How much strength does my rope loose when I tie it in a knot?

Written By: Lance Piatt

How much strength does my rope loose when I tie it in a knot?

There are a lot of publications available that contain information about knots and knot strength.  For that reason we will not include much information here.  Knots reduce the overall strength of a rope. Therefore, whenever possible use a tensionless hitch around a cylindrical object with at least a 4” diameter.  Four inches is the magic number for maintaining full strength in a rope up to 5/8”.  Any bend tighter than 4” reduces the strength of rope because they stress the rope in flexure, the fibers’ weaker direction.  Here is a list of some common knots and the translating remaining rope strength.

Knot Strength

NO Knot 100%

Double Fisherman’s 65-70%

Bowline 70-75%

Water Knot 60-70%

Figure 8 75-80%

Clove Hitch 60-65%

Fisherman’s 60-65%

Overhand 60-65%



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