Tight ropes with no knots
Figure 9 rope tightener
• Manufactured by Nite Ize
• 800-678-6483; www.niteize.com
• Cost of large Figure 9 with 10 ft. of 1/4-in. nylon rope: $7
I admit it. I’ve got some problems when it comes to tying a load to my truck rack. I never can seem to keep the rope pulled tight while knotting it. So you can imagine my curiosity when I saw the Figure 9 Rope Tightener. I decided the price was right for a test drive.
The Figure 9 works in two ways: loop and fixed-end configurations. For the loop configuration, the lead end of the rope is routed through the eye of the Figure 9, passed under itself, and then pulled tight. The loose end of the rope then can be wrapped around whatever you are securing, pulled tight across the bottom of the Figure 9, then across its serrated teeth to hold the rope. I first thought the teeth would cause too much wear and tear on the rope, but I found them to be sharp enough to hold firmly, yet dull enough to keep the sheathing of the rope intact.
The fixed-end method uses the same basic concept, but the Figure 9 is threaded onto the rope and positioned anywhere along its length to suit the application. The fixed-end configuration is great for securing a tarp over a stack of plywood, and I also use it to hang coiled extension cords between uses.
The Figure 9 Rope Tightener is sold in three sizes. The smallest version is 11/2 in. long and works with rope from 1/16 in. to 3/16 in. in thickness with a load limit of 50 lb. The 3-in.-long plate (“Large”) accepts rope from 1/8 in. to 3/8 in. in thickness with a load limit of 150 lb. The newest plate (“Big”) is 5 in. long and works with rope from 5/16 in. to 5/8 in. in thickness with a load limit of 300 lb.
Top photo by: Krysta S. Doerfler; bottom photos: Courtesy of Nite Ize