Clip point to drop point

Ben Unten

As many of us can attest, we sometimes make decisions in our formative years which in hindsight we realise were wrong. In my late teens I received a gift voucher for a clothing/sporting goods shop which was going out of business (and is now long gone).

Upon arriving in the store, the shelves and clothing racks were already looking pretty bare. A quick check confirmed that the clothing left was suitable only for the characters in Gulliver’s Travels, ie, for little people or giants.

With dismay I walked to the front counter which looked as barren as my bank account after Christmas, where I saw a shiny, Kershaw folding knife, sporting an attractive looking clip point under the glass counter-top. It featured a 90mm blade, weighed 120 grams and came with a nylon belt-sheath. It was terribly overpriced but was approximately the budget of my gift voucher so I bought it.

Over the next couple of years it saw little use and languished in a cupboard drawer, until I started taking rabbits for the pot. I was then seeking a small folding knife to clean the rabbits. The blade appeared to be of a reasonable quality and kept its edge well, but I found the clip point in my unskilled hands meant I was prone to stabbing myself. So I replaced it with a drop point knife which better suited my needs. It once again languished in a cupboard drawer.

Fast forward to many years later and I was using a Stockman knife which lived in a fixed, horizontal leather pouch on my everyday-wear Stockman belt to clean rabbits shot on my property. This knife also featured a clip point and once again I found that it was quite good at sticking holes in me (some people never learn), and I was reminded of my old Kershaw.

As a tradie I’ve acquired a reasonable collection of tools and perhaps some know-how along the way (rabbit cleaning skills notwithstanding), and I came up with an idea to ‘FF’ the knife, (‘Fix it’ or ‘Flick it’) once and for all. I set about marking the blade with a sharpie where I thought I wanted the clip point to be and began the process of reshaping it on my bench grinder.

As long as I repeatedly dipped the blade in water to stop it from overheating, it was actually quite a simple process. The accompanying photos show that the change was subtle but has resulted in less band-aids being required through its use. I then set about doing the same thing to my Stockman knife, which was also a success.

Now I’m not entering into the debate regarding the pros and cons of the various knife configurations and I’m sure there are a group of cutlers out there who would consider what I have done to be disrespectful to the makers of these knives. But for me I was able to put two knives which previously saw nothing but the inside of a drawer into regular, useful service.

I guess that’s one of the fortunate things about accumulating a few years under your belt; you can recognise some of the errors made in your youth, but if you’re lucky, you can accumulate enough smarts to remedy them.

All News