My thoughts on the "hard use" trend.

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Exile.
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My thoughts on the "hard use" trend.

Postby Exile. » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:32 pm

As an aside, I'm pretty new here, and everyone has been exceptionally friendly and helpful. I still haven't decided on what my "first" Spyder will be, but I'm leaning heavily on the SuperLeaf. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it. Great design, LOVE that wire clip (just throw it on everything Spyderco ;) ) and the CL is my favorite Spyderco lock. Also, the 4mm blade rocks with a FFG.
That brings me to my main point. Getting into numbers like we're talking with the Superleaf, you can't avoid the "is it hard use?" discussions. Personally, I think "hard use" has gone from a useful indicator of strength to an all out comical display that I can't help feel is pulling attention away from many deserving knives that do what they are SUPPOSED to do wonderfully.
Great, it can wreck a car. Cut this tomato. Yeah, I thought so.
I've torn up cars. Know what I use? An angle grinder. Bout as far from a Delica as it gets.
Anyways, here's "hard use" in a folder, taken from examples I perform on a fairly regular basis:
-Cutting up thick heater/fuel line
-Cutting denim
-Cutting thick cardboard
-Piercing leather or rubber
-Light brushwork (cutting nothing over 1/2-1") and clearing vines and the like

Nowhere in there is "hitting, overstriking or spine whacking". Spine whacking? Personally, I think if you're trying to use a knife backwards maybe you deserve a little cut ;) (all in good fun, I understand the test).
If I need a KNIFE to cut down a tree, well I use my 17-inch camp knife I made out of an old leaf spring. It does the job.

I don't know, and I'm only placing my opinions here. I just think the "hard use" thing has gone overboard. I like knowing an Endura can chop down a tree, that's cool. The issue is when you take something (like an Endura) and break it batoning wood or Fords and instantly the reaction is "what crap!".
Just my thoughts :)

Studey
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Postby Studey » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:50 pm

I concur! :) Tough is nice, but it's a freaking folding (pocket) knife. Too many people these days expect it to be something else.

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Postby rodloos » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:41 pm

The Super Leaf should do fine for your definition of "hard use". For cutting brush up to an inch thick, it is NOT a chopper, but mine slices VERY well and you should not have difficulty "slicing" into branches to cut them. I agree in using the right tool for the job, a fixed-blade or a machete for lots of chopping, but the Super Leaf is great for fire prep, making shavings, cutting up rags, hoses, etc. I was surprised how well mine cut, considering the blade thickness.
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Evil D
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Postby Evil D » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:49 pm

Studey wrote:I concur! :) Tough is nice, but it's a freaking folding (pocket) knife. Too many people these days expect it to be something else.
Unless in fact it is what i want it to be? When you have knives like the Grayman Satu, Stryders, the upcoming TUFF, then you start to come into this gray area where a folder can be expected to be more than just a folder. It's all just splitting hairs because if a Superleaf is hard use then a Satu may as well be a sharpened steel I beam. All of the cutting examples the OP listed except for cutting down brush, i do on a regular basis with a Ladybug. Does that make the Ladybug hard use? If something is capable, then it is whatever someone chooses to define it as. A good example is processing hunting game. Processing large game is hard on an edge and the knife, but i'd argue that you can do almost anything short of separating joints with a medical scalpel, which i don't think anyone would label as hard use. At the same time, i can take a Satu and use it for nothing but food prep and opening envelopes, so does that demote it from being hard use?

My point is, knives are just inanimate objects. They're designed a certain way, and then the user decides to push the design to do a particular task. If the knife fails, i say the user failed the knife not the knife failed the user. I don't go around my house swatting flies with a sledge hammer, and i don't plan on batoning with my Ladybug any time soon.
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Postby jackknifeh » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:42 am

I got sucked into the "hard use" idea. What I want is a knife that is a great EDC yet still one I can do the stuff you usually use a fixed blade for. Of course that is just plain rediculous. What I have recently realized is that Spyderco knives are ALL "hard use" knives for their purpose. Ladybug is "harder use" than other knives that size from my experience. Sage1 is capable of handling "harder use" work than most knives that size IMO. Then comes the GB. Definately a "hard use" folder in anyone's eyes IMO. I think every Spyderco is capable of handling harder use than any pocket knives I've used in my life in the same size. There are other companies who make "hard use" folders but I haven't used any of them. I probably never will buy any. I have the knives I want for any EDC need I have. I may have to re-think that the next time I go grizzly bear hunting. :)

