Are Monkey Fists Illegal? Here’s the Truth

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A monkey fist is a large knot made up of other knots on the end of a string or paracord. They have been used for hundreds of years as mountain climbing tools and a way for people to defend themselves against attack. So are monkey fists illegal?

Monkey fists are illegal in California and are considered a gross misdemeanor in several other states. In the state of Florida, they are free to use. Check local laws to ensure that a monkey fist is legal for self-defense.

When protecting yourself or your family, having a bit of non-lethal self-defense isn’t a bad idea. Trips into the city or in large crowds can be prime territory for attacks, and taking something small and nondescript could save your life. So read on and learn all about a monkey fist and its legality.

What is a Monkey Fist?

You might have seen these gems in your local military surplus or prepper store. These bits of paracord are tied together to make a solid ball like a rock. These easily fit in your hand and can be used as a melee weapon. The important thing to remember is your safety.

A few ways a monkey fist can be used are:

  • Closed Fist – Using the monkey fist in your closed hand makes your punches solid. No matter where the blow lands, you will make a shattering impact. Aim for places that have bone close to the surface, like the collar bone, to disable someone’s grip.
  • Flail – We’ve all seen movies with knights brandishing a large metal ball on the end of a chain. The flail is a distant cousin of the monkey fist and can be used similarly. By swinging the fist, you can gain momentum and create enough force to crack a bone or skull.
  • Hammer – One of the most effective ways to use the monkey fist is by using the blunt end of a hammer. The paracord creates a stable surface that will work to absorb the shock of your blows. Just like in the palm of your hand, the monkey fist is good as a heavy instrument used to make your blows much more effective.

Using something as a weapon, like a monkey fist, takes training and time. Choosing less lethal self-defense is a grey area that some laws might not cover. Be sure that the instrument you use to protect yourself is legal, or you could face felony charges.

How Does a Monkey Fist Work?

Making a monkey fist is easy if you know how to tie the correct knots. They are layered atop each other to create a surface that is hard from reinforced bands of cord or string. These reinforced pieces can take a licking and still return to form. Their resilience makes them great defensive weapons, but the fist is not just a weapon for fighting.

A few other ways a monkey fist works are:

  • Mountain Climbing – The monkey fist is also a valuable tool for mountain climbing. Its large end is a nifty way to generate some force inside a crack or rock shelf. The big end lodges in the hole and can hold up several times its weight.
  • Boating – Knots work great for boating and sailing. The monkey fist is a great way to create an anchor for your on-deck goods or secure your vessel to a pier. Using large knots is an excellent way to keep your important stuff above the water.
  • Keychain – One of the smoothest ways to add some self-defense to your life is by getting a monkey-fist keychain. As a keychain, the monkey fist works by being much larger than average. Simple yet devious, the monkey fist is good for finding your keys and cracking robbers about the ears.

A monkey fist has many other uses besides self-defense. Their legality in other areas is hard to determine, but using them as weapons could be addressed in local laws. Be sure that your gear is separate from your self-defense tools. Having them mixed could result in laws being enforced unfairly or unjustly.

Where are Monkey Fists Illegal?

Your best action plan before buying a monkey fist is to ensure they are legal in your state. The laws of self-defense can vary from wildly open to closely guarded. Always check the local statues and see if you can be on the line. If you have questionable things, leave them home and don’t risk being caught with them in a public place.

A few states that could have laws against the monkey fist are:

  • Oklahoma – If you have a monkey fist in the state of Oklahoma, you are breaking the law. Back in the day, bar fights ran rampant in cattle towns across the state, and rope availability made the fist a tempting alternative to broken bottles and switchblades.
  • California – One of the worst states for self-defense is California. The monkey fist and a laundry list of other weapons have been banned to lower the casualty rates. Be very cautious about what you use to protect yourself out in Cali, as too much can see you in the same trouble as your attacker.
  • Nevada – Another state known for its nightlife and bar fights is Nevada. They have misdemeanor laws that keep the public from using the monkey fist. The laws in the state are conservative on handheld weapons, and using a fist could see you get a ticket.

By checking the laws of your state, you protect yourself against being in trouble for doing what is natural. Knowing how law enforcement will react if you are caught with a monkey fist is always a good idea. Do your homework to prevent yourself from getting in any trouble.

Final Thoughts

A monkey fist is a series of knots tied together overlappingly. It makes a decent weapon as it creates a hard surface that will crack bone and could repel any attackers. It makes for a great self-defense weapon as it looks harmless and can be used as a keychain or bracelet.

The laws surrounding the monkey fist can vary from one state to the next. States with conservative self-defense laws could prosecute for using the tool, while others might give you a slap on the wrist. Be prepared for any situation, and always have tools handy to protect yourself.