SmallFly 2!

Discussion of Restricted Models by Spyderco. READ RULES PRIOR TO POSTING!
lagginirl
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby lagginirl » Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:32 am

sal wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:42 pm
Hi Logginirl,

Welcome to our forum.

sal
Thank ya sir! Have a awesome day!

TriChrome
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby TriChrome » Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Hello again and thank you for approving my first post!

This is the most recent issue I just noticed last night, and is the reason why I joined this forum (I previously posted on BladeForums a quasi-review of this knife but didn't hear back from a single other owner so hopefully more people can chime in here!).

What I found last night, and was really the last straw (I'll post other issues below) was how I just saw that the tang cups (think that's what they're called) on the stainless liners are NOT making anywhere near full contact with the tang pins, in fact they're only making a single small (maybe 0.5 to 1mm) point of contact. If this is somehow by design I do not know, but it's unlike any of the dozen+ balisongs I've owned over the years of all different brands and designs, I can already see this super small single point of contact making a non-cleanable mark on the tang pins, and fear over time (I expect a good knife to last decades TBH) it's going to cause more damage to the knife and ultimately make it not function correctly.

Here's the best pics my iPhone could take. There's 8 possible spots the 2x double-sided tang pins can hit the 2x cups (in the open and closed position), and it happens on EVERY single one of those 8 positions. I only took 3 shots but you get the idea – they're not nestled fully inside the tang cups like they should be, and you can tell how little contact they're actually making by the super small size of those wear marks I highlighted.

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The next issue immediately, and I'm not kidding or exaggerating here – within the first 15 minutes or so, damaged the G10 of this knife because of how the latch is designed (which is again different than any latch on any balisong I've ever owned). Let's look at the play of the knife which IMO is pretty decent:

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BUT, that small play, when you close the latch, makes the latch commonly hit the G10 handle slabs:

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And damage the handles in short order. This picture was taken within an hour of receiving the knife. The other side is also damaged now too fyi:

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Another issue with the latch is how on occasion it will NOT spring up properly – again it seems to be mostly because of the G10 there. You can see in this picture how I'm squeezing the handles with enough force that the latch clears the 'hooks' of the liners with more than enough clearance, but it still isn't springing upwards like it should. This seems to be because the latch is rubbing on the liners and seizing/binding there which won't let the latch spring upwards.

Of course in a perfect world if you were ALWAYS able to squeeze the handles perfectly inward, with no slight angle, the latch would ALWAYS spring up... but hands are are a little bit squishy/flexible, so when you squeeze a hard object like a knife you're sometimes going to not squeeze those handles perfectly dead-on, and this WILL happen, and I think that should have been taken into consideration on this knife (since NOT being able to open a knife every time is a very bad thing IMO).

(this picture was taken today fyi, 10 days after I received this knife, and you can see a little bit of that damage on the other side of the G10 I talked about earlier but didn't show on that earlier picture)

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Last, and before I go into this I just want to say that I REALLY hope I'm not coming across as being mean spirited here... I'm simply posting, with as much detail as I can muster, with as detailed pictures as I can take (including with marking them up in Photoshop so people can see what I'm explaining better), exactly what these issues are, and trying my best to be factual (i.e. as I see it). I'm sure as a manufacturer it's never nice to see this many problems with a product you produce... but again, just being factual and honest here...

So these are a couple pictures of the bad fit and finish of this knife. Like I said on BladeForums, I wouldn't even have bothered with this close of an examination on a $40 knife, or even a $80 knife... but this is a knife with a $300 MSRP which I paid $210 + shipping for... you expect a certain level of refinement at that price point, and (hope this isn't too forward), but I'm extremely disappointed with the fit and finish of a knife in this price class. Again this is my SIXTH Spyderco I've owned, so it's not like I'm not (normally) a fan of the company...

Here's one of the more glaring fitment issues of the knife. That spacer is sticking REALLY far out on that corner (and loosening the screws and trying to push it back in doesn't help). The spacer on the other side is the opposite and is sunk into the handle... You really don't see this from normal viewing distances of course, but you sure feel this every single time you pickup the knife and I'm not happy about that...

