Not much "meat" over-lap on the lock back?

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Fred Sanford
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Not much "meat" over-lap on the lock back?

Postby Fred Sanford » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:10 pm

Hey folks,

I didn't want to 'hi-jack' JT's thread on the Torn Apart Native 5 so I created this thread to ask a question.

In JT's thread and a few others that I remember seeing, it seems that there is not much "meat" touching inside Spyderco's lock backs. What I mean is the parts of metal that over-lap when the knife is locked up.

I remember seeing pictures of the inside of Cold Steel knives and they have huge amounts of 'meat' over-lapping.

I'm not digging on Spyderco at all, I just wonder if you need a ton of over-lap or not? I don't know but to me it always seems like the more the better when talking about lockup.


Here is a link to JT's thread so you can see the Native 5 lockup if you want.
http://spyderco.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51949

Thanks. :spyder:

Below is a picture of one of my Delica 4's.
Image


Below is a picture of a Cold Steel lock (image credit goes to Jim Ankerson)
Image

I realize that the CS knife is a Tri-Ad lock but I'm just talking about the steel overlap on the lockbar and blade tang cutout.
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DedRok
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Postby DedRok » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:15 pm

Yeah, cold steels Tri-Ad lock is strong, but it isn't the most effective at being comfortable to open, or even being as enjoyable to do so compared to a Spyderco. You have to push harder and further to disengage the lock back with the Tri-Ad, making is less easy and less comfortable to do so. I have a few Cold Steel knives, and I respect the Tri-Ad, but it's in a slightly different market. So, to answer you question about meat on the lock bar. I think Spyderco tries to reduce the friction to go for a more easy, smooth & crisp engage and disengage. This (in my opinion) is why I find my self pointlessly playing with my Spyderco knives more often than my Cold Steels. I play with them more, which means I use them more.

Really, if you think about it, are you going to need the Tri-Ad lock for your knife uses? 95% of the time you won't need it at all. I don't know about you, but I usually don't do a spine whack or punch my knives threw hoods of cars. (although it is a nice thought thinking it could)


So... in laymens terms...

Cold Steel Tri-Ad = A truck. torque-y, beefy and strong.
Spyderco lock back = a sports/luxury car. Smooth, fast and comfortable.

Bottom line.... both companies make great knives. Just different theories on knives. It's up to you to decide on what fits your needs best. I know this is a Spyderco forum, but we have to admit, there are some great knives out there.

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Postby razorsharp » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:32 pm

I saw that on the thread :eek: . theres like, 1/2 a milimeter holding it open :confused:

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Postby jabba359 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:17 am

David Lowry wrote:Hey folks,

I didn't want to 'hi-jack' JT's thread on the Torn Apart Native 5 so I created this thread to ask a question.

In JT's thread and a few others that I remember seeing, it seems that there is not much "meat" touching inside Spyderco's lock backs. What I mean is the parts of metal that over-lap when the knife is locked up.

I remember seeing pictures of the inside of Cold Steel knives and they have huge amounts of 'meat' over-lapping.

I'm not digging on Spyderco at all, I just wonder if you need a ton of over-lap or not? I don't know but to me it always seems like the more the better when talking about lockup.
That thought had also crossed my mind as well, but then I remember hearing someone say that Spyderco can engineer any lock to be as strong as they want. There's just a tradeoff. As noted above, the deeper the lockbar sits into the notch, the more difficult it is to disengage.

It's a balancing act, where you try to maximize strength while minimizing inconvenience. I'm sure that Spyderco has tested all sorts of lock engagement depths and after considering strength vs practicality, found a great compromise where the lock is smooth and easy to use, but still very strong. Keep in mind that the notch just keeps the knife from closing and that it has nothing to do with hard cutting tasks (unless you are trying to cut with the spine of the knife, in which case, you have much more substantial problems than a knife can fix ;) ).

