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PM2, red loctite, stripped screw

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by slyphon, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. slyphon


    Jul 18, 2016
    Hey all.

    I'll say up front that I'm extremely aware of the spyderco policy around disassembly. I'm looking for advice on how to proceed, and looking to offer spyderco some loyal customer feedback.

    I bought a PM2 in S110v and ordered some custom scales I fell in love with from the g10.lt guy. I was taking apart the PM2 to put the scales on, and stripped the lock-side pivot screw. I heated the screw with a hair dryer before turning, which usually loosens the loctite, but in this case it softened the screw head and welp, now it's stripped.

    First off, speaking solely as a loyal customer of spyderco (I own a techno, slysz bowie, domino w/ blue cf, df2 Nishijin-Handle ZDP-189, para 3), I've spent a lot of money on their knives, and am generally satisfied. I've also disassembled and maintained all of these knives without incident. The fact that this PM2 is seemingly impossible to disassemble without damaging it is really ugly.

    I understand that the disassembly policy has a lot of knock-on effects in terms of manufacturing decisions. If you can assume that your customers will not be taking apart their knives, you can use powerful thread locker to ensure the pivot stays centered. You can use cheaper screws because you don't have to worry about wear and tear from disassembly. If you can assume that once the knife is assembled, it will stay that way, it makes certain things easier as a manufacturer.

    THAT BEING SAID: I think this ignores the fact that modification and disassembly is what a lot of us love to do and what keeps us buying new products from spyderco (and other makers). It's enormously frustrating to me that after blowing close to $160 on a PM2 I'm now in this situation. What I was trying to accomplish is not something exotic, it's what people do with knives. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that a knife can be taken apart, especially by someone who's experienced.

    I can send the knife back in and hope that spyderco will fix it, even though there's the non-disassembly policy. I can try to fix it myself and find a replacement screw online. I could try to find a beater PM2 used, as all I want to do is attach a scale to the liner on that side.

    What do you think I should do?
  2. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    sorry for your frustration.
    It sounds like it will have to be sent in...
    Whether Spyderco charges you is up to them...Call them and tell them what happened.

    If it is in your ability to remove the screw without causing further damage.
    Ask Spyderco if they can sell you a replacement screw.

    I highly doubt a hair dryer softened the screw.
    Because if it got that hot. I believe you would have smoked the scales too.

    Next time use a Soldering Iron to apply direct heat on the screw.


    There is a big thread about Red Locktite and Spyderco saying they will no longer use it.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    The hair dryer “softened the screw?”

    You think it's so they can save money on screws? I think the clause about disassembly voiding the warranty is designed exactly for people like yourself.
  4. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    Few things:

    I believe Spyderco changed their policy regarding disassembly, and have switched to using blue Loctite in conjunction with that change. Specifically, they now do allow disassembly, but if you break it in the process of disassembling it, they won't cover repairs under warranty.

    Knives that still have red Loctite are probably older stock, before the change. However, they will replace the screws for free. I had something similar happen - I took apart a PM2 to put custom scales on, and in the process chewed up (thankfully didn't full strip) the screws. I asked them for replacement screws for cosmetic reasons, and they sent them free of charge. They did ask for a photo of the knife, and didn't mind that the photo I sent had the custom scales on it.

    As far as removing the Loctite, I don't think the hair dryer approach works. I've moved to just putting the knife in boiling water. While water and steel generally don't mix, Spyderco's site does recommend using running water to clean knives, so it's not that big of a deal. Just dry it thoroughly and re-lubricate afterwards. I guess the hot water gets in between the screw threads, and to the Loctite, better than just blowing hot air onto the knife.
    Jeapster93 and Lapedog like this.
  5. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    Lapedog likes this.
  6. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    They didn't really change the policy they just clarified and publicized it.

    You could always take them apart, but if you ham-fisted it you were on the hook.

    To change one of those screws to a plastic state you'd want a hair dryer that would heat it up till it was red to cherry red. Just a note that your scales will vanish as part of this process.
  7. slyphon


    Jul 18, 2016
    Yes. Hardened steel or titanium screws cost more than standard screws, a statement of fact. Over thousands of units, this could be a significant cost.

