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Old 07-09-2007, 04:59 AM   #1
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Assisted Opening Knives

I'm looking at getting a new pocket folder. A friend of mine had a Kershaw Leek and, on initial inspection, it looked pretty nice.

Anyone have any experience/comments on this knife? Also, any other good assisted opening knives I should check out? Any I should definitely avoid?
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #2
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At this time, all of the major makers provide at least one model of assisted-opening technology.

There are two smaller models of Kershaw, the Chive and the Scallion, as well.

We have, and use, all three versions. They are sharp, and easy to use. They even have a locking mechanism on the two smaller versions to prevent accidental activation.

There are also a number of additional models that are larger.

CRKT, Buck, SOG, Benchmade, Camillus, Schrade, and others also make them.

I would shy away from the bargain basement brands from China. Their steel isn't good, and the mechanisms are pretty slip-shod.

Whichever brand you end up with, get a set of small Torx-drivers to periodically tighten the screws holding the scales, locks, and pivot adjustments with.

I use a product called Nano-Lube to lubricate the pivot and locks with. It is new tech, and really works and stays in place.

As I said, we have Kershaws, SOG, Buck, and CRKT versions. They work, and won't break the bank. Check EBay, as there are a plethora of Jeep and Snap-On branded Kershaws on sale there. I use Smokey Mountain Knife Works as a base-line for bidding, to avoid "excited" bidding over the real world pricing.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: Assisted Opening Knives

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrus
Also, any other good assisted opening knives I should check out? Any I should definitely avoid?
Assisted opening knives by design are a side-step around those pesky "automatic" prohibitions. They allow for a single handed deployment.

To that point, let me add this....

In times of stress, fine motor skills go out the window. Gross motor skills are the best we can manage. In other words, finding the activator on a knife is bad enough, forget about locating "the safety" on some folders. Aint gonna happen.

Also consider the positioning of the pocket clip. Does it allow for the carry and extraction of the knife to be in one smooth movement all the way from grasp to deployment?

For the right handed, the most accessable method and common carry is right side pocket, hinge point down, blade to the rear.

Many knives have this 180 degrees off. Some may be ordered as a custom, some are modifiable by the end user with allen screws.

That said, look at any of "The Wave" featured knives from Emerson.

They are the single quickest deploying knife, bar none. I am old and tired and I can get it out and operational faster than any young operator that has any folder, automatic or out-the-front. Period. There is simply no contest.

It is the politicaly correct alternative to carrying a fixed blade knife. I say this because fixed blades are easily called "hunting knives" by attornies you may someday meet. Better to have a "pocket knife".

I think the Emerson Waves have it all, hands down. I do like the heft of a difefrent manufacturer's folder, so I asked my machinist to mill me a "hook" that he placed where the thumb stud was. It looks like a wildcat's claw. Works the same as any Wave.

Here's their video: http://www.emersonknives.com/videos/CommanderOpen.MPG
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:42 AM   #4
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In my time with Fire/EMS, I carried the Spyderco Standard. It was carried attached to my belt. Grabbing the knife, attached pivot side up, allowed me to open it on the draw-stroke.

The leek has no lock, and the Scallion and Chive possess locks that may, or may not, be applied. They open by pushing a protrusion below the pivot, after a few degrees, they open via the spring tension.

The Wave system still requires manipulation, this time against your clothing. It's a matter of practice.

The CRKT M16 also has a purely manual system that is quick to operate.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:07 AM   #5
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*
  • Be sure and double check your state's laws regarding these knives; they might be classed with switchblades. Texas law is rather shaky on this. Casual reading indicates that my Leek and Scallion knives are illegal to carry here. I do it anyway.[list:1h8it23c]
    Texas Penal code 46.01

    (11) "Switchblade knife" means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath, and that:[list:1h8it23c]
    (A) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or
    (B) opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.
[/list:u:1h8it23c]It's that "other device" in (11)(A) that gets ya.[/list:u:1h8it23c]
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:57 AM   #6
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JR: Currently I carry a CRKT Crawford/Kaspar folder and I keep it clipped inside the left chest radio pocket on my bunker coat. With gloves on, I don't know if I could get to it easily anywhere else.

Good point csmkersh - I will check and see if PA has any sneaky ambiguousness in their knife laws.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmkersh
*(11)(A) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle

It's that "other device" in (11)(A) that gets ya.
It's the "located on the handle" that exempts you. There is no mention of a thumbstud on the blade. Some court cases and prosecutions have caused Onion (long ago) to modify their "trigger points" at which the baldes will deploy due to gravity and centrifugal force.

Suffice to say, if it gets that far, the discussion will be in court.

It all boils down to: "What made the nice officer look that far up your @SS in the first place?"

Common sense.[/u]
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:29 AM   #8
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Kershaw has come out with a newer line of knives that have a tad larger finger stud on the rear of the blade and does not have any "assisted opening" because of some jurisdictions interpetation of the laws.