For me, as long as the lock holds the knife open and can keeps it open if I accidentally bump the spine against something, then the lock is doing its job. If I know that there are going to be severe forces applied to the spine, then I know that the job calls for a fixed blade. I've yet to encounter an EDC situation where my folder wasn't more than sufficient for whatever random task I needed it for, but like you noted, that interface is still very small looking, but it doesn't worry me in the least. I trust Spyderco did their homework.
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Postby SolidState » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:32 am

Even though it seems counterintuitive, lever arms are not always better just for being longer.

The force generated on parts other than the pivot pin are generally done so radially from that pin, or radially toward the lockbar on the top interface (which both are roughly the same thickness in the necessary dimension for proper blade-pressure application. Having a longer overlap to prevent closing is just putting more material in the junction of the blade when the lockbar fails at the elbow. Where you should look is at the thickness on the elbow in a radial curve from the pivot pin. Both knives are effectively equivalent in the necessary thicknesses.
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Postby The Mastiff » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:58 am

I don't know anything about Sal's formal education but he is extremely knowledgeable as a knifemaker and designer. He worked with and learned from some that are rightfully called legends themselves.

Eric is a formally trained engineer IIRC, in addition to the experience he has in the knife industry.

In addition they have engineers and very experienced knifemakers in their employ, and as consultants and collaborators. I like to think my faith in their designs isn't merely blind faith, nor the name of a classic rock band either.

It's a fact that I haven't been let down yet and I have had a Spyderco in my pocket since 92.

They have made and broken, redesigned and made new knives to break occasionally breaking their machines in the process.

Passing the eyeball test is important but not as important as some of the other tests these older, and newer lock and knife designs have passed before ever making it to my pocket.

I'd have to see numbers and micro photographs of worn locks, pins, and other parts before I began declaring winners of strength categories.

I'm satisfied with my part in the arrangement. I carry and use the knife, they design, test and make and market it first. If I don't like it, I get rid of it and get a different one.

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Postby bh49 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:30 am

David Lowry wrote:I don't know but to me it always seems like the more the better when talking about lockup.
This is not always the case. One lock can be overbuild 3x and another 5x. Also strength depend on type of the steel and h/t procedure.
The Mastiff wrote:I don't know anything about Sal's formal education but he is extremely knowledgeable as a knifemaker and designer. He worked with and learned from some that are rightfully called legends themselves.

Eric is a formally trained engineer IIRC, in addition to the experience he has in the knife industry.
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Postby sal » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:01 am

Hi Dave,

Breaking the knives does disclose interesting information. Not often what you'd think.

I have had some engineering training, as does Eric, but neither of us are formally trained engineers. However, we do have really good engineering crew.

sal

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Postby jakemex » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:03 am

sal wrote:Hi Dave,

Breaking the knives does disclose interesting information. Not often what you'd think.

I have had some engineering training, as does Eric, but neither of us are formally trained engineers. However, we do have really good engineering crew.

sal
Hiring brains, and good ones, equals, surpasses and augments one's own good qualities and helps assure quality too. It also leaves time for the other needs in the equation. While interesting, the Cold Steel hype about the strength of their locks and knife lockup is not much scientific. (But, man, can they ever beat up their products!)
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Postby salimoneus » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:53 am

The Delica appears to have more overlap than the Native 5, but it's hard to tell with a disassembled knife as things may not line up exactly as when assembled. Would have expected the opposite considering how beefy the new Native looks.

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Postby Ankerson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:20 am

Haven't had any issues with Spydercos Lock Backs, they are very well made and designed well.

It's not so much the amount of the cut out as it is how well the lock is designed and the tolerances that really make the biggest difference.

The lock bar also really needs to be hard so they don't wear out too fast and develop up and down play.

The biggest deal with lock backs are they have to be kept CLEAN in the engagement area free of junk, grit ect.