    The point was that I'd like to see spyderco design their product with the understanding that people will disassemble their knives and that it's a reasonable thing to do. I would gladly pay a little extra to have hardened screws on the knives I purchase. (for example, the hardware on a CRK knife is harder and I regularly take them apart and reassemble them without issue)
    Spydergirl88 likes this.
  8. slyphon


    Jul 18, 2016
    Cool, thanks I'll try that!
  9. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    CRK hardware is 303 stainless, which is not hardened.

    First you blame the hair dryer. Now it's the manufacturers fault they didn't heat-treat the screws so you could strip them out with the wrong size bit. :rolleyes:
  10. slyphon


    Jul 18, 2016
    I used a wiha T9. The screw is frozen in the pivot. You're a jackass.
  11. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    way to win over people.
  12. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    That probably would have been covered under warranty.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  13. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I don't recall ever having used a T9 on a PM2 pivot...maybe the "jackass" was right about you stripping the head with the wrong sized bit
    ScooterG likes this.
  14. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Spyderco changed their policy recently. And they said they were going to stop using red loctite. But that was only recently. I believe Nick Shabazz has a video on it and spyderco made an announcement of it on their forum.

    I believe if you send it to them they will fix it for a cost.

    Also a hair dryer I don't believe gets hot enough to loosen red loctite. Should go around 600deg iirc. There are other methods described in other threads like yours as it's common issue and why they changed the policy recently.
    Lapedog likes this.
  15. Morrow

    Morrow Don't make this weird Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 11, 2007
    No more name calling.
  16. slyphon


    Jul 18, 2016
    Ok, I finally got the screw out and there is indeed red loctite on the threads. I must have gotten some old stock. I'm gonna write to spyderco and ask for a replacement. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, I appreciate it very much. :)
  17. sharkattacksw


    Aug 4, 2008
    Does anyone know if there was a hard cut off date as to when Spyderco stopped using Red Loctite? Also, if I look on the box of my knife, is there a way that I can tell if it was made before or after the cut off date?

    Thanks guys!
  18. mael333ca


    Jul 5, 2012
    ''You can use cheaper screws because you don't have to worry about wear and tear from disassembly. If you can assume that once the knife is assembled, it will stay that way, it makes certain things easier as a manufacturer.''

    I think you've hit the nail square on with this one! hope Sal is listening, the Policy is fine for sheeple, but not MEN(or WOMEN :) )

    When we buy spyderco, we don't buy untreated screws do we?!? If spyderco is going that route....bye bye!
  19. FK

    FK Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    IMHO it is not the screw or heat treatment of the screw,,, it is the crappy torx tools that damage screws.
    An out of spec sized or poor quality fitting torx driver will quickly strip or damage the screws.

    I spoke several times with Spyderco Customer Service and they told me they use Wiha brand Torx products.
    They do not even use heat for the Red Loctite,,, just carefully apply downward force on the driver with proper fitting adaptor and if really hard to release,,,, a tap on the driver while the knife is supported with hard pad will release,,,, no heat or hair dryers etc.
    If you send the knife to Spyderco, they will disassemble the knife and apply blue Loctite or no tread locker if you wish,,,, the shipment is your nickel and cost is up to Customer Service.
    I have a new PM2 with Cru-Wear steel and was not happy with the ball detent force when closed,, they quickly replaced the parts and returned my knife with Blue Locktite and new screws all around, no charge.

    The Wiha products are readily available on the popular mail order site.

    These problems with Spyderco stripped screws appears every few months and no one actually goes to the source,,, just repeats internet stories and rumors of screw head heat treatment problems.

    I do use a soldering iron tip held into the screw Torx pocket to soften the Red Locktite,,, the screw easily rotates out of engagement.

    Google Loctite and find grade 262 for the temperature to soften,,,, "Apply heat locally to screw/bolt to approximately 260 degrees C, disassemble while hot."
    The common hair dryer or hot air gun will most likely not reach that temperature directly into screw body,,, it will only heat the head and surrounding G10.

    DRLyman likes this.
  20. mael333ca


    Jul 5, 2012
    So....are spyderco screws heat treated?

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