly distributed pattern. Do not try to bend or manipulate the wires by hand. Just close the strand and re-open it again if it does not open correctly the first time. 

Try a nut driver. Use one 1/32nd of an inch smaller than the strand being opened (11/32 for 3/8th). Put the nut driver over the strand and turn the driver ¼ turn to the left to obtain the right wire pattern. This works very well.

I am used to drilling larger holes for an eyebolt termination. Where can I find the smaller diameter drill bits I need for a Wire Stop® installation?

Small diameter long augers are not stocked by the local hardware stores or arborist catalogs/websites. For this reason, we sell this type of auger on our website in 18” and 24” lengths.

What size bits will I need?

The drill hole should be 1/16th of an inch larger than the strand size (1/4” EHS strand uses a 5/16th auger).

Is the black finishing cap you sell required for a Wire Stop® installation?

No, the finishing cap is to cover the exposed wire ends and to give a more finished look. It does not contribute to the function of the Wire Stop®.

Post-Installation Questions

What keeps the taper from coming loose after it is installed?

Passing the center wire through the taper and then bending it over holds the system in place. This wire does not hold the weight of the system, only the place of the internal taper.

What happens when wind reduces the space between the cabled trunks? Does the Wire Stop® lose contact with the tree?

No. The cable will sag but the Wire Stop® will not move from the backside of the tree.

Does the cable coming through the tree damage the cambium layer as the tree moves in the wind?

No. Although this is a common concern, we have never seen any evidence of this with the installations we track in the field.

Does the exposed hole in the tree allow water to enter over time?

The 1/16” gap between the cable and the tree heals rather quickly around the cable. This prevents most moisture from entering the wound. There has been some thought that the cable could “wick” moisture into the wound. We had three test trees (hickory, oak, and pine) that were cabled for 4.5 years before removing the cables for inspection. There was no sign of tree deterioration and only slight wire deterioration in the Hickory and Oak. The Pine cable might have actually been preserved by the pine sap.

What happens to a Wire Stop® as the tree grows in girth? Does the tree grow around it?

Yes. We have photos of not only the wire being covered by the cambium roll of the tree, but the Wire Stop® itself being grown over.


How strong is a Wire Stop®?

Wire Stops® are pull-tested with hydraulic cylinders. Pressure is applied to the cabling system to test its durability and strength. In all our testing, the EHS strand being held by the Wire Stop® fails before any sign of failure of the Wire Stop®.

What is the weight load limit of a Wire Stop®?

We recommend following the ANSI A300 table A-1 Minimum Hardware Size standards for cabling trees when choosing your cable size. The strength of your cable is the limiting factor in weight load limits using Wire Stops®.

Is a Wire Stop® only for low load installations?

No. Wire Stops® can be used on any load installation, limited only by the strand’s strength.

Have you ever had a Wire Stop® fail?

Only if they are installed improperly and only a few of those. The strand must be opened properly for the Wire Stop® to hold the full-intended weight.  

There has never been a fatigue failure or wire failure reported to us.


What size cable is appropriate for the different sizes of Wire Stops® you sell?

  • 101 (large) Wire Stop® is recommended for 3/8 and 5/16th EHS strand.
  • 201 (small) is recommended for ¼ and 3/16th EHS strand.
  • 301 (ornamental) is recommended for 3/16th EHS strand only.

What type of metal is the Wire Stop® made of? 

  • The outer blocks are machined of solid 6061 aluminum bar in the USA.
  • The internal tapers are machined of 416 stainless steel bar in the USA.

 How much does a Wire Stop® weigh? 

  • 101 (large) – 2.3oz.
  • 201 (small) – 1.2oz.
  • 301 (ornamental) – .4 oz.