CMI "Rescue 8"

 
3.8 (4)

Rescue_8

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Type of Use 
 
2.8  (4)
Frequency of Use 
 
3.3  (4)
Durability 
 
4.8  (4)
Technical Skill Required 
 
2.3  (4)
Ease of Use 
 
4.0  (4)
Safety 
 
2.5  (4)
Strength 
 
4.8  (4)
Portability 
 
4.3  (4)
(Updated: February 18, 2008)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Type of Use 
 
4.0
Frequency of Use 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
4.0
Ease of Use 
 
3.0
Safety 
 
3.0
Strength 
 
5.0
Portability 
 
4.0

product shown is not product described

I am reveiwing the product shown in the photo, not the one in the description. The product in the photo is a KONG RESCUE 8, not a CMI rescue 8.

As a rescue technician, I have owned and used both. I prefer the Kong.



The Kong 8 has a higher strength rating. Kong-40Kn(>8,992lbf), The CMI, I've seen rated as low as 30Kn9(>6,744lbf.) The ears on the Kong 8 are longer than on the CMI, and they have a bit of a hook on the end. These ears provide an easier and more secure lock-off.



This is a multi purpose tool. Because of this item's large opening and high strength, it can also be used as a rigging plate. The center hole/slot can be used as a belay plate to lower branches or even people.



Though it takes a bit of practice and rational thinking to learn to use safely, I really like this product. (The one pictured)



Kong also offers a REALLY heavy steel version rated at 50 Kn! That's >11,240 lbf!

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Type of Use 
 
3.0
Frequency of Use 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
3.0
Ease of Use 
 
5.0
Safety 
 
3.0
Strength 
 
4.0
Portability 
 
5.0

Figure 8 descender - it's all I know

I guess some people like gizmos and others like simplicity. Not a blanket statement, as there will always be both. But in terms of what attracts me... A lot of times simplicity appeals to me. This and the munter is all I have ever used.



I think these things are the bomb. It threads on fast, below your friction hitch, you put a couple of wraps around it, and the ears hold the line fast. Then you can untie your friction hitch, unwrap it and down you go. Or, descend with your friction hitch still in place. That's the safest way to go but be prepared to go thru tails.



If I'm descending SRT, part of my changeover from the Texas system is to use both the Figure 8 above and a Munter below through a 'biner in one of my side rings. With this 1-2 punch of friction, I can hang hands off without slipping at all. When I do get going, 2 fingers on the line below the Munter will stop me.



I tried it a few times SRT descent without the Munter, and without gloves, just because you always want to know how you can deal with difficult scenarios. And here's how it goes - it burns a bit. Of course I'm using as much body friction as possible, reaching around my back.



But with DdRT, it's much easier to control - you do not need gloves at all. But heat? Hell yeah. It gets hot enough where you can't really grab it sometimes when you're done. And wear? Man, I have an old Kong that has rope grooves so deep that my dealer told me to retire it. All my 8's have always been aluminum. I guess theoretically they can hold up for a long time, but that one I used day in day out for years, it's showing big wear for sure.



If my descent is frought with obstacles, and I have to manuever around branches, I am practically chanting an audible mantra to always keep at least one hand surely on the line. It's a "Do As I say, Not As I Do" scenario, as I would never recommend using this without a friction hitch backup unless the path to the ground is a wide open, unobstructed belay. And even then, it's only for those with a lot of experience.



So yes, there are some amazing devices available that make descent as safe as going up - I even read about one in the Sherrill catalog that stops if you take your hands off it, AND if you grip it too hard.



But sometimes I like simple, and when I climb I have faith in my skill and my ability to keep my mind on what I'm doing. So I love the 8.



And it's also good for lowering medium sized branches from up top if there's no one down on the ground to help me.

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Type of Use 
 
1.0
Frequency of Use 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
1.0
Ease of Use 
 
5.0
Safety 
 
1.0
Strength 
 
5.0
Portability 
 
5.0

Old School Rappel

For the old fashioned rappel enthusiast, this is about as pure as it gets. There's nothing quite like the simplicity of an 8 to sail down a rope from height, but you had really better know what you're doing because this is a completely unforgiving device. I like to tie a prusik self-belay above my 8 as a backup plan just in case, because you never know and it's better to be safe than sorry. I would agree that the 8 is large and bulky, but it does fit in a saddle pouch so I usually forget I have it until I need it. Ultimately a fun tool.

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Type of Use 
 
3.0
Frequency of Use 
 
1.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Technical Skill Required 
 
1.0
Ease of Use 
 
3.0
Safety 
 
3.0
Strength 
 
5.0
Portability 
 
3.0

Big heavy rope twister that works OK

I've had one of these for about 2 years. It has seen most use as a way to cut knot friction on a quick DdRT descent, but I've also used it some (and one of my grad students has used it a lot lately) as a standard SRT rappel tool.



It's big. This means it's a bit heavy and bulky to carry into the tree. This also means that it a) soaks up heat during a rappel pretty easily, and b) it's hard to see how it could ever be broken or damaged without dropping it 100+ feet out of a tree onto a rock.



It's a fixed-friction device; the only way you can change friction during a descent is to grab harder on the control end of the rope. In practice for tree climbers this isn't a big deal; trees are not big walls with huge changes in rope weight from the top to the bottom of the rappel. There are no built-in fail-safes when using it, so the user had better be pretty up on rappel technique before using it in SRT. As a backup to the Blake's hitch during a DdRT descent it is bulky and a bit fussy to set up (well, this could be said of any mechanical descender used in that context) but it can save a bit of wear-and-tear on a split tail.



The biggest objection to it as a rappel device is its habit, shared by all figure-8 type devices (including, I have heard, the Piranha) of twisting the rope. This can be annoying when flaking the rope for storage and when re-deploying the rope later.

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