The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

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The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Michael Janich » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:21 pm

To All Spyderco Enthusiasts:

In recent months, there has been considerable discussion in various social media forums about the Spyderco Advocate knife and concerns regarding the ball bearing washer system used in its pivot mechanism. We have followed these discussions very closely and have been researching the issue diligently. We’d like to take this opportunity to share our findings and update you on the actions we are taking to address the issue.

First and most importantly, the vast majority of the Advocate knives currently in use around the world are performing exactly as designed. A thorough review of our warranty repair records has not shown a significant incidence of customer issues with this knife. The issues that have come to our attention have occurred primarily after customers have adjusted the tension of their pivot pin screws.

The Advocate’s blade pivots between two washers, each of which contains a series of small ball bearings. Since the ball bearings are harder than the knife’s titanium scales, a small steel washer is included between each ball bearing washer and the corresponding scale to protect the scale from excessive wear. When the knife is assembled at the factory, great care is taken in tightening the pivot pin screws to allow the ball bearings to roll freely between the blade and the steel washer. If the pivot pin screws are overtightened, the bearings will not roll freely, the blade will not open smoothly, and the washers may be damaged.

A careful review of the Advocate’s design revealed that the steel washers used in its pivot are measurably thinner than those used in our other flipper models and are therefore vulnerable to the effects of overtightening. Although we are confident that the Advocate knives currently in service will continue to function properly as long as their pivots are left at their factory adjustment, we are taking action to ensure that future production of the knife is not susceptible to this issue. We have suspended production of the current version and are working diligently to redesign the pivot to completely eliminate this concern. We have also decided to suspend shipment of our current inventory of Advocate knives until a satisfactory redesign is complete.

If you currently own an Advocate and are experiencing difficulties with it, please return it to our Warranty Repair department for evaluation. If your knife cannot be easily restored to its proper factory adjustment, we will credit the full MSRP of the knife toward the purchase of another Spyderco product.

If you are a Spyderco dealer and one of your customers experiences difficulties with an Advocate purchased from you, you may either direct him to Spyderco’s Warranty Repair department or accept the knife in return for a direct exchange or refund. We will then accept the return of the Advocate in question from you and give you a credit of your actual purchase price.

Please note that this issue has only affected a small percentage of Advocate knives and is isolated to this model only. The issue DOES NOT affect other Spyderco models, including our other flipper-opening designs. A thorough review of our Warranty Repair records has conclusively confirmed this.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued interest in Spyderco products. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Respectfully,

Mike

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Bodog » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:32 pm

Stiff competition in the bearing market.

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70066

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=72930

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showt ... al-Failure

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... pers_suck/

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=68621

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=71835

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70802

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... no_owners/


https://bladereviews.com/spyderco-mantra-1-review/


https://youtu.be/VyDCkcL_A24




Doesn't seem to be only the advocate. Those links are from doing a quick search into Google. I'm sure a deeper search would have many more results. Hopefully they do something that competes with the other companies and not just continue doing something that only barely satisfies customers. When most of us think of really good flipping action, what companies do it right? Sadly, most in the under $400 range come from China with one obvious choice made in America.

It's a good thing I don't care a lot about flippers and bearings. My slysz bowie still satisfies me and yeah, it's still smooth.
Last edited by Bodog on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby wrdwrght » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:36 pm

Just a point of clarification, Mike. The overtightening you mention: could it have been done during assembly at the factory, or is it the result of a user trying to get the sweet spot?
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby mrtodd777 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:05 pm

Sorry Bodog, but these are facts as reported by a very reputable company. Read below in case you missed it.

"The issue DOES NOT affect other Spyderco models, including our other flipper-opening designs. A thorough review of our Warranty Repair records has conclusively confirmed this."

You cant argue with numbers. The people with complaints were most likely people that messed them up themselves and are not willing to admit it.. My mantra, a good friends mantra, another good friends domino are all perfect flipping machines and they all have one thing in common. We never attempted to adjust the pivot.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Bodog » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:18 pm

mrtodd777 wrote:Sorry Bodog, but these are facts as reported by a very reputable company. Read below in case you missed it.

"The issue DOES NOT affect other Spyderco models, including our other flipper-opening designs. A thorough review of our Warranty Repair records has conclusively confirmed this."

You cant argue with numbers. The people with complaints were most likely people that messed them up themselves and are not willing to admit it.. My mantra, a good friends mantra, another good friends domino are all perfect flipping machines and they all have one thing in common. We never attempted to adjust the pivot.



I personally don't care enough to argue. I know what I saw. I know it came that way from the factory. I know it's an issue that affects pretty much every ball bearing knife spyderco makes at some level. I don't care to buy another spyderco knife with ball bearings. Their phosphor bronze washers work well with their designs and are as good as or better than their competition. The bearings from spyderco are trying to fix something that's not broken and even then they're not getting it anywhere near as right as a lot of other companies. So I don't care, but people do need to know that apparently what's good enough for spyderco, concerning ball bearing pivots, is just good enough regardless of how well others are doing. That's their choice and will win or lose customers. That's on them. I can guarantee with almost everything I have that if most buyers could have ZT like action on their spyderco bearing knives they wouldn't turn that offer down. And I'm not particularly fond of ZT's designs, but they're getting flipping action correct. Spyderco hopefully steps up to that level or gets out of the bearing game because it's not really attractive seeing spyderco trying to keep up at something they're not good at and aren't trying to fix either. Take that for what it's worth.

