Well, it was technically received from a friend this afternoon, but I will finish that thought later. Bottom line is that I am seriously impressed with this aftermarket upgrade to a knife that has in the short time I have owned it taken over my EDC rotation. So impressed in fact, that I immediately emailed the maker and requested a phone interview because I wanted to learn more about his business.
John Centore is the man behind Pop’s Custom Clips. What started as his tinkering around a few years ago has led to a side business that will blossom further when he retires from his computer science job. He has reached the point in life where he can chase a passion and the knife world will reap the benefits.
John landed at the bottom of this rabbit hole when he was dissatisfied with how high his Spyderco Delica rode in his pocket. After not finding what he was looking for online, he ended up making his own. Through trial and error, he learned many things including that you need carbide bits to drill through titanium. As I said, what started with tinkering led to selling a few on eBay, and then an Etsy shop, and has grown to where he is filling enough orders that he crossed up the paperwork and ended up double shipping clips to my buddy Scott for his Leek. Rather than ship it back, John told him he could keep it. Since Scott bought the D2 Leek on my recommendation, he had the brilliant idea of sending it on to me.
I spoke with John this evening, and he told me that he now has sheet titanium shipped directly to a local water-cutting shop, where they take the CAD files he sends and produces clip blanks to John’s specifications. Various designs can be cut into the clip, these can even be completely custom (John recently made a “Power T” clip for a Tennessee fan). He then takes the blanks and bends and drills them to the specific knife he is making it for.
The clips are available for most common production folders, and more are always being added. Many knives have both tip-up and tip-down clips available. There are many finish options available. The possibilities are almost limitless.
Having only had the clip on my knife for about 8 hours now, I can’t offer too much in the way of the review. However, the fit is excellent, and being made of titanium, I cannot see how this can be anything but stronger than the stock clip. As the photos show, it certainly allows for virtually full concealment of the clipped knife. (this may be a no-no in certain jurisdictions, consult a local lawyer to be certain). I can also say that it is much more comfortable when sitting in the driver seat. It rides fully below the point of my hip and is completely unnoticeable while driving. I will let you know if I discover an issue, but I am comfortable giving the clip a hearty thumbs up. I have no intention of swapping it back at this point.
I am going to end this post with a housekeeping announcement. John has agreed to donate a custom clip as a runner-up prize for our Reader Submission Contest. The prize winner will be able to select a clip for a common folder of their choice, and can choose whatever custom details are available for that style clip. This is a really cool prize and I am thrilled that John is contributing it to the prize pool. A hearty thank you and huzzah for Pop’s Custom Clips.