Design details that are deal breakers

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Evil D
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Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Evil D » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:10 pm

*Disclaimer* These are just some things that I personally shy away from. By no means is this meant to be any kind of insult/etc, they're just things that don't work for my uses.



Lets get right to it.


1. Sharpening choils. This was one that I even intentionally added to a couple of my knives to experiment with, only to realize that they ultimately result in a snag point at the heel of the blade and are absolutely a no go for me. These could be remedied by making the choil a single large serration so that it doubles as a sharpening choil but also has an edge to it, but I guess we haven't evolved to that point just yet.

Examples:

Spyderco used to add small notches to a lot of knives, and those are less problematic because they're smaller, but they still snag on some materials and I'd rather they just weren't there at all. The Centofante 3 has one of these smaller notches:
Image

There seems to be a trend lately of adding much larger choils to blades, I guess as a sort of finger choil more so than a sharpening choil, and for me these only exaggerate the issue. The Amalgam isn't too terrible, I imagine that choil is shallow enough that material would slide out of it and onto the edge, but the Smock is an absolute head scratcher for me, that choil is practically designed to hook and snag things.
Image




2. Long distant grip placement. This one I've noticed from a lot of makers and it's another design that I just don't understand. On one hand there are designs that use a 50/50 choil to give you a grip that puts your index finger close to the edge, which is a decent compromise but then there are designs that put your grip a solid inch or so away from the edge with no 50/50 choil option.

Examples:

The Smock comes to mind again, but this is also an issue with nearly all back locks. Yes I know you can use the kick as a finger choil, but again we're talking about design here and not making something work, and the fact is there are back locks that position your grip closer to the edge without the need for compromising your grip (the Centofante 3 for example). The latest knife that comes to mind with this one is the Tropen, and unfortunately it also suffers from a big blade choil on top of it so this one is a double whammy for me.
Image



3.Forced grip positions/finger grooves. This is another popular design trend that is hit and miss depending on your hand size, and for my bear paws it seems most knives are designed with finger grooves and grip positions that are just too small. Sal recently commented about the upcoming Pacific 2 having the Endura 4 handle design, that they went with that grip despite the fact that some people don't like the finger grooves, saying that most people do like them. Again, as with the rest of this list I'm sure most people do, but this is a deal breaker in a lot of cases for me because they just screw up the ergonomics. There are models that contradict this for me, that fit my hand size better than others, but in general I would just assume the grip didn't have any "points" at all.

Examples:

Not much need for pics here. Manix 2, Para 2/3, Endura/Delica, this is a LONG list of knives that have grips that are tailored to (I guess) what are average sized hands that just don't work for me.



4. 50/50 Choils. I'm sure this one will be highly debated, but I've really moved away from 50/50 choils on all but small/medium sized folders where I can't get a full grip on the knife without a choil. On those knives (Native 5, Dragonfly) I don't see the 50/50 choil as a "grip option" but more as the intended grip position and I'm a lot more forgiving in those cases. On larger full size knives I just don't have a need for a 50/50 choil and I would much rather gain that bit of blade space as cutting edge, and at the same time have a grip design that puts my index finger as close to the edge as possible. My main issue with 50/50 choils is, if I don't grip ON the choil then I end up with the same kind of problem as the long distance grip issue where my grip is an inch from the edge, so on knives that have the choil I find that I don't even want to use them behind the choil so I don't "gain" grip options, I'm forced into using the choil so why not just design the grip in a way that doesn't need a choil to get close to the edge?

Examples:

Image



5. Thumb Ramps. This last one isn't totally a deal breaker, but my preferences have definitely moved away from thumb ramps. This is a bit of a downer because thumb ramps go hand in hand with thumb holes and are a staple of Spyderco design, so finding models that don't have them or have shallower thumb ramps really cuts down my options. My issue with thumb ramps works right along side the other grip issues; If I'm using a knife like the Para 2 where my grip preference is ON the 50/50 choil, then my thumb is jammed against the thumb ramp which puts my thumb and index finger in this weirdly uncomfortable pinch position. For me it's a lot more comfortable when I can relax and extend my thumb forward over the pivot and blade, ala Yojimbo 2. This is not only more comfortable for me but also gives me more leverage and control over the blade.

Examples:

Again, not much need for pics here as I'm sure we're all familiar with thumb ramps. Unfortunately it seems like the models that don't have thumb ramps also DO have 50/50 choils, so there's always a compromise somewhere.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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PStone
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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby PStone » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm

Recurves: I struggle to sharpen them in the reverse portion of the blade. So it’s become a deal breaker for me.

