Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby James Y » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:26 pm

I’m not sure that wanting a centered blade means it has to be to the detriment of some other quality. For me, an acceptably-centered blade is only ONE of the qualities I look for in a knife, especially if it’s a high(er)-end one. There’s nothing wrong with someone wanting an example they’re happiest with. Wanting a centered blade doesn’t mean someone then wants a centered knife that doesn’t cut well, or has poor lockup.

Why do some people want knives in different-colored scales? A knife will still cut, even if it’s in “boring black” scales.

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:02 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:41 pm
chuck_roxas45 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:07 pm
So at what price point does an off center blade start being okay?
I participated in the first page of the thread then unsubscribed because I thought a lot of the same answers would be said over and over again, but this thing got DEEP! I just spent a good hour reading through it, and your question is a valid one. A lot has been said about pricing and expectations, but where do you draw the line to where it's acceptable or not really a big deal?

My seconds sale Maxamet PM2 is warped and close to touching the scale...but it still cuts and performs like a knife should. Now, I did only pay $78 for it think it was?? Had it been purchased for the $200+ tag that they typically sell, then yes I'd be upset and likely try to send it back. I know we're all different and buy our knives for different reasons. I'm a user and though I wouldn't be happy with that experience, the knife still does what it's supposed to...it cuts, it locks up solid and the action is just fine with no rubbing. I don't think there's any one answer here, but the price point of what's acceptable and what's not definitely interests me here!
A bit off topic, but you´re touching a general "problem" (it really isn´t a real one in fact) of such threads: Yes, "the same answers are said over and over again", and in this case a lot by ME ;) - reason being, that some people only read the thread title or first or just some posts and then reply, others read the whole thread (which can be exhausting as I totally understand): And so one never knows if one has already read and answer that was already given or not... but, perhaps the better way would be not to reply again and again, but instead point people to the post where the answer is to find already anyway.

/ A warped blade is actually an interesting thing in this context, and nothing thought about initially I have to admit.
I instinctively made just two categories:
1.) Blade a bit off center, but totally fine as a blade and not touching then scales, so perfectly functional and perfectly fine for me
2.) Blade rubbing the scales for whatever reason: NOT fine for me

The warped blade is somehow a bit middle ground here... :o
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:12 am

Cricket Bite wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:22 pm
I have a Para 3 with the blade centering off. Not rubbing but for sure off. It does bother me when I think about it but in use it does not affect it in any way and I usually forget about it anyways. When paying over $100 for any knife I do expect things like this not to be present. Sue it does not affect functionality but is that the ONLY reason most of use or many people are buying $100+ knives??? If you bought a new car and the paint job had drips all over it would it bother you? It does not affect the functionality of the car and can be fixed relatively cheap compared to the price of a new car so should we be concerned? I think it is great if this does not bother you and more power to you but it is totally understandable for those who it does bother.
James Y wrote: I’m not sure that wanting a centered blade means it has to be to the detriment of some other quality. For me, an acceptably-centered blade is only ONE of the qualities I look for in a knife, especially if it’s a high(er)-end one. There’s nothing wrong with someone wanting an example they’re happiest with. Wanting a centered blade doesn’t mean someone then wants a centered knife that doesn’t cut well, or has poor lockup.

Why do some people want knives in different-colored scales? A knife will still cut, even if it’s in “boring black” scales.
You are both 100% right of course and both answer my question in the title "why (so many) people are concerned with perfect blade centering":
Just cause they like it
Just cause THEY see it as sign for high quality
And that is perfectly fine!!

I guess I realize that the point of my question is more emphasizing why "SO MANY" people are concerned with perfect centering.
Like in: HOW did it come that this is the case nowadays.
As camber said, seemingly in previous days this probably was not a thing at all, people perhaps did not even think of looking for perfect centering or see it as a quality criteria.

Honestly, I am still of the opinion that to a large part it is kind of an "artificially made up" thing that looking for perfect centering is so (over-) emphasized. And I strongly assume social media is the reason for it, even if we don´t realize it anymore consciously.
It is just like TV ads that run in the background. Just by frequently and without even "really listening" to it we hear and read again and again that one of the first things many "reviewers" do is check for perfect centering and are annoyed if it is not that way. Often times the same on this forum when one talks about a knife they recently got.

Just my 2c, and I could be very well wrong! And, more importantly, totally fine of course anyway!!! Just interesting how - perhaps - the way to look at folders and their quality may have shifted from earlier to our times... :)
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: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Bill1170 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:09 am

An interesting aside: traditional multi-bladed slipjoints accommodate two blades nestling in the same trough with pivots on opposite ends by offsetting the blades so they miss one another. I carried and used such knives for decades and never felt limited by the asymmetry of the blades when folded. They worked fine.

