Spyderco T-Mag versus CRKT Edgie

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Feb 28, 2002
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A slipjoint folder is, as most readers already know, a folding knife that does not lock open. Slipjoints have been among the most common of utility blades since the first Roman friction folders. While technology has long since moved on, the need for a good slipjoint utility blade has not changed in the intervening years. As luck would have it, I recently found myself in possession of two examples of contemporary "slippies" by two of the knife industry's larger manufacturers. Both the Spyderco T-Mag (now discontinued) and the CRKT Edgie are clip-equipped non-locking folding knives intended for daily utility tasks. Both do what they do well, though there are obvious differences between these two knives. The Spyderco targets the high-end user who desires a non-locking folder, while the Edgie is intended for the budget-minded consumer with similar needs.

The T-Mag is seven inches overall with a CPM-S30V blade that is just under three inches long. It has a cbarbon fiber handle and a stylized wire pocket clip. The Edgie is also seven inches long, with a blade of roughly the same length. (It's obvious these knives fit the same niche in terms of application.) The Edgie has a stainless steel pocket clip, a blade of 420J2, and is an interframe design featuring textured Zytel (plastic) handle scales. The T-Mag clip is reversible (it is designed for tip-up carry only) while the Edgie can be carried tip-down, right-hand only.

t-mag.jpg


While the T-Mag is flat-ground and features the tardemark Spyderco opening hole, the Edgie (which has an oval opening hole) is chisel ground. The reason for the Edgie's blade grind is very specific: the knife is "self-sharpening" and contains a strip of diamond abrasive that rubs against the cutting edge when the blade is opened and closed. This means that, in theory, the Edgie will remain sharp as long as it is opened and closed with regularity. The relatively soft 420J2 steel in the Edgie's blade is no doubt a nod to this, as 420J2 is very easy to resharpen (making it easier for the internal abrasive to do its work).

The carbon fiber handle of the T-Mag feels relatively smooth to the touch, but not uncomfortably smooth. It is fairly ergonomic. When open, the T-Mag's blade is held in place by a rare earth magnet. This system involves very little tension, but the contours of the handle and blade ensure that you will not cut your fingers open while using the T-Mag. When you hold the knife, the index finger falls naturally into a grooved choil aft of the cutting edge. There are matching serrations on the thumb ramp of the blade hole hump. In use, therefore, your own hand holds the T-Mag open. While the blade may start closed at any point (the faintest pressure on the back of the blade will do this), your fingers stop the knife from closing and remain safe within their designated arcs.

One caveat for those of you with electronic gadgets and gear: the rare earth magnet in the T-Mag is powerful enough to grab the Edgie and hold it in the air. I found this out quite by accident and was a little alarmed at the knife's proximity to my PDA.

The textured Zytel handle of the Edgie provides the better grip of the two knives. It boasts some grooves on the spine area of the scales just behind the blade. The tension on this knife is much greater and thus the blade is much harder to open. It is anything but "smooth," because the blade has to grind against the abrasive strip every time it opens (or closes). Once open, a traditional slipjoint holds the blade in place. Medium pressure on the back of the blade closes the knife again.

edgie.jpg


In cutting, the Edgie's Wharncliffe and the T-Mag's flat-ground clip point both cut neat slices out of heavy cardboard, repeatedly. The edge of the T-Mag held up very well in repeated cutting, while the softer steel of the Edgie grew dull. Opening and closing the Edgie rehoned the edge with relatively little effort and the knife started cutting again as it had before. The chisel-ground edge becamse more scuffed and rough the more the internal sharpener was used, which is to be expected.

In testing, both knives do what they do reasonably well, with benefits and liabilities. The Edgie does not have the T-Mag's penetrating point or superior edge retention (and it cuts as a chisel-ground knife does, biased to one side of the work). It also sharpens itself, does not have the magnet inside the T-Mag, and costs considerably less than the T-Mag. As in all things, you must balance the costs versus the featuers and choose the mix that is right for you.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
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The T-mag may be a hazard to the magnetic data strip on your credit cards also. I'd not carry it in the same pocket.

