Knife for cutting rope

Cutting ropes – a step-by-step guide

Need a specific length of rope? Not a problem.

Here at RopesDirect, all of the ropes for sale in our store – including both natural and synthetic varieties – can be purchased by the metre. And when you checkout, simply tell us what length you require and we’ll cut the rope to size for you.

This is, without a doubt, the best option if you only need a small number of  ropes. But for customers who require a large number of ropes – or ropes of various different lengths – you might want to buy the rope in bulk and cut it down to size for yourself.

Reels and coils typically work out much cheaper (by the metre) than individual pre-cut lengths. And even for a beginner, cutting rope – safely and effectively – is much easier than you think.

To help, here we’ve created two simple step-by-step guides on how to cut natural and synthetic ropes. These accompany two tutorial videos which can be found on our YouTube channel. So, why not take a look? Save yourself a little money by taking the DIY route and let us know how it goes.


How to cut natural ropes

What will I need?

    • natural rope
    • safety gloves
    • a sharp knife
  • PVC electrical tape


Step 1: Wrap the rope in tape

First things first, wrap the PVC electrical tape – three to four times – around the point where you wish to cut the rope. Make sure the tape is as tight as possible and slightly overlap each layer.

Unlike synthetic ropes, natural rope ends cannot be sealed using a hot knife or lighter (as the natural fibres would simply set on fire). But wrapping the rope in tape will prevent the ends from unravelling or fraying and is the best way to create a professional finish.


Step 2: Prepare to cut

Safety always comes first. So before you begin cutting the rope, be sure to put on a pair of general purpose safety gloves. Then, position your length of natural rope on a cutting block or a surface that you don’t mind getting scratched.


Step 3: Carefully cut the rope

Don’t use scissors to cut a natural rope, as this will cause excessive fraying – and is hard work. Instead, select a very sharp knife and cut down firmly at the centre of the PVC tape. Hold the rope in one hand and saw backwards and forwards until the two pieces come apart.

The rope ends should be smooth and even.

It’s your choice whether you leave the end bound with PVC tape or whip it using our whipping twine. There are plenty of instructional videos about whipping rope ends, on the internet.



How to cut synthetic ropes

What will I need?

  • synthetic rope
  • safety gloves
  • either a blade and blowtorch or a rope cutting knife


Step 1: Measure the rope

Lay the length of synthetic rope on a wooden cutting block. For accuracy, we recommend measuring the rope and marking exactly where you wish to cut – either on the wooden block or the rope itself – with a marker pen.


Step 2: Heat the blade

If you’re using a metal blade and blowtorch to cut the rope, start by switching on the blowtorch and putting on your safety gloves. Then, hold the blowtorch approximately 2-3 inches away from the blade and use it to heat the metal – until it’s visibly red.

Alternatively, if using a hand-operated rope cutting knife – such as the HSGM model available at RopesDirect – switch it on and allow around 6-8 seconds for it to heat up.


Step 3: Gently cut the rope

Position the hottest part of the blade at the point where you wish to cut. To create a clean and professional finish, the trick is to be as gentle as possible. Try not to force the blade down. Just let it gently slice through the fibres of the rope.

If cutting the rope with a blade and blowtorch, a second round of heating may be required. Simply repeat the process above, holding the blowtorch 2-3 inches away from the blade until it turns red. Then, continue to cut in the same place.

The two pieces should come apart very easily and, as the rope has been cut with a hot knife, the ends will be sealed and shouldn’t fray or unravel.

If you think it is necessary, the heat gun or a naked flame can be used to melt the rope end further to ensure it is well sealed.


Materials for cutting rope available at RopesDirect


Cut rope like a professional today

Whether you’re cutting natural or synthetic rope, the technique is quick, hassle-free and relatively easy to master. So it’s at least worth having a go!

Purchase your rope today and let us know how you get on. You can either send us some photos of your freshly cut rope to or tag us on social medial using @RopesDirect. And for more helpful tutorials and information videos, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!


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