Four Knots to Make Paracord Into a Useful Tool.




About: I am an ex-fabricator that is now a stay at home dad. I love my new job but I do miss making stuff. I love this site & I am getting involved as a way to keep my skills up. On top of fad work I have also ...

Paracord is an awesome multitool, used everywhere from the wild blue yonder to the deepest caverns. But like any good tool it is only as good as the knowledge the user has about the tool. With most people out there using  bungee cords & ratchet straps it seems that paracord is being used for nothing more than friendship bracelets for grown men. This is a shame because for less then the price of a few cheap bungee cords & some to short to be helpful straps You can get yourself hundreds of feet of paracord.

The key to getting the most out of the paracord is good knot work. The first thing you need to know is what makes a good knot. One is that the knot is easy & quick to tie & more impotant is that the knot is easy & quick to untie. The hitch class of knots is by far the best group of knots that the average person could know. The four most useful hitch knots are the half hitch a quick simple knot that forms the base for many other knots, the inline half hitch allowing you to get the most out of one length of paracord, the slippery hitch that gives you both on the fly control over tension on your paracord but also an adjustable loop that will not change unless you want it & the inline trucker's hitch instantly doubling the your pulling power.

Step 1:

To get started lets get some terminology that will be used defined.

line= the paracord 

Main line= the part of the paracord doing the work for example holding down your tarp. or the long part                      of the paracord.

Mid line= the middle of the length of the paracord.

End line= the unused length of paracord or the short length of paracord.

Step 2: The Half Hitch

 The half hitch is a simple way to secure a line to an anchor point like the tie down points in most trucks. A half hitch is a constrictor knot meaning that the harder you pull on the line the tighter the knots grip gets. Another common constrictor knot is the slip knot.

 Step 1. wrap your line around your anchor point.
Step 2. wrap the end line around the main line.

Step 3. pass the end line threw the end line side of the newly formed loop.

step 4. now take the slack out of the knot.

step 5. to make sure the knot is secure tie another half hitch to the main line. This knot is called                  adouble half hitch.

step 6. another useful thing that can be done with the half hitch is that instead of repeating the wrap on the main line but repeating it on what you are tying to the half hitch can be used to bind something like a stack of 2x4's.

Step 3: The Mid Line Half Hitch

 The mid line half hitch is for when the length of line is to long for the job at hand & you don't want to have to cut the line to size or you are using multiple anchor points with one length of line.

Step 1. double up the line at the point in the length you wish to make the knot.

Step 2. wrap the doubled up portion of line around your anchor point. The doubled up length is now                   now the end line.

Step 3. now tie just as you did for the regular half hitch. repeat the knot to make a double half hitch for               security. 

Step 4: The Slippery Hitch

 The slippery hitch is a great knot for adjusting tension on the main line or for having an adjustable fixed loop. To adjust the knot simply slide the knot up or down the main line. 

Step 1. wrap your line around the anchor point or just double over the line to form a loop.

Step 2. wrap the end line around the main line three times. Wrapping in the direction of the anchor               point or loop.

Step 3. put together the two lines making up the loop & wrap the two lines one time with the end  

Step 4. pass the end line thew the last loop formed covering the two lined of the loop.

Step 5. pull the knot tite.

step 6. to adjust the size of the loop or main line tension grab the knot & slide it up or down the                     main line. 

Step 5: The Mid Line Trucher's Hitch

 The trucker's hitch is a great way to double the pulling force on a line. There are many ways to tie this knot the problem with most of them is that at some point you are going to have to pass the end line through a loop on the main line that is acting like a pulley to double your pulling force. this is great if you are making the knot close to the end of your line but if you are using a 300' length of line & want to make the knot in the first ten feet having to pass 290' of line thew a loop is a pain. But with a few half hitches you will not have to pass the end line threw any loop on the main line.

step 1. wrap your line around the anchor point. then double over your end line laying  the top of the                    loop over the main line. 

Step 2. double up your main line & lay the loop over the loop made by the end line.

step 3.  in main line above the knot twist in a loop.

step 4. put main line loop thew the loop made in step 3 & pull this loop tight over your main line                    loop forming a half hitch. Repeat step 3 & 4 to make a double half hitch. 

step 5. To use the knot just pull down on the end line to put tension on the main line. 

step 6. after you have the main line snug tie a mid line double half hitch around the two lines                         forming the loop at the end of the main line with the end line.

step 7.  Tie a double half hitch with the end line around the end loop of the mid line half hitch of
              step 6. using the same method as used in steps 3 & 4.

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    22 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 2

    It really isnt a figure 8 knot. Also...NONE OF THESE ARE KNOTS. They are hitches. If you try what is shown it is a hitch, if you take it off it the anchor it becomes a simple overhand knot.

    If you wanted a figure 8 you would have to go around the midline another turn before going through the bight.

    The truckers hitch is wrong also. Firstly you used some hitches to secure a midline bight which is risky at best if under a load. It is liable to slip easily. Im not really sure what it is you are trying to do after that by tying off another midline bight. Its completely redundant as you already have a bight. The point of a truckers hitch is so that there is a 'block and tackle' rig which allows for easier tensioning of the rope.
    If anyone was to rely on these to hold a heavy load, they may inadvertently be putting themselves in danger.

