Introduction: High Performance Grappling Hook

Picture of High Performance Grappling Hook

We carry a lot of different things. Sometimes we drop them. Instead of leaving your everyday carry items out of reach, get your grappling hook!

This is the sequel to the original grappling hook I posted. The first one worked great but didn't stow so well. Here's what I'm working on now. It's a cross between a mechanical claw and grappling hook. When it touches down, gravity pushes the jaws open. Lifting it closes the jaws around your prize. Now I feel better about all the quarters I've lost in claw machines.

I sell these at my shop (click here to check it out)

So what makes it high performance?

  • It can be used just as a 2 pronged hook.
  • It "Bites" objects that might slip out of a grapnel.
  • Installing the Cross Hook makes it a 4 pronged grappling hook.
  • Compact enough to be stowed on a back pack strap.
  • Can be dismantled for more compact storage.

Step 1: Cutting Aluminum

Picture of Cutting Aluminum

Grab a section of 1/8"x3/4" aluminum bar from the hardware store. I think it cost about $7.00 for a 3' section. Cut six sections each 3" long. I used a scroll saw to do this. Once that was done I placed it in my mini mill to square up the edges. Don't forget your safety glasses.

Step 2: Drill and Round Over

Picture of Drill and Round Over

After marking the holes with a center punch I placed the pieces back in the mill and drilled out the holes. It's important the holes line up you so may want to clamp the pieces together and drill them all at the same time. To round over the edges to each piece I used a de-burring bit in my mini lathe.

The jaws are cut by moving the x and y axis at the same time. This is where all my etch-a-sketch training came in handy. Once they were cut, I rounded them over too.

Step 3: Add the Hardware

Picture of Add the Hardware

The pieces are stacked in an alternating pattern. For the prototype I used plain old nuts and bolts. The very top joint is held together with paracord. Now that it's all together I tested it out on a few different objects. Off to the computer!

Step 4: AutoCad Design

Picture of AutoCad Design

I love me some AutoCad. I started out with a basic 3" x 3/4" rectangle. Next I rounded over the edges and placed the holes. That made the linkages. The claw part took much more work. Since the parts overlap and mirror each other, the curves had to match up nice. It's hard to imagine on screen but printing out the parts in paper and cutting them out helps. When I was happy with the file I sent it to a local laser cutter.

Step 5: Laser Cutting

Picture of Laser Cutting

I picked up the parts and put them together just like the prototype. I did upgrade to better hardware though. This was cut out of Delrin which is a high strength plastic.

Step 6: Review

It's been fun to make this. I'm still perfecting the design.

Some ideas include:

  • Incorporating a magnet into the design or making a magnetic attachment for magnetic retrieving.
  • Adding a secondary function to the cross hook. Like making it a gear tie or adding a hex tool cut out.
  • Modifying the linkages so a rubber band forces the jaws closed. That way you could tie it to a pole and use it as a "cherry picker".
  • Making an XL version or using titanium.

Thank for reading.



tincho1962 (author)2017-04-05

very usfull

wcgems (author)2016-09-02

Every considered making one about half size? Sorta small enough to carry on keychain or belt loop for EDC? This is great but kinda big for small emergency use like dropped key recover and such.

Mrballeng (author)wcgems2016-09-03

Actually yes =). This is it.

MarkC152 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Thank you...a fun and cool project...thank you! These were made out of 11ga carbon steel.

Kafukai (author)2015-02-21

This is a very usefull product, and also cool design. I wouldn't mind to use in my hiking tracks, you never know what would happend and it also compact. Good job :-)

Rottedroots (author)Kafukai2016-05-22

Very cool. The stuff I grapple with is quite heavy. Missing lobster pots, anchor lines and whatever else may end up on the ocean floor. Do you think your grapple will work ok on the things I grapple with or have grappled with in the past?

elmachinegun (author)Rottedroots2016-05-22

I wanted one. Look for it in the internet and found this.

chilihook (author)2016-02-09

I made one of these out of wood for the fun of it! Excellent project, wish I was able to get in on the Kickstarter. When will they be available for retail sale?

ChancreScolex (author)chilihook2016-04-25

Were you able to find the CAD files?

tmfitzhugh (author)ChancreScolex2016-04-26

I was able to just copy the photo above and trace it in CAD. Doesnt take long.

ChancreScolex (author)2016-04-25

Did the CAD files for this ever get released?

jkennedy26 (author)2016-04-07

The prepper in me needs this !

jkennedy26 (author)2015-03-28

Sooo will you take a check ? Tasty...Is there a glow in the dark version ? Not trying to be difficult...

tmfitzhugh (author)jkennedy262016-04-07

You could just paint yours with a glow in the dark paint. Would be a great idea for picking things up in the water.

tmfitzhugh (author)jkennedy262016-04-07

You could just paint yours with a glow in the dark paint. Would be a great idea for picking things up in the water.

mrandle (author)2016-03-21

Hey I noticed another company selling your hooks that wasn't the fishbone site. Is this OK? I can provide more details if you need.

