How to Fix a Pocket Knife Clip (What To Do If Your Clip Is Bent)


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It’s extremely useful and practical to carry a pocket knife around nearly wherever you go. But after a while, the pocket clip can become loose or bend outwards and become nonfunctional. When your knife’s pocket clip bends, it can seem like a significant setback, but really, it is quite simple, quick, and inexpensive to fix.

To fix a bent pocket knife clip, remove the clip from the knife using a screwdriver, bend it back into its original shape using a pair of pliers, and reattach the clip to the knife handle when done. Once reattached, the end of the clip should graze the knife’s handle and not bounce when pressed. 

Whether your pocket knife clip got caught on a tree branch, snagged in your pocket, just bent slowly over time, or something entirely different, most of the time, bending it back into place will fix the problem and make it snuggly clip into your pocket once again.

Fixing a bend pocket knife clip is quite simple, but if you’ve never done it before, it can seem quite tricky and daunting. I promise, though, it’s not as hard as you might think as long as you follow instructions and take your time to get it right. Let’s jump right into it!

How to Repair a Bent Pocket Knife Clip

photo of a pocket knife clipped in a jean pants pocket

It can be super annoying and inconvenient when your pocket knife clip gets stretched out or bends to where it won’t clip snuggly to the side of your pocket anymore. Luckily, it is quite a simple and quick fix in most cases.

You can simply remove most pocket clips from the knife’s handle and bend them back into the correct shape. That is the overall idea behind how to fix most bent pocket knives, but I’ll go further into detail on what exact tools you’ll need and a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

In some cases, a bent pocket knife clip will be beyond repair or not as simple to bend back into shape, but I’ll cover that more in-depth later.

Tools You’ll Need to Fix a Bent Pocket Knife Clip

To fix a bent pocket knife clip, you’ll only need a few super basic and easily accessible tools. In fact, you’ll likely have everything you need already at home, and if you don’t, the tools necessary are relatively inexpensive.

Below is a list of the tools you will need to bend your pocket knife clip pack into its proper and original shape:

  • A pair of pliers
  • A good set of screwdrivers
  • A clean, flat surface
  • A small bowl for keeping track of small screws

Nearly any pair of pliers will get the job done, but make sure they are small enough to get a good grip on your pocket clip. Multi-tools with a pair of pliers work wonderfully as well. If you need some pliers, I recommend these Craftsman Pliers or the Leatherman Wingman multitool.

As for a good set of screwdrivers, you’ll likely want to get a set of them (not just a single screwdriver). Screw sizes vary from knife to knife, so unless you’ve worked on your knife before, it’ll be trial and error to see which size works for the screws attaching your pocket clip to the handle. 

Torx, Hex (Allen), Philips, and Flathead screws are commonly found on pocket knives. Check your specific knife to find out which type yours has. Some knives even use various sized screws for different parts of the knife, so make sure you get a screwdriver that fits in the screws attaching your pocket clip to your knife’s handle.

Ensure you also have access to a clean, flat surface (a kitchen table or desk works well). You’ll also need to keep track of a few super tiny screws, so having a magnetic tray or bowl of some sort handy is a good idea.

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Fix a Bent Pocket Knife Clip

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to actually fix your pocket knife clip. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but the key is to take it slow and make many small adjustments instead of only a few large ones. 

Step 1: 

Place your pocket knife on the surface you have selected and gather all of your tools (make sure you find a screwdriver that fits the screws that attach your pocket clip to your knife’s handle).

Step 2: 

Remove the pocket clip from your knife using a screwdriver and place the screws in a magnetic tray or other safe location where they won’t get lost.

Step 3: 

Hold the knife pocket clip in your non-dominant hand and slowly use a pair of pliers to bend it back into its original shape. Bend the pocket clip near its base (the curved portion next to the clip’s attachment point to the knife).

photo of a closed pocket knife with text: "slowly bend here."

