Wednesday, 16 April 2014 in Paracord etc

I have seen much written about cord, there is a lot of information out there that's for sure, I've also seen people write about cord and either they are poor researchers of they have missed chunk's of information out to make it sound like they are doing the right thing. So what I write is all the info I can find, it is not meant as a "Holier than Thou" my way is the one true way, more as , this is enough info that you can make an informed choice as to what cord to buy or where to buy a whip made of cord from.

Nylon Paracord

You will often hear this referred to as "Military Spec" cord, this is because it is supplied to the forces in the good old US of A for parachutes, they also do a civil version....there are two main manufacturers Gladding and E.L. WOOD, I'm not 100% sure but I read somewhere they between them are responsible for 70+% of all Paracord manufactured. If your making nylon whips then either company will deal with you direct however they do have a quite hefty minimum order. The "Military Spec is available in around 40 colours and a further 200 colours if you include the civil type.

It comes in 4 types.

Type 1

Commercial grade, 100lb breaking strain, 1 strand (2ply) inner core, 100%nylon material, Mildew and rot resistant,

Tensile Strength

outer core...65lb
Inner strand....35lb.

Type 2

Commercial grade, 425lb breaking strain, 3 strand (2ply) inner core, 100%nylon material, Mildew and rot resistant,

Tensile Strength

outer core...320lb
Inner strand....35lb.each

Type 3

Commercial grade, 550lb breaking strain, 7 strand (2ply) inner core, 100%nylon material, Mildew and rot resistant,

Tensile Strength

outer core...305lb
Inner strand....35lb.each

Type 4

Commercial grade, 650lb breaking strain, 4 strand (2ply) inner core, 100%nylon material, Mildew and rot resistant,

Tensile Strength

outer core...410lb
Inner strand....35lb.each

Technically only the "Military Spec" is Parachute cord, the rest is Tactical cord or whatever other name a firm has come up with for it.....this is the start of the confusion and from here on in it gets worse and worse....


Polyethylene terephthalate is the correct name for it and it is NOT paracord and it is NOT nylon, it is often referred to as an abbreviation of It's real name P.E.T. cord in lay mans terms it's a type of polyester....There are many products derived from it, bottles, moulds, duvet inners to name a few, the stuff us whip makers are interested in is the cord, used in sail boats and the like and fishing....

The branded stuff comes in very few colours, so far I have only found white, black, olive green, brown and cream, I can's say enough good about it, I personally consider it makes a much better more fluid whip that is closer to a kangaroo hide one than nylon will ever be, the trouble is it has a very fine profile so takes a great deal of time to plait, as an example a 16 plait nylon whip will start out with a core, then an 8 plait, a 12 plait then the 16 plait overlay, in Dacron that equates to a core, a 12 plait, a 16 plait then a 20 plait overlay.

If you have the ability to plait with fine cord and you want a whip for yourself this is the stuff you really ought to make it from, it's awesome, if your a commercial whip maker trying to make a living from making whips then you will not achieve a price that the time involved deserves, they really are time consuming and that's a shame.....hence I offer only one Dacron style Hybrid whip.

P.E.T. Cord

Or what is known at P.E.T. Cord, now we are onto my pet hate, pun intended....The Chinese as with Lot's of things have jumped on the band wagon and now sell a ***Poly*** type cord, you'll see it all over Ebay, I don't know about the rest of the world but here in the UK it works out at around 3 pence a foot where as Dacron with import duty, VAT and customs clearance charges will run you in at around 12/14 pence a foot. Genuine 550 cord runs in around 7/8 pence a foot here in the UK and 450 and 650 has to be imported and is around 15/16 pence a foot.

A few whip makers young to the game have been caught out by this, bought it as paracord and sold it on as paracord, but you don't need to of been round very long to know the difference.

So all you need is a little of each in hand and you'll know instantly that nylon and P.E.T (Chinese import) are two very different beasts, the same again, have in hand a bit of each and you'll know instantly that Dacron and P.E.T (Chinese import) are two very different things, I promise you no need for a mass spectrometer a monkey could tell the difference with no training.

So to answer a question over on another blog, is nylon the be all and end all. No, I just wrote above given a choice I'd make a whip for myself out of Dacron any day of the week over Nylon, however, if you have bought a nylon whip, or a paracod whip, and the vendor of that whip told you and sold it to you as nylon or paracord, then yes it is the be all and end all because they sold it to you fraudulently if it is made from P.E.T Chinese imported cord it is not nylon and it is not paracord so you got rumped.

If you bought a whip made from P.E.T and it was sold to you as that, no problem, but I hope it was reflected in the price and do keep it away from the fire....

That's me, thanks for reading