Rope- and Knot-Tying for Beginners


Start by forming a small loop. Make sure to leave enough rope dangling to make an adequate loop. Bring the end of the rope through the first loop. This makes an overhand knot. Then, bring the standing end of the rope around and through the small loop.

Clove Hitch

Begin by wrapping one end of a rope around a rod or post. Cross the rope over itself and go around the post once more. Slip the loose end under the last wrap of the rope while pulling tightly.

Figure Eight/Flemish Knot/Savoy Knot

Make a loop with the rope. Pass the loose end through the loop. Pull both sides of the rope to adjust the knot. The finished knot should resemble the number eight.

Fisherman’s Knot/Improved Clinch Knot

Begin by twisting rope or string around some other object, and then make sure the rope ends are parallel and equal. Make a loop with one side, and then draw the end of the side through it. The knot should look like a Q. Repeat this process on the other side. Now, pull the ends to push the knots together.

Square Knot/Reef Knot

Most people learn to make a square or reef knot when they learn to tie their shoes. Cross the left and right end of a rope over each other, with the right side going over the left. Tie a half knot. Bring the rope ends back over each other, this time the left side over the right. Tie a second half knot.

Rolling Hitch/Magner’s Hitch/Magnus Hitch

Wrap the rope ends around an object, like a spar, twice. Now, wrap going in the opposite direction. Tuck the working end of the knot under itself.

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

Wrap the working end of a rope around a stationary object twice. Bring the working end of the rope through the wraps to create a half hitch. Make another half hitch around the first, and then tighten the ends of the rope.


Make three crossing turns in the same direction. Next, locate the left-center crossing and pull it from the front through the middle of the left crossing turn. At the same time, pull the right-center crossing from behind through the center of the right crossing turn. Next, tighten the loops formed before pulling the standing parts firm.

Sheet Bend

Sheet bends tie two dissimilar ropes together. Begin by making a bight on one end of the thickest rope. Next, bring the running end of the thinner rope through the bight before bringing that end around behind the bight. That same end will go across the front of the bight before tucking beneath its own standing part. Both rope ends will now be on the same side of the knot. The knot may be tightened by pulling the end of the thinner rope while firmly holding the bight.

Double Sheet Bend

Double sheet bend knots are started by making a regular sheet bend knot. Instead of tightening, though, the smaller line is looped twice around the thicker rope. Make sure the thinner rope is looped going under itself. Then, work the slack out of both lines equally.

Thief Knot

Hold one end of the rope in each hand. Using your left hand, form a bight. Now, pass the right end of the rope through and around the bight’s backside. Continue bringing the right end of the rope over and through the bight until the right end of the rope is parallel to the starting point of the rope. Now, take both ends of the rope back in your hands and pull evenly to tighten it.

Thumb Knot/Overhand Knot

The thumb knot is an introductory, easy-to-learn knot. When it’s finished, it looks like a pretzel. Simply make a loop on one end of the rope and pass the other end of the rope through it.

Timber Hitch

The working end of the rope should be passed around the object before twisting around the rope’s standing end. Next, the working end of the rope should be tucked around itself three times. The final step is to tie at least one half hitch near the hauling end of the rope to prevent twisting of the load.

Boating Knots

Climbing Knots

Fishing Knots

Scouting Knots

Search/Rescue Knots