The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

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Zatx
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The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Zatx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:52 am

I received my new Drunken today and thought I would post my first impressions of it since this model is so new and there aren't even Youtube reviews up. I purchased the Drunken because the Spydiechief is one of my all-time favorite designs and I thought it would be my upscale, high-end version of it that I would EDC for most uses. The overall shapes of the knives are the same, but there are obvious differences in materials and finishes.

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I'm going to copy Nick Shabazz's format a bit here and go through the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

First the Good.

The production of this knife with its intricate milled contours, patterns, and shapes is superb; no flaws can be found. The knife is also remarkably light due to the milled and drilled scales. The blade is fairly thick out to the tip, yet is pretty thin behind the edge. It's not nearly as thin as the Spydiechef, but should still be a great slicer.

Image

(A bird pooped on the knife a split second before I pressed the shutter release for this picture!)

The Bad:

There are two detractions in this category; the first is the anodized finish of the titanium clip and pivot screws; touch them with anything, and you leave black marks. This isn't really Spyderco's fault, it's the nature of anodized titanium, but it should be mentioned. From the factory, these parts were covered in black grime, and I had to thoroughly clean them. This is common with production knives, but at this price point, a little more care should have been taken during final QC to clean it up. Second, the grind on my example is pretty bad. One bevel is uneven, being fat and thin in various places and the edge is quite dull. I don't mind this in a $100 Sypderco as I reprofile and sharpen all of my knives when I receive them, but again, for a $600 MSRP knife, this is a misstep.

Finally, the Ugly:

The pocket clip design prevents the ability to carry this knife. This isn't just an "ugly," this is reason enough to recall this iteration of the Drunken and or issue replacement parts as soon as possible.

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The fraying of the pocket in this picture was from five minutes of attempting to put the knife in my pocket and remove it. Of note: the pants I wear are a very thin BDU-style cargo variety; much thinner than blue jean material. I examined the pocket clip closely, and it appears to be manufactured exactly as designed, but the design doesn't allow enough clearance for material under the clip.

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Even if I pull out on the clip when putting it into my pocket, there still isn't enough distance between the two surfaces for the pant material. But, the problems don't stop there. The upswept end of the clip is much too high and much too sharp. The thin titanium feels very sharp and is a painful hotpoint in your hand whether the knife is opened or closed and I wouldn't even want to attempt repeated cutting tasks.

Another issue with the clip that I've tried to photograph (seen below) is that the clip doesn't sit flat against the scale. This is because the attachment point is milled flat, on the same plane as the blade, but the scale is contoured. This results in just a very small portion of the clip contacting the pocket material which contributes to the difficulties encountered in my attempted use.

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[Edit to add that I removed the pocket clip and took this picture of where it was touching the scale. As you can see, it has already worn away the anodization with less than a dozen attempts at putting it into my pocket.]

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At this point, I'm not going to pile on with reasons why something like this slipped past QC, but I really think Spyderco needs to consider issuing a new pocket clip for this model. They were already going to face reduced sales because of the high price of the Drunken and this problem all but eliminates the ability to carry and use this knife without outright removing the clip. The other solution could be to mill the attachment point at the same angle as the scale/lock bar so it sits flat against the scale, but they still need to raise the clip and change the end of it because it is so darn uncomfortable.


TL: DR Version: (Title) Amazing knife that is ruined by its current pocket clip.

As it stands right now, this will be the first Spyderco I've ever returned out of the 40-50 I've purchased.
Last edited by Zatx on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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captnvegtble
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby captnvegtble » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am

Helpful review, thank you. But just to clarify... you're going to return a knife that a bird pooped on when you were using it?!?

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Zatx
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Zatx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:06 am

captnvegtble wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am
Helpful review, thank you. But just to clarify... you're going to return a knife that a bird pooped on when you were using it?!?

Well the warranty states that it is for materials and workmanship and bird poop isn't either of those (plus I cleaned it off already). :)

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby NickShabazz » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:04 am

I don't know that the clip tension makes it quite so dire on mine, but I agree, the clip is definitely the biggest downside here. I'm wondering if some creative re-bending might be able to make it a bit more usable, particularly giving it a bit more height in the back.
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Thunderpants » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:22 am

You'd think a pocket clip would be one of the simplest things in the universe to design - it's just a crooked piece of metal! - but it's proved to be the Achilles heel on so many knives! I suppose it's always the last thing anyone thinks about in the design process, and it ends up getting rushed.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby ABX2011 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:45 am

That clip looks poorly designed for the reasons you described although when looking at your photo in pocket, it seems like you should be able to push the knife in all the way. Is it catching on the lockbar cutout?

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby abbazaba » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:51 am

captnvegtble wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:05 am
Helpful review, thank you. But just to clarify... you're going to return a knife that a bird pooped on when you were using it?!?
LOL!

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby cycleguy » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:59 am

When a bird poops on a knife...it is a bad omen! The knife should be sent to me immediately in the best interest of your own health, safety and wellfare!!!

CG
So many knives - so little funds!!!

