The following web pages will give you a compendium detailing some of the most common and useful knots which I have ranked in terms of those that have failed me the least, (and also functionality). If you are disappointed that your favorite knot isn’t as high up as you expected then you will need to reconsider your favorite knot. Click on the knot name below for the link.
- Taut Line Hitch: Whether it is for tying down tents, aircraft, or even for repairing the Hubble Space Telescope (true story), the Taut Line Hitch is, in my opinion, the most useful knot.
- Sheet Bend: The Sheet Bend is a good knot for connecting ropes of different sizes and types. While there are knots that are better for heavy applications, this knot works great for all applications that don’t endanger yourself or the beings around you.
- Flemish Bend: Also known as the Double Figure 8 Knot, is a great knot for tying two ropes together in a very secure way.
- Bowline: The Bowline Knot is a great knot for tying a relatively strong loop with one end of the rope quickly. It is very useful for loops in lifesaving efforts and in other lines where it is important that the loop doesn’t tighten when pulled hard.
- Sheepshank: The Sheepshank is used to take slack out of a line without either end free. It holds fairly well against tension however starts to fail under lots of jostling.
- Square Knot: Also known as the Reef Knot is a fairly simple knot to quickly tie rope ends together. However, the easy ways to mess it up and the instability of the knot make it inviable for some purposes.
- Truckers Hitch: The Truckers Hitch is a useful knot because it can hitch a heavy load and can be easily untied while being able to be made very taught because it enables the use of mechanical advantage.
- Double Half Hitch: This knot is very useful for making a loop which can tighten when the line is pulled. This can be used to make a tight loop around an object as long as it is under tension.
These are some of the most useful knots for everyday purposes, and while lashings and lashing-related knots are very useful they will need their own list.