Bob Wightman

The Overhand

The overhand knot has come into favour in recent years as the main means of joining two ropes together for full length abseils. Sometimes referred to as the European Death Knot (EDK) after several abseiling fatalities were erroneously attributed to its use. The likely knot that was used in those accidents was an incorrectly tied figure of eight which despite looking more substantial than the overhand can roll repeatedly along the rope.

Attribute Notes
Strength 50%
Ease of Tying Very easy - possibly the easiest knot to tie
Recognisable Easy to recognise.
Also known as
Usage Tying two ropes together for abseiling.
Advantages Can be cross loaded.
Asymmetrical so will roll over snags.
Easy to undo after loading
Disadvantages Looks worrying!
Can roll over itself - once after which it is secure.