Cutting Cord Without a Knife

110,665

77

31

Published

Introduction: Cutting Cord Without a Knife

This instructable will show you a way to cut parachute cord (550 cord) with no tools other than the cord itself.

Step 1: Materials

For this instructable you will need:
-Parachute Cord, also known as 550 cord because it is rated to 550 lbs. Usually sold in 100 foot and 1,000 foot lengths This is available at outfitting stores or online. I usually shop here http://www.brigadeqm.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/store/level4c.tam?M5COPY.ctx=29433&M5.ctx=29433. The cord is very useful and should be included in any survival kit.
- A sturdy place to secure the cord. A couple of friends holding the rope is great! lacking that, tie to a couple posts/tree/etc.
-Elbow grease, provide your own or use your social engineering skills to convince someone else to try it.

Step 2: Setup

1.Attach the cord to one or two points leaving plenty of slack between them. The more slack the better.
2.run another length of cord (which can be part of the cord leftover past the points if the cord is long enough) so that it lays over the cord that is hanging.
3. take the second length of cord into each hand with plenty of slack.

Step 3: Cutting the 550 Cord

Get a good grip on the second length of cord. By running the one cord over a single point on the first cord, the friction will melt the nylon and split it into two pieces. It helps to have more slack on the cord you are cutting so that you are only pulling on one point. This can also be done by wrapping the cord around your foot and stepping down if there aren't any anchor points available. I first learned this trick as a challenge. I was handed a piece and told to split it into two pieces without any metal object or a lighter. Challenge your friends, use it as a team building exercise, or use it the next time your stuck in the middle of nowhere and you have to cut a piece of cord.

Share

    Recommendations

    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge

    31 Discussions

    Smart and adaptive,Thank you for posting.

    you can also melt through it with a lighter?

    Drop or lay out a length of cord on the floor. Turn your back on your dog for 30 seconds. Shazam! You now have 2-4 pieces where before you had only one. I'm not making any more para leashes....

    You can also use this trick with shoelaces to cut through rope or tape, a handy way to get out if some of your army buddies tie/tape you up.

    2 replies

    LOL.. If you can remove your shoelaces and do this process... what' needs to be cut through? LOL

    You can sometimes take your shoe off and get it into your hands, even with them tied behind your back.

    "I was handed a piece and told to split it into two pieces without any metal object or a lighter."
    Good thing I have a plastic bladed knife.
    If I didn't have that I would of used a rock.

    A good reason to have paracord shoe strings. If you ever find your wrists bound with zipties undo several holes of your shoe string, enough to provide 2.5-3 feet of cord. Loop the end around the ziptie once then hold it tight in your teeth. Move your wrists up and down the paracord a few times and the ziptie will melt like butter.

     This trick totally works to cut pvc pipe as well, although I would suggest nylon twine since it's thinner. That way you won't have to remove so much material. It's also a bit tricky to keep the string in one spot at the start. Picked that trick up from busting water lines and conduits in fence post holes. it's the easiest way to trim the pipe up without digging the hole out larger.

    1 reply

    I used to be a plumber, and used this trick to cut PVC, inside walls where a sawblade would tear up too much. I highly recommend using cotton twine, as it'll generate better friction, and not risk melting plastic and plastic together.

     My grandfather used to do this with bailing twine and his bare hands!  I could never do it with my tender pads tho.

    Thanks for sharing!


    You know a Gerber is only like 40 bucks at the PX or clothing and sales. I wear one because all the cool Soldiers have one. But other than that its good use of barracks furniture. :-)

    1 reply

    you could also put two over-hand knots in the cord to be cut about 3mm from the point where the cut will occur so that the fraying will stay to a minimum. Nice I'able!

    4 replies

    If it's using friction to melt through, surely the ends would melt together rather than fraying wouldn't they?

    You're thinking of situations where the cord melts all-at-once, like in a lighter flame. Here the heat builds up gradually, and by the time the last strands are melting, the first strands have long since cooled.

    Agreed. Sounds like a good idea. I'll have to try this, after I find my para cord... still unpacking from a move.

    Good Idea, I think the fraying is worse because it's stretching while cutting, knotting off the cord would definitely help that.