Tuning up a pocket clip

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by JAD, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. JAD

    JAD Member

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    How often have you bought a folder and been unhappy with the pocket clip? It is often too tight or too loose depending on your carry preference. Well I imagine most of you will just give it a good bend with your thumb or else just live with it. Consider this instead. My Strider SnG is the test subject on this one. The clip was way too tight.

    Remove the clip and place it in a vise. Keep the clip vertical to the plane of the jaws. In other words, make sure it is straight up and down or you will get a crooked tension angle.

    [​IMG]

    Secondly, use a tool with smooth milled jaws like a Knipex set of channel locks or even the jaws of a crescent wrench. They will have less chance of scratching your clip finish. Grip the clip as shown in the photo.

    [​IMG]

    THIS NEXT STEP IS DONE VERY SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY a little at a time. Metal has memory therefore you will have to bend a little farther than what you want the new angle to be set at and then allow the clip to recover somewhat (spring) back to where it was. I over bent my clip and made it too loose the first try. I just reversed the process. This is what I ended up with.

    [​IMG]

    That gap is exactly 1/32 of an inch based on a caliper reading. Here is a picture of a machinist's scale on edge. The thickness of the machinist's scale is 3/64 of an inch, a mere 1/64 of an inch thicker than my gap.

    [​IMG]

    I did not try to hit a measurement. Instead I bent to a gap repeatedly (trial and error), until I found a tension that seemed about right for both pocket insertion and deployment. The knife still seemed a little sticky both into and out of the pocket but I liked the tension. So one final step.

    I removed the clip again and took steel wool (000) and sanded off most of the anodized finish of the pocket clip at the point of contact. Then I polished it on my strops to smooth it further. You can see right at the crook (point of contact) how the finish looks now.

    [​IMG]

    This will work on almost any type of clip. It is a little maintenance and adjustment that dials in the performance of carrying your favorite knife, just one aspect of tuning it up.

    It will also demonstrate a little bit of care instead of the Neandrathal thing of just grabbing and pulling with your thumb because it's too damn tight or choosing to just live with an ill fitting clip.
     
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  2. trench

    trench Member

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    Apparently you have never read how strider intentionally sets the clip tight. They are not knives for ease of deployment, instead they are set for purposed deployment. All my SnG clips got easier on my pockets the more I carried them, but speedy deployment has never been a need of mine.

    Then again...It is your knife, make it yours
     
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  3. JAD

    JAD Member

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    I have no idea why I would want a pocket knife that couldn't be easily pulled from my pocket with one hand.

    Update to my comment above. I have enlightened myself as to why the clips are so tight. According to Mr Strider they are "not designed for rapid deployment". My response to that would be apparently they are not designed for any deployment at all. The damn thing was so tight it turned my pocket inside out trying to withdraw the knife, using TWO HANDS! I also noted that Mr Strider said he prefers to have a small gap between his clip and the lock face, enough that he can slide a piece of paper through the gap without snagging. It seems to me I'm doing the SOB's work for him since that is exactly what I accomplished.:D

    Lastly, I have never bought a pocket knife for self-defense or to rapidly deploy in a self defense situation. My knives are carried in order to do jobs for me. To that end I want to be able to withdraw my knife and open it with one hand which is a very common need for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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  4. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Pocket clips generally come a little loose for my liking. I use an old book to bend my pocket clips, has worked well for me!
     
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  5. Joelski

    Joelski Member

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    I thought this thread was about tightening a loose clip. I also was going to give Strider as an example of how a clip should grip in order to avoid losing several hundred dollars worth of prized snob steel! :)

    I'm an advocate for tight clips and here's why:

    I once lost my ZT 0561 at the movie theater; yep it fell out of my pocket from its weaksauce clip! Luckily some good soul who was either incredibly honest (or stupid) turned it in and my gf knew the manager. I could tell he was a libtard by the way he glared at me as he handed it back (Dude, its a large knife, but it's not like it was a gun, or a missile launcher! Relax!). :D

    I wear my chewed up denim pockets with pride thanks to my GG SnG gnawing at the edges every time I put it in/take it out of my pocket. GF wishes I carried it in my underwear so I'd have to buy new more often. What a girl! :D At least I know I won't be losing any of my hard-earned cash d/t it falling out of my pocket!

    PS: I have several pairs of high quality pants made of so-called "technical fabrics" from TAD and the oldest ones look like the day I got them in spite of GG scales, CCW, etc... I had to retire a pair of live-in Cabela[s jeans d/t pocket blow-out. You get what you pay for: buy once, cry once.
     
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  6. JAD

    JAD Member

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    @Joelski -- I hear you on that example. But I assure you that even with the loosening adjustment I made this damn thing is still way tight for pulling from my pocket. However, I can at least withdraw without using two hands.
     
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  7. C99c

    C99c Member

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    I normally go through a couple or three Spyderco clips a year. Once they get tweaked I either re-tighten them with Chan-locks (while still on the knife, which I may wrap in a wash cloth or handkerchief) or by pressing the knife clip into a solid object like the shop table or kitchen counter, etc.

    Probably not great methods for an expensive knife, but works for the stuff I carry.
     
  8. Joelski

    Joelski Member

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    Hell, with that gap you showed, you should be able to fit Silly's bible through there! :D
     
  9. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

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    I've seen some guys that also didn't like the signature super tight Strider clip, use a leather washer under the clip. So it's Knife/piece of leather/clip. That spaces the clip slightly off the lock side of the knife to give it a little less tension.

    Great write up though. Something to be aware of, is that titanium will have a much stronger memory hold than regular steel will. So bending a Ti clip will be harder. Some steel clips can be bent with your fingers. Not the case with titanium.
     

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