Paracord 2L: All-in-one tool for storing & working paracord
Paracord 2L: All-in-one tool for storing & working paracord
A simple little tool to store and work paracord. Holds 100' of 550, with everything you need to measure, cut, and heat seal the ends.
A simple little tool to store and work paracord. Holds 100' of 550, with everything you need to measure, cut, and heat seal the ends. Read more
About this project
Paracord is strong, lightweight and incredibly versatile, which is why it has become the most popular type of rope. Every Serviceman with boots on the ground and anyone who spends time in the outdoors carries and uses paracord. Twenty years ago only a handful of companies offered paracord. Today, there are hundreds of retailers offering a tremendous variety of colors and types. The Paracord market is booming.
In the four-plus decades I’ve been using paracord, I’ve found only two problems with it: First, there have been times when I did not have all the tools necessary to cut and heat seal paracord. And second, I have tried many variations but never came up with a compact, secure, yet easy-to-handle method for carrying cord. These are the reasons for the Paracord 2L. There is no other tool on the market like it.
The patent-pending Paracord 2L is the all-in-one answer for storing, measuring, cutting, and heat sealing parachute cord. No more tangled line. No more missing tools. And no more melted blobs burning your fingers tips and sticking to your gear. Measuring 6.5” long, less than 3.5” wide and about a 1/4” thick, the Paracord 2L is small enough to carry in a cargo pocket or backpack pouch, but large enough to spool a hundred feet of 550 cord.
The 2L will be molded from glass-filled ABS plastic for strength, lightness and durability. It will be pigmented a flat black to resist UV light deterioration. The three prongs on one edge of the Paracord 2L securely hold a BIC lighter, the best disposable lighter available worldwide. The opposite edge has a 6” ruler to accurately measure cord, and an enclosed blade for quick, safe cutting even when wearing gloves. The blade also is the best available: Lenox’s patented bi-metal alloy with Titanium-coated edge. It is guaranteed to stay sharp for more than one thousand cord cuts.
Of the many features incorporated into the Paracord 2L, the most unique are the burn slots. After cutting, the paracord ends have to be heat sealed to prevent fraying and to keep the outer sheath bonded to the inner filaments. But melting and shaping the cord means risking burnt finger tips, melted nylon sticking to your gear, and misshaped blobs on the cut ends. The Paracord 2L’s burn slots eliminate all these problems. There are four different sizes of burn slots to handle the popular cordage types. Not all paracord is the same size.
Here’s how the burn slots work: After cutting, snap the cord into the appropriate size slot. Leave about one inch of cord hanging out. Use the lighter to melt the cut end, and then immediately pull the cord through the slot before the melted end sets hard. The slot will extinguish the flame and shape the melted end. Your fingers never touch molten nylon, and the cut end will be the same diameter as the cord. Any excess nylon stuck around the mouth of the slot easily flicks off with your fingernail.
The Paracord 2L has multiple attachment holes in its mid section. You can spool different color cords and/or different sizes, like 550 and accessory cord, on the same tool. The lanyard holes allow you to carry the 2L on the outside of a backpack or attach it to a belt or harness. Suspended from your chest or waist, you can unwrap cord and cut it with just one hand by looping the cord and pulling it down through the enclosed edge guide. The lanyard hole also works as an anchor point: Play out cordage, pull a loop through the lanyard hole, and anchor the loop around the arm of the 2L. Now it’s easy to throw line over a tree limb or across a creek.
The simple and inexpensive Paracord 2L really is the all-in-one answer to storing and working paracord.
Risks and challenges
Development of the Paracord 2L has taken just over a year. After researching the market viability for a paracord tool, many plastic, molding, and machining engineers were consulted in order to design the 2L and a production system able to bypass many of the associated risks and challenges. This is not our first experience with plastic molded parts.
Most paracord is sold in 50’ and 100’ lengths, so we made the Paracord 2L as small and compact as possible yet able to hold 100’ of cord. We spent months refining the built-in tools and burn slots, then made and tested three evolutions of the prototype before we were satisfied with the product. Then we locked in the pricing and product availability for blades and lighters before filing our patent application.
Of the different plastics we tried, black-pigmented ABS gives us the strength, durability, and UV protection required to survive at least two years of hard outdoor use. ABS also is cost effective and does not shrink as much as other plastics when molded, which means tighter tolerances.
The mold design we chose eliminates post-production assembly, so our staff only has to process orders and ship 2Ls that are boxed when they come out of the mold. No need for a storage facility, and no assembly workers required.
Our mold will be a single-cavity unit to keep the start-up costs down, but this mold is capable of producing over 3,000 2Ls per week. We can add more double-cavity molds when demand exceeds this production rate.
The MSRP for the Paracord 2L will be $14. This price includes the lighter, but does not include paracord. One Paracord 2L will cost less than two 100’ hanks of paracord, so our price point fits well within established industry parameters. And the cost of the 2L can be reduced with greater production rates.
We have brought this project to KickStarter with two goals in mind: of course to raise the start-up capital through pledges, but also to hear your opinions and see how well a segment of the general public responds to the new Paracord 2L. Every Serviceman and camper who has seen the 2L wants one, what do you think?
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