Assisted Openers? Dislike? Why?

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
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Mar 8, 2008
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Thanks for all the comments. I can see your points. But I agree with Afficionado. For some it is needed, hence why they make them. But just because you don't have a need, does not mean anyone else does not.

Now the reason I like them. I have short fingers. And with most OH openers I can not smoothly open them. Ones with a hole in the balde instead of a thumb stud I really struggle with. Sometimes I need to do a 2 stage open because my thumb is not long enough to push it totally open. I do not like opening the AO with the thumb stud. I like using the tang on the back. I use my index finger to push on that and "woop", it is open. Solves my problem. But I do understand your comments and I thank you for sharing them with me.

Have a great day and enjoy using whatever knife you love.

I have short fingers (small hands in general) but I never have problems opening even very large knives one handed. You might try using the technique I do:

Place the tip of your thumb on the stud or hole with your hand positioned so your thumb makes a 90-degree bend. This is important because if it's positioned further back you won't have enough thumb travel to open the blade properly. Now do a down and forward "kick" of the thumb straight out NOT in an arc. Since the stud or hole is positioned off to the side of the pivot pin, this forward push will still translate into an arcuate motion and allows you to use the force of your thumb more effectively. If you use that forward kick of the thumb starting from a 90-degree position you should be able to flick open nearly any knife as fast as an AO or auto.

That being said, you can understand why I'm not a fan--I just don't need it. It adds an additional mechanism to get dirty, wet, or broken, prevents me from quickly, safely, and easily closing a knife one handed (though I can still do it), and I can oftentimes open an AO with a flick of my thumb that sends the blade out faster than the spring (which is a weird feeling). But I understand how many other people (my dad for instance) enjoy them and I would never want to see them disappear from the market. :)
 
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Oct 16, 2009
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Thanks for all the comments. I can see your points. But I agree with Afficionado. For some it is needed, hence why they make them. But just because you don't have a need, does not mean anyone else does not.

Now the reason I like them. I have short fingers. And with most OH openers I can not smoothly open them. Ones with a hole in the balde instead of a thumb stud I really struggle with. Sometimes I need to do a 2 stage open because my thumb is not long enough to push it totally open. I do not like opening the AO with the thumb stud. I like using the tang on the back. I use my index finger to push on that and "woop", it is open. Solves my problem. But I do understand your comments and I thank you for sharing them with me.

Have a great day and enjoy using whatever knife you love.

For users with impairments of hand mobility, AO can be the best (sometimes the only) way to obtain easy, smooth opening.

As always, it is not about the knife, it is about the user and how, when, where, and why he or she will use the knife. Don't pick the knife and then try to adapt to it. Think about yourself, the user, and then pick the knife best adapted to you.

Pretty much sums it up for me also.

I see no need for it.

The users above you see a need for it and also mention it's not for everyone. (not picking on you sir, but what you posted was mentioned a few times in this thread)
I own a few Kershaw models that I like very much, I also like my Spyderco Police and Buck 110's.
They are all completely different knives but all have qualities/traits that fit certain users.
 
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Nov 2, 2009
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For the most part I don't care for AO but on my kershaw chive it is so small that my hand cramps if I try to use the thumb stud, so on that knife the AO makes it much more pleasing to use.
 
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Aug 21, 2005
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I've had several and thought they were very handy. Never had any issues with any of them. I just never found one that I loved the blade and handle on. My Kershaw bump was easy to use with gloves on, I just didn't care for the recurve blade.
 
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Mar 29, 2007
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Chiming in on the AO and lockback incompatibility; the SOG Twitch series is AO and lockback. Utility is in the eye of the beholder. Just because your hands work perfectly doesn't mean the hands of a 65 year old retired machinist do. This horse has been beat back to life, it ought to be a sticky.
 
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Jan 15, 2009
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I just don't always appreciate how they close, that doesn't mean i don't carry them for dislike them i just prefer manual.
 

vba

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Jan 12, 2009
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Never thought I'd like AO until I got a Tyrade, then a couple of Blurs. I'm older and always had slip joints and Buck 110 types.

I really like both the Tyrade and Blur, maybe cause its cool, but I certainly don't go out of my way to impress anyone. Most of my friends/family could give two hoots about knives. I especially like the Blur and don't find it hard at all to close. And for slowly opening it, when around people, its very easy to place your opposite palm on the blade spine and ease the blade out.

Vinny
 
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Nov 11, 2004
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I don't find AO knives to be significantly more functional than any other one handed opening knife.

Sweeping my thumb isn't especially time consuming or high-effort, and like everyone says, closing a non-AO is easier and more intuitive.
 
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May 20, 2009
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I have several (Kershaw & Benchmade) that I really like. I also have standard one-hand, non assist knives too.

I think AO is a neat option, but not something I would want on every knife.

I didn't know there was so many people that didn't like them until I started reading this forum. I guess ignorance is bliss!
 
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Nov 28, 2009
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I have a Kershaw blur and a Buck rush both awsome knives, it makes it easier to open knife when your holding somthing or if you need to cut somthing loose in a hurry and it's cool looking when you hit the thumb assist and it springs open. :thumbup:
 
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Jul 24, 2007
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The biggest reason for buying an AO IMO is that you think automatic knives are really cool, but you can't get one legally.

I don't care much about AOs and I don't care much about auto folders neither. I don't believe they open relevantly faster than a manual thumb opener. Auto folders open a lot faster than a slip joint or a friction folder, which must have made a big difference back in the day when they were invented, but that's not so relevant when you have good one hand openers, like the spydie hole. I think the actual opening time of a one hand opening folder is a relatively small factor concerning the time in which you can get a folder ready for use. Bigger factors are:

1.) the time it takes you to get a proper hold of it in your pocket, before drawing it

and

2.) the time it takes for you to change the grip to saber grip, so that you can start cutting. (you can't pull it directly into saber grip, because then your fingers are in the way of the blade and you can't open the knife :))

OTF auto knives have a slight advantage here, since there you don't have to worry about how you hold the knife as you draw it and can draw it directly into ready grip. Other than for the coolness factor, I don't see much reason for getting a spring loaded knife, unless it's an OTF.
 
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Sep 5, 2006
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I like owning at least one with AO. This is the one I have at present. Don't have to have it for no other reason than it's available and pretty nice on certain models.
I wouldn't like not being able to buy a knife with it. So when there was talk of limiting them (or outlawing), I bought this and after Richard J got a decent edge on it (my sticks angle was off to sharpen it) I love it for carry and the AO is pretty slick, IMO.
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Jun 4, 2009
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I wouldn't like not being able to buy a knife with it. So when there was talk of limiting them (or outlawing), I bought this...

I'll agree with Jill on this. While I don't personally care much for ao knives I'm opposed to any legislation that would limit their availability or use.
 
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Feb 21, 2005
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The point of a OHO folder is the be one handed, AO accomplishes that. It doesn't work for you but works for many others, I see no evil in it.

You likes what you likes. Just because one person don't like AO doesn't mean someone else shouldn't carry it. One problem with these internet discussion groups is people will get up in arms for or against a certain thing (technology, steel, lock, whatever) and whoever is against the norm is wrong. No one should ever sway you against what you want to carry, and in the end, no one will. Carry what you want.

That said, I hate AO.

As others have mentioned it's a great idea for deployment. But some AOs are awkward and even bordering on dangerous to close. I got bitten pretty good by a Camillus Heat that I tried closing with wet hands (blade slipped and the back edge of the tip caught me). When you actually use your knife for its intended purpose, you won't always have the ideal conditions that you do sitting in front of the TV. You may be wet, you may be dry, hot, cold, dirty... What works flawlessly every time watching cartoons and playing with a knife may not work so well when you're actually using it.

Some certainly work better than others. But a knife advertised as a one hand opener should close just as easily as it opens.

I'll take an Axis lock or a compression lock any day... those who like AO can keep it.

That Camillus Heat that bit me when I closed it, also had an annoying habit of pinching my index finger between the blade stop and where the stop pins contacted the handle. That usually won't happen with a non-AO (but the Heat is a pretty strong, quick AO).

Again, carry what you like.
 
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Oct 16, 2007
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I do not dislike AOs but I do not prefer them because I am used to a manual folder. They have their place just not in my pocket.
 
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Oct 29, 2009
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Having arthritic hands that are getting worse every year I really like the idea of the AO's but haven't gone down that road yet. If not for the arthritis I wouldn't particularly want one though as it is just more parts to wear down and fail. The potential legal gray areas are also of some concern and have kept me from trying one as yet because I would be hesitant to carry it here in Colorado which has a rather vague definition of what a switchblade is.
 
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Nov 2, 2002
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Having arthritic hands that are getting worse every year I really like the idea of the AO's but haven't gone down that road yet.

closing an AO with arthritic hands might be more painful/awkward than whatever benefit the AO provides you...just a thought
 
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Jun 26, 2009
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When you think about it, AO knives don't really have more parts to fail than, say, a lockback. Both have a spring that could break/fail; at least with the AO knife, it won't affect lockup. Nobody worries that a lockback will fail on them.

Springs tend to break from repeated cycling. I think that the reason we see more torsion bar failures is that AOs encourage fiddling/playing with the knife. I know that my failed torsion bar (a SpeedBump) occurred while watching TV and repeatedly opening/closing my knife. I've stopped that practice, and since then, I've had no problems.
 
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Nov 28, 2009
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I like smooth opening manuals with a flipper.I also think ao knives are pointless unless you have some kind of handicap arthritis etc.
 
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Oct 26, 2007
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Functionally I have no problem with them at all.

I avoid carrying one because they are barely legal due to a technicality. I
don't live under the illusion that my local LEOs know the difference between an AO and an Auto.
 
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