Laminated CF

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RobDigi
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Laminated CF

Postby RobDigi » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:17 pm

I avoided Spyderco models with laminated carbon fiber because I thought I wouldn't like it.
I broke down and picked up a Dice at a really good price...
now that I have it I still don't know.
don't really like it ...don't hate it.
Can somebody tell me again why does Spyderco choose this method for some pretty high end knives?
I have full carbon fiber knives that are just wonderful...what great material.

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ferider
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby ferider » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:39 pm

Same mechanical properties of regular CF, but more grippy.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby ABX2011 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:42 pm

RobDigi wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:17 pm
Can somebody tell me again why does Spyderco choose this method for some pretty high end knives?
Cost.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby brainfriction » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:05 pm

If you don't like it you could always do this viewtopic.php?t=69289

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby Sharp Guy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:48 pm

There's been quite a bit of discussion about the CF/G10 laminated scales since I've been on the forums. Some hate and others (like me) don't mind it at all. The outside layer is actually CF but it's just not as thick as it would be if it was solid CF. I honestly don't see what the big deal is. Having it laminated with G10 keeps the price down and you still get the feel and look of CF.
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby zhyla » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:55 pm

I don't have a problem with laminated CF, but I think I'd rather just have regular G-10 for the same price.

I have one solid CF Spyderco and meh, I'd rather have G-10 or micarta.

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JacksonKnives
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby JacksonKnives » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:16 am

Not Sal or Eric, but...

Spyderco was a very, very early adopter of CF. It's a material they know and love and a strong part of the brand identity.

Spyderco can and does get solid CF whenever they do sculpted scales in Taichung, and they use solid CF at the Golden plant and in Japan (IIRC, there are a few shops in Seki and they use different CF).

That said, they seem to have found a supply that can deliver good quality-for-price with the laminate used in slab-scale CF in Taichung. There is no denying that it's a compromise, though it might not be as simple a compromise as we expect.

Sal has said the cost differential is bigger than we tend to think.
Sal has also said that they like the look/feel of the laminate.

I suspect that there may not be the same pattern/texture/density available in both laminate and solid with a price differential being the only reason to pick one over the other, but of course Spyderco also needs to purchase volumes that make all of these things tricky.

As a hypothetical, suppose their supply for Taichung sculpted CF has A+ density but only B+ surface finish in the form they buy it in, compared to a 300% markup for A+ surface condition.
Now suppose the fancy weave is only available in laminate, and at the same price as B-grade solid CF.

There is no practical downside to the laminate (I mean, sure, it weighs a bit more, but not by an amount that means anything) and aesthetically it's a good pattern/texture (compared to other CF that's out there, even some of the older "solid" CF Spyderco has used).

If you value the "authenticity" of a solid slab of CF, it is a compromise you probably find disappointing. I've made the comparison to veneer on furniture vs solid hardwood; I don't buy solid hardwood furniture, but I understand why someone would think it's nicer.

If I had my way, we'd just use paper micarta and black or blue G-10 on everything... so I'm not the right guy to tell Spyderco what to do about CF. (I also don't like titanium slabs. :p)
I like the look of side-grain "blackwood" CF, but I don't think there are many sources in the volume Spyderco needs and it's definitely not worth a big price premium for me.

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RobDigi
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby RobDigi » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:56 am

yeah... like I said I don't hate the laminate
but I definitely like the solid carbon fiber much better.

I don't know how much more it would cost for solid CF
but there also has to be significant cost to process the lamination.

If it was say 10% overall more cost for the knife with solid CF...
I think most would be happy to pay an extra $20 or so for solid CF.

Other makers don't seem to have a problem selling with solid CF.
I just don't see why the compromise.

And yes...Micarta Spydies would be great!!!
or an Ironwood Chaparral would be pretty perfect.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby carrot » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:56 pm

I honestly don't really care that my Domino has laminated CF. It looks great, it feels great, and that's enough for me. Same goes for my CF Chaparral. And if I had never read on the forums that it's actually CF with G10 underneath, I'd never have noticed... And I doubt most buyers notice or care either. Let's be honest, even the cool weave you see on carbon fiber products is just laminated on for show anyway, with much uglier "raw" CF sheets epoxied together underneath.

