Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ball Bearings & Carabiners for Paracord

The fourth segment of our Paracord Hardware Series is going to focus on ball bearings and carabiners.

Chrome Steel Ball Bearings come in a whole variety of sizes.
Ball bearings are primarily used for one purpose in the paracording world: monkeyfists. This particular knot, which seems to resemble a monkey's fist (!), has been around for AGES, used as a weight at the end of a rope for easy throwing or swinging. The knot is commonly tied around a round object to give it more heft. It has also often been used as a defensive weapon, keychain, rock climbing anchor, zipper pull, fishing net weights, pet pull toys, and for throwing a line from a boat.

Monkey Fists are great for keychains, but can also be used defensively.
Nowadays, the monkeyfist is synonomous with the image you see here: a defensive weapon masked as a keychain. Inside the fist, you'll usually find a heavy round object. Oftentimes, it's a chrome steel ball bearing. These ball bearings can range from a teeny tiny 5/8" to a ginormous 1 3/4" (larger than a golfball size!). The size of these bearings will determine the amount of weight you're swinging. The smaller 5/8" ball is half an ounce, whearas the beefy 1 3/4" ball is just over 3/4lb! If you ever need to use one of these to clobber someone... man, talk about a headache!

Carabiners can also be very
practical for your paracord projects.
Biners (carabiners) can be used in tandem with a Monkeyfist keychain, or any keychain for that matter! Carabiners can be plastic or metal, silver, black or otherwise, and come in so many different shapes and sizes, you're sure to find one that suits your tastes. Even though they are most commonly seen being used with keychains, they can also serve as hammock connections, spooling apparatuses for paracord, dog leash hook-ups, belt buckles, etc. If you want to clip one thing to another thing, carabiners can do the job! :P

So ball bearings and carabiners... purposeful and to the point! Have you handle either of these items for paracording projects? Anything unusual or unique that you've come up with? Let me know in the comments below!