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The "Ask Nathan a question" thread

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by JustinFournier, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016

    Fun fact - that Shiro is nicknamed the AMazon because it only cuts off the left side of your thumb.

    (not really)
  2. Grenock

    Grenock Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 7, 2016
    Oh chit! You better hope here on the sub provided you the protection to get away with saying that. If the Bear's Den hears that you have blasphemed like that, well, I don't know what will happen, outside of a whole lot of panties getting bunched up high and tight in some nooks and crannies.
    gusbuster, Odog27, woodysone and 3 others like this.
  3. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    FWIW and my own very unscientific observations based on my limited and short term ownership of Shirogorov flippers:

    My F95T(R) which is a Ti body with framelock and even tough Josh has put such a wicked edge (literally) on it that it scares the crap outta me in case I drop shut it on my own thumb, this has not happened although it can drop shut like a friggin guillotine! My all Ti NeOn Lite though, totally different story as it has bitten me too many times for comfort. Something to do with the size of my hands and where my thumb hits the flipping tabs, I guess!

    The other two, CF111 and the F3R are both CF scaled flippers with liner locks and they are not as drop-shut as the two aforementioned. I can even hear more grit in their action as they close. While this may not be ideal for Shiro purists who strive for the type of action described in the above paragraph, for the fear of not getting nipped, I'm just fine with slower flippers which do not perform as well on the parlor tricks!

    Note to Nathan: if you ever wanted to try out a liner lock version, feel free to hot me up ;) Perhaps when you get into the mood of making that elegant, sleek and chic beautiful folder, you may wanna consider liner-lock which IMHO is also the most practical kinda folder lock. I can't really "splain" the "science" of what I just muttered!
  4. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    Oh my god I could NOT care less.

    For the record, I think the Shiro is a very nice knife. However, because I am literally retarded I think I like my shitty old Sebenza better. In part because this is the first time a knife has cut me while I was using it since I was a child where my spidey senses didn't tingle and say "hey dumbass, you're not using this tool correctly and you could get hurt".

    Also, my college degree is in Industrial Design, Product Design from NCSU and worked professionally as a design engineer and product design consultant developing hand held products. When I make a critique that a product has a design flaw I'm giving a honest assessment based upon not only my use and observations as a long term knife user, I'm also applying some pretty basic human ergonomic principals that anyone in any industry would recognize. It is a design flaw. It's a very cool knife and it's very well made. I wish I could close it without fear of injury. When I'm using a knife (which is frequently) I'm focused on a task at hand and I don't want to have to give closing it my full attention. Most knives just work in this regard.
  5. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    Can you test its hardness factor please and direct its geometry for us lemmings, if you don't end up marring it in case you decide to pass it on? I'll even consider taking any knife from you, even a cursed one, as long as it has your DNA on it in a totally none creepy way. #imjustsaying ;)
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    vkp78, gusbuster, Odog27 and 4 others like this.
  6. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Which is why I've been bitten by the CPK bug, so bad: function before form.

    A lot of folks are willing to make some serious compromises in function, simply for the aesthetics/form factor. There's nothing wrong with that, since many folks like collecting art, but as you've stated many times, your focus is on the folks who actually intend to use your knives, not just collect and admire them.

    The P in CPK, is why I'm here.
  7. abbydaddy

    abbydaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    I agree totally. As an illustration of why I prefer the linerlock to a framelock I'll give the example of the Lone Wolf T2 (2nd from left) vs. the Spartan SHF (far left). They are iterations of the same/very similar Harsey design, and they are both excellent knives. However, I carry the T2 a lot more than the SHF. The SHF is a tank, and it feels every bit as solid as a fixed blade in use, but it is also heavy with those thick titanium slabs. The T2 in comparison is not nearly as strongly built and solid, but it feels lighter, warmer, and more ergonomic in the hand.

    I like the SHF, but it is just so much knife that I really only carry it in the field. It is overkill for my daily carry needs. The T2 is nice all the time (I also appreciate the full flat grind). I really don't need a tank most of the time. That said, if the T2 was constructed like the Fantoni HB02 (on the far right) with a sturdy titanium liner then I think it would meet my tank needs just as well as my EDC needs.

    Fullflat, Mike157 and Odog27 like this.
  8. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    FWIW, I've found myself doing something I didn't even realize I was doing until it was pointed out to me recently.

    On knives that have a fall-shut type of action (PM2's, pivots with bearings, etc.), I find myself holding them such that the spine of the knife is towards the ground when I disengage the lock. Instead of letting the blade fall into the handle, I pivot and roll the handle over onto the blade, maintaining complete control of the sharp edge the whole way. The blade stays in such a position, mostly edge-up, so gravity cannot move it towards my fingers. I've gotten so good at this that it's all muscle memory at this point, and it looks like I'm simply flipping the knife shut.