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Here's another area in detail. The 3x red lines are showing areas which are sticking out, or sunken in... (the red circle is damage from the latch fyi). In this same pic you can see the opposite side handle where some of these same exact areas on the other handle are just fine (others areas of that opposite handle... not so much...), so this wasn't some weird design/manufacturing choice or anything as both sides are fit different:

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I'll stop myself from posting some other pictures of all the different areas of the knife, but suffice to say there's a lot more of the above... but I think you get the point I'm trying to make. Is what I've posted above seem normal for Spyderco knives? I've bought two Spydercos in the last ~month, and BOTH (this and my Janisong... yes, I've been on a balisong kick lately lol ;) have had a whole plethora of pretty glaring issues straight out of the box I'm sorry to say, but the last Spyderco I bought was some years ago (a BEAUTIFUL Phil Wilson South Fork), and all the others before that have been absolutely impeccable and pristine (as has my brothers YoJumbo which he absolutely adores)... so I simply haven't kept up to date on their QC and manufacturing processes of late. Do other SmallFly 2 owners have any of these same issues and concerns?


In order to not finish on a negative, here's a TOTALLY AWESOME trick I can only do with this knife, which still makes me enjoy it a lot lol:

https://imgur.com/HfCFYmC

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DSH007
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby DSH007 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:19 am

Hi TriChrome -

My Smallfly 2 seems to have better f&f than yours. It's not perfect, but you really have to go looking at it under a microscope to find many issues with it. There are sections where the scales do not match up exactly with the liners/spacers, but generally, my example looks pretty good overall. I'm happy with it.

I can maybe forgive the scales/liners/spacers not matching up perfectly, but I would think the offset handles in the closed position, like on your knife, is definitely not the norm. My Smallfly handles are perfectly even when closed and the lock engages without contacting the g10 so aggressively. If my knife were like yours, I'd probably consider sending it in to W&R for evaluation. Not sure how that works with "restricted" models though, so I hesitate to give you any actual advice there.. because I'm not any sort of lawyer haha.. maybe reach out to Spyderco W&R and see what they have to say? Anyways.. not sure how helpful, if at all, my commentary has been here.. hopefully others can chime in.

Nice job on your thumbhole-drop-open! I tried that with mine and somehow managed to stab myself in the pinky finger..
Rick H.

..well, that escalated quickly..

TriChrome
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby TriChrome » Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:05 am

DSH007 wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:19 am
I can maybe forgive the scales/liners/spacers not matching up perfectly, but I would think the offset handles in the closed position, like on your knife, is definitely not the norm. My Smallfly handles are perfectly even when closed and the lock engages without contacting the g10 so aggressively.
The latch offset in the closed position is only a temporary thing, and doesn't happen all the time fyi. That picture is showing how it CAN close - NOT how it ALWAYS closes if that makes sense. Since the knife (like the majority of balisongs) has some play in the handles it can close and latch perfectly fine a lot of the time if they're aligned right... but it can ALSO flex a little bit to either side like I show in that photograph, and when you close the latch when it's like that, the metal latch CAN (and does on mine) hit the softer G10 and cause damage to it over time because of how the knife is designed (unlike any other balisong latch design I've seen before).



DSH007 wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:19 am
If my knife were like yours, I'd probably consider sending it in to W&R for evaluation. Not sure how that works with "restricted" models though, so I hesitate to give you any actual advice there.. because I'm not any sort of lawyer haha.. maybe reach out to Spyderco W&R and see what they have to say?
I called them and Spyderco said, although butterfly knives are specifically legal in my state, that I can't mail it to them because they wouldn't be able to mail it back to me since I'm not MIL/LEO or a first responder (per their corporate rules).

