Straight Talk About Line Cutters
The all stainless steel Piranha line cutter is not the first line cutter to be offered to the High Powered Rocket Community, but it does stand out for its longevity.
While it is not known who first made a line cutter for high powered rocketry, it is believed that the Archetype line cutter has been the most popular. It had an aluminum body and, presumably, a steel cutter and steel Allen screw cap. By all known accords, this unit seemed to work.
While aluminum is lighter in weight, easier to machine and less expensive than stainless steel, its longevity is unknown. The all stainless steel Piranha line cutter, while still lightweight, will likely last the lifetime of the flyer!
Why choose the stainless steel Piranha line cutter over any other line cutter?
$95 for two (redundant devices are STRONGLY recommended)
Make no mistake about it - for dual deployment from a single compartment using a drogue parachute in the traditional manner, there is nothing better than the Tender Descender!
So then why use a line cutter?
Flying drogueless with a bound parachute.
While a Tender Descender works fine for holding together a "burrito wrapped" parachute, it is not the best method of restraining the bound parachute. Truly, the best method of restraining a Nomex bound parachute is with either lightweight nylon cord or a plastic zip-tie. The cable cutter is used to quickly release this restraint at an altitude determined by your altimeter and free the parachute to deploy.
Reefing a parachute for dual deployment using a single parachute.
Now THIS is exciting! The stainless steel Piranha Cable Cutter can be used to employ a single parachute as both the drogue and the main by "reefing" the parachute so that, as a drogue, the parachute acts more like a streamer. Then, when the reefing line is cut and released, the parachute can fully inflate to become the main!
Download the instructions for the Piranha Cable Cutter.