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#14021 - 03/18/03 07:52 PM Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
beakman Offline

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Hi everyone. I just joined this forum recently, although I've been lurking a while and learning a lot. Anyway, I posted this on the Knifeforums, but wanted to get opinions from here as well. I've been looking at all the various assisted opening knives available now (e.g., SOG Flash, the Kershaw Speed-Safe knives, etc.) and wondering whether that feature is really necessary. I own a Kershaw Chive, and it's fun to pop open and use, but I'm still a little nervous about carrying it in my pocket (I'm always checking the safety catch).

So what are people's opinions, is speed assisted opening a useful feature or a gimmick?

the beakman

#14022 - 03/18/03 08:24 PM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?

I can see places where its useful... particularly when your occupied and need to get the knife open with one hand.

One example might involve holding a rope taught while you cut it to length. But when I'm out the woods doing this kind of thing, I usually just have a fixed blade on my belt anyway.

Still, it would probably be unfair just to say its a gimmick.

#14023 - 03/19/03 02:50 AM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Setting aside Blackboard Jungle images of switchblades leaves us with the question why? I ride and drive horses. The last thing I want on my person is a sheath knife. If I get in a wreck it is most likely to hammer me in the kidney. Should I successfully draw it, I have 1200 pounds of frightened animal struggling in tangled harness or barbed wire (btdt.) I DON'T want something that can stab horse or rider. So, I carry a fast opening Spyderco Rescue with sheepsfoot blade. This is one exmple. I am looking at the assisted open knives with great interest.

#14024 - 03/19/03 03:03 AM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?

It must depend upon your activity. When kayaking or scuba diving, I really like a nice uncomplicated sheath knife - draw, cut, finished. I also prefer a sheath knife, usually a smaller variety, for backpacking and climbing - it's basically simpler and lighter. But I can see your point about what works around horses....

#14025 - 03/19/03 06:01 AM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
gitarmac Offline

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 31
I carry a kershaw leek under my hospital scrubs at work and have had no problems with it opening unintentialy. It has a lock just in case and I used it at first but it kind of defeats the purpose of quick deployment. I also have a benchmade 705 that can be opened one handed. It has a much sturdier blade. The leek is scary sharp. It's not a knife to play around with. It's also not a knife for serious work. It has a fine point and a scaple edge.

So I would say it's not really a gimmick, just depends on the need. Any folder should be able to be opened one handed though. I can flick my axis lock benchmade as fast as my leek, although it takes a little more finese.

When I am at work, at the hospital, I usually carry my leek because its thin and sharp. Other times I carry my 705. My other folders are gathering dust. I had my kabar folder slip on my cutting bait because the lockback got jammed with dirt and stuff. It really made me loose confidence in it. It was one of those old models with brass bolsters, wieghted a ton and had a belt sheath. These days you can get a knife with good steel, solid lockup, light, and a nice clip, so coworkers don't know I'm being politically incorrect!! Life is good! <img src="images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

#14026 - 03/19/03 07:38 AM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?

My edc is a spyderco delica. It didn't take too much practice till I can open it one handed and lightning quick. My Cuz has an assist knife (I forget the make) and it didn't seem to open any faster or require less dexterity to open than spydie. Though I wasn't practiced at it.
The lock backs do need a tad of maintenance to keep lint and dirt out for safe operation. I's not been a real pain to keep up tho.
I haven't seen anyone really explain the virtues of the assist. I'm looking forward to the remarks by those who have them and use daily.

#14027 - 03/19/03 11:01 AM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
Hello !

I agree with the usefulness of one hand opening systems.
As for opening speed, have you tried the wave system, on some Emerson knives ?

#14028 - 03/19/03 05:49 PM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?

I always use one that has a tie-down sheath and I tend to wear it pretty low.

That seems to solve the "handle poking in the kidney problem", but to each his own. <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

#14029 - 03/19/03 11:20 PM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
David Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Tennessee (middle)
IMO, it's more of a gimmick. Mine is a part of my "representative sample" collection.

I have an early Kershaw/Ken Onion model. It's gorgeous--rounded, polished G10 handles, titanium liners, 440V steel, scary sharp out of the box, & holds an edge well--so far, and has no lock. I've never had a problem with it opening in my pocket--though when dropped, yes.
It's become my Sunday/dress clothes knife, because of those rounded edges--it's not as hard on my clothes.

The assisted opening mechanism is nice, but not necessary for me. Most of the knives I carry are one-hand openers (can even do it w/a couple that aren't so designed), and most are also ambidextrous. The Kershaw/Onion has a non-reversible stud, set up for right-hand use only, though it can be used by the index finger of the left hand.

The torsion assist is fast, & impressive, but I can't easily open it in church to trim a string without a noticable "click" that can be more easily controlled in regular knives.

I like mine, but as I've said, it's relegated to a secondary use role. FWIW, I think the Kershaw Black Out and new Leek are the two best designs to date.


#14030 - 03/20/03 02:31 PM Re: Speed Assisted Opening - Feature or Gimmick?
beakman Offline

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! My own thoughts are that it might be a neat feature to have, but I could probably live without it. For those that do like the assisted opening knives, which one(s) do you like the best? As I said before, I have a Kershaw Chive, and it's a nice little knife with a nice frame lock. Of the others out there, the SOG Flash looks interesting to me. What do others like?

the beakman

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