Monkeying Around: 4 Monkey Fist Variations

Posted by Lauri on May 20th 2016

Paracord Monkey Fist

We've all seen them, we all know them. Anyone who has been crafting with paracord for more than a week has heard of a monkey fist. They are multi functional and diverse. Monkey fists can be made with just paracord inside the fist, a marble, a wooden ball, a steel ball bearing, or really anything you want - I've seen monkey fists around pool balls. From crafting with paracord and doing the social media for Paracord Planet I've seen them made colorful, dark, with spikes, without spikes, multiple strands, single strands, on long lanyards and on short keychains. That's one of the best things about paracord in general, there are infinite things you can do with it and everything you make has a dual purpose.

Before we get to the goods, a little history. Like many historical knots, the Monkey Fist began at sea as a way to ease the impossibly hard lives of sailors. The Monkey Fist was traditionally tied at the end of a light weight ‘heaving’ line to enable the sailor to easily throw it on shore or to another boat. The knot was frequently wrapped around a rock or a piece of wood to add weight to make it easier to throw. This simple knot actually significantly changed the lives of sailors, because they had previously been subject to working with heavy, extremely cumbersome ropes that were difficult to throw.

Naturally, sailors saw the dual-capacity of the Monkey Fist to also be a weapon, calling it the ‘Slungshot.’ Surprisingly effective, the Slungshot was on a much shorter length of rope than the Monkey Fist and was tied around the hand, similar to the way in which many people wield their Paracord Monkey Fist today. The Slungshot continued to be adapted to fit its surroundings because of its simplicity and was used widely by organized crime up until the depression era; variations included the infamous ‘Black Jack.’

Here are 4 variations of a monkey fist to try:

Monkey Fist Keychain

Monkey Fist Keychain

(Photo via instructables.com)

The monkey fist can be a tricky knot to learn and perfect. Start with a basic design and then you can move on to more complex designs. Don't get frustrated and just keep at it. To learn how, click here.

Multi-Color Monkey Fist

Multi-Colred Monkey Fist

(Photo via instructables.com)

This tutorial shows you how to make a multi-colored monkey fist. Remember, the amount of times you wrap around depends on the size of the ball you're using. If you're using something smaller than in the tutorial, do less wraps and vice versa. To learn this knot, click here.

Bracelet with Monkey Fist and Loop

Monkey Fist Bracelet

(Photo via instructables.com)

Certainly for this bracelet you wouldn't want to use anything to big or heavy for the monkey fist. It is a fun way to incorporate this cool knot into something you can wear everyday. To learn this bracelet, click here.

Double Monkey Fist

Double Monkey Fist

(Photo via instructables.com)

This is a pretty fun tutorial to do. You don't have to use it as a bookmark of course, but it could be a fun project to use however you please.To learn the double monkey fist, click here.

Another fun aspect of the monkey fist is that you can end it with whatever weave want and use size cord you please. You can use anywhere from 550 Paracord all the way to Para-Max Cord.

Paracord Monkey Fist

There are numerous ways to customize a paracord monkey fist. What have you tried?

Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.

Paracord Love, Lauri