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I think my ball detent fell out...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by mikemck, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. mikemck


    Sep 22, 2000
    I am not sure, but I think the ball detent for my TOPS #303 fell out. All of a sudden it just got very easy to open, where before it took a bit of effort. The blade won't fall open or any such nonsense, but neither will it hold closed ultra securely like it did before.
    I'm not altogether sure I don't actually prefer it without the ball detent, but I'm still thinking on that one.

    My question is, what holds the ball detent in place, in the liner?
  2. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    You know you're getting old when your balls start falling off. :eek:

    My condolences
  3. Josh Feltman

    Josh Feltman

    Feb 12, 2001
    I'm not familiar with the particular knife you mention, but on most liner locks I have seen, the ball is pretty obvious. It should look like a small B.B. stuck in the side of the liner. You should be able to tell whether it is missing or not simply by looking at the knife. I don't know the answer to your question about how the ball is attached to the liner, but I would imagine it is welded somehow. If the ball is still there, you might just need to tighten the pivot screw to adjust the tension on the blade.
  4. Peter Atwood

    Peter Atwood

    Oct 26, 2000
    Sometimes they can fall out. If it's definitely not there you should take the knife apart and put another one in. They are just press fit into a tiny hole and you can easily tap another in with a ball pein hammer. Sometimes a tiny drop of super glue is used as an additional insurance policy. There's usually only two sizes of balls used, 1/16 and the other I'm not sure but it's a little bigger. If you don't trust your own abilities to fix it then send it back to TOPS. They seem like an honorable bunch and I'm sure they'll fix it right up.
  5. knifenerd


    Dec 27, 2000
    I'd be careful. I don't think replacing the ball is a do-it-yourself job. The manufacturer I'm sure will handle as a warranty claim.
  6. mikemck


    Sep 22, 2000

    I'm falling apart a piece at a time, that's for sure, but I'm still functional yet also dysfunctional :)

    Well, I'm pretty sure it's gone, but I'm thinking more & more that I like it better without one. I am wearing the #303 in the rear pocket, with the blade snugged up against the pocket seam, so the knife opening is not a problem..Also, the clip is reversible on the #303, so I could switch it to tip down if I felt the need.

    Knocking my ball detent out on purpose is not something I would do, but since it's gone now, I think I may just leave it like it is, especially if TOPS requires sending it back for repair.

    I was mainly curious about how the ball detent is secured in the liner, and if anyone else had ever lost a ball detent, because I had never seen a post about a lost one before.

    I am sure this is an anomaly and is most certainly not the norm for TOPS knives.
  7. db


    Oct 3, 1998
    Maybe I am wrong but I would think the detent is still there. However like the others have said it more likly the ball that is missing or pushed in its set farther. however now that I think of it maybe there is some gunk in the detent as well. Try a good cleaning.
  8. JTurner


    Jun 21, 2001
    db--I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes a piece of lint or something will get in there and not alow it to hold as well.

  9. mikemck


    Sep 22, 2000
    Since I left this thread unresolved so to speak, I felt a need to follow up, just to clear up any misunderstandings some silly putz might have about what happened...Silly putz most certainly NOT being anyone specific, and certainly not any of the forumites that posted with help/advice in this thread, and therefore the classification of putz shall be left up to each invidual's discretion.

    Yesterday I took the #303 apart to find out exactly what happened with my ball detent. Not because it was a problem for me, but just because I wanted to know exactly what happened, and to determine if an email to TOPS was warranted.

    Close inspection revealed that the ball detent had in fact split in half. Because the remainder was irregularly surfaced, it would seem that the ball detent actually broke in half, as opposed to being sheared. Either of which would be considered a defect, but the difference is important.

    If anyone else has had this happen, I would appreciate hearing from them, and I am sure TOPS would also appreciate an email or phone call also. If however this is an isolated case, I guess I would not call it an ongoing QC issue, yet.

    Again, the abscence of a ball detent is not a problem for me, and overall I am quite glad it happened as I see it as an improvement, for my purposes. I have not found a knife yet that is 'perfect', and therefore, modifications are almost always required in the pursuit of the perfect knife. Just because this was not a planned modification does not lessen it's value, at least for me. It does serve as a lesson though, in that I now know that the abscence of a ball detent can be a major improvement, and is a modification that is easily done.

    Don't be afraid to modify and work on your personal knives in the pursuit of the perfect knife, and you just might find that you reap great rewards and satisfaction.
    Having said that, there are of course exceptions to every rule, and some people obviously lack the mental capacity for even the simplest of tasks and should therefore leave well enough alone, for safety's sake...individual discretion is again recommened :)
  10. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001

    Why do I get the feeling that the "lack of mental capacity" comment was directed toward me?


    Probably because it's true. :(
  11. Duck


    Oct 9, 2000
    One of the few times when going to deep was a bad thing eh Buzzbait..;)
  12. pjenkins00


    Apr 3, 2001
    heh :p
  13. mikemck


    Sep 22, 2000


    No, not you at all..althought that is a funny pic :D
  14. glockman99

    glockman99 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Mod

    Jun 12, 2000

    That scale on that Benchmade just doesn't look right...I take it that you adapted it to your needs?...LOL!!.:D.
  15. The_BillyTran


    Jul 26, 2001
    that is quite detentsive!
  16. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    I don't know about adapting it to my needs. I thought that's what I was doing. It seems though that all I was doing was incurring a $25.00 expenditure to Benchmade… and looking like a horse’s poop shooter in the process.

    With a little luck, I’ll live and LEARN. :mad:
  17. Peter Atwood

    Peter Atwood

    Oct 26, 2000
    Boy does that ever look familiar Buzzbait! :D I did the same thing myself last year to my 705 although not quite as bad and got all torqued because Benchmade refused to just send me the replacement scale. Of course I had offered to pay for it but they insisted that I had to send the knife back to them and it would cost $25. SO I said screw them and gave the knife away to my Mom who uses it every day and is thrilled with it.

    When this happened I was pretty frosted so I posted here and lots of forumites gave me a hard time about it and defended BM. I think that's laughable. We're only talking a couple of torx screws and BM even sells the kit. Why are they selling a kit of torx bits if they don't want people to take apart their knives?

    BM really should address the problem of the inaccessible thumbstud on the 705 and 710. If two of us and probably lots of others have done the same modification then that should tell them something. It's a shame because the 705 is an almost perfect little knife otherwise.

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