Square knot

From MeritBadgeDotOrg

Revision as of 03:01, April 9, 2019 by Nicouds (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Square knot used to secure a rope or line around an object.
Adult leader awards are also called "Square knots."

Knot articles show how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots,
Forty Knots, Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Cub Scouts (Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts),
Scouts (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks and numerous merit badges),
Venturers (Ranger Award), and Sea Scouts (Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster ranks).
Square knot
Names Square knot, Reef knot
Typical use Joining two ends of a single line to bind around an object. For example,
  • First aid: tying a bandage around a wound on an arm or leg; tying an arm sling around the neck
  • Tool: tying around a bundle of poles, staves, or sticks to make it easier to carry them.
  • Not secure as a bend. Spills easily if one of the free ends is pulled outward.
  • Does not hold well if the two lines are not the same thickness.
  • Do not confuse this with the Japanese square knot, which is a decorative knot.
Releasing Jamming
Category Binding knots
Group Basic knots
Related Thief knot, Granny knot, Grief knot, Surgeon's knot
Animation of tying a Square knot
Animation of tying a Square knot
The square knot has many uses-from securing bandages and packages to joining two ropes together. A square knot works best when pressed against something else and the ropes are of the same diameter. It should not be used to hold a heavy load.
Scouts BSA Handbook, 13th/14th eds., p. 365

1204. 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.

When adding the second Half Knot to the first, the latter is often held in place by a thumb, a finger or by another person, until the second Half Knot has been drawn up.
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.
1205. One of the distinguishing features of the Square Knot and the one which gives it its chief value as a Reef Knot is the ease with which it may be untied. Jerk one end in a direction away from its own standing part (that is, toward the other end) and the knot capsizes; all the turns are left in one end and these are easily stripped from the other end with a sweep of the hand.

The Ashley Book of Knots # 1204 and # 1205, p 220

1402. The Reef or Square Knot is a true Binder Knot (Chapter 16), for which purpose it is admirable, but under no circumstances should it be used as a bend. If tied with two ends of unequal size, or if one end is stiffer or more slippery than the other, it is bound to spill. Unfortunately it is about the most easily remembered knot there is, and the uninitiated commonly employ it as a bend. There have probably been more lives lost as a result of using a Square Knot as a bend (to tie two ropes together) than from the failure of any other half dozen knots combined. This was stated in the first chapter and may be repeated again. In fact it is the ease with which the knot may be spilled that gives it its value as a Reef Knot.
The Ashley Book of Knots # 1402, p 258

Required for

  1. Hold one rope end in each hand.
  2. Pass the right end over and under the rope in your left hand.
  3. Pass the rope end now in your left hand over and under the one now in your right.
  4. Tighten the knot by pulling both running ends at the same time.

Lesson Videos

  1. Remember: "Right over left, left over right, makes a knot tidy, and tight."
  2. The square knot comes untied easily and is not as strong as a sheet bend.
  3. The square knot is one of the Forty Knots.
  4. The square knot is used in tying the Mark II square lashing
  5. The standard shoelace bow is actually a slippery square knot (although sometimes tied as a slippery granny knot), as the second overhand knot is tied using a bight rather than with the ends of the string (see Ian's Shoelace Site's Standard Shoelace Knot and Animated Knots' Shoelace Bow Knot pages).

See also

  1. Ashley, Clifford (1944). The Ashley Book of Knots. Published by Doubleday & Company. Reprinted with amendments by Geoffrey Budworth (1993). ISBN 0385040253.

Knots by Use
Basic knots Overhand knot  •  Square knot  •  Granny knot  •  Two half-hitches  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Bowline  •  Sheet bend  •  Slip knot  •  Clove hitch  •  Timber hitch
Advanced knots Constrictor knot  •  Monkey's fist  •  Ocean plait  •  Trucker's hitch  •  Turk's head
Special knots Braiding  •  Carrick bend  •  Chain sinnet  •  Cow hitch  •  Double sheet bend  •  Sheep shank
Fishing knots Arbor knot  •  Barrel knot  •  Blood knot  •  Blood loop  •  Clinch knot  •  Fisherman's knot  •  Improved clinch knot  •  Nail knot  •  Needle knot  •  Palomar knot  •  Surgeon's loop  •  Turle knot
Sailing knots Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cleat hitch  •  Double Bowline  •  Figure Eight  •  Marline hitch  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Rolling hitch  •  Stevedore's knot
Climbing knots Alpine Butterfly knot  •  Bowline  •  Double fisherman's knot (Grapevine)  •  Figure eight follow-through  •  Figure eight on a bight  •  Figure eight on bend  •  Figure eight knot  •  Prusik knot  •  Safety knot  •  water knot
Forty knots Blackwall hitch  •  Bow knot  •  Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cats Paw  •  Chain hitch (Marline hitch)  •  Clove hitch  •  Double Carrick bend (Carrick bend)  •  Double Figure Eight  •  Double Overhand  •  Double sheet bend  •  Figure Eight  •  Fisherman's Eye  •  Fisherman's Knot  •  Granny knot  •  Half hitch  •  Halyard bend  •  Hitching tie  •  Killick hitch  •  Lariat loop  •  Lark's head or (Cow hitch)  •  Marlinspike  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Miller's knot  •  Overhand bow or (Water knot)  •  Overhand knot  •  Rolling hitch  •  Running knot (slip knot)  •  Sailor's knot  •  Sheep shank  •  Sheet bend  •  Slippery hitch  •  Square knot  •  Stevedore's knot  •  Surgeon's knot (surgeon's loop)  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Thief knot  •  Tiller's hitch  •  Timber hitch  •  Two half hitches
Personal tools