Ergodyne Squids Tool Lanyard Review

Hi, welcome to CivilGear where I take a practical “on-the-job” approach to reviewing neat gear to help me in my work or with my play!

So random question … do you ever find yourself working at heights, either inspecting bridges or putting up Christmas lights? Well, if so, have you ever dropped a tool and either had to: apologize to the guy below, run to the store for a replacement, or suffered the inconvenience of having to retrieve it? Do you have a “Drop Cop” on your jobsite? Well, if you answered “yes” to any of those questions, an affordable remedy to your woes is a brand new tool lanyard by Ergodyne called Squids!

Eurgodyne Squids Tool Lanyard CivilGear 063

For my new foray into tool lanyards, in 2015, I received the following for Christmas:

Besides these products I’m reviewing here, Ergodyne offers a wide variety of types of lanyards and tool tails and tool “trap” accessories to help you connect the tool tails or lanyard to all types of tools. Check out Ergodyne for a full offering.

Eurgodyne Squids Tool Lanyard CivilGear 005
3ft tool lanyard with 3 tool tails.

The Lanyard

Squids® 3110 Dual Carabiner (10lbs capacity)

Manufacture’s Specs

  • Energy absorbing cord with tubular nylon webbing
  • Single action aluminum carabiner
  • Reflective accent for higher visibility
  • Lock stitching at both ends for extra security
  • Captive eye carabiner
  • Maximum safe working capacity: 15lbs (6.8kg)
  • Third-party certified to a 2:1 safety factor
  • Standard: 35in – 42in (89cm-107cm)
  • Extended: 42in – 54in (107cm-137cm)

Pros

OK, so you wouldn’t be here reading this if didn’t want a legitimate safety product and not just a rope with clips right?  When I first got my hands on the squids lanyard proper, (the bungee rope part)  the high quality is immediately apparent. The lanyard has a very thick bungee cord core which is protected by a heavy gauge weaved nylon sleeve. The eye-loops, which connect to the clips, are redundantly stitched. It’s possible that the bungee, over time and with much use, may wear out, but you can count on your lanyard staying intact and will never actually fall apart.

Observations aside, this product has been 3rd party certified to have a factor of 2 safety rating! Which means that even though the product is rated for 10lb tools, it suffered no major damage while testing it with 20lbs. So the lanyard was tested with a 20lb weight at level height and extended height and performed 10 drops and reported no observable damage! Check out the results here.

An additional gem I found was, when you look closely and hold the lanyard up to the light, there is reflective threading in the protective sleeve, wow. Great for those night workers!

Cons

OK, so for the clips, I was not all that impressed but this is the budget 10lb version so budget clips come with the territory. These aluminum clips remind me of the one’s I’ve used for my car keys, which typically fall apart every couple of years of continuous use. As I won’t be using this product every day, the clips should last a few years.

Besides the possible short longevity of the slightly more reasonable issue I have is an ergonomic one, so not a huge deal but, the clips have dual barrel pins, one used as a hinge and the other for a clasp (to improve the clip capacity).  If not constructed perfectly, the ends of the barrels protrude a little which can feel uncomfortable on bare fingers or could catch on clothing or other lanyards. Additionally, there is a notch where the clasp forms, and the notch tends to catch when taking things off and on.

Another possible draw back, but is probably just the way it is, is that you cannot easily remove the clip in case you need to replace or want to upgrade it later, but with the right tools you could probably manage it. As a side note, for first time users, it takes a little getting used to working with a attached clip.

Thoughts and Wishes

Overall, I was very impressed with the main lanyard but wish the clips were a little more refined. To pay double the price, from this 3110 model to the 3111 model just to upgrade the clips seems silly, but I’ll likely be paying at least another $10 for the clips I want anyway, plus you have to keep in mind the work of taking off the old ones, and that the new ones won’t be “permanently” attached. Ergodyne offers lanyards with a built in tool tail but I would advise against it because the tool friction will cause ware it out eventually and you will have to toss out the whole lanyard with it too, so always go with the double clips (unless you have money to burn 😉 )!

This particular lanyard comes in either yellow or back, but I wish it also came in orange as many job sites require prefer orange over yellow.

Also I would actually have like the lanyard to be a foot shorter. I’m a tall guy and even with my arms fully extended, it felt like there was too much lanyard sag to deal with.

Price

The current price is about $15 USD but check both Amazon and Ergodyne’s website.

