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5 Best Knots to Know

Updated: Oct. 31, 2022

Master these five knots. In most cases, they’re the only ones you’ll ever need.

rope knots
We'll show you how to become a master maker of five different knots. Including the bowline, figure 8, square knot, sheet bend and the double half hitches. Read on to learn how!

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5 Rope Knots to Know Video Tutorial

Bowline Knot

knots-05 bowline knotAnna.zabella/Shutterstock

Use this knot to tie super-strong, non-jamming loops. The Bowline knot makes a secure loop at the end of a piece of rope. And it has many uses, for example, you can use these rope knots to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post.

Figure 8

A figure 8 is used when you need a stop knot on the end of a rope or a non-jamming loop in the middle of a rope. Additionally, these knots provide a quick and convenient stopper knot to prevent a line sliding out of sight, which can be used for up inside the mast of a sail boat. 

Square Knot

knots-04 square knotAnna.zabella/Shutterstock

The square knot is used when you need to join two similar ropes together to make one long rope. These  rope knots have many uses but not where safety is critical. For example, you can tie a sail cover over a sail with a square knot. Also, you can tie the string on a gift or to tie the laces on your shoes.

Sheet Bend

knots-03 sheet bend knotAnna.zabella/Shutterstock

These knots are recommended for joining two ropes of unequal diameters. This type of knot works equally well if the ropes are of the same size too.

Double Half Hitches

knots-01 double half hitches knotAnna.zabella/Shutterstock

Half hitches are for tying boats to piers, tent lines to stakes and for many other uses.

Learn more about knots and boating: here are tips for boat maintenance and we’ll teach you how to winterize your boat. And for those of you who are having a difficult time with your trailer lights, learn how to repair wiring for your boat trailer here.