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Dyneema vs Chineema - How strong is "synthetic rope" (HMPE) on Ebay & Amazon?

We tested 7 qualities of Dyneema.

Dyneema is Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Poly-Ethylene or strong plastic for short, and it's 15x stronger than steel BASED ON WEIGHT but can float on water. It's slippery, very static and has a low melting point. Tying knots in it can reduce its strength over 70% if the knot even holds as they more often just slip. However, you can tie knots in it to create a head for a noose to go over to make a soft connecter that can be stronger than some metal connectors.

Dyneema is a thread that comes from DSM in the Netherlands and Samson, and Marlow are some of the companies that make 12 braid ropes out of it. It comes in all sorts of qualities. It's labeled "SK" for the names of the two people who invented the modern version, Paul Smith and Rob Kirschbaum. Back in the 60s, SK60 was what was available, but DSM improved it, and in 1996, SK75 came out and started to become more mainstream. In 2003, SK78 was developed. It wasn't stronger but had 3x less creep and was more durable. Then in 2013, they figured out yet another way to make it, so it had all the SK78 properties but was "20% stronger". But according to the Average Breaking Strength on SK78 and SK99, it's only like 14%. THEN they figured out how to make it even better and with biomass, so it's more eco-friendly, has all the minimal creep and durability but is about 2x as strong.

You can see the bio fuel promo from DSM in this VIDEO.

Read about the story of Dyneema at The Dyneema Project

This was a very interesting ARTICLE about Dyneema

This is who ACTUALLY discovered it University of Groningen

We tested name brand and "synthetic rope" off brand and we got some crazy results. The name brand stuff didn't break as high as I thought and the off brand broke higher than I thought. HOWEVER, as seen in the video, John tested the diameters and they ranged from smaller than 4.8mm to barely fitting in a 6.0mm hole. So the eBay and Amazon stuff is way bigger than the rest of them, so I'd expect them to break higher. Making your purchase based on strength is similar to buying a car strictly based on top speed of a car you are only ever driving in speed limit zones. The brand name stuff lasts longer, like way longer. Also, in these videos below you can see that when chineema is tied in a soft shackle, it breaks 30% lower than the rest of the soft shackles, even though the eye to eye was stronger relatively to the brand name stuff.

Our Results

Behind The Scenes

I've wanted to do this test for YEARS but it's a lot of work to prep all these tests and we've had other fish to fry. I did a lot of dyneema testing when I was strictly making slacklining content but it's fun to revisit the topic with more use cases in mind. If you can't tell, the last part of the diameter tests in the video was added on the night before publishing since John sent me a few of the videos but not all because he couldn't get them all to fit. I told him that was more interesting that if they did. So before he left for Turkey for another cave exploration project, he shot all that stuff and I re-rendered the whole thing and re-time-stamped it because I thought 6mm diameters were extremely relevant even though it's very confusing why they are bigger. How is everyone using a different measuring stick?!?!

After Posting Thoughts

This was a great PDF about different qualities of HMPE.

Download PDF • 1.80MB

If you have other great thoughts, I can add them here. Hit me up at

Next Video: Are tapering splices that important in Dyneema / HMPE?


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