Getting a professionally cut and sealed rope end doesn't need to be a complicated affair. In fact, all you need are a few simple preparation tips and surefire cutting and sealing tricks to create a clean and smart end finish.
At Rope Warehouse we'll show you how to get a brilliant finish on both synthetic and natural fibre rope with two essential cutting techniques.
Hot Knife Cutting (Synthetic)
The first and most important step when cutting synthetic rope with a hot knife or heat element is to wrap the end of your rope in tape. There are a few tape options you can choose, but we recommend electrical tape (or insulating tape). This kind of tape is a great choice thanks to the combined stretchy PVC and rubber-based adhesive that will wrap securely to your rope and help retain its shape during cutting.
Once you have wrapped the ends of your rope in tape, take your hot knife and wait for it to heat. Then apply the heated blade to the rope using a firm and even sawing motion to slice through it. This is a particularly effective way to seal ropes with a slimmer diameter, however thicker ropes are going to be trickier and messier to cut and seal. If you're trying to cut a particularly large piece of synthetic rope, use a sharp knife or saw and seal afterwards by pressing the rope against a heated surface like a hot skillet or heated element such as a cooking hob or heat plate.
At Rope Warehouse, we stock a couple of different types of hot knife such as the Marlow Ropes Cordless Hot Knife. Featuring an easy to hold design, it cuts and heat seals rope fast and efficiently with the cutting blade reaching 400°C temperatures in seconds. It also comes with a carry case, brush and battery pack.
The HSGM Hot Knife Rope Cutter is a heavy duty corded rope cutter and sealer that is easy to operate and will take approximately 6-8 seconds for the blades to heat. It comes complete with one blade.
Cold Cutting (Natural Fibre)
Cutting natural fibre rope will require different methods because the likes of Sisal, Manila, Jute and Cotton all contain organic fibres that will burn rather than melt, making these rope types completely unsuitable for cutting and sealing with a heat element. In order to cut these ropes successfully, wrap in electrical tape, just like you would a synthetic rope, and cut through the centre of your tape wrap with a sharp pair of long arm garden loppers.
Once your rope has been cut, you can whip the ends with twine, string or a similar strong thread. Alternatively you can simply leave the tape on. At Rope Warehouse you can choose how you want your left and right rope ends to be finished. Depending on the rope type you choose, you can receive it with the ends heatshrunk, whipped, spliced with a soft or hard eye, or backspliced.