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Emerson wave, real world utility

Discussion in 'Emerson Knives' started by nine4t4, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. nine4t4


    Apr 23, 2013
    Full disclosure: I'm not an Emerson guy, but the wave function is intriguing. I need advice from guys that actually use the wave "nub"

    Long story short. I have a BM griptilian with the thumb hole. The knife has been customized (G-10 scales, polished...etc). Because I can pull back on the lock mechanism it's a centrifugal opener. Easy peasy

    Honestly, is it worth modifying the blade to do the pocket catch-open? I have a lanyard that allows me to place the knife in my hand and swing open,A gravity drop for blade out, a swing for blade in.

    Is it worthwhile to grind out an "emerson wave". I never use the thumb hole.

    Is is a pain in the ass to have a "wave" if you only want to pull it out of your pocket. I.e. not draw but have in hand.

    I'm honestly looking for the Emerson wave guys that say it's a pain in the ass, UNTIL......
  2. FA Tre

    FA Tre Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 20, 2015
    You could try the zip tie trick to try it out without potentially ruining your knife.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  3. rayster357


    Jun 13, 2014
    Wave capable knives are best kept to knives that use a detent ball to keep the knife closed. I have had many Benchmades and the axis lock will allow the blade to be pulled easily so it's not a good idea to have the wave but folks have been fine with the Spyderco lockback knives with the wave so... it's hard to say if it will be safe. The ziptie around the thumbhole is a great way to try without modifying anything.
  4. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    In 7 months of daily carry and regular use, I've never accidentally caught the wave on mine when drawing the knife from my pocket. The minor hand adjustment required to draw without snagging it is so trivial that the learning curve is basically flat.
  5. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    i like the look of the wave more than using it. the opposite of most. emersons wave designs make it easy to pull knife without using the wave if you dont want to. you typically have to do a proper movement and motion pattern to get it to work.

    i dont feel its needed and not worth modifying a blade to do it, but thats me. i can pull and open it almost as fast as using the wave. close enough i get no real advantage using the wave, unless i was in a quick open knife competition...then that 10th of a second or so would make the wave a winner.
  6. highestpoint


    Aug 13, 2014
    My honest opinion.. Don't modify your Benchmade.

    Just buy an Emerson.

    It doesn't take too long to get used to learn how to wave or to not wave. Once you can get the function down, it definitely makes it more worthy
  7. Mark Schmitt

    Mark Schmitt

    Oct 5, 1998
    The "wave shaped feature" is fantastic. Works great for EDC uses and, if you want to open via thumb stud or flip, is easily not activated. I have carried waved Emersons almost every day since the Commander came out and the system just works. OTOH, I have never found a competing wave substitute (Dremel-ed Spyderco hole, cable tie, doubled cable tie, modified thumb stud) that worked even half as well.

    My suggestion would be to find a waved Emerson model that appeals to you and try it out - I bet it will live in your pocket from that day forward.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  8. jmclfrsh

    jmclfrsh Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 1, 2012
    ^ this.
  9. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    Yup, this.
  10. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    I have seen this question asked many times. If you want to take a waved knife out of your pocket with no chance of the knife waving open then just put a finger over the spine of the knife blade while you withdraw it from pocket.

    Now the knife won't be able to wave open.

    To be honest once you get used to the wave you'll he easily able to pull it out without the wave catching your pocket. As for if it is worth it to get a wave? Yes it is, especially for knives that might be used for self defense. Alot of construction workers like it too because it allows the knife to be drawn ready to use.

    Also I find that the waves on Spydercos actually work better. Especially on the P'kal, that is the most effective wave I have ever used.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  11. ThePeacent


    Sep 15, 2013
    Useful when I do gardening chores and wear gloves that get a lot of dirt/soil/chemicals and don't want them close to my pockets, I just grab the butt of the knife or lanyard and pull, the wave does the rest.
    Also helps when you're holding the plant/twig/branches with one hand and that way you can easily open and cut with the other in a quick, simple motion.

