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Sewn Eye vs Splice Eye Rope

sewn eye vs splice eye rope

The rope is arguably the most important piece of equipment for any climbing activity. It is the lifeline that will make you safe going up and down. So, when you need a permanently fixed loop during the climb, you will choose between sewn eye rope and splice eye rope.

But what is the difference between the two? The difference between these two types of loop splices is the way they are constructed. After reading this article, you will learn the difference between sewn eye vs splice eye rope.

Features Sewn Eye Splice Eye
Construction Loops are Made with Stitching Deconstructed and Braided to Create a Loop
Size Bulky Compact
Price Cheaper More Expensive
Operating Space More Operating Space Less Operating Space


The most obvious difference between these two loops is the way they are constructed. An eye splice or loop differs in its ability to hold shapes depending on how they are built. So, the sewn eye and splice eye completely differs in the way they are made.

As far as splice eye rope is concerned, the end of the rope will be deconstructed or untwisted to complete the loop. After they have been deconstructed, the strand of the rope will be braided or inserted back into the rope to create the eye or the loop.

Unfortunately, a conventional eye splice is challenging to do and will consume a lot of time. Since there are many different types of rope, splicing the eye of the rope varies depending on the type of rope you have in your position.

In fact, if you try to do it manually by stitching or splicing, you will also feel the difference. The actual stitching of the rope is a lot easier than measuring the fid lengths and extracting the burying covers and cores when splicing.

In fact, there are types of ropes that cannot be spliced at all due to their solid braiding. Ropes built with a parallel core, known as static lines, cannot be spliced. This type of rope can be stitched using an industrial sewing machine to make an eye or a loop. This loop is what you call the sewn eye.

Those ropes with sewn eye looping are often supported and protected with tubing to enhance their strength. While many sewn eye ropes are constructed industrially, climbers also tend to create a loop on their own.


splice eye rope
Splice eye rope

Another factor that differentiates these two loops are the actual size of the loops that will be made. Sewn eyes tend to be much bulkier and have the possibility to get stuck when dealing with a tight crotch or even a friction saver.

It is worth noting that a sewn eye takes up less space on the rope, but you will feel the bulkiness at the stitch. Also, the spliced eye does not have the thickness at the base but can go further up on the rope.

For example, you can easily fit a leather cambium saver in a spliced eye and not on sewn eyes because of the bulkiness. You can use this friction saver easily with the spliced eye, but you will have an issue with the splice eye rope on most 10mm climbing ropes or larger.


There are not many differences between sewn eye and splice rope, but certain factors make them unique from one rope to the other. One of the few differences is the actual price of these ropes, which is slightly different.

One rope is cheaper compared to the other. Sewn eye ropes are more affordable than those with splice eyes. I may not have the exact figure but based on my previous purchases, and sewn eyes are cheaper.

Operating Space

sewn eye rope
Sewn eye rope

Another critical difference between the sewn eye rope and the splice eye rope is the amount of operating space they offer on the rope. With the way a hand splice is made, a splice eye rope has lesser operating space.

On the other hand, you get a larger operating area when using a sewn eye rope. The nice thing about the sewn eye is it gives you a more workable room on the rope compared to the splice eye rope. Only a short distance from where the eye is located is the one that you cannot use.

Other Related Information

Using a splice eye rope comes with several advantages. The most notable difference it gives to the rope is the permanence of the loop. Another benefit when using a splice eye rope is the lack of stress it gives to the rope.

For splice ropes that are available commercially, there is not much difference when it comes to safety. But the sewn eye ropes are a little bulkier and not clean looking in the eye compared to the splice eye rope.


Comparing sewn eye vs spliced eye rope does not give too much difference. Both almost provide the same performance. In this article, we listed four factors that make them different, but these are just small details you will notice when comparing these two ropes.

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