    Visualize: Open knife held spine-down, in right hand, pointing away from the body. While disengaging the lock, the hand rolls 90º counterclockwise, as the torque from rolling helps rotate the blade towards the handle. The move ends with the knife handle rolled 90º from it's starting position, with the blade stowed. Sometimes the thumb has to reach over the top of the blade to complete stowage if it doesn't shut all the way. If you over-rotate your hand, the blade falls away from your fingers/the handle.
  9. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Since this IS the 'Ask Nathan a question' thread,

    Nate, what are your thoughts on the Axis lock, now that the patent is up? Only ever used one folder with it, and it seems like a strong design, but the 2 things I like the most about it, are that it can be easily operated 1-handed AND (unlike frame and liner locks) you can keep all body parts out of the way when closing it.


    you might've missed it, but when you mentioned UFs in AEBL, I asked what the advantages of AEBL are, over D3V specifically for a UF. Is it mostly the stainless factor? Or are there any other potential advantages eg. for the edge etc.?
    gusbuster, Odog27 and Mike157 like this.
  10. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    I had a cocobolo T2 that's one of the few knives I've let go of that I really wish I still had. The lock was shit and you could disengage it far too easily but it's one of the best feeling folders I've come across and designed for cutting. Funny to see your pic with the airframe in it, I was just fondling mine today for the first time in many months:thumbsup:
    abbydaddy and Odog27 like this.
  11. vkp78

    vkp78 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 6, 2014
    Screenshot_20190310-044707_Instagram.jpg I most humbly submit that the wheel has already been invented. I am hoping that Nathan can do it better Screenshot_20190310-044707_Instagram.jpg
  12. vkp78

    vkp78 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 6, 2014
    Looks like I have messed up the image attachment thingy. You should see me type. You will need a Friday 2.59 pm sale open only to me for a chance of placing somewhere on the 3 pm sales
  13. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    While Cold Steel's Triad lock is impressively strong, I don't EDC any of my Triad lock equipped CS knives simply because I haven't found an easy way to safely close the darned things 1-handed.

    I can close my framelocks, linerlocks, Axis locks and compression locks 1-handed with ease, but not the Triad lock.

    The only time I would pick one of the Triad lock equipped knives (outdoor trip. Strength and reliability of the utmost importance), I might as well grab the CPK FK/FK2.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
    Mike157 and Odog27 like this.
  14. vkp78

    vkp78 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 6, 2014
    bluemax, your point maybe true. The case I am trying to make, is that the tri-ad lock is the one to beat. Not the others mentioned before.
  15. benchrest308

    benchrest308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    I fully agree! I am quite excited to see what lock mechanism you go with. Do you have an idea that you can share with us?
    Odog27 and woodysone like this.
  16. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007

    The person I collaborated with on the design was in the military. he observed that while most enlisted men are gearheads, they're not all knife nuts. And they are judged on the condition of their gear. So many of them are going to choose gear with lower maintenance requirements and will choose a stainless steel over a better, but rust prone, steel. With that in mind we have offered a stainless variation of the Utility Fighter. I chose aeb-l because it has a combination of edge stability, corrosion resistance and toughness that I like. It is not as weak as most stainless, and the edge is not chippy or crumbly or mushy like most stainless. It behaves almost like a simple carbon steel.

    we used Elmax on the previous run, and it is also a fantastic stainless steel. Way underrated, I think because many folks have experienced it with a less-than-ideal heat treat. However its biggest strength over aebl, very high abrasion resistance, was not the mechanism most of the casual knife users were dulling their knives. They scrape and clack it into shit. Use a rock or a steel tailgate as a cutting board. Mechanisms where that wear resistance does not pay a dividend. And when they do it was difficult for them to re-sharpen. Aeb-l does not have that problem. Edge stability is key, and aebl has that in droves.
  17. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    hoping we are still talking knives here ... o_O
  18. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    I'm not attempting to make the world's strongest lock. I'll probably just use a regular frame lock design. I'm attempting to build a knife that, with geometry designed to cut, is still extremely durable. Specifically, I am trying to avoid folding knives that need maintenance or special care to avoid being damaged. The end user is someone like a landscaper who gets their knives dirty, never cleans them, never lubricates them, prys shit, and just generally does not take care of them. There are people like this who go through more than one folder in a year. I want to make a knife that does not wear out or break easily, yet is not heavy and clunky and overbuilt. I will be focusing largely on the overall construction and pivot not just the lock.

    I'm not just focused on strength. I want a functional tool that you don't have to take care of that won't develop blade play and poor lock up because stuff got bent, loose or pushed around because it was handled roughly. It's going to be engineered for knuckleheads, not people who baby their gear.
  19. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    ^ some thoughts about your portrayed target audience for that folder as described:

    What makes you think that apart from your neighbor (or his type) and the ardent CPK followers who by and large are big enough in numbers to buy say at least 100 x anything with your name on it, do not still favor buying $30-$40 Homedepot knives and taking a chance on using, abusing, damaging, breaking and tossing it away?; ala the Lather / wash / rinse / repeat routine.

    Mark's folder: IIRC correctly an almost 10 oz behemoth of a folder and seemingly tough as nails going for about 6 x bill$ at the Blade Shows. Austin (Brian's son) seems to be a huge advocate of that knife, so much so that Brian sought another one from one of our regulars for Austin's buddy who also wanted one. The question is how your first foray into folders will be different than that since I imagine with Mark being a folder guy, he will probably have some good input into yours. Are you going lighter and for a bit less? Is that where you see your market? Again. my musings because you had clearly stated an FFK or rather an FUFK :p
    gusbuster, woodysone, duramax and 2 others like this.
  20. benchrest308

    benchrest308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Appreciate the response.

    If I may be so bold as to hope for a Nathan inspired compression or bolt lock, that'd be awesome. I don't expect you to reinvent anything. Just support a strong, fairly maintenance free lock design that (most importantly) encourages the fingers to be clear of the blade when manipulating the lock. All in all, I am sure the route that you choose will be well thought out and perfectly fitting for the usage. I look forward to it!

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