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Difference between MPH and Knot

Difference between MPH and Knot

Are you an avid sailor or simply curious about the difference between MPH and Knot? If so, you’re in for a treat! In this blog post, we’ll delve into two different speed measurements: miles per hour (MPH) and knots. Between their singular definitions to how they are measured on the water, we’ll provide insights into why these units of speed can be so confusing yet fascinating at the same time. With our educational guide, you’ll understand the complex jargon with ease. Let’s get started!

What is MPH?

MPH stands for Miles per Hour, and it a unit of speed used primarily for measuring velocity. MPH is typically used in the United States to measure the speed of an object or vehicle, including cars, planes and trains. MPH was developed to make calculating distance covered in a certain amount of time easier, as MPH allows people to estimate how far they’ll travel given their current speed without having to perform any calculations. MPH is often abbreviated on signs, particularly when warning drivers about speed limits on roads. Drivers who exceed MPH limit can be fined or receive points on their license depending on the severity of their offense. MPH is an important element of traffic safety that ensures motorists are travelling at a safe rate and obeying posted laws.

What is Knot?

Knot measurements are used to measure the speed of boats or other objects moving through a liquid. Knots measure the speed at which an object moves in nautical miles per hour (nm/h). Knots have been used for many centuries and remain the preferred method for measuring the speed of boats or other nautical objects. Knot measurements are particularly important when sailing, as they allow sailors to quickly estimate their speed and distance from their destination. Knot measurements can be taken from any point on a boat, including its bow, stern, and port or starboard sides. Knowing knot measurements is essential for safe and efficient navigation for sailors or other nautical recreationalists.

Difference between MPH and Knot

  • MPH and Knot are both measurements for speed. MPH is an abbreviation for miles per hour and relates the number of miles traveled in a period of one hour. MPH is the standard unit for measuring speed on land and is used in many countries around the world.
  • On the other hand, Knot is an abbreviation for nautical mile per hour and measures speed by relating the distance in nautical miles, which have different lengths depending on where you are traveling, to time measured in hours.
  • To put it simply, MPH measures regular miles over an hour whereas Knot looks at nautical miles across that same period. Both MPH and Knot provide us with a way to measure our speed when travelling, yet MPH is more commonly used given most people don’t travel by sea very often.


In short, MPH is how fast your boat is going through the water and Knots are how fast your boat is going through the air. Knowing which one to use can be important when trying to get somewhere quickly or avoid obstacles in your way. While both of these measurements are important, it’s important to understand their differences so you can use them correctly and make the most of your boating experience!

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