The Knots Site

Essential knots can be a life saver during search and rescue. They can range from basic knots, to fishing knots, to camping knots. Each of these knots serves a particular purpose such as in making a paracord bracelet or a paracord lanyard. Whether you’re a hiker, a camper, a fisherman, or a sailor, it’s important to know when to use which knot. Take a look at this list and infographic, courtesy of Wide Open Spaces, and start practicing the essential knots that are most useful for you.

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1. Overhand Knot

This knot is considered as one of the basic knots. You can use this as the basis of all the other knots you will make. Some knots you can make with this fundamental knot are the overhand loop, reef knot, water knot, and simple noose.

2. Double Overhand

If you know the overhand knot, this is the extended version of it. But there’s just one additional pass that makes it different to the overhand knot. It’s also bigger and a bit harder to untie.

3. Figure Eight Knot

This is one kind of stopper knot. It is also useful when rock climbing and sailing. The purpose of this knot is to prevent ropes to run out from retaining devices. You can also easily undone this kind of knot compared to the overhand knot.

4. Running Knot

A running knot is an adjustable knot made around to form a noose. This noose is also called as the running noose. It also tightens once you pull the rope.

5. Granny Knot

Also called as a binding knot, you can use this knot to secure an object using a line or a rope. Though it resembles the square knot or reef knot, it’s still inferior to it when it comes to uses.

6. Sheepshank

This is a type of knot you can use to shorten a rope temporarily. Do consider though that this type of knot is unstable. If you place a too heavy or too light load, it will fall apart.

7. Square Knot

You can also call this as the reef knot. To make this type of knot, just tie an overhand knot (left-handed) to another overhand knot (right-handed). You can use this as a binding knot with the right material on a curved surface.


8. Bowline

This is one type of knot which you can tie and untie easily. You can make this by forming at the end of the line a fixed circle or loop. It is also considered an ancient and simple knot. It’s also one of the basic 4 maritime knots – figure eight knot, clove hitch, and reef knot.

9. Sheet Bend Double

This is a sheet bend knot doubled and effective to secure different lines. It has a tendency though to loosen if not loaded. This is almost similar to bowline and a more secure alternative to the square knot.

10. Sheet Bend

You can make a sheet bend knot by joining two ropes. This is also called as weaver’s knot or weaver’s hitch. One way to tie this knot is by creating a half hitch in the slack part of a larger rope.

11. Overhand Bow

You can use this type of knot for fishing, shoelaces, climbing, and tying other knots. It is difficult to untie though but quite strong and reliable.

12. Double Carrick Bend

This type of knot is appropriate when using a rope that is heavy, very large, or too stiff. You won’t need to worry about the knot jamming while lifting a heavy load.

13. Bow Knot

A bow knot has large loops that are decorative. It consists of two loops and two ends that are loose. This knot is commonly used to tie shoelaces and you can easily tie and untie it.

14. Figure-eight Double

You can also call this type of knot as “bunny ears” or dog eared loop. You can make this by forming two parallel loops and similar to a figure-eight loop.

15. Clove Hitch

You can make this type of knot through two successive hitches in half tied to an object. This is considered one of the most essential knots and commonly called as double hitch. It’s also most effective if you use it as a crossing knot.

16. Half Hitch

The half hitch knot is a simple knot done overhand. You can make this by bringing one end of the rope over and underneath the standing edge. This is not a secure knot but it is essential when making bends and other knots.

17. Timber Hitch

This is also another type of knot you can use to attach one rope to an object that is cylindrical in shape. With this knot, you only use a single length of rope. You can easily untie this even after loading a heavy object.