Monkey’s Fist

Monkey’s Fist

What Is It?

A monkey’s fist or monkey paw is a knot that is tied at the end of a rope to serve as a weight. It is so named as it resembles a monkey’s fist or paw. The main purpose of the knot is to serve as a weight at the end of a rope. It can be thrown simply that way. It is very easy to conceal and use it as a weapon to slow down your attacker. It superficially resembles the Turk’s head knot.

Where Did It Come From? – The History

It originated as a heaving line knot on sailing ships of yesteryear. Formerly, it was also used as a melee weapon among gangs and sailors. It was used as a weight thrown from one ship to another to bring the 2 vessels together. This use as a lifeline from boat to boat gained it the symbolism of solidarity among the hobo community.

How Much Rope Is Needed?

The rope length should be 4-5 feet.

How to Make a Monkey’s Fist

The picture guides you in tying the knot in a simple step by step.

How to Make a Monkey’s Fist


  1. Instead of creating the sides with 3 strands each, you can make them so as to possess 4 strands each.
  2. It would be a good idea to create the knot loose, insert the ball and tighten it around the object, pulling, at a time, one loop taut.
  3. It can be tied with paracord/hemp/leather lacing and a ball bearing as the supplies.
  4. Can be made in 2 colors to give it a beautiful multi-colored look.
  5. Instead of a steel ball as indicated above, a golf or tennis ball can be used to lend the spherical shape.
  6. You can tie it with a 550 cord.
  7. For a smaller knot, you can use a marble as the core. However, you can do the mini version without the marble just by placing the rope between your fingers and tightening appropriately.
  8. If you want you can finish it with a diamond knot, snake knot, etc.
  9. A giant monkey fist knot can be made with a pool ball.
  10. The above diagram shows the tying of the knot without a jig.


  1. Double monkey fist – Larger. Has 12 faces instead of the 6 faces of the traditional moneky’s fist knot.


  1. In keychains (key fobs, cobra knot keychains), zipper pulls, keyrings and lanyards. It gives them a nautical look. A monkey’s fist, lanyard and a square knot combination can make a superb paracord fob.
  2. For self defence (though it is an illegal weapon in some places).
  3. As an anchor in rock climbing by putting it into a crack.
  4. Survival.
  5. As a closure mechanism in paracord bracelets.
  6. As a doorstop, dog toy, drawer pull, bookmark, bookend, curtain tie back, place card holder, table number holder.
  7. Making jewelry like earrings, necklaces.
  8. Creating fire poi heads.
  9. Boating.
  10. As a ball gag for your partner.
  11. Heaving.
  12. A stronger and more durable replacement for the handle traditional handle of a parachute.
  13. Its tactical addition to your knife allows you to draw the latter quickly from your pocket.
  14. As a pair in cufflinks.
  15. Design nautical knobs, pillows, curtain rods, finials, lamps.
  16. As fancy buttons, ornament, planter.
  17. In macramé patterns and wedding décor.

How to Tie a Monkey’s Fist Step by Step Video


  1. Globe knot – A fun way to wrap around a wooden ball or any similar core. Has more faces.

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