Knot of the Week: Intro

by April 7, 2009 04/7/09

sheepshank.jpg So honestly, how many times have you been in a situation where you’ve had a rope in your hands trying to tie something off or lash something down and think, crap, I wish I would have been a Boy Scout… Well, stress no more!

ITS is proud to announce a new weekly feature where we’ll feature a review of a different knot by providing step-by-step tying instructions and listing practical (and tactical) uses of the knot.  In addition, each knot will be assigned a rating from 1-5 (1 representing the lowest score) based on the following four properties:

Strength – All knots will weaken the strength of  a rope, however, there are knots that are stronger than others. The scale here will reflect how strong the rope remains with the specified knot.

“A rope practically never breaks within a knot. . . . It appears to be true that a rope  is weakest just outside the entrance to a knot. . . . On testing [the Bowline Bend] I  could find no tendency to break at the point of crossing. The material broke each  time at a point just outside one of the Bowline Knots.”

— Clifford Ashley, 17, 30 Ashley Book of Knots

Security – The security scale refers to how well the knot will stay tied, and resist coming loose under a normal load.

Stability – Stability refers to how easily the knot will come untied under an abnormal load (i.e. the knot being pulled in a direction it was not intended to) A lower score here will mean an unstable knot.

Difficulty – The lower the number here indicates the ease at which one can tie the knot.

  • Beginner (1)
  • Novice (2)
  • Advanced (3)
  • Expert (4)
  • Professional (5)

The chart below is the legend for each of the four properties.

Strength/Security/Stability/Difficulty the numbers here will appear next to the title of each knot and indicate the scale of each property  1/2/3/4

The first knot in our “Knot of the Week” series, will be the Square Knot. Visit us on Monday to read all about it!


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