The Reef Knot Knot
How to Tie It & When to Use It

The Reef Knot, also known as the Square Knot, got its name through its nautical use of being tied around a reefed sail. While adequate for that purpose isn't a knot to which much tension should be applied; in fact it will reduce the strength of a line in which it's tied by around 55%. 

Tied incorrectly it will become the even more inferior Granny Knot, 

but remember the well-known mnemonic and you'll get it right every time: 

'Left over right and under; right over left and under'. 

You'll immediately know if you've made a mistake as a correctly tied reef knot can been seen as two bights cow-hitched together, as shown here.

How to Tie the Reef Knot

How to tie the reef knot, Stage 1

Stage 1

Remember the mnemonic?

Left over Right and Under;

How to tie the reef knot, Stage 2

Stage 2

Right over Left...

How to tie the reef knot, Stage 3

Stage 3

...and Under.

How to tie the reef knot, Stage 4

Stage 4

Cinch it up tight and you have your finished Reef Knot.

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