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:03 am

Bill1170 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:09 am
An interesting aside: traditional multi-bladed slipjoints accommodate two blades nestling in the same trough with pivots on opposite ends by offsetting the blades so they miss one another. I carried and used such knives for decades and never felt limited by the asymmetry of the blades when folded. They worked fine.

Good point! :)

Again, I think what is my point here: The (for me!) disproportion concerning how important "blade centering" became (quite lately?) compared to other features.
Sometimes it seems like as if people were estimating the quality and function of a newly arrived folder by checking action, blade play/solid lockup, tight screws/solid build and totally symmetrical bladecentering as if those were all of the same importance. For me it seems like the three former ones are WAY more important though, while perfect blade centering is really not (again, I still get and respect if people value this too and just enjoy "symmetry")
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Larry_Mott » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:43 am

If i bought a new car i would be upset if the doors and panels were badly fitted and the gaps between panels were off.
It wouldn't matter in daily life, but it is a sign of cutting corners and not paying the attention the procuct/price deserves.
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby sparty569 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am

Salty Dog wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 am
I got a uncentered tenacious SE, I finally found out why after using a metal ruler on the blade, that it was at least 2mm-3mm off centre because it was bent to the left.
I am having the same issue with my Tenacious, Green G10, with Black blade. The blade is pushed all the way to the non locking side, rubbing against the liner. I took it apart, trying to get it centered, like I have other blades, and it just snaps back to the side. The only way to have it centered is to crank down the pivot. I have backed it off so that I can flip it, and get it broken in, but I have already contacted Spyderco to see if they will look at it.

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby araneae » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am

I never expect perfection from my production knives. They are tools. If its a bit off center, I will never be upset and won't notice it when I use the knife. The obsession is likely promoted by those with OCD, and youtube reviewers who are "knife experts", but suspiciously have reference knives that they bring out over and over again, without a hairline scratch on them. Are these the people who should dictate what a knife should be? Apparently for a lot of sheeple, yes. I guess cutting a Subway sandwich in half is hard use for some people. I am more interested in a mechanically functional knife that is in excellent working condition, with a properly ground blade.

If the knife is pretty close to center I am happy. Can't say I've had a bad one from Spyderco. If it rubs, that is a problem, if its a bit off, it isn't worth losing sleep over IMO.
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:59 am

Larry_Mott wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:43 am
If i bought a new car i would be upset if the doors and panels were badly fitted and the gaps between panels were off.
It wouldn't matter in daily life, but it is a sign of cutting corners and not paying the attention the procuct/price deserves.

In your car example I'd be that too, but a slightly off centered blade is something really different to that (for me at least).
Reasoning in several previous posts (I know, exhausting to read through all this! :o ).
"Doors and panels badly fitted" and "gaps that are off" is something most people would immediately realize and instininctively see as a bit "flawed".
But a blade that PERFECTLY sits between the scales, without touching, without causing problems, but a tad deviating to the left or rigjt, is imho mostly a pretty artificially created quality criteria, that came up rather recently (like perhaps in the last 20 years or so).
And I dare to say: Even many knife people would never think of even checking for perfect centering if they would not have "learned" that this is "a thing" and they "should" care.
(Edited for spelling)
Last edited by Wartstein on Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby James Y » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:29 am

Bill1170 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:09 am
An interesting aside: traditional multi-bladed slipjoints accommodate two blades nestling in the same trough with pivots on opposite ends by offsetting the blades so they miss one another. I carried and used such knives for decades and never felt limited by the asymmetry of the blades when folded. They worked fine.

I agree with you in that sense. I’ve carried Schrade, Case, 1970s Buck/Camillus, and SAKs for decades, all of which have asymmetrical blades due to ‘crinking’ so they’ll fit into as narrow a package as possible. I still carry SAKs which have asymmetrical cutting blades. Those were purposely made that way, and that has never bothered me.

The difference for me is I expect a single-bladed knife, like a Spyderco, to at least be as straight as possible. While it may not make it ‘cut better,’ to me it’s a sign of attention to detail...only one of several I look for. A knife with a single blade, with no need of crinking to fit two or more blades together, should not be difficult to get precisely. If I’m paying the same money for a model as someone else who gets a “perfect” example, then I want mine “perfect” too (or at least what is “as perfect as possible” in my eyes). :)

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Evil D » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:35 am

araneae wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am
I never expect perfection from my production knives. They are tools. If its a bit off center, I will never be upset and won't notice it when I use the knife. The obsession is likely promoted by those with OCD, and youtube reviewers who are "knife experts", but suspiciously have reference knives that they bring out over and over again, without a hairline scratch on them. Are these the people who should dictate what a knife should be? Apparently for a lot of sheeple, yes. I guess cutting a Subway sandwich in half is hard use for some people. I am more interested in a mechanically functional knife that is in excellent working condition, with a properly ground blade.

