Introduction to Knots

Introduction to Knots

Selecting a correct rope

  • Check any damages in the rope - Can use bypass knots
  • Select a suitable knot for the rope – Slippery or not , wet or dry , materials etc.
  • Condition of two ends – Can use whipping knot or stopper

Types of Knots

  1. Knots and Loops
  2. Bend or Hitch
  3. Whipping and Splice
  4. Lashing


  • A knot is used to join two ropes together or a rope to itself.
  • If done correctly a knot will hold shape regardless of it being fixed to something else.
  • A knot restricts an object(s) with a single line. Tying your shoe and tying up package are examples of binding knots.
  • A square knot tied with a single rope line is a binding knot.
  • Use a binding knot to tie bandages, packages or most any type of object.

1- Square Knot or Reef Knot

The square knot is used as a binding knot for such things as clamping a pad on a wound, tying a gathering rope on the male end of an extension cord, or as a shoestring knot. The bowknot we all use to tie our shoes with is really just a double slipped square knot. The books say not to use the square knot to tie two ropes together because it can untie itself under the right conditions, but I have used a single slipped square knot to tie two ropes together for years without a problem yet.

2 - Sheepshank

THE SHEEPSHANK is included here as it has been in virtually every knotting work since the 1600s, but in reality, it is seldom used and should be avoided. It is most commonly used to shorten a rope, but it is not a stable knot and can fall apart quickly with the interruption of tension on the knot, especially in synthetic ropes.

A damaged section of rope can be isolated using the sheepshank, but tension must be maintained on the knot. The alpine butterfly knot can be made to substitute the rope-isolation and rope- shortening duties quite well and is a knot that can be trusted.

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lopGPwY

3 - Butterfly Knot

THE ALPINE BUTTERFLY KNOT, also known simply as the Butterfly Knot due to the form it takes while tying, forms a secure loop in the middle of a rope. It will accommodate a load in any of three directions independently or together. Mountain climbers use the Alpine Butterfly for tying in the middle climber when traveling three to a rope. Also useful for making non-slip loops in the middle of a rope to attach carabiners to provide points of attachment for other lines, the Alpine Butterfly is essential in canoe rescue work. The knot can also be used to isolate a damaged section of a rope.

  • Further Reference -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2aRj8dQPRQ

4 - Loops - Bowline

The bowline is used to make a non-slip loop on the end of a rope. It is called the king of knots and it is so dependable that it can be used for rescue work.

Can tie with one hand

5 - Hitch or Bend

A hitch is used to fix a rope to another object, such as a carabiner or pole, and relies on that object to hold.

You can see this easily by tying an eight follow-thru onto a carabiner. Do the same with a clove hitch.

Now take the carabiner away and see what happens – it will fall apart. Some sources classify a hitch as a class of knot but the general distinction remains the same.

6 - Sheet Bend

The sheet bend is the knot you are “supposed” to use to tie two ropes together. You can tie on to a sheet or blanket with it if you fold the corner of the sheet into a point and substitute it for the left rope below

7 - Clove hitch

The clove hitch is known in the oilfield around here as a claw hitch. It is the best knot to use with stiff large diameter rope because it never makes a sharp bend. It is also used to start and finish lashings. A lashing is a series of wraps tying two poles together.

Further Reference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs9WyrzNjJs

8 - Timber Hitch

A timber hitch ties a rope to a piece of wood; it is intentionally difficult to undo. Use a timber hitch to secure a line to a tree, a log or to drag a log along the ground. The timber hitch is used to start a diagonal lashing

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvIX9EApwzA

9 - Highwayman’s Hitch

The Highwayman’s hitch is a quick-release draw hitch used for temporarily securing a load that will need to be released easily and cleanly. The hitch can be untied with a tug of the working end, even when under tension.

The highwayman's hitch can be tied in the middle of a rope, and so the working end does not need to be passed around the anchor when tying or releasing.

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz8fKzvN_UU-

10 - Hangman noose or Half-S bend

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMCFoudyYxQ

11 - Fisherman's Bend

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqd6WCMvHBo


A lashing knot holds two poles together.

Use lashings to build without nails useful simple structures like a tripod, a chair, a hang-drying rack or a flagpole. Pioneering is the use of spars and lashings to build complex structures with trestle triangles like a tower, a shelter or a bridge.

  • Square Lashing
  • Diagonal Lashing
  • Shear lashing
  • Tripod Lashing

Square Lashing

A square lashing begins and ends with a clove hitch and binds poles at a 90° angle. It is stronger than the diagonal lashing, but the square lashing cannot be used if a gap exists between poles

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_iGkv36dww

Diagonal Lashing

A diagonal lashing begins with a timber hitch and ends with a clove hitch. This lashing binds poles that cross each other at a 45° to 90° angle. Cross bracing at 90° is only used if a gap exists between poles.

Shear lashing

A shear lashing begins and ends with a clove hitch and binds poles at a 0° to 45° angle. Use this when poles must flexibly swing apart in a scissors motion such as the shear legs of an A-frame.

Further Reference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o2w5Uv4q9c

Tripod Lashing

u A tripod lashing begins and ends with a clove hitch and binds poles to be arranged to form a pyramid. Use this to hang a pot above a fire or hold a water dispensing device over the ground.

Whipping And Splice

Whipping intends to stop a rope end from unraveling. Tie a rope end with a simple overhand knot and wrap it with duct tape for a temporary fix.


Created : Nov 22, 2019 04:23pm
Last updated : Jul 3, 2022 06:22am