Paracord Sizes & Types: A Cord Comparison Guide

Two bundles of paracord

Jump to Section

Paracord dates back to World War II and the introduction of nylon for parachute cords. Soldiers, once on the ground, found a wide range of uses for their paracord. Now, there are many different types of paracord and even more ways to use them. Read on to learn about paracord sizes and the great projects you can make using various kinds of cord.

What Distinguishes Different Types of Paracord?

Paracord is a lightweight woven rope generally made of nylon and polyester. Paracord strengths and the sizes of paracord depend on how many strands are used as the core of the rope. The more strands, the stronger and larger the paracord. It's usually available in a wide range of colors as well as options that glow in the dark, reflect or change color. A basic premise of paracord is that the inner strands can be removed to provide hundreds of feet of extra cord.

What Are The Different Types and Sizes of Paracord?

Sizes range from 95 Paracord to 750 Paracord with additional options like Micro Cord, Nano Cord and Battle Cord. The basic types and sizes include:

  • Nano Cord — with a tensile strength of 35 pounds and a 1/32-inch diameter
  • Micro Cord — a braided cord with a tensile strength of 100 pounds and a 3/64-inch diameter
  • 95 Paracord — with one internal strand, a tensile strength of 180 pounds and a 5/64-inch diameter
  • 275 Paracord — with a four-strand core, a tensile strength of 275 pounds and a 3/32-inch diameter
  • 550 Paracord — the standard with a seven-strand core, a tensile strength of 550 pounds and a 5/32-inch diameter
  • 750 Paracord — with an 11-strand core, a tensile strength of 750 pounds and a 5/32-inch diameter
  • Battle Cord — with a seven-strand core, a tensile strength of 2,650 pounds and a 7/32-inch diameter, featuring a 350-pound tensile strength for each of the seven inner strands

See our paracord size chart for comparison and easy reference.

paracord size chart 550 Paracord

How Are The Different Types of Paracord Used?

The different types of paracord are traditionally used in camping, backpacking and military applications to tie down tents, tie up food and more, depending on the paracord tensile strength. But there are plenty of other uses for paracord, ranging from fun to utilitarian. Here are just a few examples.

Around the House

Paracord isn't just for the outdoors. It also has a lot of great uses around the house. These include dream catchers, hanging plant holders, door wreaths, pencil holders, wind chimes, coasters, Christmas tree decorations and decor items such as monkey fists. It can also be used to make kids' toys like snakes and other animal shapes — even little dolls. As far as paracord sizes are concerned, Nano Cord and Micro Cord are often used for dream catchers and wind chimes, but 550 Paracord is perfect for all of these projects.

Personal Use

550 Paracord is also used for a wide range of jewelry, like friendship bracelets, earrings and necklaces, along with other items like lanyards (for eyeglasses, keys, duck calls and more), keychains, belts, watchbands, baby toy clips, sandals or flip flops, wallets, sanitizer bottle holders, hatbands, zipper pulls, phone cases, laptop harnesses, can koozies, headbands, lighter holders and guitar straps. Different types of paracord, like Nano Cord or Micro Cord, can be used to accent these pieces.

First Aid

Paracord is great for emergencies to create splints, stretchers and arm slings. 550 Paracord is the standard for such projects, although larger paracord sizes, like 750 Paracord, can also be used.

Pet Care

550 Paracord is put to decorative and functional use in creating pet items like collars, toys, leashes and harnesses. It can also be used to design horse halters and nosebands.

Out and About

Other items, like travel mug handles, water bottle holders, backpack strap wraps, drawstring bags, blanket compression straps, steering wheel wraps and car seat pads, also make great paracord projects, as do hammocks and hanging chairs. Out of all the paracord sizes, 550 Paracord is the most commonly used for these items, although you could choose a larger paracord thickness for additional comfort.

A knife with a paracord grip

Survivalist/Weapon Accessories

One of the most popular uses for 550 Paracord is the creation of survival bracelets, which can be quickly unwoven to provide additional cord. 550 Paracord can also be used to design pouches for Altoid tins and multi-tools. Other novel uses for different types of paracord include bandoliers, slings for bows and rifles, knife grips and bullwhips.

Get the Types of Paracord You Need from Atwood Rope

Atwood Rope is the go-to supplier of paracord that is made in the U.S.A. We offer different types and sizes of paracord in hundreds of colors that resist fading and rotting. Order the perfect paracord for your project today.

Shop Now