How To Make A Monkey Fist Knot For Survival

Monkey FistThe Monkey Fist – A Badass Knot For Survival

There’s no telling when or where you’ll fall into a bit of trouble.

  • It could be while you’re walking home from a friend’s house late at night.
  • Or maybe it’s while you’re wandering around a town on vacation.
  • It could happen when you return to your car in a deserted parking lot.

Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, you need a means of self-defense.

Something to protect yourself from an attacker. One who emerges from the shadows and demands your wallet or threatens your life.

There are many self-defense tools for such a situation.

But one self-defense weapon that’s overlooked but highly useful is a monkey fist.

So in today’s article, we will be covering the following monkey fist topics:

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paracord monkey fist

What Is A Monkey Fist?

Most people don’t even know what a monkey fist is, let alone how to use or make one.

They’re a time-tested self-defense tool that’s both dangerous and effective.

Like a miniature flail, a monkey fist can come in many different sizes, shapes, and weights. Some fit on a self-defense keychain or in a purse; others are larger and harder to conceal. But they are a versatile means of self-defense survival.

Now, you can purchase various monkey fists from different vendors. If you know where to look, they are all over the place. They’re also a fairly simple device you can make yourself.

Learning how to make one will save you a couple of dollars, and it’s also a very handy skill to know.

If the grid goes down and anarchy ensues, you will want access to as many weapons as possible. And the more weapons you are capable of making yourself, the better.

What’s The Legality of a Monkey’s Fist?

Well, it’s technically illegal in many states in the US and Canada (plus other areas around the world) if you wrap this knot around a hard object.


I mean, how is a monkey fist any different from a hammer?

Watch this video to understand how the monkey’s fist became illegal:


And just for fun, here’s the “world’s largest monkey fist build.”

World Largest Monkey Fist

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Brief History Of Monkey Fists

As with most knotted instruments, the origins of monkey fists are out at sea in the 1800s. Sailors used them as a way to throw lines between ships or to shore, and in a pinch, they would use them in a fight, too.

Initially, the monkey fist knot was tied around cannonballs to add a lot of extra heft. And imagine what that would do to an attacker!

Getting slammed with a cannonball flail could cause some severe damage.

Since then, they’ve spread widely as a survival tool and form of self-defense. Most of the monkey fists you will find today are not cannon-ball-sized.

Instead, they’re now shrunk down to marble size. This makes a monkey fist easy to carry. They can be attached to extra zipper tabs, keychain attachments, or bug-out bag loops.

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Best Monkey Fist Uses

This is one of the most diverse tools in a survivalist arsenal. Unlike other pocket weapons (like pepper spray), this knot can serve various purposes, from decorative to dangerous.

Here is a shortlist of the most popular uses:

Self Defense

Obviously, these devices make great self-defense weapons. Ones you can keep with you with relative ease and covertly.

You can stash them into pockets, purses, or bags with no problem. And many can be attached to a wallet, zipper, or keychain, enabling fast access in tight situations.

Here’s how to use a monkey fist for self-defense. Hold the long end by the tip and swing the heavy knot hard – using it as a flail.

You want to strike your attacker with the blunt knot at the end. Swing hard and follow through to generate the most power per stroke.

Aim for sensitive areas like the temple, trachea, or groin.

The more massive your knot, the harder your swing. The more force is generated, the more effective the weapon becomes.

Monkey Fist testing. Can it really protect?

Rock Climbing

Back in the day, before rock climbing was as widely recognized as a sport, they were used as cams. Cams, for those who don’t know, are the devices climbers jam into cracks to create points of contact.

Today’s cams are very technical, but monkey fists generally do the same thing when used for rock climbing.

You wedge the “fist” into a crack in the rock as tightly as possible. Then you clip your rope into the other end with a carabiner.

Now, I don’t recommend using monkey fists in this way unless you have no other option. Using makeshift climbing equipment is extremely dangerous.

Monkey fists don’t work or get stuck if they do

Skydiving Parachute Ripcord

This is popular among people who deal with parachutes. Skydivers attach these to their parachute ripcords. This makes it easier to grasp the ripcord while in free fall.

You might buy very colorful ones (or use colorful paracord to make your own). That way, when the wind is whipping past your face, you can easily see your ripcord, grab, and yank it.

Then, hopefully, your chute comes out.

Zipper Attachments

Have a zipper that lost its grip tab? No problem! You can make small monkey fists and tie them to your zipper, even if the slider grip has fallen off.

Due to their shape, they make great little zipper knobs. Plus, you can attach them to anything – tactical backpacks, duffel bags, and even pants!

8 Awesome Paracord Zipper Pulls

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