Endings can be hard. You spend so much time with a thing, building up to a climactic conclusion, and then it comes, and then it’s over. It can leave you with a sense of emptiness and purposelessness. This can happen with knives: You wait for the knife you want to drop, save up over a few paychecks, and make your purchase. When the knife shows up on your porch and you open it and use it for the first time, you experience the climactic ending you’ve been preparing for. But sometimes, even if you use the knife often, that sense of emptiness can creep in, leaving you wanting. The hype is over; you’ve achieved your goal.
It’s time to accessorize and customize your knife. Knife accessories and customization options for a fixed blade knife or pocket knife range from; sheaths to lanyards and beads, to replacement scales and hardware, to edge maintenance and modification, to anything else you can think of. Your options are only as limited as your imagination. Diving into the pool of knife personalization possibilities is a fantastic way to fend off the post-knife-buy blues. Below are some great ways to make your knife your own.
Ways You Can Accessorize & Customize Your Knife
Due to the unique nature of each pocket knife, there aren’t aftermarket options for everything. If you want the whole experience of customizing your knife, pick out a popular model you like; you’re sure to find plenty of personalization options. For example, Benchmade knife accessories and replacement parts are widely available thanks to how well-known and well-loved their knives are. But people are making new parts and accessories all the time, so don’t give up on outfitting your obscure favorite cutter. If all else fails, you may find someone who can do custom work to put that special spin on your knife you can’t stop thinking about.
Knife Handle Scales
Pocket knives and fixed blade knives often use handle scales: slabs of typically tough, lightweight material—like G-10, FRN, titanium, and aluminum—that sandwich the knife’s frame, liners, or tang. They add substance to the knife’s grip and define its aesthetic. Scales are a knife user’s main contact point with the knife, dominating it visually (especially in the closed and sheathed positions) and constituting much of the tactile experience of using it. Attractive, functional handle scales will make or break a knife depending on how they appeal to the user’s eyes and hands.
Because knife scales play such a pivotal and subjective role, it’s no surprise that replacement scales for many popular models, like the Benchmade Bugout and Spyderco Paramilitary 2, are widely available in countless materials, textures, and colors. By swapping out the scales on your pocket knife, you can change the texture to something more grippy (or less), switch the color to something more appealing, and match the material to your preference. If you love the Bugout platform but hate the blue Grivory, swap in titanium scales, keeping the knife light while upgrading its strength. If you like the Spyderco Para 3 but have beef with its handle shape, slim it down with a set of skinny scales, which you can find from many aftermarket scale producers.
One of the leading companies in aftermarket replacement scales is Flytanium. Flytanium makes scales for all the hottest models: the Spyderco Smock, the CRKT Minimalist, the Benchmade 940 Osborne, the Kershaw Lucha, the models mentioned above, and many other models. They offer replacement handle options and premium hardware replacements, helping you take another step forward on your knife upgrade and personalization journey.
If you’re looking to shave off a little weight from your pocket knife and add a pop of color, anodized titanium screws are what you want. Or maybe you don’t like the black screws that came with your folder: no problem! Swap them for satin. If you’re feeling really creative, are prepared to spend a little coin, and like our delicious-looking Dessert Warrior edition knives, you could purchase replacement screws in several colors and mix and match, making it so the whole spectrum of the rainbow is keeping your knife together.
But screws are only a place to start. Many pocket knives have backspacers that you can replace, like the Benchmade Bugout and the Spyderco Shaman. Does your knife have barrel spacers, but you like the full look and feel of a backstrap spacer? Make the swap. Are you dealing with a heavy backstrap-style spacer and want lightweight barrel spacers instead? You know what to do.
The hardware fun doesn’t stop there. You can replace the lock for some folding knife models, mainly Benchmade knives with the AXIS lock and the Spyderco Manix. I swapped out the lock bar on my customized Benchmade Bugout with one from Glow Rhino that’s inset with tritium, and I love it! Different colored thumb studs are another thing you may be interested in swapping in. Mix and match until you assemble something you love.
If you’re anything like me, you’re particular about your pocket clips. The farther you walk down the path of pocket knife personalization, the more you’ll realize there’s no need to compromise. Whether you want a clip that’s shorter, longer, milled from titanium, or colored to match your knife, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Where should you look for replacement pocket clips? There are more producers of high-quality pocket clips than we can mention, but a few top-notch options are Lynch Northwest, Maverick Customs, and Flytanium. We sell products from each of these companies on our website!
Lanyards, Beads, & Key Rings
Lanyards are a community favorite when it comes to accessorizing your knife. They attach to most fixed blades and folders via a lanyard hole, adding another dimension of personalization. Lanyards are great because they add more than just style and a personal touch to your knife: they add a cord that might prove handy—or even life-saving—in many situations. A cool paracord knot with a bead is enough to make two statements: That you’re prepared, and that you rock a sweet vibe.
Lanyard beads come in every shape and material imaginable: from a pink glass doughnut to a copper skull, to a simple Damascus steel ring, to whatever lurks in the corners of your imagination. Whether you’re going for a subtle, bold, fun, or classy aesthetic, there’s a bead out there for you. One nice thing about beads and lanyards is they’re both cheap and can be made at home, making them the perfect items for those looking to accessorize on a budget, and those prone to spontaneous bouts of creativity.
Some users prefer a keychain instead of a lanyard. Keyrings make excellent Swiss army knife accessories, letting you carry a multi-tool as a key fob. Keyrings expand your options, creating a hub for all your regularly-used tools and keys. Play around with different lanyard, bead, and keyring options to accessorize your knife in a way that’s totally you and totally awesome.
