I'm trying to find a thread that has good fatigue resistance and strength for a telescoping lift. The lift will lift a weight of around 2-3 kg. I do not intend to spool it as I read that thread with good fatigue resistance are usually not good for spooling, although if there is a kind of thread that is also good with spooling then please let me know. I also want the thread to be relatively lightweight, although that is not a big priority.

I have been looking at steel thread wires but I was wondering if there are any alternatives. Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ The whole robot will experience a lot of collisions. $\endgroup$
    – Mushroom1
    Dec 24, 2021 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ Could you be more specific about the application? So far your question is very general. $\endgroup$
    – SteveO
    Dec 25, 2021 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Robotics Madeline Leung, but I'm afraid that shopping questions really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Take a look at How to Ask and tour for more information on how stack exchange works, and the Robotics question checklist for details of how to write a good question. $\endgroup$
    – Tully
    Dec 26, 2021 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ "Telescoping" and "lot of collisions" make it sound like a FIRST application. If so, I wonder how important fatigue in this one part is, given how much distress everything else will suffer, and that the whole thing really only needs to last as long as it takes you to conquer the world at the finals. But Madeline will let us know! $\endgroup$
    – r-bryan
    Dec 27, 2021 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


Look into fishing line. It rests quite comfortably on spools, can be quite strong, is applied where weight is a concern, and is readily available (although I don't know anything about its stretch). A web search for "fishing line strength" turned up many hits offering many ways of selecting which type of line (you just have to ignore the what-type-of-fish parts!)


I've used Spectra® braided fishing line for a cable driven robot hand. (I believe there are many similar products by other brands). I think it would probably work for your application too.

Steer clear of monofilament fishing line. They probably have too much stretch.

This new type of braided fishing line is super strong and abrasion resistant. Being a fishing line, it spools nicely and is lightweight. It is also very slick. I know from experience that you will probably have to research and try out a few different types of knots to find one that wont simply slip out.


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