Reef Knot – Step by Step How to Tie It


The Reef knot (also referred to as the Square Knot or Double Knot) is quick to bear in mind and in all probability the widest taught and widest utilised knot as a bend.

It is also not a bend, and need to in no way be utilised as such. Clifford Ashley (author of the Ashley Book of Knots) wrote:

“The REEF KNOT is in all probability accountable for extra deaths and injuries than have been brought on by the failure of all other knots combined.” (C. Ashley)

On the other hand, for scenarios (frequently exactly where two ends of the exact same line are getting utilised) such as tying up parcels or bundles (of firewood for instance) the Reef Knot is speedy and quick, and will do completely properly.

the reef knot

For these purposes ONLY and as a warning so you may know it when you see it and right it is use, the Reef Knot is taught right here. If you see somebody making use of it to join lines, say anything! You may even save a life.

The reef knot is a ‘knotted end’ binding knot, very best suited to bigger bundles of components like firewood.

Mainly because it is so quick to bear in mind and so extensively taught, lots of folks assume it to be a superior knot for tying lines with each other. It is not. Any inconsistency at all in the tail lengths, the loading force or path, or the diameter of each and every of the lines is really most likely to trigger the knot to fail. Merely place DO NOT USE THIS KNOT TO JOIN LINES Beneath LOAD!

The name ‘Reef’ Knot derives from its use on ships, for tying up bundles of loose sail cloth when a reef was taken in (when element of the sail was furled in higher winds, and the slack cloth had to be bundled and bound to a spar).

How to Tie the Reef Knot Step by Step

Step 1. Cross the two ends of the line:

reef knot step 1

Step two. Cross the reduced finish back more than the upper finish:

reef knot step 2

Step three. Tuck the finish which just went more than the other, back below and up:

reef knot step 3

Step four. Overlap the ends once more. Notice how this time the opposite finish is on top rated (in the initial step, the ends had been overlapped ‘right more than left’, right here they are ‘left more than right’). Notice how this creates a ‘hole’:

reef knot step 4

Step five. Cross the reduced finish down more than the upper finish. This will be the ‘working end‘:

reef knot step 5

Step six. Thread the operating finish even though the hole and straight out of the knot:

reef knot step 6

Step 7. Pull on each ends to tighten the knot:

reef knot step 7

The Reef Knot need to appear anything like this when created and utilised effectively:

reef knot final

Connected Knots

  • The Reef Knot is element of a family members of knots which use various combinations of half-knots if various orders: the Reef Knot the Thief Knot, the Granny Knot and the Grief Knot.
  • The Reef Knot is an ‘tied-ends’ binding knot. The Constrictor Knot and the Strangle Knot are binding knots exactly where the line is wrapped various time about the bundle rather.


The Reef Knot is generally utilised improperly, and can be harmful if so. On the other hand, when deployed foe the correct objective it is generally the very best factor for the job, and quickly remembered.

reef knot pinterest image


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