Uses For A Monkey Fist Knot

Posted on: 26 October 2016

A monkey fist knot is a woven ball that has been used as a tool by craftsmen, warriors, and adventure seekers for hundreds of years. The classic monkey fist knot is tied in strong cord around a wood or glass ball or a steel ball bearing. These different central cores can be chosen to make the monkey fist knot heavier or lighter as desired. 

Today, the most common choice of cord to use for a monkey fist knot is parachute cord as it is lightweight and very strong. You can tie a monkey fist knot in hand or on a simple tying jig. The diameter of your completed monkey fist knot will vary with the thickness of the parachute cord that you use and the size of the central ball that you enclose within the knot. Here are some traditional uses for a monkey fist knot:

  1. Sailor's Tool - If you are on a sailboat or power boat, you can find many uses for a monkey fist knot.  Sailors use this knot on the end of a rope to give it some weight when throwing the rope to a crewman on shore to tie up a boat after a cruise. 
  2. Climber's Anchor - A monkey fist knot can be very helpful to you if you like to free climb on steep rock faces. A rope with a monkey fist knot tied at one end can be easily wedged into a crack or space between rocks to give you a secure anchor to pull yourself up. 
  3. Hand Combat Weapon - A monkey fist knot that is filled with a steel ball bearing can be weighty and effectively used as a hand combat weapon. To use this knot as a weapon, leave about 2 feet of rope hanging from your tied monkey fist knot and wrap that end of the rope several times around your dominant hand. When you are within striking distance, you can swing your monkey fist knot at your opponent for self defense. 
  4. Jewelry Pendant, Clasp, or Keychain - A small monkey fist knot tied around a glass marble can make a very attractive jewelry pendant, watch chain or keychain fob. Once you have your monkey fist knot tied, you can braid the other end of the left over parachute cord into a cylinder that slides up and down over the remaining cord. You can bury the end of your cords into this sliding cylinder for a finished look. 

Although a monkey fist knot is easy to learn to tie (see above links), you must practice tying this knot to become adept at the procedure. Once you master tying this handmade knot, you will find many uses for it in addition to those mentioned above. However you choose to use your monkey fist knot, you will be glad that you have mastered this ancient craft that continues to be extremely useful and very attractive today. Check out companies like Para Cord Addiction to learn more.