Square knot

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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."

Animated Knots show you how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots, Forty Knots,
Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.

Square knot
Names Square knot, Reef knot
Typical use Joining two ends of a single line to bind around an object.
Caveat 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.
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 is also known as the joining knot because it can join two ropes together and because it is the first knot Scouts learn when they join the BSA. It has many uses-from securing bundles, packages, and the sails of ships to tying the ends of bandages.
Boy Scout Handbook p. 8

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." The Sheet Bend is as easy to tie and untie.
See 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 and pull it snug.
  3. Pass the rope now in your left hand over and under the one now in your right, and pull it snug.

Lesson Videos

  • Remember: "Right over left, left over right, makes a knot tidy, and tight."
  • The Square knot comes untied easily and is not as strong as a Sheet bend.
  • The Overhand knot is one of the Forty Knots.

See also
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 backing 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 on a Bight · Cleat Hitch · Double Bowline · Figure Eight · Marline Hitch · Midshipman's Hitch · Rolling Hitch · Stevedores Knot
Climbing knots Alpine Butterfly knot · 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

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