Tired of liner locks on Waved Emersons failing?

There was a post on the Spyderco Forum about the Kasper with a spydie hole. I think it was on the Spyderco page. It's been awhile. I'll go do a search.

Here is a link to the topic, but the pics are gone:
You could probably email NCBlades and ask about the pictures.


[This message has been edited by Blades (edited 02-22-2001).]
I am going to respond to the subject of the aftermarket “wave” feature being discussed here on the forums. At the same time I am going to address a couple of other issues that have come up recently that are somewhat related. I know that by responding to this I will undoubtedly draw some flak due to the passion that members of the forum have for their interest in knives and all related subjects. It is nice to know that there is certainly no apathy amongst the forum members and I believe that this energy and interest is usually a window on the overall profile of each individual. It is refreshing to know that such enthusiasm still exists. Anyway, at the risk of offending one, many, or all, here goes.

The self-opening feature or “wave” as, it is called by many, is a patented and owned invention of Emerson Knives. This also covers add-on waves. For the archives – the very first Commander knives were designed with an add-on wave feature. There were two reasons for this. Number one, it was the quickest way to prototype the feature and actually try it on an existing knife. Number two, when I was working on the original design for the Navy SEAL teams, I first offered it as an add-on feature so they could use it or not according to their contract need or requirements. They declined stating and I paraphrase, “Ernest keep it simple – make it a part of the knife. We don’t want to fiddle around with crap like that.” No problem.

Now just so you all know some more about it. We have been approached by two other “inventors” of the add-on wave who basically had contracts ready to go for licensing and royalties. Needless to say, they were informed that the idea and/or invention was not theirs and that we own both add-ons and integral remote opening features. Both of these incidents took place within the last two years. Sorry folks, but we were there about 3 ½ years ago.

Now, I’m going to address subject number two. I hope everyone understands this in the proper context. We are knife people, I am a knife person, I have been involved in the design and building of knives for almost 20 years, my interest in knives goes back over 35 years. I own a knife company, I make my living off of knives. I am surrounded by knife people, I literally eat, sleep, and breathe knives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I am also a tool and die maker and was a design engineer at Hughes Aircraft for over 10 years. Why do I press on these issues? Just to make sure that everyone understands where my qualifications on design, engineering, and knife making are based.

Every time I design a new knife model we play with the size of the knife. We know what has been determined to be the optimum size of knife for the largest volume of overall sales. And yet the knife must still be fully functional and qualified to the requirements of the specific customers or application the knife is designed to address. This is the knife that we introduce first.

Now, I want everyone to know that we also design, engineer, and prototype a larger version of each knife and a “mini” version of each knife. We have larger scale versions of all our knife models ready to go into production and also mini versions of all our knife models ready to go into production, at the time that I decide is correct. These are done at the very first phase of concept engineering and are part of most knife manufacturers’ design programs. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Right now I have around 20 new designs fully engineered in all size iterations, i.e. small, medium, large that no one has ever seen outside of my own drawings and cad files. Will they all become production models? No. Will some? Definitely.

The reason that I am bringing this up is that we have been contacted several times over the last year by individuals who have made claims to designing, conceptualizing, “inventing” mini versions, larger versions, and also auto versions of our knives. Sorry, but it’s built into our system from day one on every design we make. If you understand basic marketing it is obvious why we don’t release all versions of all models.

I usually let the forums run on by themselves and they usually do just fine. However, recently there have been some individuals who have been adamant about their part in Emerson design concepts and that indeed the ideas for some knife designs were their own. Before anyone goes off claiming that this is ego driven, let me state very clearly. Yes it is, in part because of the thousands of hours of sacrifices and injuries that I have endured to learn my craft, but also because recently some individuals have gone so far as to mention how much money Emerson was going to make off of their ideas. That is where I will put an end to this and simply say, sorry, but it’s just not the case.

I know this has been rather long winded but I believe it took this much explanation to make everyone fully aware of the way that these designs are formulated without just flat out saying to anyone “hey, it’s my idea, not yours.” It would be like me saying, “I’m the one who said Glock should make a mini version or an auto version of their guns.” I’m sure no one at Glock has thought of this.

In closing, I just want to say that I do not know everything, I don’t come up with everything, and we are always willing to listen to and respond to customers’ comments, ideas, and wishes. However, just as with my comment about the Glocks, if an idea is really so obvious, someone on my staff or perhaps even myself has probably already visited the same idea. It’s why I stated earlier that I eat, sleep, and breathe knives 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ernest R. Emerson
Mr Emerson, to quote Doug E. Doug in the movie "Cool Runnings", "That be one hell of a place to be coming from." I do apologise sincerely for that subject heading that I used. I feel really bad that I did not spend that extra few seconds to make sure that it was not inflammatory.

After all you said, I am doubly impressed at the experienced you have gained and the extent of your passion in this field. I feel humbled and contrite. As a result, I will not hesitate to say the following.

I am sorry for infringing on your copyright, even if it was done unknowingly. I am willing to either remove the Wave add-on from my SOG, or pay you the required royalties, as you see fit. Also, I must inform you that I own a La Griffe. But because in the course of my MA training, I kept bashing my knuckles whilst using it, I am trying to custom-build a model that would feature a longer blade (prob. 3"), but would, in all other respects, resemble the Griffe. If you do not wish for me to carry on this path, or wish me to pay royalties, please let me know.

In all sincerity.
Mr. Emerson,

If you truly want an input, consider increasing QC on your knives. The 2000 version of the Commander has thinner liners that allow the entire knife to flex and feel cheap. On the last Commander I bought, the blade scraped the liner right out of the box. The liner lock moved all the way across the blade in a matter of weeks. The pivot screw continually backed out, had to be tightened weekly. The semi chisel grind tends to travel to one side when cutting deeply. The wave is great, but its poor execution forces me to buy and carry other brands.