Mantra Detent Ball

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Sharp Guy
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Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:43 pm

I have a lot of different Spyderco models and enjoy them all. I always have a hard time picking favorites but the Mantra is definitely one that I'd have a hard time letting go of should I ever need to liquidate my collection.

For me there's just so much to like about the Mantra. The Delica-like ergos, multiple opening methods, wire clip, blade shape, M4 steel, and a cutting edge that's longer than Manix 2 and PM2 but in a smaller package. The only thing that kind of bothered me about my Mantra was the weak detent. I could flip it ok. So the weak detent wasn't really a show stopper for me. Still I couldn't help but wonder how much better it would flip if the detent was a little stronger. So now that I know how to improve the detent, I figured after 2 1/2 years it was time to take the knife apart for a good cleaning and a little modification to the hole the detent ball rests in when the blade is closed.

When I took the knife apart I noticed an issue right away.

Image

I have a couple other Spydies with a little flat spot on the detent ball but nothing that looks like this. I'm not even sure what to make of the big step in what's supposed to be a ball. All I can think of is the step was left from whatever tool the Taichung factory used to press the ball in. I can see how the flat spot could happen through use but I find it hard to believe that opening and closing the knife caused that step all the way around the ball. Although I've been wrong at least a few times in my life. :)

I decided it didn't make sense to mess with the detent ball hole with the ball in the condition it was in. I considered ordering some ceramic balls to replace the deformed steel one but decided to see what flipping the ball would do first. So I took the lock bar insert off. Before driving the ball out I measured the protrusion and it was .015". I used a small punch to push the ball out into a small hole I drilled into the wood block I was resting the lock bar insert on. Then I repositioned the ball back in the hole so the undamaged part was exposed and I tapped the ball back in with a little mallet I have. All looked fine but ball was protruding. 025" and it looked like too much was sticking out. I couldn't seem to drive it in any farther with that little mallet and I didn't want to risk ruining the good side by whacking it with something bigger. So I got my little arbor press out and pushed it in another .004".

Image

I wish now I would've taken a pic of the ball at this point for comparison sake. I guess you"ll just have to take my word that it looks much better now (round). After reassembling the knife I was amazed by how much better it works too. The flipping action is much improved. So much so that I no longer feel the need to improve upon it further. The detent still isn't as strong as some of my other dedicated flippers but it's plenty snappy. I think it's just about right for using the opening hole or flipper tab to open the knife.

As I said, this Mantra is one of my favorite knives. Now that the detent is the way it should be it's more enjoyable than ever.

Image
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

Sumdumguy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sumdumguy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:50 am

Nice write up!

I too love my Mantra 1, although I don't seem to have an issue with the detent. But, I don't have any other flippers to compare it to.

It is currently in a heated battle for the number 2 spot with my Caly 3.5. It's honestly funny, I purchased it to sell or trade later on down the road. Somehow, it made it's way into my hand and never left. Probably never will.

Frame Lock: Yuck!
Flipper: Yuck!
Mantra 1: MY PRECIOUS!!!

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Surfingringo
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Surfingringo » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:01 am

I had the same thing happen to my Spydiechef. I was using mine everyday in the ocean and I suspect corrosion had as much effect as wear but it did flatten out too quickly. My guess is that Taichung might want to use higher hardness steel for their detent balls, or better yet switch everything to ceramic like they did with the Spydiechef and Caribbean. That would solve both the wear and corrosion issues. This might have already been addressed? Does anyone know what ball the are using on the new mantra?

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anycal
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby anycal » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:15 am

Hmm. Well, taking it out into rotation today, and I guess I know what I am doing this evening.

I don't feel the detent is weak on mine. I am not able to shake the blade out, even with an abrupt stop in momentum. It will be interesting to see the shape of the ball. On the other hand, I know the washers are shot. Still works fine, pretty smooth, but gritty. They were cupped on day one.

Still one of my favorites.
Peter

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:18 am

anycal wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:15 am
They were cupped on day one.
I'm pretty sure mine were cupped to begin with too. They look just like these...

https://www.alliedelec.com/product/hamm ... lsrc=aw.ds

My Mantra's always been one of my smoothest knives. So I never felt the need to take it apart just for the sake of doing so. After fixing the detent on my Sliverax I figured I'd improve my Mantra. I ended up improving it substantially but not by the method I had originally planned to use.
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby curlyhairedboy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:18 am

In my experience, the detent balls have been made of much less wear-resistant steels than the blades they ride on. detent ball steel vs M4, it's easy to guess which one will wear down faster.

