What is a Clinch Pick Knife? Everything You Need to Know

A clinch pick knife is a very specific self-defense tool, made by users instead of tactical knife makers. It is a newer design, made in the early 2000’s and improved over the years since then. 

A clinch pick knife, also known as a clinch pick tool, is a small, fixed-blade knife (meaning it does not fold). A clinch pick knife has a reverse edge instead of a traditional blade and is mostly used for self-defense or freeing one from bonds like a seatbelt in the event of an emergency. 

The reverse edge is useful for close-in tearing motions that effectively rip open targets, whether in a violent encounter or a deadly trap like a car crash. It was primarily developed for small spaces and tight quarters, where larger weapons would not operate effectively.  

How Do I Properly Wear a Clinch Pick Knife? 

A clinch pick knife must be worn with a sheath as it is a fixed-blade knife. The proper way to wear one so that you can maximize its effectiveness is to wear it forward of the hips so the grip points at an angle of 45 degrees, left of the groin (right of your front left-belt loop). When you pull the knife, the sharpened edge should be facing you as this is where it will derive most of its utility. 

The tool is small enough to conceal under a t-shirt. If you wear it the way it is suggested, it can be safer and quicker to deploy than most other forms of fixed-blade knives or folding blades. From whatever position you are in the blade is within easy reach, and small and durable enough to be used without getting caught on itself or tangled in clothes or debris. 

This is the suggested way to wear the knife for self-defense purposes, and if ever trapped in a car by your seatbelt it is the best way to wear to shear through it. However, it can also be worn in any way where it is secured and can be pulled from its sheath without pulling the sheath out with it. 

You can Get yours from : https://warriorpoetsupplyco.com/wps-clinch-pick (image source)

What Advantages Are There To The Design?

The clinch pick knife is small, with the blade measuring a little over 2 inches, making the knife about five inches overall. It is single-edged on the spine of the knife, curved into the blade for optimal cutting and slashing. The reverse edge also provides an advantage if an attacker grabs your hand, as in close quarters the blade can be pulled against their wrist to release you from them. 

When worn properly, a user can access the blade quickly despite the distance between self and adversary, or partial arm or hand movement in an engagement. Because you would be pulling the knife down, even in a grapple, your attacker won’t be able to stop you from pulling your blade. 

The clinch pick knives made today have an egg-shaped handle grip, allowing the user to have a firm grip despite the small size of the blade, or how the blade is oriented. Some larger handed people may need a larger handle, but for the most part, the shape of the handle provides an advantage despite the size of the knife. 

Because of the unique shape of the reverse edge and the grip, the knife can be used both in Forward Grip/ Edge In (FGEI) or Reverse Grip/Edge Inverted (RGEI) equally efficiently, and a user can switch from one to the other. You should be able to pull your knife in your left or right hand equally efficiently. 

Limitations of Using The Clinch Pick Knife

This is a crafty and easy to handle tool, and it is specialized to perform within its range of use. This tool is strictly designed as a weapon, so it is small for a knife. Its ability to be a utility knife will have its difficulties. You won’t be able to use it effectively for cutting foods, fruits, or vegetables. 

It is sharp enough to cut through fabric or break skin, but it is not to be used like a paring knife or fish knife. Because of its small size, it may not perform well in prolonged encounters or situations, so a bigger knife may be required. 

How Durable is The Clinch Pick Knife? 

Most clinch pick knives on the market are made using Sandvik 12C27 steel, which has a hardness of up to 61 on the Rockwell scale. Sandvik 12C27 steel is used in most handheld knives, ice drills, and skate blades. This kind of steel is known for its great edge performance, sharpness, corrosion resistance, and excellent toughness. 

The steel is versatile enough for your clinch pick knife to be a daily-use knife, good for self-defense, and the edge is an incredible cutter useful for things like opening letters or boxes. The knife comes incredibly sharpened, and the steel can withstand repeated use. 

Sandvik 12C27 steel is a good, all-around steel, with ease of sharpening, mid-range edge retention, toughness, and corrosive resistant. While it won’t take outright abuse like some harder steels, it is very easy for the average user to take care of their knife with little trouble. 

The quality steel and the way the grip seamlessly melds with the blade makes it very easy to clean and maintain. The grip is a fibreglass laminate and durable in wet or dry conditions. The knife comes with a Kydex sheath, resistant to heat and damage.

Is it Legal to Use The Clinch Pick Knife?

In most states, this small knife is legal to carry. Most states that have limitations on carrying knives, and that’s mostly relative to their size and shape. The clinch pick knife also only has one edge, so it is not a dagger and thus cannot be classified as one for states that prohibit daggers. 

Be sure to check your local laws and legislature before buying, carrying, or using your knife. 

What is the Average Price and Availability of Clinch Pick Knife?

You can buy a clinch pick knife from the specific vendors that sell them, from and to anywhere in the continental United States. There are some different steps to take if you want to purchase one internationally and be sure what those laws are should you wish to buy one for use or carry overseas. 

A quality clinch pick knife can run around $95 USD. There may be some cheaper options available, but these may be made of different materials than what is mentioned here. For the most part, the clinch pick knife is made primarily by one company and in black or red colors only. (Red is the trainer knife). 

History and Implications of Clinch Pick Knife

The first clinch pick knives were developed by Craig Douglas around 2003, and he has been improving the design over the last decade. Produced primarily by ShivWorks, it is a weapon designed to be used with some martial arts training, and/or in tight spaces where traditional training may fall short. 

The clinch pick tool is used as a pointed weapon first and a slashing weapon second, meant to puncture and then tear. The main idea with the blade is to put as many holes into an opponent as necessary. To this end, it is optimized for quick pull and puncture. 

The clinch pick knife works a bit untraditionally with its wrist control, preferring a locked wrist over a mobile one (which allows for movement with a larger blade). The locked wrist can support the blade as it does its job without injury to the user. This also helps when in a close struggle allowing one to use the blade effectively and making it more difficult for an attacker to disarm you. 

Clinch pick knives aren’t meant to be flashy or showy, so while there may be some sheen on your blade when you buy it, that sheen may eventually wear off to a duller finish. This is by design. The knife’s dulling is meant to happen so that an attacker or ambusher will not be able to see the flash of the blade in any light sources. This blade is meant for self-defense, so it is not designed to catch anyone’s eye in use. 

Clinch pick knives might also be accessible to individuals confined to wheelchairs or in other vulnerable positions, but this is speculation due to its design and ease of use. The knife was made to be used in disadvantageous positions, so this is quite possible, nonetheless. 

The clinch pick knife was made by users instead of tactical knife makers, so it was made by individuals who found themselves in situations not covered by traditional knife training so adapted the design of the knife so that it could be used. The clinch pick knife has been in production for a little over a decade, and might still see some improvements in the coming years as it’s popularity increases. 

The knife has been met with mostly positive reviews and has been shown on many online channels as a featured item. The clinch pick knife also has tutorials on how to make the best use of your knife, and in what situations in can be used in. These videos and product reviews can help you make the most of your knife. 


I’m Ahmed, the guy behind Knifepulse.com. I’ve owned several types of knives and sharpeners over the last few years and have become obsessed with everything to do with knives. I’m always trying to improve my cleaning and sharpening process, and always on the hunt for the next best knife. But when I’m not spending time with my hobby, I’m here, writing about Knives and Sharpeners on KnifePulse to share with you what I learn along the way.

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