The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

How to Keep a Knife Clip From Tearing Up Your Pocket


To many, it’s a badge of honor. To some, it’s a nuisance. To others, it’s not even a problem.

Pocket knives have been known to accentuate outfits, but they’ve also been known to destroy clothing.

Yes, I’m talking about that old problem in which a knife’s clip shreds the top of your pocket.

In case you haven’t seen this phenomenon, CRKT posted this image to their Instagram page a few weeks back:


A photo posted by Columbia River Knife and Tool (@crkt_knives) on

Sure, the picture is all in good fun, but anyone who carries a knife on a regular basis will know that over time, a clip may ruin a pants pocket.

If you’ve encountered this problem or want to avoid this problem, here are some things you can do.

Bend the clip

One reason a pocket may become destroyed is due to the fact that the clip is way too tight. Certain manufacturers make clips pretty tight to make it a little more difficult for others to slip it out of your pocket without you knowing.

A quick and easy solution is to bend the clip back a little. Take it off and use your hands (or pliers for tough clips) to carefully bend the clip open.

Sand the texture underneath the clip

The second reason why some knives tear up pockets has to do with the texture underneath the clip. A combination of very grippy texture, such as the texture from G-10 scales, and a tight clip will tear shred the pocket.

If you’re someone who enjoys a challenge and knows a thing or two about DIY projects with knives, you could sand down some of the texture beneath the clip (once you remove it, of course). That way only a smooth surface will rub against your pocket.

Apply J-B Weld or nail polish

Instead of sanding down the texture, some people cover the texture to smooth it over. On YouTube, nutnfancy uses J-B Weld bond to coat the part of the handle where the clip touches. He does it on the Cold Steel AK-47, which is notorious for tearing up pockets across the land.

This is a more time-consuming and intensive method than just using something like nail polish. One video dabs a little nail polish over the texture to smooth it out. You might not want to put it on a Benchmade like the guy in the video does, but it can be cheap and just as effective.

Install a new clip

Sometimes it’s just the clip that’s the problem. Installing another more open clip could easily prevent any wear on your pocket. You’ll have to make sure the new clip fits on the knife. Many manufacturers are more than happy to send along another or different clip. Benchmade is known for offering different types of clips to their customers for free.

Get better pants

Seriously though. If your pants are shredding pretty easily, try picking up a pair of more durable pants. Some heavy-duty khakis ought to do the trick.


  1. You can also get Iron on patches people use to fix holes in jeans or other types of pants. Fold the patch over the lip of the pocket and iron it in place. This gives you protection on both sides of the pocket with a double layer of the patch. Obviously you want to limit how far down the outside of the pocket the patch goes, but it can save an otherwise good pair of jeans.

  2. Riggs work wear by Wrangler have leather reinforcement on the right pocket for tape measures which works for knives. You may still have to bend the clip as it is thicker. They have this on their regular-looking jeans as well as work ones.

  3. We can’t always wear heavy duty pants. I live in Florida and I sweat standing still like I was running for my life, so I wear very light clothing.

    I agree that bending out the clip, sanding rough spots, gluing smooth material on the clip or even using a “spacer” to raise the clip up and away from the knife is the most logical approach seeing how many clips are super tight or have a tendency to “bend” cloth and create a “hook” situation.

    Since most of us reading this own a few knives, you can always setup your different knives to work with what you usually wear when you wear or carry that particular knife.

  4. Brush superglue along the rim of your knife pocket. It welds the threads together to keep them from fraying.

  5. I take off almost all of my clips. I usually carry in a leather belt pouch. Being left-handed I find it a great way to go.

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