I also own the Kapara. The Kapara is a fully machined 3D CF handle and it also looks and feels great. It also seems to be selling alright, because it's sold out in the handful of places I've checked.

But it also is listed for $290 MSRP, and goes for $188 at typical street prices, and it starts to look like a lot of money for an imported knife. Like, quite a lot of money, because $200 can buy you a TV for your bedroom or a second iPad for the kiddo.

Especially because the uneducated consumer looks at it and it's made in Taichung (is that FAR EAST, CHINA???), and it's using S30V (that's some crappy old steel like 440 right???) -- not knowing that Taichung is possibly Spyderco's most advanced manufacturing facility and decidedly not in China, that S30V is still an expensive premium supersteel, that Spyderco's heat treatment of S30V is, hang on there, LITERALLY the best steel treatment in the world (I'm looking at you, Chris Reeve and Benchmade).

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby carrot » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:03 pm

Here is the other thing.

Most people think carbon fiber is this:

Image

What people don't realize is that this sort of "3K carbon fiber" when used structurally, is often simply just a protective, aesthetic woven sheet (yes, of carbon fiber) to protect the structural, raw carbon fiber layup underneath.

Which very often looks like this:

Image

A lot less glamorous, but a lot stronger and tuned better for vibration dampening, ride quality, etc, etc.

And not that the former, 3K weave is cheap or bad, but it is more often than not applied because it has an aesthetic quality that lets buyers know what they're getting.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby ferider » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:12 pm

RobDigi wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:56 am
If it was say 10% overall more cost for the knife with solid CF...
I think most would be happy to pay an extra $20 or so for solid CF.
The difference in material costs for a set of folding knife scales of either laminated or solid CF is less than a dollar.

I have either on similar knives (for example Manix 2 154/s90v vs Manix 2 4V). One is prettier, the other one more practical. I love the material either way.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby RobDigi » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:32 pm

whatever

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JacksonKnives
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby JacksonKnives » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:12 pm

ferider wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:12 pm
RobDigi wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:56 am
If it was say 10% overall more cost for the knife with solid CF...
I think most would be happy to pay an extra $20 or so for solid CF.
The difference in material costs for a set of folding knife scales of either laminated or solid CF is less than a dollar.
What do you mean by "material costs" though? We can't just look at prices for comparable scale slabs paid by hobbyists shopping around on knife supply sites, and we can't just look at sellers on Alibaba. Materials for these knives need to be supplied in volume, delivered to Taichung, and need to have quality where it counts. I'm sure there are other considerations I probably would never think of.

All the well-known suppliers use aerospace CF. I *think* Spyderco has mostly used Halpern Titanium (same guys as Three Rivers Manufacturing) to source Peel-Ply Carbon Fiber for sprint runs in the US. Alpha Knife Supply has also supplied some manufacturers. Matt Diskin has sourced some top-shelf high-density aerospace CF for ZT, and may be the source for the lightning strike CF used in a few Golden-made Spydercos.

It's a small world, and the competition is getting scary. The prices these guys charge (to hobbyists, custom makers, to manufacturers and to each other) have to factor where they're getting the sheets, how much prep they have to do, and how long the supply/purchase contract will hold out. Halpern doesn't even post price lists anymore.

If you're looking at a full production run you can pretty much guarantee that the source was a plant making composites for aerospace, and you can bet your bottom dollar that consistency (i.e. can Spyderco get the same quality in every single delivery year-over-year with minimal waste or reject parts) is a much more important cost factor than the price difference between the glass and graphite fibers.

If you're WE knives and you're using your giant line of CNC machines to 3d-sculpt every single scale, I'd guess that density is still a problem but that they've found a good/cheap supply by ignoring surface quality. Spyderco saves (some) money on machining by only beveling the edges, but surface quality is much, much more important.

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ferider
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby ferider » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:06 am

JacksonKnives wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:12 pm
:
If you're looking at a full production run you can pretty much guarantee that the source was a plant making composites for aerospace, and you can bet your bottom dollar that consistency (i.e. can Spyderco get the same quality in every single delivery year-over-year with minimal waste or reject parts) is a much more important cost factor than the price difference between the glass and graphite fibers.
:
Very interesting, JacksonKnives - I never thought about the long term yield of manufacturing knife scales - but it makes sense.

