Review The Great Clip Comparison of 2018

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by Lone_Wolfe, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    With the recent popularity of aftermarket clips in addition to both of CRK's current offerings, I decided to do some testing. In addition to both of CRK's, the stock clip and the G & G Hawk designed clip originally offered on the Ti-Lock, I got one each of what I'll call the 'Big 3', Millit, MXG, and Ripps Garage Tech. From left to right;

    Millit - Stock CRK - MXG - Hawk - Ripps


    The knives that got to play this weekend. Left to right, all larges

    2002 Annual with Bocote inlays
    Pre-Idaho 21, UG 'Grapevine' with Citrine cabachon
    Pre-Idaho 21 with Mammoth Bark inlays
    Old pivot Umnumzaan
    Classic with African Blackwood inlays


    The first thing I compared is ease of putting the knife in pocket, and the amount of wear this causes to the pocket rim. With the disclaimer that I'm used to it, the Hawk wins both of them for me. I realize that one takes a bit of getting used to. The others, in my ranking;


    I must note that the Millit was a distant last, it was hard on my hands. It and the Ripps are also very hard on pocket rims. The MXG would take second place on gentleness to pocket alone.

    The Pickpocket Test

    The next thing I tested was pull removal weight, using a fish scale. I did 3 pulls per clip, making sure the scale was zeroed before each pull. I recorded the highest weight shown on each pull. Note that each is in pounds and ounces. In order from heaviest to lightest;

    Hawk - 3-8, 3-6, 3-5
    Millit - 2-1, 2-6, 2-4
    Ripps - 2-1, 2-2, 2-3
    Stock - 1-11, 1-10, 1-9
    MXG - 1-7, 1-8, 1-8

    The Hawk clearly had the strongest resistance to being eased out of a pocket, with the MXG at the back of the pack.


    The Shake Test

    For the next test I put 2 at a time in a pants pocket, turned it upside-down and shook until one fell out. This test is designed to simulate the knife staying in place if you were to fall or get knocked down or off a bike, etc.

    To prep for this, I taped the fronts and sides. These may be my carry knives, but they're still Sebenzas and an Umnumzaan.


    Here's how I did the shake test. I cut the pockets from an old pair of my jeans, then put 2 knives at a time in the pocket. I then folded the pocket so the knives would stay fairly vertical while I was shaking them downward. I put a blanket on the counter to protect the knives when they fell, and I used only the pocket that didn't have any wear from carrying a knife.

    I did at least 3 shake comparisons of each pair, and paired them all off against every other to get a ranking.The results of the shake test are;

    As I expected, the Hawk clip was the clear winner. It took some serious shaking to get that one loose. The Ripps performed the worst, surprising me a bit. It let loose much easier than the slow pull results had me expecting. Another surprise was the MXG. With it's low pull weight, I expected it to do poorly in the shake test. Instead it ended second place. The Millit in 3rd was pretty much a dead heat with the MXG, it took 8 or 9 comparisons before I got one to drop before the other. 4th place went to the stock CRK clip.






    The Millit and the MXG really went head to head

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  2. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    One thing to note is that I didn't have enough Sebenzas, so the Hawk clip is on a Zaan.



    The Seat-Belt Lift Test

    One of the biggest scares we often see around here is a pic of a CRK that's been lifted from a pocket by a seat-belt, shirt hem, etc. We're always relieved if the knife is found, but sometimes it's not. I don't have a part of a seatbelt, which is a prime culprit in CRK-liftings, but I do have a laundry bag with very wide mesh that did boost a Benchmade 51 from my pocket in Afghanistan. I put some clothes in the bag to add weight, and started dragging it across the knives. The stock CRK clip was at a decided disadvantage here, catching and being lifted the easiest of all. The 3 aftermarket clips took turns getting caught and lifted as I changed their position and the pressure applied as I swept the mesh bag across the group. The Hawk clip even caught once. I felt it catch and resist, so I gave it a tug. Turned out the mesh hadn't gotten up under the metal well, so the Zaan went flying. So did the Siamese cat supervising from atop my shoulder!






    The Scratch Test

    One complaint I've heard about both CRK clips is that they'll scratch a car's paint more easily that others, so I decided to try to test. Most human butts are rounded, which tilts the knife so the top of the clip is away from contact with objects nearby. But what I found by clipping foil to a board and brushing against it was that it was easy to rip the foil with just a light brush against it with every clip. It didn't take much at all to scar the foil. I really couldn't tell any difference in the amount of pressure needed for each clip to do damage. So the verdict is that if you have a knife in your back pocket and need to squeeze between cars, take the knife out of your pocket. Otherwise the score will be;

    Knife clip - 1
    Car paint - 0

  3. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    Carry Height

    The last thing I looked at was how high the knife rides in your pocket with each clip. The MXG is the clear winner there, in this pic even the knife's lanyard is hidden. Very good for when you don't want your CRK to say "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee!".

