Rope Splicing Tools - Getting Started

6/27/2017 - 6:21:58 AM

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Rope splicing tools

Many of the tools used in tree work are the result of a skilled splicer. From climbing lines to rigging slings, there are many benefits to having a splices on your rope products. A spliced eye on your climbing line is more compact than a knot, and a good splice will retain at least 90% of the rope strength, while a knot can result in 60% loss of strength. Whether your goal is repairing your winch line in the field, installing synthetic cabling, or you desire to create all of your own rope tools, it can be confusing to determine which splicing tools you need. We will be looking at the different splicing tools available, their benefits, as well as looking at what is really needed to get the job done.

We will be looking at techniques for certain types of ropes in coming weeks,
but today will be just an overview of 
tools needed to get the job done.


Wire Fid

One of the most versatile tools in the splicing toolbox is the wire fid. For some rope the wire fid is merely functional, such as larger diameter double braid rope or 12 strand hollow core. Other ropes are nearly impossible without the wire fid, such as 8mm hitch cord, small diameter double braid climbing lines, or the crossover on 16 strand ropes.


Wire fids are simple tools, and can be manufactured easily from welding wire, coat hangers, or piano wire. Wire fids are also an inexpensive tool to purchase if you are just getting introduced to splicing.


Tubular Fids

Measurements for rope splicing occur in fid lengths, which is 21 times the diameter of the rope. Tubular fids can be very useful when splicing hollow core rope or double braid rigging rope. The tapered nose of the fid allows the rope to be pushed through without snagging fibers. It is crucial to properly size the fid with the diameter of rope being spliced.

A fid pusher may be helpful when splicing double braid rope to get the fid out without losing the tapered end of
the rope. A fid pusher is also generally sized with the rope being spliced.


Fids and fid pushers are typically specified as being required tools by manufacturers to splice their cordage. Many ropes can be spliced by using tubular fids and pushers. 12 strand and double braid rigging ropes are easily spliced by using fids and pushers.


Swedish Fids

Swedish fids are very useful for splicing 3 strand rope such as New England Multiline or Samson Promaster. Our splicers use Swedish fids for Brummel and locking Brummel splices on 12 strand hollow core rope necessary for whoopie slings and eyes on dead eye rigging slings. Using Swedish fids eliminates the need for removing and re-taping the tubular fid to opposing ends of the rope, overall making the splicing process smoother. The Swedish fid is useful for any rope being spliced with a tuck splice or brummel.


Toss Splicing Wand

The Toss splicing wand is a useful tool frequently used by professional splicers. The wand has a smooth nose that allows you to easily pass through the cover without snagging inside fibers. The snare makes it easy to pull the core through the cover, or the tapered cover through itself when splicing 16 strand rope. The 42” long arborist wand is especially useful when splicing 16 strand climbing lines.




Scratch Awl or Marlin Spike

 The scratch awl and/or Marlin spike are very useful tools for splicing. These tools are great for pulling the tight fibers on small diameter double braid ropes, and for extracting the core on climbing and rigging lines. The marlin spike has a tapered nose, which makes it easier to avoid snagging fibers unintentionally. It also works well for separating the jacket on double braid ropes.