Introduction: World's Cheapest Rubber-Band Launcher!

Picture of World's Cheapest Rubber-Band Launcher!

This rubber-dart launcher will practically cost you nothing and within just a few minutes, you can learn to operate this launcher! A bit of practice ...and you will be and expert at this...It's one of my favorite pastimes!

In the dart launcher...the firing mechanism is made up of a rubber band ...which itself acts as the dart!!! I mean that the rubber band self- propels itself. This is the best part because it makes the dart harmless to others.

This contraption is actually one of the easiest and best things one can do with a rubber band. Requires almost no money to build this device (provided you own a rubber band).
And still , this contraption operates in two different modes:
1) Low speed <=> High Accuracy.
2) Very high speed <=> Lower Accuracy.

Yet , at the end of the day, you will realize ,that this dart launcher gives a great deal of accuracy considering that it was built using EXTREMELY old tools i.e.
1) Your right hand - Invented by "GOD" around 400,000 years ago.
2) Rubber- invented by "Charles Marie de La Condamine" in 1751.

Also this Instructable is an entry to the " KLUTZ RUBBER BAND POWERED CONTEST"!
So if you like it please do vote for me!
Comments and rating are most welcome!

Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools

Well, as I mentioned in the introduction, this Instructable requires only two tools:

1) Your Hand.
2) A rubber band.
The length of the unstressed band should be as long as your index finger. A slightly shorter rubber band will provide more speed to the flight!

Step 2: Loading the Launcher!

Picture of Loading the Launcher!

Loading the launcher is perhaps the simplest task on the planet...
Just follow the steps given below. I've also thrown in pictures of each step. Take a close look at each one of them!

1) Close your little finger on your palm.( Let the other three fingers stick out as shown in the first picture).

2) Hold the one end of the rubber band tightly on the palm using this finger.

Now move on to the next step. We will now store some elastic potential energy in the rubber band!

Step 3: Loading the Launcher (part 2)!

Picture of Loading the Launcher (part 2)!

The next three steps are very crucial. Take a close look at all the pictures.
1) Now twist the rubber band from behind the base of the thumb.(Shown in pictures 1 and 2).

2) Stretch the rubber band right up to your index finger.

3) Lock the rubber band firmly between the nail and the finger.( You may take some time to get a hang of this.)

Now you can choose between the index and the second finger.
The index finger gives you better accuracy, but low speed.
The middle finger gives you better speed but lower accuracy.

Bingo! Your Dart launcher is now Loaded!

Step 4: Firing the Rubber Band!

Picture of Firing the Rubber Band!

1)Now that you are ready with your loaded launcher, point the launcher straight in front of you.
2) Taking Aim: Let your thumb stick out upwards.Look at the target and align it with your thumb. The thumb will naturally guide the direction of the shot.
3) NOW....
Let go of the little finger( the one holding the band on your palm!)
4) The band will catapult itself with TREMENDOUS velocity towards the target.
( The accuracy is superb)!

Step 5: The DIY Dartboard for the Launcher.

Picture of The DIY Dartboard for the Launcher.

I made this small dartboard on Microsoft Paint in something like ten minutes! You can do the same. You don't need to be an expert at paint at all!
Just put some circles randomly, give them some points and you dartboard is ready!
Then stick it on the wall of your office pick up that rubber band and get going!!!


haaiids (author)2010-04-16

a bit dumb lol...naah jks

flubs (author)2010-02-06

 well, since humans were made when earth was, according to the bible, and the earth is about 2 1/2 billion years old the hand was made 2 1/2 billion years old.


Yashknowsbetter (author)flubs2010-02-07

Well , depends upon which reference book you use for your history.
flubs used the bible, and I, the scientific american!

catlover101 (author)2009-09-12


Hey! see? it's nowhere close to a weapon right? the contest got over ages ago. Sadly, I didn't win ( Although, I've won the Burning Question 6.5 contest!)Hope you really liked the instructable! Thanks!

catlover101 (author)2009-09-12

wepon? ouch it hit my eye 5 sec l8ter.. ok pain gone wepon= ouch! aww im bleeding!!!!!

MadBricoleur (author)2009-03-28

Good. classic. i REALLY still prefer using two hands, though. Best: Hook your rubber band on your less dominant hand, then pull back on your thumb (hold in it place) with your index finger of the same hand, while keeping the other end on your thumb of your dominant hand. Adding a twist in the rubber band keeps it from hitting your thumb when it's released. I've hit a fat spider on the ceiling from 5 feet away with this method. and another tip for your ible - multi-fire by hooking more rubber bands on your ring and pinkie fingers! :D

Hey ..thanks for the great comment! Do recommend this instructable to all your friends! ..I tried your technique and it's great! But i simply cannot afford to have two hands! It is the " cheapest Rubber Band Launcher" you see? Second Hands come costly!

haha no problem. :D well if you are rubber band firing, better to be safe than sorry and fire with two hands to prevent wasting a shot! lool. just a cent of advice

Haha...thanks! I'll keep that in mind when im in a skirmish!

ajanubhavjain (author)2009-04-03

Hey Yash I am also an Indian!!! Cud you tell me the state you live in?? I live in Delhi

Hey! Im from Mumbai! What's ur age and what are you studying?

xilefakamot (author)2009-03-24

When I read the title I thought 'well I know a cheaper one - my hand!' But it turns out it was this anyway. Good instructable - might vote

Thank you soo much! Made my day! Do recommend the instructable to your friends!

Will do. ;-) I've seen so many people using two hands to do this...

I know...but it takes some time to master it using one hand in the first place!

mg0930mg (author)2009-03-22

This is nice. However, it won't be added in because it is a weapon. Good though.

Yashknowsbetter (author)mg0930mg2009-03-23

Well...It did get please vote for ME!!!Thanks!!!

mg0930mg (author)Yashknowsbetter2009-03-23

I'll vote when it comes around. ;)

Yashknowsbetter (author)mg0930mg2009-03-22

Well that's what my point is...It's harmless! The rocket launcher is more of a weapon than this! But I know that it wont be added! Have to think up something else now!

mg0930mg (author)Yashknowsbetter2009-03-22

Yes, but the rocket isn't intended for that. It flys, this only shoots a rubber band. ;D

mg0930mg (author)mg0930mg2009-03-22

I'll check the next one.

Yashknowsbetter (author)mg0930mg2009-03-22 got a point there..

amakerguy (author)2009-03-23

I'm not voting for you! This is a weapon!

frollard (author)2009-03-22

My favourite method with this is to load up my middle, ring, and pinky finger with bands, all wrapped. If fired in the opposite order they're wrapped in (so they unwrap from your hand in order) you can fire 6 bands with 2 hands in very short time.

Charles IV (author)2009-03-21

Didn't the contest have a no weapons rule?

My Instructable hasn't even been added on the contest...But don't the judges realize that the "50+ Rubber band Rocket" ,which was the first entry to the contest is much more of a " weapon" than my launcher!! i've mentioned that the band is fast...but not fast enough to hurt anybody!

sbdesigns (author)2009-03-21

I know I have a dirty mind, but the thumbnail for this instructable is a classic!

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