The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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MichaelScott
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The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:22 pm

My brand new SwayBack arrived this morning. By early afternoon I had an RMA# for it’s return. It will go tomorrow.

I have never had a Spyderco knife that so didn’t work for me. It’s big. I knew it was big because a lot of people said so but plenty of others said it was large but that was not an issue. For me, it’s an issue.

Opening it with one hand was an issue. A real issue. Now. I have had many Spyderco knives but I never had one that I just could not swing open. With my thumb. Two handed was ok, but it has a Spydie hole for one handed operation.

I finally got the blade to move a bit with effort and fiddling with the thumb on the hole. Then the knife popped out of my grip whilst pushing on the Spydie hole, flipped through the air partially open and took a slice out of my thumb pad.

Well, that was it. Adios Señor SwayBack you are going back to where you came from tomorrow.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby samdasnake » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:42 pm

I appreciate your feedback on this. I’ve read a few people saying that the thumb hole is too small. Do you have particularly large hands? I love Swayback design but I also want a knife I can open one handed. What have been others experience?

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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby ihped1 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:21 pm

samdasnake wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:42 pm
I appreciate your feedback on this. I’ve read a few people saying that the thumb hole is too small. Do you have particularly large hands? I love Swayback design but I also want a knife I can open one handed. What have been others experience?
I have large hands and you definitely can not open it like a regular Spyderco knife by putting your thumb in the hole and pushing upward. I would compare it to trying to open my Mantra 2 or Positron like a regular knife instead of using the flipper. Unless you can really dig your thumb in deep you cannot push it open. The only way I can open it is either with a hard right thumb flick or a left index flick.

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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby jdw » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:26 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:22 pm
My brand new SwayBack arrived this morning. By early afternoon I had an RMA# for it’s return. It will go tomorrow.

I have never had a Spyderco knife that so didn’t work for me. It’s big. I knew it was big because a lot of people said so but plenty of others said it was large but that was not an issue. For me, it’s an issue.


Opening it with one hand was an issue. A real issue. Now. I have had many Spyderco knives but I never had one that I just could not swing open. With my thumb. Two handed was ok, but it has a Spydie hole for one handed operation.

I finally got the blade to move a bit with effort and fiddling with the thumb on the hole. Then the knife popped out of my grip whilst pushing on the Spydie hole, flipped through the air partially open and took a slice out of my thumb pad.

Well, that was it. Adios Señor SwayBack you are going back to where you came from tomorrow.

It's an issue. It is beautiful and poorly designed for real use.
Last edited by jdw on Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:33 pm

Definitely a knife as soon as I saw it, saw some issues. The price though, that was the main turn off for me. You could get a nice G10 Manix AND a Para 3 LW for the price of this. When both of those knives have raving reviews of form/fit/function over the Swaybacktotheshop. People tend to get so hyped over something new, that they tend to forget the factors that matter most in a knife. Glad you're able to get your refund Michael.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:18 pm

Yes, that wasn’t a problem. It is basically new. I cleaned off the blood. I could have flogged it on eBay to make a few bucks I suppose but I don’t like the idea. I would rather pay for return shipping and insurance so a knife nut who wants to try one at a sane price will have the opportunity to get one from a reputable dealer.

Beautiful concept with a serious flaw in my opinion.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby mikey177 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:30 pm

I don't have large hands, and it still took me a few hours to figure out how to open the Swayback one-handed. I can now do it consistently by using the meaty part of the tip of my thumb and pushing the Spydiehole sidewards until the detent breaks. I agree that access to the hole is cramped.

I have to wonder though if the original concept was for a traditional two-handed opener, in which case they could have just put a token mini-Spyderhole and avoided much of the disappointment experienced by users.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:54 pm

samdasnake wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:42 pm
I appreciate your feedback on this. I’ve read a few people saying that the thumb hole is too small. Do you have particularly large hands? I love Swayback design but I also want a knife I can open one handed. What have been others experience?
I had some intermittent issues with mine at first but seems to have cleared up now. Not sure what was up with it. I had no issue using the end of my thumb to pull the blade out but using the pad of my thumb was a no go. Then the next day I picked it up and it opened fine. A couple days later it wouldn't open again. Then after pulling the blade out with the end of my thumb a few times I could open it with the pad of my thumb again. It's been fine ever since. It opens like any other Ti frame lock I have
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:33 pm
Definitely a knife as soon as I saw it, saw some issues. The price though, that was the main turn off for me. You could get a nice G10 Manix AND a Para 3 LW for the price of this. When both of those knives have raving reviews of form/fit/function over the Swaybacktotheshop. People tend to get so hyped over something new, that they tend to forget the factors that matter most in a knife. Glad you're able to get your refund Michael.
What matters most to you in a knife may not be the same as what matters to someone else. A $40 model from the value or Byrd lines will cut things as well as a G10 Manix or Para 3. Some people are content with their Tenacious, Manix 2, or Para 3 while others want something a little nicer like the Swayback, Paysan, Drunken, etc. A basic car will get me to work as well as an exotic sports car. Some people don't want to pay for the higher priced models and that's understandable. It's all a matter of what makes you happy and what you can afford.