The purpose of a sheath is no secret: to protect your multi-tool, fixed blade knife, or folding knife and keep it accessible. Most multi-tool and knife sheaths have a belt loop or clip for convenient carry, but some are made to slip into your pocket. These make excellent butterfly knife accessories as they let you carry your balisong without fear of it opening. If you’re not a fan of digging at the bottom of your pocket for your favorite traditional slip joint folder, a pocket sheath might be the way to go. Due to their uniqueness and generally sparse points of attachment, traditional folding knives can be tricky to personalize; therefore, neat sheaths are ideal Great Eastern Cutlery and Case knife accessories.
As far as customization, knives aren’t your only viable target. Plenty of things make a sweet knife sheath accessory: lanyards and beads, patches, additional pockets for keys or other tools, or anything else you can think of that’s compatible with your sheath. Kydex sheaths often have holes that serve as attachment points for belt clips which can easily double as lanyard holes for accessorizing. Nylon and leather sheaths can be sewn into, letting you attach more pockets—like a slot for your favorite pen—or patches to promote your favorite brands.
Cases & Storage
Sheaths are great for carrying your knives and multi-tools on the go, but what about at home? There comes a time in every knife enthusiast’s life when they have to ask themself, “Where am I going to keep all of this?” Your options expand past putting your knives in a bucket and stashing it in your closet. While that’s a viable option, the potential for customization extends even here. I use the Blade HQ Jumbo Knife Roll and hang it from my bedroom door; if your collection’s smaller than mine, the standard-sized Blade HQ Knife Roll (available in several colors) might be for you.
Knife cases and storage span a massive variety. You can go with a hard plastic case like those offered by Nelpak, one of the countless soft options, or a series of individual knife pouches. Browse the knife cases and storage options we have on our website to get an idea of what’s out there. If none of that’s the right fit and you’re in the mood to tinker, you might make something custom—it’s hard to get more personalized than that!
Sharpening Tools & Knife Maintenance
There’s more to a knife than its blade and handle. A knife is a focal point in an experience and a symbol of one’s place in the knife community. While some consider knife sharpening and maintenance a tedious chore, others see it as part of the joy of owning a knife. It’s a point over which to converse with fellow cutlery enthusiasts, helping people bond and grow, and it’s an excellent place to leave your personal mark. Because owning a knife is really an experience, part of making it your own is making a knife care process that brings you joy and satisfaction.
The primary function of a knife is to cut, and it can’t do that if it’s dull. Though initially daunting, edge maintenance quickly goes from a chore to an art with experience and the right equipment. Sharpening tools are as varied as the knives whose edges they hone. There are whole knife sharpening systems, dry sharpening stones and whetstones in every grit you could need, strops for polishing off your edge, and compounds and oils of all kinds to enhance the results yielded by these tools. Check out all the knife sharpeners and polishing compounds we have to offer. You may like something as simple as the Lansky Tactical Blademedic, something as time-tested as the Spyderco Sharpmakers (which I use in tandem with the Flexcut Knife Strop), or something as elaborate as the KME Precision Knife Sharpening System.
Now that your knife is sharp, let’s explore general care. The basics of knife care include blade oil to prevent corrosion on stain-prone steels (like CPM M4 and high-carbon 1095 steel), pivot lubricant for folding knives, polishing clothes to keep fingerprints off your blades, and threadlocker, which will prevent the knife’s screws from falling out. If you’re the type who likes to custom-pick each item to assemble the ultimate kit, go to town! However, for those seeking something quick, look at our Knife Care Kit, which will cover most of your bases. Maybe pick up a cleaning kit, too, if you’re fastidious about keeping your cutters shiny.
Why Customize & Accessorize Your Knives?
With knife maintenance tools, you expand your knife experience, making a personal mark in the life of your knife, which will make a memorable mark on your life. A well-cared-for knife is a knife that will serve its owner well, repaying in full the efforts put into its maintenance.
You might start accessorizing and customizing your knife for several reasons. Maybe you lost a screw and purchase a replacement set made from titanium, or scratched your show scale and got a neat G-10 replacement, or decided you don’t like the look of your barrel spacers and picked up a copper backstrap instead. Other reasons might be less practical but are just as valid: Maybe you want a bit of you to shine through your knife, or to boast your pride for your favorite brands by attaching accessories like lanyards and beads. It’s a journey, where maintenance turns into art and self-expression. Never been good at drawing? That doesn’t matter. You can express your inner artisan, nerd, or jock through your knife. It becomes an extension of you; more than just a tool, it’s a symbol of who you are and what you value. As a final touch to really make your knife your own, consider laser-engraving or acid-etching a name, phrase, or symbol into the blade or handle. We offer laser engraving on eligible knives at the time you purchase them; once you commit to an engraving, there’s no going back, so make sure it’s exactly what you want!
Are Endings the End?
It’s a week after your fancy new knife showed up on your front porch. You’ve cut your paper, opened your packages and snacks, and fidgeted enough to put a couple calluses on your hand. Your hype train has slowed to a stop, and the thrill of getting your new cutter has faded. You’re slipping into the post-knife-buy blues. The climax came, and it went.
The whole rest of the story is what’s next. Perhaps it’s cliche, but it’s so true for knives that it bears repeating: the end is only the beginning. Throw some coal into that hype train because there are still miles of track. Now that your new knife is in your hands, you can begin the remarkable journey of self-expression and personalization that is accessorizing and customizing your knife, turning a simple product into a cutting companion outfitted to suit your fancy. Every step of this journey, through using your knife, sharpening it, repairing it, maintaining it, and upgrading it, is a new climax for you to look forward to.
In the meantime, take a look at how Flytanium is making knife customization easy, stunning, and practical.