    The Ripps was the next lowest rider, just a hair below the remaining 3. The 2 CRK clips and the Millit were about the same in this area.


    The underside of the clips, except for the MXG. There's no markings on the back of that one.


    After all my testing was done, I decided the high retention of the Hawk clip with both fast and slow removals, plus the lack of any damage to the pants pocket when putting the knife in made in the best clip for my use. So back on the knives they went, with one exception. For times when I want to back pocket carry, but discreetly, the MXG got the call. It did the worst in the pickpocket resistance test, but with the knife not sticking up at all it's less likely someone will try for it. This is also one instance where the cheaper look of the MXG works in it's favor. Having tied for second place in the shake test is also good. Right now I have it on my Mammoth Bark, but may move it to my Annual later. I did hammer the lip down a bit flatter to lessen the chance that a seat-belt would relieve me of my knife.

    The CRK clip is just a basic clip that is fine for most people, I'm just picky. IMO the Ripps and Millit are more for show, and there are some pretty ones. I'll admit I'm not a fan of any of the bright colored options, I think they clash with the knife. I do like the ones with an inlay that matches the inlay on the knife. The ones I like best have inlays that match the inlays on the knife. I've seen some with beautiful Mammoth inlays that looks great, but I'd be too afraid of the inlays breaking or popping out when the clip flexed to ever use them.

    Hope you got some information useful to you out of this.

    jmac603, loon#r, Edgeoflife and 30 others like this.
  4. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    Wow thanks for sharing this! You saved a lot of us time and money:)
    Lone_Wolfe likes this.
  5. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Awesome write up! Thank you for that.

    I iust have to ask, the test where the list is stock, mxg, ripps, millit; is first ace easiet to remove or hardest to remove (best retention)

    Edit; nm first test was ease of putting in pocket. Srry
  6. R41GSB


    Feb 26, 2018
    Excellent LW! A very well executed look at how pocket clips can make all the difference in carry, depending on a variety of thoughtful factors.

    FWIW I very much like the standard CRK clip. It's not perfect, but I think it fits well with the knife and have never had any carry issues with it.

    Side note, I find it odd (though not an issue) that the large and small Sebenzas use the same size clip, despite the disparity in blade/body size.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    Lone_Wolfe likes this.
  7. --SG--

    --SG-- Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 7, 2016
    Kudos and thank you to LW for this long, in-depth post. May there be more!
    Lone_Wolfe likes this.
  8. sn0wman72

    sn0wman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2017
    Great info LW

    I really like the look of the Millit and Rips clips so much more than the stock CRK
    jmac603 likes this.
  9. Wavicle

    Wavicle Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    LW- Very interesting and informative, thanks!

    One question: From a side profile perspective, how would they rank from closest to the frame to farthest? Even though I do like the Hawk clip, the tip always seemed to protrude a little further than I liked for catching and scratching.
  10. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    Quick graph of the clip retention numbers. Thanks @Lone_Wolfe for putting this together.

    Buckfan22 likes this.
  11. GermanyChris


    Feb 18, 2015
    One thing you can't really test for that I'll bring up is I've torn the heck out of neoprene seat covers with the hawk clip. When I get in my Jeep I sort of slide across the seat on my right side and that little nub on the top of the hawk clip catches the seat cover and tears it. Since my jeep isn't any taller than most 1/2 ton pick ups it may be an issue for some of the truck/SUV driving set.
  12. Cheesehead_Slasher


    Apr 21, 2016
    Nice work! I may need to reconsider my pocket clip choice on my Sebenza.
  13. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    Seems like stock is the overall winner.
  14. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    ??? It didn't win any categories at all.
  15. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    Bad joke.
  16. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    This was a great post, thank you for doing this! I would have tried the falling out test over my soft mattress instead of a countertop just to reduce potential damage
    Lapedog likes this.
  17. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    brandonc and Josh K like this.
  18. bhyde

    bhyde UNNECESSARY EVIL Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Mar 19, 2002
    Price..although you didn't test that ;)
  19. Glock Guy

    Glock Guy Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    You rock L-W! :thumbsup:

    Bummer that it looks like the Hawk clips are sold out. I was looking to pick one up after your review, and I'm sure I'm not the only one!
  20. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Thanks for the test. I would have bet cash that the Hawk clip would be the one most likely to keep your knife in your pocket. I have a TiLock and a Griplock which has the Hawk clip in a smaller size. The Griplock has smooth plastic scales and the clip works great on that knife as well.
    Billy Gatens likes this.

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