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Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT

Offline ringzero

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Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
on: January 12, 2008, 11:05:17 AM
The only major failing of the Vic GAK-OHT knives is the lack of pocket clips.  Since they are one-hand opening knives, it would be nice if they were able to be carried in such a manner to allow quick and easy one-hand access.

The GAK is too big to carry loose in a pocket - at least it's too big for me to carry comfortably in a trouser pocket.  So I've tried the following:

1.  Sheath - the sheath from my Buck X-Tract fits the GAK just fine.  Carries horizontally on my belt with no issues and GAK can be easily accessed one-handed.  This would be my preferred carry method for hiking, camping, etc.  However, in most everyday situations I don't want a large sheath on my belt.  Even around the house, a belt sheath can be somewhat of a hassle.

2.  Hang GAK from belt - a short paracord lanyard is clipped through GAK's split ring.  Length of lanyard is adusted so the GAK dangles down inside pocket without bottoming out, which works fine and carries comfortably.  However, removing GAK for use is difficult to accomplish one-handed, since a small clip must be unclipped from the GAK's split ring.  I tried replacing the clip with a somewhat larger aluminum carabiner, but even with practice unclipping the knife remains essentially a two-handed operation.  It can be done one-handed, but the process is slow and awkward.

3.  Pocket clip - which Vic should at least offer as an option for GAK and OHT.  I've seen pics online of OHTs and GAKs modded with new scales and pocket clips, which is undoubtedly the best way to go and I may do this eventually.  However, for now I'm using a pocket clip system I developed that works reasonably well and is also completely reversible.

While using the GAK outdoors I happened to have an Underwater Kinetics 4AA eLED clipped into my shirt pocket for illumination.  (By the way, the UK 4AA lights are quite decent utility lights with long runtimes, floody beams, pocket clips, and swivel heads for directing the beams.)  Anyway, I noticed that the body of the UK utility light was similar in circumference to the body of the GAK, so I tried out its clip on the GAK.  Almost fit, but not quite - slightly too big.  Better too big than too small, because too big is easier to fix.

What is needed for this mod:  UK 4AA pocket clip
http://www.brightguy.com/products/2AA_4AA_Pocket_Clip.php
and several cable ties.

I happened to have a spare pocket clip on hand, which I'd ordered some time ago and never needed to use.  Some black cable ties also happened to be on hand - black ties match the clip color.

Turns out that the addition of a cable tie routed circumferentially around the protruding clip brackets (those portions of the clip that grab onto the body of the flashlight) will slightly squeeze them together.  Then, the UK pocket clip will retain a GAK fine for tip down pocket carry.  The brackets grab the GAK at its greatest width, between the top of the blade over the opening hole and the bottom of the knife.  Clip retention strength can be adjusted by how tightly the cable tie is installed around the clip brackets.

The first cable tie was installed using pliers and was tensioned too tightly, so the GAK was too hard to insert, so that tie was cut off and I tried again.  A second cable tie was pulled finger tight plus just a little tighter, which seems to be just right to retain the GAK fairly securely, but still allow for its easy removal.

The clip can be held upside down and shaken from side to side without the GAK falling out.  If shaken hard up and down while inverted, the GAK can eventually be dislodged.  After finding the right tension for the desired degree of retention, clip off the excess portion of the cable tie.

Next, I added 3 more 8-inch cable ties parallel to the first tie, covering the brackets from top to bottom with 4 ties total.  (Actually, you could get by with just the one tie, but using four looks neater and allows tensioning of the brackets evenly from top to bottom.)

Next, I added 3 skinnier 4-inch ties perpendicular to the the bigger ties.  After the 4-inch ties were snugged down, there was no possible way for the bigger ties to ever shift off the ends of the brackets.  Care is in needed in placing the smaller ties, as they run both inside and outside of the brackets.  Check that they are placed where they don't interfere with the GAK grips as it slides in and out of the brackets.  (If you want even tighter retention, you can position one or more of the small ties such that they will very slightly interfere with the body of the GAK.)  Once you've found the right locations, tighten them up and snip off the excess.

That completes the modification, which should take less than 5 minutes if you have the UK 4AA clip and cable ties on hand.  (I used a pair of needlenose pliers to positon and tighten the ties, and a pair of dikes to snip off the excess length of the ties.  However, you could get by with just fingers for tensioning and a sharp knife to cut off the excess.)

Installed in a trouser pocket, the clip holds the GAK securely with just enough of the handle protruding above the pocket to afford a decent grip with two fingers.

Pulling upward on the GAK handle with thumb and forefinger may detach the clip from the pocket so it comes out still attached to the GAK.  (The thicker the fabric it's clipped to, the more securely the clip will hold onto that fabric.)  This scenario can be avoided by using three fingers:  thumb and forefinger on the handle of the GAK pulling upward, while the middle finger pushes downward on the clip.  The GAK will come loose from the brackets and the clip will remain clipped to the pocket - quick and easy one-hand access to GAK.

When finished using the GAK, it can be re-inserted in the clip which has remained attached to the trouser pocket.  Care is necessary to properly align the GAK with the clip brackets when re-inserting, but with a little practice it's easy to do by feel.

The clip can also be clipped with the GAK outside of a belt, trousers waistband, packstrap, etc. in which case it functions as sort of a minimalist sheath.  If you are wearing sweatpants or similar, with no belt or pockets available, it should work OK.  Exercise caution because a bump or a shove on the butt end of the GAK could slide it free of the clip without your awareness and it could be lost.

Good:
+Cheap.
+Quick and easy.
+One-hand access to GAK and OHT.
+Reversible - neither clip nor knife is harmed.

Not so good:
-Clip doesn't work as well on thinner fabrics - this issue could be fixed by wrapping the bottom of clip with some grippy sports tape.
-That part of the clip outside the pocket is rather wide, is quite noticeable, and is industrial/utilitarian in appearance.
-That part of the clip inside the pocket adds nearly a quarter-inch to the thickness of the GAK/OHT, which is already fairly thick for pocket carry.

(Sorry for lack of pics - I still don't have a functioning digital camera!  Other than a cell phone camera which is worse than useless for applications like this.)
 
.
 
N


Offline TWBryan

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #1 on: January 12, 2008, 12:47:20 PM
              That's a clever way to do things!  :cheers:
T


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #2 on: January 12, 2008, 03:29:03 PM
              That's a clever way to do things!  :cheers:

Indeed! And all done for less than $5 too :)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline ringzero

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 06:33:32 AM
              That's a clever way to do things!  :cheers:

Indeed! And all done for less than $5 too :)


Thanks for the compliments guys.

I've been using the modified clip for about a week now and am fairly happy with it so far.

Now that my GAK is a true one-hand knife, it has become my favorite around the house.  Makes a decent general purpose knife and is wonderful in the kitchen:  great for cutting tomatoes, slicing meat, lettuce, cutting sandwiches in half, etc.

The UK clip comes with a transverse hole through the very top of the clip which lines up nicely with the thumbhole in the blade of the GAK.

When I locate a suitable small fastener - Fastex or similar one-hand opening fastener - I'm going to install a safety retaining strap.  It'll thread through the hole in the clip body and the hole in the GAK blade to provide positive retention under all circumstances.

Having a pocket clip on the GAK has made a big difference in its usefullness.  It's been transformed from a knife that was rarely used to an everyday user sort of knife.

.
 
N


us Offline getahl

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008, 05:04:08 AM
That is a great idea, and one I'm going to have to try on my GAK. I've found that simply attaching a medium sized carabiner to the keyring, and letting it hang into my pocket while the 'biner acts as a clip greatly diminishes the weight. Heck, I can't even feel the weight of the knife anymore. The other nice thing is that it is almost never in the way when I reach into my pocket for my keys or cell phone. Not as convenient as a normal pocket clip, but a great jerry-rig.


us Offline parnass

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 03:38:50 PM
I have used a Nite Ize S-Biner to clip smaller knives inside a pants pocket.



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england Offline Benner

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 12:32:47 AM
I have used a Nite Ize S-Biner to clip smaller knives inside a pants pocket.


I have just started using one of those on my work keys and it's real handy.

Def, you will be pleased to know that my sosak carabiner has been upgraded to house keys.  :D
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us Offline Spoonrobot

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #7 on: January 19, 2008, 12:58:50 AM
Here's what I've found works well for me when I want to clip my Rescue Tool. (Credit for the idea goes to an EDC Forums poster I can't remember.)

Take the clip from either a Pilot V-series rolling ball pen or a Uniball Vision pen and slide it into the space where the tweezers or toothpick reside.





Spyderco Tasman Salt on the left, Vic Rescue on the right.


It works better with khaki or dress pant cut pockets but does function with jean cuts too.


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #8 on: January 19, 2008, 01:05:28 AM
(Nice Duck Pants)

Hey, that's neato, I'll get me an S-biner or two (at around $2.50, it sure beats the $16, 400kg load bearing steel clips I've been using)


england Offline Benner

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #9 on: January 19, 2008, 01:08:21 AM
(Nice Duck Pants)

Hey, that's neato, I'll get me an S-biner or two (at around $2.50, it sure beats the $16, 400kg load bearing steel clips I've been using)

I find the #3 to be a good size.
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Offline kreskin13

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #10 on: January 19, 2008, 01:16:22 AM
Here's what I've found works well for me when I want to clip my Rescue Tool. (Credit for the idea goes to an EDC Forums poster I can't remember.)

Take the clip from either a Pilot V-series rolling ball pen or a Uniball Vision pen and slide it into the space where the tweezers or toothpick reside.

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

Spyderco Tasman Salt on the left, Vic Rescue on the right.
(Image removed from quote.)

It works better with khaki or dress pant cut pockets but does function with jean cuts too.

Pretty neat mod.

For a belt carry Vic makes some nice sheaths with rotating belt clips. I sent Benner one to give him an option on how to carry his OHT.

For people like me with "dunlaps" disease, that rotating belt clip can be a lifesaver!

Calvin
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england Offline Benner

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #11 on: January 19, 2008, 01:20:18 AM
That sheath now contains my swisschamp as I have thought about getting one for it for a while now.

I would eventually like to get a kydex sheath from onscenetactical for the OHT, they look real nice  :drool:
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Offline kreskin13

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #12 on: January 19, 2008, 01:24:26 AM
That sheath now contains my swisschamp as I have thought about getting one for it for a while now.

I would eventually like to get a kydex sheath from onscenetactical for the OHT, they look real nice  :drool:

That's great, those sheaths come in a variety of sizes for the different layers of Vics and can be used for anything that fits.

Calvin
[


england Offline Benner

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Re: Quick and Easy Pocket Clip for GAK and OHT
Reply #13 on: January 19, 2008, 01:26:46 AM
That sheath now contains my swisschamp as I have thought about getting one for it for a while now.

I would eventually like to get a kydex sheath from onscenetactical for the OHT, they look real nice  :drool:

That's great, those sheaths come in a variety of sizes for the different layers of Vics and can be used for anything that fits.

Calvin

It is a great sheath and I really like the rotating clip.  The OHT has been pocket carried so far, but has the lanyard attached which I am very fond of.  I used the OHT today actually.  The blade is ruddy sharp!  :o
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