You can buy every piece of equipment you need for hammock camping; or so I thought. After I’d ventured into the wilderness just once I quickly realized that I need to learn to splice.
No shop can sell the perfect piece of equipment to cover every need when you’re setting your hammock up in a different place every night.
I was lucky when I made that first trip; my friend did the splicing for me. But I vowed to get some Amsteel cord and an amsteel splicing tool as soon as we returned.
The problem was there are so many on the market. How could I choose the right one? That’s when I opted to do an Amsteel Splicing Tool Review.
You may think that all splicing tools are the same but Amsteel is quite tough to work with. Get the wrong tool and you’ll find yourself destroying your new cord.
3 Best Amsteel Splicing Tools
I should point out that I was lucky; I know the owner of my local store and I got to try a huge range of splicing tools. That’s why I’m convinced these are the best you can get:
1. D Splicer F series Splicing needle – Budget option
With this splicing tool, You’ll get 4 needles; each is a set size and has a large handle at one end. You can’t change the needles. The four needles are designed for different sizes of rope:
- F10 needle for rope from 0mm to 2mm
- F15 needle for rope from 2mm to 4mm
- F20 needle for rope from 4mm to 6mm
- F25 needle for rope from 6mm to 8mm
I tried this and liked it as it was exceptionally easy to use. However, it is worth noting that the needle struggles with heavy loads. In fact the needle part can actually pull away from the plastic handle part.
I liked the feel of this splicing tool; it was easy to use and great if you have a limited budget. But it certainly wasn’t my favourite.
2. Samson Rope Splicing Tool
I liked the feel of this tool and the idea that it had been made by one of the firms that actually makes Amsteel cord. You’ll get a stylish wooden handle which has a long piece of steel coming out of it.
You can then slide over one of the fids. There are 5 different sizes:
Alongside this you’ll get a small pusher to help with fine strands of rope. This pusher is 4.25 inches; that’s 10 inches of metal and a 4 inch handle. The manufacturer does state that this is not a good option if you want to splice core dependent double braid ropes.
One nice thing about this kit is that it weighs just 14 ounces; that makes it possible to take with you and perform some emergency adjustments if necessary. It even comes in a convenient tube to help you do this!
I’ve used it myself and other customers confirm that this is great for any 12 strand hollow braids. There are also several customers who’ve used it for double braid without any issue.
It is worth noting that the fids all have a marking engraved on them. This can actually cause them to snag when you’re splicing; making the process a little more difficult than it needs to be.
From a personal perspective I was surprised at how comfortable the handle was despite being only 4 inches long.
But, I have to admit I was still wary about putting too much force behind it; there just seemed a likelihood that it would snap easily.
3. Ronstan Splicing Kit – My Favourite
This is the most expensive option on this list but you do get what you pay for and this is a great splicing tool.
It’s designed to be used with virtually any type of line. I found it excellent with the Amsteel cord. You’ll get several fids with this set including 4, 5.5, 7.5, 10 and 13mm. That makes it the most versatile of these three splicing tools.
You can do any double or single braided line between 1/8” and 9/16”. You can also do tripe braided line up to 1” 1/8.
These fids are made from stainless steel. They may feel cold when you pick them up but they won’t rust and they will be tough enough to deal with any type of cord or twine you throw at them.
Perhaps the best part is the well polished tips. This makes it much easier to slide them between the braids of my Amsteel. In fact I would go as far as to say that this splicing kit actually easier to use than any of the other kits I’ve tried. Part of this is likely to be due to the design of the Ronstan splicing kit; it encourages you to pull rather than push when moving through the wires; this is an effective method.
The precision is excellent; you can avoid fraying wires as you splice in your new knot. It’s almost enjoyable!
Why should you use a splicing tool?
A splicing tool will allow you to make your own whoopie slings, ridgeline and even create eyes with minimal effort.
You can purchase all the items that can be spliced with these tools. In many cases it is cheaper and takes less time to simply purchase the gear ready to use. But, what if you’re in the wilderness and your whoopie slings snap?
It may seem like this would never happen but, trust me; it does. I ended up going to ground despite the tress all round me; it wasn’t an experience I wish to repeat. That was the moment I started learning about the power of Amsteel cord and I vowed I would always have my own splicing tool with me.
It is important to note that it takes practice before you get the splicing right; but the satisfaction of doing it yourself makes it all worthwhile.