The square knot is most commonly used for tying shoelaces. It’s a good knot when used appropriately, to tie two ends of a rope together around a solid object. It’s notoriously unreliable when used inappropriately.

The square knot is a good way to finish a larger tie, especially if you’re running short on rope.

We use the square knot as part of the square knot extension, to join two ropes together.

It’s commonly used in Japanese-inspired rope cuffs, although it is important to fully understand its limitations in that context.

1Pull the two ends snug around the pole and cross the blue rope over the green rope…

*“Right over left,”*

2…then twist it once around the green rope.

3Again cross the blue rope over the green one…

*“left over right”*

4…and twist it once around the green rope.

5Snug the knot. It should lie flat and symmetrical.

WRONG!If you get step 3 wrong (going *right over left, right over left*), you’ll end up with the inferior granny knot (ABOK 1206).

The granny knot does not lie flat like the square knot and is even more prone to capsizing.

This knot is ABOK # 1402 (Reef Knot)

The square knot is closely related to the granny knot (ABOK 1206), which is similar but in every way inferior.