How to Tie Knots: Tying Different Types of Knots with Illustrations | The Old Farmer's Almanac

How to Tie Knots

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Learn How to Tie Different Types of Knots

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Learning how to tie knots is a very useful skill. Here’s how to tie knots, including all the basics: bowline, hitch, and overhand knots!

The knot illustrations below may seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you know the vocabulary and practice a few times, we’re sure you’ll be able to get it!

Tying Knots: Words to Know

Our knot vocabulary should help you to learn this handy skill:

  • The bight is any part of a rope between the ends or the curved section of a rope in a knot.
  • A bight becomes a loop when two parts of a rope cross.
  • The place at which two parts of a rope meet in a loop is the crossing point.
  • The place at which two or more loops bend is the elbow.
  • The working end of a rope is the end being used to make a knot.
  • The standing end (or standing part) of a rope is the end not involved in making a knot.

Whether you’re boating, climbing, or scouting, these knots will often come in handy. Better to know a knot just in case you need it!


Here’s a little more information about he purpose of the more common knots.

  • Square Knot: Quick way to tie two ends of a single line together to secure a rope or line around an object.
  • Sheet Bend: To tie two ropes together, even ropes of different sizes.
  • Double Sheet Bend: Same as Sheet Bend above but takes an extra coil around the standing loop for better security (especially with plastic rope)
  • Bowline: When you need a non-slip loop at the end of a line. The knot won’t slip, regardless of the load applied. It is also easy to untie.
  • Fisherman’s Knot: Use this knot to quickly connect two ropes together.
  • Clove Hitch: Easy to tie and untie, this is a good binding knot when you’re in a rush; take care as it can slip with heavier loads.

See more tips and tools to enjoy in the outdoors!

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