Best Winter Carry?

Oct 3, 1998
What folding knife do you prefer when you are all bundled and gloved up for carrying and using in the winter? Utility use being primary intent.

Of my folders, only the BM 940 and the OE Impulse are reliably operable in my gloves. Reliably operable meaning I can draw them, and open them and put them away one handed. This is not anything done with speed or ease yet.

Both of them work OK clipped in the sleeve pocket of my coat(snaps closed for better retention) but I don't find that particularly comfortable or preferable. Pocket clip and waist carry are fairly obscured by my preferred coats. Cargo pockets are a good substitute, but all my pants with cargo pockets are shorts....

A neck knife worn on the exterior is not preferable and those I have don't have a handle that work well in gloves.

Buying more pants with cargo pockets is an option. I've dropped 25 pounds this year and my clothes don't fit as well any more.

As to the knife, it should have a big handle to offset the gloves awkwardness and lost dexterity of the hand. It should have an easy to use opening system. The holes on the Impulse work well. On the 940, the studs of the Axis lock stick out enough they can be operated with the gloves, and the blade swung open.

Unlocking the Impulse in gloves is a bit tricky, but not too bad. A little practice makes quite a difference. The Axis unlocks easily in the standard manner.

About 10 years ago, I used to carry a butterfly knife for glove use. I like the other knives I have mentioned better for ease of use and carrying options, poor as they are.

What other carrying methods and/or knives should I consider?

I like my Emerson Commander or SOFCK. With the wave facility you can keep the knife in just about any pocket and open it on the draw. This means that having to wear gloves etc. is not a problem.


Actually, it isn't the knife that helps me, it's the opening stud. We may not get as much snow in Wisconsin as Buffalo, New York, but it gets cold. Unlined gloves may work for just driving, but if you're outside much, your gloves have to be lined, and your dexterity becomes limited.
I've found that a folder with a sharply knurled opening disc or thumb stud grabs the glove best.
I've been packing my LCC lately, and it has a big, lathe turned stud. First thing I did when the storm hit last week was to see if the stud gripped my glove. No problem!--OKG
I wear jean jackets almost exclusively. Front right pants pocket is the spot whether it's summer or winter. With a sport coat, it covers the clip for church.--OKG
Any folder is out. No exceptions. I have yet to see any folder purposely designed to open with gloves or mitts on. Lubrication would be another issue. Cold makes the action stiffer. I would agree that big thumbstuds would be helpful, but if they get too big, then getting them out of one's pocket becomes an issue. Closing the folder is another issue. It can only be done awkwardly with strong temptation to remove one's glove or mitt to do this more smoothly. Under conditions of extreme cold, a folder is a safety liability.

Fixed blades with natural material handles in leather pouch belt sheaths are the logical and only choice. For the current minus 45 degree Celsius (includes wind chill factor) we are experiencing here in our little corner of Canada renders this discussion academic.
Actually Apothacary, The all titanium Mission
MPF was specificaly designed for use with gloved hands
I think the Military was also designed for gloved use - by way of a larger hole.
Almost any Spyderco works great with heavy gloves provided the hole is big enough. I carry them in my right front pocket. No problems here except lifting my coat to access them, but no big problem.


My collection
Living in NY's snowbelt provides for a great test of the ability to get to and properly operate a one hand folder. The two that I have the best luck with in cold weather are the Spyderco Military (large opening hole)and the Benchmade Stryker (thumb disk.) The Military came with and definitely holds a better edge. Both are equipped with G-10 scales to insulate from the cold. If they're too much $, the Spyderco Endura, Delica, Native, or Calypso Jr. may be good choices.
Although it's too big for most public use, my Vaquero Grande is great with even heavy gloves. The dual ambidextrous thumb studs really stick out, and the mid lockback operates with either hand also. The handle is about 7", so it doesn't get swallowed up in a thick grip. The handle is totally Zytel, so it doesn't freeze up like metal would.
I'm with Apothocary... when it hits -40 it's impractical to have to fumble around in heavy gloves or mittens to work the thumb stud of a folder (and using your tongue is definitely out!). Big wooden grips such as Roselli's on its erapuukko (hunting knife), CS's kraton or Fallkniven's Thermorun work well in the cold. Belt carry under a parka works best for me, although neck carry is an option when you're active, cross country skiing, etc.
AFCK- Large handle and easy access to thumb hole. For the speedy deployment it sounds like you need an auto.
Carry- I clip it inside my shirt collar.
Sure, I recognize the benefits of fixed blade carry in the winter. I find it less practical for public carry. It also suffers more problems for access compared to a folder. That's why I specified a folder.

But the info so far has been interesting.

Opening my AFCKs is simple with gloves. But they are a pain to close. In general, opening isn't the problem that closing is.

I haven't tried my lockbacks. They are probably a good choice, I just don't use them often in general. I'll up them into the rotation.
It sounds like what your saying is the AXIS lock is good with heavy gloves. Your right about unlocking the AFCK so I went into my safe and pulled out a knife with a integral lock, like on the Sebenza. It unlocks real good with heavy gloves on.
Browning barracuda is great for winter use.
easy to open and close with gloves. 440c so it takes and holds a good edge. and inexpensive
I take of my gloves! Huh? When it's really cold, I wear glove liners under my gloves (Mittens if its REALLY cold). I'll take off the gloves, and leave the liners on! The liners are THIN (about as thick as a tee shirt). Then when I'm done, I'll put my gloves back on!

BTW Liners (Gloves, socks and HAT) make things a LOT warmer. Here's a good trick (gratis) for keeping your feet warm. Get some spray antipersperant, and spray your feet! It makes a BIG difference. I always used to get cold feet before I did this
Mike Sastre can make a sheath for your folder opened. Then you deploy it from the sheath already ready, that is, if you are hampered in carrying a fixed blade.

Thank you,
Marion David Poff aka Eye, Cd'A ID, USA

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I live in AL, where it's never extremely cold, but I wear welding gloves alot since I work with molten rock (great fun). My Spyderco Goddard ltwt works well being a lockback with a Spyderhole and a large handle, but I'm out of luck closing any of my liner locks with the gloves on. Haven't tried any of my Axis locks, yet.