Thoughts on Kevlar Parachute Cord

Discussion in '5col Survival Supply' started by andy.t, Mar 12, 2019 at 10:12 AM.

  1. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    A few of you are probably aware that we sell mil-spec kevlar parachute cord. It's a hollow braid cord made from untreated kevlar fibers. Naturally it's very strong, as we would all suspect since Kevlar is used in some types of body armor. It's the sort of thing that you find out about and think, "Neat, I'd like to try that out." However, I don't feel like it's suitable for many bushcraft or survival applications. Here's why:

    1) UV light causes kevlar to degrade. This is untreated, uncoated kevlar, so it has zero protection from sunlight/UV rays. With constant exposure to sunlight, kevlar will lose 50% of its strength within a few months. That's not ideal for a cord you undoubtedly bought for its strength and plan to use outdoors.

    2) I've heard two instances of it breaking in winches. It's a natural thing to think of using kevlar cord in a winch, but that's not what this cord is designed for. With no protective sheathing or treatment, it seems to cut into itself, fraying quickly. One customer lost a pretty expensive crab pot that way.

    3) Yesterday I used it for a project here at the house. We needed to pull two fenceposts together, so I used a trucker's hitch in Type 9. It worked great, but afterword I could see a lot of fuzzing around the friction points. Similar to above, it was abrading itself. The question is: how much strength did it lose due to that abrasion? And we'll never know the answer because I chucked it.

    Kevlar parachute cord is ideal for rocket parachutes and it seems like people like it for kites. I would probably stop selling it, since it doesn't line up exactly with our core business. However, we now have a few corporate and commercial customers who are buying it for its intended purpose, and I hate to give that up.
     
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  2. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Focus on the corporate sales & leave it at that. [​IMG]

    Fo-get about us! We don't need no stinking kevlar. [​IMG]

    Seriously, I'm not interested in kevlar cordage. If I need any, I can pick up a spool at my local Mil-Surp store. I've only used it once to wrap a hammer handle. ;)
     
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  3. chndlr04

    chndlr04 Guide

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    If you're still making a profit in a reasonable timeframe(inventory sitting too long) off those corporate sales then i would say keep it. Keep that cashflow.
     
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  4. Forestree

    Forestree Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Yeah I hear you on the Kevlar cord....I actually just learned about the UV degradation last year in griphoist/rigging training. Had never heard about it before that. And I have a Kevlar winch rope on my truck....I immediately went to look at it and noticed the faded spots where the sun constantly hits it. I think I remember hearing that getting it dirty further reduces its strength. As far as selling it, maybe some folks want it regardless, but I’d imagine many don’t know the drawbacks. But if just using to string up a clothesline or hang a tarp then it probably doesn’t really matter
     
  5. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I feel the same way, but stuff like the winch rope really worries me. That could cause a bad accident.

    It's important to me that folks know what they're getting and have reasonable expectations about what it's good for and what it's not good for.
     
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  6. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    What is the cost like? My first thought without researching it is the cost, and how it would compare to any other cord. I like strong cord but I also like knowing I can just cut whatever I have tied up without crying over the cost of it.
     
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  7. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    100 ft. of Type 5 is $19.99 for the moment. 100 ft. of Type 9 is $39.99. It's not cheap, but when you're returning a million dollar rocket to earth, it's the good stuff.

    Rigging a tarp? Let me sell you some bank line or regular parachute cord instead.
     
  8. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Interesting information. Thanks, Andy
     
  9. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Woodsman Supporter

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    I don't have any real experience with the thicker Kevlar stuff. I have seen it on stuff, just never gave it any real though in the past.

    The thread size stuff I have played with is pretty awesome.

    I do have some (large diameter kevlar cord) stashed in a pouch for a couple of projects. It would be interesting to see some of its uses and limitations.

    Paracord on the other hand I have a lot of experience with. Did some insanely crazy stuff with it. Paracord to me is in my opinion probably the best for fieldcraft and bushcraft.

    Bankline however is a new one to me. Picked some up from you last year I think. It is probably the most budget friendly cord out there.

    Spectra line and Technora line are other high strength options.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 1:48 PM

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