why are flippers so popular?

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awa54
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why are flippers so popular?

Postby awa54 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:05 pm

So, I long since "got" the pocket clip and one handed opening as features that border on "must have", but I'm still not sold on assisted openers (seems like most of them are at least a bit fussy or have a learning curve, so are no faster or more effective than a good 'ol thumb stud or Spyderhole) or flippers.

I have a WE, it flips without fail, locks with authority and has a low top-line profile, but it still seems more cumbersome than opening a PM2 or Manix and no better than a host of other hole/slot/stud openers.

...are they really just sharpened fidget spinners, or do some of you actually find functional value in the flipper opening method?
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:36 pm

To me it is just another way to open a knife. Not better, just different. It works but I imagine that in some settings you might desire the ability to open a knife more discreetly.

I don’t flip for fun. For those who do I think they are more fun. I think they do have the fidget factor. For some it is a fidget toy.

For some it may also be the tactical/weapony side of things. When they are executed like ZT usually does them they can fly open like an auto. Or as the kids say, “it fires open”.

It may also just be that they are the trend. Framelock flippers are what is in style right now. Only time will tell if they continue to dominate the market.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby MacLaren » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:41 pm

I feel they are so popular for a reason. They are just really fast and really fun. I've got nothing against them at all.
I enjoy them quite a bit actually.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:24 pm

Fidgeting with knives seems more popular than cutting things with them these days. I don't find them any faster, and it the blade bumps into something it's more likely to fail to fully engage vs a spyder hole manually opened. Coat sleeves, stuff like that. Never have a problem using a Spyderhole, it's just as fast and easy as any flipper, auto or assisted knife I've owned.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby MichaelScott » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:09 pm

Functionally they are just another way to open a knife. Some people, a lot of people like to flip open their knives. Over and over. It’s fast, and it’s easy. Put in a tortion bar to do most of the work and it’s even more fun. Flippers and assisted openers are opened and closed far, far more than they are actually used to cut things.

Nothing wrong with it. It’s kind of silly though.

Most people now think that a folding knife must be made for one-handed opening. That is a useful feature but seems to have gotten way out of hand.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby Evil D » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:06 am

There was a time when people said the same about thumb studs and blade holes.. "is opening a knife that fast really necessary?" and "why don't you just carry a fixed blade if deployment has to be that fast?" and "why clip it in your pocket, just get a belt sheath". If we were all still using two handed opening knives, flippers would seem like the most innovative idea to ever hit the pocket knife but there would still be people who don't see the point. It's just another opening option. The fiddle factor is still there with thumb holes and many lock designs too.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby shunsui » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:30 am

Hinderer calls his flipper tab a fingerguard. That's what I like about his XM designs.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby supracor » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:28 am

Because they are supercool ;)

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby Bodog » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:00 pm

Because people like following the crowd even if the crowd they're following is running towards a cliff.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby The Meat man » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:14 pm

Bodog wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:00 pm
Because people like following the crowd even if the crowd they're following is running towards a cliff.

Wow that took a morbid turn. Lol.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby knivesandbooks » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:04 pm

I own a few. Maybe 4. I used to own more. I thi k I got caught up in the ti framelock flipper fad for a minute. I realized I just wasn't carrying them. Also my work knife was the pm2 and my muscle memory always went to open that up. I'm firmly back in the backlock or comp lock with a hole camp. Slipjoints too, of course.

Nothing wrong with a good flipper though! I wouldn't not buy a knife becuase it had one. That one cqi'd Gayle Bradley knife has been searing my attention lately.
I own an assisted knife and am embarrassed to admit I enjoy it.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby curlyhairedboy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:12 am

Flippers are just another opening method. They can be fun, but I think their current popularity stems from being able to design a blade without an opening hole or stud attached. See the Mantra 1 vs Mantra 2. One of those is definitely more slender.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby tvenuto » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:53 am

Because thumb studs aren’t all that great and Spyderco holds the trademark on the superior round hole?

