How to tie a rope ladder

Creating a rope ladder involves selecting the right materials, understanding different methods, and ensuring safety. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make a rope ladder:

Types of Rope Ladders

  1. Tied Rope Ladder: Uses round rungs like broom handles, tied into the rope strings.
  2. Drilled Step or Rung Ladder: Features flat plank rungs with rope passing through, secured by knots.
  3. All Rope Ladder: Entirely made of rope, it’s complex and less user-friendly【32†source】.

Making a Tied Rope Ladder

Materials Needed:

  • Rungs (broom handles or similar)
  • Durable rope (for outdoor use, select a hard-wearing variety)

Tools Required:

  • Saw (for cutting rungs)
  • Pencil and tape (for measuring)


  1. Prepare Rungs: Cut broom handles to uniform lengths (around 40cm).
  2. Find the Center of Rope: If using a single rope, identify the middle as the top of the ladder.
  3. Attach Rungs: Space rungs evenly along the rope. Attach each rung with a Marlin Spike Hitch.
  4. Secure Rungs: Ensure knots are tight and rungs are evenly spaced.
  5. Finalize Ladder: Adjust rung spacing and ensure level alignment【35†source】【36†source】【37†source】.

Making a Drilled Step Rope Ladder

Materials Needed:

  • Planks (for rungs, preferably treated for outdoor use)
  • Strong synthetic rope

Tools Required:

  • Saw (for cutting planks)
  • Drill with appropriate bit
  • Pencil & tape (for marking)


  1. Prepare Rungs: Cut planks to desired length (40-50cm typically).
  2. Drill Holes: Mark and drill holes for the rope slightly larger than its diameter.
  3. String Rungs: Thread the rope through the rungs, spacing them out.
  4. Secure Rungs: Tie simple knots at each desired rung position and adjust for even spacing.
  5. Finalize Ladder: Ensure rungs are level and evenly spaced【38†source】【39†source】.

Fixing the Rope Ladder in Place

  • Tied Rope Ladder: Create a loop at the top for hanging. Secure the bottom to the ground to prevent swinging.
  • Drilled Step Ladder: Use ropes with spliced eyes for easy attachment to anchor points. Secure the bottom as with the tied ladder for stability【40†source】.

Selecting the Right Rope

  • For Tied Ladders: Use thinner, possibly braided polyester rope for easier knotting.
  • For Drilled Step Ladders: Choose thicker, 3-strand rope for a robust build.
  • General Advice: Synthetic ropes are preferable for durability, especially outdoors. Consider ropes with spliced eyes or ends whipped for neatness and safety【41†source】.

Safety and Maintenance

  • Regularly inspect the ladder for loose knots or rung displacement.
  • Ensure the ladder is secured firmly at both the top and bottom.
  • If used by children, ensure additional safety checks and supervision.

Additional Tips

  • Practice tying knots before starting.
  • For permanent setups, consider constrictor knots for greater security.
  • Customize the ladder length and rung spacing according to your specific needs and usage scenario.

By following these guidelines, you can create a safe and functional rope ladder for various purposes. Remember to prioritize safety and regular maintenance checks to ensure the ladder’s reliability and longevity.

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