Phil, you say that 'your fingers' hold the T-Mag blade open...does that mean that it's a friction folder when open? Or does it have a backspring ( like Case, Uncle Henry, etc) to detent the blade in the open position?
 
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It has no spring. The only thing holding the knife open is the rare earth magnet which, while powerful, doesn't have a lot of tension. The slightest of pressure on the knife blade will start it closed, but your fingers will stop it from closing when the knife is held.

The magnet will hold the knife by the spine to a filing cabinet, unassisted.
 

brownshoe

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I agree about the magnet. The spyderco website states this about the T-mag:

"It houses a powerful Rare Earth (Neodymium NdFeB) Magnet, mounted internally in the knife’s spine where the blade and handle join. The magnet performs the same function as a notch- or slip-joint, holding the blade open when used and closed when pocketed by way of magnetic pull. Gunmetal gray carbon fiber handle scales, and Titanium liners, have a pronounced finger choil that places the index finger behind the cutting edge further blocking the knife blade from closing when you’re cutting."

IMHO the magnet does not fulfill the same function as a spring/notch system does in a slipjoint. The knife closes readily. In the initial hype about this knife, and there was a fair amount of press, the knife was said to be a slipjoint w/o a spring. However, in reality the knife should have been marketed as a friction folder which is the real reason why it has the "pronounced finger choil." When I saw the price had dropped from 249 to 149 for a US-made knife with carbon fiber and S30V steel, I though it was a steal. When I actually handled the knife, at a knife store, I was sorely disappointed at the poor retention of the magnet. I did not expect it to be as strong as a Queen spring, but for it to at least hold the knife open during use. The blade closes easily with the type of pressure put on a knife during simple things. It is annoying.

At least with a traditional friction folder, you have a tab on the top of the blade to stop it from closing during use, which the choil does not. With this knife the choil system is not as good as a the 2000 year old design of a friction folder with tab. I figure the magnet problem is why the knife is discontinued and discounted. Don't buy the T-Mag w/o checking it out first, you may not like it, even for $149.
 
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Having a knife that sharpens itself raises some interesting questions. Knife material that keeps a sharp edge is prized indeed, but an edge that is sharpened every time the blade is open or closed is kind of interesting. Still, I detest chisel grind blades of any type. Still, a perpetually sharp blade makes for an interesting discussion. If every time you used your blade, someone sharpened it for you, how important would edge retention be? Obviously still a lot because cutting jobs are not always quick affairs.

Slipjoints are valuable to me only when they belonged to someone I cared about and who are now gone, or that were gifts from someone I cared about. They have no functional value to me and are kind of like 10-speed bikes. A$$ up, head down and don't go off the asphalt! May work for some, but not me.

Still, I love your reviews and your posts.
 
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The most valuable in this knife is steel, the knife has cut off a piece of my finger, but I still am glad that this is not, I bought a knife/
 

brj

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May 18, 2005
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The T-mag may be a hazard to the magnetic data strip on your credit cards also. I'd not carry it in the same pocket.

the potentially damaging effect of the magnet is grossly overestimated IMO
I have carried the t-mag for more that 2 months day in day out in the same pocket as my wallet (containing credit cards & flash memory stick) and cell phone and also very close to my backpack, which usually contains a notebook and external HDD unit - with no damage or malfunctions to either hardware or data

DSCF0024.jpg


it did erased the info on my hotel room access card but only after a few on-purpose vigurous swipes of the knife over the magnetic strip
 
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I have the T mag and like it very much. It took me a little getting used to. I live near their Golden factory and outlet store and they had it slashed down to $74.95 in July.
 
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I have the T mag and like it very much. It took me a little getting used to. I live near their Golden factory and outlet store and they had it slashed down to $74.95 in July.

That is a good price.

I don't carry any electronic/magnetic memory gadgets, so that is a none issue to me. But, I have had mine close a couple of times (and I learned to use a knife with a slipjoint). I wish the blade of the T-Mag was a bit more open biased in the open position.
 
