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Smooth Operator - Extra Info

Users Manual

Click here to download the Smooth Operator Instructions PDF.

Detailed Supplemental Information

For detailed information about the Smooth Operator, visit the Smooth Operator page at  There you will find information about what the Smooth Operator is, care and cleaning, proper use, detailed steps on tying the stone knot and videos to accompany most of the information there.


During development a few variants of the Smooth Operator have been made and tested to refine the design.  After settling on a final design the Smooth Operator was tested to failure with various rope sizes.  The test consisted of placing the Smooth Operator in a stone knot then tensioning the rope using a hydraulic press until the system failed.  The test was done with a a few different rope brands / sizes.

When the system was tested to failure, the Smooth Operator was not the weak link in the tests of the final version.  The point of failure in every test was where the rope exited the stone knot.  Sometimes the Smooth Operator would fold a lot and other times it would only fold a little, but would always stay securely in place.

These tests were not extensive and in no way are meant to be definitive.  This testing was done to get an idea of where the weak link in the system is which turns out to be the knot itself.

To maintain a level of quality assurance each Smooth Operator is individually tested.  Testing each Smooth Operator to failure would be impractical so another test is in order.

When used correctly the Smooth Operator will be subjected to the weight of a person, their backpack and some gear and will likely never be more than 350 pounds.  For individual testing each Smooth Operator is placed in a stone knot and the ropes are tensioned to 700 pounds.  This test does not test the max load the system can take.  The individual test is meant to subject the Smooth Operator to a greater load than it should experience in the field while keeping the forces low enough so the Smooth Operator is not damaged.

It is a good idea to keep in mind that knots reduce the breaking strength rope by creating bends which become the weak link in the system. This applies to any time you tie a knot in a rope. Remember this next time you go reading rope specs and get all goo goo eyed when you see ratings in the thousands of pounds for tensile strength. How many times have you used a rope and not placed a knot in the rope? We almost always place a knot in the rope. How much weaker the rope is when tied in a knot depends on the type of knot used and some have been shown to reduce the tensile strength by 50 percent.


More information coming some day...........

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