Where's my knife?!??!!?

Jan 10, 2001
Took a weekend survival course where we were limited to a five inch blade or less. I brought my small sebenza. Carried it clipped inside my waist band. On day two, on a three mile forest plant id hike, I reached back and low and behold it was GONE!

Ok besides a bulky pouch or sheath on your side (which is where I would normally cary a big blade knife) what is a good way to attach or fix your smaller utility knife so it does not get lost??

Someone suggested a length of chord tied to a belt loop and tucked in along your belt. This way your knife stays in your pocket for easy access.
Any other ideas???
Last Friday a father and son stopped by my house to borrow camping equipment. The teenage son had a folder clipped to his rear pocket with a thin rope running through the lanyard hole and onto his belt loop. What caught my attention was a small"disk" placed over the clip on the outside of the pocket. He told me it was a very strong industrial magnet and that it held the knife secure to the clothing/pocket. Asked if he ever hit the disk hard enough to loose it,he indicated there was no way his knife would come loose...the magnet held the knife so tight you had to force them apart.

Seems to me you could move this magnet around the body to almost any position and secure the knife inside or outside the clothing. So, here is one way to secure it. Question might be do I want a magnet on my person and If the answer is no big deal...I'm all set.
Hi Counsel-of-record,

First of all send me the coordinates where you lost the small Sebenza ;)
Although it would be little expensive flying over from Holland to the US.

A good solution might be a lanyard attached to you Sebenza, the only "problem" is that it is often fastened to your belt and limits your "reach".

I found a very nice way of attaching an lanyard by attaching a hand carved small figurine to the end of the lanyard to form a kind of "knob" and you just slip that between your pants and the belt and it effectively "fixes" your lanyard to your belt but in case you need to detach it you can easily detach it.

There is a German knifemaker who arves those miniature bats, fish, faces etc. (size about 1 to 1.4" "round/oval") and they are carved in exotic woods and even ivory and are real master pieces.

The only drawback, the price as they can take up to 40-60 hours off intricate carving.

Best Scouting wishes from Holland,

I think there are several solutions to the problem. You could just wear the knife in a well-made belt sheath. You might also look into a neck sheath for it. And another possiblilty is a pocket sheath of some sort. I carry two knive in my backpocket in a pocket sheath I made from a double ammo pouch.

I often wear nylon pants in the summer and everything slips out of the pockets. I've used a piece of rope tied to my belt and hooked to the knife using a clip that I found in a fly fishing store. This little clip holds the knife pretty well and you just pinch it in the middle and it releases. There are some key chain clips that also work might work for this.
Thanks guys.
Hoodoo, I also had on those nylon pants and I think that is why it slipped out. These pants have a sewn in belt which will not take a belt sheath without adding another belt over it. (Does that make sense?)
I will work on the lanyard idea as it seems to make the most sense.
I can think of a solution or two.

You could take a belt sheath, add 550 cord and through the loop over your shoulder.

Or, bladerigger offers there Stat Sharp, which is a pouch/wallet with a sharpening system on a leash, have someone make you a sheath on a leash.

Piets mention of a fob and lanyard rings true, as well.
Originally posted by Bagheera
I found a very nice way of attaching an lanyard by attaching a hand carved small figurine to the end of the lanyard to form a kind of "knob" and you just slip that between your pants and the belt and it effectively "fixes" your lanyard to your belt but in case you need to detach it you can easily detach it.

You just described what the Japanese created as "netsuke" figures. They were carved fobs attached to a cord. The cord passed behind their obi (belt) and the netsuke's size was large enough to keep whatever was at the other end of the cord (typically a small container) from pulling the netsuke back through the obi. Picture of the setup at http://members8.clubphoto.com/greg397346/Demo_Album/photo3.jpg?7375 (picture originally from http://www.spindel.com/whatis.htm)

For your folder, you could:
  1. get a wooden bead (1" to 1-1/2" diameter) with a hole drilled through it at a crafts store
  2. attach a lanyard to your folder that is long enough that you can pass it between your belt and your pants with your folder in its normal carry position
  3. tie the wooden bead to the other end of the lanyard so that it rides above (hangs over) your belt (see pic at URL above)
If you wanted to be fancier about it, you could buy a real netsuke to use. Prices for one are about $20 up to thousands of dollars. If you do a search for netsuke on the web, there's a bunch of sites on it.
After more consideration, how about this....