    I prefer the Cold Steel thumb plate to the disk, BTW.

  12. straitr


    May 29, 2011
    I would not modify your Benchmade. First, you could ruin it in more ways than one. Second, if you want to try a waved knife, a Kershaw/Emerson model can be had for $20. If you like the wave, throw the cheap Kershaw in the glove box and buy an Emerson. If you don't like it, throw the cheap Kershaw in your glovebox and go back to your Benchmade.

    FYI, not all waved Emerson's work the same. The models with more arched blade shapes (ie Commander/SARK/Karambit) wave the best. The CQC-8 takes much more effort to wave reliably in my experience. Flatter spines like the CQC-15 are somewhere in the middle. This is another reason why modifying your Benchmade is a bad idea, because if you don't do it properly, it won't wave anyway.


    Oct 31, 1998
    I've been into knives for over 30 years. I've owned hundreds of production and custom folders of various types. For quick reliable deployment, I'm a big fan of Emerson and Emerson collaborations with the wave feature. Owned many Emerson knives over the years. Currently a Emerson ZT 0630 and I'm extremely fond and satisfied with this model. Like others recommended, I wouldn't modify the knife you have now. I'd purchase a waved Emerson or collaboration.
  14. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    Seriously cheap to try out a Kershaw/Emerson to see if you like the feature. Once you form an opinion, you can go from there.
  15. nine4t4


    Apr 23, 2013
    I've tried the zipties to test it out and I can see myself grinding a wave into the Benchmade. The pocket open is a cool thing to have but the zipties are a pain in the ass (I use my knife daily

    Switching over to another knife I'd be giving up the Axislock which with a light wrist flick is almost Macrotech Iguanodon tech OTF convient (this is Canada, they are obtainable but prohibited to carry).

    I'd also be taking a hit in steel unless I buy a 154cm Emerson. 154cm and VG-10 are my lower limit edc knives.

    This is my EDC

    I'm kinda attached to it. I've already polished off the Benchmade stamps, ground the gimping into more of a guncheck feel, changed the scales and lost the plastic ones. Even the edge angle is now where I naturally sharpen anyway. "This is my knife/ There are many like it, but this one is mine. My knife is my best friend". I've never had another folder that I've become so attached to.

    It would have to be an excellent knife to replace this one.
    Sigguy likes this.
  16. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I won't take anything away from Ernie Emerson, but I've always thought that Zero Tolerance made the best Emerson knives and Spyderco made the best waved knives.

    The Emerson wave IIRC was actually initially meant to be a blade guard for the utterly unlikely situation of catching an opponent's knife and only accidentally discovered as a folding knife opening mechanism. A larger, purpose-designed hook a la Spyderco works much better IMHO.
  17. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    +1 on trying the Kershaw Emersons first to see if you like it.

    I suspect that you will and then the sickness will take over.

    Hi, I'm john and I'm an Emersonaholic.
    spykez likes this.
  18. rayster357


    Jun 13, 2014
    One thing you guys missed is the fact that if there is a thumbstud or thumbdisc that pushes the fabric of your pocket away from the wave shaped opening feature reducing effectiveness. The thumbhole style knives have better Wave usage as there isn't anything forcing the fabric away from the hook. If you are afraid of accidental wave deployment, stay away from thumbhole blades as those catch more easily.
  19. Gideons

    Gideons Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    It is very fast, but I never found it that practical. I prefer possibly more "control" when open a knife or taking it out of your pocket, which when using the wave feature it is not the most precise action. Also, rips your pocket... pretty badly. The wave action is very hard on the seems of the pocket and will tear them.
  20. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016

    It is never a pain in the ass. Any time you want to draw a waved knife and not have it waved open you can just put your finger over the spine of the closed blade as you draw it and it won't wave open. Once you get used to the wave you will easily be able to draw it and not have it wave even without doing that.
    spykez likes this.

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