Knots and Whipping 1

The Difference of a Knot and a Whipping

Knots, hitches and splices are methods used to tie ropes or to fasten them together. These are used for thread, string and similar materials. Knots, hitches and splices resemble each other and are also called in general name Knot.

A whipping knot or whipping is a binding around the end of a rope to prevent it's natural tendency to fray.

Reef Knot

The reef knot is one of the most basic knots in Scouting. The reef knot is also called thesquare knot. This knot is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is sometimes also referred to as Hercules knot, Double knot, brother hood knot. This reef knot is related to Thief knot, Granny knot, Grief knot, surgeon’s knot, Shoelace knot.

This knot is formed by tying a left-handed over handed knot and then a right-handed over handed knot. A common procedure for this knot is “RIGHT OVER LEFT AND LEFT OVER RIGHT”.

This reef knot is used to tie the two ends of a single rope piece together such that they will secure something, for example a bundle of an objects and also to tie bandages, shoelaces, belts, sashes, whipping knots and lashings etc.

Note: Must be the same rope meterial equivalent to the size of the ropes when performing this knot

Sheep Shank

The sheepshank knot is mostly used to shorten a length of rope temporarily. Not being a stable knot, it falls apart under too heavy or too little load. Hence, it should be avoided.

Uses : Sheepshank knots are typically used for securing loads to trucks or trailers, and in sailing applications.


The Bowline makes a reasonably secure loop in the end of a piece of rope. It has many uses, e.g., to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post. Under load, it does not slip or bind. With no load it can be untied easily. Two bowlines can be linked together to join two ropes. Its principal shortcoming is that it cannot be tied, or untied, when there is a load on the standing end. It should therefore be avoided when, for example, a mooring line may have to be released under load.

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

The Round Turn and Two (or more) Half Hitches is very useful for attaching a rope to a ring, bar, pole, or dock post. As the name suggests, the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches is composed of two important parts:

  1. Round Turn: The initial ‘Round Turn’ – actually two passes of the tail – should take the initial strain while you complete the knot. This may be critical when handling a mooring line. An additional turn, or even two additional turns, should be added initially if you are handling a heavy load, e.g., with a large vessel or in a strong wind. These turns allow you to control the load while you add the:

  2. Two or More Half Hitches. The two Half Hitches actually form a clove hitch round the standing end. However, it is common to see an additional one, or more Half Hitches – either to make the knot more secure or to use up excess line.

Sheet Bend

Uses: The Sheet Bend is recommended for joining two ropes of unequal size. The thicker rope must be used for the simple bight as shown. However, it works equally well if the ropes are of the same size.

Clove Hitch

Its origin can be traced back to the first quarter of the sixteenth century when it was tied in ratlines. The evidence of this fact lies in early sculptures and paintings.

The word clove is the past tense of cleave meaning split or divided. It is so named as there appear parallel lines of the rope at the back of the knot.


  1. Functions as a crossing knot.

  2. To start and finish a lashing such as the conventional square lashing in pioneering.

  3. For the master point in a fixed rock climbing anchor. Can also connect a personal anchor.

  4. By placing the knot on the spine of a carabiner you create a biner block that securely blocks against a rapid.

  5. In solo climbing (as it is safe for self-belaying on a biner) and for rappel transitions.

  6. Hoisting.

  7. In decorative macramé patterns (for eg. tying a square knot inside a clove hitch diamond).

  8. For tying bandages (arm slings) in case of injuries and for first aid.

  9. To tie a fender to a rail on a moving boat.

  10. In hammock hanging systems.

  11. To set up teepees.

  12. Tying upholstery springs.

  13. Aircraft wiring.

Simple Whipping

Uses: The Common Whipping is the classic simple whipping and can be tied with no needle. With a little practice, and the appropriate size of whipping twine, it creates a very neat appearance with no visible ends.

Finishing the Whipping: The Common Whipping can be made very close to the end of the rope, which is ideal if the end has already been melted. When the end has not been melted – or is a material that cannot be melted by heat, it is better to secure the end temporarily with a constrictor knot or a piece of tape (as shown in the animation). Then trim off the excess when finished. For a rope that can be melted with heat, melt the end for additional security.

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