What is a Swivel Clip?

Malcolm Tatum

Sometimes referred to as a swivel mount, the swivel clip is a handy tool that makes it possible to attach a small electronic unit to a belt or the strap of a shoulder bag or purse with ease. While the clip can be used with devices like pocket radios and PDA units, the most common application of a swivel clip is with cellular phones. The clips may be constructed to work with several different devices or be custom designed for a particular product.

Woman holding an optical disc
Woman holding an optical disc

The design for a swivel clip varies slightly between different brands and manufacturers. However, the core design is fairly consistent. A small clip makes it possible to attach the body of the clip to a belt or strap. The body of the clip usually provides a simple snap and lock mechanism that secures the cell phone or similar device to the swivel section of the clip. There is usually a clip release that is pressed when the user wishes to disengage the cell phone from the clip.

Some designs of the swivel clip are very simple, featuring nothing more than an arm that is adhered to the back of the cell phone. The arm slides into the clip and is firmly grasped, preventing the phone from accidentally becoming detached from the clip. Other designs are more elaborate, such as providing a swivel clip holster that receives the entire body of the cell phone and secures the phone with a folding top that clips into place.

In addition, the swivel clip also makes it possible to quickly turn or swivel the cell phone so the wearer can easily view the display on the cell phone face. When the phone registers an inbound call, the user can simply swivel the phone around to view the number associated with the inbound call. This makes it possible to know whether the call should be answered immediately, or if the call can be allowed to roll to voice mail and returned later.

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The swivel clip also eliminates the need to dig into pockets, shoulder bags, purses, or briefcases in order to locate a ringing cell phone. This simple benefit can save a lot of frustration on the part of the user, and also make it possible to respond to important calls without a great deal of delay. When a call needs to be answered, the user simple presses the release key found on the top or side of the swivel clip, lifts the phone from the clip, and answers the call. Once the call is completed, the phone is returned to the swivel clip, making sure to hear the audible click that is produced when the phone is properly secured to the clip.

Some cell phone providers include one or more swivel clip designs in the accessory kits that accompany the phones. It is also possible to purchase a separate kit designed for general use with specific configurations of cell phones. Often, the kits will include one clip that is ideal for use with a belt and a second, larger clip that is more suited for use with the strap of a computer bag, purse, or shoulder bag. In general, the appearance of a swivel clip is intended to provide little distraction while keeping the cell phone within easy reach.

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