Only option would be for me to: mail it the dealer, dealer mails it to Spyderco, Spyderco mails back to dealer, dealer mails back to me (even though I've already had 2x Butterfly knives mailed back to me from another USA manufacturer, Benchmade...). So I'm in-process of trying to return to the dealer for store credit or whatnot as the knife just has too many problems...

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Buddafucco
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby Buddafucco » Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:38 pm

TriChrome wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:09 pm
Do other SmallFly 2 owners have any of these same issues and concerns?

Disclaimer... I'm just trying to be helpful... I have had zero balisong experience before my Smallfly 2 so I have nothing similar to compare it to other than my regular Spydies. I've had mine over a month now and carried it with me almost every day and have flipped it at least a little each day. Flipped might be a stretch. :rolleyes:

I would say that these issues are present on my Smallfly 2, to a lesser degree, but none of them seem excessive to the point that would concern me. Mines not flawless but looks to be within normal tolerances compared to my other Spydies. Yours does seem more off than mine though.

When my knife is open, the stop pins sit more evenly in the liner "cups" (but still a little low) as opposed to when it's closed, they sit a bit more like yours (on the low side). I do think it's interesting that I'm getting metal "wear & tear" deformation above the liner "cups" when open ("cups" inboard against pin) but not on the closed side. And its away from where the pin appears to be contacting against the "cup".

I haven't had a single latch missfire due to the latch catching the scale. Usually it's my big hands that get in the way. If i manipulate the handles a certain way (definitely not a natural squeeze for me), i can duplicate your sticking latch, so i see where you're coming from, but i haven't had it happen in use. Do your pivots have play in them? My latch handle has developed a hair of play recently, the other is still rock solid. It's not enough to bother me and the handles still naturally line up straight so i haven't tried tightening it yet.

The spacer sticking out looks excessive to me. Although it could be your super amazing zoomed in picture taking ability making it look worse than it is. :D My spacers have a little "adjustability" to them and i just double checked that. Did you loosen the 2 screws (4 total) on both sides of that handle to try and move it? If you wanted to get crazy, you could probably switch the spacers between handles and see if they line up a little better like that.

I have the marks in my G10 from the latch but the scales are pretty flush everywhere else. I consider stuff like that an easy fix with a little sandpaper.

I hope something in that is helpful to you and I hope you stick around TriChrome. Loved your pics and the sweet little video! Welcome to the forum! :)
•• Beau

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VooDooChild
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby VooDooChild » Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:00 am

I still havent gotten one yet, but I will.

I wouldnt worry about wearing the stop pin/ tang cups.

However, I did not realize the g10 was not also milled out where the lock pin goes in. Espescially considering how the handles wont always be flush with each other if you were just closing that pin and not paying attention. I will still have to get one to try but the lock pin and handle situation seems like its not a good design.
sal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:14 pm
... "The edge is a ghost"...

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sal
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby sal » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:41 pm

Hi TriChrome,

Welcome to our forum. I think you will find this forum to have very knowledgeable and friendly folks hangin' out here.

As I mentioned in the "other" forum, if you are not pleased with our product, you may want to contact customer service. I have already alerted them to your other thread.We always appreciate all comments, good and not-so-good. That's how we learn and improve. Our CQI is constant (Constant Quality Improvement)

sal

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fleanine
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby fleanine » Tue Jun 29, 2021 1:11 pm

Now… I could be way off here, but in regards to the tang pins not hitting exactly in the cups- (mine appears to be the same as yours in that regard) -Perhaps that is by design, like some other knife makers build in some room for wear on the internal locking mechanisms so over time they don’t end up loosening up. If the tang pins were to hit exactly in the cup every time, it may be more prone to appear “loose” more quickly, whereas if they hit slightly off center it will take quite some time to deform and actually fit IN the cup, but it will ensure a nice snug blade lockup when its squeezed in the open position (or closed). Just a bit more of a “squeeze” … if you will. Anyways, that’s my thoughts. Someone else may know better, but it seems to make sense in my brain so I’m gonna go with it for now.

