Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

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Catamount123
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Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Catamount123 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:39 am

Personally, I much prefer to guide it closed with my index finger and/or thumb in the Spyderhole.
I don't get people who only carry one knife :confused: ;)

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:43 am

I think it's mostly an issue for people that just play with their knives. I'm in the middle of what you like and the free drop. I don't mind disengaging a compression lock and giving it a quick snap of the wrist to close it. I find if a knife tends to free drop, then there is a bit of side to side blade play because a lot of the time they will loosen the pivot screws.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Catamount123 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:49 am

It's funny, I'm a lefty, and I consider the compression lock left-handed, because it works so well for the way I like to close my knives.
I don't get people who only carry one knife :confused: ;)

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Evil D » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:51 am

It's convenient but not necessarily mandatory. I close my Autonomy against my hip because it's really the only option unless you use both hands. There are times when I need to draw/open/cut/close/clip in a fluid motion, but closing a knife against your hip isn't any slower.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:54 am

Evil D wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:51 am
It's convenient but not necessarily mandatory. I close my Autonomy against my hip because it's really the only option unless you use both hands. There are times when I need to draw/open/cut/close/clip in a fluid motion, but closing a knife against your hip isn't any slower.
That's exactly how I close my Kershaw Launch 7 (also an auto knife) Especially when I'm holding something with my other hand. Freaked a guy out at work the other day, thought I was about to stab myself in the side :rolleyes:
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:34 am

It's not. It is only those people who play with their knives that this is an issue. Personally, I do not care for it. If the lock fails, do I want the blade freely swinging?
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby ferider » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:39 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:43 am
I think it's mostly an issue for people that just play with their knives. I'm in the middle of what you like and the free drop. I don't mind disengaging a compression lock and giving it a quick snap of the wrist to close it. I find if a knife tends to free drop, then there is a bit of side to side blade play because a lot of the time they will loosen the pivot screws.
Exactly. Couldn't have said it better. I hate blade play. Also don't like when the blade bounces when closing. I need to be able to close a knife without looking at it.
Last edited by ferider on Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Sharp Guy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:42 am

It's not a big deal but I do find it easier to close the blade one-handed. I don't think it's absolutely necessary, since I can close my lock backs one-handed, but I do find it more convenient.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby dsvirsky » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:02 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:34 am
Personally, I do not care for it. If the lock fails, do I want the blade freely swinging?
I own a Gayle Bradley custom lockback folder whose blade falls freely when the lockbar is depressed. Zero blade play and locks up solid as a bank vault; it's just that finely crafted. It's also one of the sharpest knives I've ever owned. I close that knife two handed. :eek:

Compression or ball bearing lock, free swinging is fine, although completely unnecessary, since my fingers aren't in the path of the blade.

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby wrdwrght » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:05 am

I prefer a little resistance when closing (and opening) my Spydies. I do fidget, but I’m not a ninja.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Pelagic » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:14 am

I like the pm2's and millies to be flickable (just to keep that option open), but prefer ample resistance. I like the strength of the pivot to aid the lock during use.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby dodgie02 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:15 am

There's something satisfying about smooth action. And I in general, backlock or compression or even axis if you will. I usually try to get the most out of my knives, I'll play around with washers, tweak a little here, do a little of that. To me it's in the same vein as achieving maximum sharpness out of your edge. I like my knife to the best it can be and it's operation is part of that. I'll spend lots of time working up a terrific edge, on a knife I love, so why not make the rest of the knife as good as it can be too? I love my pm2's but Ive gotten them with stiff action when opening and closing, or blade play and smooth action but rarely buttery smooth with zero play. There's something real nice about your favourite knife locking up rocksolid and opening and closing so smooth at the same time it's like there is no resistance at all. To me it confirmation I got my knife I love in its best possible state.
Be a it a free dropper or my loved and smooth backlock caly 3
ferider wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:39 am
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:43 am
I think it's mostly an issue for people that just play with their knives. I'm in the middle of what you like and the free drop. I don't mind disengaging a compression lock and giving it a quick snap of the wrist to close it. I find if a knife tends to free drop, then there is a bit of side to side blade play because a lot of the time they will loosen the pivot screws.
Exactly. Couldn't have said it better. I hate blade play. Also don't like when the blade bounces when closing. I need to be able to close a knife without looking at it.
See that's the thing. Too tight and overly loose I consider both to be undesirable and just uncomfortable. But the way you state it is as if those are the 2 ways it can be with no perfect middleground. Zero play and silky smooth action are very possible but you'll have to play around with your washers, look for blemishes on the blade, basically all parts exerting pressure and resistance have to be balanced out so the knife rests in its most optimal position. To some its overkill, but after having my first pm2 polished to the point of extremely smooth action while locking up very tight impressed me so much I now take great pleasure in achieving the best possible state of my knife. These are production folders after all and though perfectly usable it never reaches the full potential it has when tweaked by hand in person.
You just can't compensate by tweaking the pivot while overlooking the internals or you'll have those issues with overly tight or blade play yeah.
Last edited by dodgie02 on Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:22 am

I think it's a stand-in metric for close tolerances by those who don't inspect their tools with calipers.

