Is there any practical difference between the Hangman's Noose and the Uni Knot (a.k.a. Duncan loop)? The difference I see between the two is that the coils are wound inside the loop in the uni knot while the coils are wound outside the loop in the hangman's noose. Does this difference in configuration affect the knot's strength or proneness to jamming, slipping, etc?

I plan on using these knot to secure a line to a pole which will bear some load on the other end (think of a cantilever roofing with ropes attached from the vertical wall down to the end of the roofing to support it). I prefer using one of these two instead of an anchor hitch or some other hitch since these two knots are in a way adjustable.

  • An anchor hitch is obviously not adjustable, but other hitches are highly adjustable and yet resistant to slippage due to a camming action exerted on the main line, in particular the safety belt and midshipman's hitches. Slippage in these hitches can be managed with extra loops or tying a second backup hitch.
    – bcworkz
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


The Uni Knot is a slip knot that is adjustable.

The Hangman's Noose is not typically considered adjustable.

The Hangman's Noose when the loop is under load is pulling on the top of the knot as well as conventionally on the bottom of the knot which is truly tightening the knot. They are typically only used with thicker ropes because otherwise you run a risk of pulling your knot out under pressure. Because they tighten down they can end up with a "permanent" loop larger than intended or may not be adjustable when load is removed.

The Uni Knot while the loop is under load is only exerting force on the line and bottom of the knot (more cinching the entire knot), so it puts load on the knot but doesn't really tightening it which also allows you to loosen or adjust it when the load is removed. Because of the complexity of tightening/securing the knot, this is typically used only on thinner lines and is a typical favorite among fishermen for attaching hooks and lures as fishing line is thin and has little friction. On line that can be stretched, loads on the loop and line can seemingly tighten the knot since the line is thinner(stretched) under load and make in not easily adjustable when load is removed; I say seemingly because the knot isn't considered tighter when load is reapplied.

  • I find it really intriguing that such a simple variation to how the knot is tied makes so much difference, though I must be missing something.
    – Victor
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 5:39

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