parachute cord for handles?

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Aug 23, 1999
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cord-wrapped handles seem to be popular, particularly for neck knives. I have no personal experience with this material and must ask, What's the deal with this? I can see that it'd provide a better, more comfortable grip than just the metal tang of the blade. But if you get fish guts or other foul gunk imbedded in the cord handle, do you have to unravel the cord to clean it up? And is that a hassle? To the unitiated it looks like it might be, as some of the cord handles appear in photos as though they're fixed in a series of macrame-like knots.
 
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Oct 8, 1998
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Good Day,

Reports from the field and testing show that the cord provides a very secure grip, and that some would be very willing to re-tie the knife when dirty.

A compromise is to epoxy saok the cord, which seals the cord, and reduces grip by a small margin.

Do a search for Strider, I started a thread in Reviews that dealt with this, and the Strider has a thread about this called something like 'a word or two about....'

------------------
Thank you,
Marion David Poff aka Eye, Cd'A ID, USA mdpoff@hotmail.com

>>--->Bill Siegle Custom Knives<---<<
-http://www.geocities.com/siegleknives-

Talonite Resource Page, nearly exhaustive!!

Fire Page, metal match sources and index of information.

"We will either find a way, or make one." Hannibal, 210 B.C.
 
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Aug 3, 1999
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Mess can be a hassle with a cord-wrapped handle, but "paracord" is nylon, and non-porous. I don't know anyone who cleans fish with a cord-wrapped knife, maybe some do. In any case, paracord is very inexpensive and I would rather unwrap the handle and throw the old stuff away and just re-wrap it.
 

Cliff Stamp

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Mochiman1:

But if you get fish guts or other foul gunk imbedded in the cord handle, do you have to unravel the cord to clean it up?

For a complete cleaning it would be very difficult to get 100% without a rewrap as noted in the above. However many such blades are made as Tactical knives and the biggest problem of this sort would be from an encounter where you used it against someone. Even for an active individual this is not going to happen on a daily basis so a rewrap every now and again is not that much of a problem.

From a utility point of view it might not be the best choice for certain applications if it was to expect frequent encounters with body parts or similar. Cleaning game for example. You could try a soak in a decent cleaner followed by a long rinse and a rapid dry with a blower to make sure all blood and such is removed. However you could probably put a new wrap on in a similar amount of time.

Aside from blood and such, sweat, regular dirt, grime and such will also have an impact on the grip but it takes a fair amount of time for this to make the grip that insecure that you would want to change it. I use a high friction tape on some grips and it takes weeks of use before I want to change the wrapping.

some of the cord handles appear in photos as though they're fixed in a series of macrame-like knots

These are much more simple than they appear if you have never tried it. However they rarely come with instructions which is not a good thing. But many offer to rewrap as part of offers for reconditioning.

-Cliff
 
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Oct 28, 1999
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The only parachute cord that belongs on the handle of a knife is for the lanyard.

A parachute cord wrap grip is the knifemaker's dirty little secret. It is a cheaper way to make a knife. Wrap it...call it a "tactical" knife...and then sell it!
 
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Oct 16, 1998
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It does make a comfortable and durable handle matterial (durable at least regarding wear), but about the only good thing to be said for it is that it is better than a bare steel handle.
 
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XRAYED- I would agree that some use it in that manner. But given the Strider style of wrap, and Cliff's findings, how can you make that blank statement.

Steve- I disagree. Have you read's Cliff's findings with the Strider?

MDP
 

Old Knife Guy

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To Dragon1: I just found 50 feet of nylon braided cord (in its original wrapper) in my gun room. It says it is quick drying and will not mildew. It was given to me over 15 years ago, and I haven't needed it yet. Contact me through my E-mail address and I'll send it to you for free.--OKG
 
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Oct 16, 1998
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I've bin doing epoxy soaked cord handles for a wile now and I can say it is more work than g-10 scales by far.
I put a base under the cord G-10, micarta, leather ect and this has to be shaped and then attached then it gets wrapped with a diamond pattern.
The epoxy I use takes 72hrs to cure so it has to be safe from dust grit ect and kept at the proper temp.
Easy I don't think so.
Cord that is just wrapped I don't like it will feel and smell like a dirty hat rim in no time.

------------------
Edward Randall Schott

Let the future tell the
truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.
The present is theirs, the future, for which I really worked, is mine".
Nikoli Tesla EdwardRSchott@aol.com

www.angelfire.com/ct/schottknives/
 
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Marion...

With Strider and like knives you get charged what, around $250-300? You get about $15 worth of steel and .10 of cord (nice sheath though). Now this can be said of the materials for any knife but for that price there is no reason not to have a solid handle. With paracord, all you are doing is wrapping an uncontoured bar of steel. You might get a grip, but I have known far too many guys that carried wrapped EK's and such in the field and had a multitude of problems. Wear, unravelling, and not to speak of sanitary problems. If you going to spend those kind of bucks on a knife like a Strider, get the solid handle and make them work for their money. A wrapped handle knife should cost no more than $50...custom or not.
 
