Back to top

What Is The Best Stopper Knot?

As a rock climber, mountain dweller, seafarer – or as any ordinary outdoor enthusiast – stopper knots will come in hand in any situation where you need to overcome obstacles with ease and support. It is crucial to determine which knots are appropriate and the best for a, particularly tricky hurdle.

The “best” stopper knots are not only measured by their capability to endure weight and indicate strength. Essentially, stopper knots’ designed goal is to ensure that a rope’s end will not slip through a belay device; notwithstanding: some knots are more fitting for specific instances.

Fortunately, there are many knots to choose from that are easy to learn how to tie and will do their job effectively. However, as an individual who partakes in outdoor activities that involve risk, it is critical to learn which knots are best suited for potentially dangerous situations.

It isn’t always the strongest knot that is used every time an individual has to use a mechanism that can stall, rappel or steadily control movement. Rock climbers, for example, don’t favor the “strongest” stopper knots because some knots are too girthy – to the point of being cumbersome.

Why and How Are Stopper Knots used? 

It’s all in the name: stoppers close off rope sections, either to back up existing knots or create absolute resistance to the end of a rope. Here are ways stoppers are used and what makes them crucial elements in the practice of rope usage:

1. Stacking up other knots.

Stopper knots can be used as a reinforcement device – whether it is a harness or just behind other knots, knots can secure the hold of a rope device. Rock climbers will often use stopper knots, specifically figure-eight knots on bight knots, behind the coupling links to clip ropes on them.

2. Belaying

Essentially, “belaying” means “resisting.” For a rock climber to comfortably ascend or descend surfaces, there needs to be tension and pull in the rope they use to climb. Stopper knots need to tie the end of these ropes that the end of the rope is not fed through the belay device.

3. Tying two or more ropes together.

There is a stopper knot called The Double Overhand knot. Rock climbers will often join two ropes by joining two Double Overhand knots to form a Double Fisherman’s Knot. This knot comes in handy when climbers want to descend far stretches of a mountain.

4. Rappelling

Rappelling, also known as abseiling, refers specifically to the act of descending a vertically-angled surface. As a cautionary action, a responsible climber will always tie a stopper knot at the end of their rope before rappelling, that, in any scenario, the cord cannot fall through the belay device.

What Are the Top 4 Best Stopper knots:

A boatsman versus a climber will define the “best” stopper knots differently; “best” becomes conversationally swapped for reliable, commonly utilized, most uncomplicated, strongest, or actively praised. Whichever stopper is in consideration, most knots have the essential goal: providing security.

1 The Oysterman Stopper Knot

The Oysterman is known as The Ashley Stopper Knot. Its shape resembles a symmetrical trinity of A’s when observing its rearview. This knot uses a sparing amount of rope and is easy to perform. For a reliable diagram on how to tie this knot, view this diagram: https://www.animatedknots.com/ashley-stopper-knot.

Rock climbers continually ascend/ descend during their beloved outdoor activity. They want to tie multiple knots throughout a rock-climbing excursion, and because of the frequent act of replacing knots, The Oysterman proves to be painless, quick, and one of the best knots to provide strength in instances where a lot of weight and strain is placed on the rope.

2 The Figure 8 Stopper Knot

Figure 8 has multiple adaptations to its shape. The most advanced and recommended version is The Figure 8 Bight Knot. Its form naturally creates a rope end, which clips onto a belay device, which is advantageous when climbers recycle and maneuver with only one rope in one descent.

This knot in its basic form has the proclivity to come undone easily, which gives it a disadvantage in its reliability. However, the knot is easy to tie and untie, and this is why climbers favor it. See its various effortless versions and methods on https://cache.kzoo.edu/handle/10920/25160.

3 The Double Overhand Stopper Knot

This knot is notably bulky, easy to tie, challenging to untie, and assures the individual handling the rope that they can rely on this knot to stay in place. Said knot is the addition of the single overhand knot (rarely used on its own). It often functions as a securing knot behind other knot fixtures.

This particular stopper is apt to use in climbing and boating and comes highly recommended for slippery, wet conditions. The disadvantage of this knot is that it will be a burden for an activity that implores speed, hurry, or convenient re-roping due to its unshakable nature. 

4 The Barrel knot

The Barrel Knot has a close resemblance and tying method to The Double Overhand. However, with an extra knot, the Barrel is slightly larger than the former. Its bigger size, in essence, has a better chance to stop a climber, while it isn’t too big that it would get caught on branches or mountain grooves.

In addition, one also gets The Triple Barrel knot, which gives an extra layer to the shape of a standard Barrel Knot. Nonetheless, some erudite knot-enthusiasts will say that this knot is a superfluous measure, as the original knot offers adequate security and support.

How to Tie a Stopper Knot

No matter what stopper you want to know how to tie, always be reassured that all of them form on the same basis:

1) Start the process by forming a loop in the rope (leave at least 300 mm tail of rope).

2) Slip the end of the rope through the loop you just created.

3) Depending on the variation or number of loops, you will pass the rope’s end through the loop again and tighten the rope as best as you can. 

Besides the theoretical basis of any knot, here are terminally essential considerations for any new rope enthusiast to take awareness of:

  • Be very aware of the pitch or rope length of your rope. In a situation where the weather is murky, or the sunset has progressed too much to see clearly, you do not want to second guess whether you have enough rope left.

  • You should always be able to mentally demarcate where the middle of your rope is.

  • Never rush a knot with the danger of tying it incorrectly.

  • Stopper knots aren’t the only securing factor in the rope. The control of a rope’s movement, a.k.a. the act of belaying or feeding rope, must be done with pertinent focus. Additionally, as climbers rely on others to belay them, you and your partner should pay equal care to this.

A highly recommended website to carefully observe how to tie various knots is https://www.animatedknots.com. What makes it a trustworthy aid is that all of the diagrams have well-paced animated steps on how to complete the knots.

Conclusion

It is almost unmanageable to define which stoppers will be the general best knots with all factors taken into account. Many knots get the job done: to cease a rope from passing through a belay apparatus. 

Notwithstanding the knot shape, there is the materiality of the rope to consider, the strain placed on the rope, or the weight it must carry. Furthermore, how the rope is handled can also affect the stopper knot’s effectivity itself.

Stopper knots play a pivotal role in the activities in which they come to be used. The ventures that ropes are used in have recorded multiple fatalities, often because of the absence of stopper knots. Do ample research, gain experience, and build up the confidence to be absolutely assured that your stopper knots will do their job. 

References

Frank Pearmain

As a homesteader, survivalist, and previously a safari guide in Africa, I have extensive bush and wilderness experience. I am passionate about living a self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyle and continuously learn and strive toward that goal!

Recent Posts