Clips Be Gone!?!?!?

Jan 10, 1999
I am so sick of clips on folders now, it seems every (fashionable) knife has one. I remember when sheaths were part of the package and you always knew where your knife was. Sheaths seem to have disappeared, and clips are all the rage. Why?

Is it because, as materials get thinner, it's harder to open a knife without the clip? Or, is the addition of a steel clip cheaper than offering a nice sheath? Hummmm....

Not every knife should be carried around in your pocket. Many reasons exist for this: safety, security, and stealth to name a few.

Safety: Knifes can easily open in a pocket and cause great harm to your person. This is especially true when you fish around in your pocket for keys, wallet, gum.
Security: How secure can anything be hen it is clipped to a pants pocket. Most knives protrude out of the top of the pocket and are easily picked by thieves. Clips weaken over time, and screws loosen. If you are an active person, your knife will be lost before you know it. Clips catch on anything and everything, like seatbelts, and are easily pulled from there not-so-snug little homes. Only pockets on jeans lend themselves to clip-on carry because of the horizontal design. If you say I should carry my knife inside my pants, clipped to the waist I'll cry. It's painful and annoying.
Stealth: Everyone knows what a clip looks like and where you carry your knife. Bright, shiney clips attract unwarranted attention and questions. It's easy to conceal a hip-borne sheath (and it's not illegal up to four inches).

Lastly, clips break. What then, buy a sheath and until the replacement clip arrives? I say, remove the clip and buy a nice sheath. I have seen some fantastic sheaths for tactical knives.

Ok, will need to wear a belt, suspenders won't work with a sheath.


On the whole I agree; It's only the smaller folders I think the clips are very useful, larger ones feel more comfortable carrying some other way.

I removed the clip on my Starmate after just a few days for three reasons:
* I get a better grip on it without it
* Most of the time it would have been in a belt pouch anyway
* It doesn't fit in either of the knife pockets on my trousers, as they're closed with flaps and with the clip in use it protudes too high to close them; Without using the clip it's hard to reach.

Ok, will need to wear a belt, suspenders won't work with a sheath.

Some can be carried on suspenders, but you've got fewer options as to where.

The advantage of clips is of course that when you don't carry the knife, there's nothing left on your belt. I guess a secure but quick and easy to remove and fasten belt pouch would be ideal.


[This message has been edited by Griffon (edited 10 June 1999).]
Who says it has to be clipped to your pocket? I keep my knife clipped to the waist of my pants, just behind my right hip, inside the pants. The clip is black, and is usually covered by a shirt or coat, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. It's easy to access and comfortable to wear, as well as being harder to find during a frisk or pat-down than a sheath is. I'll take it over a sheath any day of the week.

[This message has been edited by Terry Laverdure (edited 10 June 1999).]
I HATE clips and have developed a reputation for same.
I found prefessional-looking remedies for all my Benchmades and Microtechs, and even offered a budget-priced Clip Hater Kit to others with my same preferences.
I sold 25 kits in a week, so there are definately other clip haters out there.

The ONLY folder that has an acceptable clip is the James Brothers Cheyenne, IMO.
This is my "dress knife" and it is usually clipped to the inside breast pocket of my suits.

Chris Reeves is in line with the demise of the clip fad as he offers a milled titanium plug for the machined area of the scale where the clip attaches.

The Leopard Cub, BM3500 Mel Pardue, AFO, Socoms, Genesis, LUDT, and all Spyderco Clipits are far better feeling (and looking) sans clip.
I predict that clips will be offered as an option in the future, just as bead blasted blades.
I like pocket clips as well. Put it this way, if the knife doesn't fold, lock, and have a pocket clip attached to it, I won't even consider buying it no matter what it's qualities or looks are.

I hate sheaths now, and I don't like a knife just tossing around inside the pocket. The pocket clip is the most comfortable and convenient way to carry a knife. My likes, but maybe not yours, nothing wrong with that

AKTI Member #A000003

Love em'. -AR

- AKTI Member ID# A000322

- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.

I am a clip lover. A carried knife can and sometimes does serve as a weapon on the offensive or in the self defensive mode. The knife, however, is most utilized as a tool for all sorts of various work needing a sharp edge or point. A knife carried by clip may not always be unobtrusive, but it is easy access to the tool. I recently switched my daily carry from a BM Stryker (always carried in waist band) to the Delica. The great grip texturing on the Delica was chewing up my pants when carried by clip, so I started carrying this nice light knife just in the bottom of my pocket. Carrying it this way is very comfortable, but I can not tell you how many times I extract it indexed upside down because it rotates in my pocket. I also found that I often use a blade when sitting. Try diggin' a knife from the bottom of your pocket while sitting. Not so easy. I am back to clipin'.

