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Trends - Discussion

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:00 am
by sal
I believe that current folder trends will in general move towards knives with shorter blade lengths. I think this is the case primarily because of public reaction of larger knives. More and more knife aficianados are coming upon situations daily where they are cautious to take out a knife because of the reaction of people around them. That, combined with increasing knife laws concerning knife carry, I believe will sway the trends in the market.

I see folders falling into the following categories;

1. Small gents folders. Relatively thin and narrow, may or may not have clips. Able to perform small cutting tasks but nothing you could easily cut a rope with. Plenty of eye candy. Blade lengths under 2.5" (64mm). Spyderco's new "Kiwi" would be representative of that group. Many other companies are already making models in the "Gents" group. believe that the "fair" sex will find more appeal in this group.

2. What I call "Big, Little Knives". This category evolves out of the need for a smaller blade length knife that still has the handle purchase and blade strength to handle larger cutting chores. Spyderco's Lil' Temperance, Salsa, and the Navigator pattern (including the Meerkat and Pride). Some also would add the new Jester into this group.

3. Self defense folders. Models selected for the purpose of self defense. These models will more than likely be illegal to carry in most places and will not be shown.

4. Auto & semi autos will continue to sell, but will fall into the first category, providing novelty, like the Ken Onion "Chive" design.

What is your opinion? What do you see in the future and why?

(Posted on both Spyderco forums)


Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 8:40 am
by J Smith
I really hope this is not the future.I like at least a 3 in blade length.I will not buy a knife for EDC with out a clip.I would like to see some fancier designs in production knifes,something like the Kiwi with a clip.This trend will not happen unless we let it,don't be worried about carrying the large ones,carry the largest your laws permit.The more sheeple see them the more they will become use to them.I firmly belive that we in the US are on a downward spiral to not haveing the right to carry anything.Use a assalt riffle in a crime(outlaw them)use a handgun(more restrickive laws,try to ban them)use a knife(pass size limit laws)use a small knife(ban knives)use a stick and stone...get my point.


Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 9:28 am
by Zabrewolf
I agree with you totally and it drives me nuts to watch the sheeple stampede our rights away in their panic. We (all people) should discus this in another post.

I fear some of your predictions are correct. Some of us will be forced into smaller (length) knives then we may want for (public) EDC.

I do applaud the addition to more eye candy on the smaller knives. I am getting a little tired of the straight black and silver of the FRN and G-10 knives and I have heard/seen similar comments from other user/collectors. I am also in the line for really wanting a clip on my knife, even your mini-spyders (Cricket, Dragonfly, etc.). On a Ladybug or Jester it might be ridiculous, but I call those micro-spyders. And I really like the lanyard holes in all knives. For the minis the hole is not so much for knife retention but to pretty it up. I have taken several of my mini-spyders and given them knotted leashes of climbers accessory cord. The cord is strong and often brightly colored in interesting patterns. This gives my knife a shot of color, and two means of carry. For some needs the clip can hold it in place at the top of the pocket like usual. For other times I drop the knife into the pocket and let the cord hang out or rest near the top and retrieve the knife that way. In those cases a SS clip works well as a money clip. I also think the colorful leash helps take the edge (visually) off the fear of the knife (I could be kidding myself).

Another thing I see smaller knives getting (this is happening now) is the finger knurls and more attention to their over all fit in the hand. I really like this and hope this continues.

On the flip side, I want my larger knives. (the Military, Lum (tanto), Police, etc.) I want to still have the option for the bigger blade for heavier work and more comfort (physically and psychologically) when carried. Much to my amazement smaller knives are not always liked by women. My wife and I were browsing and I showed her a small knife I thought was cute and lady like and she felt it was too small and awkward for her hand. This is a woman I can't get to carry a knife daily so it is not like she really wants big beefy knives. Which brings me to the gents folders. I think they are starting to catch the appeal of ladies. Maybe a name other then "gents" folder could help spur that along.

