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(European Death Knot)

Also called:  "Flat Overhand Knot", "Offset Overhand Bend", "Thumb Knot", "Thumb Bend".  Please call it the E.D.K. or either the "Flat Overhand Knot", as the other names are not-known in the Canyoneering universe.

The E.D.K. is a very quick way of tieing two ropes together.  This is listed here for only retrieving your rappel rope.  

It does not matter that the two ropes are not the same thickness.

I have mentioned it here as an 'essential' knot because it is a great way to tie your rappel rope and pull-cord together.  You can rappel off of the EDK, but that is outside the scope of the website.  I won't even show you how to do it.  When you take a professional course, you can then ask them how to rappel off of one.  But for the mass public, no. 

The IMPORTANT thing is that you tie a minimum of two over-hand knots (also called "double EDK" or "double stacked") with a maximum of three (also called "triple EDK" or "triple-stacked").

That's all it is...two overhand knots using the two ropes.


  • Easy to remember. 

  • Easy to tie/untie

  • Quickly connects two ropes (of the same diameter or not) to retrieve your rappel rope.


  • Although simple, if tied incorrectly, it can lead to grave bodily harm and death.

  • If rigged incorrectly to rappel on, the knot can "capsize" (or "roll").


  • Leave 12 inches (extreme minimum) to 24 inches of tail. In other words, please leave 24 inches.

  • Do NOT tie the EDK on webbing! It will fail when loaded over 1100 lbf. (The Water Knot fails over 2000 lbf)

  • Do NOT use the EDK on very stiff ropes (IE brand new).  On brand new ropes, use a more secure knot such as the Double-Fisherman Bend.

Canyoneering Usage Examples:

  • The tallest rappel in a canyon is 90 ft.  You bring a 100 foot 9 mm rope to rappel on and you also bring a 100-foot 6 mm pull-cord to retrieve your 9 mm.  When you are setting up your rigging, one way is to use an EDK knot on both ropes so that you would use the 6 mm pull-cord to retrieve the 9 mm rappel rope.

Additional Reading:

Below, I show you three ways on how to tie the knot, via:

1) Pictures

2) GIF (animated picture that repeats itself with no-end)

3) Video (from Canyoneering101 YouTube Channel)

How to tie (pictures):

1st Step:


2nd Step:


3rd Step:


4th Step:


How to tie (GIF):

How to tie (YouTube vid):

Under Construction!

Under Construction!

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