Tip up or Tip Down

Tip up.

If you're serious about using a knife for defensive purposes, you'll spend enough time drawing and opening to develop muscle memory. Regardless of tip up or tip down design.

However, I believe tip up offers more ergonomic advantages, especially under stress.

I have two knives I carry often, one of which has a clip mounted for tip down carry (AFCK), and the other for tip up (Endura). I can open both knives fairly quickly. The Endura probably wins by a hair. But wait, it's not that simple! The AFCK takes a microsecond longer longer to open, but once it's open it's positioned better in my hand. To open the Endura faster, I must use a gravity assisted shake and flip action, and the knife ends up positioned with my hand a little too far back. I have a hard time reaching the thumb hole due to the clip being butt-mounted.

Question for all you experts who prefer tip up carry because it's faster to deploy: Are you using the thumb stud/hole, or just shaking the knife open? Because, if I'm gonna use the shake and flip method, tip up is definitely better for me. If I'm gonna have to use the stud/hole, then I'd prefer the tip down configuration.

Does the Rolling Lock allow for a shake and flip opening?

Bob, thanks for asking.

David Rock

Tip down! Clip up high near pivot point.
Like BM975 or Mission MPF-1.For me the only way to carry a folder. This provides faster access to thumb stud for quick opening (for me). I wouldn't consider anything else.

Tip down! Clip up high near pivot point.
Like BM975 or Mission MPF-1.For me the only way to carry a folder. This provides faster access to thumb stud for quick opening (for me). I wouldn't consider anything else.


if you know how to draw it right, Tip down is faster than tip up, safer, and tends to make more sense grip wise.

Stay Sharp,
Joe S.
Tip up, tip up, tip up, it's no contest. When you hold a knife the tip is towards your wrist, why would you want to draw it upside down?
David Rock,

As a tip-up proponent, I can explain the draw and deployment I use with my Delicas. It works with an Endura also. I do not shake the knife open.

Here it is broken down into steps. The whole process is pretty fluid. I just broke it down for pedagogical purposes.

1. Hand touches side, locates clip of knife by touch.

2. Thumb slides inside pocket alongside knife, middle finger positions at end of clip on outside of pocket.

3. Draw knife from pocket.

4. Thumb goes to thumb hole as knife rotates to opening position at base of fingers. The knife is roughly perpendicular to the wrist and arm at this point. This position is important to master if you're having trouble reaching the thumb hole.

5. Open knife with thumb.

6. Shift, if necessary, to appropriate grip for task.

Everyone has their own favorite moves. This works for me.
Tip UP (even after years of AFCK carry). Shake and flip (you mean those curious holes and studs can be used for opening the folder?

I think this focus on opening speed is misguided. I've practiced both tip-up and tip-down, they're roughly the same speed. I think if anyone is seeing any differences in opening speed worth mentioning, they probably haven't practiced enough yet with the slower-type opening. I do feel one is a hair faster than the other, but so what? That 1/100th of a second probably doesn't matter either way.

Two things that *do* matter to me are 1) security in the pocket, and 2) security while opening. Tip-down has the nod for security in the pocket -- for tip-up, you really do want some good spring pressure to make sure the blade stays closed. For security while opening, tip-up has the nod -- you do not need to pinch-grip for a fast tip-up opening, something you'll always end up doing at some point or other for fast tip-down opening. The get the same security with tip-down opening, you have to slow down a bit.
So with any knife that holds the blade in the handle firmly, tip-up is a pretty clear winner, in my opinion.

On the other hand, I'll say again this issue for me is secondary to the other clip issues. The clip has to be mounted high, and it should not interfere with the ergonomics. Many companies and makers break one or the other of these two most important rules, in a misguided attempt to ensure tip-up or tip-down.

For an example of proper clip positioning, check out Darrel Ralph's Krait. There's no way he could have done a high-mounted tip-up clip, so he made it a high-mounted tip-down clip. The clip is shaped well and angled in such a way that it doesn't interfere with the ergonomics at all. Most important thing to watch out for with tip-down clips is making sure the clip doesn't get in the way of the thumb stud/hole/disk or lock area. I'm a tip-up fan, but tip-down was the right choice for the Krait.

I totally agree with Joe on this one. While I prefer tip down, all that really matters is that the clip is mounted as high as possible and that it does not get in the way or interfere with the ergonomics of the knife. As long as it meets these requirements I really dont care if it is tip up or down.
Mr. Taylor, After the discussion so far, who does it look like is the "winner"? I am just curious about which way you were leaning. We have heard several opinions, but I would like to hear yours. I really think that no matter which way you decide the ELU is the real winner with the Carnivour.

Front Site Communications "web sites with impact" http://www.knoxplace.com/fsc
okay, i'll explain why i think tip-down is slightly faster, kinda in response to Howard.

1. knife in pocket, as right side/leg moves forward, you grab the knife at the pivot point with thumb, index, and middle fingers.

2. pull the knife out in a smooth motion that gets it moving away from you.

3. open knife on way to target.

kinda hard to explain, easier to show, but it works.

i think it has the edge doing this because the tip up requires a wrist shift in direction between pulling the knife out your pocket, and moving it towards something.

Joe is really right, though. it won't prevent many people from buying it either way, because most people carry both, and the speed difference is probably an example of splitting hairs. both designs take a distant second in speed to a good fixed blade.

Stay Sharp,
Joe S.
Tip down. PLEASE! There's little difference in speed between a tip up and tip down configuration and tip down is safer and more versatile.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)

Let me throw another variable in....

Clip screw holes and threads.

If the clip threads into G-10 it will strip eventually, somehow. But if you drill through the G-10 into those wonderfulo STEEL liners, then you have a winner.

And you are planning on going with the three screw clip, aren't you?

Tip Up....

Just cuz I am used ti it, and tip down opens awkward for me. I do not like to hav to pinch grab my knives either....