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How To Tie The Rolling Hitch Knot

The rolling hitch knot is easier to tie and secure than the alternative clove hitch. A rolling hitch knot is used to tie a rope to a pole or any other object. It is used to attach or tie a thinner rope to a thicker one and is also known as a friction knot.

Rolling Hitch Knot

It is a member of the slide and grip knots family. It is mostly used for a lengthwise pull, as it forms a strong knot and can bear weight. One rope must be of thicker diameter and the other of thinner diameter to make or tie a rolling hitch knot.

How Do You Tie a Rolling Hitch Knot?

The rolling hitch knot is a frequently used knot that is usually used to pull objects during activities such as sailing and scouting. The knot is strong enough that it can bear the force and weight while pulling. It is easy to tie and untie. It can be used while climbing, camping, boating, and fishing. Here are some tips you can follow while tying the rolling hitch knot.

Tips on Tying the Rolling Hitch Knot

Step 1

Take two ropes, one with a smaller diameter and one with a thicker diameter as shown in the picture.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 1

Step 2

Start tying the rolling hitch knot by laying the smaller diameter rope over the larger diameter rope.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 2

Step 3

Make it turn around the larger diameter rope. 

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 3

Step 4

Cross the smaller diameter rope over the larger diameter rope to form an X in the center and come around again, one more time parallel. 

Step 5

As we come around again, just tuck it under the very left most turn.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 5

Step 6

It should be under the very left most turn just so it exists parallel to the strand that enters the knot.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 6

Step 7

Tighten it up by pulling the working end up and the standing part downwards.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 7

Step 8

Your rolling hitch knot is now ready to use.

Rolling Hitch Knot Step 8

Variations on Tying the Knot

There are many ways to make a rolling hitch. The above-mentioned steps are easy to follow in order to learn this useful knot. The best thing about the the knot is its strong grip. It may look like a simple knot, but it is strong.

This knot is also known as the Magner’s hitch and Mangus hitch. There is a variation of the rolling hitch knot known as Taut Line Hitch. There is not only one method to tie this knot, but various methods. The above-mentioned steps are more convenient to learn and are safer than the other knots for sailing, climbing, or camping.

Advantages of the Rolling Hitch Knot

The advantages of the rolling hitch knot are that it is easy, safe, and secure. Also, while pulling an object, it will be in-line and not slip. It is also very useful in snubbing the anchor.

You can easily release lines under tension using the rolling hitch knot. If it is perfectly made and tightened, it will not slip until you move it with your hands to change its place. The complex structure and additional wraps will make it safer and more secure.


It is not secure and safe for hiking or long-way climbing. Also, it is hard to undo under pressure or tension, so if it is necessary to untie it under pressure, it is advised not to use this knot. You cannot tighten the knot after putting weight on it, so make sure to tighten the knot before pulling pressure. It is only effective for moderate weight or load. 

History of the Knot

The rolling hitch knot was known as Magnus hitch or Magner’s hitch until 1841. At that time, it was called the round and two half hitches knot. Richard Dana then published a book later in that year named The Seamans’ Friend. He named this knot the rolling hitch knot as we know it today. Also, many authors used this terminology, which is another reason why people call it the rolling hitch knot.

Uses of the Rolling Hitching Knot

The rolling hitch knot is used to tie the rope with a pole, rod, or other rope. It is used for the lengthwise pull, but only along with the object rather than in the right-angle direction. It can resist lengthwise pull in a single direction only.

It is used during sailing when a sailor has to rig a stopper and relax the tension so that any jammed winch can be cleared. As modern ropes are too slippery, they cannot hold the rolling hitch knot. It is better to form two rounds for making this knot.

In fire services, it can be used to pull hoses. It can be used in arboriculture and construction to pull objects in lengthwise and one direction. It can also be used to secure a snubber to an anchor chain, and cannot be bound. It can be used in climbing, fishing, and camping, but is majorly used while sailing.

It is used for a clothesline hitch in the home. Some authorities use it to form another rolling hitch by using the tail end to make it safer and secure.

Alternatives to the Rolling Hitch Knot

You can also use other alternative knots: