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Hanson Knot

How to tie the Hanson Knot. The Hanson Knot is a great little knot for making a loop at the end of a rope. The Hanson Knot was a popular loop knot for the Boy Scouts in years past. It is strong, doesn't slip and is easy to untie after being put to load. Does this sound like the description of a better known loop knot? Yes, the Bowline fits this description and is probably the best known and most useful knot in history! Maybe the Hanson is relegated to obscurity  just because of the Bowline's popularity. It looks to be a variation of a bowstring knot and has a distinctive look when finished. The Hanson Knot is a nifty way to tie a loop, has a distinctive look, does not slip and is easy to untie - enjoy!


Here is the very interesting history of the Hanson Knot as provided by Mr. Dennis Pence (Roundtable Commissioner, Pathfinder District, Southern Shores Field Service Area, Michigan Crossroads Council, BSA) .


"A few years ago a long-time scout leader here in Kalamazoo, Michigan shared with me some of the history about this "Boy Scout Knot" called the Hanson Knot.  Apparently it was developed by Alden Hanson, who was a scout leader but also seemed to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan.  Thus he took the unusual step of submitting a patent application for the knot, and then donated it to the Boy Scouts of America.  I have enclosed a copy of the patent application.  Interesting within this are the diagrams that relate the parts of the loop knot to the twelve points of the Scout Law.  (See below patent application drawing.) The patent application also shows how to tie the related bend to join two ropes."


The Abstract for this patent number 4,711,476 dated December 8, 1978 states: "A knot or bend for use with single or multiple lengths of material and comprising an overhand knot entwined with a crossing knot. The resulting knot or bend is decorative and capable of being tied in a variety of different ways. The knot or bend has great security, but easily may be loosened and untied when desired".


Scroll to see Animated Hanson Knot below the illustration and tying instructions


How to tie a Hanson Knot


Hanson Knot Tying Instructions

  • Tie an Overhand Knot in the standing line of the rope.
  • Bring the working end back through the loose Overhand Knot as if you were making a Slip Knot.
  • Pass the working end over the standing line, then under it, and through the Overhand Knot.
  • You finish the knot by tying a half hitch by passing the working end over the Overhand Knot and under itself so that it lies next to the standing line.
  • Tighten the Overhand Knot first and make any adjustments to the size of the loop, and then tighten the Half Hitch.


Hanson Knot Patent Application Drawing

hanson patent.jpg

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