Review: Deconstructing the RE Factor Tactical Operator Band

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band
740 400 Zach Berning

Let’s face it. The market is flooded with paracord and survival bracelets. You can get them in just about any color combination imaginable and the thought has probably even crossed your mind about making your own. Well, you can safe the arts and crafts project for later because we might have found the ultimate in paracord survival bracelets. Meet the Operator Band from RE Factor Tactical.

Designed to fit the mission needs of Special Operations Personnel, the Operator Band is more than just a paracord survival bracelet. It was purpose-built to give you the tools you’d need in an emergency or survival situation. The RE Factor Tactical Operator Band is the brainchild of a Special Forces S.E.R.E. Level C graduate. RE Factor Tactical’s website breaks down what’s included with their Operator Band: 12′ of 550 paracord, 30′ of 80 lb. test Spider Wire Fishing Line, fishing hook, 18″ of 45 lb. test Eagle Claw Snare Wire, P51 can opener, flint fire starter, and a hidden handcuff key.

RE Factor Tactical Operator BandI’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the paracord survival bracelet, but I was definitely excited when the Operator Band arrived in the mail. The Operator Band is more than just a paracord bracelet. It is the MacGyver of paracord bracelets! With so much awesomeness tucked into such a small package, the hardest part was not field striping it right then and there to pull all the goodies out and see them firsthand. However, better judgement set in and I decided to wear the Operator Band and test it out. Initially, the size took a bit of getting used to. It was bigger than any other bracelet I’ve ever worn and it didn’t always play well with the cuffs on some of my long sleeve shirts. However, I found that after a week or two or wearing it I started to forget that it was even on and it seemed to become part of my EDC.

Over the past couple months I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the Operator Band. Most people remark that it looks cool or want to know where I got it from. When I tell them and explain about all the features of the Operator Band, they typically have a look of disbelief and then ask me to take it off of my wrist so they can take a closer look. It’s kind of funny when you tell people you have a fishing hook and line along with a snare line woven into your bracelet. The common response is, “yeah right.” After getting another round of questions about it last week, I decided it was time to deconstruct the Operator Band so everyone can see for themselves what’s inside.

The following is a step by step breakdown of the RE Factor Tactical Operator Band. We’ll start with the external features and then deconstruct it so you can see the rest of what’s hidden inside.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Can OpenerThe first you notice about the Operator Band is the P51 can opener that’s attached to the outside. It’s dead center, directly opposite the buckle so it lays flat on your wrist.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band

Just off the buckle on the underside you’ll find the fire starter, which has been drilled and then woven into the Operator Band. This is handy because you can use it with your knife without having to dissemble the bracelet to gain access to it.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band

When the buckle is open, you can see the hidden handcuff key inside. A slight twist with your fingers and the key pops out for easy use. At first I was worried about opening and closing the bracelet and that I might accidentally knock the key out, but after months of use it stays put and will only come out if you work at it to remove it. Once the key is removed, it will not go back in.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band

When you flex the band and look in-between the weave, you can see the fishing line and snare that tucked inside the Operator Band. This cannot be removed without disassembling the bracelet.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Can Opener Underside

To remove the P51 can opener from the Operator Band, you need to locate the two finished ends that are mid bracelet directly on the opposite side from the can opener. The ends are tucked under the weave, so you’ll need to use the tip of your knife or a sharp item to put a little pressure underneath them and pull them out. As you can see from the photo above, the next step would be to pull the end through the paracord that is looped over the top.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Can Opener One EndOnce the end is completely free, pull it directly through the bracelet and you’ll have one end of the can opener free. One thing to note at this point. You can pull the paracord through the bracelet without removing the finished (heated) end cap, but it will take a great deal of work and time. For speed, simply remove the final end piece with your knife or sharp object. The piece you see in the photo above is woven back into the bracelet and the same process is done on the other side to hold the opposite end of the can opener in place.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Can Opener RemovedOnce the single short piece of paracord is removed, you’re free to use the can opener. The Operator Band is still fully intact and can be worn without issue.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Point of No ReturnThe next part is what I like to call the “point of no return.” This is the line in the sand where you decide it’s time to sacrifice the Operator Band because you need the remaining tools to survive or accomplish your mission. Locate the two finished ends on the underside of the bracelet next to the buckle. You’ll want to trim these ends with a knife or sharp object before you get started trying to disassemble the bracelet.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Remove BuckleOnce the ends are trimmed, pull them through the bracelet towards the buckle. When they’re free from the weave, grab them from the topside of the buckle and pull through. When you’ve cleared the buckle, you can start the process of unweaving the Operator Band.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Unweaving the BraceletAs you unweave the bracelet, you’ll start to see the fishing line and snare line that are woven into the core of the Operator Band. At first I was a little worried as I knew there was a sharp fishing hook buried somewhere in this grouping, but I later found out that it was securely and properly stowed in the middle section o the internal lines to avoid the accidental hook in the finger. This attention to detail is one of the things that sets the Operator Band apart from the other survival bands on the market.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Fishing and Snare LinesAfter the bulk of the bracket is unwoven, you can remove the fishing and snare lines. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the small fishing hook securely tucked into the center wrap of the lines.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - Fishing HookOnce you remove the center wrap on the lines keeping them together, you can see the small fishing hook that’s included with the Operator Band. Take it from me – the hook may look small, but I found out firsthand that she’s razor-sharp when I had to remove it from my finger. If you continue to unweave the bracelet, you can remove the fire starter and the second half of the buckle.

RE Factor Tactical Operator Band - DisassembledNow that the Operator Band is completely disassembled, you can see all the various tools and components that go into it. It’s quite impressive how much usefulness and utility that RE Factor Tactical can pack into one single bracelet. It would definitely be something I would be thankful I had with me on my wrist in an emergency or survival situation!

If you’re in the market for a paracord survival bracelet, I highly recommend that you consider the Operator Band from RE Factor Tactical. It’s available in three different wrist sizes and ten different color combinations. The bracelet retails for $49.95, which seems like a value considering everything that’s included in the bracelet. RE Factor Tactical also has some videos on their website about the Operator Band and using the included tools. For more information on the Operator Band, or to learn more about Veteran led RE Factor Tactical, visit their website or check them out on Facebook.

AUTHOR

Zach Berning

Zach is our Digital Editor for MOTUS. He's also a foodie, off-road and backcountry adventure travel lover, and has coffee running through his veins. Read more …

All stories by: Zach Berning

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