If you’re just getting into paracord weaving, a paracord jig board can make a huge difference in your technique. A paracord jig board is an amazing tool that can take your crafts to a new level.
The most challenging part about using a paracord jig is figuring out which one to buy, and the answer to this question is highly impacted by what you plan to make.
Keep reading to learn all about how to use a paracord jig board. I’ll give you a review of the one that I use, and I’ll help you decide which paracord jig will work best for your project!
Why You Need a Paracord Jig
A paracord jig board is an essential tool for beginners making paracord bracelets, lanyards, belts, and anything else you can make with paracord.
If you’ve already given paracord weaving a try, you’ve probably thought, “How am I supposed to keep my paracord still while I weave?”
The answer is a paracord jig board!
I was once in that same situation and I tried everything: tape, another set of hands, and even a smartphone. None of these were ideal.
Not having a steady paracord while weaving poses challenges. When I wasn’t using a jig board, I often lost track of which strand of cord I was supposed to be using. A paracord jig board makes it much easier to track which strand you need to pull for the perfect weave.
Most paracord jigs also come with rulers that allow you to measure to ensure your projects are all the same size. This is helpful when making bracelets and belts because you need to make sure you’re making the right size for the person wearing the finished product.
There are several different types of paracord jigs. Before you go ahead and buy the first jig you see, let’s look at the different types of jigs and the purposes they serve.
The Different Types of Paracord Jigs
Materials Used for Jigs
Wooden jigs are the most common type of paracord jigs. They’re easy to make and popular DIY projects in the Paracord community. If you would prefer to buy a wooden jig, Amazon has a huge selection.
We tried the Cyrank Wooden Bracelet Maker.
Steel is another common material used to make paracord jigs. They are sometimes labeled as “professional grade” because they are of higher quality than wooden jigs.
If you are serious about becoming a professional paracord weaver, investing in a steel paracord jig is wise. A steel paracord jig will last longer than any wooden jig. One of the best steel jigs is the SpeedyJig Plus Paracord Bracelet.
Plastic jigs are not as common as steel or wooden jigs, though you may come across them. These jigs are great for kids. They tend to feature suction cups to keep them from sliding on the tabletop while little hands are learning how to weave.
Technique-Specific Jig Boards
Some paracord jigs are designed to help with knot techniques.
A Monkey’s Fist Jig Board is designed to help create the complex Monkey’s Fist Knot. This is a popular stopper knot in the paracord community, commonly seen at the end of bracelets.
The SpeedyJig Plus Paracord Bracelet is also a Monkey’s Fist Jig Board and can create monkey fist knots up to 2.5 inches in diameter and bracelets between 4 and 13 inches.
A Turk’s Head Jig Board is designed to help create a three-strand braid, also known as the Turk’s Head Knot. This knot is also a weave that can be used around the entire paracord bracelet as a decorative element. Turk’s Head Jigs for Paracord can be purchased on Etsy.
A Mandrel Jig Board is designed specifically for making complicated knots, including the Turk’s Knot. A Mandrel Jig and a Turk’s Head jig are similar, but the Mandrel will be more effective at assisting in the creation of other knots other than the Turk’s Head.
Mandrel Jigs will assist in making any knot you want. If you want to get creative with knots, then you should invest in Mandel Jigs. The JigProShop has several Mandrel Jigs to choose from on Etsy.
Selecting the Best Paracord Jig for Your Project
Features to Consider
Most paracord jig boards come with some kind of ruler (though it may or may not be accurate). One thing to pay attention to is if the ruler includes both the Metric and Imperial systems–some include only one or the other.
When selecting a jig board, you need to consider its length. It should be able to be adjusted long and short enough for your desired project. Consider these average lengths for these paracord projects:
- Paracord Bracelet: 8-10 inches
- Paracord Belt: 20-40 inches
- Paracord Lanyard: 33-34 inches
- Paracord Keychain: 4-5 inches
- Paracord Dog Collar: 8-30 inches
- Paracord Dog Leash: 48-72 inches
Some paracord jig boards come with buckles and buckle connectors. This can be a huge asset if you prefer to make bracelets with buckles. However, you may find this an extra nuisance if you’re more of a knot guy or gal.
What’s neat about the Cyrank Wooden Bracelet Maker and SpeedyJig Plus Paracord Bracelet is they’re both easy to connect to knots or buckles.
If you are using the Cyrank Wooden Bracelet (or any jig board that uses clips) with a buckle, you will need to make sure you have plenty of extra paracord since that’s what you will need to clip for the paracord to stay secure.
Some jigs have an upright, horizontal peg, or both. Pegs allow bracelets without buckles to easily be hooked to the jig board. The knotted loops will be secured to the peg on each end.
Larger jigs are more durable than smaller, portable ones. If you plan to use your jig often, you may want a larger jig. However, larger jigs may not be easy to travel with you.
A Review of the Cyrank Wooden Bracelet Maker
I recently purchased the Cyrank Wooden Bracelet Maker. My goal was to purchase a simple, lightweight paracord jig that would get the job done.
I’m not a huge fan of using buckles when I’m making my paracord bracelets, so I like that this jig board doesn’t require the use of buckles.
Other budget jig boards require you to unscrew a nail each time you hook up a bracelet, and I knew that wasn’t for me.
This paracord jig board’s design is quite simple: It comes with two clips that you use to clip your paracord to each side of the board. It couldn’t be easier to hook your paracord up for weaving.
It’s easy to adjust the paracord jig. It has a small screw that loosens and tightens so you can expand or shrink the jig board.
The jig board is lightweight and easy to stuff in a backpack with paracord for easy on-the-go paracord making. I feel like it’s improved my technique to the point where I don’t need it nearly as much as I did when I first started. I’d recommend this board to anyone just getting started with weaving Paracord.
What Could Be Better
Since this is a budget jig board, it comes with some expected quirks. Right out of the box, I noticed the wood was not high quality, and I was worried that it might break easily (although it hasn’t, and I’ve had it for about a month).
The clips are also flimsy, though fortunately, they can easily be replaced. I’ve been using sturdier clips, which work considerably better at holding the paracord in place.
Another thing I noticed is that the measurements on the board don’t seem to be accurate. I was running out of paracord when making a bracelet and couldn’t figure out why.
I had lined up my paracord with the jig board’s measuring system for a 9-inch bracelet. I compared with my measuring tape, and the board seems to be 2 inches off.
The smallest paracord project this jig board can make is 8 inches, not 6 inches as labeled. The metric side also is about 5 centimeters off.
The largest paracord project you can expect to make with this paracord jig board is around 14 inches. Since even an infant-size belt is 20 inches, you won’t be making any belts with this jig, but it’s perfect for bracelets.
Setting Up Your Jig for Weaving
There’s not much to setting up your jig for weaving. The most crucial part is that you have a flat, sturdy surface. You can set up your jig on almost any table if it’s flat and stable.
The next step is to adjust your jig to the proper length. I also recommend verifying that your jig’s measurements are accurate with a ruler or tape measurer since this mistake led to me running out of paracord unexpectedly.
Measure out your paracord, hook it to the jig, and you’re ready to start weaving!
Paracord Jig Weaving and Wrapping Up
The paracord jig weaving process varies based on the pattern you’re using. If you’re looking for some easy patterns to get started, check out these three easy paracord bracelet patterns anyone can do.
Using a paracord jig can help you up your weaving game. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand how to use a paracord jig. If you’re entirely new to paracord crafts, check out how to make a paracord bracelet.