Figure of Eight Knot

The Figure of Eight Knot is one of the most commonly used knots in caving and climbing. Tied on the bight or rethreaded it can be used as a secure termination loop knot for caving ropes, cowstails and footloops. The Figure of Eight on the Bight can also be tied directly into an appropriate anchor point by rethreading, saving a carabiner or maillon. It is simple to tie with a bit of practice and because of its recognisable ‘8’ shape, it is easy to spot when it has been miss-tied. When correctly dressed, the knot can be easily undone after repeated loading from normal use. The Figure of Eight on the Bight Knot does not require a stopper knot on the tail so long as the knot is correctly tied, dressed and hand tightened. The tail should be at least 10cm long when being tied at the end of a rope.

Figure of Eight on the bight knot
Figure of Eight ‘on the Bight’ knot

Ideal Uses

  • Tied on the bight or rethreaded at the end of a rope to create a secure loop for attaching to things (e.g. anchors or items of equipment)
  • Tied on the bight between 2 anchor points to create a central master point knot, providing the loaded strands exit the knot with an internal angle of 90 degrees or less. An Alpine Butterfly is a more stable knot for mid rope loops.
  • Tied on the bight as the centre knot for caving cowstails

Not Ideal Uses

  • Tied on the bight mid-rope where the 2 loaded lines are pulled apart or at an internal angle wider than 90 degrees. The knot can roll over on itself and potentially undo if the eye is not also secured to an anchor

Below are some images showing how to tie on the bight and by rethreading that you can follow as a step-by-step learning aid. I’d also recommend the Animated Knots website for this and many more knots.

Fig 8 Loop Knot, a.k.a. Figure of Eight Tied on the Bight

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Rethreaded Figure of 8 Loop, a.k.a. Figure of 8 on the Bight tied rethreaded

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