The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
User avatar
MichaelScott
Member
Posts: 3008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:42 am
Location: Southern Colorado

The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby MichaelScott » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:37 pm

Every modern folder design must have these elements: bearings or washers of some type, an opening and closing mechanism that can be operated with one hand, a lock (in the majority of cases) that can be released with one hand, some kind of pocket clip, and a single blade.

Battles rage about the best clip, where it must, or must not be placed. Which lock is best, strongest, easiest to operate. Not to mention steels and steel-like blade material,grinds, shapes and scales.

As we all know our ancestors functioned very capably with none of these. A handle, one or more blades for different types of cutting tasks, interesting shapes and scale materials from bone to micarta. Bolsters are common on traditional knives, as is 1095 carbon steel.

I suspect it is exceptionally rare for a knife cutting task to require all that a modern one-handed knife offers. If one is in a situation that frequently requires that, a fixed blade knife is often a good choice.

Why do I say this? My thinking is that, in contrast to quality traditional knife makers, these one-handed requirements continue to stifle innovation except in the narrowest sense. Ceremaic detent balls are not earth shaking events. Nor are ball bearing washers.

I’d like to see Spyderco and other top companies break out and show us some real innovative (dare I say multiple blade) designs.
Overheard at the end of the ice age, “We’ve been having such unnatural weather.”

http://acehotel.blog

Team Innovation

ikaretababy
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:39 pm

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby ikaretababy » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:46 pm

I strongly prefer a knife that has one handed opening when it is legally possible. I don't see how having such a feature presents any downside so not having it would be a negative. the speed of opening doesnt matter to me though.

The Meat man
Member
Posts: 4087
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:01 pm
Location: Missouri, USA

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby The Meat man » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:54 pm

I don't know, isn't the idea of one-hand operation sort of what Spyderco is founded on? Far from stifling innovation, it seems to me that it has driven some of the most innovative designs and features in knives.

I like slip joints too, but I prefer one-handed operation for a work knife.

I don't need my knife to be flicky-flicky drop-shutty though, and being able to open a knife in 0.02 seconds is not really a priority for me, so I do agree with you there.
Last edited by The Meat man on Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

User avatar
VooDooChild
Member
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:29 am

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby VooDooChild » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:54 pm

Most of the stuff is just talking points. This lock being stronger, this steel vs that steel, etc...

But I do think one handed operation is a huge plus.

I dont know how many people have needed to use a knife on a ladder, but being able to do everything with one hand is a big plus.

If you are following the boating rule of one hand for you one hand for the boat, then one handed operation is necessary.

Im sure there are plenty of other situations.

Yes a fixed blade can work, but its not as convenient to carry.
sal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:14 pm
... "The edge is a ghost"...

User avatar
Mushroom
Member
Posts: 2704
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:45 pm
Location: Boston, Ma. U.S.A. Earth

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Mushroom » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:54 pm

That perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation is kind of what started Spyderco. ;)

I like what Spyderco has done with their Clipitools. If I recall correctly, they have other multi blade designs in the works.
- Nick

:spyder:

User avatar
Takuan
Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:16 pm

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Takuan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:57 pm

I think I might have interpreted MichaelScott’s original post differently. I thought he might be criticizing the knife industry’s current obsession with things like flippers that open the knife in a flashy (and fun) manner, but don’t really offer an advantage over something simple like the round hole. Clearly, Spyderco has been a major innovator over the years: the round hole, pocket clips, serrations, etc.
"We cannot live better than in seeking to become better."
--Socrates

JuPaul
Member
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:06 am

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby JuPaul » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:07 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:37 pm
Every modern folder design must have these elements: bearings or washers of some type, an opening and closing mechanism that can be operated with one hand, a lock (in the majority of cases) that can be released with one hand, some kind of pocket clip, and a single blade.

Battles rage about the best clip, where it must, or must not be placed. Which lock is best, strongest, easiest to operate. Not to mention steels and steel-like blade material,grinds, shapes and scales.

As we all know our ancestors functioned very capably with none of these. A handle, one or more blades for different types of cutting tasks, interesting shapes and scale materials from bone to micarta. Bolsters are common on traditional knives, as is 1095 carbon steel.

I suspect it is exceptionally rare for a knife cutting task to require all that a modern one-handed knife offers. If one is in a situation that frequently requires that, a fixed blade knife is often a good choice.

Why do I say this? My thinking is that, in contrast to quality traditional knife makers, these one-handed requirements continue to stifle innovation except in the narrowest sense. Ceremaic detent balls are not earth shaking events. Nor are ball bearing washers.

I’d like to see Spyderco and other top companies break out and show us some real innovative (dare I say multiple blade) designs.
While I see your point - certainly not every knife needs to follow modern trends - I do think there's usually good reasons behind these innovations. We could argue that our ancestors functioned just fine traveling on horseback, but obviously traveling by motor vehicle has numerous advantages. I still love riding horses, but I wouldn't want that to be my only or primary option. Same goes for knives: I can appreciate a traditional design, but I like all the modern accoutrements on my daily drivers.
- Julia

"Be excellent to each other." - Bill S. Preston, Esq.