Joey John 9821 (author)2016-02-18

were you expecting $150,000 in pledges

mattkp (author)2015-12-16

yea could we get the cad files for this it would make things easier ?

FancyPatato (author)2015-09-23

Do you sell these?

could we get the cad files for this, or is it going to be proprietary?

I just made it by printing of his 2D designs to the size I wanted then drawing these up into solidworks.

I used 10mm holes so then I could use M10 bolts.

I then used a friends metal laser cutter to cut the pieces on 6mm steel

Luckily the bolts had a 18mm part with no thread so they fitted perfectly

should make a version with a connection point like a fishbone, it'd integrate really well wit your other product, and be versatile.

ValdiN99 (author)2015-05-18

hey. i saw this a long time ago and wanted one. but i didn't See, that this was a kickstarter project. Now it's to late but i write this text to ask you that i want one. Can i buy one somewhere?

Mrballeng (author)ValdiN992015-05-22

They are not for sale just yet. Keep your eyes peeled though, there just might be a contest here where you can win one coming up.

gravityisweak (author)2015-05-11

Awesome! I can't wait to see the cad files. Will you eventually sell these on your site?

NathanSellers (author)2015-04-04

Holy cow. This is an impressive design and build. Well done.

cmitchell44 (author)2015-03-28

Hello i know i missed the closing date on kickstarter but wanted to donate i have never used kick start before and as a sailor and a camper this looks like a magnificent tool to have please let me know how i maybe able to acquire one i was interested in the titanium one thank you very much my email is

s3gundo (author)2015-03-26

amazing instructable you share the autocad drawings ??

bobbyflay2019 (author)2015-03-12

If you pitch the money do you get the hook, then give you feedback on it?

Mrballeng (author)bobbyflay20192015-03-13

The final version of the hook is being designed during the project with backer feedback. Once complete the parts will be ordered and you would get one in May. Brent

hjartland (author)2015-02-26

Worthy of Batman's belt!

JacobD3 (author)hjartland2015-03-12


bobbyflay2019 (author)2015-03-11

I like it, can you put out the measurements for the first one.

andrea biffi (author)2015-03-11

great design! well done!

spiderham (author)2015-03-07

The pinecone of death chucked in your lathe on step 2 looked like a scary way to round over those parts, might be time for a belt grinder.

roboticarrow (author)2015-03-02

I love this design. Another use for this could be hanging a bear bag if you are camping or backpacking. If you use the PCT method, the cross hook could be used in place of of a twig.

It would also be cool if you incorporated a flat head screwdriver into the cross hook so you could use it to assemble itself if you took it apart for compact storage.

99016669 (author)2015-03-06

What situations could one use this thing in ?

enelson8 (author)2015-03-05

How about getting some of these custom engraved with our names on it or something? haha! This is amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

ZombieWorkshop (author)2015-03-02

Awsome , I want to support your kickstarter campaign and i want to go to the titanium version and maybe for one of the delrin version, I want to know if you can ship it to Mexico, I think it could be great to add some wrenches like the ones in the leatherman piranta or at least a 1/4 hex driver for some bits

Mrballeng (author)ZombieWorkshop2015-03-04

Cool, thanks for the comment. I'm still fine tuning the design. It ships anywhere in the world. Brent

fixitmankeith (author)2015-03-04

Where is the plans to make one

sharktangent_theta (author)2015-03-02

looking good, dude!

crypticweasle (author)2015-03-01

what is the weight of the grappling hook?

rlagill (author)2015-03-01

Voted, favorited; wish I had the tools to make!

snoopindaweb (author)2015-02-25

Voted Favorited, dam cool.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2015-02-25

Hats Off to amazing craftsmanship :)

garg11 (author)2015-02-25

Very nice! Everybody can use it to grab something from neighbor's balcony instead a live cat on a rope.:)))

garg11 (author)garg112015-02-25

I am joking,

Honestly, I am looking something for my boat. I afraid, if you make 4D hook, will it loose the additional part when hook touched a ground?

Matt2 Silver (author)2015-02-24

You sir continually impress the heck out of me! This is a really great design, and has all the things I'd want from a project. It's genius in it's simplicity, has a multitude of applications, and most importantly it just looks fun to use! I don't have a great deal of time to read through your Instructable right now but I hope it says somewhere in there "soon to be available on kickstarter" :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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