My thoughts, thankx for asking.

"Ne vyklykaj vowka z leesoo, ..... bo tsej vowk maje <img src="spyder.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> ." Don't call the wolf out of the forest, because this one carries a <img src="spyder.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> .

Edited by - Zabrewolf on 7/7/2002 9:29:20 AM

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 9:37 am
by difkat
I believe for EDC size should be : Handle 3.75" to 4.0", Blade 2.75" to 3.25". This is just ideal for the hand, won't attract much attention (we want it to work, not attention, really <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>) Smaller than that, the one-hand opening/closing via the roundhole, could just easily slips and hurt ourselves. IMO.

But there'll always be market for the larger blades eg. 4"+ They're for serious work, and still be sought after by serious users. The Law can't stop us going to a specific place, carrying a specific knife/tool, wanting to do a specific work, or can they? :o

Kn.i.Fe - Knowledge is Forever.

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 10:45 am
by Joe Talmadge
The way I see it, people carry bigger folders because they have big cutting chores, or because they like to think of themselves as the kind of guys with big cutting chores, or because defensive use is a primary or secondary reason for carry. I don't see that changing, ever.

So there are two scenarios. In the scenario where states start passing tougher knife carry laws, the gents' knives and little big knives become more important. As a side note, the first "little big knife" I ever ran into was the Co-pilot. It puzzled me at first, but then finally made sense, and makes even more sense now.

The other scenario is that knife-length carry laws don't get changed much -- as they don't seem to have, so far. In that case, I wonder if people won't start moving towards the strategy I've been using for years: carry a big knife for big cutting chores and defense, and a small knife for smaller more-public jobs. If that's the case, bigger folders continue to be as important as ever, gents' folders (or rather, smaller folders possibly a tad more rugged than the classic gents' folder) becomes much more important.

My usual carry these days is an axis 710 or endura, plus a Kershaw Chive. The Chive is an interesting piece: it's less refined but more robust than a classic gents' knife, also more ergonomic, and flatter so more carryable. It's not a "little big knife", but it's not a classic gents' folder either.

Anyway, I think the little big-knife trend you're following is very interesting, and I'd bet that it will meet with some success no matter what. But it will really take off if legal situation starts changing.

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 11:12 am
by glockman99

Since I see Spyderco as an innovator (the "hole", pocket-clip, etc...) and a LEADER in the knife industry, I'd like to see the lead taken for LARGER folders. (A Chinook with a longer blade, and more "Lefty-friendly" pocket-clip is really MY "dream-knife".). Besides, a knife with a longer blade USUALLY also has a longer handle, which "fits" better in LARGE hands.

I'd hate to see (Spyderco) cave-in to what the "Sheeple" want us "knife-nuts" to be forced to carry; DULL knives with blades under 2 inches, or nothing to cut with at all.

BTW...I wonder why, if knives with longer blades are being "looked down upon" by people who fear them, then why aren't handguns with longer barrels also "looked down upon"???

Dann Fassnacht Aberdeen, WA ICQ: 53675663

Edited by - glockman99 on 7/7/2002 11:21:20 AM

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 11:20 am
by Blade Santa Cruz
The pattern has been established for some time. If we do not speak up, do not vigorously politically oppose the anti-knife crowd, we'll see the situation erode to the point where ALL knives are banned. The airlines have provided us with a microcosm over the past several years, culminating with the post-9/11 nonsense. There, we ended up facing a hypocritical Cheney who, speaking out one side of his mouth, encourages airline passengers to fight back against terrorists, while, out of the other side, supported the confiscation of your toe nail clippers as potential weapons.

Getting away from this ludicrous example, I believe the NRA provides an effective model for supporting 2nd amendment rights. (and why aren't knives included under current interpretations of the 2nd amendment? Perhaps some civil lawsuits would be appropriate at this time??)

