Bends: Lessons

Knots for joining two ropes.
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Instructions

Boowknot

Boowknot

The shoelace knot, or bow knot, is commonly used for tying shoelaces and bow ties. The shoelace knot is a doubly slipped reef knot formed by joining the ends of whatever is being tied with a half hitch, folding each of the exposed ends into a loop (bight) and joining the loops with a second half hitch. The size of the loops and the length of the exposed ends are adjusted when the knot is tied. It has the stability of the reef knot but is significantly easier to untie, simply by pulling the ends away from the center of the knot. The loops are sometimes referred to as 'bunny ears', especially when the knot is taught to children.

Instructions

Sheet Bend Double

Sheet Bend Double

The sheet bend double is a bend, that is, a knot that joins two ropes together. Doubled, it is effective in binding lines of different diameter or rigidity securely together, although it has a tendency to work loose when not under load. The double sheet bend is related in structure to the bowline. It is very fast to tie, and along with the bowline and clove hitch is considered so essential it is knot №1 in the Ashley Book of Knots. It is a more secure replacement for the reef knot (square knot), especially in its doubled variety. It's also known as the weaver's knot, becket bend or weaver's hitch.

Instructions

Thief Knot

Thief Knot

The Thief knot looks similar to the Reef knot, but the running ends are on the opposite sides of the knot. It’s one of the three Reef knot twins, very insecure one: it comes loose under the smallest strain. Use it for everyday household purposes only.

Instructions

Grief Knot

Grief Knot

The name «Grief knot» comes from a combination of ‘granny’ and ‘thief’, because the Grief knot combines the features of the latter two knots. It is the trickiest of the three Reef knot twins, very insecure. However, it can be used as an element of other knots, such as the Carrick bend.

Instructions

Granny Knot

Granny Knot

The Granny knot is one of the three Reef knot twins; the only difference is that the lines cross in opposite directions. The Granny knot is very insecure. It can easily slip along a line, and this feature allows it to turn effortlessly into a double half hitch — a hitch, very useful in boating.

Instructions

Fisherman’s Knot

Fisherman’s Knot

A simple and secure bend consisting of two overhand knots. The Fisherman’s knot is especially good for thin threads, but not recommended for thick nylon ones. The knot is compact, easy to tie even with wet hands and very difficult to untie. It is extensively used in fishing.

Instructions

Academic Knot

Academic Knot

This complicated version of the Surgeon’s knot is a strong multipurpose bend. The Academic knot is very secure, even on lines of different size, and it is easier to untie, than the Reef knot, which tends to jam. The Academic knot is extensively used in surgery and in climbing.

Instructions

Single Carrick Bend

Single Carrick Bend

This knot is good for joining flat lashes such as belts or bands. «Single Carrick bends» is a name of a group of knots that resemble the Carrick Bend and can be tied by mistake instead of the latter. Most of them are insecure and useless, but this one is relatively safe and easy to untie.

Instructions

Dagger Bend

Dagger Bend

An essential knot for joining thick ropes. It is compact and very secure due to its complicated construction. The Dagger Bend doesn’t jam — just pull the upper loop to undo the knot.

Instructions

Hunter’s Bend

Hunter’s Bend

A highly secure knot for joining two lines that consists of two overhand knots. It grips itself very tight and easily jams even under a slight strain. The knot got its name after Dr. Edward Hunter, who was thought to be its inventor. Actually, the knot had been described 30 years before.

Instructions

Double Fisherman's knot

Double Fisherman's knot

(Grapevine Bend, Double Englishman’s Knot) This variation of the ordinary fisherman’s knot is a very secure bend, widely used in climbing and in search and rescue operations. The bend consists of two double overhand (strangle) knots, tied around the opposite standing parts. For joining fishing lines it’s better to tie a triple, or even quadruple fisherman’s knot. All variations of this knot tend to jam under strain, and in situations when the knot needs to be easily untied other bends are preferable.

Instructions

Reef Knot

Reef Knot

The most common knot in everyday life, relatively secure, sometimes difficult to untie. However, it may fall undone on artificial threads or threads of different diameter if the running ends are not fixed. The Reef knot is easy to make a mistake, so one should tie it carefully.

Instructions

Carrick Bend

Carrick Bend

This knot is particularly useful for joining thick and heavy lines. The Carrick Bend doesn’t jam, but it is secure only when the running ends are loaded; otherwise fix them for more safety. The knot is often used for decoration purposes (e.g. in macramé, or Chinese knotting).

Instructions

Ashley's Bend

Ashley's Bend

Very strong bend consisting of 2 overhand knots. Ashley’s Bend doesn’t slip even when heavily loaded, but tends to jam and can be very difficult to untie. The knot is very reliable and is extensively used in mountaineering and other extreme situations.

Instructions

Sheet Bend

Sheet Bend

An easy and fast way to tie two lines together, even if the lines are of different size and rigidity. The Sheet Bend is rather reliable, but it has a tendency to work loose when the running ends are not loaded. The Sheet Bend is one of the four basic maritime knots.

Instructions

Flemish Bend

Flemish Bend

A very safe knot for joining two lines of similar thickness. It is best to leave the running ends relatively long for additional safety. The Flemish Bend doesn’t slip along the rope. It might be difficult to untie, but it is not susceptible to jamming, nor does it damage the rope.

Instructions

Surgeon’s Knot

Surgeon’s Knot

A modification of a Reef knot with an extra twist at the bottom, used for joining 2 lines. It is not used in climbing or other situations that require high safety. This knot is common for tying suture threads (that’s where the name comes from). It is also applied in fly fishing.

Instructions