Take a length of strong cord(550), put it through the lanyard hole and tie it off- leaving one end approximately twice as long as the other.

Now, on the the short end, tie a fob of the approximate sixe of your thumb, you can make this fob out of just about any scrap wood. I would make the fob of a rectangular shape, with the hole drilled through the middle of the shortest distance, giving the hole as much structure around it as possible. If you are using an awl such as found on a Swiss Army Knife, be careful to keep the pressure as you drill to a moderate level, else the wood split.

On the other end of the cord, tie a permanent loop of a size just larger enough to accept the fob.

In use, having the fob on the short end will keep you from having to pass the fob behind your belt.

So, when you want to secure the knife, pass the loop end of the lanyard around your belt, thread fob, and drop the knife into your pocket. Note- Given a suitable lenght, this loop could go over your shoulder, or anywhere.
At most hardware and some Mailboxes Etc. and similar stores, in their key chain section, you'll find little metal devices that have a key ring on each end. You can attach one end to your knife and the other end to your keys or a belt loop or whatever. The metal device is made to separate so - Here, let's see if this works:

Explains it better than I could. Just attach one end to a length of paracord or chain attached to a belt loop & attach the other end to your knife.

If the picture doesn't show up, go here: http://www.geocities.com/strikemaster2000/MAGLITES.jpg
or here: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1614413165
medusaoblongata's gadget I used to attach my helmet to my webbing; it worked well and was tough and secure. The trouble with this gadget, for knife use, is that its a two handed operation. You can do it one handed but its not easy.

A well made toggle system works but it needs to be made to work with one hand but remain secure when left to its own devices. These two statements contradic each other, so in making one that works is easier said than done.

A brass grenade pull will work but do not last. They are difficult to make with the right kind of resistance. On larger knives a pin with spring flip over ring could work; this I've just thought of and will go out and try.

My SAK Huntsman has been on a piece of paracord in the front pocket since I was ten. KISS does work. Fishing zingers are the modern alternative, however mine have never lasted that long as the springs tend to go and the cord is under tension (keen edge on a loaded spring is not an :eek: so long as the tension cannot pull the weight of the knife).

The last knife I found in the woods, a large folding Normack Swead, my Sergent swore was his from an exercise from the previous year. :rolleyes:
How about an aluminum carabiner on the end of a short(ish) lanyard. You could use the knife attached for small, close up chores, and easily unattach it for extended use. If you put your belt through a carabiner with the gate on the outside and put a loop in the lanyard you could always put your hand or fingers through the loop so you don't drop it in the water/snow/latrine or whatever. The carabiner would just stay attached to the belt. The nice thing about this system is that you can attach the biner to anything that has a loop (like a pack, tent, jacket, or whatever). Carabiners are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes these days.
My Mountain Hardware pants have a zippered wallet pocket inside the front right hip pocket and I've never had a worry of losing anything from it. This particular pocket is very easy to access on these pants, and leaving the pocket unzipped will not matter, this pocket is secure. The downside? These pants cost $140 Canadian!! I've had them for three years and abused them beyond reason, and they are still functional, if a little worn.

A well made toggle system works but it needs to be made to work with one hand but remain secure when left to its own devices. These two statements contradic each other, so in making one that works is easier said than done.

What about this one?


It holds tight when the fob is loose, but when you put the fob inline, which you can do with one hand, it slides through the loop with no problem.

And with the same set-up, it will work as a 'netsuke' like mentioned above.
Things which come to mind which appear to be variations on those already mentioned.

1. Any kind of key ring holder that fits on your belt. The knife can then be fastened to it in numerous ways such as paracord lanyard and some Swiss army knives even have a chain lanyard attached. You could combine this with a FastTex Buckle key chain system 98BKR1BK such as the BlackHawk Key Ring (3/4" inch), shown here: http://store1.blackhawkindustries.com/cgi-bin/storenew.pl?page=new/fcatalog.html&setup=220&cart_id=

By the way Brookstone used to sell a stainless steel version of the key chain that comes apart, as was described above, instead of the usual chrome plated brass, but I do not believe they still sell it.

