Question of the Day: Tip up? or Tip down?

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The Leek is the one tip down knife in my EDC rotation

It might well be the knife-enthusiast equivalent of “Glock vs. 1911”  but most people seem to have a pretty distinct preference. In general, I am a tip up guy. For right pocket carry, tip up presses the blade into the back seam of the pocket preventing accidental opening.


The tip up folders in my EDC rotation.

Tip up also has the advantage of putting your thumb right over the opening stud or “Spyderco Circle”. For flippers the index finger is likewise by the flip tab. At the moment, the Benchmade Mini-Grip, Byrd Meadowlark, CRKT Hootenanny and Gerber Propel are all tip up folders in my EDC rotation.

The one knife that I carry (well, when I haven’t misplaced it) that is tip down is the Leek. There are two reasons for this. First, for a smaller knife, I find that gravity pivots the knife to align the tab more naturally with my finger than on a larger flipper like Hootenanny. Aside from that, when you reverse the clip on a Leek, it leaves the framelock exposed in a most non-aesthetically pleasing way.

What is your carry preference, tip up or tip down? Why?


  1. joleolsen says:

    Definitely 100% tip up. Tip down is a deal breaker on otherwise very desirable knives. Is that a custom clip on the Benchmade Mini-Grip?

    1. Yup… do a search for Pops Custom Clips. I have fallen in love with his stuff and written about it extensively.

  2. cmeat says:

    i don’t think it matters much. it certainly wouldn’t influence a purchase for me.
    i have four tip down configured folders. the eraser was tip up, but had fat handles.
    a strong clip, a stout tip, orientation a distant consideration.

  3. ndub says:

    tip up for the same reasons you laid out

  4. wabba says:

    I guess I’m in the minority when I say that I like tip down carry. I have knives in both configurations but tip down lets me grab the knife right behind the thumb studs. By doing this I don’t have to reach down into the pocket to position my fingers or shimmy the knife into place once it is out of the pocket. Just grab, yank, and let the momentum pivot the end of the handle into the palm.

  5. sean says:

    I pretty much prefer for tip up for two reasons: like you said about the spine of the blade being against your pocket, it gives me a good feeling of security, and also i think tip up carry just looks better on almost every single blade that ive ever had.

  6. Shoopmonster says:

    It doesn’t matter to me, I prefer to remove clips and lay the knife sideways in my coin pocket. I pair it with a small flashlight and that keeps them separated from keys and a phone and what not.

  7. Sam L. says:

    My hand prefers tip-down for flippers and tip-up for holes.

    1. cmeat says:

      i don’t find porpoises attractive either.

  8. I was a tip down person till I bought my Mini griptilian …haven’t used a tip down knife since.

  9. stuartb says:

    I was always a tip up guy, but my Cryo needed to be tip down. That used to frustrate me, almost a deal beaker, but now I’ve got used to both. Drop the hate, go both ways!

  10. ChuckN says:

    I don’t have a preference about where the tip is pointed,
    but what I do care about is how the knife feels. Wherever
    the pocket clip feels best is which way the knife goes.

  11. janklow says:

    tip up.
    and i absolutely agree with what you say about it being non-aesthetically pleasing to reverse the clip on a Leek. but i did it on mine anyway.

  12. okto says:

    Tip-up is the only way for pants-pocket carry. Tip-down makes a lot of sense for a knife that will be carried in a jacket breast pocket or clipped to a bag.
    Tip-down in pants pocket is just awful.

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Question of the Day: Tip up? or Tip down?

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