The only way for our rights (to own and use knives and other edged or pointed tools) to survive is to generate efficacious political opposition to those who would strip us of those rights. Otherwise, those rights will disappear, along with the tools we love and need. Bouncing a few of the more offensive turkeys out of office is the most effective message we can send them.

My EDC knives rotate, most frequently being my PE Millie or my Cuda Maxx. I use them openly and legally and never, NEVER apologise for them. If I get occasional negative comments from sheeple, I use the opportunity to educate them on the uses of such tools and on the 2nd amendment. So far, I'm very pleased with the results.

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:01 pm
by yog
I think all Spyderco's are little / big knives, I'm constantly surprised how they all seem to punch above their apparent weight, the Ladybug is a prime example, any other folder in this size range would be considered a novelty item, whereas the Ladybug is an extremely useful tool.

I think the growing line in gents folders is a good one, but not if it is at the extent of the no nonsence working folders that Spyderco has become famouse for. Unlike Zabrewolf I would prefer at least the option of a plain black handle on any gents folder. I find the blade size and shape have more to do with how the knife is precieved than on what hadle material is used, The Kiwi is a good example of a sheeple freindly blade profile without compromising cutting ability. I get a lot more comments about my Delica looking more "scary" than I do about my Lum Chinese folder even though the Lum is 8mm longer.
Perhaps this is a good case to bring back the Calypso Jnr Lwt with it's un-intimidating blade profile (I can't see it happening, but I had to try <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> )
But seriously, if a knife has too many sheeple freindly features it is likely to turn off people who have a serious use for a knife. If I buy a knife I want it to look no-nonsence (this does not mean agressive), rather that look as though it just popped out a Christmas cracker, the Salsa IMHO is sailing periously close to the wind here.
Also a special request, please don't put the cobra hood on any future models, especially the "Big. Little Knives", it just looks so bolted on.

As clips go on gents folders I would make a very strong plea to keep them. Part of the time I work in a government office where possession of a knife is even more frowned upon than in other areas of this knife phobia contry. As a result when I'm in the office I carry my PE Cricket sitting in the bottom of my pocket. I hate doing this because of all the gunk the quickly builds up around the pivot and inside the handle, I almost feal like I'm abusing this great little knife. So please keep the clip, or else provide some other carry methos like a pocket sheath.

I know the "Big, Little Knives" will be where most of my future purchases will be. As much as I love my Military, it just draws too much attention now, even in places it didn't previously raise an eyebrow, roll on the Para-Military.
To date I think the Lil' Temperance is probably the best of the BLK's, the only possible downside is it's handle size when wearing lighter clothes, perhaps a version with a slimmer handle, a bit like the Calypso Jnr Lwt (I'm still trying <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> )

On the defense side, I think the trend towards smaller knives like the upcoming Ronin will be a good move, especially when complimented with Spyderco's MBC classes to educate people away from the Rambo style bowies for self defence, the sort that will land you in jail for having it in public.

Unfortunately I see you guys in the states going the same way we have in the UK. Here there is no longer any restriction on blade length, but you do have to prove you have a very good and specific reason for carrying it at that momment in time ("I might need it later" cuts no ice), failure to do so will land you in extremely hot water. The ruling on whether your reason is valid is purely at the discretion of the Police, and later the courts. As a result a lot of people who might have carried a knife before do not do so because of the uncertainty.
This would not impinge on your right to bear arms, because you can still do so as long as you have a valid reason.

Walk softly, carry a big stick.

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 11:10 pm
by Blade Santa Cruz
What makes you think that because a 2 inch blade is PC today that it will also be so in 1, 5 or 10 years?

I'm frankly shocked to see the "I'm hoping the cannibals will eat me last" attitude so prevalent on these boards. You can't and won't be able to appease the anti-knife crowd any more than you could the anti-gun gang. We have to fight them while we educate the general public, otherwise we've had it.

