Overhand knot

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Overhand knot
Names Overhand knot, Thumb knot
Category stopper
Efficiency 50%
Origin Ancient
Related Simple noose, Overhand loop, Figure-of-eight knot, Angler's loop, Fisherman's knot
Releasing Extreme jamming
Typical use Fishing, climbing, shoelaces, making other knots.
Caveat Spills if the standing part is pulled forcibly in the wrong direction

The overhand knot is a type of knot. It is one of the most fundamental knots and forms the basis of many others including the Simple noose, overhand loop, angler's loop, and fisherman's knot. The overhand knot is very secure, to the point of jamming badly. It should be used if the knot is intended to be permanent (in fact, it is often used to prevent the end of a rope from unravelling).

Hagfish clean slime off themselves by twisting themselves this way.

The use of two overhand knots, one used as a stopper.


There are a number of ways to tie the Overhand knot.

  • Thumb method - create a loop and push the working end through the loop with your thumb.
  • Overhand method - create a bight, by twisting the hand over at the wrist, pinch the working end with your fingers and pull through the loop.


The equivalent in knot theory is called the trefoil knot