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Proper scissor to trim lanyard paracord?

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by xbanker, Sep 3, 2007.

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    xbanker Ad Hoc Admin

    Looking for suggestions. Prior to applying flame to finish paracord-end, I'm striving for the cleanest cut possible. Want something sharp enough to trim in one motion, yet small enough to allow precision cuts. Before I invest in a good (read: expensive) nail or cuticle scissor (my guess is that they would do a decent job, or are they overkill) ... recommendations?

    Thanks!

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    I use regular, school supply store, scissors. I also have a pair of EMT shears, but they both do the job exactly the same.

    I think it's more a function of the scissors being sharp, rather than the actual type of scissors you use.

    Josh_Stein Empty Pockets

    Countycomm sells a mini-razor for keychain use that I quite like for cutting the ends on paracord--super sharp and easy to use. And you're absolutely right, a totally clean cut makes it much, much easier to melt the ends, especially for then pulling through small holes on tools or knives.

    Josh

    Anglepoise Loaded Pockets

    I use a very sharp knife and push cut as opposed to slice. For me this gives a better cut than scissors.
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    xbanker Ad Hoc Admin

    Thanks all for the input. Guess I was trying to make it more complicated than it was ... your comments make me wonder if I don't already have one workable approach right under my nose ... a decent Xacto set that I've owned for years, with a variety of handles and a good supply of blades.

    Thanks again!

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    ...and the comments made me realize I never thought of using a knife or blade to cut the cord.

    copierguy_mobile Empty Pockets

    I've always used the scissors in one of my SAK's.

    Mostly because I keep them near my paracord table, not because af any magical cord trimming properties.

    phatch Loaded Pockets

    The cleanest cutting technique I know of paracord. It's easy and saves work.

    Measure out the amount of cord you need. Flame seal the area of the cord where your will cut. Cut in the middle of the flame sealed area with a sharp knife. Both cut ends are now sealed and won't fray nor mushroom if heated further. You may have to apply a bit more heat to the inner strands.

    Phil
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    xbanker Ad Hoc Admin

    That part -- cutting long strands -- I've mastered (ain't I the craftsman) :winkwink:

    What I didn't describe well in the OP -- that point after braiding where the free ends need to be trimmed flush with the body of the lanyard/fob then "mushroomed" -- no second chance to clean-up an unsatisfactory cut (remedied until now by judicious use of the 'ol Bic).
  1. I use, exclusively, a sharp knife (one that I've sharpened myself). It may vary from time to time with whatever I'm EDCing, but suffice it to say that whatever knife or knives (usually knives) I am carrying is/are sharp enough to shave hair, so I always get a clean cut of the paracord. I then use a Vector jet-flame lighter ($20 from a local head shop) to melt the ends. This is an application for which a Zippo lighter is far from preferable.

    I would not use a scissor for cutting paracord because my feeling is that the twisting effect of scissor blades would possibly make a deformity in the cut, keeping it from being flat.

    When I cut paracord with a sharp knife, I usually lay a bight over the blade and pull both ends toward the spine of the blade. On some occasions, I lay the cord down on a pad of paper and cut down onto it with a press. The blade is sharp enough to cut without needing to slice or saw, of course, and the cut is very neat.

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    I use scissors and have never noticed such twisting.

    Josh_Stein Empty Pockets

    From what I've noticed in working with paracord, it's the sharpness of whatever blade is doing the cut that matters most. I like a razor for that reason. I've cut in an upwards motion, down onto a surface, and sideways like cutting rope. If the blade is super-sharp, the cut is clean, especially the inner nylon strands. I can see sharp scissors, an exacto or a knife doing the same thing, and I can see a dull blade of any sort--knife, scissors, razor, whatever, as causing an uneven cut, warping, twisting, etc.

    Josh
  2. For that reason, maybe the best thing for it would be to keep a "superknife"--the kind that uses disposable replacement blades--with your paracord gear and supplies.

    I got myself the Gerber one they have at walmart (under $10) but found soon that the design of the thing is pretty BAD. It doesn't hold the blade securely at all. I have seen the overall quality, fit/finish of Gerber's products go into the toilet in the last ten years or so. The finish on their edges (look at them at The Sports Authority some time) is atrocious. Like some 9-year-old kid in Taiwan working a commercial grinder did the finishing. YUCK!

    But there are better "superknives" around and they are not expensive. That's what I'm going to be looking for soon.

    nicknwong Empty Pockets

    Just curious... why do you call them superknives?

    EDIT-
    Forgot to add what I use - I tend to just puch cut with a knife or use the SAK scissors. I use the sak because its the only good pair of scissors I have.

    Josh_Stein Empty Pockets

    They tend to be referred to as "super knives" because the blades are changeable--it's more about finding a hilt and holding mechanism you feel comfortable with and that is secure. Check out this review here: Gear Review by Bruner

    I still go with the sharpness of the chosen cutting surface making the most difference.

    Josh

    nicknwong Empty Pockets

    oooohhh... Ive just never heard them called that.

    Josh_Stein Empty Pockets

    Me either--to me, they're all just "boxcutters" ;)

    Josh

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    Ditto.
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ran23 Loaded Pockets

    Just what to say I would be lost without my Klein scissors around.

    mivok Loaded Pockets

    I've always used normal office scissors to cut (although I've always tried to make sure I actually use some that are still sharp). The end always seems to fray a little on one side when I cut, but it really doesn't matter as you're melting the end anyway and the end always comes out clean once you melt any loose strands away. For longer cuts, when scissors aren't handy, my SAK seems to give a much cleaner cut, I just find scissors much more convenient.