Introduction: Make a Grappling Hook

Picture of Make a Grappling Hook

At some point in your life, you've probably wanted a grappling hook. And rightly so; they're pretty awesome. Grappling hooks have been around since Roman times, and have become a staple of popular culture, used by movie heroes, pirates, ninjas, and Batman (and who doesn't want to be like Batman?). While climbing trees and snagging hard-to-reach objects like a bike stuck in a river (my friend now has an algae covered bike sitting in his garage) are both pretty great, the best thing about this grappling hook is that it is cheap; it cost me about $5.00 Canadian to make. I tested this with 130 pounds, and the grappling hook held it without a problem; however, use caution! I can make no guarantees that this hook will successfully bear your weight; I would not recommend relying solely on the hook to bear your weight. That being said, be careful and have fun! Update: I just tested the grappling hook with 180 pounds and it held the weight just fine.

Note: Don't use the knot pictured in the main image to hold much weight; use a knot such as a double half-hitch knot.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Metal Contest!

Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:

- 3 feet of 5/16" round steel rod ($5.00 Canadian at Home Depot)

- Hacksaw

- Clamps or magnets (to secure the pieces while welding)

- A welding mask, gloves and appropriate clothing

- Welder

- A grinder of some sort

Step 2: Making the Shaft

Picture of Making the Shaft

- Cut a 9" length of 5/16" round steel rod.

- Bend the bottom 4" of the shaft into a loop. I did this by making two 90 degree bends about 1.5" apart, forming a "U" shape on one end of the shaft. I then used my vice to sort of "pinch" the two straight legs of the "U" together, forming a loop (check out image 4). Finally, I bent the shaft at about a 45 degree angle so that it was centered over the loop.

- Weld the end of the loop to the shaft.

Step 3: Making the Hooks

Picture of Making the Hooks

- Cut a 5" piece of 5/16" round steel rod.

- Use the grinder to sharpen one end of the 5" piece into a dull point.

- Bend the piece at a 50 degree angle 1.5" away from the non-sharpened end.

- Repeat this step until you have 4 hooks.

Step 4: Welding the Hooks

Picture of Welding the Hooks

*Some images have notes on them that may be helpful*

- Place the first 2 hooks on either side of the shaft, near the top. Weld them in place. Then flip the grappling hook over and make matching welds on the other side.

- Use a magnet or clamp the secure the 3rd hook to the shaft perpendicular to the 2 hooks you welded previously. Weld it in place on both the left and right sides of the hook.

- Flip the grappling hook over. Use the magnet to secure the 4th and final hook to the shaft perpendicular to the first 2 hooks you welded. The hook should also be in line with the hook you welded just before this one (the 3rd hook). Weld it in place on both the left and right sides of the hook.

- Clean up the grappling hook. If you want, you can spray paint it.


Bo Ziffer made it! (author)2016-02-02

works great. simple, good idea

Yeb_Yeb (author)Bo Ziffer2016-04-24

That doesn't only prove its so cool, it can prove you can be like BATMAN!!

M3G (author)Bo Ziffer2016-02-02

That looks awesome!

AJMansfield made it! (author)2014-06-22

This is a really nest instructable. I have some pictures of one I made using these directions. The second picture in particular shows the use of a Figure Eight Follow Through to attach the grappling hook to the rope. Thank you for sharing these instructions!

M3G (author)AJMansfield2014-06-22

Nice work, thanks for sharing!

Basement_Craftsman (author)2014-06-12

I built up the welds compared to yours. This should do the job.

M3G (author)Basement_Craftsman2014-06-12

Nicely done, thanks for sharing!

camalo171 made it! (author)2014-06-12

I used the next size down from the 5/16, and it still seems super strong. Haven't tried it out with my full body weight though.

M3G (author)camalo1712014-06-12

Awesome work, it looks great! (Just remember, be careful when testing it with your body weight :) )

Yeb_Yeb (author)2016-04-24

M3G I hope u can make a Batman-like launcher appearing awesome with only simple materials!

M3G (author)Yeb_Yeb2016-04-24

I'll add that to my list!

dscherer2 made it! (author)2015-03-06

good project. though I found the dimensions to be kinda small. Home Depot in TX only had 4ft rod of 3/8in so I used same shaft, bent with oxy-acetylene torch, made hooks 7 in long (bend at 2 in) and used MIG welder

nkz75 (author)2015-01-06

One can use 2 small wood blocks to position the hooks (the rod diameter is equal so spacing will also be equal).

Hope to click "I made it" button real soon!!

But just loved this simples yet very efective design!!

Thank you!

M3G (author)nkz752015-01-06

Thanks for the suggestion & kind words! I hope the project goes well!

AndrewD1 (author)2015-01-06

If you use a Canadian 8 then it will have two bends doubling the strength of the knot. That is the knot I use to secure a safety rope while climbing or rappelling.

