View Full Version : Can you identify this knot?

Todd Burch
09-24-2012, 8:42 AM
Several years ago, I made several "knot boards" when I was learning different knots. (Finish: Cotton on red oak!) I never labeled them, and have been storing and moving them around with me. My wife has suggested several times to chuck them into the trash.


Well, one of these knots saved my bacon yesterday. The water heater went out, and it resides in the attic above the second floor. I've never replaced a hot water heater before, and I knew the toughest part would be getting the old one down and new one up. It was! However, I used a recently purchased old block and tackle set (ebay - ~$40) and it worked great, but I didn't know how to tie off the ~130 lb (heavy) smooth, slick, and very round water heater. Plus, I had bought some 7/16" polystyrene braided rope and it was pretty slick itself. Slick rope on smooth round metal!!!

Anyway, I remembered my knot boards and got them out and found the one I thought would work. It worked fantastic. I have several books on knots (4 I think) but only found 3, and could not ID this hitch. I'm stumped. Anyone know what this is called?

The knot I used is the center knot on these close-ups with the pink whipping. As mounted to my board, I show a front view, top view and bottom view. I want to call it a constrictor knot, but I don't think it is, based on the diagrams I looked it. What was nice about this knot is that, the more load on the knot, the tighter it got. What is unusual about this knot from the other hitch knots I've looked at, is that both tails exit the same side of the knot. It's probably a basic knot.

Thanks, Todd

Graham Wintersgill
09-24-2012, 9:23 AM

A Rolling or Magnus Hitch it seems:



John Pratt
09-24-2012, 9:35 AM
To me it looks like the beginning of an incomplete prusik. The constrictor knot and clove hitch are similar but the the free running ends would exit the knot in different directions. It has been a really long time since cub scouts. Most of the knots I remember relate to climbing and it has been a while since I was active in that scene as well. Try ANIMATED KNOTS to see if you find what you are looking for.

Todd Burch
09-24-2012, 9:46 AM
Magnus hitch it is!! Very good Graham!


Jim Koepke
09-24-2012, 2:14 PM
I was going to say it looks like a variation of a girth hitch.

It seems the seamen who used and made knots had the wherewithal to give them all their own name.


John Pratt
09-24-2012, 4:49 PM
Girth hitch or a cow hitch with an extra turn around the anchor looks better. Not to question your knot tieing skills, but wouldn't a Magnus Hitch have the free running end (on the left) wrap around the anchor the opposite direction so that the ends exit the knot in opposite directions?

Disregard: After looking at the different variations, I see that it is just another version of the same knot and the way you have it tied is one of those versions.

Todd Burch
09-24-2012, 4:54 PM
The big difference between the Magnus and the rolling hitches is that both ends exit together with the Magnus.

Jia Smith
09-26-2012, 11:56 AM
Outstanding, rather amazing, I really like that. Do you have some tutorial for that?
I would like to have it, I'm new to it so need time to be expert. But hopefully you will
accommodate me!