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Why Toolless Disassembly Should Be The Future of Knife Design

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Dan57, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Two obvious schools of thought..... tinker or don't tinker? You won't convince either group that their way is the better way. The only time I would take apart a knife is if it is broke and I might just toss it in the trash first.
    DocJD likes this.
  2. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Another school of thought is that it is a way to enjoy the hobby without buying another knife. There's sharpening, coming up with things to cut, flipping/fidgeting with them and now assembly/disassembly. :p

    A side effect of it is that you learn how things work: I took my CRKT Piet apart last week to see if I could improve the action. It was the first time I took a liner lock knife apart. It took some head scratching to get it back together properly, but the action is better now, as I was able to get the oil just where I want it. I also know how liner locks are put together now. I feel like my brain grew a little bit, just then, hehehe. I might open 'er up again to buff down the detent a bit with a Dremel wire brush...
  3. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Until the modern "tactical" folder came along (specifically screw construction), knives were generally incapable of being disassembled for maintenance/cleaning. Countless slip joint folders have performed admirably for decades and have obviously never been disassembled. Most knives will likely never need to be completely disassembled. I can understand why some people would want to though.

    Rather than design a knife that doesn't require tools to disassemble, I'd rather simply design a knife that doesn't NEED to be disassembled. Many knives already fit this description and can be completely serviced with only compressed air and lubricant.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  4. FullMetalJackass

    FullMetalJackass Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2016
    Eh, l like my Torx and bits. I don't like to disassemble, but I will be hard pressed to find a knife that does not need a pivot adjustment once in a while. I must have disassembled less than 5 knives in 30+ years of hobby anyway.
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  5. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I agree. But I take them apart just because I like to.
    midnight flyer likes this.
  6. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    Ha, it's still a gimmick, and to be honest, an ugly one at that.

    "Let me reach into my pocket and flip a goofy eyesore level, then flip the folder around and wheel my little wheel....."

    So much better than just finding a driver.
  7. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    A lot of knife enthusiasts (including myself) also like to mod and customize their knives. Different handle scales, back spacers, blade coatings, etc, etc. Being able to easily disassemble a knife makes it a lot easier to perform such mods.

    I'm sure that if all folders were pinned together, or assembled in a way that made them very difficult to take apart, that there would be a lot fewer very cool customized folding knives in this world (and on this forum).

    It's not necessary to disassemble a knife to have a properly functioning knife, but being able to easily take knives apart certainly makes owning knives a lot more fun for those of us who like to customize them.
    tiguy7 likes this.
  8. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    Oil is good for many miles in a car. The most important thing is to change the oil filter. I new a guy that built race engines and he never changed his oil. He would change the oil filter every 3K miles and add a quart of oil to bring it back to the full level. Every four or five oil filter changes the oil would be pretty much new anyway.
  9. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    And certainly nothing wrong with that, right? We all enjoy our knives in our own ways. I really like some of my knives a lot, but since in my line of work I can literally carry and use any knife I want they have no novelty factor for me. Add in the fact I scratch cook about 14 meals a week for the family where I chop, slice and cut up food as prep requires, most of the time my knives are looked at fondly as useful tools. I am lucky I guess, I don't need to look for a reason to handle them to enjoy them.

    000Robert likes this.
  10. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    That is a valid point. But, surely, you don’t need tool less disassembly to accomplish that. How often would you modify the same knife?

    000Robert likes this.
  11. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I'm not looking for an excuse, I just like to take stuff apart and put it back together. I also like to see how different oils look after a while.
  12. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker

    Feb 28, 2011
    I agree with this, but I go even farther and think that we have a very strong tendency to over lubricate our knives. I lube my knife pivots with approximately the same frequency I lube my door hinges and for the same reason, the very rare cases when they start to squeak or stick. Again, I don't think there's much harm in lubricating folding knives when they don't need it, but I can assure the folks here that they work just fine without any lube for years on end.
    MarkN86, Mitchell Knives and Quiet like this.
  13. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Yup... "If it's not broke, don't mend it". I have never needed to take apart a folding knife to clean it. Pinned or even bolted build... Flush it out with alcohol, blow it out with compressed air, instill a drop of neutral oil. There you go.
    It seems to me the amount of bolted builds you get today incite people to do the "mechanic" stuff while having no understanding of bolts, threads, Loctite and not even speaking of torque.
    Quiet likes this.
  14. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I don't see any reasoning for future knives to be designed to be taken down without tools. Others have covered every base. I've owned most likely over a thousand knives in my lifetime, and can tell you that I can count the ones I've disassembled on one hand. Two of them were CRKs and I only did it because I wanted to see what all the fuss over machining tolerances was about. If you are abusing a tool to the point where you find yourself needing to take it apart and clean it, time to start carrying a fixed blade.

    There are plenty of beautiful knife designs out there that would be objectively ruined if they had to be altered to be able to be disassembled without screws or bolts.
  15. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    To be honest, I don't think the tendency towards "bolted assembly" is to please the obsessed owner who needs to take apart his knife every two weeks to make sure it is perfectly "clean" and totally up to his standards of "flipping like lightning" and "dropping shut" just the same. It is an industry thing. Assembling threaded things is the new standard. It's easier, faster and quicker to QC. So, there you go. Some people more privy to the industry may contradict. Just my experience.
  16. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Oh, and I'm sorry. I didn't answer the original question. I'd hate to see quick / toolless disassembly become a thing in the knife industry. Would you like to see pop out rivets on fixed blades, too ? Let the owner use his item, let the seller / retailer take care of possible problems, with the knowledge / experience / proper tools he has been bestowed with.
  17. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    "Tinker" for those who know what they are doing, sure, enjoy !
    "Don't tinker" definitely for those who have no idea. Hell, to you nitwits, it's just a screw ! It does not mean you are to dismount it (randomly) and re-install it, just as randomly, and then whine about how the knife is a piece of crap.
  18. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
  19. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    The idea of field stripping a firearm makes sense because burnt powder cools on internals and gets stuck, often causing malfunctions with neglect. With a knife the dirt is not usually so hard packed in there that you can't dip it in water and shake it around to clean it out.
    jbmonkey likes this.
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I guess it depends on how you use your knives. Me.... it is very unusual for a knife to get so dirty that a rinse and perhaps a cotton swab won't do for reasonable cleaning. I am in the "no tinker" camp. But not because I couldn't as @herisson suggested as "nitwits", but rather because it simply isn't necessary due to normal use.

    Yes to the firearm analogy. I REALLY do not like to take apart any firearm..... But then, I am a big DA revolver fan and don't care much for 1911's or AR's that people are so fond of taking apart. I went to the Glock armorer's school. I honestly was a bit uncomfortable with the disassembly. I don't want to loose those springs that you have to know ahead of time are under tension.

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