M3G (author)AndrewD12015-01-06

Thanks for the info!

nkz75 (author)2015-01-06

Sorry.. I meant 4 wood blocks

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-18

Wow, Awesome

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-18

Wow, Awesome

fordchick (author)2014-09-08

will it hold up someone

TrollFaceTheMan (author)2014-08-15

Who is ready to Scale the walls of a Kindom..? XD

Anyways, very nice :D

M3G (author)TrollFaceTheMan2014-08-15

Thank you!

M3G (author)TrollFaceTheMan2014-08-15

Haha, I'm down for that!

Pickles5000 (author)2014-07-04

As others have pointed out, a figure-8 retrace is a better 'option' than what is displayed. Alternately, what I know as a 'barrel knot', but better known as a double overhand could be tied. Double overhand's can be used to replace retraced figure-8's when connecting to a carabiner (or a grappling hook) - they tighten on themselves and provide less chance of entanglement, more available rope and help to keep the carabiner orientated correctly.

M3G (author)Pickles50002014-07-06

Thanks for the information!

bjc4073 (author)2014-06-27

Great work! I used an 8'' zinc eyelet to ease the process. I use mine to pull sticks out of my lake. I am about to make another bigger one since the hooks are a little small for big stuff.

bjc4073 (author)2014-06-27

acoleman3 (author)2014-06-08

now, if one could get their hands on some high carbon steel and then anneal the welds and heat treat the bends, it would hold more weight.

As long as the weld metal was a high carbon steel as well, then yes that would be very very strong.

true, the weld is only as strong as the filler metal. what i was more getting at was strength in the rods themselves. especially at the bends. the welds would be plenty strong, but a mild steel rod will have a lower load bearing rating than tempered high carbon steel.

camalo171 (author)2014-06-11

do you use just regular spray paint, or a special paint made for metal?

M3G (author)camalo1712014-06-11

I used rustoleum metal spray paint with a clear coat over top.

burnerjack01 (author)2014-06-09

I would caution any and all in this endeavor of two important points:

1) Typically an object engineered to carry a load is tested to an ultimate fail load of 350% of its intended working load. Never underestimate the effect of shockloading.

2) The hook is only part of a chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Your hook may be strong, but how strong is that tree branch, etc.?

imoncada (author)2014-06-09

This is awesome! I will make one with a thicker rod so it can withstand the weight of an adult, and maybe design a spring loaded cannon to shoot it. Or maybe with presurized air...

M3G (author)imoncada2014-06-09

Sounds awesome!

crazyndhed03 (author)2014-06-09

This is great! I just beg of you to use a safer knot than a slip knot if you use the hook for climbing. It might have just been the knot you used for pictures, but that knot will likely fail. Consider the figure 8 follow through with the end secure that all climbing gyms require for his reason.
Happy ninja-ing!

M3G (author)crazyndhed032014-06-09

Thanks for the comment! You're right, I didn't use the slip knot for actual climbing. A figure 8 would be a much better choice for holding ones weight.

crazyndhed03 (author)M3G2014-06-09

Phew. I figured you probably just used it for pictures. Also figured it wouldn't hurt to say something.

snoopindaweb (author)2014-06-08

Thank You. Voted & Favorited. ~( : - } )={ > --- ]

M3G (author)snoopindaweb2014-06-09

Thanks a lot!

Abeytj (author)2014-06-08

Flux coated rod arc welding is the simplest and easily available. It amply serves the purpose. TIG, MIG are for special purposes and there is no harm in using any one.

SpiderTech (author)2014-06-08

Back when I was in high school this was the first thing I made when we started arc welding. Instead using a separate shaft I used a single rod for the shaft and two of the hooks. Essentially bending the rod in half with a loop at one end (the middle), welded up the middle for the shaft, and the two ends bent into hooks. Then we took two more rods and shaped them into hooks that went on the sides. This held a lot more than 130lbs since I didn't have to worry about the loop bending out under the weight.

I think I still have it somewhere at my grandma's house. I don't have pictures so I drew one up real quick just in case my explaination didn't make sense :D

M3G (author)SpiderTech2014-06-08

Wow, great design, thanks for sharing!

Matt428 (author)2014-06-07

what type of welding would you use? Stick or MIG

M3G (author)Matt4282014-06-07

Whatever you have access to.

Matt428 (author)M3G2014-06-07

well what would work best? In the shop at my school, we have lots of access to almost every kind of welder. but I only Know how to do stick, gas, and mig.

MIG is going to be the easiest and end up looking the best. That is, unless you are an amazing gas welder, but most aren't.

acoleman3 (author)Matt4282014-06-08

i'd say oxyfuel, since both mig and stick burn so hot that they leave a
"heat affected zone" right at the weld's edge, which is a brittle and
weak grain structure. the other don't have that problem to as large of a
degree. if you can heat the welds to 1500°-1700° with a rosebud tip
and let it air cool, the structure will be annealed with consistent and more stable grain size.

M3G (author)Matt4282014-06-07

Hmm, I'd ask your shop teacher for a recommendation. The type I used was flux-cored arc welding, but there may be a better method. Good luck!

About This Instructable




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