Experiences with detent wear?

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BelgiumRofls
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Experiences with detent wear?

Postby BelgiumRofls » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:04 pm

My Sage 2, Techno and Southard all have terrific detents and action after over a year of owning each of them.
On the other hand, I stopped carrying my Bradley 1 when the ball detent ball had worn flat enough that the blade could be shaken open pretty easily.
My current favorite EDC is my Mantra 1, but I can't help noticing that the action has degraded pretty significantly over time. I can happily accept some "mushiness" developing as part of using a knife, but was curious if some models are more prone to detent ball wear than others?

The three Ti Framelocks, despite being owned longer, have held up much better than the Mantra and Bradley. Could the detent balls on the titanium locks be performing better than those on steel inserts/locks for some reason?
Would the higher hardness of M4 result in wearing balls down faster than XHP or S30v?
Anyone else have experience with particularly long-lasting or short-lived detent quality?
Has anyone had a knife-maker/modder install a ceramic detent ball into a framelock or linerlock spydie?

As a side note: My current Mantra is actually a replacement from W&R (who rocked :) ) because my first's detent ball pretty suddenly failed within 3 weeks of purchasing. A total fluke, but it's got me thinking about detent wear as a factor in choosing locks in the future.

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farnorthdan
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby farnorthdan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:19 pm

I've noticed this problem on a few of my knifes, I'm thinking it's more of a production problem where some balls are pressed in a little too far making for a weak detent. My Schempp Bowie is real bad, my Nirvana has a weak detent also which really surprised me but it might have something to the blade weight too, the Nirvana has a real beefy blade stock and is heavy, I've actually been considering having that one re-ground.
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Able Dog
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Able Dog » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:24 pm

Ive had a couple detent balls show serious wear. The detent balls on my Southard and Rubicon show significant flat spots.

I'm not the only one who has noticed "soft" detent balls in Taichung models. The ball on my GB2 seems to be not wearing quickly.

I've never had problems with the detent balls on my US made Spydercos.
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Evil D
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Evil D » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:33 pm

I've seen flat spots on detent balls but I've also found crud in the detent hole too.
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anagarika
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby anagarika » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:20 pm

My GB1 detent ball peak is somewhat flat, but still have enough protruding part to keep the closed blade there. I'd suggest sending it to Spyderco for service if uou're in US.

David has a point. The hole has to be clean too. No harm checking.
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Igi964 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:46 am

I am changing detent ball on almost every liner / frame lock knives if possible. Hard steel like M4 is able to flat steel detent ball fairly quickly. Ceramic detent is my way to go. It does not wear and with a little lubrication is very, very smooth. You can even "adjust" the action a little by how deep you push the new ceramic in liner. I know its against warranity, but for me the change was allways worth it. If you want to try it yourself most common size is 1/16" and 2mm. You can buy 10 ceramic balls for about 3$ shipped on bay.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Evil D » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:11 am

Igi964 wrote:I am changing detent ball on almost every liner / frame lock knives if possible. Hard steel like M4 is able to flat steel detent ball fairly quickly. Ceramic detent is my way to go. It does not wear and with a little lubrication is very, very smooth. You can even "adjust" the action a little by how deep you push the new ceramic in liner. I know its against warranity, but for me the change was allways worth it. If you want to try it yourself most common size is 1/16" and 2mm. You can buy 10 ceramic balls for about 3$ shipped on bay.
Something has to wear. I would think by changing to ceramic you've just moved the wear over to the blade instead. I'd rather deal with a flat ball than a groove in my blade.
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Igi964 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:58 am

Evil D wrote:
Igi964 wrote:I am changing detent ball on almost every liner / frame lock knives if possible. Hard steel like M4 is able to flat steel detent ball fairly quickly. Ceramic detent is my way to go. It does not wear and with a little lubrication is very, very smooth. You can even "adjust" the action a little by how deep you push the new ceramic in liner. I know its against warranity, but for me the change was allways worth it. If you want to try it yourself most common size is 1/16" and 2mm. You can buy 10 ceramic balls for about 3$ shipped on bay.
Something has to wear. I would think by changing to ceramic you've just moved the wear over to the blade instead. I'd rather deal with a flat ball than a groove in my blade.