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With all the complaints I've heard about failing blade locks, weak liner locks, etc, I'm a bit surprised that anyone would even market a knife that was essentially a friction folder masquerading as a slippie without lots of warning labels! :confused:

Caveat Emptor! Wonder if Spydie's been sued yet... ??
 
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With all the complaints I've heard about failing blade locks, weak liner locks, etc, I'm a bit surprised that anyone would even market a knife that was essentially a friction folder masquerading as a slippie without lots of warning labels! :confused:

Caveat Emptor! Wonder if Spydie's been sued yet... ??

Has any manufacturer ever been sued because someone cut themselves on their knives?

Unless you can prove gross negligence on the part of the manufacturer, in that a design flaw made a product certain to cause injury whether properly handled or not, most courts would remind a plaintive that "If you play with matches you might get burned." Play with knives and you might get cut, too.
 

brownshoe

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It is true that one can be cut with a knife. That is why many knife companies have lawyer instigated warnings about not cutting yourself. With this knife however, you don't need to prove gross negligence. Since the marketing material reads "The magnet performs the same function as a notch- or slip-joint, holding the blade open when used" one has a "reasonable expectation" that the knife will not fold and cut their finger "when used." If the knife folds and and cuts you during simple use, you may have a legal case. Even if you don't have a legal case, you certainly have an ethical issue with the company.
 
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It is true that one can be cut with a knife. That is why many knife companies have lawyer instigated warnings about not cutting yourself. With this knife however, you don't need to prove gross negligence. Since the marketing material reads "The magnet performs the same function as a notch- or slip-joint, holding the blade open when used" one has a "reasonable expectation" that the knife will not fold and cut their finger "when used." If the knife folds and and cuts you during simple use, you may have a legal case. Even if you don't have a legal case, you certainly have an ethical issue with the company.

Any knife with a slip-joint and no lock can fold and cut you. All of them. It's not reasonable to expect that any knife on earth that folds and has no lock will not fold and cut your finger.

Considering this particular knife has a choil, if you hold it and use it as designed, it will have no more chance of folding on your fingers than an SAK. An SAK is probably more likely to close and cut you than this design.

All that being said, if you're a lawyer and I cut myself doing something really stupid, I'm giving you a call.
 
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You know, this legal stuff is an interesting turn.

Would it not be funny (slightly, anyway), if some all knowing government entity made it a law that all knives have to have locking blades as a "safety feature" to mitagate accidental closures.

Sorta along the safety stuff some states require on pistols.

Absurdity abounds.
 
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From the manufacturer's site:
"The magnet performs the same function as a notch- or slip-joint, holding the blade open when used and closed when pocketed by way of magnetic pull. Gunmetal gray carbon fiber handle scales, and Titanium liners, have a pronounced finger choil that places the index finger behind the cutting edge further blocking the knife blade from closing when you’re cutting."

The bold highlights claim:
1. the knife is no more dangerous than a slippie,
2. your finger will assist the magnet and keep the blade from closing.

So, if you're cut and want some $$, I'd think you have to disprove these 2 claims, and further prove that the Mfg was negligent in making them...false reassurances, etc.

Therefore:
1. we have had at least 2 folks here say the blade starts to fold at light spine pressure...certainly not as "safe" as a traditional slippie, and
2. It is unreasonable of the Mfg to insist that your fingers be placed "just so" on the choil, etc. They should have known that that wouldn't always be case.

If, on the other hand, the Mfg had issued 'weasel-words' on the box:
"While we are reasonably certain that the magnet and choil design will safely prevent injury, there is no guarantee that the blade may never close unexpectedly."


BTW, I am not an attorney, this is not legal advise, just my opinions.
 
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BTW, I am not an attorney, this is not legal advise, just my opinions.

Well, that's no help. How am I supposed to make money from my stupidity if I can't find a good lawyer to shift the blame for my incompetence back to the manufacturer?

Eh?

Anyone who cuts themselves in the normal use of such a knife probably sticks their thumb in their eye whenever they tie their shoelaces.
 
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Mar 12, 2007
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Was this knife made for the European market? England has a rule about locking blades...

It might be that it was designed for them, and just happens to be sold here, too.

Good luck with your suit.
 
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