Various Ways of Carrying a Swiss Army Knife

Updated April 14, 2022

How to carry a Swiss Army Knife

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Are you so attached to your Swiss Army Knife that you are afraid to lose it? Unfortunately, losing a Swiss Army Knife is all too common for many.  But no matter what size of SAK you prefer, there are various ways of carrying it that will prevent it from getting lost. Some of these will also add a bit of personal style to your EDC SAK.

Most SAKs are of course small enough to carry in your pocket. But rather than keeping it on its own in your pocket, attaching it to other objects will save it from getting lost accidentally. Attaching a lanyard or fob to your Swiss Army Knife also goes a long way in securing it. Here are some of the best ways of carrying a Swiss Army Knife with you.

1. Keychain Carabiner Hook

All Swiss Army Knives have a split ring at one end to attach it to other objects. In fact for a small Swiss Army Knife (58mm), it is very common to use the split ring to attach it to the keyring or keychain. While this is the intended purpose of the split ring, it is not always very practical.

In case you have actually tried using your keychain Swiss Army Knife while having a bunch of keys hanging along with it, you know what I am talking about. If you have the split ring on the SAK directly attached to your keyring, then you will have to hold the SAK along with all the keys dangling from your keyring or keychain, which naturally makes it difficult to use. The only other option is to remove the SAK from the keyring, which is very time-consuming.

So how do you make the process easier? The solution is very simple. Just use a small carabiner keychain hook. These are small, cheap, available everywhere, and do an excellent job of securing your SAK to your keychain or keyring.

carabiner hook
SAK attached with a carabiner hook!

Removing your small SAK from your keyring and attaching it back can be done in seconds.

There are many designs and sizes of keychain hooks available. You will surely find something you like if you look around.

Here are two of them that I have used with many Swiss Army Knives. Till now, these have been super useful.

carabiner hooks
Two different styles of carabiner hooks!

2. Nite Ize S-Biner MicroLock

Nite Ize makes a lot of nifty tools. The S-Biner Microlock is one of them. This S-shaped carabiner is not much different than any other carabiner you have used. But it is small enough to be attached to your keyring. Being an S-shaped carabiner, it has two spring-loaded gates.

While the S-Biner has various uses, we are particularly interested in how it can be used with Swiss Army Knives.

The advantage of having two gates is that you can attach your Swiss Army Knife to one side, and use the other side to attach the carabiner to your keyring.

Nite Ize S-Biner
Nite Ize S-Biner | Image source:

This way, when you need to use the SAK, you can simply remove it from the S-Biner. Or if you wish, you can detach the S-Biner from the keyring itself, and use it to attach the SAK to something else.

While the utility of the S-Biner is not much different from the generic carabiner hooks discussed earlier, it definitely has one major advantage. The two spring-loaded gates in the S-Biner can be locked with a plastic lever at the center, which Nite Ize calls a twist-to-lock mechanism. This of course adds an extra bit of security, and will surely prevent any accidental opening of the carabiner gates.

You can get the Nite Ize S-Biner Microlock from this Amazon listing.

3. Clip & Carry SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder

I guess removing a Swiss Army Knife from the keyring is a widespread problem. Otherwise, why would a product like the Clip & Carry SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder would ever exist?

Yes, this product is specifically designed for 58mm Swiss Army Knives. It is basically a plastic holder where you can dock your SAK.

The holder can be attached to your keyring. When you need to use the SAK, you just remove it from the holder.

 Clip & Carry SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder
SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder | Image source

Once you are done working with it, you can put it back in the holder. 

In addition to providing a quick-release mechanism to your keyring SAK, it also saves the scales of the SAK from scratches. In fact, this is probably the main advantage of this plastic case when compared to a carabiner hook or the S-Biner.

At present, SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder supports a few models of the 58mm category of SAKs, only the ones with one or two layers of tools. So, in case the MiniChamp is your preferred keychain SAK, you are out of luck.

Hopefully, they would expand their product lines to support more SAK models. The Clip & Carry SwissLinQ Keychain Case & Holder is available in this Amazon listing.

4. SwissQlip Deep Carry Pocket Clip

Ask any Swiss Army Knife enthusiast – what is the one feature that a SAK is sorely missing? I bet most will say, a pocket clip!

In fact, you will see that most folding pocket knives usually have a clip to attach to your pocket. But Victorinox never introduced a SAK with a pocket clip. This is unfortunate, especially in the 91mm SAK category, which is very popular and is often marketed as EDC pocket knives.

If you are too missing a pocket clip for your 91mm SAK, Clip &Carry may have just the right product for you – the  Clip & Carry SwissQlip.

The SwissQlip is a deep carry pocket clip for your 91mm Swiss Army Knife. It attaches to the keyring hole or the lanyard hole that is found in almost all SAKs with the help of a small screw.

