Slipjoints: the trouble with bails


Eleven Mike
July 4, 2008, 06:13 PM
From searching the term "bail" (and "bale") on this forum, I can see that many of you appreciate a bail on your pocket knives. But I have a bit of a problem with mine.

I am in the habit of carrying a Case Scout Knife with a bail, and I have to be very careful not to close the blade on the bail, when it swivels up into the path of the blade. It has already happened once, but did not seem to affect the edge in any visible way. Nor was the bail cut in half, which would actually have been pretty cool. :)

I am wondering if there is something I could do to eliminate this problem. Should I take a hammer to the rivets that hold the bail on, until the bail rotates very stiffly, or is stuck in place? Right now, it swings very freely. Or since I don't have much use for the bail, I could also remove it. Unfortunately, I doubt I could perform that operation with bubbafying my knife.

Any suggestions?

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July 4, 2008, 06:27 PM
Same problem exists with the split ring for key rings on some knives, such as SAKs.

There really is not a good way to deal with it, other than just accepting this blade closing on a bail/split ring is part of design and operation, and instilling handling concepts with such design.

Akin to having fingers not exposed to edge when closing a locking knife and the differences in a lockback and liner lock for example.

On a Scout/Camp knife, having a lanyard "sometimes" assists, not sure if this being more visual, or the lanyard keeps the bail out of the way.
We all used to use a lanyard, and slip knot through belt loop, or over belt, before sticking in a pocket.

SAKs, like a Classic, on a key ring, "sometimes" assists on the scissors not closing on the split ring.

Run by a mom and pop watch shop, and have the watchmaker use a pair of bail bending pliers to tighten the bail.
This is how the bail on a pocket watch is properly tightened.

Eleven Mike
July 4, 2008, 06:45 PM
Thanks. I thought about putting a lanyard on it. That does seem to help somehow.

Lanyard suggestions, anyone? :)

Fred Fuller
July 4, 2008, 07:35 PM
Try . He threw in a lanyard with some other things I bought from him- it works fine as a pocketknife lanyard.


Chuck Dye
July 4, 2008, 08:23 PM
Lanyard suggestions, anyone?

Make your own, from any number of materials and any number of braiding patterns. I like to finish mine with a Turk's head knot, or whatever the politically correct crowd have renamed that knot. :)

July 4, 2008, 09:52 PM
Hold the knife vertically, with the bail end closest to the ground.

This should take care of most of the problems- however, if it snags on a can opener or something, you just have to watch out.

July 5, 2008, 12:33 PM
The monkey's fist:'s_fist

Is another great finishing knot, especially if you use a little 550 cord and drop a marble inside for weight. It makes a nice pull-end for something that's swimming around in a pocket.

I'm not sure how helpful the instructions are at the above link, though - this one can be frustrating to pull all the slack through.

Todd A
July 5, 2008, 12:59 PM
A laynard might help. When I carry my Imperial or Camillus utility I just make sure the bail is pressed between my palm and the backspring when I close them.

Just gotta be carefull I guess,don't want to chip the blade on my utilities.

Eleven Mike
July 7, 2008, 12:38 AM
Thanks, folks.

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