broken military

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Oct 15, 2003
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21
Yesterday I decided to take a trip into the woods. I did not find my Gransfors mini hatchet, but I brought the military which I got a couple days ago.

In order to split small pieces of firewood I used a stick as a baton and twakked the tip of the knife, which resulted in the lock failing! I felt like a hundred dollars worth of horse manure!
End of story I made kindling by twakking on the other side of the stick, over where the hole is in the blade. This resulted in the stop pin tearing up the handle scale!
So now there is a lot of fore-aft play, some side to side play, and the lock will open with a slight tap on the spine.
Talk about expensive finger-guillotine! Tell me again that you would give this to your kid going to the army? I suppose "it was not made for this use"?

I have not tested it much yet, but I do think I like the shape of this knife, although it feels odd with a forward-swept blade. Repairing it without increasing the strength significantly won't make any sense to me, if I wanted a letter-opener I could grow longer nails! :p

Spyderco representatives: My theory is that the linerlock is pushed out of the way because the surface between it and the tang is inclined, ie not ninety degrees to the knife's longitudal axis.
Why is it inclined? Is it in order to create less fore aft blade play, or is it to make the lock fail before the knife is damaged? Seems silly to me to have a weak link there, I'd rather have a broken knife than loose my fingers!

I just discovered that if I bend the knife sideways, the linerlock also moves out of the way, so that I can actually close the knife using my two hands only, without pushing on the lock.
Before this discovery I was thinking that some slight modifications (metal loadspreading liners, and filing the surfaces where the blade and lock contacts to ninety degrees) might make a safe knife out of it, but now I think an entirely new locking mechanism might be necessary!

The fore aft play that my knife has now I think stems from the stop pin being knocked out of location. [EDIT: on the side with the linerlock there is probably adequate reinforcement, but on the other scale the G10 is torn up and the pin is moved a bit. How about having steel insert both sides instead of only one?]

The side play, I suspect that the pivot pin heads has compressed the scales? [EDIT: when I tightened the pivot screw the side play stopped.]

I do like the low thermal conductivity and capacity, grip, and light weight of the G10 handle, but I think some better load spreading is in order in such a construction as this!

[EDIT: upon starting to disassemble the knife, I noticed the pivot pin female threaded part is a bit disformed, where it is filed flat (in order to stop rotation). How about using a bit larger pivot pin, and or not file as much off of it, and or not place the flat (thinnest) part in a direction where it is most exposed to compressive forces against the liner?)
 

loki88

Banned
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Apr 30, 2004
Messages
622
The inclination is designed to take up the wear on the linerlock. Because the tight tolerances needed for a liner lock, it is prone to wear and resulting bladeplay. Because the ramp is made with an inclination there can be a lot more wear before the liner lock fails or there is blade play. I was supprised by the fact that u use a folding knife as an improved wedge to split wood! The mechanical forces on the blade and lock by wedging it in a log could measure tons of pressure. If u drive a folding knife (or any object) with a stick into a log there is great momentum and internal force on the knife. A folding knife is designed to give u the benefit of a fixed blade with limitations on strenght. This and all other knives are designed to withstand forces applied by human force on the knife, not external mechanical forces. IMHO there can never be any excuse to split firewood with a folding knife unless in a life and death situation. Even a fixed blade is designed to only cut soft objects, not to pry, bend or split wooden, stone or metal objects. Im sorry to hear that your knife got damaged, but in my honest opinion u used the knife for the wrong purpose.
I am not saying this to diss u, but i think u should invest in a small wood ax. Even using a tomahawk, parang, machete or kukri to cut wood (not branches or leaf) is IMHO not done.

Greetz

Tom
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
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5,557
the milie wasn't designed to be a wedge / splitter...

dunno if ANY folder can withstand such forces...maybe SUPER heavy duty framelocks....then again, only ONE prodo company has warranty that covers such abuse....
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
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I think the latest Blade has an article on the proper use of a folder with a baton. I was kind of surprised to see the article. I would never have thought to use a folder that way.
 
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Jan 14, 2003
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another reason why i just dont liek linerlocks, and if i DO luse a linerlock, it will be a thick linere'd one.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
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I don't want a warranty replacement or anything, I want a durable knife! If I need a fixed blade then ok, but I wish to expound on the possibilities of the folders first. You do not know how hard I hit it or how heavy wood I was splitting. As it is now, it is quite usable, if one counts on the blade collapsing at the wrong time. IMO this knife could be a lot stronger with only minor improvements to the design. The stop pin could be miles stronger if it was reinforced on both sides instead of one.
The pivot pin could be heaps stronger if a smaller diam. screw was used, since practically all the load is on the now very thin nut. it would freeze in hell before the screw was stripped before the scale broke! These details, and the fact that three different tools are needed to service the knife, doesn't make sense to me! :footinmou
Not sure what to do about the lock though.

