List of bend knots

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This is a list of bends. A bend is a knot used to join two lengths of rope.


The sheet bend is the classic bend. A study of 8 different bends using climbing rope found that the butterfly bend was strongest. [1]

Misuse of reef knot as a bend

The common reef knot (square knot) is sometimes mistakenly tied as a bend. When used as a bend rather than a binding knot, the reef knot will capsize under sufficient tension. [2] For this reason, the reef knot is insecure as a bend and as such is not listed as one.

Employed as a binding knot, to reef and furl sails or to tie up parcels, [the reef knot] is invaluable. But employed as a bend [...], the reef knot is probably responsible for more deaths and injuries than have been caused by the failure of all other knots combined.

Types of bends

Adjustable bend A bend that can be easily lengthened or shortened.
Albright special A low-profile bend suitable for monofilament or small-stuff. Mainly used in angling. Albright knot diagram retouched.png
Ashley's bend An original bend by Clifford Ashley consisting of interlocking overhand loops. Ashley's Bend knot.svg
Beer knot A bend suitable for tubular webbing. Its most common application is in slings used in rock climbing. Beer knot retouched.png
Blood knot A low-profile bend most usefully employed for joining sections of monofilament nylon line while maintaining a high portion of the line's inherent strength. BloodKnot Final.jpg
Butterfly bend (Alpine butterfly bend) A bend analogue of the butterfly loop. Alpine Butterfly Bend Final.jpg
Carrick bend A bend that is particularly appropriate for very heavy rope or cable that is too large and stiff to be easily formed into other common bends. Knife-lanyard-knot-ABOK-787-Carrick-start.jpg
Fisherman's knot

Double fisherman's knot

Triple fisherman's knot

A symmetrical bend tied with two overhand knots around the standing end of the other line.

A variation of the fisherman's knot consisting of two double overhands.

A variation of the fisherman's knot consisting of triple overhands.


Noeud de pecheur double serre.jpg


Flemish bend A bend based on the figure-eight knot. Doppelter Achtknoten gesteckt.jpg
Harness bend A bend that can be pulled taut before securing. CifteKolanBagiOn.jpg
Heaving line bend A bend suitable for tying smaller lines to larger lines, such as in attaching playing strings to the thick silk eyes of the anchorage knot. Heaving line bend knot.jpg
Hunter's bend A bend consisting of two interlocking overhand knots. Hunters Bend Final.jpg
Nail knot A bend used in fly fishing to join lines of different diameters. It is useful but difficult to tie by hand. Nail knot.svg
One-sided overhand bend A bend formed by tying a single overhand knot in two lines facing the same direction. Sackstich Tropfen.jpg
Racking bend A bend for joining lines of different diameters. It is more secure than the heaving line bend or sheet bend due to the woven figure-eight knot "rackings". Racking Bend.jpg
Reever Knot A secure and compact bend. Reever Bend Side1.jpg
Sheet bend A common bend for joining lines of different diameters. Schotstek rechts.jpg
Shroud knot A multi-strand bend used to join two ends of laid (or twisted) rope together. Shroud knot.gif
Simple Simon under Tie-a-simple-simon-under.svg
Single carrick bend Single carrick bend.JPG
Surgeon's knot A bend commonly employed in small-stuff. It can be pulled taut before securing. Surgeon's knot (tying).jpg
True lover's knot A bend consisting of interlocking overhand knots. True Lover's knot-2.jpg
Water knot A bend suitable for flat material such as leather or webbing. Water-knot-webbing-tight-ABOK-296.jpg
Zeppelin bend A bend consisting of interlocking overhand knots. It is similar to the hunter's bend but offers advantages in that it is jam resistant and easy to untie. Zeppelin RV.jpg

See also

Related Research Articles

Knot Method of fastening or securing linear material

A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bends, loop knots, and splices: a hitch fastens a rope to another object; a bend fastens two ends of a rope to each another; a loop knot is any knot creating a loop, and splice denotes any multi-strand knot, including bends and loops. A knot may also refer, in the strictest sense, to a stopper or knob at the end of a rope to keep that end from slipping through a grommet or eye. Knots have excited interest since ancient times for their practical uses, as well as their topological intricacy, studied in the area of mathematics known as knot theory.

Bowline Simple knot used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope

The bowline is an ancient and simple knot used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope. It has the virtues of being both easy to tie and untie; most notably, it is easy to untie after being subjected to a load. The bowline is sometimes referred to as King of the knots because of its importance. Along with the sheet bend and the clove hitch, the bowline is often considered one of the most essential knots.

Granny knot

The granny knot is a binding knot, used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is considered inferior to the reef knot, which it superficially resembles. Neither of these knots should be used as a bend knot for attaching two ropes together.

The granny knot is also called the false, lubber's, calf, and booby knot. Patterson's Nautical Encyclopedia calls it "old granny knot" and Sir Edwin Arnold calls it the "common or garden knot." The name granny is given in Vocabulary of Sea Phrases and Roding pictures the knot in 1795.

