The binding knot may possess either of two possible fundamental mechanical properties by which they function:
- Friction Type: These binding knots pass at least once around a load and are held in place by the friction caused between the windings of the line that pass over top of other winding.
- Knotted Ends Type: These binding knots pass at least once around a load and are held in place by the two ends of the line being knotted together.
Binding knots may be used to bind an individual object or a load made of multiple loose objects.
Whipping and Seizing are classified differently from Binding knots since they contain many turns like a lashing despite serving a similar function to a Binding knot.