Author Topic: Which knots to know?  (Read 33600 times)

Festy

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Which knots to know?
« on: June 10, 2013, 10:10:58 PM »
"A stranger is just a friend you do not know"  ;)

Hi friends,

I'm a complete novice at tying knots having only recently become interested in the genre. I find that tying a knot in a piece of paracord while waiting for, say a dental appointment or the like, to be wonderfully calming.

I've been lurking here awhile and have absorbed a lot of 'knotty' information, but I still find that in any given scenario which requires a knot, I am sometimes at a loss to know which is the best one to use, because there are so many to choose from.

So, may I make so bold as to ask the following question -

- supposing that some higher power decreed that you would only be allowed to use 5 knots for the remainder of your life, which 5 would cover all contingencies, or if indeed 5 would be enough?

 - Festy  :)

roo

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 11:27:05 PM »
"A stranger is just a friend you do not know"  ;)

Hi friends,

I'm a complete novice at tying knots having only recently become interested in the genre. I find that tying a knot in a piece of paracord while waiting for, say a dental appointment or the like, to be wonderfully calming.

I've been lurking here awhile and have absorbed a lot of 'knotty' information, but I still find that in any given scenario which requires a knot, I am sometimes at a loss to know which is the best one to use, because there are so many to choose from.

So, may I make so bold as to ask the following question -

- supposing that some higher power decreed that you would only be allowed to use 5 knots for the remainder of your life, which 5 would cover all contingencies, or if indeed 5 would be enough?

 - Festy  :)
That's a little like asking which 20 English words you need to know to cover all contingencies.  After stumbling long enough, you'll probably come to the conclusion that it's easier to learn more words.   ;D

But since you're a beginner, maybe you can start learning the language of knots with some simple ones, and then branch out from there:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/timberhitch.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/pilehitch.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/gnathitch.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/reefknot.html
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/bowline.html

I hope that's not too much of an evasion.   :)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 11:29:07 PM by roo »
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Luca

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 12:34:10 AM »
Hi,

If you happen, this was the knot for evade from prison(one have some hunger for freedom to decide to use it at more than five meters in height..)

                                                                                                                Bye!



roo

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 03:59:02 AM »
If you happen, this was the knot for evade from prison(one have some hunger for freedom to decide to use it at more than five meters in height..)
A knot endorsed by the warden, no doubt.  Yikes.
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X1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 10:40:36 AM »
   this was the knot for evade from prison

  Very nice knot / solution for not letting traces of the prisoner s escape route. !  :) I was aware of the ABoK#2535, but not this...

erizo1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 11:02:26 AM »
Hi, Festy. I'm pretty new to knot tying myself, and while I think Roo's analogy about English words is a good one, I can resonate with this question. I've learned about 70 knots at this point, so hopefully these choices come from enough of a breadth of options to be a decent selection, but I have a smaller list of 20 that cover pretty much every situation I can imagine encountering (e.g., I'm not a climber, so I'm not likely to need to Prusik my way to safety), so in my opinion you wouldn't need to expand your knot vocabulary too much farther to really have most of your bases covered (knots reliable enough to trust with your life, double and triple loops, more specialized binders, etc.).

I recommend the following, and I'll give my reasons for each. The limitation of your question is that I'm choosing these as the knots a person might find most useful in daily life (the majority of the time). Obviously, if you want to get into sailing or rock climbing, you'll have to get more specialized.

1. Bowline - best all-purpose loop knot, easy to tie; I have to have a particular reason to use a different loop knot

2. Double sheet bend - a good multipurpose way to join to ropes that will accommodate a difference in diameter between the ropes (larger one forms the U, smaller one does the wraps); the double is almost as quick and easy to tie as the single, and will hold reliably in a broader variety of situations

3. Reef knot - my most frequently used binding knot, the easiest and best suited to most day-to-day use; there are better binders for various situations, but very often, the reef knot will do; it's worth knowing the difference between this and the granny knot because the latter is unreliable and can jam

4. Round turn and two half-hitches - works around pretty much any object, and possible to tie under strain, which I find is often the case (you're hoisting something or suspending something or trying to maintain tension in the line when it's tied off)

5. Adjustable grip hitch - a good tension knot (better than the tautline in my opinion) that provides enough tension and grip for most things I ever need to do; I have also used it as a binding knot for cinching tight around a bundle or similar thing; if you have a pick-up and need to tie things down really tight somewhat often, substitute the trucker's hitch

Best wishes, hope this helps.

X1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 12:19:20 PM »
2. Double sheet bend

Why do you prefer this bend from the Zeppelin bend ? Inkanyezi has shown that the Zeppelin bend works fine with ropes of different diameters, too.

erizo1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 02:28:46 PM »
Why do you prefer this bend from the Zeppelin bend ? Inkanyezi has shown that the Zeppelin bend works fine with ropes of different diameters, too.

I went back and forth on this. I love the zeppelin bend, and whenever I'm bending the working ends of two lines, I prefer to use the zeppelin bend: I think it's elegant, it just won't let go, you can always undo it easily, etc. I wasn't confident I could speak to whether the zeppelin can deal with lines of different diameters. I've seen references to double wrapping just the smaller line when there's a great difference; how great a difference can the normal single wraps accommodate?

