The Square Knot is probably the best known knot, or at least one of them. It is also sometimes referred to as the reef knot. Square knots are used primarily to join two ropes, cords or lines of similar thickness.
Square knots are easy to tie and the perfect knot choice for many things. There are also times when you should not use them.
We encourage you to learn as much about knots as you can, so you can use the right knots for the right situations.
Uses for Square Knots:
- First aid, to tie bandages
- A common knot used in surgery
- To tie boot or shoe laces
- To tie belts and sashes
- To tie plastic bags and trash bags
- Tying the reefing points of a sail when the wind blows up
When Not to Use A Square Knot:
Square knots are not your best choice when you have two different thicknesses you wish to join.
Square knots slip when you tie them with nylon rope.
A square knot will also slip if it is not under tension.
Square knots can be dangerous if misused. Square knots should never be used in a critical emergency situation and lives might be at risk, due to the potential instability of the knot. Unfortunately, many lives have been lost as a result of trying to join two ropes with a square knot.
How to Tie A Square Knot:
Pay close attention to these steps, as a square knot is often tied wrong. You end up with a “granny knot,” which can slip under a heavy load.
This video shows you how to tie a square knot:
This is what a square knot looks like:
Square Knot Instructions:
1. Remember this “right over left, left over right”
2. Take one line in your right hand, and one in your left and lay the right over the left.
3. Pass the right end over the left end and back under the left.
4. Pass the left end over the right end and back under the right.
5. Check the knot (the two loops should slide on each other)
6. Tighten by bulling both strands on each side of the knot.
7. Backup the square knot by making an overhand knot using the working end of each side of your knot.
8. Backing up a knot is important with a knot like the Square Knot, otherwise, it can slip.