What Makes Tip Down Carry Bad

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Night Rider, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Night Rider

    Night Rider Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2022
    Messages:
    439
    I don't own a lot of folders. Of those I do none of them are tip down carry. I've heard several people opine that tip down carry is bad but I've never heard anybody say why. So, I'm asking
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Blue Jays like this.
  2. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,114
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Well, I guess it depends on your draw. For me, tip-up carry seems more natural, safer, and quicker.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  3. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    2,355
    The only thing I can think of would be that with the tip down when removing the knife from your pocket, the blade could possibly open and snag your pants like a fishhook.

    This would seem to be an issue with a cheap folder though or a poor design.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  4. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    905
    Location:
    USA
    Years ago my distinct preference was for tip-down…like the classic Benchmade AFCK.
    Over the years more of my folders are of tip-up design. I am now comfortable with both.

    Back in the day, having the spine against the pocket with a tip-down ensured it was CLOSED.
    What is without question is one does not wish a shoddy tip-up that could result in hand injury.

    Knives from reputable manufacturers are so darn good these days it really comes down to taste.
     
    sparkyv, RetiredUSNChief and hso like this.
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,299
    Location:
    DFW Area
    I don't know that I would say that tip down carry is bad. I prefer tip up carry, but I carried tip down for years because the knife I preferred only came in that configuration.

    The main reason I like tip up carry is because it puts the knife hinge down inside the pocket instead of sticking out of it. I found that the hinge tends to stay much cleaner with tip up (hinge down) carry, especially if you're working in a dusty/dirty environment. I really hate the feeling of having a knife grit/grate when I open/close it, so maybe that's more of a motivator for me than for some.

    I also think that tip up carry puts the knife in a better position on the draw. I have two knives that are essentially identical, one is configured for tip up carry and the other one can only be carried tip down. That lets me experiment. With tip down carry, I have to reposition the knife significantly in my hand after getting it out of my pocket. With tip up, if I put my thumb into my pocket down the side of the knife, the knife comes out of my pocket very close to already being in the right position for use. I don't see that as a big deal, but, at least for me, there's a noticeable difference and the difference favors tip up.

    I agree with the comments already made about tip up carry and snagging. You definitely want a knife with the kick adjusted properly so the tip is below flush with the handle and a closure design that has a decent bias towards closure. Without that, a knife carried tip up could snag the tip on the pocket during the draw and is more likely to open in the pocket than if it were carried tip down.

    Some of the nicer quality knives you buy these days give you the option to pick tip up or tip down carry by changing the position of the clip. About a quarter of my pocket clip knives offer that feature. They're all configured for tip up, for whatever that's worth.
     
  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    8,954
    Location:
    SE GA
    I don’t know if it is bad. I’ve done both. Here is a sequence of how I draw my folder from a tip down position.

    I think it depends on the knife and your personnel preference. Speed is of secondary importance. Reliability is more important.

    Tip-Down Carry?

    It’s probably also worth reading through that entire thread.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Night Rider like this.
  7. RA40

    RA40 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,033
    Location:
    California
    I personally carry tip up as the draw places the knife in a ready to use position for my preferences. Sometime back I was asked to offer pocket clip carry on a knife, I asked other knifemakers what was a common carry. I received all sorts of comments along with a variety of legalities about up or down. No real conclusion but based on how the user preferred.

    For the heck of it I put this on a beater to test for a right hand position. Learned that the pocket clip was not comfortable in use.
    wharncliffe-pocket-clip-May 21, 2021-0030 - Copy.jpg
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  8. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    7,213
    Location:
    Plano, Texas
    Tip up might snag if it opens in your pocket before clearing the pocket.
    Tip down would likely just close if has contact with the pocket.

    I prefer tip up, because my thumb hits the Spyderco hole as I draw.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Blue Jays like this.
  9. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    2,355
    Ok, I had to think about that for a minute. Yes, that is what I meant.

    Well I always carry tip DOWN then on folders that have a clip.

    I don't often carry pocket knives that have a clip. Swiss Army or a Case half whittler or a stockman is what I carry.

    They just kind of rattle around all over in the pocket and have multiple tips anyway :p
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    23,581
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Most of my knives are tip-up, but the potential for a bad cut does exist if the blade isn't fully closed.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Blue Jays like this.
  11. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,240
    Location:
    south Florida
    I learned the hard way (lost an Al Mar Eagle that was clipped in place) not to carry any blade on the water in a clipped in position... Just entirely too easy for you to get where you're going and find that good blade - didn't make it... Instead I carry my folder in a front pocket (and I like deep pockets on pants or shorts on the water.. ). I do have knives with clips and very occasionally will use a clip - but not as general practice. If I'm able to move the clip from one side of the handle to the other I'll usually try it in both positions - but only to see what feels comfortable in the hand - not particularly for carry purposes...

    I'm also a guy who never carries an assortment of blades - I want my use of a knife in an emergency situation to be instinctive- both in reaching for it and deploying it without much thought at all. You can never anticipate on the water when you might become entangled in a line or other emergency you'd need to cut yourself free from. Not something that most ever concern themselves with...
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    15,959
    Location:
    Georgia
    Tip up is just easier/faster to deploy for me. The tip down knives I own require me flip the knife around in my hand before opening the blade. With tip up there is just one less step to get the knife out of my pocket and open. I can see the potential for tip up to cut your hand if it opens in the pocket. But I've never had that problem.
     