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Postby defenestrate » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:26 am

Looking at those pics, the Cold Steel model is beefed up mostly in the area that would take force if you were whacking the knife on the spine all the time. Furthermore, that are looks rather fatigued on that knife, while the area by the stop pin does not show the same. The :spyder: model shows light contact wear from regular use, and almost none in the area where spine whacking would show it. Most users on here consider spine whacking to be abuse. So if you're looking for a knife to be used as a blunt battering object, Cold Steel folders offer that in spades. But for use as a regular knife, I think you will find the ergos and materials in Spyderco knives to be superior on the whole, as I do.
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Postby Ankerson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:35 am

defenestrate wrote:Looking at those pics, the Cold Steel model is beefed up mostly in the area that would take force if you were whacking the knife on the spine all the time. Furthermore, that are looks rather fatigued on that knife, while the area by the stop pin does not show the same. The :spyder: model shows light contact wear from regular use, and almost none in the area where spine whacking would show it. Most users on here consider spine whacking to be abuse. So if you're looking for a knife to be used as a blunt battering object, Cold Steel folders offer that in spades. But for use as a regular knife, I think you will find the ergos and materials in Spyderco knives to be superior on the whole, as I do.
Over Strikes will kill most lock backs in a VERY short time, VERY short time so if you ever want to ruin a lock back do some over strikes. They are MUCH worse and MUCH harder on the lock than spine hits. I started doing over strikes back in the late 70's when testing knives back then. I never met a lock back that could take it for very long.

The Tri -Ad lock was designed to withstand gross abuse of both spine hits and over strikes.

But any lock can fail, folders are already broken because they FOLD and fingers are not easy to replace.......

The ideal situation would be for the blade to break before the lock fails, but then I would recommend a good fixed blade if a knife is going to be used that hard.

But then if one uses their knives in a proper fashion one really won't need to worry about such things.

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Postby LAB » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:50 am

Take apart a Buck 110 and you will see the same thing. It is characteristic of the lock back/back lock design.

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Postby Ankerson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:00 am

LAB wrote:Take apart a Buck 110 and you will see the same thing. It is characteristic of the lock back/back lock design.
The Buck 112 was the very 1st folder I broke in testing doing over strikes back in 1978.

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Postby Donut » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:04 am

Reference:
Image

The area I highlighted in Green is where the stress will be placed on the lock and if the lock were going to break, I think it will be somewhere in the green area. I think the key point is that as long as all of the area in green has integrity I think the lock will hold.

What I am pointing at with the Red arrow, if this part was angled leaning to the left... The lock would slip and the amount of overlap would be significant.


The problem I see with a lot of overlap is that the amount of force or the amount of travel distance to release the lock would get difficult or large. There are a lot of variables involved here that determine how much force the release will take!
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Postby Bolster » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:52 am

SolidState wrote:The force generated on parts other than the pivot pin are generally done so radially from that pin, or radially toward the lockbar on the top interface (which both are roughly the same thickness in the necessary dimension for proper blade-pressure application.
I think Solid has the answer here (and Donut): the width, rather than the depth of the locking lug, is what keeps the blade open for normal knife use. If the knife is being hammered on the spine so that the lock lug may be popping up and down, then the depth of the lug comes into play. Since I don't spine-whack my folding knives, the depth of engagement is of little import to me.

What is clear, however, is that you want that locking lug to have a sharp corner. If it gets rounded, you're screwed.
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Postby v8r » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:38 pm

The way a Native is designed I don't think you will have to worry about lock breakage. You have one finger in front of the lock instead of behind with other knives. If you grasp the knife correctly there shouldn't be a problem. We also have to take in to account lock bar width which will give you more surface area also. The Native 5 has a pretty wide lock bar, I'm going to venture to say as wide as my original Manix.
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Postby Evil D » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:21 pm

The way i understand it, you want a little space under the lock tab to allow for wear adjustment. Those knives that are already bottomed out will eventually form blade play and there won't be anything you can do about it.
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Postby gull wing » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:50 pm

Lowery, I brought this up before and used an Old Large Manix to compare.

defenestrate, i think says it best with his post.

I like the tri ad lock for it's brute strength. I have one and abused it. It's still solid and tight. I don't care for the knife as a whole, it would not be an EDC, but when you need a knife you KNOW will not unlock this is it.
By the way RedRok I've had Spyderco lockbacks that were harder to operate than the tri ad. NativeIII comes to mind.
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