The thing about the sheet bend is that it's so versatile. The zeppelin bend is limited to two working ends (as far as I know), whereas anywhere you can make a bight, you can tie a sheet bend, including the mid-span sheet bend, which is tied using only bights in the middle of two ropes. You can use it to bend a working end to a loop, bend two loops together, tie two lines into one bight to make a three-way sheet bend, etc. I've found a surprising number of situations in which I couldn't use a zeppelin and a sheet bend did the job. I wanted to choose just one bend to recommend, so I picked that one.

roo

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 03:01:32 PM »
I wasn't confident I could speak to whether the zeppelin can deal with lines of different diameters.
It does surprisingly well in my experience.
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erizo1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 03:09:07 PM »
Festy, my apologies, I realized rereading your post that I misinterpreted your question somewhat. It sounds like you know a number of knots, and your question is about which knot to select for a given application.

I recommend picking favorites as you go. Sometimes several knots will do the same job, so you need a non-practical reason to choose one over the others. If I consciously label a knot as a favorite (either because it is the one best suited to a task, or because out of the ones that will work I prefer it for reasons of familiarity or aesthetics), it comes to mind more readily, and the others fade into the background because, in a sense, I have given myself permission to forget about them, with the confidence that I can meet my needs without them.

I actually have a list of all the knots I know, broken up into categories, with my favorites highlighted. I keep the non-highlighted ones out of interest, but I practice and mostly use my favorites. For example, when I think of hitches, all things being equal, I would prefer to use a slipped buntline: it holds pretty much no matter what and can accommodate just about any shape object, but mostly I just like tying it. A gnat hitch will do basically the same job, but I simply don't enjoy tying it for whatever reason, so I don't bother with it.

Anyway, I think taking the time to go through the list of all the ones you know and allowing yourself to basically develop an affinity for particular ones may help with the selection process in the moment. I haven't forgotten how to tie the others on my list, I just don't need them coming to mind most of the time.

X1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 03:20:45 PM »
how great a difference can the normal single wraps accommodate?

See the picture at :
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=2159.msg15456#msg15456
DO NOT see the picture at :
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=2159.msg15415#msg15415
:) )

   I am not sure that all the knots you mention are "proper" Sheet bends... Is the Blackwall hitch a Sheet-bend-based hitch ?
   Anyway, I see your point. The Zeppelin knot is a beautiful pure symmetric bend bend ( end-to-end knot ), and the desperate attempts ( by people who have not been able to understand how it works ) to deform it badly, and then utilize what is left out of it as an ugly loop ( the fake, so-called "Zeppelin loop" ), had failed miserably - despite the systematic advertising here and there in the web.
    Perhaps you should also use, as arguments in favour of the Sheet bend, the most simple symmetric bend there is ( and can be ), the Symmetric Sheet bend (1), or the bowline-like ( post-eye-tiable ) eyeknot, the Sheet bend "bowline" (2), because it can serve as a lockable slide-and-grip loop (3).

1.  http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3716.0
2.  http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3233.msg23702#msg23702
3.  http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4162.msg25275#msg25275
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 03:30:07 PM by X1 »

Festy

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 04:17:12 PM »
Guys, thanks for replying to my query.

Roo: I looked up the links you gave and I never knew that the bowline is not a secure knot under certain circumstances. I've read that some people call it the 'King of Knots' but it's amazing what you find out when you ask the right person.

Luca: I've shown your knot to my boss and hopefully he'll try it out soon  :) (only joking)

Erizo1: wow, 70 knots, I'd know very few compared to that. The 'round turn with 2 half hitches' is amazing, it hardly seems to be a knot at all and yet it's grip is powerful.

Another question, this time about the Zeppelin knot that you guys all seem to think highly of: can it be used instead of the bowline setup which features in this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EyfYyJkZss?

That is to say can you start with a 'double Zeppelin' and the two more 'Zeppelins' at waist and chest? If yes, is there a link to show how they are tied?

Thanks guys!  ;)

erizo1

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 05:01:00 PM »
Don't be too impressed with 70 knots, there seem to be a lot of people on this forum who have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Ashley Book of Knots (ABOK) which has thousands :-)

roo

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 03:50:08 AM »
That is to say can you start with a 'double Zeppelin' and the two more 'Zeppelins' at waist and chest? If yes, is there a link to show how they are tied?
Hmmm.  I'm a bit perplexed by this, but if you're looking for an emergency body harness, I've written up a discussion of the topic here:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/triplebowline.html
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Festy

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Re: Which knots to know?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 01:34:27 PM »

Hmmm.  I'm a bit perplexed by this, but if you're looking for an emergency body harness, I've written up a discussion of the topic here:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/triplebowline.html

Thanks for that. A noble site, which I've now bookmarked.

While on the site I clicked onto the 'Zeppelin Loop' page and theres one instruction for the double loop that I can't figure out, as follows:

"Merely repeat the final tuck to obtain the Double Zeppelin Loop."

I've looked on Youtube and cannot find a demo of it, so would it be possible for you to elucidate further if you can spare the time?

Thanks again for replying.