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Knots are used for pulling, holding, lifting, and lowering. When using line for these purposes, it is often necessary to join two or more lines together. Knots and bends are used for temporary joining, and splices provide a permanent joining. In either case, the breaking strength (BS) of the joined line is normally less than the BS of the separated lines. The weakest point in a line is the knot or splice. They can reduce the breaking strength of a line as much as 50 to 60 percent.
Knots are the intertwining of the parts of one or more lines to secure the lines to themselves, each other (bends), or other objects (hitches). Because knots decrease the strength of the line, they should always be treated as temporary. If something permanent is needed, a splice or seizing can be used.