Of course, you will have to remove the split ring from the keyring hole to do it.

Clip & Carry SwissQlip
The SwissQlip | Image source: Clip&Carry

The SwissQlip is designed in such a way that even with only one screw, it holds on tight. It comes in two colors – black and chrome. I like the chrome one as it matches the color of the stainless steel tools of the Swiss Army Knife.

One drawback I found is that the clip once attached to the SAK will block direct access to the tweezers and the multi-purpose hook (in some models). The space that the clip occupies just doesn’t allow you to use your nails to get the tweezers or pull out the hook.

To get around that problem, you can use the toothpick to get the tweezers out. You can then use the tweezers to pull the hook out. You can, of course, change the positions of the tweezers and the toothpick in case you don’t use the toothpick that much.

While the SwissQlip appears to be an ideal solution for many of us, do note that it only supports a few models of the 91mm category of SAKs. This is because the clip only fits those models that have the keyring hole on the left side of the SAK and in the first layer, i.e. in the space between the first and second liner in the SAK. So better check for compatibility before getting one for your SAK. They do have a list of compatible models on their website.

What I like about the SwissQlip is that I can easily unscrew it from one SAK and attach it to another. So If you have many SAKs but carry just one at any given time, you can get only one of these and attach it to whichever compatible SAK you want to carry in any given day. I got the SwissQlip pretty cheap from this Amazon listing.

5. Nite Ize HipClip

If the SwissQlip doesn’t solve your problem of a missing pocket clip in your Swiss Army Knife, the HipClip by Nite Ize surely will.

Unlike the SwissQlip, the Nite Ize HipClip is a generic product that is not designed specifically for the Swiss Army Knife. But the design fits a SAK perfectly well. In fact, once attached, it appears to be a more elegant solution. The biggest advantage of the HipClip is that it can be attached to any medium or large Swiss Army Knife.

The Hipclip uses adhesive to attach to any flat surface. The bond is very strong and is unlikely to come off during any normal use.

On the flip side, it would take quite an effort on your part to remove it from your SAK if you want to.

Nite Ize HipClip
Nite Ize HipClip | Image source: Nite Ize

Depending on how you remove it, it may also leave some stain on your SAK scales. This is the only drawback I can think of.

The HipClip is a true deep-carry pocket clip and will hide the entire SAK in your pocket. It is made of stainless steel and hence matches the style of a SAK perfectly.

Once attached, you can clip it to your pocket, as well as to your waist belt. I have attached it to the SwissTool Spirit which has a full stainless steel body. It fits so well that it almost looks as if the Spirit came out of a Victorinox factory with a pocket clip!

Nite Ize HipClip on Swisstool Spirit
The HipClip attached to the SwissTool Spirit!

I bought the Nite Ize HipClip from this Amazon listing. However, I haven’t tried removing it yet. If I ever remove it, I guess I will have to get a double-sided adhesive tape to attach it to something else.

6. Multipurpose Pocket Suspension Clip

Why do you think some people do not like to keep a Swiss Army Knife in their pocket?

It is because the SAK doesn’t stay in one position and drops to the bottom of your pocket. This makes it difficult to dig it out of the pocket, especially if you have a lot of other things in your pocket along with the SAK.  It is also doesn’t feel comfortable with a hard object lying horizontally at the bottom of your pocket while walking or sitting.

But what if you can keep the SAK suspended in a vertical position inside your pocket, while also remaining easily accessible? This is exactly what a suspension pocket clip is meant to do.

A suspension pocket clip works just like a normal pocket clip, but it does not attach to the body of the SAK. Instead, it attaches to the split ring at one end of the SAK, just as you would attach a keyring or a carabiner.

Suspension clip
Suspension clip

So once you clip it to your pocket, the SAK hangs from it inside your pocket.

This is one of the cheapest solutions for securely carrying a Swiss Army Knife. And it works for all sizes of SAKs. As this is a generic product, you will find the same design from various manufacturers at various price points. Here is a cheap one in the Amazon listing.

7. Do-It-Yourself Suspension Clip

If you like working with tools and fixing things, you can probably make a pocket clip for your Swiss Army Knife yourself. This, of course, will need some creativity and effort on your part, but it is doable and the solution will work as well as any of the pocket clips discussed above.

Here is one example by an ingenious gentleman.

Quite interesting, isn’t it? He did it with a piece of thick wire.

8. Do-It-Yourself Paracord Lanyard

Paracord lanyards or fobs are very popular with Swiss Army Knives. And if you know some of those popular weaves that are used to make designer paracord bracelets, the possibilities are endless.

All Swiss Army Knives, big or small, have a split-ring, just perfect to tether a bit of paracord to it. The purpose can be purely decorative or functional, the choice is yours. The paracord lanyard loop can be small just to accommodate a few fingers, or big enough to go around your wrist.