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:57 am

Not going to lie, I've been tempted multiple times to give the ZT 0450 or 0460 a shot. Pretty pricey, but something about them appeals to me. Anybody else have or had one, thoughts?
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby MichaelScott » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:48 pm

I once had a ZT-something or other, heavy, thick kind of recurve blade, black. When I would hit the flipper the thing would slam open with a mighty “thwack” and almost jump out of my hand.

Sold it.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby rgrad80 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:16 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:09 pm

Most people now think that a folding knife must be made for one-handed opening. That is a useful feature but seems to have gotten way out of hand.
Couldn’t agree more.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby Halfneck » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:45 pm

They're fun.

First one I got was a Kershaw Skyline. It was cheap so I figured I'd not be out much money if I didn't like it. I ended up carrying it more than I thought and it was fun to flip open. Looking at the single slim liner I'd wonder if it was stout enough for heavy use. Then I noticed that even if for some oddball reason the lock failed the flipper tab would keep the blade from closing on my finger. So fun with a safety feature - neat.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby Evil D » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:13 am

MichaelScott wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:48 pm
I once had a ZT-something or other, heavy, thick kind of recurve blade, black. When I would hit the flipper the thing would slam open with a mighty “thwack” and almost jump out of my hand.

Sold it.
I have a ZT0303 that opens this way. It's a flipper/assisted opening, so the spring is mostly to blade, though the massive weight and momentum of the blade are what nearly sends it flying across the room when deployed. It's an amazingly well built knife, but as you said it's also really thick and doesn't slice well at all. The ergonomics and overall design are fantastic though, I may have it reground thinner someday. Then it should slice better and might not open so forcefully with a lighter blade.
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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby Gnomersy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:32 pm

So it's worth noting that unassisted flippers are actually better fidget spinners than assisted ones since they close more rapidly.

As an infrequent knife user though it's 100% certain that my knife will deploy and lock up with an assist, in contrast on my Byrd or Rat I go about 2 for 3 right now and while I can always flick my wrist to finish the deployment it's nicer feeling to just push on that tab and have it be ready to go I know with practice I could up that to 100% as well or near enough but meh. Additional factors the flipper really serves to lock your index finger in which is comforting, safer in event of lock failure, and I find ergonomically pleasing. Also from the industrial side making a solid assisted opener is cheaper than a good unassisted one from what I've seen and I am a cheapo. One other factor is the thunk and for me it's really satisfying and again easier to accomplish than the same on my unassisted knives.

Just a few reasons I like flippers in general and assisted flippers specifically. I'm aware that production of good unassisted flippers has been creeping down in price to the point that maybe I should reconsider some of my objections but so far I don't have one so it may happen at some point in the future.

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Re: why are flippers so popular?

Postby knivesandbooks » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:58 pm

Evil D wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:13 am
MichaelScott wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:48 pm
I once had a ZT-something or other, heavy, thick kind of recurve blade, black. When I would hit the flipper the thing would slam open with a mighty “thwack” and almost jump out of my hand.

Sold it.
I have a ZT0303 that opens this way. It's a flipper/assisted opening, so the spring is mostly to blade, though the massive weight and momentum of the blade are what nearly sends it flying across the room when deployed. It's an amazingly well built knife, but as you said it's also really thick and doesn't slice well at all. The ergonomics and overall design are fantastic though, I may have it reground thinner someday. Then it should slice better and might not open so forcefully with a lighter blade.
I've had the at 0770, 0450, 0220, 0562, and 0920. All flipped great, but the work at getting them to even 17 degress per side was far to substantial. The 0562 in 20cv was a stupid effort. Probably started at a 25 degree edge with 30 micro bevel. Still have that and the 0220 and 0920. I like the designs too much even if I never use them. Girlfriend loves her 0450 though.
I own an assisted knife and am embarrassed to admit I enjoy it.


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