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The only thing I love more than a bad pun is a good learning aid. If you want to practice knot-tying — specifically, if you’re learning how to tie hitches — you need to have on hand the hardware the knot is meant for. The Fourteener from Complete Knotting Systems replicates 14 different kinds of hardware in a portable package that’s perfect for learning knot-tying wherever you are.

Among other things, the Fourteener will simulate hooks, rings, line cleats, and even the neck of a bag. It comes as part of a kit that also includes four meters of 5mm braided cord, a booklet of 17 knots to use with the Fourteener, as well as a nylon webbing strap and buckle to secure the Fourteener to your leg or other object for easier tying.

Darryl Lusk invented the Fourteener after a series of failed attempts at a granny knot almost got him laughed out of a lumberyard job. To spare you that humiliation, he sells his kit from the Fourteener site via PayPal for $15 — you can get discounts for buying in volume.

The Fourteener Knotting Tool [Official Site]


9 Responses to A Knotty Learning Tool

  1. Fred says:

    Lumberyard guys just laugh? Us sailors will throw lubbers overboard if they can’t get their knots right. Aaaarrghh!

  2. Darryl says:

    Shouldn’t have quit after first-class. Us Eagle Scouts know how to tie our knots. And get girls….errr maybe not so much the latter….

  3. Geoff K. says:

    IMHO, a 2×4, a couple of nails, maybe a hole drilled into the 2×4, and some spare line I found on the floor of the shop, combined with a few websites on how to tie knots would give someone all the same resources that this gizmo provides. Of course, one would also need a little creativity to “simulate” all of the locations it has, but the device itself seems pretty elaborate and excessive for what it actually does. Hey, whatever it takes to learn knots, bends & hitches, I’m all for it, but this seems a little over the top…

  4. Ken says:

    Yeah right Fred

  5. Sunny says:

    “Darryl Lusk invented the Fourteener after a series of failed attempts at a granny knot almost got him laughed out of a lumberyard job.”

    Er, and why would he be trying to tie a granny knot?

    In any case, the Fouteener will not help you learn to tie a granny knot, a square knot or any knot designed to tie the ends of two ropes together–the class of knots called “bends”–so the anecdote is a bit of a non-sequitur.

  6. Sunny says:

    –I should add, though, that neither a granny knot nor a square knot work well as bends.

  7. Eric Dykstra says:

    From the Fourteener Knot site:

    “The idea was first conceptualized in 1989 when Complete Knotting Systems founder Darryl Lusk was working at a lumber yard. He was asked by his boss to tie down a load on a truck and when Darryl did a series of “granny knots” his boss was not pleased… ”

    Perhaps he tried to use a “granny knot” to secure two lines from opposite sides of the load together? I’ve also heard a common overhand knot incorrectly referred to as a granny knot. The Fourteener seems particularly suited for learning hitches which I imagine are very useful

  8. Eric Dykstra says:

    hit submit by accident!

    …useful for securing loads in a lumberyard setting.

  9. ArtO'Knot says:

    Take a look at your non-dominate hand. Everything that this gizmo does can be done with your opposite hand with the added benefit of learning to tie with one hand – a good lesson when trying to hang on to a life line. Fifteen dollars? I think not – maybe 15 cents. Many other techniques will do much better.

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