As a knifemaker, ignoring the price, what do you think of the usability of peel-ply vs. smooth CF scales ?

For example, my smooth - almost slippery marbled CF Manix (gorgeous knife) needs its clip, so I feel safe when closing it blind and one-handed. My peel-ply Manix doesn't, fingers sit securely sans clip, it's not as pretty but a little more usable.

Roland.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby spyderg » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:04 am

I prefer the cf over g10 to solid cf. To me it looks and feels better. I’ve got a GB but made my own denim scales for it, nothing against the cf/g10 scales it had but wanted to do something different there. Next up was my Domino with the “odd” pattern that many seem to dislike but I love the unique pattern. Kinda reminds me of Ukrainian embroidery. Love it. Now I’ve got a Rhino, Amalgam and Smock all with the same cf/g10 that feels the nicest and is super grippy without feeling at all rough. I’ve got some solid cf scaled knives and it tends to feel very plasticy and slippery or else they have noticeable voids.
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby ChrisinHove » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:20 am

I avoided cf for a long time, then picked up a Sage 1. Now I realise that much I prefer its cf laminate over plain peel ply g10, aesthetically at least.

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby The Deacon » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:58 am

RobDigi wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:17 pm
I avoided Spyderco models with laminated carbon fiber because I thought I wouldn't like it.
I broke down and picked up a Dice at a really good price...
now that I have it I still don't know.
don't really like it ...don't hate it.
Can somebody tell me again why does Spyderco choose this method for some pretty high end knives?
I have full carbon fiber knives that are just wonderful...what great material.

Probably a combination of factors. Cost may be one, but the availability of some interesting textures not found in "solid" CF composites may be the primary reason. Seems with the "solid" stuff you're pretty much limited to glossy, matte, or peel-ply unless you want to invest even more time (and money) by applying a CNC machined texture to it. Strength difference, in material of the same thickness used in items the size of a knife handle, are somewhere between negligible and non-existent. Same for weight difference and durability. Still, nothing appeals to everyone, and some folks love to find fault. Heck, I've been a very vocal peel-ply G-10 hater for as long as I've been on this forum. :o :D
Paul
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby JonLeBlanc » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:43 pm

The Deacon wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:58 am
RobDigi wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:17 pm
I avoided Spyderco models with laminated carbon fiber because I thought I wouldn't like it.
I broke down and picked up a Dice at a really good price...
now that I have it I still don't know.
don't really like it ...don't hate it.
Can somebody tell me again why does Spyderco choose this method for some pretty high end knives?
I have full carbon fiber knives that are just wonderful...what great material.

Probably a combination of factors. Cost may be one, but the availability of some interesting textures not found in "solid" CF composites may be the primary reason. Seems with the "solid" stuff you're pretty much limited to glossy, matte, or peel-ply unless you want to invest even more time (and money) by applying a CNC machined texture to it. Strength difference, in material of the same thickness used in items the size of a knife handle, are somewhere between negligible and non-existent. Same for weight difference and durability. Still, nothing appeals to everyone, and some folks love to find fault. Heck, I've been a very vocal peel-ply G-10 hater for as long as I've been on this forum. :o :D

Hi Deacon, just wondering (and truly I'm not criticizing), why do you dislike peel-ply G-10?
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara

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Re: Laminated CF

Postby The Deacon » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:35 pm

JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:43 pm
Hi Deacon, just wondering (and truly I'm not criticizing), why do you dislike peel-ply G-10?

It's ugly, it traps dirt, and it abrades pockets. What's there to like?
Paul
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Re: Laminated CF

Postby JonLeBlanc » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:17 pm

The Deacon wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:35 pm
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:43 pm
Hi Deacon, just wondering (and truly I'm not criticizing), why do you dislike peel-ply G-10?

It's ugly, it traps dirt, and it abrades pockets. What's there to like?
Ok, as I said, just wondering. Indeed I do find that it shreds my pockets more than peel-ply CF, which is weird, bc they're both peel-ply, but anyway...
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara


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