suedeface wrote:Are we talking about side-opening autos or OTF autos? IMO autos (especially my mini microtech UTX-70) are faster to open when held side-by-side with a similar sized dragonfly for example. However, when you factor in reaching into the pocket or waistband, drawing the knife, gripping and indexing the knife to where you have a decent hold on it, and then opening it (by whatever means) I would say the spyderco is overall faster. I have been carrying a ffg delica since they were introduced and am very experienced with it. After much use and familiarity with it, I could easily have my knife out and opened faster than any auto knife. The large hole opener just naturally rests against my thumb when I go to retrieve it and with some carry experience it becomes muscle memory. Having said that, the fastest folding knife I can deploy is my kershaw OD-2. The "flipper" on the back is amazingly fast, and with just a short carry time I was amazed at how fast I was able to open it.....like 1.5 seconds from pocket to open and ready. definitely my fastest knife ever....and pretty cool blade all around too..
I'd agree with you on the UTX-70/D-fly comparison. But, even among MT OTF's it's going to vary from model to model and knife to knife. The thumb pressure needed to fire my UTX-70 is light enough that it opens, and closes, very easily and very fast. OTOH, my Combat Troodon probably takes 10X the thumb pressure to fire, so I'd rate it slower than a Stretch.
Not to mention that, in most cases, we're talking fractions of a second and, as David pointed out, that's rarely going to matter and, if it did, could almost always have been compensated for by situational awareness.
Spyderco should make a hybrid auto-manual opener. I got to play with one once (don't remember the brand) and it was a little freaky. Push the button for auto, or use the thumb stud for manual. Every time I manually opened the knife I felt as if it would spring to life in my hand at any second
Pretty cool though.
Never played with one myself, but I know they're called "dual action" automatics, and that a fair number of companies make them. As for Spyderco, if memory serves me correct, they've had the prototype for one designed by Butch Vallotton "in the works" since before the Citadel and Embassy were released. Still, they're more complex than a "normal" Spyderco folder, more difficult to close one handed, and carry all the same legal baggage as any other automatic.