In this short tutorial I will show you how to make a paracord fid/needle.
Sometimes you do not have a viable option of buying a paracord fid. Sometimes you want a custom one made for your exact needs. Maybe you want the tip to be sharper or duller, or the fid itself to be shorter or longer. In those cases making a paracord fid yourself is a great idea. And as Janene Lavelle added, sometimes you want to have many needles at your disposal. One for each cord. And that can become expensive really fast. But not by making them yourself!
I had the need to get a fid in a short amount of time. I did some research and found a way that was acceptable to me. It involves only a few tools and the entire process cost me half a dollar and about 15 minutes of my time.
Lacing needle of fid?
When I wrote this article I was using the expression “fid” to describe this project. The expression is more common, but may be misleading. With a lot of debate with fellow fans of paracord we determined that the lacing needle is the proper term we should be using to describe this item. For the sake of terminology we encourage you to use the term lacing needle when referring to this tool. The easiest way to spot a fid is that it is made out of wood or bone, while lacing needles are commonly metal. They also serve different purposes.
The supplies you will need for this lovely project include:
- screw post in desired length of the needle (I recommend around 2 inches or more, you can always size it down). It can be found in various hardware stores. Aluminum is recommended because it is easier to work with and it does not rust as fast.
- drill, alternatively you could use a bench grinder but it is a bit more dangerous to use
- hacksaw, a saw used to cut metal
- file, used to file off the edges
- sand paper, to finely sand the tip
- an optional, but recommended step is to coat the needle with a layer of paint
Supplies in image:
A few words on safety
Using a hacksaw and a power tool (the drill) can be dangerous, especially for children. Only attempt this project with proper safety equipment (protective goggles) and if under age, under parental supervision.
How to make a paracord fid- the tutorial
The steps we will be doing in order to make the fid:
- Take the head off of the screw post using the hacksaw
- Insert the screw post into a drill
- Put on protective goggles and use the drill to rotate and press the post screw onto the file
- When you get the desired shape, switch the file for the sand paper to finely sand the end of the fid
- There is no step five, enjoy your fid and share with me your fids if you used this tutorial to make one!
Now for the picture tutorial:
There. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did writing it. Special thanks to Janene Lavelle for providing first hand experience that helped me improve this article.
Till next time, Mark.
I’m just now starting to play with paracord and have made a few things and needed a needle to make life easier but didn’t want to wait for one to come in the mail so I used a brass rifle cleaning rod cut it in half put a point on the solid end with a dremel and it works perfect. The female threaded end accepts 550 cord just right and this is something many have laying around the house already. Thanks for the great site lots of very useful instructions and tips.
I made mine out of an aluminum rifle cleaning rod .22 caliber. cutto length and pointed. female thread is perfect for 500 cord.
I made my own lacing needle from a knitting needle.
Using a hacksaw, I cut about 2.5″ from the tapered end of it, took a small drill bit (I believe it was 1/8″), and drilled a hole in the end, then used a slightly smaller screw to make threads inside the needle. Now my paracord threads up into the needle and gives me a secure grip on it 🙂
Very cool way to make a lacing needle!
Will be trying that myself in the near future!
Really gotta make one of these!
And It’s done 🙂
Made your lacing needle using screw post. Went a step further and added flat faces at 180° opposing. When cord or leather lacing will not hold in the threads with sufficient strength for working a tight knot I place the pointed end of a flat or round toothpick alongside the cord or lace before threading it in using flat nose pliers. When it tightens sufficiently just break the toothpick off flush with the screwpost. Holds great.
That’s actually really ingenious. I wish I had read this 2 days ago, I’d not have ordered 2 online. LOL
Totally going to overcomplicate this and make some from some aluminum stock from scratch. 1 round, 1 flat. Time to go to the machine shop!
I’m responding to your artical about making “fids”. I would suggest using knitting needle. The one I looked fine, with a point and “fishing line?” loop to attaach the cord for lacing. I know they are also made in plastic, which would be easily made flatter with a file. Your tutorial inspired me; I hope I am responding in kind, P.S. Have you all seen the Ashley Book of Knots? It is the Bible for knotting.
Only hoping the best for you all,
Greg Good; [email protected]
I really enjoy your teaching technique! You are easy to follow and I have learned so much! Thanks!