    Also once again I would have to say they are not knots. If you want to learn good knots go to I recommend the Bowline and Carrick Bend.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, so this isnt meant to insult you or nuthin, but your terminology, Knots and the Names of the knots are highly incorrect.

    all of these knots that you have tied are load bearing knots and can KILL someone if you tie them wrong...which you did that too. i will help you. lets start with the terminology...

    1) There is no such thing as "lines" in knotwork.
    2) Terminology:
    Standing end-the body of the rope usually never used in the knot.

    Working end-The end of the rope your using to tie the knot.

    Bight-a loop in the rope. Bights are usually found in loop knots, but are more specific...such as figure eight on a bight and the figure eight follow through...they look similar and often confused. the figure eight on a bight is tied differently than the figure eight follow through.

    Tag end- is the same as the standing end...except it is used to describe knots that use both ends of the same rope...such as tying a square knot using 1 piece of rope...take the working end anc cross it over the tag end to the right. take the tag end and loop it under the working end...then take the tag end and crossit over the working end and loop the working end under the tag end and pull tight...left over right, right over left.

    3) your knots...your on the right track with step 2 but wrong knot...that is the last step of the timber hitch...not anything close to a half hitch. the half hitch is used to secure an object to another object usually a fishing boat to a tree...the weight of the boat pulling on the rope tied around the tree keeps the knot secure.

    Step 3...there is no such thing as a "midline half hitch" and its NOT used for shortening the rope...there is a knot that is similar to what you tied (i cant remember its name but thats not it for sure). the knot you would use for shortening a rope is the one and only Sheep Shank. But the knot you tied is a non standard Two Half Hitches with a loop...this

    Step 4...a slipery hitch is nothing less than a half hitch with a loop used to release the knot more easily...but your on the right track...the knot is called the Taught Line Hitch which is used for taking SOME slack and to tighten the rope down to the load. but is tied tight to begin with so you shouldnt need to take much slack up. Also...if the knot is doesnt it cant possibly be slippery if its fixed. and a slippery hitch is just a half hitch with a loop to pull as a "quick release".

    Step 5...hahaha...remember what i wrote about the Sheep Shank?...well it is more of a sheep shank than anything just has a slippery

    I am including some pictures to show you what is what.

    The Knots in this order are:

    1) the Half Hitch
    2) Sheep Shank
    3) Two Half Hitches
    4) Taught Line Hitch
    5) Slippery Half Hitch (I know it says its the slip knot, but thats not the name)
    6) Trucker's Hitch

    Please, whenever you tie knots and are teaching others, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your homework to make sure your teaching the right names of the knots and tie them correctly...all of these knots are meant to bear weight (some more than others) and if you say your tying a bowline and you tie a granny knot (the evil step sister of the square knot) it WILL kill someone.

    Remamber i am KNOT yelling at you nor trying to criticize you horribly, but knots are serious business...tying the right one can mean the difference tween your kitchen table turning your truck or car into a brand new airplane, or your couch going through someones windshield and causeing a pileup @ 75mph, or even someone falling to their death.

    i hope i helped you all!!

    Half Hitch.jpgSheep Shank.jpgTwo Half Hitches.pngTaught Line Hitch.jpgSlip Knot.pngTrucker's Hitch.png
    4 replies
    a riggersokamiwohali

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The guy who dosen't capitalize 'I' or use your correctly is right on most counts. Find a ropework pro who can straighten you out on some of this.

    sokamiwohalia rigger

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    hey hey hey...dont be so hyper crritical about my spelling...i should have added that i was typing that comment in the middle of the night after being up for 48 hours straight...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    ...well, there's your problem. It comes out looking less that it could be and with it's accuracy in question, doubt the page will serve any practicable purpose before you rewrite it to address the problems.

    When you have one of these yellow highlight boxes INSIDE another box you can never see what the one on the inside says- when you mouse over the outer box the inner ones vanish. is there some way you can fix this- I AM interested in what you have to say!

    1 reply

    Get Nuke Anything Enhanced, an add-on, for Firefox, if you don't use Firefox then should!
    It lets you hide elements on a web page so you can hide the outside yellow box, don't worry you can undo hiding things.

    Buck Futter

    9 years ago on Step 2

    I believe the knot in step 3 is a figure 8 knot, not a half hitch. A half hitch passes through the main line side of the loop, not the end line side.

    3 replies
    ninlyBuck Futter

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

    Buck Futter is correct, the knot pictured in step three is identical in form to a figure eight knot, not a half hitch. In this form, however, it could be called a "figure eight hitch" (Ashley #1666).

    It looks different from a figure eight mainly because the bight passes over the hook, but if you were to pull it off the hook and tighten it, you'd have a plain old figure eight.


    7 years ago on Step 2

    Step 6 is also used to tie a roast with, using butcher's twine. Works great & let's face it; roasting meat after cutting & prepping is still considered manly by most women.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Step 6 is part of how you tie a Rolling Timber Hitch.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That slippery hitch is a great knot and the truckers hitch is done the way I remember, but we would just finish with the doubled half hitches. Thanks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    You have forgotten the single most important knot in the universe. That knot is the bowline. It is simplish to tie and can essentially be used for almost any situation. It could be considered the duck tape of knots. Thank you and good night.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Apart from a hook being placed inside a bight, that is a Figure 8. It is, from what I see from the other pictures in this ible, it is to secure the line to show how to create half hitches on the cylinder in step 6.

    For those who don't believe me on the Fig 8, try it out. Start by tying the knot as shown in step three. Tighten it, and then slip it off the hook.