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MDP:

No, I didn't, or at least I don't remember if I did. What was the bottom line?

Thanks.
 
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XRAYED-
there is no reason not to have a solid handle.

Well, I would say that if a better grip is what you are looking for than a paracord (not solid) grip may be what you are looking for. I have found with both G-10 and Micarta handles that there was not sufficient grip, the addition of slippery substances made them less than acceptable in the control department. Not that I usually walk around with really gooey hands, but there are occasions when this can happen, not just tactically.

See Cliff's comments-
http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum63/HTML/000002.html

wrapped EK's and such in the field and had a multitude of problems. Wear, unravelling, and not to speak of sanitary problems.

Given the details, I have no reservations abou the first two, and for the third, epoxy soak it for a slight decrease in grip, but much better sanitaion. See later in thread quoted above.

Also, initially I had similar feelings about this....
http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/001342.html

But upon further reflection, I have changed my mind.

Steve-

What was the bottom line?

So that I don't screw it up, I am gonna ask Cliff to post the applicable parts.
But from what I gathered, and email exchanges, much better grip than G-10 or Micarta, with little decrease in comfort. And, all the Strider fans have been saying the same for awhile now. See threads quoted above.


------------------
Thank you,
Marion David Poff aka Eye, Cd'A ID, USA mdpoff@hotmail.com

>>--->Bill Siegle Custom Knives<---<<
-http://www.geocities.com/siegleknives-

Talonite Resource Page, nearly exhaustive!!

Fire Page, metal match sources and index of information.

"We will either find a way, or make one." Hannibal, 210 B.C.

[This message has been edited by Marion David Poff (edited 11-30-2000).]
 
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Wow! Really?

That kicks sooo much arse!

I could kiss you, but I don't think you'd like that...

My email server's having some problems...I'll drop you a line when I can.

Thanks!
 

Cliff Stamp

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XRAYED:

Wear, unravelling, and not to speak of sanitary problems.

Sanitary problems I can see depending on what it gets used for. Unravelling depends on the quality of the wrap. As for wear, how long a period of time are we talking about here? I had a simple wrap on my BM for a few months and the cord suffered no wear and stayed on fine.

Now if it comes in contact with anything abrasive then yes it would not last very long. It is not hard to cut through the handle and a slice through the middle will cause the whole wrap to come apart. Same as a decently hard hit with a hard object, or exposure to open flame. If any of these things happen on a regular basis obviously cord wrap is not a good choice.

In regards to the security and comfort of cord wrap. In the link Marion provided I give a short summary the benefits I have found. To me the stability is not important for the Tactical "blood and guts reason" but there are lots of times when I am working with a compromised grip.

For example, yesterday while chopping a few rounds off of a logs with the Machax one of the chops glanced, the blade twisted around in my hand, slid across the log and struck into my left hand. I was wearing very heavy work gloves and this and the fact that the edge was not that sharp protected my fingers.

During really heavy impact work the ability of the handle to freely rotate in your grip greatly increases the chances of glances and when they do happen, makes them far more dangerous. Grips that rely on shape alone will get very easy to rotate when your grip is compromised. The only practial solution to this is to greatly reduce the force you are using which of course vastly reduces the blades ability to function.

It is not just chopping either, any cutting where you are exerting a lot of force and the material could possibly move could also cause you to get injured if you cannot maintain your grip on the blade, hard stabs etc., will do the same thing.

After handling the Project and WB(s), I have significantly changed my outlook on how handles should be made to give optimal performance. This would be changed again if I ever did find a grip that was stable without an aggressive surface finish.

-Cliff
 
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Cliff:

I have had the same thing happen with a MACHAX. I found that if I kept the lanyard tight around my wrist that it would not come loose out of my hand so quick.

I really don't question the grip feel and purchase that you get with a wrapped handle. One of my first knives was a Richmond EK. That was a great knife but the handle unravelled, wore, and got dirty. It also got a big melted spot in it when and ember from a mid-winter campfire landed on it and started it smoking. Paracord is a seriously flammable material!!

I also do not argue with the idea of using epoxy and making it a permanent handle. I just have seen too many makers (including myself) take the shortcut of a quick wrap and calling it done. Cheap and dirty.

I have made knives that I realize needed a little more traction and approached in several ways. First was to using an agressive checkering file and groove the grip. Another way to coat and cure the grip with Brownell's spray grit.
 
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OKG: You're sure your e-mail is steward@chorus.net?

[This message has been edited by Dragon1 (edited 12-02-2000).]
 
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