Marshalltown Trowel Co. Tie Wire Twister

Tool: Marshalltown Trowel Co. Manual Bar Tie Wire Twister

Joy Joy, this tools brings memories! I got my start in construction in an earthquake city. Tying rebar became second nature work and was repetitive to the point of achy fingers. This bar tie twister has fixed dozens of spools of bar ties. I own a few of these twisters but, thankfully, they haven’t seen the light of day in years.



  • 7″ long.
  • Steel hook.
  • Wood handle.
  • Manufacturer number: 14731
  • Marshalltown Trowel Co.
  • Made in U.S.A.

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I have spools of experience on this tool which is of little use to me here on the East Coast where rebar is a foreign substance in Residential Construction. Laying out grids of bar, bending and tying it all off; sometimes on projects with mind-bending requirements, using the Bar Tie Twister was the most entertaining part.

Understanding this tool is simple; A strong concrete foundation has a grid of interwoven steel bars at it’s core. Before pouring concrete into forms around the steel, all the bars have to be tied together with wire. To facilitate the process of manually cutting a length of wire for every single knot, the bar tie was created. Bar ties are pre-cut tie wire with a loop at each end. The pre-cut tie is wrapped around the steel and the looped ends are aligned. Pass the tie wire twister through the aligned holes and twist until tight.

Ever read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance well, all I can say is there’s a true zen to tying bar ties. The Marshalltown tie wire twister brings memories of hard work with good characters in an interesting city. The tool reminds me of a bond that forms between workers on a tough project. If I knew where they lived today, I could call any of the guys I worked with 20 years ago and say, “Remember that project…”

(I talked to one of them last night and he’s living around New Haven. I forgot to ask if he remembered that job… Hey Sparks, care to comment on this article?)

Marshalltown Bar Tie Twister on

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