User avatar
JRinFL
Member
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:30 am
Location: Unfashionable West End of the Galaxy

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby JRinFL » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:18 pm

It’s interesting that the OP brings this up considering his critique of the Swayback. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87377
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder: Friends call me Jim. As do my enemies.

User avatar
Naperville
Member
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:58 am
Location: Illinois, USA
Contact:

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Naperville » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:25 pm

Takuan wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:57 pm
I think I might have interpreted MichaelScott’s original post differently. I thought he might be criticizing the knife industry’s current obsession with things like flippers that open the knife in a flashy (and fun) manner, but don’t really offer an advantage over something simple like the round hole. Clearly, Spyderco has been a major innovator over the years: the round hole, pocket clips, serrations, etc.
I like tons of options. They make for a better knife.

I like almost every lock type out there, but am not a fan of the liner lock.

I also like different opening mechanisms. Front flipper, std flipper, Spyderco spydie hole...

Let's keep it interesting out there. More options point to happy people!
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Native Chief, Street Bowie(4V at 60+ HRC), Nightstick, Yojumbo.

User avatar
curlyhairedboy
Member
Posts: 2176
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:01 am
Location: Southern New England

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby curlyhairedboy » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:29 pm

Our ancestors always had the quickest knife to deploy - a fixed blade. Designed for extended use, high comfort and utility, there are thousands of fixed blade patterns for any number of applications.

The fact that we have folders that can deploy as fast as a fixed blade is entirely in line with the use expecations of our forebears. One hand to hold, one hand to cut.
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, DLC Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, Caribbean Sheepsfoot CQI, Waterway, Tanto PM2, CQI Kapara
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Ouroboros, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native, Calendar Watu
Would like to own again: Currently N/A!
Wishlist: Smallfly 2, Pac Salt 2 LC200n, CQI SpyderEdge Caribbean Sheepsfoot, Shaman Sprints!

User avatar
Halfneck
Member
Posts: 1777
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:51 am
Location: Calhoun, Georgia.

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Halfneck » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:29 pm

As a disabled Vet that can only use 1 arm/hand I find 1-handed opening pretty....Handy :)

But prior to that I found it useful while Backpacking, Fishing, working as an EMT, as a Soldier, and several day to day chores. Fixed blades can almost be as easy to access, but it depends on where it is sheathed & the type of sheath. Resheathing a fixed blade is not as easy as closing a 1-handed opening knife.

Maybe it's a Walter Mitty thing, but I like being able to quickly access a knife & open it. Never needed to close my folder fast, but there has been a few times I've needed tp open them fast.

User avatar
RustyIron
Member
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:01 pm
Location: La Habra, CA
Contact:

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby RustyIron » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:52 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:37 pm
As we all know our ancestors functioned very capably with none of these.
And where are they now? Dead.
How did they get around before they died? Model T's and horses.
How many channels did they get on their 85" OLED televisions? None.
How did they access knife forums on the internet?
By setting their telephone handset on 2.4 kb/s acoustic modem.
It must have been awful.

The current fascination with knives that offer one-handed operation is great. It's exactly what I want. I don't want a fixed blade. What I want is exactly what Spyderco has to offer.

It's not that I don't have any slip-joint folders with nail-breaking nail nicks that take two hands to open, but why would any sane person subject himself to that sort of inconvenience?

User avatar
standy99
Member
Posts: 745
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:07 am
Location: Between Broome and Cairns somewhere

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby standy99 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:53 pm

What gets me is all the talk about one hand closing. May be a bit weary with knives but I always close with two hands any folder. (Probably less on backlocks as I will use something to push them closed.)
Just a habit I’m set in probably.

Do find myself playing in the fixed blade pool more the older I get and living remote compared to the city now.

Never owned a flipper and never will, did try a few but not for me.....
Im a vegetarian as technically cows are made of grass and water.

User avatar
MichaelScott
Member
Posts: 3008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:42 am
Location: Southern Colorado

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby MichaelScott » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:03 pm

JRinFL wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:18 pm
It’s interesting that the OP brings this up considering his critique of the Swayback. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87377
The OP says, “The Swayback was designed as a one-handed knife. It didn’t meet even that basic requirement.” I have a two-handed swayback slip joint which, in addition to having two blades, works much better and quicker than the Spyderco SwayBack.

While most of you have expressed why you like a one-handed knife, no one has addressed my claim of stunted innovation other than small changes to that basic design. The fact that you like them isn’t the point.

And, yes, our ancestors are dead. That is why they are ancestors.
Overheard at the end of the ice age, “We’ve been having such unnatural weather.”

http://acehotel.blog

Team Innovation

User avatar
VooDooChild
Member
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:29 am

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby VooDooChild » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:29 pm

Ok, outside of different patterns slipjoints were pretty stagnant in design for quite a while.

I think Spyderco laid down the formula for the modern folder and it works.

At a certain point you dont need to reinvent the wheel.

I like weird, and innovation, and new things, but they need to serve a purpose or increase function first.