One of the biggest problems is that if an officer confiscates your knife, are you going to hire a lawyer or possibly drive a long way from home to recover a under $100 knife. As a LE dealer, I carry Auto Knives in stock and by technical letter of the law I can carry one here in WV as a "dealer demo". At one time I used to do just that, but quit because of the possible hassles of a run in with an officer that could/would attemtp to take it off of me.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR
The leek has no lock...
you are mistaken sir
i own one
the leek does indeed have a lock
now i took mine out but it definately has one
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:43 AM   #10
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Yup, there is lock on the leek. That's what I'm carrying at present, thanks to my boy getting in trouble with his.

Er, I mean now it's mine

I hadn't thought about taking the lock off, I just slid it down to unlock and carry it such that the blade is trapped by the rear seam of my jeans pocket.

The blade on this one is just barely shy of 3" though (I thought it a good size for him when I bought it) - if it had a 4" blade, especially a in tanto shape, I'd have a real winner.

Kershaw makes these assisted opening knives with tanto blades, but the longest I've seen is still barely over the 3" mark.

Who makes a quality blade like I'm looking for?
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:41 AM   #11
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  • Bravo, take a look at this Benchmade knife. It may be just what you're looking for.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:34 PM   #12
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Actually, you might look at Kershaw again. They have one called The Blur that might do nicely. Tehy have several variations, including some with tanto blades and some with special steels.
I beleive the blade is 3 3/4 inches.
I have one and I especially like the feel. It may seem strange to use this term, but "it just fits the grip and handles well".
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:36 AM   #13
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I was wrong, I advised that it didn't have a lock, and it's a liner-lock. What I meant was that it didn't have the Safety Tip lock of the smaller versions, like the Scallion and the Chive.

The newest Leeks have the Tanto style blade available, in a 3" blade, as well.

Some of the latest Ken Onions from Kershaw also have a switch that allows you to choose whether you want the Speed-Assist feature, or simply stay with manual opening.
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:18 AM   #14
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Sam, I checked that out, and it looks good!

The problem? The $150+ pricetag

On the Blur, that might be the direction I wind up going. Not quite exactly what I'm looking for, but something I could probably afford......

As much and as hard as I use pocket knives (very little) it's difficult for me to 'justify' having a really expensive one.
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Old 08-11-2007, 10:21 AM   #15
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  • That $150 is MSRP, but the Benchmade Stryker can be found for less. With no effort at all, I found it for $102 + shipping.
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #16
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Thanks Sam, maybe it's not that 'out of reach'. Well, it is for now - bought a couple hundred dollars worth of 'back to school' clothes for the boy today.

There goes ammo money for the month
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:10 AM   #17
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It's only money.

I have a couple of Benchmade knives, and they are certainly worth the price. Especially if you shop around. Yet, I still carry my Spyderco daily.

I've added a Gerber LST, with a 30% serrated edge to my pocket. It just seems to be less threatening to people than whipping open the Spyderco.

The Benchmades, and my custom folders, are beautiful machines. Too beautiful to carry every day, and chance losing. I paid $10.00 for the LST on EBay, and $42.00 for the Spyderco. Between the two of them I have less invested than a single Benchmade. If I lose them both, I can replace them for just over fifty bucks. Both have good steel in them, and work for me.

Lfox, who is the manager of the Deli in a Kroger here, loves her Scallions. She has the serrated versions, about 35% or so, and the blades remain sharp when cutting open cardboard containers. I usually touch up the blades every couple of weeks, and remove the glue from packing tape when I do.

The only "problem" that I've encountered is that the Torx fittings will work loose after a while. Tightening them only requires the proper Torx-driver. I would imagine that some Vibra-tite would alleviate that problem, as well. I've encountered this problem with multiple brands of knives. I sharpen for the neighbors, and have seen even new knives with loose Torx fittings.

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Old 09-27-2007, 05:48 PM   #18
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Camillus went out of business.

Schrade is now made in China.

The Kershaw assisted opening knives (Ken Onion) are balanced so that the blade opens fast and easy. The key to assisted design is balance and location of the pivot.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:40 AM   #19
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Camillus can still be found at Gun Shows, Cutlery Shows, and on the shelves of many stores. They are also available on-line.

Same with Schrade USA. Stay away from the latest X-Models, they're from China.

I also have a couple of Buck and CRKT assisted-openers that function without problems. The M16 series from CRKT aren't assisted openers, but may be easily flashed open using the lower pivot point. What I DON'T like about the newest M16s is the "automatic lock". It now takes Two hands to close the darn things!!
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:06 PM   #20
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Re: Assisted Opening Knives

The thumb stud is not an issue in texas I DON'T think Its the spring asssist that will get you a trip to jail I'm bettin even if they do sell them at wally world.
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