Gearhead: Speed Cinch makes short work of tightening ropes

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Sometimes, a very simple change in the way things are done can make a task infinitely simpler. Take cinching, for example.

Outdoor activities often require cinching (fastening) the end of a rope or cord to tie something down or hold it in place; everyday examples include erecting tents, securing boats to a dock, setting up a volleyball net or tying down a tarp. Cinching isn’t difficult, but if you’re not proficient at tying a knot it can be complicated. And it’s always tedious.

That’s where Speed Cinch comes to the rescue, completely eliminating knot-tying. Instead, you simply feed the rope into the Speed Cinch patent-pending barrel and pull it tightly into a built-in notch; the rope locks in place and will not loosen or slip. In 2016, Speed Cinch walked off with the Hardware Retailers Choice Award at the annual National Hardware Show, and its 18-inch stake was named the New Product World Winner.

There are four kinds of Speed Cinches suitable to different uses. They include the utility cinch ($5.29), which provides a flexible way to utilize and stop any length of line, anywhere you need it; and the timber cinch ($7.99 in a two-pack with ropes), which screws into platforms or trees and can be used to anchor anything from a trail camera to an elevated pop-up blind.

There are also two stakes, which must be hammered into the ground. The 9- and 18-inch stakes are made from impact-grade, thermoplastic, glass-filled polymer; suggested uses include tents, tarps, canopies, portable hunting blinds, holiday yard decorations and more. A set of four 9-inch stakes, $9.49; four 18-inch stakes, $28.49.

In Sonoma County, Speed Cinch products are carried by Home Depot.

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