Sunday, June 24, 2018

Finishing Paracord Ends...

I'm often asked how I sometimes finish paracord lanyard/fob ends on various projects, especially the ones with the crimped ends, and I've replied over the years to many emails, messages, forum threads and comments with a brief explanation, but until now had not shown the process in a video tutorial or demonstration.

It comes down to pulling out the paracord's inner strands a little bit, trimming them off with scissors or a knife, pulling the outer sheath back down over the inner strands, using a lighter to slightly melt the cord end, flatten it out, carefully if done with your fingers so as to not get burned by the hot melted cord, alternatively laying it on a flat surface and flatten with the side of the lighter.

Then melt the end again and crimp with needle nose pliers or hemostats, so the toothy grip leaves a neat finish to your project.  If the paracord end flattens and spreads out too much when you crimp it, you can trim/shape it with your scissors and re-crimp if necessary.
I try to use only enough heat from the lighter so that the paracord is barely melting, because too much and the cord will blacken as it burns, which isn't so noticeable when finished on dark colors of paracord, but will show with lighter colors.

Link for knot example shown in video thumbnail photo.

For something like short hanks/bundles/lengths of paracord used as guylines for a tent, I would not crimp the ends like this, but melt and flatten both the outer sheath and inner strands as shown in the video.  This is because with repeated use and stretching of the paracord guylines, over time the inner strands could move/migrate away from the crimped ends, bunching up along the length of the cord, leaving the cord only as strong as the outer sheath section.  Whereas with the inner strands anchored to the outer sheath where they are melted together, the inner strands stay put and the cord retains its strength.

The knot work just above the end strands will keep the inner strands in place, so I've not found inner strand movement to be an issue with lanyards and fobs, and if you've gutted the paracord before hand, then it doesn't matter at all...

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