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The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Michael Janich, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Michael Janich

    Michael Janich Moderator Moderator

    Jan 16, 2002
    To All Spyderco Enthusiasts:

    In recent months, there has been considerable discussion in various social media forums about the Spyderco Advocate knife and concerns regarding the ball bearing washer system used in its pivot mechanism. We have followed these discussions very closely and have been researching the issue diligently. We’d like to take this opportunity to share our findings and update you on the actions we are taking to address the issue.

    First and most importantly, the vast majority of the Advocate knives currently in use around the world are performing exactly as designed. A thorough review of our warranty repair records has not shown a significant incidence of customer issues with this knife. The issues that have come to our attention have occurred primarily after customers have adjusted the tension of their pivot pin screws.

    The Advocate’s blade pivots between two washers, each of which contains a series of small ball bearings. Since the ball bearings are harder than the knife’s titanium scales, a small steel washer is included between each ball bearing washer and the corresponding scale to protect the scale from excessive wear. When the knife is assembled at the factory, great care is taken in tightening the pivot pin screws to allow the ball bearings to roll freely between the blade and the steel washer. If the pivot pin screws are overtightened, the bearings will not roll freely, the blade will not open smoothly, and the washers may be damaged.

    A careful review of the Advocate’s design revealed that the steel washers used in its pivot are measurably thinner than those used in our other flipper models and are therefore vulnerable to the effects of overtightening. Although we are confident that the Advocate knives currently in service will continue to function properly as long as their pivots are left at their factory adjustment, we are taking action to ensure that future production of the knife is not susceptible to this issue. We have suspended production of the current version and are working diligently to redesign the pivot to completely eliminate this concern. We have also decided to suspend shipment of our current inventory of Advocate knives until a satisfactory redesign is complete.

    If you currently own an Advocate and are experiencing difficulties with it, please return it to our Warranty Repair department for evaluation. If your knife cannot be easily restored to its proper factory adjustment, we will credit the full MSRP of the knife toward the purchase of another Spyderco product.

    If you are a Spyderco dealer and one of your customers experiences difficulties with an Advocate purchased from you, you may either direct him to Spyderco’s Warranty Repair department or accept the knife in return for a direct exchange or refund. We will then accept the return of the Advocate in question from you and give you a credit of your actual purchase price.

    Please note that this issue has only affected a small percentage of Advocate knives and is isolated to this model only. The issue DOES NOT affect other Spyderco models, including our other flipper-opening designs. A thorough review of our Warranty Repair records has conclusively confirmed this.

    Thank you for your understanding and your continued interest in Spyderco products. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.


  2. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    good info. thanks for posting Sir.
  3. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    :d .....
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  4. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    Good stuff. I bought an Advocate new from a dealer. It flipped well but there was a bumpiness or stutter when opened slowly. It just wasn't as smooth as ball bearing pivots can be and should be at that price point especially. So good on Spyderco for addressing the issue.
  5. jjm1976

    jjm1976 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2015

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
  6. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    This is exactly why most of my knife purchases are from Spyderco. They listen to and address customer concerns, and always do so with class. Thank you Mr. Janich.
  7. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    They are great
  8. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    Kudos to Spyderco for all of the customer service announcements that have come out in the last week. Great company that stands behind its products and listens to its customers.
  9. Amestron


    Apr 3, 2015
    First the loctite issue. Now this. Well, now THIS is an example company!

    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk
  10. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Despite what this message says or what their warranty records show them that only the Advocate is affected this is just not true. I have myself seen two threads on the Spyderco forums where a Mantra and a Southard suffered from the same problem. I am not saying Spyderco is lieing just that they may not be aware. Here's a thread about the topic.