Ah well, to paraphrase an insightful quote, "Those that unable to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 12:41 am
by Alan2112
I think Sal brings up valid points, and I especially like his term little big knives. I think the little big knives make very good back up knives, and in some cases primary defence knives. Speaking for myself I have three little big knives counting our always on me Navigator, and I have no plans of buying anymore of these, unless I loose our Navigator. I hate to say this but I'm very content in our collection right now. The only knives I plan to buy in the future is one or two more fixed blades, and more slip joints. I think it all comes down to decideing what's right for you. Little big, full size defence, or both. For me it's both. RKBA!

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 12:54 am
by sam the man..
I think those "little big knives" are totally cool.. Gent's folder, ummm.. kinda pricey if you observe them on other manufacturer's catalog.. <img src="sad.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>


have bone implant will travel..

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 12:59 pm
by gadfly

I appreciate your vision of an ugly world. I know you're only the messager.

Primarily, a knife is a tool. Hammers and wrenches are tools, so when will these be banned? In the past, I have carried wrenches as weapons, as they were less likely to arouse concern.

I am very concerned about the trend of people to trade their rights and privileges for their perceived safety and security.

Thomas Jefferson recognized that going defenseless only made for more victims. This is as true today as it was more than two hunderd years ago. One only has to look at our British friends and firearms. Britan never had a problem with guns before they started "controlling" them. Now as gun restrictions get more and more ugly, they have more problems than ever with gun crime.

Criminals will find that the lack knives and guns, in the hands of the public (read that victims!), will only empower themselves. As a result, I expect to see violent crime to continue to increase in any locale where good people are forced to go defenseless.

As with firearms, I try to show people that, properly used and handled (read that safely), knives and guns are not things that have to be feared. I show them how safely handle use them.

Clearly, just as I don't just have one size screw driver, I have more than one size knife. While my EDC is a Military, I carry a gentleman's knife to a ball.

Please, try and bring others around to viewing knives as tools, to be used, as opposed to items to be feared.

One way or the other, you pay for your tools!

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 5:48 pm
by Sword and Shield
Apparently, my post from last night got eaten by the comp gremlins, so I'll try again.

I see the market moving in two distinct ways.

First are those who will carry small, or not at all. This is the group that believes in appeasing the sheep of the world, and will go along, thankful that they can carry anything. This group is the more dangerous of the two, as they will not contest law, simply obey it.

Second is the group that will continue to carry that which it deems necessary to properly perform a task. I have no reason to carry a Military at Uni, but my Mouse is nearly useless for the hard cutting at work. The Mouse is simply too small for any hard tasks.

However, this group is the more responsible group of the two. While a particular knife may dance on the line of illegality, it will be carried because it works best.

This is also the group that doesn't really care what popular opinion states. These realize that a Case small stockman is far inferior to a Buck 110 for hard work, and will carry the 110 because of that.

I belong to group two, as you can doubtlessly tell. Large knives have a place, as do small ones. I carry that which is appropriate for the job I am doing, and in 6 years have never had a problem.

Keepin' it real...real sharp, that is.

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 9:07 am
by dfmccarthy
(My apologies for the length, but some topics are that complex.)

Homo Sapiens (thinking wo/man) first manufactured tool was a chipped edge. Kindling, tinder, and a spark are all difficult to make without an edge. But the most basic "edge" that is human is _thinking_. It is important to understand that human "thinking" is a blend of two different mechanisms. There is the "discoursive" mind. The, for most people, verbal process of "if A=B, and B=C, then A=C." Equally important in life is the thinking the body does. This very much nonverbal process is why your hand comes up and your head turns to the side if your body senses something coming at your face.

Most fear comes from the body. Someone who knows from experience that they are clumsy or physically unskilled because they routinely bump into things are justifiably scared of things that are sharp. They then teach this to those in their care. They will come up with verbal "reasons" for why all people should avoid sharp objects. Trying to dispute their "reasoning" on their terms is almost fruitless. Verbal attempts to get through on such subjects must relate to what their body experiences.

