Category Archives: Basic Knots

Square Knot

A square knot is used to tie the two ends of a single line together so that they will secure something. For example you could use your square knot to tie a bundle of objects together. Since a square knot will lie flat when it is made of fabric, it has also been used in the medical field for things like tying bandages. Sometimes the square knot is used to tie belts for martial arts such as karate or jiu-jitsu. Boys are also required to tie a square knot before they can join the Boy Scouts.

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How to Tie a Square Knot

  1. Start with two pieces of rope that are close in diameter. We’ll call them rope 1 and rope 2 for the purposes of this demonstration.
  2. Hold the end of rope 1 in your left hand and the end of rope 2 in your right hand.
  3. Cross rope 1 over rope 2 to form an X.
  4. Wrap rope 1 once to the right around rope 2, just like the first step in tying a bow in your shoestrings. Rope 1 is now to the right and rope 2 is to the left.
  5. Cross rope 1 over rope 2 again to form another X.
  6. Wrap rope 1 once to the left around rope 2.
  7. Now just pull on both free ends to tighten the knot and you’re finished!

I think that with these instructions you will be well on your way to tying a perfect square knot. Just remember to be patient, have fun, and practice, practice, practice.

Slip Knot

This extremely quick-to-form and easy-to-use knot is popular because of its capability for self-tightening and rapid release. A slipknot is easily made using a straight length of material ranging from lightweight string to heavy-duty rope.

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In the early days of the American frontier, the slipknot became a useful way to restrain a wayward animal such as a steer or dog. Due to the fact the slipknot self-tightens quickly, this knot became used as a noose for hanging criminals. Today, in countries where death by hanging is still deemed to be an acceptable legal procedure, the slipknot/noose is used.

In the medical world, the slipknot is used to expose veins during insertion of IV lines or to draw blood for testing purposes. Some dermatologists use a slipknot formed with dental floss to remove small non-cancerous tumors or knots on the epidermal layer of the skin. Upon completion of slipknot formation, the string is cut. As the slipknot interrupts circulation of blood to the area, the tumor will drop off after about 24 hours. In First Aid, the tourniquet used to slow or stop wound bleeding is formed using the slipknot technique.

How to Tie a Slip Knot

  1. Using a length of tying material ranging from six to 12 inches, grasp the opposing ends in each hand.
  2. Create a loop by crossing one end over the other end.
  3. Grasp the cross-point of the loop firmly between the thumb and fingers.
  4. Pass the opposite hand through the loop. As this end is pulled through the original loop, a second loop will be created.
  5. Move the hands in opposite directions while twisting the loop in a tightening motion.

Sheet Bend

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The sheet bend knot is a simple yet sturdy technique. It is most useful for tying two lengths of rope together, especially when the two ropes are of different thickness.

How to Tie a Sheet Bend Knot

  1. Lay one of the ropes you will be tying down so that it is horizontal and the end you’ll be working with points to the right. If the ropes are different thickness, this should be the thickest rope.
  2. Curve the end of this rope back on itself. The end should now face to the left, and it should form a loop.
  3. Thread the end of the second or thinner rope you will be tying through this loop. Do this by threading the second rope under the right side of the loop. The ends of both of the ropes should be pointing to the left.
  4. Move the end of the second rope over the end of the first rope, then tuck it under both sections of rope that form the loop. The end of the second rope should now be pointing down from under the loop.
  5. Pull the end of the second rope back over the loop and thread it underneath itself, where it originally emerged from the loop. Pull the ends and main sections of both ropes to tighten and strengthen the sheet bend knot.

Overhand Knot

The Overhand Knot is the simplest knot to tackle. It can be used in fishing, climbing, shoelaces, and making other knots. It can be seen as the backbone to other knots. This is often the first knot that young children learn to tie and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

How to Tie an Overhand Knot

  1. First you cross the end of the rope over the top of the remaining rope.
  2. Then you take the end of the rope up over behind the rope.
  3. Last you pull both ends to tighten the rope.
  4. Finally you have your overhand knot!

Noose

A noose knot tightens when pulled on, making it ideal for its most macabre historical purpose – executions. The weight of a human body pulling against the knot would tighten it and suffocate the victim, unless their neck was broken in their initial fall from the gallows. It can also be used for fishing, with the lure left on either a tighter or looser noose depending on how much movement is desired. The number of coils in the knot can vary and affects the ease of both the tightening and the loosening of the knot.

How to Tie a Noose

  1. Create an S shaped with a rope.
  2. Pinch the rope in the middle of the S and wrap the trailing bottom of the S around the pinched area tightly.
  3. Four or five loops around should do it.
  4. Now there should be two loops, one on each side of this looping wrap. Let’s call them loop A and B.
  5. Put the end of the rope you have been wrapping with through the closest loop, loop A.
  6. Then pull on one end of loop B in such a way that loop A tightens and pinches off that end of the rope. At this point the noose will be ready.

Half Hitch

The Half Hitch Knot is commonly used as a temporary knot. It is used to securely grasp an object momentarily, and it allows for quick release once it is no longer needed. Almost all tradesmen and outdoor enthusiast use the Half Hitch Knot. The Half Hitch Knot is commonly used by electricians when they have to pull large wire. Campers use this knot when setting up a tent, hanging lanterns and dragging large pieces of wood. Boaters and sailors use the Half Hitch Knot while rigging their equipment.

The Half Hitch Knot also functions as reinforcement to stronger knots. This reinforcement provides reassurance that the original knot doesn’t fail. When the safety of people and equipment is on the line, every precaution helps. The Half Hitch Knot is the most basic knot. However, without a clear understanding of how to tie such a knot, successfully tying it is hard to do. Here is a list of easy to follow steps outlining the process.

How to Tie a Half Hitch Knot

  1. Wrap the rope around an object such as a pipe, or a log.
  2. Run the small piece under the longer piece.
  3. Run the small piece over and down into the space between the rope and the object.
  4. Press the knot to the object, and pull the rope to make it tight.
  5. To release the knot, simply pull the small piece.