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Rescue Tech D5 RP885

Front Rear
Front Rear
Left Right Open for Rigging
Left Right Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Rescue Tech D5 RP885 from Paul A. Wood in 2021.

My D5 is 193 mm. tall, 97 mm. wide, 76 mm. thick, and weighs 769 g.

The D5 is shaped like an American football with a handle on the back. There are two stamped aluminum plates with a variety of other parts attached. The rear plate is red anodized 3.9 mm. aluminum, and serves as the main frame. A 21 by 29 mm irregular opening in the lower portion serves as the clip-in eye. The plate is bent forward at the lower left, forming a hook that overlaps the outside of the front plate.

The rear plate has several components mounted on it. Starting from the top, there is a 17.5 mm. long, 23.5 mm. major diameter U-groove bollard. The bollard has a 18.3 mm. minor diameter. The rivet bolding the bollard in place also serves as the pivot for the front plate. Below the bollard is a pivoting stainless steel cam mounted on an axle and bearing. The axle has a spring-loaded plunger in the end that serves to lock the front plate closed. Most of the cam’s circumference is grooved to guide the rope. There are also what appear to be four teeth, but these serve no function in this device. The upper side of the cam is flattened so that the rope can run between it and the upper bollard. The main bollard can be rotated about 20 degrees using the handle. Rotating the bollard clockwise squeezes the rope against the anvil, stopping the descent.

The handle assembly is attached to the rear plate by four screws, one of which also secures the cam axle.

The front plate is mounted and pivots on the upper bollard post. The left side is bent back on itself to create a rounded edge for the rope to run against. The left side is raised so that it clears a slot that engages a rim on the main bollard pivot. A J-notch on the lower portion of the front plate lines up with the oval hole on the rear plate. The notch admits the seat maillon.

The normal rigging path is to bring the rope down the left side, under the cam, up between the cam and upper bollard, then out the top and over the bend in the front plate. The rope path is much like the classic bobbin rope path.

The cam is turned by the handle on the rear of the device. A clutch assembly controls the motion. The clutch is not visible without destroying the device. When viewed from the front, the normal descending position is with the handle at 9 o’clock. The rope friction is turning the cam so that the rope is squeezed against the anvil. Pulling down (counter clockwise) on the handle turns the main bollard counterclockwise, which releases the rope. If the handle is moved too far, the clutch slips and the bollard rotates back to the locking position (clockwise). Turning the handle clockwise from 7 o’clock to 10 o’clock resets the mechanism without affecting the cam’s position.

The front plate is stamped with the Rescue Tech logo, a rigging illustration, a D5 Descender logo, "Made in the UK by I|S|C," "RP885," "16/70227/11," a book-with-an-"i" icon, "CE0120," "Rope  Ø12.5-13.0 mm," "EN12841:2006/C," "100m (60kg-240kg)," "MEETS NFPA 1983(2012 ED), "MBS 22kN ’G’," "ANSI Z359.4:2013," and "Patent Pending." The cam has an anchor icon, a curved arrow, and "I|S|C" cast into it. A previous ownerr engraved "SMW" and "15" into the front.


The D5 reminds me of the Petzl I’D, although there are significant differences. I wouldn't want to expose the clutch to abrasive cave mud. I'm not a fan of stop descenders for a variety of reasons. The D5 is similar to the more reasonable D4, but upsized to please the "bigger-is-better" crowd.