The body has a built in desire to feel safe. For a tool user, the more and better tools they have, the safer they feel. They are better able to control their environment. Societies have a dominant paradigm. That is the simplified model by which the individuals plan their interaction with their environment. Personal computing and the internet have greatly changed the dominant paradigm. Identity theft is now to be feared as much as physical robbery. Ideas, in some models referred to as "memes," the information equivalent of genes, can now spread faster and farther than ever before. Both good and bad.

A breakthrough in how to think about firearms occurred in the last few years. Some university researchers realized that paperwork and records are only generated when a firearm is fired. They then decided to do a survey of all social interactions involving firearms. To the surprise of people who only look at the surface, it turned out that the presence of a firearm stopped the occurrence of violence that would have lead to injury or death far more times than firearms caused physical harm. The ratio by which personal firearms were "safety" devices rather than hazards was substantial. If you are interested in the actual figures I'm sure the NRA would be happy to supply them.

So long as the society in which we are currently living sees someone being "armed" as being a threat to the people around them, then "tools" which can cause bodily harm will be seen as morally evil. Sikhs wear knives as part of their religion because they are taught that it is their responsibility to defend the helpless. It is possible to spread that "meme" widely enough to eventually change the direction of the dominant paradigm. But working in the direction of that positive change requires recognizing that first it is about responsibility. For yourself, then for those around you. It is not about youthful exuberance or testosterone. Though both can be fun in the right time and place, they are not the poster child with which to change society for the better. Unfortunately, they do sell tickets. And by therefore by being held up as role models produce backlash.

People who care enough to think about the future need to think in terms of generating and spreading memes to change things for the better. Don't just follow, try to lead. Aggressively styled blades, that is those that have a point with an acute angle, are basically meant for piercing. Generally speaking, a sharp point seems to be required only for removing splinters in peace time, or removing sentries in war time. If you need an edge to defend with, your moves should be slashing so as to maximize damage, not stabbing, which might trap your blade.

Miniature blades (2"/5cm) who's artistic design follows a weapon for use in battle can be appropriately carried in every day use. But it is as symbol of what you value, not as a weapon. If you are to be able to morally argue for carrying a blade with a larger mass and longer edge, it needs to be obviously a tool for saving lives. And until the dominant paradigm where you live has changed, it should be carried discretely. You cannot intimidate people into feeling safe. The only way to change people's minds is to offer a way for them to feel better about themselves. This does not include the trend in recent years to try to improve a persons "self esteem" by somehow magically convincing them they're a better person. A sense of personal value comes from _earning_ it. And it comes from inside, not from the approval of others.

You change people's opinion of what tools are "safe" by showing them how and what they are able to safely use themselves. And since we all have limitations, each person needs to learn their own limits, _and_ that those are their limits, not everybody's.

I think that the designers and manufacturers of tools can play an important part in changing what people both think and feel. After all, art is about communicating memes at the sensory or body level. The world is increasingly becoming more urbanized. The tools that are best suited for crowded living conditions are not the same as those for the countryside. You are more likely to be threatened by an auto accident than a beast of prey.

Most of those of us that carry tools, carry more than one. If I need to cut out a coupon at a checkout stand or cut some tape to open a box, I use my Gerber Touche. The uniform reaction is, "Wow, neat!" It is not remotely threatening, hell, it doesn't even lock open. It's just a little magic trick where it suddenly appears in my hand. If I take out my Leatherman Wave, I'm very obviously busy working on something. The only time I'd take out my Rescue would be an emergency, when people will be happy to see it. Enlightened people have a natural desire for "netsuke." But we have to recognize that while will still live in an unenlightened society it is our duty to educate by example, not intimidate. I hope Spyderco and other artists will continue to create their American netsuke, but remember, for now only the small pieces should be displayed to the general public.

Please feel free to both discuss (breed with other memes), and pass on (reproduce) those ideas that resonate with you, for evil will continue to spread if the good do nothing.