If the knife is pretty close to center I am happy. Can't say I've had a bad one from Spyderco. If it rubs, that is a problem, if its a bit off, it isn't worth losing sleep over IMO.



While I agree they should be used, this is 100% acceptable to collectors. It's a different hobby for some people and details like this matter more to them.
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby James Y » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:41 am

Wartstein wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:12 am
Cricket Bite wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:22 pm
I have a Para 3 with the blade centering off. Not rubbing but for sure off. It does bother me when I think about it but in use it does not affect it in any way and I usually forget about it anyways. When paying over $100 for any knife I do expect things like this not to be present. Sue it does not affect functionality but is that the ONLY reason most of use or many people are buying $100+ knives??? If you bought a new car and the paint job had drips all over it would it bother you? It does not affect the functionality of the car and can be fixed relatively cheap compared to the price of a new car so should we be concerned? I think it is great if this does not bother you and more power to you but it is totally understandable for those who it does bother.
James Y wrote: I’m not sure that wanting a centered blade means it has to be to the detriment of some other quality. For me, an acceptably-centered blade is only ONE of the qualities I look for in a knife, especially if it’s a high(er)-end one. There’s nothing wrong with someone wanting an example they’re happiest with. Wanting a centered blade doesn’t mean someone then wants a centered knife that doesn’t cut well, or has poor lockup.

Why do some people want knives in different-colored scales? A knife will still cut, even if it’s in “boring black” scales.
You are both 100% right of course and both answer my question in the title "why (so many) people are concerned with perfect blade centering":
Just cause they like it
Just cause THEY see it as sign for high quality
And that is perfectly fine!!

I guess I realize that the point of my question is more emphasizing why "SO MANY" people are concerned with perfect centering.
Like in: HOW did it come that this is the case nowadays.
As camber said, seemingly in previous days this probably was not a thing at all, people perhaps did not even think of looking for perfect centering or see it as a quality criteria.

Honestly, I am still of the opinion that to a large part it is kind of an "artificially made up" thing that looking for perfect centering is so (over-) emphasized. And I strongly assume social media is the reason for it, even if we don´t realize it anymore consciously.
It is just like TV ads that run in the background. Just by frequently and without even "really listening" to it we hear and read again and again that one of the first things many "reviewers" do is check for perfect centering and are annoyed if it is not that way. Often times the same on this forum when one talks about a knife they recently got.

Just my 2c, and I could be very well wrong! And, more importantly, totally fine of course anyway!!! Just interesting how - perhaps - the way to look at folders and their quality may have shifted from earlier to our times... :)

Warstein:

TBH, social media has absolutely nothing to do with my preferences in knives, in terms of blades being centered or not centered, etc. Things like that, and lockup, are things I’ve always considered since I became interested in modern designs back in the ‘90s. For myself, things like ‘edges perfectly symmetrically ground on both sides’ has never been that important, for example. As long as both sides have good edge bevels, that’s enough for me in that regard.

I actually do NOT watch YouTube knife reviews, and haven’t for some time. Unless I just want to see a knife from different angles. Most of the time I’ll put them on mute and skip around til I see what I’m looking for (the correct angle I want to see it at, etc.). I do read people’s thoughts on knives here on this forum, if I have any interest in a specific model.

Jim

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby JRinFL » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:05 am

I'm surprised that this thread keeps on churning. People must be really sensitive to centering or deeply concerned that others do not share their view on centering. It should not surprise me have watched people over the last 50+ years.
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder: Wharnie for the whin! Friends call me Jim. As do my foes.

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:20 am

JRinFL wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:05 am
I'm surprised that this thread keeps on churning. People must be really sensitive to centering or deeply concerned that others do not share their view on centering. It should not surprise me have watched people over the last 50+ years.

With all due respect, but I think you perhaps misunderstand the focus of the discussion a bit?! (Or just see it differently, what is fine of course! :) )
First and foremost literally no one so far was "concerned that others do not share their view on centering". The 100% consent is: Whatever one thinks or likes in that regard is totally fine for all. And no one even remotely tried to "convert" anyone.
Then: Almost everything we discuss on this forum and the detail to which we do that is a bit weird... objectively seen. ;)
But this thread is really not "just" about "centering".
But much about what perhaps influences us concerning what we look for in knives (and perhaps many other things).
About what really genuinely bothers one, and what one perhaps has just "learned" that it "should" bother them
About "what is perfection"? Symmetry? Or doing something "just" perfectly well and functional?
... I could go on, but I guess you know what I try to say?
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Evil D » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:34 am

JRinFL wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:05 am
I'm surprised that this thread keeps on churning. People must be really sensitive to centering or deeply concerned that others do not share their view on centering. It should not surprise me have watched people over the last 50+ years.


I'm impressed that it hasn't devolved into a bloodbath yet.
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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby James Y » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:37 am

My own personal preferences regarding blade centering are just that: My own preferences. I make no judgments on others for whom blade centering (or any other issue or non-issue) isn’t a big deal. Ultimately, buying a knife is really a personal thing, and ultimately it’s MY knife, not someone else’s (the same goes for anybody else).

I don’t go cultish (which seems to be the trend in the world nowadays outside of this forum) if others have different views from mine.

Jim

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Salty Dog » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:39 am

sparty569 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am
Salty Dog wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 am
I got a uncentered tenacious SE, I finally found out why after using a metal ruler on the blade, that it was at least 2mm-3mm off centre because it was bent to the left.
I am having the same issue with my Tenacious, Green G10, with Black blade. The blade is pushed all the way to the non locking side, rubbing against the liner. I took it apart, trying to get it centered, like I have other blades, and it just snaps back to the side. The only way to have it centered is to crank down the pivot. I have backed it off so that I can flip it, and get it broken in, but I have already contacted Spyderco to see if they will look at it.
Check if the blades straight, you've got the same issue as me.
ive tried bending the blade back straight but man its almost impossible.
I got it out of the box like that, definitely didn't do anything to bend it.
No point me sending mine back either.

Whats harder to live with is my lightweight para3 that opens a few mm when closed.
Before you open it it free opens a few mm.
Id love to know how to fix the detent, I don't use it because of it.
Wonder if I tried bending the detent arm out a bit might fix it?

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby sparty569 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:18 pm

Salty Dog wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:39 am
sparty569 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:57 am
Salty Dog wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 am
I got a uncentered tenacious SE, I finally found out why after using a metal ruler on the blade, that it was at least 2mm-3mm off centre because it was bent to the left.
I am having the same issue with my Tenacious, Green G10, with Black blade. The blade is pushed all the way to the non locking side, rubbing against the liner. I took it apart, trying to get it centered, like I have other blades, and it just snaps back to the side. The only way to have it centered is to crank down the pivot. I have backed it off so that I can flip it, and get it broken in, but I have already contacted Spyderco to see if they will look at it.
Check if the blades straight, you've got the same issue as me.
ive tried bending the blade back straight but man its almost impossible.
I got it out of the box like that, definitely didn't do anything to bend it.
No point me sending mine back either.

Whats harder to live with is my lightweight para3 that opens a few mm when closed.
Before you open it it free opens a few mm.
Id love to know how to fix the detent, I don't use it because of it.
Wonder if I tried bending the detent arm out a bit might fix it?
I called Spyderco this morning. They will look at it.

He said "it's a budget line, so we cant expect perfectly centered blades." I said, that's cool, but it's touching the liner, and I believe the blade is bent.

Worst case scenario, they send it back, saying they cant do anything, and I spent $10 on shipping back and forth. At least I would know.

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby chuck_roxas45 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:49 pm

Lots of sensible sentiments on both sides of the issue. Thing is, nobody is going to change their minds. If you don't mind uncentered blades, no argument in the world will change that. Same holds true for the opposite side. It's great that this can be discussed here with no bad blood but isn't all this after the first couple of pages just beating a dead horse? I dunno, I'm probably not going to change your minds about the horse being alive or dead though. So keep on flogging. :D

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Re: Why are so many people concerned with perfect blade centering?

Postby Wartstein » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:01 pm

chuck_roxas45 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:49 pm
Lots of sensible sentiments on both sides of the issue. Thing is, nobody is going to change their minds. If you don't mind uncentered blades, no argument in the world will change that. Same holds true for the opposite side. It's great that this can be discussed here with no bad blood but isn't all this after the first couple of pages just beating a dead horse? I dunno, I'm probably not going to change your minds about the horse being alive or dead though. So keep on flogging. :D

Well said, and at this point of the discussion I tend to agree... ;)
I (OP) do repeat myself all the time here, but just because I don´t know if the folks I reply too have read my previous posts where I explained my views anyway already. But I´ll stop this know!

But, you see, this thread is interesting because it is different than most discussions here:

- There actually IS no real disagreement!
- Even I fully admit that a slightly misaligned blade in a way is less perfect than a totally centered one
- No one has even remotely tried to change minds, cause it is clear to everyone: IF one values centering more or less is really totally personal. So not like discussion if for example comp. lock or backlock might technically stronger, this does not matter at all TOO in real folder use, but at least in theory there COULD be a right or wrong (with the most proper tests one could find out which is stronger, though the limits of both will never be exceeded in use anyway).
- So it is NOT about if valuing centering is "right or wrong", but more how it came to the point that this is much more of a thing than it presumably was in former times, and why i IS that some don´t care at all (like me) and others do a lot.
- What makes the discussion intriguing. It resonates with several "higher level" topics than just blade centering, and why it is so important to some.
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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