What is a Clinch Pick Knife?

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If you have seen or used the modern small fixed-blade knives, you are likely to know that they all have similar designs. Despite this common aspect, these tools are useful for multiple purposes, ranging right from cutting seatbelt to defending oneself in an adverse situation. Even a Clinch Pick knife is among these tools but with a big difference.

It is not so common to see small fixed blades made chiefly for self-defense. However, a Clinch Pick tool is primarily designed for this purpose. This is where it shows its real strength by being a truly lethal weapon although it fits inside a small, stealthy sheath.

It was originally developed by a custom knifemaker but its production ceased soon. As a result, its availability was less and its cost became shockingly expensive. Craig Douglas at the ShivWorks company recognized this problem and designed what we now know as the modern Clinch Picks with a meticulous approach and made it available at affordable prices.

This article focuses mainly on the original shivworks clinch pick knife


clinch pick knife
Shivworks Clinch Pick

This knife has an interesting history, as the design comes from the end-users instead of tactical makers.  Unlike the design of most small fixed-blade models, the design of a Clinch Pick tool features a reverse edge that shall split and tear whatever comes in its way.

When it comes to a violent and possibly fatal trap where space is not enough to save you, a reverse edge easily efficiently rips the targets. Thus, the reverse edge is perfect for close-in tearing motions. The underlying notion is similar to using a pistol and making several holes in the body of the opponent.

The knife is mainly made to be worn forward of the hips such that the grip points at a downward angle of 45 degrees. Craig suggests wearing this knife on the belt to form an angle that the clock at 11 has. Here, the handle is diagonally downward.

When worn in this way, you can conceal the tool with a T-shirt and then pull it using your hand in a Forward Grip/Edge In (FGEI) movement while sitting, standing, or lying. It is infinitely quicker as well as safer to deploy than other folding knives.

A user can access the reverse-edged blade through the hand in an FGEI setup with a locked wrist. This is different from the Reverse Grip/Edge Inverted (RGEI) configuration present commonly in other knives.

The FGEI setting allows you to access the knife quickly despite there being partial arm or hand movement while being engaged with an adversary. This allows the blade to come instantly at your rescue.

If you know about the martial arts, this is against what is being preached for using full wrist mobility while the edge protrudes outwards. Another distinct design aspect is a short egg-shaped handle grip. This helps the tool to fit well and firmly into the palm no matter how it is oriented when pulled from the sheath.

These unique features have given rise to the latest generation of this knife that was initially designed overseas.

So, are there any limitations or downsides? Well, this crafty tool is a specialized, dedicated weapon. It is obvious that you are not going to cut fruits or vegetables using it. Strictly a weapon, this tool is still somewhat small. Thus, if you are expecting a knife for prolonged fights, it is normal for you to look for a bigger version.

Sandvik 12C27 Blade

The original Clinch Pick knife has a fixed blade that is 2 5/8-inch long. It is a single-edged blade on the spine, which means only the superior end is sharpened. Being reverse edged, the sharp side is not at the bottom but on the top.

The blade is made using the stainless Sandvik 12C27 steel, which is known for its excellent edge performance, high level of hardness of up to 61 on the Rockwell scale, razor-like sharpness, great resistance to corrosion, and exceptional toughness.

Used mainly in different types of hand-held knives, ice drills, and skate blades, this steel is quite pure in terms of composition. These knives include a pocket, upscale chef’s, camping, and tactical knives.

However, when it comes to Clinch Pick, the steel makes it a versatile one by using for utility, every day carry, and self-defense purposes. Moreover, the edge acts as an excellent cutter, especially when it comes to opening letters and boxes.

For many users, the uniqueness of the blade comes from its self-defense nature. When held in the Forward Grip manner, the flat edge faces the user. Opposite to the sharp /cutting edge is the dull edge that narrows toward the point and widens close to the hilt.

Flattening it all is the soft ShivWorks logo on the blade’s left side. The ideal way to use this knife is to lock the wrist while holding it in the opposite manner of what is taught in case of other knife systems that focus on wrist mobility.

