The reef-knot is a bend. There is a page on bends.
The reef-knot is only useful in simple applications. Ashley says "it is a true
Binder Knot, for which it is admirable, but under no circumstances should it be used as a
bend." It is easy tied and will not jam, so it is always easy to untie. It is used to
tie packages, and as a base for he shoe-bow. Sailors used it for binding rolled sails or
better reefed sails. And that is where it got its english name from. Americans call it the
square knot. Probably because it looks square, or because it was much used on
square-rigged-ships, but that is a total guess of me.
Its relatives, the granny, the thief-knot and the what-knot all have their purposes, but not as a trustful knot.
The reef-knot on the WEB.
This knot is dangerous, and untrustful. One moment is slips the other it jams. It is
best to ban it out from your habits.
The granny on the WEB.
The story goes sailors used this knot on their bags for they did not trust landsman. If
a thief closed the bag after his theft, he would close it with a reef-knot, which is
detectable by the sailor.
The thief-knot on the WEB.
It is said to be used in a magic trick. Don't ask me how.
The what-knot on the WEB.
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