Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CRKT Ken Onion Para-Saw Survival Bracelet Review

CRKT Ken Onion Para-Saw Survival Bracelet Review

CRKT has always been innovative in delivering functional tools with a cool twist. In this case the CRKT Para-Saw Survival Bracelet deserves some consideration. Very few items in a survival kit deliver more utility than a length of 550 paracord. It can deliver a huge number of functionality intact but once you pull out "the guts", all those little strands add to near limitless list of uses.

Although I am sure some bored military man created the first Commando or Survival paracord bracelet deep in a WWII foxhole, I could not find a validated source of the first survival bracelet ever created. Most claim the first paracord bracelet dates back to WWII when paracord was first widely used on parachutes. After hitting the ground the troops would cut off lengths for other uses before hiding the chutes.

Cord bracelets have been around as a fundamental staple of jewelry since the dawn of time, however the super strength 550lb paracord material has made it highly functional as we'll. Depending on the stitch/weave used, the length of cord packed into a survival bracelet can vary greatly from less than a foot to 25 feet for complex woven wide bracelets. The "cobra" stitch is by far one of the most common methods for making a paracord  bracelet and delivers approximately 1'-1.5' per inch of bracelet. In the case of the CRKT Para-Saw Survival Bracelet, it delivers 8-9 feet of useable paracord depending on the size selected. This is plenty to create a shelter, lash up a spear and do all sorts of things.

These bracelets have moved from a survival tool to fashion and now I see $5 paracord bracelets at Lowes, Menards, grocery stores,and the gas station in a rainbow of colors. So what makes CRKT's different? The quality of the paracord and the integrated hidden wire para-saw.  CRKT uses mil-spec paracord and weaves a Tungsten Carbide wire para-saw into the bracelet for a  huge increase in survival utility.

The Tungsten Carbide wire para-saw was designed as a small survival saw for part of a lightweight survival kit. The par-saw offers the ability to cut 2" or even larger trees, makes traps, and build a ton of stuff in the field. Knife designer extraordinaire, Ken Onion, asked why not combine both?

The result is the CRKT Ken Onion Para-Saw Survival Bracelet.  The bracelet delivers everything a normal paracord bracelet would with a wire para-saw hidden in the weave. On the wrist you would never know there is a saw hidden in there, however note this is not a TSA approved accessory, so expect problems and confiscation if you forget to take it out of your pack before your next flight.

The Tungsten Carbide wire saw can be accessed two different ways. If you do have a Leatherman or pliers handy the wiresaw packet can be pulled out of the survival bracelet through the weave, otherwise you will need to unwind the paracord as the saw packet is pretty tightly locked in.

Once the saw package is free the user can remove the saw from its protective plastic sleeve, unfold the saw and find a couple sticks for saw handles.  With wood handles in place, the saw can be surprisingly effective and quick at cutting branches for use a variety of uses or use the saw to create an effective snare for wild game.  Unlike many of those grocery story survival bracelets, the CRKT Ken Onion Para-Saw Survival Bracelet is top quality from the paracord to the wire parasaw that you is so simple it just buckles to your wrist or pack.

Open Overall Length 9.5 inches
Weight               0.9 ounces
Tungsten Carbide Wire Saw
Sizes - Small & Large
Colors - Black, OD Green, Tan
MSRP $24.99
Street $16