TriChrome
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby TriChrome » Tue Jun 29, 2021 1:47 pm

Hi all, my posts are delayed in showing up by a full day or two –– looks like all new members need their posts approved by a mod. So my last post didn't go live until today (maybe late yesterday) and I didn't reply to other posts in turn because my last post hadn't showed up yet, so I apologize if I seem tardy in my responses here...

Sal, you wrote in the other topic "If these things really bother you, you should contact customer service". Just wanted to comment on two things about that. First, and you very well might have missed my above post if it wasn't approved and visible when you wrote the above, but per your customer service I'm not able to [normally] return the knife since I wouldn't be able to get it back since I'm not a MIL/LEO (even though these are legal in my home state). I would have to do 4 different shippings through the original retail store (then to you, then back) to get the knife back to me... I also returned it to the dealer who gave me store credit so this is now a moot point.

The second thing I want to comment on (as kindly as I can - I'm really trying my best, honest), is when you say "If these things really bother you", and I could totally be taking this the wrong way... but that statement literally means that some people wouldn't be bothered by issues like these. That got me thinking about who would NOT be bothered by the knife damaging itself in the first 15 minutes and onward? Who would NOT be bothered by being able to feel uneven handles every time you gripped the knife? Who would NOT be bothered that the MAIN structural element of the entire pivot open/close system of the entire knife (the tang pins sitting properly into their tang cups) isn't aligning properly? ...because I really can't think of anybody who would NOT be bothered by things like this... so I'm kinda at a loss about your statement...

Again, sorry if I'm being harsh, but even if we put the finer/smaller finishing details aside (which again IMO should NOT be present on any $300 MSRP knife...), even if we chalk up the tang pins/cups not aligning as a one-off as well (although another rare owner of these - since they're not widely available yet - has also noticed a similar, yet not quite as bad as mine, issue with his as well he just posted about above), there's still the engineering/design flaw of the latch which can't be fixed by your warranty department no matter how wonderful I assume they are as they're not going to redesign the knife and send it back to me lol (and again, another user has noticed damage on their G10 by the latch area as well, so it's not just me).

Anyway, since I returned this knife there's really not much more I can comment on as I'm kinda out of the game as I don't own the knife anymore. Just wanted to share my experiences, and see if anybody else had similar issues - and I hope Spyderco takes some of these issues into consideration and improves upon the knife... because it really kinda needs it, and I'm glad to hear you say that your company is constantly trying to improve – as a new product to your line-up, and you haven't produced a balisong in years, I can't think of a better product to start with than the Spyderco SmallFly 2 ;)
Last edited by TriChrome on Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Janich
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby Michael Janich » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:08 am

Dear fleanine:

Welcome to the Spyderco Forum.

Stay safe,

Mike

Alexander135
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby Alexander135 » Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:46 pm

TriChrome
I just received a smallfly 2 and it has none of the issues that yours had. Fit and finish is much better than what can be seen in your photos. I understand being disappointed, I would be too if my fit and finish was similar to yours.

Advice to anyone buying a smallfly 2: If you have fit and finish issues similar to what TriChrome posted, please return the knife or contact Spyderco.

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sal
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby sal » Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:40 am

Hi TriChrome,

Thanx for your comments. The reason that we cannot sip it back to you is because, at this time, it is still against Federal Law to ship "switchblades" over state lines except to "authorized" personnel. AKTI and Knife Rights are trying to change that law, but so far, it still stands.

This is a new project for us and It will probably take a few runs to iron out any issues. But not all of the pieces have the issues you mention. Sorry for the hassle.

sal

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defenestrate
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Re: SmallFly 2!

Postby defenestrate » Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:53 am

I haven't looked for details on my Smallfly but so far it looks to have good fit and finish, and it flips better than I'd expect a balisong of that length to. Aside from the length of the handles/blade seeming odd, it's very smooth. I'll check it over for this sometime.

I do think I'd notice the scales and liners not matching up fairly closely. That said, I usually pay for attention to how it feels, the action, how secure the item feel when open (or closed), etc. So far so good.


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