You are putting a sharp edge on a handle. There might be a whole lot of ways you can do that, but the end product is in fact exactly that. How much innovation should be expected?
sal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:14 pm
... "The edge is a ghost"...

User avatar
steelcity16
Member
Posts: 4173
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:34 am

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby steelcity16 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:30 pm

What type of innovation is being stifled?? I'd argue that Spyderco has been the most innovative folding knife company over the past couple decades in terms of steels, blade shapes, handle materials and ergonomics, strength to weight ratios, the rust-proof Salt series, lock design, etc. A boring old black FRN VG-10 Seki knife like the Rock Jumper may not seem innovative, but getting that much usable blade on a mid backlock was no small feat and something many have been asking for.

I'm wondering if you could provide some samples of innovations that have been put on hold due to focus on one handed opening??

I know you are a fan of REC knives. Is the beard comb in their latest knife the type of innovation you are looking for?? :D I really have no desire or need for multiple blade knives or multitools. I have a handful of SAKs and very nice Victorinox multi-tools and they collect dust in my drawer. There is a recent REC offering that looks very purdy, but I can't bring myself to buy it because I don't see myself carrying a knife, with no clip, and extra blade I don't need, that doesnt lock, and requires two hands to open, all just to feel hip and old timey while sipping a hazy IPA. I'll take that boring old Rock Jumper every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
:spyder: CRU-CARTA THEM ALL! :spyder:

User avatar
Bloke
Member
Posts: 4694
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:43 am
Location: Sydney, Australia.

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Bloke » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:37 pm

Michael, love your work!

With any luck, brothers Wartstein, Surfingringo, Vivi ... will chime in. They can open and close folders 100 different ways with just one finger and blindfolded in under a second! Hopefully they'll post some instructional clips too! :p

Ah, hahaha, ah, hahaha, ah, hahaha!

I have a feeling this will be a highly entertaining thread. :cool:
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

User avatar
Mushroom
Member
Posts: 2704
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:45 pm
Location: Boston, Ma. U.S.A. Earth

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Mushroom » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:47 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:03 pm
JRinFL wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:18 pm
It’s interesting that the OP brings this up considering his critique of the Swayback. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87377
The OP says, “The Swayback was designed as a one-handed knife. It didn’t meet even that basic requirement.” I have a two-handed swayback slip joint which, in addition to having two blades, works much better and quicker than the Spyderco SwayBack.

While most of you have expressed why you like a one-handed knife, no one has addressed my claim of stunted innovation other than small changes to that basic design. The fact that you like them isn’t the point.

And, yes, our ancestors are dead. That is why they are ancestors.
The Swayback can be operated entirely with one hand. It's objectively wrong to say it can't be.

I feel like Spyderco has been at the forefront of embracing innovation over the years. Reading through some of their old catalogs from their archive can be really entertaining sometimes!

Some innovative standouts to me are knives like the Clipitool Rescue and Standard. One hand access to the tools is something new. Another standout being the Rescue Assist. The built in whistle and retractable glass breaker are innovative features. Whether those functions are appreciated or not doesn't make them any less innovative in a pocket knife. One last standout, to keep it brief, is the Introvert. A backlock flipper with a built in finger guard! Yes... a backlock flipper! :eek:

I don't think I'm really understanding what kind of innovation you feel has been stifled.

If the "innovation" you're expecting is more knives from Spyderco that require two hands to open, I hear Sal has a design in the works for a larger version of the Roadie. :)
- Nick

:spyder:

ladybug93
Member
Posts: 1702
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 11:20 pm

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby ladybug93 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:57 pm

curlyhairedboy wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:29 pm
Our ancestors always had the quickest knife to deploy - a fixed blade. Designed for extended use, high comfort and utility, there are thousands of fixed blade patterns for any number of applications.

The fact that we have folders that can deploy as fast as a fixed blade is entirely in line with the use expecations of our forebears. One hand to hold, one hand to cut.
i was going to say the same thing.


i don't really see what the complaint is here. what are we missing out on by having knives with these features? i've seen multiple people ask and no answer given. innovation continues constantly in the knife world and everything you mentioned is part of that innovation. what kind of compromise are you hoping for? should we be trying to move forward and backward at the same time? maybe sal can get to work designing some nail nick lightsabers.

User avatar
Liquid Cobra
Member
Posts: 6403
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:38 pm
Location: British Columbia, CANADA

Re: The perceived need for instantaneous one hand operation has driven folding knife design into a dead end

Postby Liquid Cobra » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:30 pm

Lucky for the OP all those old designs are still being made and are readily available for purchase.
Most recently acquired: Paramilitary 2 Tanto, YoJUMBO, Swayback, Siren, DLC Yojimbo 2, Native Chief, Shaman S90V, Para 3 LW, Ikuchi, UKPK, Smock, SUBVERT, Amalgam, Para 3 CTS-XHP, Kapara, Paramilitary 2 M390
Grail Paramilitary 2 M390 X 2! ACHIEVED!!

For more of my pictures see my Instagram account.
@liquid_cobra


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot], mikey177 and 22 guests