What's interesting to me is 25 years from now when we start to get reports of ceramic detents wearing grooves into blade stock. :D
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!
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby koenigsegg » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:26 am

Makes me wanna check some of my flippers with less than desirable action. Maybe I should just send them into SFO so they can learn any lesson that might be in the solution.
S30V, VG10, M4, XHP, BD1, Maxamet, 204P, H1, K390, A11, Rex45, LC200N, M390, 20CV, BD1N, S45VN

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby curlyhairedboy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:47 pm

koenigsegg wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:26 am
Makes me wanna check some of my flippers with less than desirable action. Maybe I should just send them into SFO so they can learn any lesson that might be in the solution.
I'm guessing they're all Taichung models, too. I've noticed the detent ball doesn't fully seat in the holes on many models, which also weakens detent strength.
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!

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby brainfriction » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:56 pm

I wish Spyderco would go with thicker washers that don't cup. I've finally got my Mantra and Domino dialed in, but the washer issue is always on the back of my mind.

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby ABX2011 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:43 pm

brainfriction wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:56 pm
I wish Spyderco would go with thicker washers that don't cup.
They are now.

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:46 pm

brainfriction wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:56 pm
I wish Spyderco would go with thicker washers that don't cup. I've finally got my Mantra and Domino dialed in, but the washer issue is always on the back of my mind.
As I posted above, after looking at mine, I'm pretty sure they started out cupped.
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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abbazaba
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby abbazaba » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:51 pm

Would be cost prohibitive to switch to ceramic? Seems like a win win for everyone?

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:15 pm

abbazaba wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:51 pm
Would be cost prohibitive to switch to ceramic? Seems like a win win for everyone?
Yes it does seem like a win. As I said in the OP, I know a couple of my other Taichung knives have a flat spot on ball. I may have others but I haven't taken them all apart to see.

I was prepared to order some ceramic balls if flipping my existing steel one didn't work out. I still might order some just to try 'em.
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

brainfriction
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby brainfriction » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:20 pm

Sharp Guy wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:46 pm
brainfriction wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:56 pm
I wish Spyderco would go with thicker washers that don't cup. I've finally got my Mantra and Domino dialed in, but the washer issue is always on the back of my mind.
As I posted above, after looking at mine, I'm pretty sure they started out cupped.
No, they start out flat and they cup from being thin plus the pressure of the bearings rolling on the surface

If you don't believe me, take a thin strip of aluminum foil. Set it on a table and run a pizza wheel up and down the lenghth of it in the middle. Eventually it will start to fold in half. Same concept, the washers just deform over time because they are too thin.

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:02 pm

brainfriction wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:20 pm
Sharp Guy wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:46 pm
brainfriction wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:56 pm
I wish Spyderco would go with thicker washers that don't cup. I've finally got my Mantra and Domino dialed in, but the washer issue is always on the back of my mind.
As I posted above, after looking at mine, I'm pretty sure they started out cupped.
No, they start out flat and they cup from being thin plus the pressure of the bearings rolling on the surface

If you don't believe me, take a thin strip of aluminum foil. Set it on a table and run a pizza wheel up and down the lenghth of it in the middle. Eventually it will start to fold in half. Same concept, the washers just deform over time because they are too thin.
Ok...if you say so. Thing is, neither of us know for sure and I'd rather not argue about it. It's a moot point anyway since Spyderco's revised their bearing system.

Thinking about it, I guess I could experiment a little. Next time I have my Mantra apart I'll consider flattening the washers with my arbor press. Then I'll flip 'em and see if they dish again over time.
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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Tims
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Tims » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:22 am

It’s frustrating to see threads like these about steel detent balls when the fix is so bloody simple. Why persist with steel when ceramic is so widely available? It can’t be cost, surely?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and steel detent balls are the weak link in an otherwise strong chain.

Dear Sal, please move to ceramic detent balls on all RIL, liner & compression locks on non budget/byrd models

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby gull wing » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:53 am

Well done Sharp Guy on the detent fix. :D Sounds like something I would try to do. Your Mantra looks great.

I've never had problem with a steel detent, but ceramic ones are bullet proof. The CRK's prove that.
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby BelgiumRofls » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:58 pm

My first Mantra's detent wore down, rotated it like you did, and that wore down too (quickly).
Replaced it with a ceramic ball. No issues since.
Same story with my Bradley. No issues with my Techno, though. Perhaps some combination of different steel and blade finish?

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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:37 pm

probably. M4 and s30v and XHP are pretty different.
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!

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Mantra Detent Ball

Postby Sharp Guy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:04 pm

curlyhairedboy wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:37 pm
probably. M4 and s30v and XHP are pretty different.
My other two knives with flat spots on the detent balls are S30V (Sage 1 & 2).
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!


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