The simplest way to use a paracord lanyard to secure your SAK is to attach the lanyard loop to your belt or belt-loop with a cow-hitch knot and keep the SAK suspended from it in your pocket. This way, there is no way of losing the SAK. It also keeps the SAK in an always-accessible vertical position inside your pocket.

Paracord loop
A lanyard can be as simple as a paracord loop!
Paracord lanyard tied to belt
A simple paracord lanyard tied to belt-loop with a cow-hitch knot!

One of the main advantages of carrying your SAK in this way is that you don’t actually feel the weight of carrying it. This is because the weight hangs from your belt attached to your waist, and your pocket is used just to stabilize the SAK in a vertical position. This is actually significant for those bigger 111mm or 130mm SAKs.

The only drawback of this method is that you will have to undo the cow-hitch knot to use the SAK which is a bit time-consuming. However, if quick-deploy is not very important for the type of work you do with your SAK, this is the simplest and most cost-effective way of securely carrying your Swiss Army Knife.

You can of course improve the utility by attaching a metal carabiner clip to the paracord lanyard. This will make it easier to free the SAK from the paracord. However, if you love having a paracord lanyard attached to your SAK, you can add the carabiner clip at the opposite end, so that you can remove it quickly from the belt loop.

Paracord lanyard attached to a SAK
A snake-weave paracord lanyard with a carabiner hook!
Paracord lanyard attached to belt loop
The SAK is suspended inside the pocket with a paracord lanyard!

To add some style, you can use a popular weave pattern on the paracord. I won’t go too deep into this as the possibilities are vast and there are entire books written on the subject. But by even using a simple design, you can add a lot of style and personality to your Swiss Army Knife. Paracords are cheap and so are carabiner clips. So what are you waiting for?

9. Victorinox Multiclip Belt Hanger

The Multiclip Belt Hanger is Victorinox’s solution to securely carrying your Swiss Army Knife. It is a clip made of stainless steel that can be attached to your belt. There is a carabiner hook at the other end which attaches to your SAK.

In a way, the Multiclip Belt Hanger works similar to any other suspension clip discussed before, only that you attach the clip to your belt rather than to your pocket.

In that sense, maybe the functionality is more similar to a paracord lanyard attached to your belt.

Victorinox Multiclip belt hanger
Multiclip Belt Hanger | Image source: Victorinox

As such, Victorinox doesn’t offer anything different. But of course, if you are a Victorinox guy, you might prefer this solution over any other.

Apart from being a sturdy solution, the Multiclip is very secure as it attaches to your belt with a spring lock. It is also easy to remove it from your belt.

There used to be a version of the Multiclip that came with a metal chain that adds some length so that the SAK can be put deep inside your pocket. This is especially important if you want to secure your keys by attaching them to the belt hanger and burying them deep in your pocket. The metal chain is now sold as a separate product by Victorinox.

You can get the Victorinox Multiclip Belt Hanger from this Amazon listing. If you like the concept but don’t like the design, there are many such belt clips from different manufacturers which essentially do the same thing. Just look around on Amazon and you probably will find something that you like.

10. Sheath or Pouch

A pouch or a sheath is a pretty common way of carrying a Swiss Army Knife, especially the bigger ones. Carrying a knife in a sheath attached to your waist may be conspicuous in a public place, but it is an excellent option in the outdoors while camping or bush-crafting. It is secure, comfortable to carry around, and easily accessible.

While Victorinox SwissTool and SwissTool Spirit do come with a leather pouch, the Swiss Army Knives usually don’t. You can of course buy a Victorinox pouch separately for your SAK. You just need to make sure that the size and the style of the pouch suit your Swiss Army Knife.

Victorinox has a wide variety of pouches to choose from. Most of them are made of leather, with a few nylon options also available.

The built quality is top-notch as is expected from Victorinox.

Victorinox pouch
Victorinox Leather Pouch!

I particularly like this medium-sized brown leather pouch that I got from Amazon, as it fits a wide variety of the 91mm SAK models in addition to the Swiss Tool Spirit.

There is of course a lot of other manufacturers that make pouches and sheaths for Swiss Army Knives and multi-tools. If you look around, you may also get someone to get a pouch custom-made for your needs.


As you can see, there are numerous ways to carry a Swiss Army Knife. I hope these have given you some idea about what you would like to use with your SAK.

Be it a small tiny SAK meant for keychains, or a big sturdy one meant for outdoor work, there is always a way to carry it conveniently and with style. Some of the solutions may cost you some bucks, but there are also many cheaper options.

I usually prefer attaching a paracord lanyard or fob to my medium and big-sized Swiss Army Knives. For the smaller ones, I find the carabiner hooks so convenient that I have attached one to all of them.

About Me

Deb is passionate about pocket tools, bags, and accessories, especially any type of everyday-use gear (or not so everyday-use gear) that makes life efficient, comfortable, and more enjoyable.

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