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As TM readers know, I recently added a new Swiss Army Pioneer to my knife collection.  But something was missing from what otherwise would be a completely sweet utility knife – a lanyard or “pull-tail.”  Truthfully, some people dig lanyards and some don’t.  I love them on larger work knives because they make the knife easier to find in your pocket with a gloved hand.  If you’re a “lanyard dude,” too, here’s an uber-simple process to make one for your knife. 

Let’s get to it:


Though you can make a lanyard can from almost anything, I’ve always opted for leather.  It’s classic, it feels good in your hand, and it’s very rugged.  So for the new Pioneer lanyard I went with black suede leather. 

After selecting a material, you need to consider style.  Some folks enjoy creating an ostentatious display of knot tying skill, but I prefer a simple and more elegant approach to tethering my blades — which you can accomplish in about two minutes.


First, find a piece of material you can work with. There’s no hard and fast rule, but a good guideline for a suitable size of starting material is roughly 2-1/2 times the length of the knife when closed and thin enough that two pieces will pass easily through the lanyard ring. 


Fold the strip in half. 


Run the looped end through the lanyard ring. 

lanyard06.jpg lanyard07.jpg 

Run the two “tails” through the loop you created and pull them tight. This will result in the leather being hooked to the lanyard ring as shown.


Tie a simple over-and-through knot on the other (read: loose) end remembering to leave a bit on of the tails sticking out the back end of the knot. 


Place the lanyard flat against the spine of the knife and look at the length.  I like the lanyard to wind up with the tip of the tails at about 3/4 of the knife’s overall length.  Of course, you feel free to customize it however you please.  Retie the knot as needed to get your desired length. 


When you’re happy with the length, snip off the excess tails.  At this point, your lanyard is complete and you’re ready to go.


There’s really nothing to it and you can always remove it if you decide that lanyards aren’t for you.  But if you’ve never tried it, I urge you to give it a go.


10 Responses to How To Make A Knife Lanyard

  1. Will says:

    Seriously? Tying a knot justifies a how-to post?

    Must be a slow day in tool news. 🙂

  2. Old Donn says:

    That’s cold as ice, Will. True though.

  3. Chuck Cage says:

    Wow, that stings a bit. Here’s Sean sharing a tip that he finds handy and BAM! — he gets broadsided by the Will bus. Doh! 🙂

  4. Blind says:

    Psh, Figure 8 knot would be better.

    Course, I’d probably braid the lanyard anyhow.

    Do it better 😛

  5. Will says:

    Ah, you guys seem like you can take an occasional elbow to the ribs. Seriously–love the blog. It’s one of my favorite reads lately. Keep up the good work!

  6. JamesBrauer66 says:

    I can’t complain. I had to look up how to tie a bowline. Couldn’t remember memory aid thing about: the rabbit goes out of the hole, around the hole, and back down the hole.

  7. Fzzt says:

    It never hurts to be reminded of the basics from time to time.

  8. Kurt Schwind says:

    No love for the lanyard how-to. That’s a shame. I’ve had a pocket knife my whole life and I never even /thought/ about putting a lanyard on it until I saw this post. Maybe I didn’t need step-by-step, but it was still useful in that it made me think about trying it out, which I did.

    I’m still debating whether I like my knife with a lanyard or not.

  9. Ryan says:

    I agree with Kurt. I did not try the lanyard, but the article was food for thought.

  10. jimemac says:

    This was a helpful article. Just what I was looking for.

    Thank you.

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