Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Ti2 - PB9 parabiner pulley

I seem to be fully addicted to both Kickstarter, and awesome titanium pieces. Fortunately, this means I not only have a bunch of cool kit to play with on a semi-regular basis, as well as helping people get their ideas off the ground and into your hands, but also I have things to write about.

This is one such item, which I've been sitting on for a little while,This is another creation of Mike Bond, creator of the Sentinel s4s cache, the Sentinel X and the EDCPen (link coming VERY soon). This is the PB-9 Para-biner

The PB-9 measures 48mm x 111mm x 9.5mm thick (1.875" x 4.375" x 3/8") and weighs 100g (3.5 oz) and almost the whole thing is made from grade 5 titanium. This is the biggest of three variants, and features 9 tool options, being a very versatile tool.

There are two versions of the PB-9, in Imperial (SAE) and Metric, each offering a range of wrench openings:
SAE: 15/16", 3/4" 9/16", (5/8"), 1/2", 7/16", 3/8", 5/16", 1/4" (bit driver) MM: 24mm, 19mm, (16mm), 14mm, 13mm, 12mm, 10mm, 8mm, 1/4". I bracket out the 5/8" and 16mm wrench options because they sit in where the pulley pin and wheel reside, and I don't thing they are really accessible. the pins, split rings fastening them, the pulleys and whole assembly would need to be removed to have this option used. However, the pulley significantly outweighs the wrench need, in my eyes. Both feature a "hidden" 1/4" bit driver, inside the locking gate.

That gate is 12.7mm (1/2") or so wide, and features a hook-and-pin overlock, giving a really secure structural gate. Instead of a regular spring, the PB-9 features a torsion spring, cut from a piece of grade 5 titanium as well, as rustproof as the rest of the piece. Outstanding.

The PB-9 has two pulley options, both made from high strength bearing grade bronze 544 (The prototype pin was stainless steel, the production version is also titanium)

The single pulley option allows for lines up to 1/2" diameter, whilst the twin pulley was specifically for use with paracord. I found that it would take paracord, 3mm plastic coated clothes line, 6mm nylon sheath cord, and even the plastic coated braided steel cable from a laptop lock.

 Using two PB-9s with twin pulleys in a "double tackle" setup allows for a 4 to 1 mechanical advantage when lifting loads.
The tool also features a wedge shaped "Para-Cinch" notch for quick lashing of paracord (or as a bottle opener)

The non-pulley end also features a flathead screw-driver, whch could easily be used as a short pry-par, Mike even suggests as a box-opener. This tool has it all!

One of the things I loved about this Kickstarter was the engineering that went into it, and how that was shared. Watching the test-to-destruction clips of all three Parabiners was amazing. The fact that the prototype PB-9's broke at 1771kg (3,905lbs) is amazing. That's around the weight of a car! Having these tests, and subsequent improvements described along the way was a real eye-opener, and very heart warming.

Seeing the hooked gate go into the design, as well as the living/torsion spring enter the process really gave me a sense of being part of the experience, and has lead to an outstanding tool.All part of the Kickstarter joy.

If I had a gripe about them, it might be that the gate only opens 1/2" or so, which limits what I could clip them to directly. I certainly made do with braided steel cable, and could have used chain, just something I noted.

These are totally going into my bug-out kit, and I look forwards to being the guy with the pulley when it comes time to lift an obstacle.

1 comment:

  1. Hey kickstarter addict, here's some blue sky meth


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