Paracord Hot Knife

An upcoming project calls for cutting dozens of lengths from a spool of 550 (pound tensile strength) all-nylon paracord, which means I must also heat-seal the ends. Cold-cutting paracord always produces wildly fraying ends, so I got primal on an old soldering iron tip:

Paracord cutting - flattened soldering iron tip
Paracord cutting – flattened soldering iron tip

Bashed into a flattish blade, it does a Good Enough job of hot-cutting paracord and sealing the end in one operation:

Paracord cutting - results
Paracord cutting – results

Setting the iron to 425 °C = 800 °F quickly produces reasonably clean and thoroughly sealed cut ends.

Obviously, I need more practice.

Yes, I tried laser cutting the paracord. Yes, it works great, makes a perfectly flat cut, and heat-seals both ends, but it also makes no sense whatsoever without a fixture holding a dozen or so premeasured lengths in a straight line. No, I’m not doing that.

4 thoughts on “Paracord Hot Knife

  1. “Paracord cutting – flattened soldering iron tip”

    “Polymorphic Hardware will apply the concept of polymorphism to traditional embedded hardware. This will enable a single electronic device to fulfill multiple functional roles by allowing the user to run multiple firmwares and applications with said device.”

    https://hackaday.io/project/11191-polymorphic-hardware

    ;-)

    1. Looks like that one sank without a trace. I think their notion of “polymorphic” is excessively narrow. As Father Vaughn put it: “When your manager asks you to design a combination waffle-iron toaster, you have a problem.”

      1. Not really dead — maybe just not as special as some people wanted. I can re-program these Arduini and Huzzahs and Teensys to do thing after thing. (I did spend years polishing my programming, and haven’t finished yet, it appears.)
        I don’t know that I could ever reprogram my kitchen stove to do anything besides create regions of high temperature.

        1. “Polymorphic Hardware … will enable a single
          electronic device to fulfill multiple functional
          roles by allowing the user to run multiple
          firmwares and applications with said device.”

          I wish all car/trucks used the same Powertrain Control Module (“The computer”). Each make/model could run its own software but a 4-cylinder BMW and 6-cylinder Buick would have identical hardware. The benefits would be an economy of scale and a supply-chain resiliency. Those model-specific softwares could be called a “driver” which could be refreshed periodically as improvements are made. {Hah, a small play on the word driver.}

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