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Thread: Schrade Simon SS1 Review

  1. #1
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    Post Schrade Simon SS1 Review


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    Several recent mentions of the Simon SS1 and seeing them still plentiful and cheap on the market prompted me to get mine out today for playtime. Then searching the forum, I found no real review of the knife, so here is one review for you.

    Introduced in 2002, the $19.95 Schrade Simon SS1 was a small open frame “key chain” knife. According to the introductory ads:
    The simple 3" Simon knife locks for safe use and is crafted from stainless steel and lightweight anodized aluminum. The 2 1/4" stainless steel blade is pierced for easy one hand opening. Simon’s most unique feature is it’s plunger type device that allows fast and easy attach or detach from a key chain, belt loop or vest.

    * Simple one hand use
    * Easy to use, easy on the pocketbook
    * Quick release mechanism
    * Perfect for key ring, vest

    Schrade expanded the offerings of the simple Simon SS1 line in 2003 by adding more blade and handle finishes, “dynamic color treatments”:

    SS1 - Natural blade and handle $19.95
    SS1AB - All Black blade and handle $28.95
    SS15 - Black blade and Realtree camo handle $28.95
    SS16 - Black and Blue Marble finish blade, handle $28.95
    SS17 - Natural blade and Damascus style handle $28.95

    Models and prices remained the same for 2004.

    According to Schrade product manager Tim Faust in 2002,
    “Simon is probably Schrades hottest new knife. Simon comes from “Simple
    Simon” -its a very simple knife to use, and helps simplify people's everyday lives because its carabiner type device allows quick and easy attachment and detachmnt from key chain, back pack , fishing vest, etc. Its the perfect knife for travel, for use around the house, for cutting boxes or tape at the office,etc.”

    Weighing an ounce or less, and less than a quarter inch thick, the SS1 is an easily carried knife. The carabiner clip, originally a looped wire, was changed to a flat spring steel bar after introduction. As with most open framed knives, the Simon’s blade is mounted to one side of the frame, and nests in a black plastic cover attached to the side of the frame. Smooth opening and closing is facilitated by a tiny ball bearing inset into the forward frame portion that forms the lockbar. When the blade full closes, the ball drops into a matching detent on the blade making accidental opening unlikely. Lubricity is provided at the pivot torx screw by a nylon washer. The satin finished Schrade+ stainless chisel ground Wharncliff blade has a kidney shaped piercing to facilitate opening the knife. This piercing is placed so that when the knife is closed, the frame stamp (there is no tang stamp) can be clearly seen through the hole.

    The knife is awkward at first to use, having no finger groove on the lower frame to prevent a forefinger from slipping off the short handle onto the blade, but with a bit of playing and experimentation, I found that using a thumb-forefinger pinch on the pivot screw provided the surest grip and allowed adequate control of the blade. Texturing the screws would have been an improvement, as would adding a slight lower finger groove, but it is , after all, a simple knife.

    The clip spring bar seems weak, and I expect that it would fail after a bit of flexing. I want to find the earlier wire bar knife and compare it. The blade had no up and down play, and once I tightened the pivot screw with a torx wrench, there was no side to side play at all. Fit and finish of the six parts is quite good.

    I give this little knife high marks for it’s price. And I invite others to add their two cents, corrections, additions and comments.

    Codger

  2. #2
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    Nice review Codger!
    I have been carrying one on my key chain since last year, (present from my wife).

    At Christmas time I found it was better than scissors for cutting that thin Christmas wrapping paper. With the factory edge I could hold up he roll of paper and slice off a chunk of paper to wrap a gift, (OK, while I am not the best present wrapper.....I do get them covered in paper).

    It is a great little knife, even though it isn't the prettiest knife I own. I like the little thing.

    Dale
    Last edited by orvet; 02-15-2006 at 09:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    I have a checkered history with this little knife; As shown below, I carry one on a ring that always accompanies me when hunting. The keys to my tree stands, a couple of shotguy choke wrenches, and a broadhead wrench. It's useful enough that it rates carrying.

    But... The original had a bent steel 'wire' type spring clip. Before Schrade went out of business I had a bunch of these, about 3 dozen. I got 'em dirt cheap and sold them on ebay for about a 600 percent profit. Until one day I got the nastiest email from a buyer. Seems he ended up with one with the later production thin metal 'leaf' type spring.. that just wasn't worth a crap. I opened all the remaining boxes and found about half were the late style. I sent him a good one, and told him to keep the 'leaf' spring one. Then I wrote to everyone who had bought an SS1 from me, to make sure they were happy. I had to send out a few of the old styles to them. No doubt this change was made to save money for Schrade, not to make my ebaying difficult. It was a bad, bad move, at least as far as making the knife useful. The 'leaf springs' just do not hold up. Codger, I have reason to believe the one you have is the 'bent wire' type, correct?

    In the photo below, the silver one is the 'bent wire', the black ones, on the ring and held in comparison, is the 'leaf' style.

    I have to admit.. I carry a little knife of this type on my everyday keychain. It is a smaller one, made by CRKT, and has a pocket clip. Very nice for carrying keys, just slip it on the belt when not driving, thus ending pocket clutter and not ruining the fine lines of my exquisite everyday fashion. (haha).
    Phil

    Last edited by textoothpk; 02-15-2006 at 05:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    This 'DU' version might show the bent wire spring clip better.



    I have check the taylor-sch**** website, and yes, the knife has been substaintually re-designed. It now has a removeable 'carabiner' clip and looks like an attached pocket clip, along with a plastic 'leaf' thingy.

  5. #5
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    cheekin or egg

    Mine is the flat bar type. I am not sure what the metal is, but the bar does not seem to be tempered at all. I received the knife as a freebie with another knife I bought, so I can't really complain. Except maybe to an empty building and a designer who isn't there. Whoever had this E.C.O. (engineering change order) idea missed the mark. In archery when you miss the mark, the call is "sin".

    Since there is a patent pending mark on the reverse of the frame, I thought this was the earlier version until I looked closely at my reference photos. I may wind up with one of each of the others in the series just for display, and a wire one for a user. If I can find them at a deal-for-real. And no, I would not have given the nearly $30 MSRP for them either. $20 with warranty from Schrade was a deal.

    Codger

  6. #6
    The clip was changed due to a possible patent infringment issue. The replacement was a disaster, bad heat treating and / or material caused problems with the clip taking a set or snapping. Some cracked when inserted into the frame.

  7. #7
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    Thankyou ISC-RIP!

    Interesting information! Do you happen to know when the change was made? I am going to guess that it must have been very near the beginning of 2004, since I see examples of the SS17 as well as SS1 with the wire clip. And all of the variations are illustrated with the wire clip in the SC02-CP209 flier. Just wondering which type would be now most common.

    Codger

    Last edited by Codger_64; 02-15-2006 at 07:28 PM.

  8. #8
    It was early 2004

  9. #9
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    Thankyou again. So the wire type, produced for two years is the less plentiful now on the secondary market, but the bar type produced for less than half a year will prove to be more rare in the future, even with the design flaw which will add to the natural attrition rate. Good information to have.

    Codger
    Last edited by Codger_64; 02-15-2006 at 09:53 PM.

  10. #10
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    ISC-RIP, you really know your Schrades. We Appreciate all your posts and participation in the forum.

    Phil

  11. #11
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    Raton, NM USA
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    Thanks for the review and great information. I bought one with the bar as a closeout for $10, a fair price IMO.

    -Bob

  12. #12
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    Thanks ISC-RIP for sharing your knowledge. Please stick around and be a regular here!

    Dale

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