I am very happy that I did wreck it so that I know what it is (not) good for. I have made a small improvement to the lock, I bent the spring further so that it will not so easily go out of the way when the knife is bent sideways. There is also almost zero blade play since I moved the stop pin forward where it was before.
 

Sal Glesser

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Dec 27, 1998
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11,521
Hi Ailsnail. Sorry for your unhappy experience.

I guess my first question would be, did you purchase the knife new?

My second suggestion would be that you send it back to Spyderco, I'd like to see the knife. The military model has held up to some severe hard use. I'm surprized that it suffered as you state.

We torture test them regularly. It takes a lot of force to dislodge or break something on them.

sal
 
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Oct 15, 2003
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Hi Sal.

I ordered a replacement EDC, when I get it you can borrow my military if you are willing to pay for the return shipping. Let me know an adress to send it to, my email is nosupersnail at yahoo dot no

I bought it new. I do not expect you to make any repair to it, I think I have used it beyond what the design could stand. I do not think there is any manufacturing defect in it, but you would know better of course.
 

airyq

Gold Member
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Nov 10, 2003
Messages
762
After the older thread, it is very refreshing to see a user who admits that he has abused his knife and states openly that he does not expect a replacement.

You are OKAY, ailsnail.
 

loki88

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Apr 30, 2004
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622
U are right! maybe i was a little judgemental about jumping onto the whole woodsplitting thing. I wasn't there and didn't see what happened so i honestly can't judge if it was misuse or a flaw. Send it back to Sal and if it is a "monday morning" knife he will replace it. :) My apologigees if i offended u, i didn't notice the first line u typed about forgetting your ax.

Greetz
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2000
Messages
10,724
I love most Spyderco knives.

But I honestly will never buy another liner-lock knife from ANY knife maker.

There are just too many better locking systems available.

I would like to see Spyderco come up with something that really competes with Benchmade's Axis-lock.
Maybe the Ball-lock (I have'nt tried one yet), but the Compression-Lock is'nt the one to compete IMHO.

Allen.
 
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Mar 22, 2001
Messages
1,224
The liner lock execution on the newest version of the Spyderco Military is the finest I've ever seen on any knife anywhere. It is absolutely rock solid, completely "play" free, and effortless to intentionally open. I just love mine.

The black blade, combo edge Military that I currently own is the sixth Miltary I have had in my possesion and the unquestionable evolutionary king of it's breed!

Jeff/1911.
 
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Oct 15, 2003
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I can imagine the pros and cons of various locks have been discussed a lot on these fora, but since I have an example here that from what I can see shows two failure modes, I will describe them a bit clearer. Note that this is an "abused" knife as described in the first post.

mode one is where the lock is pushed off the slope on the tang. I can do this by slapping the spine against my palm. Another forumite suggested the slope is in order to take up slack and eliminate blade play when the lock/tang surfaces are worn. Maybe the "outermost" part of the slope (closest to the locking liner) could be 90 deg to the liner?

mode two is when you bend the knife sideways (on mine it can be done with bare hands) and the lock is pushed out of the way of the tang. The only fixes I can see for this is 1: bias the lock further towards the opposite liner, or 2: make the handle stiffer.
 

HoB

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May 12, 2004
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2,611
ailsnail said:
I am very happy that I did wreck it so that I know what it is (not) good for. \QUOTE]

That is a very admirable position to take! Good for you!
Maybe you can you can share a little bit of your new found wisdom here: Can you be a little bit more specific, what kind of stick you used to baton (size, weight, length). And what kind of arm swing (out of the wrist, elbow, shoulder). And how you did the batoning? I mean in principle if you hit the spin right over the spot were the edge makes contact, the lock should not carry any load, except if you hold the handle in a death grip.

This could give us a "real life" idea of were the failure point of a heavy duty knife is. Something that is more tangiable than a poundage rating.
 

Mitchell Knives

Knifemaker
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I think that using a lightweight folder (really any folder) to split wood using a baton is abuse. Knives are for cutting, not splitting or prying. I could see using a fixed blade for such a tasks, but even then, that's not the best tool for the job.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
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HoB, hard to describe what kind of force I used, so I don't know how to answer that.


sal, I got a paramilitary to use while the milie is visiting its makers, if you are still interested. please email me an adress. It too feels nice to handle and use.
 

safong

BOUNCED EMAIL: I need to update my email address in my profile!
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Nov 10, 2003
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Ailsnail, are you going to put the Para through the same woodsplitting exercise to see how the lock holds up? Mighty interested. :D
 
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