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 11:13 am
by argyll
Given the sheeple quotient, I'd like to see more stealth designs. That is, BLK or SD folders disguised as gent's knives. (On the same note, clips should allow for deep pocket carry with minimal handle showing.)

Best regards,

Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit -- Ovid (He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow)

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 1:42 pm
by Zabrewolf
Sense we are clearly spinning off into what, how, and when the sheeple will get anything sharp banned.

The recent issue of Blade had a letter to the editor for a knife maker in Montana. He says a sales clerk openly called him a total psycho because he was buying a swiss army knife for a 14 year old's birthday present. Yes he was mad and hurt by this rude behavior, but what he said he was going to do was buy the clerk (some kid HS or college) a swiss knife and invite them to his smith and try to teach them about the tools we call knives.

I strongly believe sheeple do some really stupid things out of fear and then normal people have to live with the new stampede laws. HOW to over come that fear, is what I would like to know. This man seems to have one idea, any others?

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 2:19 pm
by scolby
Since I am not satisfied with a sub 2.5 inch blade for all tasks, I am looking toward the future to bring more designs that take the current strategy of carrying a "friendly-looking" (gent's knife) and then a bigger "use only when you need to" (big-cutter) knife could evolve into a single package like Benchmade's "Double Vision" or similarly Kershaw's "Double-Cross".

Increasing differention of handle materials on larger knives (not exactly eye candy but in that direction) to allow marketing of more product to a broader audience. Probably in parallel with continued marketing to the "armchair commando" set.

More ways for inventive carry other than with a clip (or newer clip designs), especially for "gent's" knives. Open concealment of clips as pen's like with the Chris Reeve Mnandi or the Alan Elishewitz Ruler series are in this direction. Some failed designs, like the Benchmade Park Avenue, will show up, but will spawn better ideas.

"Chance favors the prepared mind" - Louis Pasteur

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 2:41 pm
by SpyderNut
Although saddened on one side to see that a lot of what is coming down the tubes is "reality" in today's standards, I, like many of you, look for that glimmer of hope that shows a dawn of an new era for knife-carrying citizens. While I'm not against the 2.5 blade length idea, I sure don't want to see anything about putting the bigger more ergonomic designs to the side either. Like S&S stated, a knife the size of the Mouse is great for any number of little jobs that just require a 'whack' here or there. For other jobs, one might require a knife that has a 3.75 or 4 inch blade. I know personally of at least 4 people that wouldn't even LOOK at a knife, let alone hold one. (Two of them were women.) After I gently explanined the benefits of carrying a knife, and the total function of their day-to-day practicality, I had all 4 of them looking over my Spydies with much appreciation. (I've found that if I start them out on a Ladybug, then pretty soon they are ready for a Dragonfly, then a Delica, and so on.) At no time at all, these same anti-knife sheeple are holding, opening and closing, and for the sheer joy of it, actually have one heck of a time enjoying my knives. (At present, these 4 people are now proud Spyderco carrying people.) Hey, that's what its all about, right? I mean, if we "educate" the general public into seeing that knives in themselves aren't "evil" then I think we have a shot at showing them just how useful they are. Of course, TV has done a horrible job of portraying both guns and knives as the "bad guy's" tools, so to speak. It is our job to reverse this concept, and show them the truth.


Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 3:07 pm
by Gary
I unfortunately agree with Sal's view of the future. However, the nonconformist within me does not subscribe to limiting EDCs to small gent knives, just for the sake of satisfying the PCs. It's the same PCs that want to have someone else take the lead to defend them... "Let's roll" is a too true of an example. I am content to carry my city knives discreetly out of the eyes of the PCs. In the woods I still carry my knives large and exposed. In either event... I will continue to carry the knife that is fit for the chore at hand. It sure illustrates how gun advocates became so one sided and unreasonable... we will probably be there in 5 - 10 years.