How To Cut Climbing Rope?


A climbing rope is one of the most important in a climber’s arsenal. It is important for your survival and safety. Over time, however, it can be prone to wear. There can be frays and other significant damages. One way or another, you will need to cut the climbing rope. 

If you want to learn how to cut the climbing rope the right way, keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll be sharing. It can be tempting to simply cut it from one end, but that should not be the case. 

Why Cut the Rope 

The rope’s first 15 feet on both ends are the ones that are often subjected to pressure. They are the most prone to wear and friction. They suffer the most from friction caused by your carabiners, especially in lead climbing. 

It is common for the end of the rope to suffer from frays. It will not look as good as the rest of the rope. The bad ends, when not dealt with properly, can compromise the structural integrity of the rope. This can compromise your safety. To prevent this from happening, you need to learn the proper way of cutting climbing rope.  

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cut Climbing Rope 

Most of you will think that cutting climbing rope is a straightforward process. However, it is not as simple as getting scissors or a knife and snipping the end of the rope. Here are the easy steps on how you can do it like a pro. 

  • Start by Inspecting the Rope 

The first thing that you need to do is to perform a quick inspection of the rope. Sit down to have a close look at the rope especially the damaged parts. Here, you will have to decide if it can still be spared by cutting the ends or if it is already time to find a new rope. More of the latter will be discussed in the next section of this guide. 

  • Wrap the End of the Rope 

Use a climbing tape to wrap the end of the rope that you would like to cut. You can also use duct tape to cover the frayed edges. Make sure that you wrap the tape as tight as possible. Wrap at a length of up to 30 centimeters, making sure that the end is in good condition. Otherwise, the rope will end up having a weaker structure. 

  • Cut the Rope 

Now, it is time to cut the rope, and you have to use sharp scissors to do this task. If the scissors are not sharp enough, you can end up with frayed edges, and this won’t be good for the structural integrity of the climbing rope. If the rope is too large for the scissors, it is best to use a sharp knife instead, including a camping knife

When you are cutting the rope, you also have to pay attention to the angle at which you are doing it. It is best to do it at an angle of 45 to 55 degrees. 

Speed is also crucial as you cut the rope. If you go too slow, there is a possibility of frayed edges while being too fast can cause the tips to split. 

  • Melt the End of the Rope 

Once you are done cutting the climbing rope, the next step is to melt the edges. Use a lighter to do this. It is an important part of the process because it will close the ends of the rope. Otherwise, there will be frays and this can make your rope weaker. Squish the end with wet fingers to make sure that they will close properly. 

When to Not Cut a Climbing Rope 

When cutting the rope, the assertion is that it can still be spared. Meaning, most of the parts are still in good condition. It should still be tightly woven and should have no heavy frays in most of its length.

You need to know when to retire a climbing rope. Learn when it is time to say goodbye instead of risking your life. The maximum lifespan of a climbing rope is ten years if it is not used. When it is constantly used, it should last only a year. Abrasions and energy resistance will also dictate if you can still cut the rope or it is time to get a new one. 

Do not cut a climbing rope when most of its parts are already soft or damaged. If you notice that the weaving is already loose, this is an indication that it can no longer be saved. At the end of the day, it is best to err on the side of caution. If you are unsure, it is best to not cut the rope and get a new one instead. 


Before we end this short guide, allow us to quickly answer a few questions.


Q: What do you use to cut a rope?


To cut a rope, it is best to use a sharp knife or scissors. You will need a bigger tool depending on the size of the rope, making sure that you will cut it right the first time. If you do not have a sharp cutting tool, the tendency is that there will be frayed edges, and this can affect the rope’s structural integrity.

Q: How do you cut climbing cords for accessory?


To cut climbing cords for accessory, you will need a butter knife. Cut at the length that you desire. If you are cutting a bigger rope for accessory, on the other hand, you will need a sharp knife or scissors.

Globo Surf Overview 

From the things mentioned above about how to cut the climbing rope, it is pretty obvious that this is an easy task. Start by taping the ends that you would like to cut. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the rope then melt the edges. However, when the rope is too damaged, consider retiring it and invest in a new one instead.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!