Tip up or Tip down

Bob Taylor

Platinum Member
Dec 10, 1998
We are in the process of catching up on the back log of the Crawford Carnivour and have to make a decision ASAP. As far as a position of the pocket clips we can make them tip up or tip down. What do you perfer and why. Before you start we can not make it to where it is changable so that isn't an option. I am cross posting this because we at REKAT respect the opnions of those who are active here. Even if you have no plans on purchasing the Carnivour you vote counts.
Bob Taylor

Hi Bob - If you are using a detent to hold the blade closed and it is effective, then tip up would work. One of the problems with "easy open" tip up knives is they can accidently open in the pocket. The "Martial Folder" sample Spyderco that you have is engineered to use the cam to hold the blade closed. It is effective, but without a detent, it is a gravity knife. We can send you some prints if you want to try it.

The real advantage of a tip down knife is most evident with an opening hole in the blade. This permits grabbing the hole, pulling the knfe out of the pocket and snapping down the handle. This is more difficult with a stud.

If you are using a stud or disc, and the knife is tip up. try making it reversible with a hook on the back side stud (opr back side of disc). This will allow the blade to hook to the top of the pocket hem and open the knife on exit like the Emerson Commander and would be easier to build.

Some thoughts to share. Say hi to Chris & Bob.


Hi Bob, thanks for posting this question here. I prefer tip down carry for obvious safety reasons, but will consider knives that are tip up carry provided that the ball detent on the liner is strong enough to really hold the blade shut (e.g. Spyderco C48 Wegner). Plus, withdrawing a tip down knife from the pocket puts the thumbstud/disk/hole in a position for immediate opening upon withdraw (unless you happen to be packing an Emerson Commander
). Hope this info helps.

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

"The keystroke is mightier than the sword"

My mistake in not explaning we are using the Rolling Lock to hold the knife closed this in more positive than the ball detent, sorry having a bad shop day, popping taps left and right grrrrrrrrr so my mind wasnt right.

Bob Taylor
My 2 cents...

I prefer the tip up design. I generally pull the knife out of my pocket with my thumb on the inside, so it is by default in the correct position for easier/faster deployment, as my thumb is already on or near the stud or hole.
sorry wrong post

Unless your the lead dog,The scenery never changes!!!
Gregg Lane
Peddler,of fine Goods

[This message has been edited by txlazer (edited 20 March 1999).]
Reader's digest version of my reply in general forum:

I prefer tip-up. Tip down *always* requires a pinch-grip at some point. Tip-up is at least as fast and much more secure. Provided, of course, there's some spring pressure keeping the blade closed while in the pocket.

However, NEITHER tip-up or tip-down are enough to make me buy or not buy a knife. What will make me avoid the knife is if the clip is mounted too low, or it interferes with the ergonomics. So the real determiner of tip-up or tip-down should probably be: Where can you mount the clip highest while still not interfereing with the ergonomics?

Well, this may sound strange, but i've had more problems with the knife opening in my pocket with tip down carry. With tip up, the
blade is secured against the material of my pocket, and I've never had one open when I didn't want it to. With tip down, I've had them open a little, and then reached in my pocket for something, and cut myself when I took my hand out of the pocket.
Of course, I think a strong detent is important either way.
If you do not have a Spydie hole and the lock keep the blade securly closed: tip up. This will then be faster and saver to open, I think.

[This message has been edited by J D Wijbenga (edited 27 March 1999).]
definately tip up, if you are using rolling lock, because there is little problem with the knife opening unintentionally, and it is much quicker to withdraw and open if it is tip up.
If an opening hole is to be used, tip down is a must. As Sal pointed out and no doubt many others feel the same, the hole pinching method provides for a very quick snap opening.


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."

Just look what you stirred up!

Since you are using the Rolling Lock, even though I prefer tip down, I would probably be amenable to either tip up or tip down on this one. Thanks for asking us.
Tip up definately!
Ala the Cold Steel knives
It' quicker & less awkward to open as you dont have to roll your hand over to open it.
Thankfully the new Delica 98 I just ordered is tip up.
This is a shocker, even for myself, but I'm going to vote for tip up. It's a shocker because I've been an advocate for tip down for the longest time until now.

For starters, one of the more substantial reasons advocating tip down is because it would be inherently safer against accidental openings. Well, my AFCK is tip-down and I've had it accidentally open and cut through my pants before. I guess while tip down may be safer, nothing can replace taking common sense precautions. And for pocket carry, that is to make sure the spine of the blade is wedged against the wall of the pocket. Carried this way, accidental openings shouldn't be a problem.

Argueably, the most common form of pocket carry is the front pants pocket. Assuming all of the above is true, and I don't know how you folks draw your folders, the tip up draw would be more efficient. For tip up, I would dig the thumb into the pocket along the folder and hook the end of the clip with my third finger. After it clears the pocket, all I would need to do now is a slight shift to rest the end of the folder in the last three fingers to thumb the blade open.

If it was tip-down, the blade would have to be pinched above the pivot like you're pulling out a car cigarette lighter, only upwards. When the blade clears the pocket, the folder is placed against the side of the body to rotate the folder into the hand for a full secure grip. Then, the entire blade has to be rotated within the hand again to orientate the blade correctly so that the folder can be thumbed open.

I hope I didn't lose anyone, but after a while, it seems pretty apparent to me that if I was a knife maker considering the general market as a whole, and the blade was for defense, I'd do everyone a favor and make it tip up, and possibly consider writing an article or pamphlet about the proper way to carry and draw this blade. Only catch is to make sure the clip is such that a person can get a good grip on the end with the third finger.


[This message has been edited by SB (edited 27 March 1999).]
I prefer tip down carry. I like my knives smooth & looser than tighter & so tip down is safer. At the same time, I can draw the knife with my thumb on the stud or Spyder hole & open it as fast as I could ever want. If the knife uses a stud especially, there is less drag pulling it through a tight front pocket
I prefer tip down. I pinch the pivot area, pull knife out of the pocket about half way, push down, and knife ends up fully in my hand ready to be flicked open. Caveat -- I have small hands and the knives this works best on are the larger folders.