How I wrap earbud and charger cables so they don't get tangled

Currently imagining you have 300-fathom earphones. ‘And there, stove upon us too important for gravity for two winks, was the greatest waterproof aquatic accessory that ever used Thunderwire 2.0’


I’ve used the figure eight for joining two ropes using a double bight, so they end up interlinked like a chain. I’m fairly confident that works well enough for my purposes. Although I’ll just tie a square knot if the ropes are the same diameter or not too slippery.

Like so?

Or something else?

“There have probably been more lives lost as a result of using a Square Knot as a bend (to tie two ropes together) than from the failure of any other half dozen knots combined.”

Because this can happen.

(Which is actually a feature when tying bandages, but nowhere else.)

I confess I have used it too, in non-critical situations, but a sheet bend is my go-to quick bend in non-slippery rope.


No, more like two of these, with the loop on each interlocked with the other

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Came back to urge extreme caution on square knots. Actually, don’t use them, full stop.The re-threaded figure 8 (red and blue ropes above) is good. The more complex use of 2 figure 8s like the blue rope is unorthodox, but I can’t see a particular issue, Sheet bend is OK, but of the ropes will be subject to flopping about or variable load use a double sheet bend (where the green rope would wrap around twice) and nice long tails (at least twice as long as in the picture).

But one recommended method is actually the simplest. An overhand knot, well dressed and with adequate tails. Also less likely to catch on things than some of the more fancy alternatives. Can be a pain to undo if it’s been well loaded.


Which is why for those situations I typically use a triple fisherman’s / grapevine knot.

(We’re really making a mess of those charger cables…)


Oh, now you are just driving trollies.

A square knot is not a bend, it’s a binding knot. That is, it is a poor choice for tying two ropes together to lengthen them. A square knot can easily spill into a cow hitch, allowing the ropes to come apart.

/knot pedant


Hey man, that’s what they taught me in the Scouts. That square knots were for tying two ropes of the same diameter together, while you use a sheetbend for differing diameters. But I like to do a different thing, where I tie one rope with a figure eight bight on its end, then thread the end of the other rope through the bight and tie a figure eight knot on that second rope so that it’s like a chain link. Two interlocked bight loops.

[quote=“LDoBe, post:28, topic:81990”]Hey man, that’s what they taught me in the Scouts.
That square knots were for tying two ropes of the same diameter together, while you use a sheetbend for differing diameters.

I did a quick Google to see how such misinformation about square knots may have arisen in scouting. I clicked on the first hit for scout handbook knots:

[quote=“BAD ADVICE from ‘The Six Boy Scout Knots’ by John Geffre”]
Square Knot

The books say not to use the square knot to tie two ropes together because it can untie itself under the right conditions but I have used a single slipped square knot to tie two ropes together for years without a problem yet.

Sheet Bend
The sheet bend is the knot you are “supposed” to use to tie two ropes together.[/quote]

Oh, good grief. So irresponsible and wrong. This guy should not be posting this for scouts.

A sheet bend is a bend, but it isn’t the only bend. Knots are application specific, and the sheet bend is not a good general purpose bend. And teknocholer’s post shows one of the main reasons not to use square knots as a bend.

Rigger Brian Toss notes a useful quality of knots: any loop knot that is secure in the middle of a rope is also a knot you can use as a bend - just think the bend version as being as if you cut the loop with a knife. That’s a way to think of your use of the loop version of a figure eight as a bend. I prefer the Alpine Butterfly loop, though. But the figure eight, if properly dressed, is a secure knot that is easy to identify as being tied correctly. Still, the in-line version really is the better version to use as a bend rather than the top knot version



We tied those in scouts too. Although the senior scouts and the scout masters discouraged us from tying them.

it’s a great way to store cables

I’ve damaged a lot of cables by wrapping them. Ten years ago I switched to simply coiling them and storing each in its own zip-lock bag. No strain, and I can keep dozens of cables in a box with no fear that two cables will tangle with each other.

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That’s a very good idea for short not often used cables. Never thought about that.
From the other side, I have a vew boxes (not often used, or maybe never more) cables. And a bowl with often used cables and not many troubles with them. Nice, friendly, good listening and staying where I put them, cables.

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triple fisherman’s / grapevine knot.

Came to say the same thing. Although I usually use a double fisherman. One of the “must know” knots as far as I’m concerned, along with the bowline and clove hitch.


Add in the “water knot” if you deal with flat cord a lot.


That’s a secure knot, but but bulky and slow to tie, and uses a lot of rope. I would suggest the figure 8 bend that I showed. It uses the same follow-through sequence that your knot requires for the second loop, and is more compact.

For a quicker but still very secure bend, look into the classic carrick bend.

(I’ve been meaning to learn the Zeppelin bend, which looks good too.)

Well, use when appropriate, which is not as a bend. The square (reef) knot is the knot of choice for tying up bundles and packages, because it can be drawn up tight without putting any slack into the working side of the knot (as long as you have someone to put their finger on it while you are tying it :smiley:). Back when bandages were tied in place rather than held with sticky tape, a square knot was used, because a tug on one end would upset the knot and allow the end to be slid out without needing to unpick a jammed knot.

Yes, especially in synthetic rope.

Excellent, very secure knot, but man, do they jam tight. That goes triple for the triple fisherman. For non-life-threatening situations, ease of tying/untying takes precedence for me.

The water knot works well in rope also, and is quicker than the figure 8 bend, but more prone to jamming.


True. We were discussing knots to join two ropes as I recall, where a square knot is a very bad idea, but you 100% right about being able to tie them (and untie them) with tension in the ropes. I do like the carrick bend, but rarely use it, usually preferring the double sheet bend, especially where ropes are unequal diameters (small rope does the round-and-round, large rope in the U-shape). For joining climbing ropes, I use the overhand.

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With your two x figure eight option I’m now really struggling to see how you tie the second figure eight without painstakingly threading the rope through the knot as you tie it. If you thread the rope to make the figure-eight, you’d be better of using the single threaded version like technocholer showed (red and blue ropes above).


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