Best Rap Knot


Original Post
AndrewSmith · · Dallas, TX · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

I've read numerous articles about which is the appropriate knot to use for joining ropes during a rappel...seems the jury is out....can someone please rank/explain what is the best knot option for joining ropes with specific circumstances? Thanks.

Porter McMichael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 10

My understanding is the EDK (European death knot) is best for two ropes of equal diameter and must have long tails. Other wise you cant go wrong with the double fisherman, the reason people don't use it is that it is harder to tie/untie and more likely to get caught when you pull your ropes down. Personally I have no issues with the EDK but I normally use ropes of equal diameter and check that my knot is well dressed. Caution, this question probably opens up a big can of worms and people will disagree. Everyone can have their opinions...

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

It's the knot having the most fun

Adam Orton · · Moore · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

Met a guy that did an EDK with overhand knots on the tails as well but to me that defeated the purpose of the small knot. I personally use a well dressed EDK with 18" tails or so. And by well dressed I mean pulled tight from all 4 strands. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

The jury is not out. The Edk is the standard rappel knot for most climbing scenarios and has been for a decade. 

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 115
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871
Skye Swoboda-Colberg wrote:

This thread is a repeat:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/106896723/best-way-to-tie-two-ropes-together-for-rapping

of a repeat:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/106036788/the-overhand-knot

of at least two repeats:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/general_climbing/knot_questions/105965147
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/climbing_gear_discussion/skinny_static_w_fatter_dynamic/105889152

Gotta love that search function.

Right on bro bra.  Cause if people talked about before, nobody should ever discuss it again.  What was discussed in the past is always total fact and new information is just dumb.  Right?

EDK for more than 2 decades.  

Equal diameter is not required.  Some of the pull tests showed unequal diameters are stronger than equal.  Just be sure the smaller diameter is on the inside of a "roll".  

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
AndrewSmith wrote:

.seems the jury is out....

Only because you're reading the mags and they still debate stuff that's borderline absolute science everywhere else. Anyway, the EDK is the money and it has been since before most of us started climbing. There are tons of articles on the topic on this forum.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

And the mags, one in particular, wrote up the flat eight as being the same as the flat overhand (edk).  Yet, they are clearly different.  The flat eight is deadly, the flat overhand, aka, the euro death knot is NOT.  

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Porter McMichael wrote:

My understanding is the EDK (European death knot) is best for two ropes of equal diameter and must have long tails. Other wise you cant go wrong with the double fisherman, the reason people don't use it is that it is harder to tie/untie and more likely to get caught when you pull your ropes down. Personally I have no issues with the EDK but I normally use ropes of equal diameter and check that my knot is well dressed. Caution, this question probably opens up a big can of worms and people will disagree. Everyone can have their opinions...

I've had DF hang up on my twice. One was in a potentially life threatening situation. So yea, you CAN go wrong with it.

EDK all the way. And R&I needs to up their game (they were the ones that conflated flat 8 and flat overhand. Shame, shame!)

Keith Noback · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 400

Overhand, dressed and backed up with a stopper knot right down on the overhand. Dissimilar diameters are OK. 

The overhand is asymmetrical, so it is much less likely to hang up on edges or jam in cracks. It is simple, and so easy to tie and check. You can untie it after it has been weighted without excess swearing.

 And it is safe if tied as above.

Jordan Palamos · · Eugene, OR · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 15

Agree that EDK is overall the "best" rap knot. I also like the rethreaded figure-8 in certain situations. I've seen forum posts about the "flat fishermans" but never used it, anyone ever use that one?

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 115
Greg D wrote:

Right on bro bra.  Cause if people talked about before, nobody should ever discuss it again.  What was discussed in the past is always total fact and new information is just dumb.  Right?

EDK for more than 2 decades.  

Equal diameter is not required.  Some of the pull tests showed unequal diameters are stronger than equal.  Just be sure the smaller diameter is on the inside of a "roll".  

I thought John Wilder hit the nail on the head and wanted to include relevant information without beating a dead horse. I'm down for new information, and re-hashing facts, but per your own post this has been the standard for decades. I meant this only as a reminder that there is a search function. 

Abram Herman · · Golden, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 20

Jury is not out, "EDK" or flat overhand is the knot to use for rappel. Make the tails extra long (>12"). Make sure you're using only a flat overhand and NOT a flat figure eight.

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50
John Wilder wrote:

The jury is not out. The Edk is the standard rappel knot for most climbing scenarios and has been for a decade. 

Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 93

Personally I just love the name "Euro Death Knot" badass and the main reason I use it.

Cave Man McElroy · · auburn · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 0

EDK alllllllllllll dayyyy

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

Yep EDK is it. Only people that don't trust it are those that think it's no good because of how incredibly simply it is. I've used it on everything from 7.8 to 10.2. 

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I seriously question the judgment of someone who prefers another knot over the EDK.  There are many solutions, but the EDK is the way to go.

Ed Schaefer · · Centennial, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

Flat overhand bend (a.k.a. European Death Knot or EDK) is the best for joining two ropes together. A barrel knot is the best stopper knot.

Double (or triple) fishermans or retrace Figure 8 are also viable options, but may be harder to untie, and are absolutely more likely to get stuck when pulling the ropes.

I would probably use an alpine butterfly bend over an EDK if my rope was cut and I needed to rejoin it, and I would use an alpine butterfly loop to isolate any sections if the rope was damaged.

Kevin DeWeese 1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0
AndrewSmith wrote:

I've read numerous articles about which is the appropriate knot to use for joining ropes during a rappel...seems the jury is out....can someone please rank/explain what is the best knot option for joining ropes with specific circumstances? Thanks.

"Seems the jury is out" + "can someone please rank/explain."

If you believe the former, what's the point in asking the latter?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply