Tip-Down Carry?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Bobson, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Not to start an argument here, but why would anyone ever carry a “tactical folding knife” in the tip-down configuration? Years ago, when I got my first Spyderco, the idea of tip-up carry seemed foreign and sketchy. It was my first knife with a pocket clip so I had never considered the option at all. Now I can’t wrap my head around the idea of carrying a knife with a pocket clip any other way but tip-up. It just makes sense. Draw the knife and it’s in the natural upright position you’ll use it in. Just flip open the blade.

    Today I saw an ad for the Benchmade 391, which they advertise as a “first option battle blade,” and say they designed it for “tip-down carry to enhance the speed of deployment.”

    What gives?
     
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  2. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question but most "edc" pocket knives I'm aware of are designed to be carried tip down due to the orientation of the pocket clip. What am I missing?
     
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  3. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I do not necessarily always want to open the blade, at the same instant I pull the knife from the pocket. I want to be able to separate the act of getting the knife in-hand, and getting the blade open. Tip-down is fine, for this. I can choose to inertia-open my favored tip-down knives, in one continuous motion, when I choose to do so, so, do not feel that a tip-down knife is “slow” to open-and-deploy.

    Tip-up has made me bleed, when the blade has started opening while still inside the pocket. I am leery of tip-up knives. There is one tip-up knife that I like. It has a strong spring, that keeps the blade closed, and the tip is buried deeply within the handle, when the blade is closed.

    I care nothing, at all, for Benchmade, so know nothing about the model that was mentioned, or about Benchmade’s general blade-deployment philosophy.
     
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  4. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    I own both styles, from various companies, in a variety of blade lengths.
    My brain seems to intuitively know to turn wrist over depending on format.
    There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both styles of folding knife.
     
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a pretty bold way to start a conversation and belies the "not to start an argument".

    Why not is a reasonable response. Why risk getting onto the tip if it somehow becomes exposed? Why not carry with the pivot up so you pinch and pull at the pivot end?

    This is a silly made-up issue in the pocket clip equipped world since there are plenty of "reasons" for either.
     
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  6. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I did a google search for “EDC folding knife tip up or tip down” and found a whole bunch of discussions (especially on the various knife and “tactical” forums) on the matter. I myself will go with “tip up” carry for my EDC folding knives - just as I have for more years than I can remember.
    I did look at an advertisement for that Benchmade 391 though, and to me it looks backwards to the two Spyderco and the one Benchmade (I don’t know the model number) folding EDC carry knives I have - that is the Benchmade 391’s pocket-clip looks to me like it’s on the wrong end. In order to "enhance the speed of deployment," the only thing I can figure is the Benchmade 391’s blade is meant to be deployed with a flick of your index finger rather than pushing it open with your thumb??? Otherwise, I can't possibly see how having to turn it around in your hand before opening it would "enhance the speed of deployment" like the advertisement says.o_O

    I think Rexster has a good point though - I think the blade's tip should be well within the handle in a folding "tip up" EDC knife, and the spring should be plenty strong. I prefer my Benchmade over either of my older Spyderco folding knives for those two reasons. But then again, my Benchmade is not a 391 - mine (whatever model it is) has the pocket clip on the same end as the blade tip when it's closed.;)
     
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  7. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    There is absolutely zero difference in speed whether I carry mine up or down. My personal preference is down. One reason is that is just feels better and the other is so the tip does not catch on my pocket on the way out if it happens to be open a bit as I draw.

    I probably carry this knife tip down because it has massively unequal weight distribution and I would rather the weight be up around the opening of my pocket than down in it.

    I carry a Spyderco Yojimbo II if that means anything.

    Here is my draw cycle. I just now realized that I actually start the opening with my index finger and finish with my thumb.

    C64FAE0C-1681-4541-A969-87B0DD10317E.jpeg B1849C84-302E-4426-BB23-3D92EE63BCD1.jpeg E707F7FA-960C-4BD9-8ABF-E698E798CA04.jpeg AD6ADCBA-86FA-44A7-B07C-9DF498A9E09A.jpeg 9D5A811F-B53F-4C3D-9A0E-6EC0F63BA4F2.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  8. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Asking why someone does something a particular way is bold?? The “not wanting to start an argument” bit was basically to say “for those of you who carry tip-down, I’m not attacking you - I’m asking why you do it. As in, what are the advantages over tip-up (which seems to me to have clear advantages, particularly in a so-called tactical application, which the example knife is supposedly for).

    I’m not here saying my way is better. I’m here asking a question about why someone would do it the other way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
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  9. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    As far as the possibility of catching the blade and cutting oneself with a tip-up knife, I can see how that might be an issue depending on the knife. With my tip-up Spyderco, the blade is facing my rear when it sits in my pocket. So even if it wasn’t fully closed, I couldn’t possibly cut myself with it because my hand drops into my pocket in a C shape around the opposite side of the knife. Maybe that’s why it hadn’t really occurred to me as a potential danger.
     