Ergodyne

Amazon seems to only have an older version but it’s a little cheaper ~8 USD
Ergodyne Squid Tool Lanyard (10lb capacity)

The Tool Ties

Squids® 3703 Elastic Loop Tool Tails (15lbs capacity) 3-Pack

Manufacture’s Specs

  • Stretch cord surrounded by tubular nylon webbing
  • Fully enclosed plated O-ring for secure attachment
  • Adjustable barrel lock for tool attachment
  • Use as an anchor for belt, harness, or structure
  • Used w/ Tool Trap creates retrofit tether point
  • Standard Length – 11in (28cm)
  • Maximum safe working capacity: 15lbs (6.8kg)
  • Third-party certified to a 2:1 safety factor
  • Extended Length – 18in (46cm)

Pros

Like I said above, these tool tails have some serious build quality! They even have the reflective stitch too. The elastic loops were thicker that I had expected which was my main concern. The black plastic locks had great tension too so even when I pulled elastic loop as hard as I could, these still held tight. I was very happy to see that the rings are made of steel and are welded closed, so you don’t have to worry about a gap opening up sometime in the future.

Cons

The main but likely inherent problem is that the elastic loops will experience wear with (hopefully not) frequent dropping (especially with heavier and rougher surface tools). Having done some of my own testing, I experienced a little fraying of the outer layer of the nylon around the elastic core, no immediate dangers at all just something you’ll have to keep and eye on.

My other issue might not be avoidable either but the black barrel lock is a little hard to use and gets in the way but mainly, depending on how the tool drops, the barrel could be unlocked by making contact with the tool on descent.

Eurgodyne Squids Tool Lanyard CivilGear 021

Thoughts and Wishes

Overall, I think I got what I expected out of the tool tails. The tool attachments will take the brunt of the abuse so again, I would recommend using detachable tool attachments (instead of lanyard with built in tool attachments) so they can be easily replaced.

Regarding the steel rings, I wish they could have been just a little bit bigger, as this would have made it a little easier in attaching 2 clips at a time so there is always a positive connection to the tool.

Colors … MORE PLEASE! I can understand that there isn’t a high demand for a rainbow variety of tool lanyards, but having a selection of colors for tool tails and attachments would assist greatly in locating a particular tool in your pouch just by following the colored tail! Huge opportunity! I can imagine someone who has to tie off more than 10 tools can hardly wade through the chords to find the needed tool.

Price

The price for this set should be around $10 on Amazon and about $12 from Ergodyne.

Amazon: Ergodyne Squids 3703 Elastic Loop Tool Tails, 15-Pound, Standard 11-Inch, Lime

Ergodyne: Squids® 3703 Elastic Loop Tool Tails – 15lbs 3-Pack

Hands-On

Time to play! Instructions? Don’t need ’em right? It’s lame but check those first.

I don’t often work on a ladder but my primary need for this product is to help me keep track of all my tools, and prevent me from dropping my tools into sewer manholes while inspecting them. I typically carry a mini sledge hammer, a few pry bars, and decent flashlight. With much chagrin, I have lost at least two pry bars because they’ve fallen out of my tool belt while kneeling to do the inspections.  After that, I said never again! Below are a few pictures of testing out the tool lanyard and the tool ties for the first time.

 

Eurgodyne Squids Tool Lanyard CivilGear 199

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Some Testing

Eurgodyne Squids Tool Lanyard CivilGear 191

OK so I phoned a friend and got to use their backyard for some drop tests.  I attached the tool lanyard to their 8ft high swing set, I stood on a ladder and elevated the tool 3ft about that. I tried out a few different tools: mini sledge hammer, a cordless drill, a very large wrench and a “half” sledge hammer.  Overall, tests went well and some of my observations are mentioned above. To recap:

  • The elastic tool tie can become slightly frayed over multiple drops
  • The elastic tool tie can loosen after after a single drop so be sure to re-tighten
  • The elastic tool tie’s black barrel clip may loosen if it comes in contact with the tool during the drop
  • The tool lanyard has lots of bounce, so be aware that the tool may bounce back and hit you in the shin
  • Because the main tool lanyard has lots of bounce, if the tool tie becomes loose, the tool may slip out on subsequent bounces before coming to rest

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Video Review

OK so I’m still a novice youtuber, but just wanted to add a bit more hands on demo and the video of the drop tests.

 *Amendments*

Oops guy moment, did I not read the directions? OK well it wasn’t in any official writing that I could find, but after looking closer at the pictures and video (see below) on Ergodyne’s website in preparing my final review, I don’t think I attached the tool tails the way Ergodyne recommends. Ergodyne depicts the tool tail looping around itself (and around the tool) and that the black barrel lock is used to keep the end of the loop; they also use a “tool trap” such as tape or cold shrink wrap to make a complete connection.  I don’t think I would be comfortable using Ergodyne’s loop method without also using a “tool trap”. When I tested my half sledge I should have used an additional tool wrap as you can’t quite expect a single tool tail to provide enough friction for such a large tool but it was fun to try. 3703-tool-lanyards-lime-detail2

Erogdyne has a table online for recommended tool traps (for use with the tool tails) for different sizes and weights of tools; below is a copy. If you are in a pinch, I bet a good amount of electrical tape would do the job.

Ergodyne Tool Traps

 

End

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this review! Again, this is the first time I’ve used a tool lanyard so I only provide this generic information for your use and not as set of safety instructions. Feel free to share and leave comments or questions below!

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