G10 Handle

For any knife user, the handle is as important as the blade. In other words, equal attention is given to both instead of ignoring the handle. When it comes to Craig and his focus on the detail, the size as well as the width of the handle on a tool with a concealable edge contributes to the unique difference.

The hilt or the handle of the Clinch Pick is long and wide to fit well in the right hand of most people. A larger blade may be the preference by those with larger hands. However, most users will find it easier to deploy this tool than several folding knives and even easier to hand.

At first glance, you will notice a different shape of the handle. It is distinctly designed in the shape of a small envelope and features a rounded, egg-shaped grip to fit in the hand such that it does not go out of even the small palm.

This is a major improvement, as the original design obtained by Craig did not give a handle of such standards. As it was just not of the right size, Craig contacted the manufacturer before manufacturing them in bulk and came up with this better handle design.

The modern handle is made using the G10 composite material, which is a fiberglass laminate. It is among the toughest glass laminate fibers. The G10 handles have a high level of strength and are considered very durable.

In simple words, this means that they last for a long time in wet as well as dry conditions regardless of how heavily they are used. They are also resistant to water.

Thus, the Clinch Pick handle is superior in terms of durability to the handle of other small fixed-blade knives. You also get a highly smooth grip. If you wish to roughen it, consider striking it against a piece of light sandpaper.

The bulb or egg grip is easy to latch onto. The noticeable, forceful coil is integrated to prevent slipping at the time of use. It cozily wraps around the index finger quite well. This coil design is a plus point, as most folders lack sufficient design to prevent cutting for the different hand sizes.

In the end, a lanyard hole resides to facilitate custom carry via a cord or anything else that you may desire.


The Clinch Pick comes with a Kydex sheath, which for many is a bit on the downside for this shrewdly designed knife. Although it comes with a TekLok mount, the sheath lacks sufficient rounded edges on the tip, an adequate number of grommets for better support to the TekLok, and better finish.

For some, the sheath is somewhat over-molded due to which there seems to be an additional material at the place of initial grip or the tip of the sheath. However, this issue is resolvable by removing some material.

The Kydex material has its distinct pros. This tough acrylic or PVC thermoplastic is highly durable. It is a cost-competitive option to Fire-Retardant (FR) ABS plastic options. It is highly resistant to impact, breakage, and a variety of chemicals. Further, this sturdy material is less hygroscopic than FR ABS due to which no prior drying is required.

The TekLok add-on integrates well with the sheath. However, there is a possibility of a movement that you may feel while deploying the knife. Again, you can fix this easily by using a mouse pad to glue the grippy side to one side of the add-on.

Other Shivworks Clinch Pick Knives

Ban Tang custom Clinch Pick
Ban Tang custom Clinch Pick

Well, there are many modern versions of Clinch Pick available in the market. Apart from the modern Clinch Pick, you are likely to come across the following models available:

  • Ban Tang custom ShivWorks Clinch Pick DOUBLE EDGE
  • Ban Tang custom ShivWorks Clinch Pick v2.0
  • ShivWorks Clinch Pick 2.0
  • ShivWorks Clinch Pick Trainer
  • ShivWorks Clinch Pick Trainer 2.0

Most of them differ in terms of the handle shape, blade shape, color, and price. These knives are available at Shivworks and other marketplaces

Is Clinch Pick Knife Legal?

The unique Clinch Pick is a small, fixed-blade knife. In most states it is legal. But do check your local laws and regulations before buying, carrying, or using this knife.


Since the first appearance more than a decade ago, a Clinch Pick knife is one of the incessantly sought self-defense knives. Originally made in small batches by custom designers, it was almost impossible to find it and demanded premium price tags in the secondary market.

However, Shivworks modern Clinch Pick models are both accessible and affordable. Thus, you will now not hesitate to buy and carry one where it is legally permissible.

Having the perfect balance of reverse edge blade and a high-retention grip, this tool is compact, highly effective, and easily concealable in its sheath. Made using a point-driven technique, the FGEI setting gives significant leverage for tearing and ripping.

The knife is designed such that you can easily access by hand while it resides cozily close to a supplementary holster. This facilitates an ambidextrous deployment and is accessible while being stuck in stress or entanglements.