How to buy rope
A rope buying guide
Rope can be found in theaters, on construction sites and in boats, homes and businesses around the world. When you think about how to buy rope, there are some important factors to consider. What are the different types of rope and rope materials, and which is best for your needs? What kind of accessories might you need to use your rope properly? The right kind of rope is essential for a project; this rope buying guide will help you make good choices as you think about how to buy rope.
>> Consider different types of rope
There are different types of rope for different rope uses. Most rope is composed of natural or artificial fibers. A natural fiber rope is sometimes less expensive and easier to handle than other options. Natural fiber ropes are good for small jobs, such as binding and rigging. A synthetic rope is usually stronger and may be available in more colors. Synthetic rope may be more appropriate for heavier jobs, such as climbing or lifting heavy objects.
Aside from the material, there are several different types of rope. Manila rope is laid or twisted rope. Made up of three strands twisted together, twisted rope is a good choice for almost all your rope needs. It is widely available. Synthetic ropes are usually braiding ropes. A single braiding rope is often more flexible and easier to work with, whereas a double braid can be quite a bit stronger and is good for very large jobs. Nylon utility rope is strong and elastic. Polyester rope, or poly rope, is waterproof and offers better resistance to abrasion. Polypropylene rope has a low cost and a light weight. For some tasks, kernmantle rope may be the best rope style. Kernmantle ropes have a core of fibers protected by an outer layer of smaller fibers. Because of their rope design, kernmantle ropes are stiffer and may be better for climbing and similar uses.
>> How do you intend to use your rope?
Many people use rope for climbing. For climbing purposes, the best rope style depends on the surface on which you will be climbing and the materials that will be accompanying you. A flat surface, such as a wall, requires a thin and loose rope design that is easy to manipulate and climb on. If you plan to haul equipment as you climb, use a larger rope. For rock climbing and similar activities, a stronger nylon rope is probably your best choice. Remember that you will be manipulating the rope quite a bit as you hammer spikes and other devices.
All sailboats need rope. If you are considering how to buy rope for a particular sailboat, consult the boat manufacturer, which may have some specifications as to which rope to buy. Generally, the rope design should be lighter and easier to handle for a sailboat than for rock climbing.
Some people use rope for binding. When considering how to buy rope, be sure you buy the correct length. Also consider the items you are binding together. If you are planning to lift the items, transport them or handle them in any way, your rope need is different than if you are going to bind the items loosely and store them. Some people use rope to tie objects onto car roofs or to secure overly packed car trunks. Be sure you use plenty of rope in these circumstances, especially if you plan to drive more than a few blocks.
Towing or pulling is another common rope use. When you think about how to buy tow rope, be sure to think about the item you are planning to tow and how far you are planning to tow it. Again, the type of material you plan to work with helps determine how to buy a rope. You probably want to ask questions to make sure you buy the right rope for your needs.
>> Consider rope accessories
Never use rope without the proper safety equipment, which includes, in many cases, goggles and gloves. Many people consider using an apron or other outer garment for additional protection.
Rock climbers need climbing equipment and safety equipment. Be sure that you have the proper rope attachments, such as hooks and harnesses. Even a simple pulley can increase your rope's strength. Several pulleys in alignment can help you lift very heavy objects, such as grand pianos or shipping crates. Be sure that your shoes allow for traction. Refer to the following rope buying comparison chart when determining how to buy rope.
|Twisted || |
- Natural fibers
- Easy to handle and versatile
|Braided || |
- Artificial fibers
- Strong and resistant to elements
|Kernmantle || |
- Very durable specialty rope
- Climbing and towing
Above all, consider the purpose of your rope. By considering your task and your purpose, you can make the right choice when making your rope purchase.