(to be clear, I know I can just check knot-strengths for a general end-of-line attachment, it's the inclusion of the steel thimble - I'll find a link to add to end of post - it's that inclusion that makes me think that the type of knot becomes critical, if the knot capsized over the thimble it'd be catastrophic! Part of me fears that these things are not safe for use AT ALL with rope, only with steel line, in which case they're deskweights for me....but they DO make rope-OK thimbles so I just don't know if these are OK to use and, if so, what knot I should be using) And would there be any reason to use a different knot at the end-of-a-line where you're connecting a steel O-Ring? I'll be cutting pieces of 11.7mm climbing rope to make things and the ends need to be strong so I got 1/2" steel thimbles so I can have steel "eyelets" at the ends of these lines, the problem is that all I know is that I can't use cinch knots, past that I know any fixed-knot will work but what I need to know is which is the strongest, or at least one of the top couple strongest? (Anchor bend? Clove hitch? Nilsson knot? Figure 8? Figure 8 on a bight maybe, because then you could "count the line twice"?)

I know there's a specific/exact/objective answer to this and "a fixed knot" isn't useful, these ropes are being made for tree climbing where failure would be disastrous (should go w/o saying but, no, I am not going to be using such knots in a life-critical situation an hour after learning them, I just don't know what knot to make my "go to" when I'm cutting sections of rope to affix carabiners, o-rings etc to for making false-crotches / lanyards / etc)

I got the heavy duty, 1/2" thimbles / the largest ones found on the bartlettman webpage, they are thick/heavy steel.

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1 Answer 1


The absolute strongest? That would be an eye splice.

It's the most effective and strongest form of making an eye in a rope and it's what the thimbles are designed to work with.

It's nigh on permanent, but that's the trade for strength. All mere knots are a trade off between strength and "untieability", if you're never intending to untie the knot you never have to compromise.

Rope thimbles are normally nylon so they don't cause wear in the rope itself, if you've bought the ones for steel cable then they're paperweights. Also they should be correctly sized to the rope, don't just buy the biggest or again you're causing unnecessary movement and wear.

  • 1
    Note that an Eye splice is not trivial with a kernmantle rope and OP indicates he intends to use climbing rope (Not impossible, but requires deconstruction) . In that case Eye splices are often done with stitches or clamps.
    – crasic
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:07
  • 1
    @crasic Far from trivial, but if you want the best you have to do the work. Also hard to inspect, you have to know what you're doing to use it.
    – Separatrix
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:31
  • @Separatrix I have 11.7mm blue moon, isn't 1/2" appropriate for that? I'll chuck them if they can't be used but I'd sworn they were 'the right product' here...I just tied a figure 8 on a bight on the end of my climb line, where the bight was just large enough to fit the thimble (and nice & snugly once tightened), if I ran the rest of my rope through that thimble and used it as the basal anchor I would have rope-on-steel instead of rope-on-rope, so far as i can tell that's worlds better isn't it, not only eliminating rope-on-rope but also increasing bend-radius & load-spread in the bight! Jun 10, 2019 at 22:29
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    @WantToClimb, I've answered your headline question here, but it's not necessarily the right question. "Are these suitable for your use case?" Not really, they're sailing equipment not climbing equipment, and the two groups have very different approaches to rope attachment.
    – Separatrix
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:03
  • Ashley describes 6 different eye splice variants he calls as "experimental", mainly alternative braid patterns when rejoining to the main line , I wonder what ever happened of those experiments
    – crasic
    Jun 17, 2019 at 16:14

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