Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Rhino Ropeworks - Hornet marlin spike


I do like a tool that has double duty. This is the Hornet from Rhino Ropework which I commissioned in both its olive green Cerakote, but also with a custom kydex scabbard.

This marlin spike is part rope working tool and part CQB weapon. Milled from marine grade 316 stainless steel right here in Australia, the Hornet is a smaller sibling of the Mad Stick, which I covered a while ago, and it's heft and no frills design is indicative of this.




With its grooved body, the Hornet is easy to grip, and the working end, which is separated from the body of the tool by a deep notch, tapers down to a working tip, which whilst not sharp, is a solid rope working end.

The 316 stainless steel makes for a good tool, for the kind of work it is designed for. Weighing in at 110g (3.9oz) and measuring
180mm (7") in length, and 12mm (just less than 0.5") in diameter the Hornet is a substantial tool.

I've used the tool for working knots, as fits its purpose, but I have also find it useful for a variety of other tasks, from flipping steaks on the BBQ to punching holes in cans.

The Cerakote coating adds further to the innate chemical and wear resistance of the steel the Hornet is made from, but I managed to wear it off the tip all the same in my testing and regular use. It's still smooth and fit for purpose, for all my abuse.

One of the nice additional features is the lanyard hole, which whilst a tight fit for even this lacing cord, would probably manage to feed paracord through it, with some careful melting if the end and some hard work.

As a marlin spike, I've found the Hornet is both robust and substantial. Its easier to work with than the clasp knife one I have. The angle of the spike allow you to really get some leverage into the splicing and loosening knots and other rope.

The tip is rounded so you don't have to worry about digging into the threads of cord you're working with. It works really nicely with paracord, as well as higher diameter cords and ropes. The tip isn't really suited to cords much finer than that, a 5mm dummy-cord is pretty much the finest I have managed to use it with.

It's a treat in the hand, the beveled tail-cap fits in the palm nicely, and the groves are slight enough to not grate on the fingers, but sufficient to grip the tool for even the toughest knotwork.

I received a tan Kydex scabbard in my package from Rhino Ropeworks, which was fitted by a third party, and I'm afraid to say that it isn't as well fitted as I might have liked.

It has a pinch-point around the mid-notch , but it just isn't -quite- tight enough. No fault to Rhino Ropeworks, it's just a very tight design, with very few features to "catch" on a friction lock.

I have used the eyelets to lash it to my American Kami Super Colubris and it has been a faithful accessory as my belt-carry when I am adventuring. It's proven itself useful in a variety of settings, and I'm glad that I have it.

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