Sunday, March 18, 2007

A woman is just a woman, but a clip . . .

I haven't owned my shiny, brand new Chris Reeve knife for twentyfour hours and already I'm finding things to complain about. Actually, no I'm not.

But I do want to tackle a subject that, at first glance, seems minor but is actually very important to both the draw and the retention of a pocket clip folder . . . the clip.

OK, back on my favorite hobby horse, Ernest Emerson; the Emerson clip is the best one I have seen on the market to date. It is elegantly simple in design, sturdy and, if necessary, easy to repair.

The top is broad to accommodate the three attachment screws, The gap is large enough to accommodate the heavy seams of Levis and there is only a single contact/tension point down near the flared bottom of the clip.

Nothing in the design and manufacture of this clip compromises the strength of the clip in any fashion. It appears to be stamped in a single operation then deburred and polished before being blued.

The Gerber Pro Hunter has a clip with too little gap to easily accommodate Levis. You have to shove to get the clip on a pair of Levis.

The Buck Strider clip is similar to the Gerber in having too little gap for Levis but it works just fine with the thinner fabric of military BDUs.

The Benchmade Vex has a clip with a cut-out right in the middle of the "spring" portion to allow access to the tension screw. I tried to reduce the tension of the clip when I first got it and almost broke the clip with very little effort.

The Buck Nobleman has a small but straightforward clip but then nulifies the entire concept by insttalling abidextrous thumb studs so that trying to draw the knife from the pocket immediately snags on one of the studs.

The CRKT M21-02 has a clip too narrow for it's weight so it sags. Other than that, it functions as expected.

So please knife manufacturers, even if you aren't going to provide tip-up carry, at least make sure your clip is broad enough to carry the weight of the knife and has sufficient gap user it to allow easy insertion and removal from a pair of Levis.

Even my remarkable little Mnandi won't fit well on Levis but that is OK as I usually only carry it with slacks where it works just fine.

So, the moral to this story is to make sure your potential pocket folder has:
  1. A clip that is proportionately wide enough to support it's weight
  2. A clip with sufficient gap for the pocket seam of the pants type you plan to carry it in
  3. No cutouts, protrusions or other items to weaken the clip or allow it to snag

No comments: