Thumbstud or Flipper for safe beginner carry?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by rak2, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. rak2


    Mar 17, 2016
    Total beginner here. Got it into my head that I want to buy a Hogue EX02 (the smaller blade).

    So what are the considerations or pros/cons to carrying a Flipper vs a Thumb stud if one is new to the game?

    Am thinking the Flipper might be more of a risk of accidental (partial) opening in a pocket, but I might be more inclined to cut my self opening a Thumb stud.


  2. BenjaminRush

    BenjaminRush Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2015
    I've never had a flipper open in my pocket. Additionally I've never almost cut myself with a thumbstud with the exception of some assisted opening knives as I tend to lose purchase on the stud when the assist kicks in. You may also consider an opening hole (such as found on Spyderco knives) or a slip joint that requires two hands to open. Whatever you choose, familiarize yourself with the knife and you shouldn't have much issue. Almost all of us get bit eventually for whatever reason, but method of deployment doesn't much contribute at least in my experience. Welcome and good luck!
  3. blade dude

    blade dude

    Nov 8, 2015
    Both are safe. Go to a store that sells guns and camping gear and handle some knives see if you like using a flipper or thumbstud more.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Whatever feels more natural to you. Personally, I'll take the Spyderhole over either, but it's all down to personal preference. See if you can handle assisted flippers, manual flippers, manual thumbstuds, assisted thumbstuds, thumbdiscs, thumbholes, etc. before making a choice.

    Even then, keep in mind, not all thumbstuds or flippers are created equal.
  5. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    it's not brain surgery, or rocket science. Not some esoteric manual of arms. Just watch what you do, be aware of what is happening. Sometimes we WAY over think stuff like this.
  6. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I would also pick the Spyderhole, PRIMARily because I love the company, and most of my knives (95%) are Spyderco.
    However, thumbstuds are fine; flippers are fine. The blade will not/cannot open in your pocket if you are carrying the folder in a tip-up condition. (You can change the position of the pocket-clip on most folders.) With tip-up, slide the knife to the extreme right-hand position of the front right Levi pocket...assuming you are right-handed. This is most common carry position for most of us. The blade spine basically is in contact with the edge of your pocket and will not open until you want it to.
    My personal EDC is a flipper frame-lock. I prefer framelocks (or Spyderco's compression lock in the PM2 model) over any other design...such as backlocks, linerlocks, etc. All subject to opinions, of course. Welcome and good luck.
  7. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I prefer thumb studs and I'm sure I could think of a lot of irrelevant reasons why I think they're better, but you'll just have to buy a low cost flipper ( sanrenmu makes some great stuff for under 20$ ) And thumb stud knife and decide for yourself.

    As long as 2 knives have basic quality ( solid lockup, no blade play, and useable Steel )
    Everything past that is opinion / preference and there's no such thing as better.
    ( if it's what you like, a spyderco delica or Victorinox tinker can be the same quality level as a crk sebenza )
    So it's up to you to decide what prefer.
  8. JR88FAN


    May 5, 2013
    Safety has nothing to do with how you engage the blade....

    Many flippers have thumbstuds or finger holes for opening options.

    A good detent is important regardless of how a knife opens, and of course, common sense when opening/handling anything sharp is always the best way to stay "safe"....
  9. GasMan1

    GasMan1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 27, 2015
    Even then, keep in mind, not all thumbstuds or flippers are created equal.[/QUOTE]

  10. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    Just to try things out, might want to look at the TAC Force Executive series. They make Assisted openers with both thumbstuds and flippers; linerlocks or framelocks. Not expensive (but not really high quality), so you can try out various things to see what suits you best without spending big bucks (about $10 for Tac Force). Definitely will need sharpening. Just a thought.

    Forgot to mention, Colt and Rough Rider also make a variety of knives that are inexpensive. I really like the Colt linerlock thumbstud in D2 steel. Fine knife, good quality. IMHO, both Colt and Rough Rider are MUCH better quality, while still inexpensive, than TacForce.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  11. JR88FAN


    May 5, 2013



    Also, don't put a right hand tip up folder in your left pocket.....
  12. BlueSpartan007


    Dec 23, 2015
    Even with an assisted knife, much of the ones I've owned being sub $40, opening in the pocket is extremely unlikely. Even if I had my phone, knife and keys in that same pocket, which most of the time I did, no deployment in pocket. I'd say go with what you would prefer, which means handling some of both deployment types. I think the thumb studs would actually be fine on this knife, but really not a fan of the ones you would find on some Kershaws, such as the Blur.
  13. ATwistedStaple

    ATwistedStaple Banned BANNED

    Jun 26, 2013
    Opening method shouldn't be a safety concern really, but locking mechanism can be. Liner and frame locks are more prone to cause cuts that other lock types as your finger must cross the blade path to disengage the lock.

    That said, I still wouldn't worry about it. If you handle a knife regularly you WILL cut yourself. Be mindful of your actions and you may be able to limit those cuts to superficial... I've had a LOT of stitches and used a LOT of super glue over the years.
  14. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm an old fart. I use locking knives but learned on and taught my kids with skip joints for a reason. I never rely on a lock not to close.

    I would recommend a slip joint like a sod buster. Get used to that and learn to not rely on the lock to cut. Then any lock will be safe enough.
  15. BuckShack

    BuckShack Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    I don't see how you could hurt yourself opening a flipper, but I don't own one. I prefer a hole over a stud. For me it feels like my thumb has more purchase on the blade and more control through the opening process. I do like thumb studs too though. If the knife opens smoothly all the way through and your hand is the right size for the knife, you will have no problem at all. If the blade hesitates at any point, then you rely on how well your thumb grips the thumb stud. I like thumb studs with checkering on top, but I don't really see them much anymore. For me, they felt a little better than the newer pyramid style thumb studs. I filed some checkering into the tops of these and there is no slip at all. Love it.

  16. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    When I got started, opening a manual opener with a thumb stud scared the heck out of me. Over time, you build confidence and it becomes second nature.
    If you are worried about this though, a good beginning cheaper priced flipper would be something like a Kershaw Volt. You can open it with your index finger on top of a stud that opens straight out. No chance of cutting yourself.
    On the thoughts of assisted openers or autos opening in the pocket, have never had this happen yet. There are others with safety switches as well.
    Absolutely love my Protech TR5 which opens fast and snaps solid with a thumb stud. Not sure what your budget is.

  17. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    What do YOU like better? Do you like thumb studs or flippers? That is what you should be asking yourself. Which ever you like, and are comfortable, is what is going to be safer for you.
  18. rak2


    Mar 17, 2016
    Thank you everyone for the insightful responses. Looks like I have some testing and try-out research to do. Wanted to be sure I was not missing some hazardous trait with one style vs the other. In my case still lots to learn about safe operations and best practices.

  19. WK ONE

    WK ONE

    Apr 25, 2015
    Both are safe. I prefer a thumbstud myself.
  20. RX-79G


    Jun 23, 2006
    I suppose an argument could be made that flippers keep your thumb further from the edge during opening, but that isn't a big deal.

    I believe the Hogues can be opened by pressing the lock button and shaking the blade open, which would be rather safe. They are neat knives and I would get one if you want one.

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