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Niteize Accessories claims these “Figure 9” rope tighteners let you easily tension and secure tie-down rope.  You can either loop rope through the closed section to place it in the middle of a rope, or tie it to the rope to attach it on the end.  Then you pull the rope around the “#2” hook to tension it and through the barbed “#3” hook to trap it.

The website shows all sorts of examples of use ranging from tying a car’s hatchback down to hanging a sign and holding down a tent.

As always with these type of connectors, I’m a bit torn.  On one hand, you can replace these for free by simply learning to tie a few knots, the upshot of which is that you can tie down gear any time and anywhere using your knowledge instead of a gimmick.  But on the other hand, these look quite convenient.

They’re pretty cheap, too.  They come in two sizes: small ($2 each) and large ($4 each).  What do you think?  Good stuff, or just learn to tie knots correctly?

The Figure 9 [Niteize Accessories]

 

14 Responses to Tie-Down Gear Without Knots

  1. Blind says:

    My concern is
    1) untieing the knot when i am done
    2) the knot slipping

    This may not alleviate the second concern, but I would think that this would make undoing the knot at the end much easier.

    But eh. Better to learn how to tie knots in the long run.

  2. Piett says:

    I bet this works well but I wouldn’t be pleased by the locking part of the device chewing up the rope. After a while that might make it less reliable on a worn rope.

  3. Stuey says:

    TM guys – I know that it’s blackberries and rasberries, but how do you think this alum tie-down would compare to the steel tite-tie that you blogged about here:
    http://toolmonger.com/2007/03/21/reader-find-the-tite-tie/ ?

    Which would you guys choose?

  4. Chris says:

    I agree with you Stuey.

    The Figure9 is only alloy and has only a 150lbs load capacity, its really only for very lightweight use. On the other hand the Tite-Tie is made from hardened steel and has a 1985lbs load capacity. Also, with the Tite-Tie one size fits all rope sizes and there’s no need to lock off rope in sharp jaggered teeth like with the Figure9.

    See the new videos that have been added to the Tite-Tie web site:
    http://www.tite-tie.com.au/gallery/gallery.html

    I would choose the Tite-Tie anyday!

  5. Chuck Cage says:

    All: As you’ve probably noticed from his link, Chris is financially involved in Tite Tie.

    That said, I agree with him. Stuey, I’m not particularly a fan of the Figure 9. I posted it because it was kind of an interesting idea. Personally, I feel like I can accomplish the job of both the Figure 9 and the Tite Tie without the tool. But if I were going to shell out for one of the two, it’d be the Tite Tie — for the same reasons Chris of Tite Tie posted.

  6. Geoff K. says:

    What’s wrong with a few simple knots? There’s no gizmo to either break or come loose, the metal piece needs careful placement if you don’t want it rubbing against whatever it is you’re holding down, and it just seems fundamentally unnecessary.

    3 knots everyone should know would replace this device and would be sure to hold: 1) bowline for a fixed loop in 1 end, 2) a Trucker’s Hitch for an adjustable, tensioned fastener, and 3) 2 Half Hitches to fasten the free end of the line. The 3rd isn’t even required, it’s just insurance for the Trucker’s Hitch, and takes care of any slack that may be left over.

    Stick with the basics. Learn them & they’ll never let you down. Besides, if you’ve got rope & no Figure 9 or TiteTie, what are you gonna do?

  7. Chris says:

    G’Day Chuck and Geoff,

    There is one important feature with the Tite-Tie that you can’t do with the Trucker’s Hitch.

    When you use another half of a Tite-Tie you can create a double hitch, only now you can remove the half piece, slide it up and hitch again. You can repeat this three or four times and compact a load very firmly, the first Tite-Tie grips the rope allowing you to repeatedly hitch down your load giving you 4 times your pulling strength.

    See my video on YouTube to see how this double hitching works
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fKURe_pe6c

  8. Randy says:

    NOT for me too. I like knots. They are cheap, useful, and can be interesting if you know more than 2 and try to understand how they work. Go buy a 50′ package of 3/8″ nylon or polyester braid and take the time to learn a new skill.

    This website is a good start.
    http://www.animatedknots.com/

  9. Stuey says:

    I actually did buy two ropes last year when I moved from upstate NY to NJ. I learned a few knots then, but have since forgoten them. =(

    While I also agree with the merits of knowing how to tie a few useful knots, not everybody is as eager as myself to learn this kind of stuff. A lot of people go to the store, buy some rope, and then wrap it a few times before tying a shoe-lace knot. Thingamajigs like these will save or ease some frustration for them, and probably make everything a bit safer.

  10. Don says:

    Does a knot count as a tool? I think it does. Well, rope does and then knots could be like skills. A link should be posted on how to tie knots. I learned in Boy Scouts way back when.

  11. Geoff K. says:

    Stuey, the only thing I can say is, practice. You tie your shoes on a regular basis, and I assume you’re relatively successful at that. ;-P That takes practice. Learn a bowline to put a fixed loop into the end of a rope, and it becomes extremely useful in lots of situations. Learn 2 half hitches and you can now attach a rope to an object securely. Learn a truckers hitch, and — I don’t care what Chris says about his magical TiteTie — you can very securely snug down a load without any additional gizmos.

    Not that I don’t think the TiteTie is an interesting device. Feel free to use it. I just think that it makes sense to know what to do if you don’t have that special-purpose component handy, but you have rope. You can always find some sort of rope somewhere, and with it you can do a lot of cool things.

    The knots above are only 3 of a lot more cool knots, hitches & bends. The other day I replaced the nasty old pull on our attic stairs with a new piece of line. The line is held in place with a figure-8 knot inside the door, and I used a blood knot that creates a very comfortable knob at the end of the line. It makes the pull line comfortable and easy to use.

    Learn a few, practice ’em, and they’ll come in handy in lots of situations.

    And Chris, stop shilling those things so hard… 😉

  12. PutnamEco says:

    One thing the figure 9 has over the Tite-Tie, I can get it in the USA.
    I don’t think I would entirely trust either of them over a good knot, although they both are convenient. I don’t think they really outweigh the convenience of a good ratchet strap.

  13. Chris says:

    I am very skilled at tying knots and know about nine different ways to tie the old trucker’s hitch. I agree learning to tie knots is the best way, but the fact is that most people do not take the time to learn. I invented the Tite-Tie because I got tied of showing my friends how to tie a basic trucker’s hitch and seeing people on the road with poorly secured loads fastened with rope and knots that looked like a bird’s nest.

    P.S. the Tite-Tie will be available in the USA very soon, and it also works with straps too, no only rope.

  14. Jeff Dahl says:

    I recommend using LoopRope over all this stuff for your light to medium duty needs. There’s nothing as versatile as LoopRope.

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