  10. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    If a friend were to time me with a stopwatch...I think the type of opener would impact overall speed the most.
    Design is more impactful (to me) than in which direction up-or-down the knife tip is pointing in my experience.
    From my very fastest knife to my very slowest knife...we are likely talking a fraction of a second between them.

    For example, my knives with round opening holes are *probably* faster than the ones with studs or discs.
    My reasoning is because the opening holes seem to allow most pressure/grip with little slippage chance.

    I have some truly spectacular knives where I comparatively "take my time" opening them to prevent injury.
    My knives are kept razor-sharp for effortless cutting. Yet if in trying to magically be .001 of a second faster, if the knife were to slice my thumb open (because I slipped) it would totally NOT be worth it!
     
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  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't tell a speed difference. I carry tip up because it keeps the hinge area cleaner, especially if things are dusty.

    If you were carrying a wave type opener, then obviously tip up is necessary.

    If you have a knife that exposes the tip or that has a very loose positive closure then tip down might be smart to prevent snagging.

    Other than those things, I think it's purely preference.
     
  12. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Read the various responses, thought for a moment and decided that I much prefer.... a blade that comes with the ability to move the clip from one end of the handle to the other since I just won't know what will suit my hand better - until I've had it for a while...

    As far as clips on folders go I've learned the hard way not to use them since I work on a small boat and lost a good Al Mar blade that was clipped into position (made a 21 mile run from the ramp out to the coast of the 'glades - but the knife disappeared en route..). I want any folding knife to be at the bottom of my pocket, period - none of that clipped in place stuff for this user.... Given what I do (fishing guide starting my 26th year..) I do need to have a one handed blade on my person at all times in case I need to cut free of an anchor line or cast net line and I've found that for me... that's the best solution. If I ever went back to working the cockpit on a big game boat, instead of a folder I'd have a neck knife ... since getting pulled overboard by a big green fish is something that can happen to any mate in a cockpit at close quarters with something a lot bigger than you...

    I never rely on a thumb stud or hole in the blade to open the Benchmade Ascent that has been my daily carry for some years now so I always position it , deep in my pocket so that when I grab it the tip of the knife is away from me. One of the reasons I like that blade so much is the handle design which allows my thumb to rest on the indentation on the handle as I withdraw the knife for use. With a quick wrist motion the blade is opened and ready for use - probably quicker than I'd be with an automatic...
     
  13. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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  14. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    Hmmm? I never really noticed or cared about tip up or down I just carry the knives I like and get trained on, thanks to this forum I'm getting into Kali/FMA and have been doing some drills solo for now. Btw Kendall County? I'm out in Boerne friend nice to meet ya
     
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  15. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I have to plead ignorance-I wasn't aware that there are apparently so many knives out there that are designed to be carried tip up; I just haven't seen any.
     
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  16. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    For me tip up makes more sense. The blade gets jammed into the corner of your pocket which helps with accidental deployment. Since the butt end of the knife is typically smaller than the pivot end, my hand slides past a knife in the tip up position easier to get to other items in the bottom of my pocket also. It deploys quickly for me in either way but tip up just works better for me.

    I had one knife that was tip down with a reversible clip. I changed it to tip up and am much happier with that knife.
     
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  17. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Hey is the blade centered on your Yojimbo? I carry a Yojumbo at times, with a 4" blade and the blade is not centered.
     
  18. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    I never thought about it before. My Spyderco C07 that I have been carrying daily for the last 25 years is made tip down. That's how I learned to use it.

    spyderco-police-vg-10-blade-ss-12.f74a76e3.jpg
     
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  19. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Im not entirely certain what you mean but is this it?
    image.jpg
     
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  20. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yes. Yours looks pretty good. Think I’ll fiddle with mine.
     
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  21. stevek

    stevek Member

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    For me there are two things that will prevent me from buying a particular knife...tip down only carry, and right hand only clip.
     
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  22. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I'm in agreement for deep pocket carry for a few reasons.

    Potential loss is one of them, plus in some locations just seeing the clip by law enforcement is enough to get you arrested for displaying a knife where that's illegal.

    I also do not wish to give away the fact I'm carrying a knife, period. Goes with my theory of not open carrying a firearm, why give away the element of surprise?
     
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  23. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    So does anyone have links to actual cases where this has happened? How is law enforcement to know how long a blade is just by seeing a pocket clip? A visible pocket clip where I am doesn't constitute reasonable articulable suspicion to stop a citizen who's otherwise not engaging in visibly illegal behavior (i.e., entering a restricted area such as a courtroom, correctional facility, airport terminal, etc.) and perform a search of his/her person.
     
  24. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    If that is ever the case (and even in the unfree states, I strongly doubt that it is), and it was my misfortune to reside in such a jurisdiction, I would make it my primary mission to move no matter the cost or trouble. I guess you could be spread-eagled on the tarmac and searched in such a state if you had the audacity to clip a ballpoint pen on your person.
     
  25. stevek

    stevek Member

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    The other issue for me is muscle memory. This is why I no longer own H&K pistols for a carry gun. The magazine release is in a completely different place from my 1911's, below the trigger guard. In extremis, I don't want to have to spend the extra time to remember what to do to swap magazines...
     
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