A knife that locks up solid without any play, yet still falls shut when the lock is disengaged...that action is a shortcut, a placeholder for perceived quality/attention to detail
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal for some people?

Postby The Meat man » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:52 am

I think the answer to the question is that we are all different and our preferences are different. Kind of like lamination lines - some people don't care at all while for others it could be a deal breaker. It's all a matter of personal taste. Just as one person may like blue G-10 handles while another prefers black FRN.

In either case, I don't think it's quite fair to imply that such a person doesn't use his knives for anything but fidget toys.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby abbazaba » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:03 am

Most people appreciate a finely tuned machine, myself included. It's impressive when something is made to such exacting specifications, just like blade centering, uniformity, lock tension, general fit and finish...

Some lock types benefit from free action more than others depending on your preferred technique. I find a stiff compression lock a little awkward compared to one I can simply pinch and swing shut. In comparison, stiff liner and frame locks might actually be safer if the they have some resistance because your finger is in the blade path.

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:12 am

curlyhairedboy wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:22 am
I think it's a stand-in metric for close tolerances by those who don't inspect their tools with calipers.

A knife that locks up solid without any play, yet still falls shut when the lock is disengaged...that action is a shortcut, a placeholder for perceived quality/attention to detail
Well said, that man!

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby The Deacon » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:15 am

Catamount123 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:39 am
Personally, I much prefer to guide it closed with my index finger and/or thumb in the Spyderhole.

I'm with you on this, and I'm sure there are a number of us who prefer blades that don't swing closed. One reason I prefer midlocks is that their blades generally don't swing freely. That said, tastes vary, and a fair percentage of folks seem to like them free swinging.
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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby Marulaghost » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:14 am

I can't deny the fiddle factor is there when it comes to a drop shut action but there is something to say about having a blade disappear with almost no effort. My chaparral will drop to the halfway mark before the Ricasso hits my finger. Than i close it the rest of the way.
The difference is mere seconds between my lil native and it but it is noticable. By the time my chap is closed my L Native is already in my pocket.
Alternatively i can also thumb flick my LN open so quick i barely have to think about it. Which is nice if i have some gloves on while i work in a freezer. It means my knife hand is free for use sooner and i don't scare people more because i have a tiny little knife open (i don't need to give customers the heeby jeebies)
Sure, some people will still be scared by flick open knife. But the sooner the job is done and it's back in my pocket the better

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby ferider » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:15 am

dodgie02 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:15 am
See that's the thing. Too tight and overly loose I consider both to be undesirable and just uncomfortable. But the way you state it is as if those are the 2 ways it can be with no perfect middleground. Zero play and silky smooth action are very possible but you'll have to play around with your washers, look for blemishes on the blade, basically all parts exerting pressure and resistance have to be balanced out so the knife rests in its most optimal position. To some its overkill, but after having my first pm2 polished to the point of extremely smooth action while locking up very tight impressed me so much I now take great pleasure in achieving the best possible state of my knife. These are production folders after all and though perfectly usable it never reaches the full potential it has when tweaked by hand in person.
You just can't compensate by tweaking the pivot while overlooking the internals or you'll have those issues with overly tight or blade play yeah.

I agree with you to a degree, I also like my knives to shut smoothly and spend some time tuning them. However, there are limits, by design, in particular for the PM2:

1) if you actually use your finely tuned PM2, the action will change, loktite or not. And once adjusted, I for one am not planning on disassembly of the same knife for a while.
2) the difference between a nicely damped and slowly self-closing/no-blade play PM2 and one where the blade doesn't move by itself is the teeniest amount of torque on a pivot screw. Tuning would be much easier if the Pivot screws had fine instead of coarse thread, in other words there are design limitations.

I have priorities when adjusting knives. Blade play comes first, blade centering second, smooth action third, etc. Some knives are easier to adjust (like the Manix family), some harder (like the PM2 or the P4).

I got the last knife bite from a free falling Ulize that surprised me, BTW :) Be careful with loose long blades and back-locks !

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Re: Why is having the blade drop closed such a big deal?

Postby demoncase » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:26 am

I'm going to agree heartily with the OP and go one further:

I really dislike liner locks that drop completely free without friction.... I don't like getting bitten or having a sharp edge bounce off my thumbnail.

Comp lockers and BBLs it's not so much of an issue, as my fingers are clear of the blade path- but still I far prefer having to put some input into closing (or starting closing) and not have gravity close a knife.

As long as it's smooth and there's no blade play then I actually prefer having to give a little shake to drop a blade.

It's the same reason I'll never drive an automatic- I want to be in control ;)
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