*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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.