Painter Hitch - The best knot for lines, leashes & leads requiring quick release!
How to Tie a Painter Hitch
The painter's hitch, sometimes called a "tumble hitch" is a strong knot that nevertheless releases easily, allowing you to quickly free something in an emergency. They have been used by ranchers to free horses and sailors to quickly detach a boat from the pier in case of shifting tides. The knot can be tied to a ring or to a rod, giving it great versatility. It gets its name from helping tie painters to boats.
Fold the rope over on itself to create a "bight," or a U-shape in the rope.A bight is simple a curled piece of rope, with both strands pointing in the same direction. For a painter hitch, form the first bight so you have roughly one foot of rope to the right of the bight and the rest of the rope to the left.
- For this knot you will need to create three interlocking bights.
Lay the bight over the rod you want to create the knot on.Usually, this is a horizontal bar, but you could also push the bight through a metal ring as well and secure the rope to this. Either way, you want the bight to hang over the object you're tying it to.
Tuck the bight back under the rod, back towards your body.There will be two strands of rope on top of the bar, and the bight coming underneath it back towards your hands.
- As long as you have something to lay the bite over and tuck under, you can use it to make a painter hitch.
Take the left-most strand of rope and tuck it through your bight, creating another bight.You have a bight in a bight. It sounds complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Simply pinch the left strand with two fingers to create a U-shape, then pull this U through your first bight.
- The two bights should be roughly perpendicular to each other. It almost looks like the outline of half a sombrero.
- The fact that the rope is on the left is not important. What is important is that you use the side with a lot of rope slack left, not the shorter side. The longer side is called the "standing" rope.
Take the right strand of rope and create another bight.Holding the two bights in your left hand, create a third with the small strand of rope in your right. Again, it is simply a U-shape bend in the rope.
Pass the third bight back through the second one.Again, pinch the rope, then pull it through the bite you just made with the leftmost strand of rope. You should now have three interlocked bights. There will be one strand of rope leading back to your body and a small tail of rope hanging off.
Still pinching the last bight your made, grab the rope leading back to your body and pull to tighten.Hold onto the knot to keep it in place, then yank on the standing rope to tighten it.
Pull the "tail," or the shorter right end of the rope, to quickly undo the knot.This will almost instantly collapse the knot. If you're in a position that requires a sturdier knot, there is really no reason to use the painter hitch.
Video: Painter Hitch - Fast Secure Knot - Quick Release Knot - Great for Lines Leads and Leashes
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