Introduction: Monkeys Fist (Updated- With Marble)

Picture of Monkeys Fist (Updated- With Marble)

Hello, in this Instructable, I will be showing you how to make a paracord monkeys fist.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

To make this paracord monkeys fist, all you need is:

-A Lighter
-two, 2 1/2 foot pieces of paracord

Step 2: Step 1

Picture of Step 1

Start by tying the tips of the two cords together with an Overhand Knot. Tighten the knot until firm. Once done tightening, carefully snip off the cord ends above the knot and melt them with a lighter so it stays and doesn't unravel.

Step 3: Step 2

Picture of Step 2

Slide your fingers done one of the cords, approximately 15 inches and start circling the cord around two split fingers. Wrap around three times.

Step 4: Step 3

Picture of Step 3

Insert the Overhand Knot into the center of the vertical coils, then start circling the running end away from you and around the vertical coils. Circle around three times, creating a second set of coils. Instead of putting the overhand knot in the middle you can just use a marble instead of tying the overhand knot and just put string in the middle.

Step 5: Step 4

Picture of Step 4

Slide the tie off your fingers. Then start circling the running end away from you and around the horizontal coils. Making sure to start circling from left to right, until you have made three circle, vertical to the horizontal coils.

Step 6: Step 5

Picture of Step 5

Adjust the cords until the piece is firm, or until all three sets of coils are snugly wrapped around the Overhand Knot.

Step 7: Step 6

Picture of Step 6

Carefully snip and singe the Monkey's Fist ends for a stand alone piece, or leave a tether.

Step 8: Monkey's Fist

Picture of Monkey's Fist

Some other Monkey's Fist I've made. Please let me know if this helped and feel free to leave comments, like and follow. 


Crest25 (author)2013-07-28

Please be careful with your monkeyfist. In some states (California for sure) it can be considered a deadly weapon. Yeah, I know! But still, this beautiful knot can cause you some grief. I like to do it to my long length of coiled rope for tossing. I just saved an elderly woman last month out of the California Aqueduct with my rope. She survived.

hsahrc (author)Crest252013-07-29

Congrats on the saving of the lady Crest25!

paracordbraider (author)2013-07-28

Way to go. Ya done good. I found that if you melt the ends of the cord and then just mush them together, you can get rid of the knot. Then just before you adjust everything, slip a marble inside. Keep up the good work.

lori.croy.378 (author)2015-12-20

My son in law just got 2 puppies and I'm thinking if I can find dog safe rope and leave out the marble, this could be an inexpensive chew toy for them. All they want to do right now is use those sharp little puppy teeth on anything (or one) they can!

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-23

Thank you for the nice instructable


glenmatthews (author)2014-09-02

nice instructions
easy to learn... great

bself1 (author)2014-07-04

cool. Not too difficult.

Laserkiller (author)2014-06-23

this helped a heap Thank yo

Microwave1972 (author)2014-06-04

This helped me a whole lot. THANK YOU

siddartha999 (author)2013-08-06

Thanks for posting excellent instructionable...

Long Long Time Ago these were a badge, marker, reward thingy for an outfit in Texas known as Palmer Drug Abuse Program & were tied outta leather around a pachinko ball - think I'll try with a marble of various size when I get technique down / better / learned up.

... as to weapons things [even instructables bleeds politics these days...] the poster stating that it was essentially up to law enforcement discretion [Cali statute & all + others] is essentially correct, plus; as always, context is the main thing guiding most [sane] cops... Yes, a bad apple [or more, look at Rampart scandal, NYPD in the time of Serpico, etc., etc.] causes trouble for citizens, civilians and even fellow officers BUT more and more these days they are just people doing a job that [never forget] can get them KILLED for a meager check & dodgy benees... You might be a little twitchy too if some people hunted pharmacy techs, paralegals, chefs, administrators, studio tape ops [or whatever gig YOU do] as a sport...just sayin'... thanks for reading... Rant OFF.

BTW - where do you find your paracord ? I've had good luck on Etsy BUT my source can't find rainbow / white line like in your original images... Thanks Again

here's a website

it has rainbow paracord along with other colors

Legoperson195 (author)2014-04-22 have a TOON of comments

CharlesChristopher (author)2014-03-07

Sailors use monkey fist knots for hurling lines--an 8 ounce weight in the end of a long line of small courage (1/4 to 3/8 inch line) can be tossed an impressive distance by spinning the weight at the end of two feet of cord, let go of the cord when it's on the rising quarter of its spin and off it goes. I saw one of the men from my division hurl a monkey fist over 240 feet (the line was 250 feet and we had about two feet of line when the monkey fist landed on the pier). Also, a century ago, the sailors used monkey fist knots on one end of a braided line with a loop on the other as a belt; and a shorter version of the same as a mace.

CurtWG (author)2014-02-28

Made my first one this evening evening took about half an hour mostly getting it tight. Thanks for this.

dnash2 (author)2013-12-26

can you make a bolas

Cadet Park (author)2013-10-24

love simplicity of instructions. ill definitly make one today

poofrabbit (author)2013-08-31

Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Great Outdoors Contest! This was a fantastic instructable! Good luck!

gt11182 (author)2013-08-14

I have never been able to understand how to make this knot. Until now. Thank you for HD pics and clear explanations ;)

jaxboy (author)2013-08-09

Excellent 'ible! Very clear details. I've often wondered how to do this, and this 'ible makes it crystal clear how. Thanks!

aqua 12 (author)2013-08-07

Awesome !