The granny consists of two identical half knots, one tied on top of the other. It has but one practical purpose that I know of and that is to serve as a surgeon's knot. Formerly it was employed for tying up parcels in five-and-ten-cent stores, but the practice was given up and paper bags substituted as they were found to be simpler.

Constrictor knot binding knot

The constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots. Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot that can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened. It is made similarly to a clove hitch but with one end passed under the other, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn. The double constrictor knot is an even more robust variation that features two riding turns.

Sheepshank Type of knot

A shank is a type of knot that is used to shorten a rope or take up slack, such as the sheepshank. The sheepshank knot is not stable. It will fall apart under too much load or too little load.

Figure-eight knot Type of stopper knot used in sailing and climbing

The figure-eight knot or figure-of-eight knot is a type of stopper knot. It is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices. Like the overhand knot, which will jam under strain, often requiring the rope to be cut, the figure-of-eight will also jam, but is usually more easily undone than the overhand knot.

The figure-eight or figure-of-eight knot is also called the Flemish knot. The name figure-of-eight knot appears in Lever's Sheet Anchor; or, a Key to Rigging. The word "of" is nowadays usually omitted. The knot is the sailor's common single-strand stopper knot and is tied in the ends of tackle falls and running rigging, unless the latter is fitted with monkey's tails. It is used about ship wherever a temporary stopper knot is required. The figure-eight is much easier to untie than the overhand, it does not have the same tendency to jam and so injure the fiber, and is larger, stronger, and equally secure.

A whipping knot or whipping is a binding of marline twine or whipcord around the end of a rope to prevent its natural tendency to fray.

Grief knot

A grief knot is a knot which combines the features of a granny knot and a thief knot, producing a result which is not generally useful for working purposes. The word grief does not carry its usual meaning but is a portmanteau of granny and thief.

Heaving line bend

The heaving line bend is a knot for securely joining two ropes of different diameter or rigidity. It is often used to affix playing strings to the thick silk eyes of an anchorage knot in some stringed instruments. In nautical use, the heaving line bend is used to connect a lighter messenger line to a hawser when mooring ships. It is knot number 1463 in The Ashley Book of Knots, and appeared in the 1916 Swedish knot manual Om Knutar.

Hunters bend

Hunter's bend is a knot used to join two lines. It consists of interlocking overhand knots, and can jam under moderate strain. It is topologically similar to the Zeppelin bend.

Carrick bend

The Carrick bend, also known as the Sailor's breastplate, is a knot used for joining two lines. It is particularly appropriate for very heavy rope or cable that is too large and stiff to be easily formed into other common bends. It will not jam even after carrying a significant load or being soaked with water.

Sheet bend

The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.

Half hitch

The half hitch is a simple overhand knot, where the working end of a line is brought over and under the standing part. Insecure on its own, it is a valuable component of a wide variety of useful and reliable hitches, bends, and knots.

Surgeons knot

The surgeon's knot is a surgical knot and is a simple modification to the reef knot. It adds an extra twist when tying the first throw, forming a double overhand knot. The additional turn provides more friction and can reduce loosening while the second half of the knot is tied. This knot is commonly used by surgeons in situations where it is important to maintain tension on a suture, giving it its name.

Offset overhand bend Knot used to join two ropes together

The offset overhand bend is a knot used to join two ropes together. The offset overhand bend is formed by holding two rope ends next to each other and tying an overhand knot in them as if they were a single line. Due to its common use in several fields, this bend has become known by many names, such as thumb knot, openhand knot, one-sided overhand knot or flat overhand bend (FOB), though the terms "one-sided" and "flat" are considered incorrect.

Ashleys bend

Ashley's bend is a knot used to securely join the ends of two ropes together. It is similar to several related bend knots which consist of two interlocking overhand knots, and in particular the alpine butterfly bend. These related bends differ by the way the two constituent overhand knots are interlocked.

Reef knot Type of knot

The reef knot, or square knot, is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is sometimes also referred to as a Hercules knot. The knot is formed by tying a left-handed overhand knot and then a right-handed overhand knot, or vice versa. A common mnemonic for this procedure is "right over left; left over right", which is often appended with the rhyming suffix "... makes a knot both tidy and tight". Two consecutive overhands of the same handedness will make a granny knot. The working ends of the reef knot must emerge both at the top or both at the bottom, otherwise a thief knot results.

The reef knot or square knot consists of two half knots, one left and one right, one being tied on top of the other, and either being tied first...The reef knot is unique in that it may be tied and tightened with both ends. It is universally used for parcels, rolls and bundles. At sea it is always employed in reefing and furling sails and stopping clothes for drying. But under no circumstances should it ever be tied as a bend, for if tied with two ends of unequal size, or if one end is stiffer or smoother than the other, the knot is almost bound to spill. Except for its true purpose of binding it is a knot to be shunned.


  1. Knot Break Strength vs Rope Break Strength
  2. Ashley, Clifford W. (1944). The Ashley Book of Knots. Doubleday. pp. 9, 18.