Yes. Something has to wear, but wear on the blade is spread to a much larger area, then wear on the detent ball. And that's why the detent is much more affected by it. I have seen a lot flat detents, but no harm on the blade.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby ABX2011 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:52 am

There's also the question of closing technique with a liner lock. Upon closing, are you holding the lockbar over just until the tang contacts or until the ball contacts? Because if it's the former I would think the ball would wear more quickly. With that technique, it's like driving over a curb when the ball hits the tang. If I let a newbie handle one of my liner locks they usually close it this way.
Of course, opening the knife requires the ball to move out of the detent which probably causes a lot of the wear.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:33 am

How would or should one change the ball detent if you buy the ceramic balls and replace them in there?

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Doc Dan » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:39 am

Yes, that is the question, isn't it? Aren't they press fitted?
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ABX2011
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby ABX2011 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:34 am

If it ain't broke...
Why bother replacing the ball bearing with ceramic? Added cost and risk. If your factory ball stops functioning then send it in to Spyderco.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby ramasipsc » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:48 pm

I have Spyderco Farid K2. The first it came it was very stiff and had very weak detent. After handling it for a few days I saw that detent ball began to show some wear. After owning it about 2 months detent ball is about 15% off already. Also one strange thing I noticed, detent ball hole on blade is smaller than detent ball itself. I also have this on my Military CPM s110v model and frame is about 1 mm away from blade, but detent ball is not wearing at all like on my K2.
So I asked Spyderco will it be possible that they repair it and they answered that this model is discontinued and they will only offer discounts for a new models replacing my K2.
Now I am thinking that I should look for ceramic detent ball and do it myself. It will be smoother and this solve the problem.
As I see there are some problems with detent balls in Taichung factory. Maybe problem is that they are low in hardness and blades hardened to 64-67HRC wear them pretty quickly. An it's a pity.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby ramasipsc » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:55 pm

Also question: why all Taichung factory's titanium frame locks do not have detent ball replacement hole on opposite side of the frame?

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby PayneTrain » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:18 pm

Interesting thread, since I too have only had problems with a Taichung model: the Southard. Now there was an issue with rust in the bearings, and perhaps the detent was affected as well, but I didn't see it. Regardless, I've done by best since to clean and polish the ball and the tang, but I still have a slightly flattened ball riding in a groove. It's not totally unflippable, but it's not nearly as slick as it was when I first got it. I wonder if the detent balls they're using in Taichung are just too soft for these high hardness super steels they're being put up against, or if it's just coincidence.
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Flipping Addict
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Flipping Addict » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:10 pm

So, how hard is it to replace one? I mean how do you even grab the old one to get it out and then how do you secure the new one once you get past the first hurdle?

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Igi964 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:32 am

It is very easy to change detent on liner lock. There si a hole on the other side of the liner. Simply push it out with some nail. Then put ceramic on the hole and press it in, as far as you need. This can be done on frame lock knives with steel insert too. Unfortunately with solid titanium frame lock , you will have to drill a small hole first. I never changed detent on this kind of lock. Doesn't have the right tools. And it was one of the reasons I sold my Techno;( I swap detent successfully on Military, Paramilitary 2, Air, GB1, GB2 and ZT 0200

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby BelgiumRofls » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:32 pm

Just wanted to check in to say that I've been running my Mantra with a Silicon Nitride Ceramic ball for going on 30 days now. Swapping the ball was as easy as Igi964 made it sound--Popped out the lockbar insert, knocked the steel ball out with a watch springbar tool and tapped a ceramic one in with a small hammer (wrapped the bar & seated ball in scotch tape). Took five minutes tops.
The action started with some scratchy bits and made a wicked noise like a pair of scissors for what I'd estimate was around a week. By now the action has worn in and is far smoother than it ever was on steel and the detent is as positive as the day I set it.

I'm quite pleased. My bias for a strong detent is satisfied and despite the lighter blade, the Mantra action is now smoother than my Southard.
If I notice any wearing in of a ramp on the blade tang, or wear to edge of the detent hole, I'll report back in.

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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Brock O Lee » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:40 am

Cool info Igi964 and BelgiumRofls!

Like you BelgiumRofls my GB1's ball has flattened a bit, my my Sage 2 is still going strong.
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Re: Experiences with detent wear?

Postby Jazz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:35 am

Just one more thing to dislike about the ubiquitous liner/frame locks.
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