Jack

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:14 am

I like knives from the whole spectrum of slicer and heavy duty. What I don't understand is the hate some people have for knives that don't fit into their conception of what a knife should be. Oh sure, they say they don't "hate" on it but their attempt to ridicule what they don't like sure belies this. ;)

Buy the knife you like that fits your uses. Leave the other folks to their choices without the snarkiness.

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Postby akaAK » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:27 am

Almost every car on the road can far exceed the speed limits here in Canada.

Some people like their knives to do more than they expect of them. My issue with "hard use" folders is they don't fit my everyday needs particularily well, so I don't bother with them much. When I am working around the house I will carry a millie oe para, but I don't need them outside of those tasks so the extra cost of "hard use" materials and engineering is lost on me.

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:37 am

akaAK wrote:Almost every car on the road can far exceed the speed limits here in Canada.

Some people like their knives to do more than they expect of them. My issue with "hard use" folders is they don't fit my everyday needs particularily well, so I don't bother with them much. When I am working around the house I will carry a millie oe para, but I don't need them outside of those tasks so the extra cost of "hard use" materials and engineering is lost on me.
That is a pretty good post.

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Postby Studey » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:39 am

Evil, using something outside of its parameters does not automatically qualify as hard use, I agree. There is certainly a place for tough knives, because as you mentioned, some cutting jobs are tough, especially those where lateral force is applied. However, IMO, there's a big difference between a hard cutting job and using your $500 folder to pry open doors, etc. It might be able to handle it for a while, but don't be surprised if it breaks or is damaged. I don't mean that last sentence directed at you, just in general, as the biggest 'hard use' issue I see is people trying to pry open ridiculous crap with a 4" folding knife.

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Postby Blerv » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:41 am

chuck_roxas45 wrote:I like knives from the whole spectrum of slicer and heavy duty. What I don't understand is the hate some people have for knives that don't fit into their conception of what a knife should be. Oh sure, they say they don't "hate" on it but their attempt to ridicule what they don't like sure belies this. ;)

Buy the knife you like that fits your uses. Leave the other folks to their choices without the snarkiness.
Agreed on all levels :) .
:spyder: Blake :spyder:

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Postby jackknifeh » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:48 am

Studey wrote: It might be able to handle it for a while, but don't be surprised if it breaks or is damaged.
This is a good point. Whatever I use a knife for, it should be able to handle it for a long long time IMO.

Jack

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The Native is a perfect first Spyder

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:58 am

I take it you're a bit new to Spyderco>> OK we all started at some point now didn't we :D

I do have one solid recommendation: To me it's the quintescential hard use Spyder that even surprised me a couple of years ago when I put mine through a torture test that just wasn't even fair to the knife at all. But to my pleasant surprise my Golden Colorado USA Earth made Native model took punishment beyond belief.

I really don't think you can go wrong with a Native model. Now there is nothing at all wrong with the Superleaf model you made mention of and it's ultimately down to what appeals to your eye the best. But you will be surprised at just how tough and rugged the USA made Native is.

Many of Spyderco's knives are unbelievably tough. But I think that the size and design of the Native makes it an excellent knife to start out with. Good Luck with whatever decision you make and welcome to Spyderville.
Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!

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Postby phillipsted » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:42 am

I think this is the reason that I have over 150 knives after 35 years of collecting/using them. I've got everything from small pocket knifes to a full-sized camping knifes. I've got specialty blades (wood carving mostly), I've got gentleman's folders (maybe more than a few of these! :rolleyes :) , I've got yard work knives, I've got a knife I use only for grout/tile work, I've got a couple of automatics for -- well, I don't know what I use autos for... :cool:

The point is - DIVERSITY ROCKS!

