A challenge for Spyderco...

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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RJNC
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A challenge for Spyderco...

Postby RJNC » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:14 pm

O.k., so you guys came up with a salt proof steel, how about a scratch proof stainless steel handle? I like SS handles, and they look so good when you first get them, but they scratch up so easily.

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Postby The Deacon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:24 pm

RJNC wrote:O.k., so you guys came up with a salt proof steel, how about a scratch proof stainless steel handle? I like SS handles, and they look so good when you first get them, but they scratch up so easily.
Spyderco pretty much did. The etched ones hide scratches about as well as any material can. Apparently not enough people understood that, or cared.
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Postby RJNC » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:30 pm

Yeah, I like the smooth SS though.

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Postby yowzer » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:35 pm

I've kept a stainless steel flashlight (Fenix LD01 SS) on my keychain for the best part of a year and the only marks on it are dings from dropping it on concrete. I look at a Spyderco with plain stainless handles and it scratches. I don't know what steel is used in the handles, but it's a soft one.
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Postby npueppke » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:36 pm

This is why I prefer Titanium. Doesn't scratch quite as easily (at least it doesn't get those annoying fine scratches that show up in the sun), and the scratches that it does get seem to give it character instead of make it look like crap.

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Postby bh49 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:57 pm

RJNC wrote:O.k., so you guys came up with a salt proof steel, how about a scratch proof stainless steel handle? I like SS handles, and they look so good when you first get them, but they scratch up so easily.
RJNC wrote:Yeah, I like the smooth SS though.
That shouldn't be a problem. Just make handles from high carbon SS like ZDP and this will be it, or use any SS + hard coating similar to coatings use on cutting tools and no scratches or at least not that much. How many people would agree to pay for this knife is different question
npueppke wrote:This is why I prefer Titanium. Doesn't scratch quite as easily (at least it doesn't get those annoying fine scratches that show up in the sun), and the scratches that it does get seem to give it character instead of make it look like crap.
Titanium is really softer than steel, coating this is what makes surface hard and scratch resistant. IIRC hard coat anodizing can reach hardness over 60 HRc.
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Postby Blerv » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:21 pm

npueppke wrote:This is why I prefer Titanium. Doesn't scratch quite as easily (at least it doesn't get those annoying fine scratches that show up in the sun), and the scratches that it does get seem to give it character instead of make it look like crap.
In my experience Titanium scratches just not as easy as some softer metals. Compared to Tungsten (jewelry at least) it can't hold a candle to it.

The problem is that scratch resistant metals tend to also rust (tks Carbon!). I know high Tungsten steels also weigh a ton.

The best solution for metals is etching as Paul said or similar texture. The second better solution is slabs of something else on top of them (G10, Micarta, etc).
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Postby sarguy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:40 pm

I wonder if the process or materials needed to render such things scratchproof would increase the price point to an undesirable level.
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Postby carrot » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:06 pm

The black coating that Spyderco uses on their blades might work... it is fairly easy to scuff but scratching through it is hard.
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Postby Blerv » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:30 pm

Aluminum could be anodized or hard anodized. I'd say powder coating but the powder normally goes on thicker and then precise fitment might be an issue.

I'd love to see a checkered pattern on steel handles similar to flashlight tubes. Perhaps even the wire grinder swirl marks done for aesthetic purposes? Scratches aren't a big deal if the steel is already swirled to hell intentionally.
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Postby ChaosSpear » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:39 pm

i second blerv and the hard anodizing. My father has a Surefire light, and although he takes good care of it, it looks just as clean as when he got it over a year ago. Don't get me wrong, he didn't paper it, its just never been abused and looks perfect.

spyderco could try this with their handles. It also looks great and can be any color you want.
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Postby GronK » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:23 am

The benefit of the softer stainless is that it's easy to re-surface. Fifteen minutes with a pad and it's back like new.
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Postby npueppke » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:32 am

The problem with steel is that you can't anodize it, lol. You would have to find some kind of a coating, but it would have to be transparent/translucent. Or use a high hardness steel, I'm sure there are grades out there which would work-what about the steel used in watch bracelets?

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Postby Jijoel » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:53 pm

Maybe a stonewash finish would be an idea.

I have two crk sebenza users and the blades look new.There are scratches and scuffs on the blades.
But they don't show up.
Ok not as shiny as polished steel ;) .

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Postby npueppke » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:56 pm

Jijoel wrote:Maybe a stonewash finish would be an idea.

I have two crk sebenza users and the blades look new.There are scratches and scuffs on the blades.
But they don't show up.
Ok not as shiny as polished steel ;) .
I think this could look very nice.

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Postby RJNC » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:40 pm

The problem with a stonewashed finish, is to me, that I like the smooth finish of regular SS.

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Postby Koen Z » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:38 am

Making the handles out of a hardened stainless toolsteel is no option, I think. It will cost too much.

I think a surface hardening like Parkerizing is the best option, possible on austenitic stainless steel. I don't know if people will pay for it.

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Postby Blerv » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:33 am

npueppke wrote:The problem with steel is that you can't anodize it, lol. You would have to find some kind of a coating, but it would have to be transparent/translucent. Or use a high hardness steel, I'm sure there are grades out there which would work-what about the steel used in watch bracelets?
They could use galvanized steel instead.

Ultimately I think a better idea is a textured surface but as we have seen people don't dig the etching. Scratches with this are a non-issue. High hardness steels are great but often come with lower corrosion tolerances (and sometimes weight).

Good question on the watch bracelets, never thought of that! I still think there is some merit to Tungsten but the milling/working temps are very dang high. I like the rings in Tungsten but they are quite hefty compared to titanium. As mentioned with harder stainless steels I don't know if the price makes sense.

Diminishing returns for cost to benefit I guess. A few little scratches never killed anyone and in the end I guess it's a tool.
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Postby npueppke » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:41 am

Blerv wrote:They could use galvanized steel instead.

Ultimately I think a better idea is a textured surface but as we have seen people don't dig the etching. Scratches with this are a non-issue. High hardness steels are great but often come with lower corrosion tolerances (and sometimes weight).

Good question on the watch bracelets, never thought of that! I still think there is some merit to Tungsten but the milling/working temps are very dang high. I like the rings in Tungsten but they are quite hefty compared to titanium. As mentioned with harder stainless steels I don't know if the price makes sense.

Diminishing returns for cost to benefit I guess. A few little scratches never killed anyone and in the end I guess it's a tool.
I don't know what watch bands are made out of, but people don't seem to complain about them. Could also be that they just don't come in contact with stuff that scratches them? I don't know.

I'm not really a fan of etched surfaces either, but what about something like knurling? Very fine knurling to resemble G10?

I don't know what the relative costs are but Spyderco uses some other high end handle materials, and I think that if the demand is there they would develop a process to incorporate high tungsten steel or some other high hardness type steel.


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