Take it slow and continually put it up against your knife’s handle to see how much further you need to bend it until it fits snuggly against the knife. The end of the clip farthest from its attachment point should barely touch the handle.

Step 4:

Once you have bent the pocket clip into its proper position again, use the screwdriver to reattach it to the knife using the same screws that were initially holding it in place.

Tip and Tricks for Repairing a Pocket Knife Clip

Now that you know the basics of fixing your pocket knife clip, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about a few tips that could help you when fixing a bent knife clip or preventing it from happening in the first place.

Maintaining a pocket knife can be quite challenging, especially if you use it a lot or you’re a complete beginner. If you have any problems opening or closing your knife, make sure to check out my article on how to fix a pocket knife that won’t close.

Don’t Tighten Your Pocket Clip Too Often

You might be tempted to tighten your pocket knife clip regularly or on a schedule once you know how simple and fast it is to tighten it. However, this could be a big mistake and could ultimately end up harming your pocket clip more.

Instead of regularly tightening your pocket clip wherever it shows the slightest signs of looseness, tighten it only on occasion when it becomes too loose to stay in your pocket correctly. Your pocket clip will last longer and stay more durable the less often you tighten or bend it.

Bend Your Pocket Clip in Small Increments

When you are bending your pocket clip back into its original shape, make sure to bend it in many small increments instead of larger movements.

If you have done any type of work with metal, you’ll likely know that it becomes increasingly weak when you continually bend a piece of it back and forth. Eventually, after being bent enough times, metal will simply snap in half.

If you continually bend your pocket clip in large increments and then have to bend it in the opposite direction because you went too far, it will significantly weaken your pocket clip. Instead, bend it in small steps, so you don’t have to move the metal any more than you have to.

Take Your Time When Repairing Your Pocket Clip

When fixing a pocket knife clip, one of your primary objectives is to fix the clip, but you should also ensure the clip stays durable, strong, and unharmed so it can continue functioning properly.

One of the best ways to fix your pocket knife clip correctly is to do your research and take it extremely slow. Take your time and consider every bend you put into your clip before you do it. Excessive bending will eventually snap a pocket clip, so take it slow and be careful.

If your Pocket Clip Gets Stuck On an Object, Stop Moving

On the preventative side of things, if you’re ever walking, standing up, or in any situation where your pocket knife gets caught on something while you’re using it or it’s in your pocket, immediately stop moving.

Fixing a loose pocket knife from regular use is relatively straightforward, but it becomes problematic when a pocket knife is overly bent due to catching on an object. The best way to avoid this is to stop moving when you notice your knife is caught and carefully work to release it.

One of the WORST things you can do if your pocket knife gets caught on an object is to rip it free or keep moving and hope it will come loose.

When is a Pocket Knife Clip Unrepairable and Needs to Be Replaced?

Most of the time, you can simply bend a bent pocket clip back into position and continue using it for quite some time. However, sometimes a pocket clip is beyond repair, and you just need to get a new one for your knife.

The only times where it is entirely necessary to get a brand new pocket clip is when yours breaks or is bent so severely that bending it back into its proper shape would snap it.

Whenever you bend a pocket knife beyond its normal range of motion, the point where it bends continually becomes weaker. Over time, your pocket knife will become so weak at its bending point that it will eventually snap. Your clip can become so weak it’ll snap slowly over time, or in a single second when the clip is bent FAR beyond its regular range of motion. 

Pocket knife clips are usually super inexpensive and easy to get ahold of, so if your pocket clip snaps, it’s best to forgo trying to repair it and simply get a new one. You might also want to replace your placket clip every so often if you often use your knife, so you can switch it out with a fresh one and avoid it breaking on the job.

There are a ton of different pocket knives out there, with varying degrees of quality. Below are some of my all-time favorite folding knives that I’m confident you’ll enjoy!

Townsen Bell

I'm the founder and primary author at Knife Manual. Over many years, I have become proficient at survival and bushcraft skills through lots of practice and many great teachers. I enjoy spending time outdoors, collecting knives, and learning new skills.

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