Trailing points: This one is all about the tip. I don’t feel like I have as much control at the tip as I do with other blade shapes. So none of those in my collection either.

And like you say, no insult intended towards these designs. Just not for me.
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Evil D
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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Evil D » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:27 pm

PStone wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm
Recurves: I struggle to sharpen them in the reverse portion of the blade. So it’s become a deal breaker for me.

Trailing points: This one is all about the tip. I don’t feel like I have as much control at the tip as I do with other blade shapes. So none of those in my collection either.

And like you say, no insult intended towards these designs. Just not for me.


I also strongly prefer shallower blade bellies and lower blade tips. Sharpening them is one thing but I often use the tip of the blade for things and having a strong upsweep to the blade really doesn't work for me.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby ChrisinHove » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:53 pm

Probably the only feature I absolutely avoid is a liner/frame lock without a choil to protect my finger.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby carrot » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:27 pm

I think that this and your other thread are really interesting, EvilD, particularly because I’ve been on my own quest to re-examine my formed carry preferences and also typical afi tropes.

From those experiments, I’ve found I do really enjoy serrations, that combo-edge can be really useful, saber grinds can still be enjoyable in the day where FFG reigns supreme, that I don’t always need choils, that stainless handles can be better sometimes, that FRN is way underrated, that deep carry isn’t always better, that a tiny blade can totally be preferable.

I did also find constants that mirror yours: sharpening choils, as a rule, just suck. Putting the handle really far from the cutting edge is just wasting precision and cutting power.

On the flip side, I do find I prefer thumb ramps because the alternative makes it harder to bear down in the tip, particularly in other makers’ knives where the jimping is just for show. And sometimes, if the finger grooves line up just right for your hands, it can be simply delightful to hold. The Manix and Stretch for example, are positively radiant in my hands, but the Endura4 is at best, tolerable.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby StuntZombie » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:34 pm

Evil D wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:27 pm
PStone wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm
Recurves: I struggle to sharpen them in the reverse portion of the blade. So it’s become a deal breaker for me.

Trailing points: This one is all about the tip. I don’t feel like I have as much control at the tip as I do with other blade shapes. So none of those in my collection either.

And like you say, no insult intended towards these designs. Just not for me.


I also strongly prefer shallower blade bellies and lower blade tips. Sharpening them is one thing but I often use the tip of the blade for things and having a strong upsweep to the blade really doesn't work for me.
That's one of my biggest pet peeves as well. There are designs with trailing points that I've tried to love, but the blade shape ends up not working for me for most of my tasks.
Chris

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:57 pm

Well one point I mildly disagree with my good pal EVIL D is his dislike of the thumb ramps. There are a couple of models I've kept for years with thumb ramps and "Cobra Hoods" both that I have kept and will occasionally use from time to time. The ASSIST 1 comes to mind as well as the Titanium Salsa model are two that immediately come to mind. I actually find those to be advantageous for a few models. Oh don't get me wrong because they aren't the answer for many models but there are a few of them. The thumb ramps truly are a specialty item for a very select few models IMO.

I wouldn't even mind seeing some of those cobra hoods come back for a couple of models I have in mind. But apparently they didn't go over good at the box office about 10+ years ago.

The Sharpening Choil I have on my TEMPERANCE 1 models has never really bothered me much. But that is an option that can only work on very few models as well IMO.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby SF Native » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:59 pm

Only deal killer for me is a pocket clip that lands on the lock bar on a frame lock. Either the clip is loose or you have to bend the lock bar and clip to disengage the lock. Terrible. Drunken and lil lionspy are examples. Won’t buy either, ever.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby jpm2 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:07 pm

More of a choice of material than design I guess, but metal handles.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby PStone » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:09 pm

Gut hooks too. Another feature I have to say no to. I’ve used them, and certainly see the usefulness, but will pass on any knife that has one anymore.
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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby The Mastiff » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:09 pm

Recurves

440C

ball bearings & flippers

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby anycal » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:36 pm

We all have different ideas of what a knife should be, what works for us. Our requirements differ, our hands are of different sizes, we use our knives for different things, in different ways and grips. But that's all good. There are lot of options out there, especially in the Spyderco lineup. Not every knife works for everyone.

