How overbuilt is too overbuilt?

Wolverine666

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My tastes are ever-changing. And I do like a beefy knife with thick stock. But not absurdly so. Currently I carry a Spyderco Vallotton Sub-Hilt. It's definitely a beefy knife. But it's elegant as well. Not as brickish as a Praetorian or Redencion.
 
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For the most part, the main benefits to the user are psychological. An overbuilt knife feels more substantial in the hand. This translates to the sense that a knife is somehow more capable of performing a cutting task. But there is an advantage to a robust design and construction -- for outdoor and work knives etc..you want something that can take some abuse over time without parts breaking from drops or mishaps. Then there is the issue of blade lockup and security. Some lock designs are prone to failure. Others are not. This is unrelated and something different. Its likely a lock will break before an overbuilt blade so its kind of moot in that regards.

But we are talking folding knives here. There is an advantage to large and heavy fixed blades in many areas, especially bushcraft and trail work etc...I dont want something thin and light. Bigger and hefty is better in many scenarios.
 
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Today's higher end folders are all pretty robust: Sebenza, CS, Benchmade, Buck, Spyderco, Emerson. Even heavy duty cutting chores won't damage them. However, if you're going to do any prying or chopping, there are more appropriate tools for those tasks.
 

SpySmasher

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I'm waiting for the pendulum to swing completely the other way. (It's already begun it's movement.) I'm prepared to demand blades so thin they are transparent. Edges that exhibit quantum fuzziness.

I do think some overbuilt folders do it correctly. Hinderer is a good example - I think he has thought out where folders can fail, and compensated accordingly.
Demko too.
 

John_0917

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The 0300 and 0560 were a bit over the top...it's pretty funny now days to see the box the 0450 comes in that still says "a real beast" on it...no, it's not
 
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A reasonable definition of "overbuilt" would depend entirely on what type of matter the tool is intended or expected to cut.

icebreaker.gif
 

Hickory n steel

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Anything with a blade thicker than say 1/4" is overbuilt.

1/4" is even overbuilt if the blade isn't ffg.

This is just my opinion, because I like my knives to have good slicing ability.
 
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I never pry with my knife more than very gently, I carry a multitool or find a cheap screwdriver if I can't find an actual pry bar, so prying is a moot point to me. Good geometry means less force is required to cut, also meaning the knife doesn't need to be as strong or bulky. If I need something that can function is a makeshift pry bar I'll look into a fixed blade.

In my book a good solid slicer is a joy to use, which is why the tank knife fad makes no sense to me. Looks like I'm not missing out on much staying with thinner, lighter knives.
 
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The answer to this question is going to be subjective. In my opinion any knife can be considered overbuilt if it is more than adequate to handle a particular job, such as using a Benchmade Adamas to cut a loose string from a shirt.
I doubt any of us actually need a lock capable of withstanding a 1000 lbs of pressure and liners sturdy enough to pry railroad spikes out of a crosstie. However, if that’s what floats your boat and you don’t mind packing a large bulky (overbuilt) knife around, then go for it.
 
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I owned a Hinderer All Titanium Half Track. And while the knife was impressive in feel, fit, and finish - that’s the first knife I felt was too overbuilt. Really chunky in the pocket and the blade was pretty think and didn’t seem like much of a slicer despite the nice spear point shape.

It felt like too much for such a little knife.
 
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I used to own this Bone Collector 15055-1, the spine wasn't to thick at 0.114. It carried well but as a slicer it was horrible the saber grind ruined the geometry.
It could slice things that would pull away from the blade like rope and meat. Use it on a piece of cardboard and it was the worst slicer I ever owned.
I need a knife to cut and slice if I want a pry bar I'll walk to the tool box and get one.
PeJxlPr.jpg
 
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For a folding knife, I think anything that severely hinders cutting is too overbuilt. Medford Pretorian comes to mind. I also think locks like the triad lock, are completely ridiculous but but too each their own, I think its better for a lock to be easy to manipulate than hold 500 pounds. Im just going off paper though because have never handled a triad lock. There is something about having those kind of capabilities that is cool though.
So basically, anything that still cuts halfway decent, has a lock that isnt too hard to use, and is comfortable is not going too far IMO.
 
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;) We like what we like ! Most members have knives beyond any practical need . Many probably rarely use a knife for anything beyond opening mail or a package . So mostly it's just whatever floats your boat . Frictionless flippers , bushings , uber steels etc . . Not sure how "overbuilt " is much different . Variety is spice . :cool::thumbsup::thumbsup: One man's religion is another's belly laugh .:p
 
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One man's religion is another's belly laugh .:p

I'm glad I'm not alone in my chuckling at the irony of our collective delusion that our $100 - $500, titanium handled "slicers" are the perfect amount of "built". Our grand fathers are rolling over in their graves. Heck, even the guys in the Traditionals forum are probably pissing themselves.

Google WWII pocket knives. It'll be like one of those "When you see it" memes.
 
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Fair point, but for a long time Strider was pretty much the only game in town in that market, then, in the last couple years, in conjunction with the titanium flipper thing, those overbuilt slab things are everywhere and make Striders look like Opinels.
Striders are slim in comparison to what is now the standard overbuilt knife.

Zt is a brand that crosses back and forth over the line of over built. Hinderer knives seem to be addressing their slicing abilities with a skinny version but they are still thick blades. All of their designs seem to be market driven. The question is what market are they selling to, the knife users or knife displayers? Im a knife user and I while I do own a couple knive that are beefy with thick blade stocks, my majority is on the thinner side.
 
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Different uses aside, I like my knife to be substantial. Now i dont mean something ridiculous. I mean if i pay $200+ for a blade, at least give me .15” blade stock. I mean if you look at the other side of the coin, I dont understand paying over $200 for .11-.12” of blade stock, a 3” blade, and a minimalist linerless handle with the whole package weighing 2oz. Im of course not saying there isnt a use for such a knife, but if all things equal, id like a bit more for my money.
 

Mitchell Knives

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The amount of force needed to break a properly heat treated blade that is 3/32" thick is tremendous. The chances of this happening during use is virtually zero.

Knives are for cutting soft materials only, and never for prying.

I can't really see a need for an overbuilt folder. 3/16" thick at the absolute most, and that is even overkill.
 
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