Heat shrink tubing comes in various shrink ratios. The most common of which is 2:1, but there are also 3:1, 4:1 and higher. Assuming cost is the same, are there any disadvantages or consideration points when using higher ratios?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "assuming the cost is the same" I wish it was \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Omo
    Sep 11, 2018 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


One small disadvantage I've found is that the wall of a high shrink ratio tube can get quite thick when shrunk.

If your joint has some small diameter sections then the high ratio tube might shrink all the way, conforming tightly to the wire, and become quite stiff compared to a 2:1 tube.

There's also a problem of asymmetry. If the shrink-er doesn't use an air deflector or turn the joint while heating it, one side of the tube will shrink first, making it asymmetrical. A 2:1 tube suffers less from this as it can't go so wrong.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ The increased stiffness can also be a blessing in certain situations. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Sep 11, 2018 at 7:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pipe can you elaborate? \$\endgroup\$
    – Criggie
    Sep 11, 2018 at 11:41
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @Criggie For example if you use heat shrink tubing around a solder joint between two wires you can get some amount of strain relief if the tubing is stiff. Or between a wire and a pin header: ni.com/cms/images/devzone/tut/image6391225987748786482.png \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Sep 11, 2018 at 12:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.