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Why do people mess with CRK knives (a rant by Vermontedge)?

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by VermontEdge, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. VermontEdge


    Jun 10, 2015
    I’ve just gotta vent. Not trying to pass judgement or start anything here.

    I recently worked out a trade that didn’t go so great. It wasn’t on bladeforums and either way I won’t name names. Upon receiving my end of the trade I found a Sebenza with crazy weak detent. Upon contacting the guy he admitted having polished the washers AND bending the lock bar outward to make it “smoother”. Everything worked out ok. He kept the knife I had traded him and bought his own knife back, so everything worked out.

    In the past I’ve received two other crks, one of which I suspected the lock bar to have been adjusted on and one of which I think the washers had been polished and the action was way too loose.

    Again, I’m still frustrated from this trade and I don’t mean to to judge anyone’s preference on modding or tweaking their own knives but...what’s the deal? Why buy a knife famous for its perfection and tolerances and then mess around with it? I just don’t understand.

    I guess my real frustration is just with people not divulging info on knives that they’re selling or trading but...I don’t know. I so value the ability to break in a CRK and have it be perfect. I can’t imagine messing with something like lock bar tension!
  2. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    I don't really care if people modify them, though I don't recommend it. It is their knife to do what they will with it. However if you do modify the knife divulging such modification when selling or trading is a must. It will surely result in a lower price, but that is the penalty for modifying a knife you don't plan to keep forever. Something you should think about before proceeding with a modification in the 1st place.
  3. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Dazed and Confused Platinum Member

    May 3, 2011
    ^^^ This! Totally!
  4. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Trouble is, using the wrong grease, bending the lock bar and "polishing" the washers are considered "improvements" or "normal" maintenance by some.
    The Zieg and Mo2 like this.
  5. mongomondo

    mongomondo SUPPRESSING FIRE

    Sep 17, 2006
    The first time I handled a Sebenza I was shocked at how hard it was to open the blade and to disengage the lock bar. I can see how people that aren't familiar with these knives will want to "improve" it. My advice to these people is to develop stronger thumbs.
  6. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    That’s why I don’t put much merit in the YouTube videos, even the popular reviewers. I guess some people want instant gratification and don’t understand what it means to be patient.
    I would be furious if full disclosure was not included either buying or trading a knife. Glad it worked out that the knife was bought back.
  7. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Ever since my Manix I have to smirk when someone suggests "lifting weights" so they can open their pocket knife.
    Two that open and close with the lightest effort and always make me smile (I traded off the Manix) . . . (and do chins by the dozen):
    PS : they required zero "break in" . . . I'm just saying . . .
    McFeeli likes this.
  8. mongomondo

    mongomondo SUPPRESSING FIRE

    Sep 17, 2006
    Opening the sebenza isn't that hard if you just know the technique. The biggest problem are people that bend the lock bar to make it looser.
    brandonc and Mo2 like this.
  9. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    2 points:

    1 I agree with you. I think it is crazy that people buy a knife known for its exceptional tolerances and exacting construction then go and do something like sand down the washers etc. Though it is their knife and they can do what they want, disclosure on sale is a MUST!

    2nd, People seem to want the Sebenza to be a knife that it is not. By that I mean they want the Sebbie to be an ultra smooth free action flicking knife like many other modern knives are. They will even hear the Sebenza was never designed for this and still be shocked to find out is true. I think buying a CRK you have to go in wanting a knife that you “slowly” thumb roll open and closed. Personally I find that action just as gratifying as my ultra free swinging knives like bearing knives or even some axis locks on pb washers.

    After a few years of carrying my small 21 it broke in and now can flick open quite well. However this is just a bonus and not something I expect the knife to do out of the box. Not something I would alter the knife to chase after. Also people should know that CRKs that have the large ceramic BB lockface that doubles as the detent ball generally do not flick very well. This seems to be to do with the oversized detent ball.
  10. BellaBlades

    BellaBlades Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    I think it's crazy to take tension off the lock bar. They are made this way for a reason.

