1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Ka-Bar Becker BK5 Magnum Camp , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!
    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday July 27!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, July 28 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Someone PLEASE Explain Finger Choils on Folders!!

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Jamesh Bond, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    I'm no newb, so let's bypass the typical definition of a finger choil and it's parroted use.

    What I'd like to know is WHY??? Why in the name of God would a guy need to choke up on a FOLDING KNIFE?? I totally get it on a large fixed blade, to shift the balance forward a bit. But on EDC folders, with 3-4 inch blades, why not just sharpen the damn blade all the way to the handle?

    Someone please explain why it is necessary to turn part of the blade into a handle when the handle is already a handle.
    To me, this seems like nothing more than a useless trend to sell a feature.

    Ive been through some Spydercos. Delicas are great, but they just don't do it for me,due to the resin handle. Not my thing. And the finger Choils pissed me off so much on my Manix and PM2 I got rid of em and stopped carrying Spyderco until I was given a Tenacious, which is honestly best Spyderco I've ever owned, even despite the "crappy" steel (which honestly impressed the hell out of me compared to what teh interwebz would have one believe) and lower perceived value being made in China.

    This is one badass knife. And you know what's cool? The blade is sharpened ALL THE WAY to the handle! Guess what? I can choke up on my tenacious perfectly.

    Who'da thunk it??

    So, I head on over to Spyderco to see what's new, and see a bunch of really sweet designs.

    All with wasted blade length on account of that choil.

    Example : Native 5. This would be in my pocket right now if the handle was the handle and the blade was the blade.

    So anyway. Forgive the irritable tone. First world problems and all. But it does honestly piss me off to see knives I would have if it wasn't for ONE design feature that does nothing except catch on crap I try to cut and waste my edge.

    To me, this is totally asinine, unless cleverly incorporated on a tiny knife like the Kiwi to make a handle longer. But on a knife with an already ample handle, WHY?

    I have to be missing something here. Someone? Sal???

  2. kurt6652


    Dec 9, 2008
    Because, some people like them on a folding knife.
  3. Skeptic13


    Jun 9, 2016
    I think that having a choil on a smaller bladed knife, say less than 3 inches, is not useful. However on larger blades like the PM2 and the Manix 2 I really like having a choil. There are times that the choil gives me a level of control over the blade that I do not have without one. I take my larger folders hunting and camping and there are often detailed tasks where I want to choke up on the blade. I do not think the choil takes away from the cutting performance of the knife at all.

    Obviously having or not having a choil is personal preference. There are many knives on the market that do not have them. The popularity of the PM2 and the Manix2 would however suggest that the choil is a popular feature on these knives. Or at least it is not a feature that turns most buyers off.
  4. ejames13

    ejames13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    That was quite a rant.

    I don't use the choils on my knives often, but they don't really bother me. It's nice that Spyderco has some designs with choils and some without. Options.

    I think the main reason for them is that they allow you to choke up for detail work if you're using the tip of the knife.
  5. Jordan@DLT

    [email protected] Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Jul 22, 2014
    People like the different handle positions they offer. I don't like many choils, but Spyderco tends to do them really well.
  6. ttr125mar


    Jul 22, 2016
    My PM2 is perfect with it as I have big hands and sausage fingers. Just grabbing the knife it's my normal to hold it using it.
    Just personal preference, like everything. Maybe the demand for it is greater than without it. If it wasn't there I would find another knife that fits well in my hand with it.

  7. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    Thank you for the insight Kurt.
    I might go get one, now that I know other people like them.
    Thread closed.

    Seriously, does anyone have anything useful to say? I posted this looking for peoples' thoughts and reasoning, in the hopes of being able to get past this deal breaker on several otherwise excellent knives. Not to rant.

  8. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    This is true. They do them extremely well. They were the first knives I remember seeing them on. Used to think they were pretty cool until I tried using them.
  9. Jordan@DLT

    [email protected] Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Jul 22, 2014
    Sounds like they are just not your thing, different stroke for different folks and all that.

    There's not many complex technical reasons why people like choils on a folder, they just do.
  10. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Irrespective of the size or type of knife, a choil helps protect the fingers from moving forward onto the ouchy part of the blade. This is as important on a Native 5 as it is on a giant chopper.
  11. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    I prefer the absence of a choil as well. They do offer more control and grip positions at the expense of cutting edge, cutting force and catching on material. So overall I think they're a negative. But I still buy knives with them.
  12. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    The popularity is why I'm asking if I'm missing something. Having owned and used both, I personally can't even wrap my head around the statement that the choil on those knives has much effect on the control of a blade that small and light. I never noticed much difference. Which does indeed indicate the obvious fact that everyone is different. If I need to choke up on my blades for tip work, I grip the blade itself. With control and technique, this does not pose a risk of getting cut. And I do keep my blades Razor sharp.

  13. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    Powenoodle's explanation is the reason I don't mind them. I can't say I am in love with them, and I think it is too large on some models (Native),but I do see the value in it as it relates to finger protection in the event of a lock failure. For that reason alone, one could even argue a choil is more useful on a folder than on a fixed blade.
  14. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    Lots of opinions here, which is appreciated.

    But Noodle, you bring up a very valid function. They do act as a sort of guard, like a flipper also does. Incidentally, I really don't like those either, lol. But I'm trying to get past that as well.

    My damn vanilla tastes are limiting my collection. Was just looking at Hinderers today, but that flipper. . .

    I'm weird.
  15. Aias


    Aug 1, 2012
    Hey Mr. Bond,

    Like you, for folders I don't really need a choil. As for Spyderco--you may prefer their military to the para 2. Lots of blade, and I find the ergos to be great. I had both the military and the para 2; I was much more satisfied with the former. For me, choils are great on large and heavy blades--like many Busses. I wish the Becker BK20 had one--I'd use it more. With smaller knives--folders or fixed, if the handle is done well, you likely don't need a choil... Look at Fiddleback Forge's offerings--no choils on thier relatively small knives. No need by design.
  16. Stays Sharp

    Stays Sharp

    Nov 21, 2013
    Am I really the only one in the world who chokes up and uses these choils for finer cuts and small work?

    Check out the Mantra though, you should like it.
  17. Eversharp!

    Eversharp! Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Knives like the Native and the Sage or the Domino fit my hand just right with the choil. Locked and secure.
  18. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    Another valid point.
  19. SaintZe


    Dec 20, 2013
    A choil and a thumb ramp allow for an exceptional level of control over a blade by positioning one's fingers as close to the cutting edge as possible. The combination of a thumb almost directly over the cutting edge and a foreginger securing the whole package makes for an impressive level of control- I'm a huge fan of the Mantra 2 but its greatest flaw is that it's not as easy to choke up on for precise cuts. Additionally, on smaller designs, ie the Dragonfly 2, a choil allows for a four-finger grip on a very small knife. I personally find little validity in complains about blade:handle ratios as the removal of a choil would necessitate a top-down redesign of the knife.
  20. Jamesh Bond

    Jamesh Bond

    Jan 14, 2007
    Well said Aias.

    The Military is actually on my want list. It's size has kept it on the back burner tho, as 3.25 blades seem to be the sweet spot for my uses, as well as the legality in my area. I'll eventually own one, because it's a classic and I enjoy nice linerlocks.

    "No need by design" sums up my entire line of thinking regarding this thread. A folding knife in my size range with a good handle gains nothing with a choil.

    Again, well said.

Share This Page