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Reviews for Notch Aerial Friction Brake

4.6 out of 5 star average customer rating based on 14 reviews

A job saver - 12/12/2017
Reviewer: Allen

The AFB is not for every tree. It takes a while to figure out the wraps and weights, but what friction system doesn't.

It is perfect for trees with a lot of limbs where you can keep your rigging point somewhere close in case you need to help retrieve the line.

If you can set it up to use both sides of the rope, it is a huge time saver.

Learning curve - 08/18/2017
Reviewer: Zachary Richards

Great device. A ton of friction. Difficult to set it up to let the rope run. 1 wrap us not enough with medium weight (100-200lbs) and 2 wraps is way too much. Requires a little creativity with redirects to properly manage the friction, but otherwise a very well made product.

OK - 06/14/2017
Reviewer: Nate

I've used this on three removals now. The first time I used it was great because i was close to the device in the tree and the tree wasn't very tall.
Later I tried it in a couple trees that were tall and the weight of the rope made it impossible to pull through and reset the line, especially when the climber is not right by the device.
With regular 1/2" line the rope was able to jump over the pin one time and bind. I think the pins need to be a little bit taller so the rope stays put.
IF this device had a ratcheting mechanism like a Hobbs then we would have something. The ground crew could easily pull the rope back up even with 3 wraps. I don't think it would need to be square at that point either.
Sorry for the bad feedback but it had to be done.
Just a thought. I'm going to sell mine and buy rigging rings.

Not as impressed as I thought I would be - 03/24/2017
Reviewer: Peter LaRue

Not as impressed as I thought I would be with this device. I find it almost impossible for the grounds person to pull the rope back up to the climber. There's just too much friction there even with the square bollard. One wrap is just too much friction. The type of rigging I do is mainly light to medium sized rigging. This device is not great for that weight class. This device is great for medium to heavy pieces being static rigged. That being said, it's come in handy on job sites, but I mostly have to feed the rope into the device to lower the pieces to the ground. And as a climber I have to be near the device to feed the rope back up to myself. Perhaps I'm just using it for the wrong purposes, and I will keep it in my arsenal for specific types of rigging, but I think I'm better off with a thunder sling or a safe block.

Amazing - 10/24/2016
Reviewer: Andy

I bought this because I had an ash tree removal that I was unsure about the rigging point. It worked out great using one rap on the friction brake with the no knot rigging system.

No ground problem - 10/19/2016
Reviewer: Tim

Bought it and love it. Less force on the rigging point than a portawrap (no two to one load).... Replaces a block and a portawrap.... Does not require an extra tree or the base of the tree you are working in to put the portwrap on.... Climber can control rigging line once cut is made allowing single inexperienced groundsman to grab the tips and tug branch where ever it needs to go. Most importantly the guy in the tree controls the number of wraps - this is also it's only problem. If you have a wrap or certainly two wraps the climber MUST reset the rigging line each cycle. Not a problem for a lift operator but if the rigging point is a distance from your work location travel time can become extensive. Get a 12' dead eye sling and you can use it anywhere you will need it. A great piece of gear you will not regret buying but it will not replace a block and a portawrap in every situation. You won't regret buying it and I am certainly glad I have one in my gear bag.

Love this tool - 10/19/2016
Reviewer: JB Holdway

I love this thing. If you have to work alone or with unskilled help, this tool will GIT-R-DONE.

Video Link




So nice I bought it twice - 08/01/2016
Reviewer: Shaun Bunder

This is one amazing piece of kit. It takes the place of a pulley and a friction brake, and allows me to run the same sized jobs with one fewer groundsman. Groundie catches the limb, passes the rope to the climber, and then they're free to work the limb down into the yard instead of being stuck just holding the rope.

The friction on the AFB increases, the higher it is placed in the tree as the weight of the line factors into the equation. That is about the only thing that will take some getting used to with this.