I recall using this belt/key ring system in Boy Scouts, where I recall it was part of the uniform. Clip the knife on by its bail, or metal loop, to the holder that was on your belt, and just suspend it in your pocket. I have used metal ones that are one piece (not solid) such as “ My Key Pal” , ones with a dangling snap, a leather one that would snap on and off your belt with a dangling snap, and a Duty Key Holder from BlackHawk industries, 52DGKHBK, with a high quality dangling snap, as seen here:
The duty key holder forms its belt loop with velcro.

2. Tie a lanyard to the knife and put tie a loop on the other end large enough to pass the knife through. You can then either clip the loop to a key holder or pass it under a belt or less secure belt loop, etc., and then pass the knife through it, and drop it in a pocket. Remember that lanyards can also get caught on brush and pull the knife out, but if fastened to something secure, that would not be too much of a concern. Once removed you can do the same thing to fasten the knife to your wrist, if you are more concerned with dropping the knife, then you are falling on something you cannot get rid of as easily. [Someone mentioned this concern about falling on a sharp knife that is attached to you, but there is no guarantee that you would not fall on it anyway if you dropped it at the same time as you fell.]

If fastened to a belt loop it could probably be ripped off if necessary for emergency access, but I do not volunteer to try this on my belt loops, at least not until I find a pair ready to be thrown away. You could make the lanyard any length and you could combine this with a fob system. Marion’s looks like it would provide emergency tinder.

Lastly you could get one of those springy lanyards, but I do not know how strong they would be. One is made for attaching Van Staal titanium fishing pliers, and is presumably reasonably durable, but the lanyard at around $16, somewhat expensive. The one time I saw one, it appeared to be made well.....they probably do not want claims that someone’s $200+ pliers were lost because the lanyard broke. It appeared to be just high quality soft plastic though with no imbedded emergency cord or wire. The idea is that it uncoils enough so you can use the pliers while on the lanyard. Not that tears are necessarily embarrassing, but I think the idea is to save one from crying, when ones favorite pieced of titanium falls in the water, hmmm...didn’t this thread start because ones favorite titanium handled knife fell...... I plan on buying one as soon as someone gives me those nice Van Staal pliers ;) For those who just have to see what a pliers look like that cost :eek: just a little less than a Sebenza, you can see a pair here:

I have the duty key holder and it is well made. It is somewhat stiff and I occasionally can feel the edges poke me when it hits bare skin, because of the velcro. I use it mainly for suspending my reading glass case from my belt when I have a t-shirt with no pocket. It seems secure and the clip is well made.

P.S. After posting I tried the links and the ones to the BlackHawk products from www.tacticalnylon.com do not seem to go directly to the product, but you can use the product numbers to search.
My favorite lanyard for tools is an old curly phone cord. It is relatively short and out of the way, but will expand to reach you work. It can become a mess though. Note I said for tools, not weapons.
For my weaponry, I use a length of 550 paracord which loops completely around my body.
Just a thought...
I think that the knife should be disengaged from your body for use. Unclipped, untied, etc.
If you have a dummy cord (no offense ;)) that is on the short side you run the risk of it pulling tight while you have an open knife in your hand...knife stops, hand doesn't...bad.
If you make it longer, the excess cord can catch on something (branch, pack, rifle etc) and the same thing can happen.
And you have to worry about the cord catchin on stuff while walking with the knife stowed, too.

How about attaching a belt type sheath to your packstrap? You could use duct tape or heavy (inner tube type) rubber bands...

Back to work on my "Hat Knife"
I remain,
This really is a good thread.

It has inspired me to play with the whole fob/netsuke concept.

I find that I almost prefer carrying my Delica this way, on a line, with a belt fob/netsuke.
I was thinking about a netsuke/fob concept. I saw a knot called a "monkey fist". It seems to be the perfect size to slip between the belt and pants yet not too large. I guess you could tie a really big knot, but that's not what we want. The knot would also contain a good length of rope which could serve on a fire bow if necessary.