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Wright.88 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:28 pm

ABX2011 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:45 am
That clip looks poorly designed for the reasons you described although when looking at your photo in pocket, it seems like you should be able to push the knife in all the way. Is it catching on the lockbar cutout?
I just received my Drunken today. I am able to slide it in all the way on my thinner pants and shirts, but even with the thinnest material, it doesn't catch right where the clip meets with the back of the lockbar cutout as there is VERY little clearance between that corner of the titanium scale and the pocket clip. I have to give it an extra push after it catches to push it all the way down. I can see that really wearing on my pants pockets. Really like the knife, but am going to have to decide if I can live with the clip. I agree with the OP that it's sad such a great knife is marred by such a poorly designed pocket clip. And to top that off, the clip uses a unique screw pattern and is recessed into the Ti scale, so no other Spydie pocket clips can be substituted.
Last edited by Wright.88 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wright.88
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Wright.88 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:29 pm

Here's a pretty good picture showing just how little clearance there is between the corner of the lockbar cutout and the pocket clip:

Image

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Dutchman » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:50 pm

If you cannot figure a way to maneuver that clip away from that scale, perhaps you shouldn't own such a complex knife as this?
You could really hurt yourself . . .
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby abbazaba » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:58 pm

Why are the lock cut outs almost always on the outside of the handle rather than against the blade? Is it a CRK licensing thing, a structural theory (in line with interface), or just easier to machine on the same side as the chamfering?

If the cutout was against the blade (ala Sage2), it would "solve" this issue, as well as the Slysz Bowie issue.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Wright.88 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:00 pm

Dutchman wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:50 pm
If you cannot figure a way to maneuver that clip away from that scale, perhaps you shouldn't own such a complex knife as this?
You could really hurt yourself . . .
Of course we can try bending the clip. I tried that after posting and thankfully the clip is thin so I was able to bend it with just my hands and it is much better now. I was just coming to post that. Though it is pretty sad that a $400 knife comes with a pocket clip that has a contact point halfway up with <1mm of clearance...

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby BigGrove » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:12 pm

Wright.88 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:00 pm
Dutchman wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:50 pm
If you cannot figure a way to maneuver that clip away from that scale, perhaps you shouldn't own such a complex knife as this?
You could really hurt yourself . . .
Of course we can try bending the clip. I tried that after posting and thankfully the clip is thin so I was able to bend it with just my hands and it is much better now. I was just coming to post that. Though it is pretty sad that a $400 knife comes with a pocket clip that has a contact point halfway up with <1mm of clearance...
I applaud you taking the high road with your reply to what appears to be a condescending question.

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Zatx
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Zatx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm

BigGrove wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:12 pm


I applaud you taking the high road with your reply to what appears to be a condescending question.

It took all of my self-control not to respond to that incredibly juvenile question.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Evil D » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:22 pm

I'm sorta turned off by "designer" clips anyway. Call me crazy but part of the attraction of a Spyderized version of someone else's design is getting a Spyderco clip with it. It's also beneficial for those who like to swap on their custom clips from clip makers, so having a standard hole pattern helps too. The flashy clip may make it more special for the next guy but I tend to avoid flashy, that's kinda why I'm a Spyderco fan in the first place.
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Zatx
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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Zatx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:34 pm

A couple of other findings:

The stop pin is corroded and looks old or used. Also, as I was holding the knife I heard something rattling; it turns out all of the scale screws were loose with one nearly falling out.

I've never seen such low quality coming out of the Taichung factory. Not to add insult to injury, but I've seen better examples of the Temperance than this.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Joey » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:51 pm

Hmmmm another factory bevel issue, this time on a $400 + Spyderco. With other fit and finish issues you have mentioned, I’m surprised at the price point. They need to get on that! My Southard was pretty bad, too. One side had spots nearing 30 degrees, while others were closer to 15 or less. Luckily most factory bevels are only kinda bad.

I will mention that any surface will wear down with minor use. Some just show it less than others.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby JacksonKnives » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:52 pm

I'm really, really curious about the decisions behind this clip.

Seems like the clip was a design from Dmitry, it's very similar to the clip used on the ZT 0470 and bears a family resemblance to the machined clip on the Coordinal.(It also resembles the one ZT used on GTC's 0055.)
[Edit: it's a design directly from a milled clip on Dmitry's Pelican. Video here.

But of course it's Spyderco's team that are responsible for making sure it works. It looks like the bend just isn't deep enough. There could be some variability in that depending on how the factory is bending them, but that's often what you get with "special" parts.

I understand the groans we hear when knives come out with the standard Spyderco clips, but this is what happens when you try to make a unique clip. Can there be problems with an off-the-shelf clip? Sure. But At least everyone (from designer to the QC team) would be working with a known quantity.
Milled clips aren't perfect, either. There have been recalls recently in this price bracket for machined-to-design-spec clips that look great but are just too weak to stand up to daily use, or that are too stiff to be useful clips. (EvilD's point about aftermarket clips is worth considering, too.)

There are lots of counter-examples of great one-off millied clips.
I wonder if Spyderco will ever come up with an off-the-shelf milled clip part for collector-class knives.

The Drunken seems like a near-perfect knife otherwise. Glad to hear it's thin. (I'm even happy that they used washers instead of bearings.) I'd love to see Dmitry work with a compression lock or even the stop lock or CBBL, but framelocks are his thing.
Last edited by JacksonKnives on Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Drunken: Amazing Knife, Ruined by its Pocket Clip.

Postby Ruudr » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:55 pm

When I handled the prototype at the Spyderco Meet in 2018 and the production sample last month I have written down just this issue with the pocket clip on the feedback cards they had. I really hoped they had looked at it and make the changes that where necessary. CQI it and you will have a awesome knife


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