Tip-up or tip-down?

You may have heard people talk about tip-up or tip-down carry and wondered what that meant. If so, here’s a quick run down...

The “tip” in question is the tip of a folding knife’s blade. Whether that tip is “up” or “down” refers to the way the tip points when the closed knife is carried in a pocket. Tip-up carry means that, when the folder is closed and carried in the pocket, the tip of the knife blade points upwards. Tip-down carry is the opposite.

What determines whether the knife is carried tip-up or tip-down is the position of the pocketclip. That’s why knife users can be very particular about their pocketclips—and why Kershaw offers a variety of clip options. More about that in a minute.

Another question people have when it comes to tip-up or tip-down carry is, “which style is better?” It’s really a matter of personal preference—and to a certain extent, your opening technique.

Some say that if you open your knife using a thumbstud, hole, or the traditional two-handed technique, then tip-up might work better for you. This way, the knife will be positioned so that you can reach deeply into your pocket, grip the knife, and pull it out in a position to be opened without having to change your grip. On the other hand, some people think tip-up carry can be more of a hazard—if the knife opens accidentally in your pocket. (Help prevent this by snugging the blade side up against a pocket seam.)

For flipper knives, tip-down often works well because when you draw the knife out of your pocket, your hand is positioned near the flipper for easy blade opening. The possible disadvantage of tip-down carry is that you generally have to reposition the knife in your hand before you open it.

Kershaw knives often come pre-drilled for either tip-up or tip-down carry. Some also offer three or four clip positions for left- or right-handed carry. Look for the pocketclip icon to see which clip options the knife you’re interested in has to offer.

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