Not sure what issues you saw but the Swayback is a beautiful knife and worth the price (IMO) considering the contoured Ti handle and other details. The hollow ground Wharncliffe blade is thin behind the edge and cuts very well. It seems to work really well as a knife
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby Liquid Cobra » Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:13 pm

I’ve got large hands and have no problem opening it the same was as all my other Spyderco knives. I suspect you were pushing on the lockbar at the same time as you were trying to open it. Naturally I can’t be sure of that but it sure sounds like it to me.

Tyler over at GP Knives was kind enough to open it in this video three different ways.

https://youtu.be/9sjuL3Av3hQ
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby araneae » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:40 am

Look at the tiny hole compared with the Endura and the small thumb cutout for access. Looks more like a knife designed for looks than convenient use. And I have to say, the pocket clip does not match the knife at all. I am not a Slysz fan generally, but this one is even less appealing than most.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:00 am

Bad luck, Michael!
I always put the Slysz collaborations in the “functional art” category. Beautiful and beautifully made, for sure.

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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby JuPaul » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:11 am

It's the small, very circular thumb cutout for accessing the lock that gets me on all the Slysz knives. I've only owned the Spydiechef, but that little cutout was pretty uncomfortable for me in actual use, and I doubt I'd like it any more on the Swayback. This as opposed to the large oval-shaped cutouts of the Military's liner lock access, which might be the most comfortable liner/frame lock I've ever used. The Slysz designs are beautiful - no doubt about that - but functionally not for me.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:33 am

ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:00 am
Bad luck, Michael!
I always put the Slysz collaborations in the “functional art” category. Beautiful and beautifully made, for sure.
I have to agree. I want to like them, and I do, but their functions users don’t work for me.
JuPaul wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:11 am
It's the small, very circular thumb cutout for accessing the lock that gets me on all the Slysz knives. I've only owned the Spydiechef, but that little cutout was pretty uncomfortable for me in actual use, and I doubt I'd like it any more on the Swayback. This as opposed to the large oval-shaped cutouts of the Military's liner lock access, which might be the most comfortable liner/frame lock I've ever used. The Slysz designs are beautiful - no doubt about that - but functionally not for me.
Yep, the Military is awesome. Bit too big for me though. I had opening issues with the Techno 2 as well.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby JRinFL » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:15 am

The nature of this knife is not to be a general use knife, and of course not a tactical knife. It is meant as gentleman's folder, so speed of deployment is not a primary concern. That said, I can deploy one-handed easily now. I almost sent mine back, but stuck with it and now it is one of my favorites. I was toying with a small Sebenza at the time to see if the hype was true, but chose this instead because it was not the same old thing. It is not a neutral design, so for some it will be a No-Go even if some things were changed.

Edited to add: I also predict that it will be in high demand after it is discontinued.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:15 am

Well it is a Slycz design so the demand will be, and is, there. I love quality folding knives, but a knife is a knife is a knife. If I can’t carry and use it as intended, I have plenty of others that I can. Having a Spyderco with a Spydie hole and not being able to quickly open with one hand when needed is not acceptable to me. Cutting myself whilst trying to figure out the secret was just too much. I guess Slysz hasn’t figured this out.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:21 am

This knife would be better with a backlock as it would be easier to open, and coukd be designed around it I believe. It is certainly the best looking knife I’ve seem in a long while.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:36 am

I think it looks, especially the old traditional look of the sway back jack slip joint, is very appealing, however the execution and size leave much to be desired.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby Red » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:04 am

Also not a fan of the smaller thumbholes, My Civilian definitely needs a larger one but its still great.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:42 am

Seems to me that form should follow function.
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Re: The comings and goings of a SwayBack

Postby JRinFL » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:07 am

Well, to be fair to both Slysz and Spyderco, many of us can open it easily one-handed by making a simple change to our opening method. If you are unwilling to make that change, that is on you, if you cannot make the change due to some physical reason, then this is not the knife for you. Is it easier to open versus a traditional swayback? Absolutely! Is it as easy to open versus a PM2? No, not close. Not every knife is for every person, no need to run something down however.
Not that it matters to anyone but myself, but I have had no issues opening any Spyderco due to the hole diameter being too small. I wear large sized gloves for reference. I personally feel hole size has gotten out of control making the blades too tall and wasting expensive and valuable steel. It also increases costs as there is more waste.
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