Nice - 07/25/2016
Reviewer: Nate

I tried this out today on a technical pine removal. The ground crew had a lot of control and more choices of where to stand since we didn't need the porta-wrap. It was fast since I alternated each end of the rope and was tying the new piece while they untied the old one. They said they had a lot of control compared to just wrapping a branch.
I was using 1/2" climbing line to rig with and one time the line jumped the divider spike and the wraps got stuck in the middle. Maybe the spikes need to be a little taller? Usually not a problem though.
I rigged the stick down off itself as well. I kept the weights low and it worked well. A lot faster and simpler than using a porta-wrap and a block.

Get one - 06/04/2016
Reviewer: Jeff Australia

Two wraps and stuff just floats down on its own! No shite, it's miraculous

I gave it 5 stars but a respectful suggestion for mark2 - a bearing in the top side so you can flip it over and it's a regular block..

Genius - 01/12/2016
Reviewer: Greg

I have used two forms of this device; one squared, and one with a round drum, for lowering guests on a challenge course. Using it for rigging sounds like a dream. Just one full wrap, made lowering a 270-lb. guest with hand friction alone (prussik backup) a cakewalk, and I'm a pretty small guy.

Great idea...I've GOT to get my hands on one.

Have not used it yet - 01/07/2016
Reviewer: Kodiak

I have not used this yet but want to point out three things:

  • Think about this combined with a speed line. You could tension the line with a Prussik on a pully 2:1 style and have this block as the main vector point/friction management, Would be incredible!


  • I contract climb and work for a lot of inexperienced tree services that sometimes can't " wrap" there mind around a porta wrap, same goes for landscapers that don't mind helping in order to reduce the cost of me bringing a groundman. This will allow you to manage the friction you know is needed.


  • Rigging 101. Having the friction managed at the base of the tree doubles the force the block receives, so a climber might feel half the shock load when rigging spars and large scaffolding branches with this device. It's the new age of rigging. Porta wrap will soon be in the realm of a trunk wrap.

I do wish it was more on the 100 kn range but I am sure it will come.

Incredible excited to buy this pully in the future. It's going to help me so much, might even work for tri-vector rigging? I will push it to its limits, "pry destructively", and write a field review.

Can't wait to order one treestuff. Thanks for advancing our industry!

The AFB could double productivity - 01/06/2016
Reviewer: JB Holdway

The AFB (Aerial Friction Brake) is a high productivity tool with a capability that is difficult or nearly impossible to accomplish with other rigging devices. The major benefit is that AFB can provide controlled lowering friction in both directions. And, the AFB can control this bi-directional lowering from a distance *without* having to re-rig the device. You can't do that with a port-a-wrap.

The AFB is 'beefed-up' version of the BMS Belay Spool (on steroids). I have owned and used the BMS Belay Spool on several jobs over the past five years. It, and the AFB, are friction blocks? that effectively combine a pulley and a friction lowering device. After trying several configurations, a Belay Spool, and more importantly, the stronger AFB proves to be particularly efficient tool in one important application. Alternate lowering of loads is one of most productive uses of the AFB.

A climber slings a load to a rigging mid-line loop in the tree, cuts and lowers the load. This raises another loop/sling into the tree. A groundie releases the load, while the climber slings another load to the other side of the
rigging line. This process is repeated back-and-forth. Thus, the climber and
groundie can work without having to wait for each other which greatly improves, nearly doubling productivity.

Photo link.



Great tool - 01/04/2016
Reviewer: Tom Dunlap

I found the BMS Belay Spool years ago and incorporated it into my bag of tricks. It made rigging sooooo much more flexible.

The first thing I found was that I rarely, almost never, used the three wraps. Too much friction on the lower and almost impossible to tail the end back up.

My crew learned that the best way to rig the rope was to come up next to one cheek plate, spiral around and exit on the other cheek plate. The rope wouldn't go between the spring pins, the middle of the bollard.

Nice to see making it arbo-centric.

I sure would like to give it a go!


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