TheUnknownVariable (author)2013-08-03

That's awesome thanks

8steve88 (author)2013-07-31

Hi there SonicDaHedgehog,
I've got some of these tied around a 1" steel ball, as it weighs less and is a lot less pointy and damaging than the keys that it is attached to it'd be nit picking to bust me for it, sure it could happen but I doubt it would see any court room unless used as a weapon.
It's also a good way of using golf balls (the golfs don't feel any pain).
Neat work on your behalf.
Pringlepups, I've asked on the local dockside and was told that anyone throwing anything weighted at them in icy, rainy, snowing, foggy conditions would be lucky to get away with just the monkey fist ball cut off.
Just what I was told, from a local river pilot.

ArticAkita (author)2013-07-30

Thanks! you helped me out with that mystery of 'just how the heck is that started?' tying a monkey's fist.

pringlepups (author)2013-07-29

The Navy uses these as the weighted end on the heaving lines that are thrown to the pier when they are coming into port to tie up to a pier and they use 4 or 5 wraps around a chunk of lead. I threw a lot of these, but never knew how they were built. Thank you for the knowledge. Now to figure out how to weave line back on itself to secure the frazzled ends and to keep the line from unraveling.

truckingman (author)2013-07-29

I remember tying these when I was in the Boy Scouts what a wonderful times.

Sin., Robert Hallock the truckingman.

pdionne (author)2013-07-28

There is supposed to be a ball bearing in the center. Did you forget it or intentionally leave it out?

I believe the "weapons laws" issue may be why that part was left out. That's my guess, but could be it. Not a good idea to tell people on here how to make weapons, lol.

Not much difference between getting hit with a knot that size. I would think most states would consider any monkey fist a weapon.

DeusXMachina (author)pdionne2013-07-29

I doubt it. I think context here is very important. If you have a small monkey's fist that doesn't have a solid or heavy cord, no one is really going to care, for it is merely a piece of rope with a knot in it. Likewise, a sock is legal and a roll of pennies is legal, but if a cop finds you in a back alley with a roll of pennies IN a sock, you could get in some hot water.

I'm a poi spinner and just about every poi spinner I know has at least one pair of monkey's fist style poi, and we've had cops come by the spin jam we do, and none have ever batted an eye.

pdionne (author)DeusXMachina2013-07-29

I think you've been lucky as my experience with the thinking of some cops out there, they seem to be more interested in making a bust that MAY impress people, be it for ANYTHING they think is questionable. Been down the road a couple of time just because of my disabilities. They seem to like to pick on us, especially when you tell them why you can't comply with their demands. I was ordered to put my hands behind my back, but they won't go there because of disabilities related to injuries received while in the military. They didn't care and intentionally dislocated my good shoulder making it go to the other side of my body.

Sorry for the long response, but I get upset when people make claims that all cops do reasonable things and use logic.

DeusXMachina (author)2013-07-29

Here is the relevant penal code in California, since there has been some discussion about "slungshot" laws:

Since a "slungshot" is not defined, it's basically up to the officer's interpretation. If one had a wallet chain with a sufficiently large carabiner, and the cop didn't like what you were up to, you could in theory get in trouble for it. But it's completely vague as to what constitutes a slungshot and what does not, so I think a lot of discretion here is important.

jakerobinson (author)2013-07-28


What is the benefit of a monkey's fist knot? (other than it looks cool ;>)

flowerelena (author)jakerobinson2013-07-28

Its great for a rope grip or as a bumper for a kayak or canoe if you make them larger.

MagicHonda (author)jakerobinson2013-07-28

Well, you can use it as a weapon. You can make it lethal, by replacing the ball you make in step one with just a marble or a metal bearing.

macgyver71 (author)2013-07-28

I can do pretty much every other knot with paracord, but this one STILL gives me fits....

Exocetid (author)2013-07-28

Damn! This gets complicated real fast. Great Instructable!

criggie (author)2013-07-28

Loverly knot. I had one around a tennis ball and made from cheap recycled cotton rope, and the dog loved it. Was 7 or 8 turns of rope in each direction from memory, and lasted several months.

A thin rope makes for a more "round" look, and a larger core helps too. I wonder how much linear cord would be needed to wrap a soccer or basket ball.

vincent7520 (author)2013-07-28

You can replace the first knot in step 1 by a stone or anything heavy and round.
I will make your knot heavier thus giving it more stability when you throw a line on a long distance such as from the boat to a wharf in gusty winds.
Then again if you don't use it in a boating environment one may as well keep the knot as per this instructable as @The Mighty El Rondo says it may be considered as a weapon … 

hanamakat (author)2013-07-28

Loved it

The Mighty El Rondo (author)2013-07-28

Thanks for this one, I've often wondered how to tie a Monkey's Fist knot, and no other how-to was really helpful. :)

Ralphxyz (author)2013-07-28

Wow fantastic, thank you. I have always wonder how the heck to do that.

peterbryenton (author)2013-07-28

Clarity from the choice of colours and alao well photographed, thank you. I may have to learn this knot to impress one of my sailing friends.

Lorax98 (author)2013-07-28

Have you made a second monkey's fist using the first completed monkeys fist as a core? If so, how many wraps are required to complete the process?

If you can figure out how many wraps you need to use to cover a hollow plastic ball, you can use the completed knot as a terminal end of a safety line that is thrown is aquatic rescues.

Ninjapython75 (author)2013-07-28


TimTheBoss11 (author)2013-07-28


Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-07-27

Although I did notice that many instructables had been posted before but this one is the best so far in terms of clarity of instructions and pictures. Thank you

brubino23 (author)2013-07-27

awesome ....... ty

SJF007 (author)2013-07-27


antibobthebuilder (author)2013-07-27

just like on spongebob!!

antibobthebuilder (author)2013-07-27

just like on spongebob!!

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