    Sure you can do whatever you want to your knife. Just be open about it and make sure you don't sell it to me :)

    My Lrg Inkosi is extremely smooth and flicks open no problem although I rarely do. I think people over tighten them.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
    Heirphoto, JNewell, lex137 and 3 others like this.
  11. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    IMO CRK may be frustrating for some
    They are the kind of knives that required some break in period
    If you are not patient and if you don’t use you knives much I think sebenza are not really made for you

    I like ZT, Spyderco and Benchmade for they are ready to go knives but CRK are definitively a different breed of knives
  12. MSchott


    Feb 9, 2017
    The problem is the seller did not disclose the mods they made. He sold a non-stock knife.
    The Zieg and OLd_gUY like this.
  13. NCHunter78

    NCHunter78 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    Do whatever you want to with your own knife. Anyone's opinion does not matter.

    However, if you sell that knife, that information should be provided without the buyer even having to ask. May or may not affect the selling price, that depends on the buyer.

    I do not care want people do with their own knives. Their money, their property, good for them. But I cannot stand a buyer that chooses not to provide information that they damn well know is important.
    OLd_gUY and BellaBlades like this.
  14. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Mine can be flicked no problem too, it just isn’t the best flicking knife. I just find the ones with the oversized ceramic bb lockface/detent have a not very snappy detent. I believe this is due to the oversized detent.

    It creates a perfect action for thumb rolling open but not perfect for flicking. The detent breaks too smoothly, and thus there isn’t much stage to preload thumb pressure before it breaks.
  15. BellaBlades

    BellaBlades Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2013

    Well said. Also the massive washers add a little bit of friction.

    Boy the "thumb role" is nice on these. I get more satisfaction opening it slow and listening to that nice thud.
    OLd_gUY, PNWhovian and Lapedog like this.
  16. expidia1

    expidia1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2018
    From my 2 months of experience with CRK there is a learning curve to its blade action. I think when someone is new to the brand, they don't understand that they are not designed to be flippers. And I've learned here that messing with the knife will do no good other than cleaning and greasing it. Anything above that will probably void the warranty.

    I don't see a sticky on this (maybe Im just missing it) but the first time opening a CRK and feeling its hydraulic action I think many then look to reviews on youtube (like I did) to see if they can make it more flipper like. The reason I feel a sticky is warranted is that I learned here that thinning down the washers does not change this action. What I found is if you hold the knife open and upside down and hold the lockbar off the blade and the blade swings freely thinning the washers will not have any affect on the action and only serve to loosen the tightly made CRK tolerances.

    I'd like to see this mentioned in a sticky as a "before you buy" suggestion of watching the 2 part CRK factory tour too!

    After purchasing 9 CRK's here over the past two months, I've only found one (born 1/30/18 a new knife!) the small seb 21 which had pinched washers and had to be sent back to CRK. My guess is the first owner probably opened it and pinched those washers. Why one would open a brand new seb is beyond me? My guess is he thought he could loosen the action up with grease. I could see this on a few year old seb, but not doing this to a brand new one!

    I think a sticky would be helpful especially for newer users to the brand in understanding how the hydraulic action is by design and it should loosen up a little more down the road just from opening and closing which allows the washers to mesh with the blade more and seat better.
  17. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Dude, I think you hit the nail on the head on a topic that doesn't get covered a lot.

    In order to love and appreciate a CRK, you MUST USE them. I think the biggest detractors of these knives are those who hear about the "glory of Sebenza" from YouToobers and they buy one as a status symbol to clip into their suit pants. This seems to be a recurring theme among many who critique their first Sebenza. These knives have got to be in hand cutting things. They don't perform nearly as well clipped in your pocket at the office.

    A few years ago I moved from a job where I used my pocket knife daily in various, rigorous ways. Now, if I get a chance to open a package or an envelope I feel a little giddy. I think my reduced use of all pocket knives has hurt my ability to objectively evaluate new knives...and it really kind of sucks to have to admit that!
    WreckedVeteran and The Zieg like this.
  18. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Wait, now I'm confused. Wasn't it you who opened the knife to add lube oil while considering sanding down the washers to make the action smoother? I'm sure there's a thread around here in GKD where you were asking about improving the washers and adjusting the lock bar on your first Sebenza...
    OLd_gUY and Murphjd25 like this.
  19. Murphjd25

    Murphjd25 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2016
    I will be using my Sebenza every day, and sure as heck didn’t buy it to flip it open as fast as I can. I have flippers on bearings for that! Only thing I plan on doing to it is set a new bevel and edge on it. I am sure I will be very impress d and happy with my first CRK, as the praise is very high.
  20. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    My mini Ritter continues to be the smoothest knife I own. It's immaculate.

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