TedP

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Postby jnichols2 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:55 am

I would never consider "batonning" any of my Spydies. However; it's something I need to do every once in a while. Some situations just don't lend themselves to a large fixed blade, they need a good whack on the spine with a hammer. That's what $2 gas station knives are for. When it breaks, I get another. But not my Spydies.
Ladybug, Delica x 2, Endura x 2, Military Black, Manix 2 XL, Civilian, Harpy, Caly 3.5 CF ZDP-189, Sage 1

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The Deacon
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Postby The Deacon » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:11 am

akaAK wrote:Almost every car on the road can far exceed the speed limits here in Canada.

Some people like their knives to do more than they expect of them. My issue with "hard use" folders is they don't fit my everyday needs particularily well, so I don't bother with them much. When I am working around the house I will carry a millie oe para, but I don't need them outside of those tasks so the extra cost of "hard use" materials and engineering is lost on me.
Agreed. The problem is that, as with cars, there are limits which cannot be safely exceeded. If someone purchased a compact sedan, then complained on its manufacturer's forum that it was defective because its rear suspension gave out when was driving home from Lowes with its trunk full of bricks, he'd be ridiculed.

I have no problem with folks who need, or simply want, tools for which I have no personal use or desire. I have not problem with knife companies catering to those markets. What tends to both amuse me and cause me to become sarcastic (or at least more so than normal) is when someone does the equivalent of loading their Rio's trunk with bricks, makes a video of the inevitable result, then acts surprised and disappointed that it happened.
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chuck_roxas45
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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:15 am

The Deacon wrote:Agreed. The problem is that, as with cars, there are limits which cannot be safely exceeded. If someone purchased a compact sedan, then complained on its manufacturer's forum that it was defective because its rear suspension gave out when was driving home from Lowes with its trunk full of bricks, he'd be ridiculed.

I have no problem with folks who need, or simply want, tools for which I have no personal use or desire. I have not problem with knife companies catering to those markets. What tends to both amuse me and cause me to become sarcastic (or at least more so than normal) is when someone does the equivalent of loading their Rio's trunk with bricks, makes a video of the inevitable result, then acts surprised and disappointed that it happened.
And when some of them don't fail? What then?

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Postby The Deacon » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:22 am

chuck_roxas45 wrote:And when some of them don't fail? What then?
Chalk it up to dumb luck? The fact that one succeeded does not imply the other failed.
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chuck_roxas45
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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:25 am

The Deacon wrote:Chalk it up to dumb luck?
Nah, even in that hard use brouhaha some time ago, none of the knives really failed('cept the controversial one). Can't all be dumb luck. :D

I think knifemakers have learned a thing or two about over-engineering in the past few years. Got you exasperated eh Paul?

The Deacon wrote:Agreed. The problem is that, as with cars, there are limits which cannot be safely exceeded. If someone purchased a compact sedan, then complained on its manufacturer's forum that it was defective because its rear suspension gave out when was driving home from Lowes with its trunk full of bricks, he'd be ridiculed.

I have no problem with folks who need, or simply want, tools for which I have no personal use or desire. I have not problem with knife companies catering to those markets. What tends to both amuse me and cause me to become sarcastic (or at least more so than normal) is when someone does the equivalent of loading their Rio's trunk with bricks, makes a video of the inevitable result, then acts surprised and disappointed that it happened.
Seems it's not all that inevitable. :D

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The Deacon
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Postby The Deacon » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:35 am

chuck_roxas45 wrote:Nah, even in that hard use brouhaha some time ago, none of the knives really failed('cept the controversial one). Can't all be dumb luck. :D

I think knifemakers have learned a thing or two about over-engineering in the past few years. Got you exasperated eh Paul?




Seems it's not all that inevitable. :D
Heck no Chuck. At least not as long as Spyderco doesn't eliminate models like the Chaparral, Stretch, and Caly series. But what you describe sounds more like a "one of these things is not like the others" than a test of things their maker's claimed to be equal.
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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:40 am

The Deacon wrote:Heck no Chuck. At least not as long as Spyderco doesn't eliminate models like the Chaparral, Stretch, and Caly series. But what you describe sounds more like a "one of these things is not like the others" than a test of things their maker's claimed to be equal.
I must be sleepy, that last line didn't make sense to me. Good night Paul. :D

I'm sure it will make perfect sense when I wake up tomorrow. :)


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