Wooden Shoes
Knots & Climbing

Constrictor knot

What is the Constrictor Knot

The Constrictor knot is a binding knot that jams after being loaded. One thing you always need to keep in mind, is that the Constrictor knot is very hard or even impossible to untie after it has been loaded. This makes this knot only useful in situations where you don't want to keep the rope. If you want to undo the knot when it's tied around a pole, you can try to slide it off the pole. You can also try to pry the knot open with a screwdriver or other pointy object. If all fails you need to cut the riding turn (the one part of the rope on top of the x shape) to release the knot. The diameter of the rope directly impacts the binding strength, the smaller the diameter of the rope the harder it will become to untie the constrictor knot. This is because the pressure is concentrated in a smaller area opposing to a thicker rope.

Practical usage of the Constrictor knot

The Constrictor knot is a secure knot to close up garbage bags or bags in general that need to stay closed. You can also use the Constrictor knot to tie rungs in a rope ladder. But the Constrictor knot is also used to tie improvised hose clamps.

The Constrictor knot or the Constrictor hitch?

According to the Ashley Book of knots its called the Constrictor knot. But technically this is wrong. It's not a knot but a hitch. A hitch is a type of knot tied around an object. The hitch needs the object to keep its form. If you take the object out of the Constrictor knot then the knot falls apart. So the official name should be Constrictor Hitch.

Tying the Constrictor knot

There are several ways to tie the Constrictor knot. Most common is tying it with the working end of the rope. But the Constrictor knot can also be tied mid line by utilizing the folding method.

Historical use of the Constrictor knot

In old times the Constrictor knot was used for many purposes. Attaching a fuse to dynamite was one of the most used purposes of this knot, but it was also often used in boating and various types of fishing.

FAQ Constrictor knot

What is the Constrictor hitch used for?

The Constrictor hitch can be used to firmly close a garbage bag or any other kind of bag when its tied around the neck of the bag. But it can also be used as an improvised hose clamp. If you have a fraying end of a rope you can tie a Constrictor knot around it as a whipping.

How to close a garbage bag with rope?

You can use the Constrictor knot to firmly close a garbage bag by tying a Constrictor knot around the neck of the bag.

Is the Constrictor knot a knot or a hitch?

Technically the Constrictor knot is an hitch because its a rope tied around an object. To stay in place the Constrictor knot needs the object, if you remove the object the Constrictor knot falls apart. So the name Constrictor knot is technically wrong because its a hitch.