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Handbook of Knots Paperback – July 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd; Expanded edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840134933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840134933
  • ASIN: 1405304677
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Who needs a whole book on knots? Campers, anglers, and weekend first mates to name a few, and they would be doing themselves a great favor checking out this wonderfully illustrated guide to knot tying. Need a secure loop tied in the middle of a rope during your next camping trip? Bowline on the Bight to the rescue. Lash a canoe firmly in place atop your car? A clove hitch, maybe, though the smart move is to add one more loop to create the nearly immovable constrictor knot. Each knot is presented with step-by-step photos and concise instructions, and even the novice will be able to whip out surgeon's knots and Italian hitches before they know it--as this reviewer can attest! The chapter on braiding will be especially appreciated by home crafters. A fine little book Brian McCombie --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Des Pawson has run a ropeworking business for over 20 years. He teaches and displays his skills at exhibitions, galleries and museums all over the world, and is co-founder of The International Guild of Knot Tyers. Des has appeared on radio and television and his work is featured in a number of publications including The Boatman, Country Living and the Financial Times. Des resides in Ipswich, Suffolk.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 62 customer reviews
Extremely well illustrated and very informative.
Brian J. Taylor
The books gives easy instruction on how to tie the knots as well as what the knot is used for.
Alex C
In summary I found the book very useful and it is highly recommended.
Doc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 161 people found the following review helpful By William J Roberts on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was truly surprised by Pawson's book. From the reviews of others, I was expecting a good deal, and hoped it would be as good as Morrow's Guide to Knots, but adding some information not included in that very good book. When the book arrived, it seemed so slim (actually 160 pages, however) and compact, I couldn't see how it could compare.
However, it's a marvel in presenting a wealth of information very clearly. I think it is considerably more informative than the Morrow book, and also gives clearer explanations and illustrations.
It has very many useful knots that Morrow and most other small books do not have, such as the Alpine Butterfly, Ashley's Bend, Buntline Hitch, and the Klemheist knot, gives good information on splicing that Morrow completely omits, and has a lot of useful tips everywhere. The illustrations are truly first rate.
I was surprised though at the omission of the tautline hitch or Tarbuck knot (either would have sufficed). Indeed there were no "ratcheting" loop knots given that slide open or closed to the degree desired, then locked -- a truly useful class of knot that shouldn't have been omitted. If another knot had to go to make room, the only two that could have gone, in my opinion, are the Jury Mast Knot and the Thief Knot. (Admittedly, the Thief Knot is interesting, and I guess that if you need the Jury Mast Knot, you REALLY need it. But that's not one person in 10,000 these days.)
Morrow's is probably more complete for the fisherman.
I highly recommended "The Handbook of Knots" as a first book on knots, and for most people it will really be all that they ever need, except for the sliding loop knot omission.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bought this book for my course library (I am a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound). Realized too late that it does not include the taut line hitch or the trucker's (wagoneer's) hitch, both of which we use a lot. I would have thought those would be included in any good knots book. Ultimately replaced it with "The Book of Knots: How to Tie 200 Practical Knots" by Budworth & Dalton. Good illustrations a better selection of knots.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kent L. Estes on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
For my first work, I started with Ashely's bible on knots.However, that was far and away too authoritative - with thousands ofknots at my disposal, I had no idea what the most important were.
I needed a succinct introduction.
Pawson delivers just that. A "fine little book" it is indeed - yet in this modest, superbly illustrated volume lurk about one hundred important knots - most are very useful, some are decorative, and all are rewarding.
If Ashely's work is the college of knot tying, this would be my vote for the textbook for "Knots 101 - the adventure begins !" END
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gary on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just as there is no perfect knot, there is no perfect knot book. All have deficiencies of one sort or another. One common deficiency seems to be misleading or just plain wrong directions for tying a knot. Another deficiency is a failure to tell the reader when to use a particular, or more important, when not to use it. All the books suffer these deficiencies to one degree or another.

Another deficiency is too many knots! But how could this be a deficiency, one might ask. Isn't more better? The answer is that the beginner needs to know the most useful knots that have the widest application. If the book contains knots that don't have wide application but doesn't tell the reader which ones are widely used and which ones aren't, how is the reader to know which ones to learn? Therefore, for a beginner, careful selection by the author is essential.

Budworth, The Complete Book of Knots

Of all the books, this is my pick as the best for a beginner.

What I like about this book is that it contains large, clear line drawings, and for the most part, the layout is pleasing to the eye. Drawings are superior, in my opinion, to photographs. One drawback of drawings is that the cordage you're trying to knot never lies as smoothly and gracefully as the one in the drawings. (This tends to be true of photographs, too, however.) But if you view the drawings more as a blueprint, then you get a conceptual understanding of how the knot is to be tied, and drawings allow a clearer conceptual understanding than photographs in most cases.

Another plus to this book is that most of the knots Budworth picked for inclusion are useful and often "best of breed" knots.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Suliin on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to let potential readers know that Dawson's book DOES include the Taut-line Hitch, though you might have to know a bit about knots going in to realize it. The Taut-line Hitch is simply the Rolling Hitch (page 82 in Dawson), with the rope turned back and tied around its own standing end rather than around a pole as Dawson shows it. Dawson probably could have made that clearer, but it is there.

It's true that it doesn't include the Trucker's Hitch. It probably should in the next edition. Dawson does include the Waggoner's Hitch (page 90), which is a slightly inferior but still serviceable knot that performs the same function as the Trucker's Hitch: allowing a line to be quickly tightened to hold a load.

Even given this minor room for improvement, I think this is one of the best books of its kind ever written. The illustrations are exceptionally clear, the selection of knots is almost ideal, the book itself is small enough to easily pack with you, and its binding is unusually tough and durable for use in the field.

I think Ashley's Book of Knots is THE knot book, still unequalled after over 60 years. Yet Ashley's book is so huge and comprehensive that in some ways it is less useful than smaller books such as Dawson's. Buy Ashley for reference, by all means. But buy Dawson's book for everday use.
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