General Purpose Tools

Parachute Cord

Versatile fastener

Parachute cord isn’t only light and strong (550lb. rating) for its size (5/32” diameter), it’s also more versatile than other types of rope because it can be dissected and parted out, cut and used for its braided nylon sleeve and/or seven separate core strands.

I first learned about parachute cord while doing fieldwork in Venezuela, where we used it to hang our hammocks, and also cut open pieces of it to utilize the inner strands individually for fastening wires to frames in order to sift soil. I saw paracord strands used as fishing line, too.


You can get enhanced grip and a little added padding by using paracord to wrap tool handles. It’s also used for making lanyards. I recently inserted a length of ball chain into parachute cord sleeve to make a hands-free flashlight for late-night dog walks. The nylon is a lot more comfortable around my neck than ball chain, and the fit is perfect.

-- Spencer Starr 09/21/09

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