Question about vertical play

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TheNightSquatch, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. TheNightSquatch


    Jan 12, 2021
    So, for Christmas I got a beautiful Boker 1906 lockback folder; but I ended up sending it back because of vertical play. Now with knife number 2 there’s still some play. I was curious what everyone’s thoughts are on this. I have read some previous posts and it seems there is a mix of opinions. One difficulty in determining what’s acceptable, is describing how much play there actually is, so I took a video. Not sure if it is super visible In the video, but you definitely feel it in your hand. Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect less play?

  2. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I'm less fussy about some of that sort of play in my traditional-style folders (especially slipjoints) than I am in modern knives, and many of the traditional lockbacks I've owned have had a bit of play. If it doesn't impact the functionality of the knife, I'm usually okay with it.

    That said, the amount you're showing in that video would bug me. It seems like quite a bit -- too much, IMO. :thumbsdown:

    There's definitely a lot of variation in what people consider play, how much each person considers to be acceptable, and how people test for it (or even whether to test for it at all). My stance and approach have both changed over the past few years, evolving as I acquire experience, use lots of knives, and absorb what other knife knuts think/do by osmosis. Consensus on this front is going to be elusive. ;)
    TheNightSquatch likes this.
  3. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    That’s more play than acceptable in my book. Of course we would have had a better idea if you had held the knife handle firmly against something and then demonstrated blade play.
  4. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    I wouldn't keep a knife with that much vertical play.
  5. TheNightSquatch


    Jan 12, 2021
    I agree, I wish I could better stabilize the handle side of the knife, but since I may be sending it back I was being careful not to mar anything.

    I thinking looking at the base of the blade gives the best indication of play.

    It’s something that I know probably won’t be an issue in terms of functionality, but it bugs me. It’s not an inexpensive knife and I feel like it should be tighter. If all of their examples have this much play, I may settle. I’ll contact them again.
  6. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    For what you paid it should lock up like a vault. Get a refund.
  7. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Agreed. If I can buy a basic SAK without blade play, your knife should be free of play also.
  8. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I have a couple of traditional lockbacks, and they both exhibit a little bit of vertical play.
    Spyderco Chaparral does not have any noticeable play but is different in design with a stop pin.
    I think it is somewhat normal for a traditional lockback to have vertical play.
    But OP, that is more like rattling to me.
  9. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I tolerate play if the knife is safe to use and cut with. I can't tell from your video if its safe or sure you can though.

    most people would return a knife with that much play. seems it bothers you enough to do a video and post, and I get why......... so I'd say return it. dont keep something you won't be happy with.
  10. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    It's possible I'm seeing it wrong, but in the video it looks to me like the blade has a bias forward when open, and that it can be pushed/pulled back against the handle.

    If I could feel the blade get pushed back in the handle every time I cut something, that would REALLY bother me. To the point I wouldn't want to use it. If it were the other way around, and the blade was biased back and could be moved slightly forward, it would still bother me, but not as much.

    Also, if it's a weak spring that's causing the blade to not snap back into the handle when the knife is closed that would also bother me.

    I'm usually reluctant to send a knife back, but between the price of that knife, and the two strikes that it appears to have against it, I'd send it back.
  11. steelhead seeker

    steelhead seeker

    Aug 1, 2014
    There's a big difference between being able to only feel it and being able to actually see it...if you can see it that much send it back. That's a pretty insane amount of play.
    miso2 likes this.
  12. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    It is possible to achieve 0% perceived play in folders. If you feel that the second knife still isn’t safe to use, send it back.

    I’ve never had experience with Boker folders though. Only had Cold Steel and Spyderco folders.
  13. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    A traditional lockback will often have a bit of vertical blade play. The the geometry of a truly traditional locking mechanism requires almost perfect machining in order for there to be no vertical play. (Horizontal play is a different issue. There should be no horizontal blade play.)

    Modern lockback knives should not have any vertical blade play. The designers have fiddled with the internal lock geometry and as a result it is more forgiving of slightly imperfect tolerances than the actual traditional lockback.

    If you aren't happy with it, you should send it back. Just know that getting a traditional lockback knife with no vertical blade play is a bit of a crap shoot. I have some that do. I have some that don't.
    jbmonkey likes this.
  14. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Hahahaha, yeah... if you can feel it that's one thing... but if the rest of us can actually see it... well like steelhead said, that's insane.
  15. Londinium Armoury

    Londinium Armoury

    Jun 2, 2020
    I don't play games when it comes to blade play, I have Zero Tolerance for it.

    Word play is cool though.
  16. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    Refund now.
  17. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Completely defective. There is no way I would accept that. I could not tell what brand it appeared to be.

    It would go back immediately, and I'm not sure I would even want a replacement from that company. Unless everyone else had no issues....

    Not just the blade play....the lack of any perceived force on closure is dangerous. That knife would never stay closed in your pocket!! Expect a sliced finger at some point.
  18. johnnytoxin

    johnnytoxin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2010
    Ya that’s too much play in my opinion.
  19. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    I associate any slop in the lock with a possible malfunction / debris in the lock .

    Even if the lock is still functional and safe , it still FEELS wrong to me .

    Almost all my folders have 100% rock solid lockup , so why settle for less ?

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