There are quite a few knives I have no interest in due to an aspect of the design or sometimes just aesthetics. I don't cut for living so I am not seeking absolute perfections or even a purpose build knife. I have too many knives already, and I am not willing to just try a knife if it deviates too much from what already works for me; more of a traditional knife shape I guess. Call me old fashioned.

Designs I avoid,
- recurve
- large belly
- hawkbill
- Emerson opener
- sheep's foot
- apparently serrations as I don't own any :spyder: with them. One day ...

Aesthetics - I had a list of few that just don't do it for me, but it is not important. It is such a subjective thing that there is no benefit in listing them.
Peter

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby phaust » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:42 pm

I'm with you on long grip placement and 50/50 choils. Knives with a handle length the same as a Shaman or PM2 get a whole extra inch of edge without the choils. 3" of edge on knives that size is a sin :)

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Ankerson » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:29 pm

I really don't have any except I will not buy what I call overdesigned knives.

I tend to go more towards the simpler cleaner designs, everything you need and nothing you don't type designs.

I stay away from the gadgets I suppose...

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby RustyIron » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:34 pm


I agree with a lot of you.

Recurves? Out.
Liner/Frame locks? I'm over it.
Emerson? Forget it. This is personal.
Serrations? Maybe some day, but not right now.
Right Handed? Equality for Left Handers!

My current thoughts on Spyderco is that it must be a CBBL, Compression, or Bolt Action. I'm open minded toward a Back Lock. But if it's not one of those, I'm not interested.


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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Wartstein » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:58 pm

Evil D wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:10 pm

....
4. 50/50 Choils. I'm sure this one will be highly debated, but I've really moved away from 50/50 choils on all but small/medium sized folders where I can't get a full grip on the knife without a choil. On those knives (Native 5, Dragonfly) I don't see the 50/50 choil as a "grip option" but more as the intended grip position and I'm a lot more forgiving in those cases. On larger full size knives I just don't have a need for a 50/50 choil and I would much rather gain that bit of blade space as cutting edge, and at the same time have a grip design that puts my index finger as close to the edge as possible. My main issue with 50/50 choils is, if I don't grip ON the choil then I end up with the same kind of problem as the long distance grip issue where my grip is an inch from the edge, so on knives that have the choil I find that I don't even want to use them behind the choil so I don't "gain" grip options, I'm forced into using the choil so why not just design the grip in a way that doesn't need a choil to get close to the edge?

.....
David, I am with you on being not a fan of 50:50 choils on most designs.

But I have to disagree concerning putting Native-sized and D-Fly sized folders in the same box here:
- While I second 100% what you say concerning the DFly (choking up on the choil is the intended option and the overall length of the (FRN) handle would not offer enough space for a four finger grip anyway), for me this is not true for the Native.
As a matter of fact on Native sized knives (Para 3 and so on) I dislike a choil the most: Here the overall available handle length WOULD offer enough space for a good four finger grip, BUT the integration of a choil in the handle part forces bigger hands to use the choil for a good four finger grip (cause it shortens the grip area on the actual handle behind the choil) (Plus: The choil in the blade part sacrifices egde length).

The Delica is an example how it should be done on handles of that particular size imho

The Para 3 how it should NOT be done: See pic below (BBTurbodad, I "borrowed" the pic from you, hope that´s ok!)

Here the grip area is shortened by a choil,plus the shape of the bottom part of the handle shortens it even more (due to the "inward curve" / "hook" at the rear part of the handle. The Chap (also on the pic) does that a lot better by flaring out at the end and maximizing the space for the fingers) - so a generally large enough handle area is really crippled, and bigger hands are forced to use the choil...

Image

On larger knives, that offer a good four finger grip also BEHIND the choil, I can live with a choil or even like it (on the Millie for example)

The best way to integrate a choil is the Kapara style imho. Almost all of the choil in the HANDLE, almost no edge length is sacrificed, but still enough space BEHIND the choil for a good four finger grip.
Last edited by Wartstein on Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby buckleys » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:16 am

Compression locks that hit your finger as you close it, on the Kapara, shaman, lil native

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Wartstein » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:55 am

Deep carry clips on long folders
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby Ric » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:16 am

Weak detent at flippers.
Too heavy weight.

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Re: Design details that are deal breakers

Postby z4vdBt » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:22 am

New Delica blade. Prefer the old straight spine. And the blade to handle ratio is much better in the older models. I've purchased and handled the new FRN Delicas and they were quickly returned. Saber vs FFG makes no difference to me.

Image

A modded Salt 1 works also.

Image
Last edited by z4vdBt on Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.


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