Best Regards, Todd
I think speed and ease of access are the main reasons why clips are so popular on folders. Why have a one hand opening knife if you have to draw it from a sheath (I am referring to the typical belt sheath)? Many more people are carrying knives for purely defensive purposes these days (even if they won't admit it) and the typical clip just plain works more efficiently than the typical sheath, IMHO.

It's funny, I never have viewed knives as weapons...I wonder if I'd even think to draw one if the situation occured. -AR

- AKTI Member ID# A000322

- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.

Add me to the list of clip haters. Well hate is too strong. On larger folders placed at the rear then they are OK. Most of my folders are 3" blades or less and I like to carry in my pocket so I like full spacers as well. My 2 cents.
I'm not very fond of clips anymore. ekaagan, you make some very good points. I now carry my Crawford KFF without the clip in an Inside pocket knife holster from .

It works much like a pocket holster for a gun. It resolves the points you bring up about clip carry. The holster keeps the knife securely closed while in the pocket. I had my KFF come open in my pocket when I carried it with the clip. The point went through my pants and cut my hand. The clip also put a hole in the cloth seat of my car. I also had a co-worker spot the clip of my AFCK.

I don't have those problems anymore.


It sounds like people either love 'em or hate 'em. Does anyone have suggestions for knife sheaths? Links to pictures would be appreciated.

I carried a Bucklite in a sheath (with a one-hand-opening aftermarket stud, as this was before I discovered Spyderco) all through college -- but once I entered the business world, a big nylon or leather belt sheath just didn't look right against formal clothes. The clip on your average tactical folder lets me carry a large knife in relative concealment.

Of course,on the weekends I carry my EDI Genesis in a beautiful horizontal belt sheath that Gary Graley made for me.

Put me solidly in the hate camp. And don't forget the wear and rear that clips can produce on ones clothing.

I have some very nice sheaths produced by G2 as well, just great work from a great guy. His stuff has been posted all over the site, and as a fellow clip hater you should get to know and love the man.

The company that makes the leather sheathes for Chris Reeve Knives, Gfeller Casemakers, also does excellent custom work. I am carrying a prototype Small Sebenza sheath from them that is as high a quality a piece as you will find. Their site is at /

I like the clips. I just wish that the clips could be moved to the other side for lefthand use. I know that some designs like the older rolling lock you can't do this because the clip would interfer with the locking mechanism. The clip also aids in gripping the folder to be able to open the knife one handed: not every one is 6 ft tall with large hands. Just another factor - if you don't like the clips remove them. Yeah, I know it looks ugly with the empty screw holes: you can buy plug screws to put in there if it bothers you enough. Larger manufacturers are unlikely to carry another model w/out a clip and holes, the smaller custom guys can do it with ease. Thank goodness for everyone being themself or else the world would be quite boring. We do share ONE thing: we all LOVE knives!
Why all the fuss about clips? If you hate clips, take them off and buy a nylon pouch/sheath! I have a CR Sebenza with a clip. I carry it in a pouch sometimes and clipped to my pocket sometimes--depends on where I'm going, my clothing selection, and mission, etc. To me, a pouch/sheath is more noticeable than a clip. The one thing a sheath does is solve the tip up/tip down controversy.

I/ve had great luck with my AFCK clipped to my right front pocket, as far back as it will go. It's mostly invisible, doesn't interfere with anything, hardly know it is there, and even while off-road motorcycling with all its body movements (and occasionally landing in the dirt!), it has never moved from its location.

Bottom line--give me a good clip--I'll decide if I want to use it or not.

Bruce Woodbury
I do not think there's a real fuss over clips.
It's simply a matter of preference.
And, judging by the replies to this thread, clips are favored by the majority.
It would be great if manufactures provided a few flush-fitting screws to fill the holes left by clip removal.
I have independently located screws that work on Benchmades, Microtechs and MOD's, but have been unsuccessful with Spyderco.
I've made some very nice sheaths for for folders with clips out of Nylon webbing. Based on the BM sheath that came with my Balisong, they can be worn horizontally on your belt in front or back. The design allows for the clip to secure the knife into the sheath and a flap with a little hook and loop fastener seals it up. Very low profile and much easier to get at compared to the same knife IWB front or back. This also conceals the clip from spying eyes and protects the finishes on your car and furniture. (I have a rather large scratch on the bedside of my truck from my Genesis clip)