    Sal is not only the best knife company owner I know; he is the best head of ANY company I know.
  11. bearfacedkiller


    Jan 23, 2014
    So Spyderco has access to all their warranty and repair records and you have a couple of forum threads and you know what's up???? :rolleyes:

    Go read the official statement on Spyderco's forum, they have specifically addressed a post just like yours.
  12. Vinifera


    Aug 13, 2015
    Got a kick out of this quote from noted knife-designer, guru, mechanical engineer and youtube reviewer Rob Bixby, a/k/a by his youtube moniker ApostleP. via http://knifenews.com/spyderco-withdraws-advocate-from-the-market-over-pivot-issues/

    Bixby tells us that the Advocate’s strong lock bar tension, overall thinness, and the delicacy of its ball bearings combine to pose a seemingly insurmountable [emphasis added] engineering challenge. “I’m a bit skeptical, given the small material thickness of the Ti scales, that Spyderco can engineer a ball bearing pivot system that is robust enough to make a solid knife,” Bixby says. “I would prefer to see a phosphor bronze washer pivot, and maybe even in a non-flipper version of the Advocate, similar in construction to a Sage 2 or Slysz Bowie. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!”

    Thanks Rob for your comments. I’m sure Spyderco will be awaiting your engineering analysis, design blueprints and input on the revision of the Advocate to overcome these "insurmountable" problems.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  13. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I am saying despite them saying their records show that the problem only exists on the advocate there is clearly similar problems in other Spyderco folders featuring bearings. I quoted one forum of the many I have seen. Why don't you google Spydercos forums for other examples of what I am talking about. :rollbearings:
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  14. Vinifera


    Aug 13, 2015
    I'm confused. Sal is the best but at the same time you are saying he speaketh with forked tongue?
  15. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I never said Sal is speaking with a forked tongue there are several things you are not taking into account.

    Namely that those people who posted threads on the Spyderco Forums where I saw their Mantras and one example of a Southard appearing with the same bearing problem might have not sent their examples in to get warranty repair. Therefor their warranty records would not show that there was a problem with these models. I believe I remember reading about how the posters said they would just wait for Spyderco to resolve the problem and then ask them to send them the improved washers.

    Also it says right at the top of this thread that the problem seems to be exacerbated or caused by over-tightening the pivot. Thus it is possible that he did not count such cases as "warranty work" for Mantras or Dominos or Southards which were sent to him where it appeared the problem was caused by that.

    https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=71780 Here is a thread with a Mantra that suffered from the problem.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s35nACB9lI&feature=youtu.be Here is a Russian video that shows a Domino that appeared with the problem.

    Once again I have seen other threads on the Spyderco forum with a picture of a Southard with the same problem.

    Does any of this change my opinion that Sal is one of the best company owners who takes care of his customers? Not at all that's why I said he is my favourite. I don't think Sal is "speaking with a forked tongue" at all. Also it is not even Sal that posted here, it is Michael Janich, who I also respect. Maybe it is possible Janich doesn't have all the Spyderco warranty information? Maybe it is possible that some people fixed these knives themselves? (Especially considering many believed that taking the knife apart would void their warranty) Maybe some cases were treated as voiding warranty for over tightening pivot? I just don't know.
  16. Vinifera


    Aug 13, 2015
    This says it all.
  17. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I readily admit I don't have access to Spyderco's warranty records or know of the company's internal workings.

    What I do know is that the good people on the Spyderco forums are not lying about their problems, defacing their washers in order to create some hoax and that you clearly haven't searched any of the threads on Spyderco's forums on the topics. If you had you would clearly see Sal himself had responded to many of them and said he would work on a resolution to the problem. It is this engagement with his customers' concerns that makes him the respected figure he is.
  18. Vinifera


    Aug 13, 2015
    I would guess I have read most, if not all, the same things you have, however based on that purely anecdotal evidence I am unwilling to postulate the assertions and conclusions you have.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  19. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
  20. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I understand what anecdotal evidence is. If you would read my previous posts that is why I said it could be this or it could be that "I don't know." However when many people start complaining about similar problems, namely Spyderco's bearing systems, then more weight should be placed on those anecdotes. I'm not telling you what to believe. All I am saying is that there are several reports from people experiencing problems with bearings in Spyderco knives other than the Advocate. I said so myself that could be people messing up their own knives.

    Take the evidence as you want it. Clearly Sal puts some weight in these reports as his latest post on the topic states they are now suspending production of all their flippers on bearings.

    Please read his latest post. It's near the bottom. https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=74118&start=20

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