  13. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    522
    Tip down, so if I stick my hand in my pocket I don't get surprised by a half-open knife.

    My preference is for assisted-opening knives with pocket clips. Without those restrictions I don't suppose I would worry about it much.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and Blue Jays like this.
  14. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    905
    Location:
    USA
    Also concur about moving a valuable knife into a secure pocket if over water…regardless of tip-up or tip-down!
    Crossing a stream or brook is one thing, yet if on a boat all day knife is going into a velcro'd pocket or similar.

    Most manufacturers are good with recognizing some clips lack sufficient retention right from the factory.
    You can get clip replaced during a periodic factory servicing or get it inexpensively and do it yourself at home.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  15. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,160
    If you stick your thumb into the pocket, grip the knife thumb-to-fingees, and pull it out:
    - with tip up carry you've got 80% of a working grip and the handle moves back into the palm as the thumb opens the blade.
    - with tip down carry you do a mini drum-majorette spin-a-ma-thing routine to turn the knife around in your hand, or open it with your pinky and hold it goofy.

    I can't figure how that works. . . unless your pocket is above your elbows or something. . .
     
  16. Goosey

    Goosey Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    587
    I prefer tip down. On a tip up knife my initial grip does not reach the stud. On a tip down knife my thumb is placed on the stud when I grab it. This applies to knives about 9-10" overall. I don't like deep carry clips.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  17. Boattale

    Boattale Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,304
    Location:
    SWMO
    I've never in my 70 years had a knife open in my pocket. All my knives with pocket clips came from the manufacturer tip up. Seems to work for me. All you tip down guys - well - have it your way.

    To answer the question, when you remove a knife from your pocket carried tip down, it's bad. When you remove a knife from your pocket carried tip up, it's good.

    Clear enough?
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  18. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,209
    For my money, tip down is a little bit slow and awkward.

    On the other hand, one of the most serious cuts I've suffered was from an extraordinarily sharp automatic, carried tip up, that opened without my knowing. I didn't know I'd been cut until the blade snagged on bone.
     
  19. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,264
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    I carry a kershaw scallion tip down because it comes that way. I just grab the stud/pivot screw with my thumb and pull out the knife rather than shove my thumb deep into the pocket. Works for me.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and .38 Special like this.
  20. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2021
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Cecilia, Ky
    I prefer tip down but will use either. If I carry tip up, I want the clip on the left hand side of the knife so that when in the right rear pocket, the spine is nestled against the seam.

    I don’t carry a clip knife in my front pocket because it impedes me getting to my pocket knife or anything else that may be in my pocket.

    if I carry a clip knife, it’s in addition to my pocket knife.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  21. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,876
    Location:
    on Puget Sound
    Never thought about. Always carried tip-up, 'cause that's the way all the knives I've liked came... Just a few here, some favorites with a couple knockarounds.
    foldersX.jpg
     
  22. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,381
    I didn't think it mattered. Until I looked at all the folders I have owned in the last 25 years since I started carrying a pocket knife. None of them are tip up knives. Knowing that, when shopping for a new knife I now take it into account. Don't want to learn something different than what I am used to.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    23,581
    Location:
    Atlanta
    If folks aren't concerned with being super tactical/defensively minded, it's probably not a big deal. It's rather like flippers, which are never situated for instant defensive use. Thumb studs and opening holes leave your thumb near the base of the blade, which can be okay for instant use, however flippers would only be usable instantly for a very delicate cut with your first finger extended. All of the flippers that I've seen that also had a thumb opening stud could not be safely opened using the stud.

    So, not "tactical":

    knives without locks
    knives that require two hands to open
    tip down blades (unless meant to use inverted)
    knives using flippers to open

    If instant defense - or emergency use - isn't a goal or needed function in your mind, it really doesn't matter. And even most people who think of knives as a potential tool in their defensive toolkit, probably haven't considered that, just like they wouldn't want to draw their weapon then have to change their grip before squeezing that trigger, you also want to be able to draw your knife and instantly use it without any additional manipulation.

    John
     
    RetiredUSNChief and gyp_c2 like this.
  24. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I don't think one method is any more dangerous / safer than the other .
    If it opens in your pocket ... somethings wrong with the knife .
    I guess in Theory if tip-up and it opens you could theoretically cut your finger when absent mindedly shoved your hand in there ... but really , you will know when the a blade opens in your pocket .

    I say carry it both ways and see which feels more natural . I have many knives that speed open ... several have NO pocket clips ... my newest Kershaw is point-down ... the next one , a CRKT , is point-up ...
    I hadn't paid much attention but now I will see if position makes any difference ...
    I have a feeling I will carry some point up and others point down simply based on the size and shape of each knife and where the pocket clip lays on the handle ...in the front or in the back ... which position feels more comfortable in the hand when cutting things .
    Gary
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    31,996
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    My usual clip on knives are point up and that is what I am used to.

    But I really feel like I missed the boat when I did not buy a CRKT two-bladed knife; one blade plain edge, one fully serrated.
    It was a Muskrat pattern, blades pivoted at opposite ends of handle. That way you would know that the one tip up was one edge, the one tip down was the other and selection for the job would become automatic. I did not answer the closeout ad and they do not make them any more.
     
    RetiredUSNChief and gyp_c2 like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice