Bearings VS Washers

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Mo2, May 31, 2017.

  1. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016




    Pivot Contaminant Test
    1. Rexford Gamma (bearings)
    2. CRK Sebenza 25 (washers)
    3. Shirogorov Hati (washers)

    Posted with permission from the source:

    Comments from IG post...

    This has been something long discussed but never tested. So here you go.
    ViperPilot, Sigsog226, miso2 and 2 others like this.
  2. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I think it has a lot to do with the bearing construction. An open construction such as IKBS would most likely perform worst. Something like Brian Tighe's sealed thrust bearing system would most likely perform very well.
    ViperPilot likes this.
  3. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    interesting, thanks for sharing.

    only reason i like washers more than bearings is on frame and liner locks when i use my left hand to do cutting and a knife without a flipper. also closing the knife makes me weary a tiny bit due to the free moving nature of bearings where as i feel i have more safety margin with washers. this of course assumes the pivot is tight on the washers and it isn't free moving or falling like a spyderco pm2 as a random example.
  4. scottyj


    Jan 29, 2009
    Interesting. I just started to edc a ZT 0909, and was curious about the bearings. Looks pretty good. Thanks for this dude. :thumbsup:
    Mo2 likes this.
  5. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    agreed, bearing construction has a lot to do with it. I have some bearing knives that freeze up after light dirty jobs, then I have some I can get down to the nitty gritty and they keep on working. Anytime my bearing knives get bad, I just use my air gun on the air compressor, and that does the job. But, you can always do a take apart cleaning anytime it gets really bad.
    Personally, I like both quite a bit, I don't dislike either.
    Good test.
  6. WiredDutchman


    Feb 27, 2017
    Very interesting, thanks for the post.


    Apr 4, 2007
    In before the but, but, but.............

    Seriously though im not surprised. I think the only thing that does surprise me are those who insist bearings are a problem despite a decade now of them being available in production knives with no reports of actual failures due to the bearings.

    That guilotine effect can be had on a knife with washers too. That dropping effect is more dependent on the detent setup than the actual pivot. A sebbie loaded with grease? Not so much. But say a jyd from kershaw? Even on washers that blade drops freely.
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  8. palonej

    palonej Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    I love the treads that pop up every now and then stating that BB pivots are a fad and they can't wait till the fad dies out. This fad just keeps on keeping on!
    Don't like them, don't buy them. Missing out on some great knives with fantastic action!!
    Washers can guillotine just like bearings.....adjustment is the key.

  9. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    ....but that "experiment" (if it is claiming to be one) wouldn't pass muster in a 6th grade science fair.

    That said, it's interesting anecdotal evidence.
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  10. Rival1314

    Rival1314 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 17, 2012
    not surprised at all by the results....bearings are much easier to clean than washers, they are like little rolling standoffs with space between them.

    Bonus points for testing on premium blades:)
    Sigsog226 and Mo2 like this.
  11. ViperPilot


    Jun 3, 2016
    Well... your comment wouldn't pass muster in 6th grade courtesy....
    That said, any constructive thoughts on the subject?
  12. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    I found Marci's post very constructive. There isn't anything proven here; just a couple of pictures.
    T. Erdelyi and trevitrace like this.
  13. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    I've decided i'll step back from all the bearings VS washers debates. I prefer washers, but just for my own reasons and OCD when it comes to knife construction. I've openly stated what i believe to be negative points on bearings based on real world evidence on knives i've personally owned, but the negatives aren't so bad that they stop the knife from being a good knife. A knife with bearings has it's pros and cons just like washers. That being said, thanks for the post, but it's really not scientific, just a bunch of pictures and numbers that could be subject to the testers opinions, methods or bias. But they seem pretty neutral, so i'll just take it for what it is, they both work, buy what you enjoy. Cheers
    palonej likes this.
  14. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    That's what surprise me the most. No way in hell would I throw my Spyderco's into sand and molasses, let alone that trio of knives. More power to the tester, but I think I'd be crying through the whole thing, haha.
  15. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    So where's the test? Where's the pics showin' how much contaminant got under the washers or between the bearings, pictures showing gouging, galling and scratching or lack off. If you're gonna cite a test at least cite one with demonstrable results. The results are about as valid as unicorns and leprechauns. Based on the info provided how can anyone come to a sensible conclusion?


    Apr 4, 2007

    I think it goes without saying though that no matter how scientifically sound the test it wouldn't stop a certain few from still claiming that it proves nothing. For some no amount of evidence will suffice.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  17. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011

    think youre not reading my post right and missing everything i said.
    spykez likes this.
  18. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    It is an interesting experiment to me, even though it is not well controlled nor quantitative.
    I am just happy to know all those three high-end knives worked fine after being exposed to the contaminants used.

  19. ViperPilot


    Jun 3, 2016
    Yes! Of course we have to believe that they actually do work fine and didn't get ruined! Amazingly I believe! Some guys will no doubt want proof... no doubt jimmy hendrix will find the request for oroof constructive
  20. ViperPilot


    Jun 3, 2016
    I found Marci's post very unconstructive,
    Very few things on this forum can be 'proven' ... just guys sharing experiences, thoughts, opinions...not meant to be a scientific forum. 90% of this stuff is 'anecdotal'... that's wgat a duscussion is.
    Mo2 and Cutlover like this.

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