Anyway, I'm starting to believe it's less about the bearing pivots causing sluggish action than it is the detent ball and rough ground tang. Grittiness, yes, the bearings, but slow action and misfires are looking like the detent ball, lockbar strength, and tangs finished roughly more and more. But that's a whole other debate.


As an aside, this is how it's supposed to be done. Standoffs that mean something, detent ramp, ceramic detent ball, thick, hardened races, free spinning bearings in a good cage, internal stop pin that doesn't sacrifice blade strength, lock bar overtravel stop that's not noticeable from the outside, polished tang, clip that's unobtrusive yet extremely functional and really classy.

Image

Image

Image

Image

If spyderco is listening this is a customized midtech that cost a little more than a nirvana but also came with a nice bead, a nice pivot tool, and a nice case. A base piece with none of the extras would cost about the same as a slysz bowie but the extras are included therefore raise the cost. As far as fit and functionality goes, this has the slysz bowie beat. As far as the finish goes, the slysz wins. Then again, this is a far more complicated knife with many small features that the slysz cannot compare to at all. The details are what puts this knife ahead with the ceramic detent, ramp, the best internal stop pin design I've personally seen, polished screws, detent perfectly tuned to use both the flipper and the hole, etc. Not only that but taking the knife apart is encouraged and has one of the best damned warranties and customer service philosophies I've could've ever thought of. This is the competition. This should've been the knife of the year at Blade Show.

And Chinese makers are doing about the same for even less but without the exceptional customer service.

Spyderco needs to step up it's game or it will be overtaken like Kershaw was. The competition is knocking at the door. Yes, I'm screaming at Spyderco. It's totally non-sensical to continue with the bearings and lack of features and price point they're trying to compete with. Other makers will pound spyderco down and they'll be producing second rate knives before long. Happened to A.G. Russell, Kershaw, etc. Sure, people will argue with me. I don't care. It's the truth. I hope Sal is listening.


That's all I have to say about that.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby ZrowsN1s » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:52 pm

I don't own an advocate. But I'd like to take a second to applaud the company's decision to halt current production, hold their inventory, redesign, and offer a fix or refund to anyone who is having problems with their knife. Your commitment as a company to make it right, and to let your customers know they are listened to, does not go unnoticed. This may be off topic, but I'd like to see flippers made with just bronze phosphorus washers. I have some cheap flippers that just use teflon washers, they open just fine. I have a nice knife with fancy bearings, it opens about 50 times faster and harder than it needs to, I worry I'm going to damage the lock it opens so hard. I'd be happy if spyderco made some flippers without the bearings that have an opening action comparable to thumb flicking a PM2 open.
Last edited by ZrowsN1s on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Sharp Guy » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:17 pm

Bodog wrote:That's all I have to say about that.


I find that hard to believe! :rolleyes:
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Liquid Cobra » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:21 pm

Sharp Guy wrote:
Bodog wrote:That's all I have to say about that.


I find that hard to believe! :rolleyes:


You beat me to it :D
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby murphjd25 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:32 pm

Don't worry Sal, I'll keep buying your knives!
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Evil D » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:53 pm

So uh, without stepping up on the keyboard warrior soap box as some seem to feel is necessary to get a point across...I have to say the issue does extend beyond just the Advocate. My Mantra came with what I would describe as a "bumpy" pivot action. It did flip just fine, and you wouldn't know it had any other issue otherwise if it wasn't for opening it with the thumb hole, and then you could feel the bumping from the dents in the washers. I had not touched the pivot on that knife, so it absolutely shipped that way. To be honest though I had no idea the bumpy pivot action existed until the first thread was posted about it because I had only flipped the knife open and just didn't notice it. I also found a solution that worked to fix the bumpy feeling on my knife and I'm quite happy with how it feels now, but it definitely needs to be looked into.

It does seem to me that the issue is with how thin the washers are. I also have a Southard that I have taken apart and the washers in that knife are fine, there's a light groove from where the bearings ride but no dents, and I've adjusted that pivot to be quite tight (and yet it still flips perfect every time). The washers in my Southard are visibly thicker than the Mantra's.
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Michael Janich » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:53 am

Dear Evil D:

If you have an issue with your Mantra, please return it to us so we can make it right. We QC our knives very diligently, but I can't rule out the possibility that a new-in-the-box knife might have been overtightened during initial assembly. If that's the case, we'll fix it or replace it.

Thank you for letting us know. We actively track the feedback we get on each model so we can tell if there are significant issues that require attention.

Stay safe,

Mike

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby David Lowry » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:48 am

Bodog wrote:Stiff competition in the bearing market.

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70066

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=72930

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showt ... al-Failure

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... pers_suck/

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=68621

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=71835

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70802

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... no_owners/


https://bladereviews.com/spyderco-mantra-1-review/


https://youtu.be/VyDCkcL_A24




Doesn't seem to be only the advocate. Those links are from doing a quick search into Google. I'm sure a deeper search would have many more results. Hopefully they do something that competes with the other companies and not just continue doing something that only barely satisfies customers. When most of us think of really good flipping action, what companies do it right? Sadly, most in the under $400 range come from China with one obvious choice made in America.

It's a good thing I don't care a lot about flippers and bearings. My slysz bowie still satisfies me and yeah, it's still smooth.


Please just leave if all you're going to do is crap on everything everyone says. I've not seen one post in the last 6 months where you actually add value to a conversation.
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Haste » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:12 am

Matte footprints.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Bodog » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:13 am

David Lowry wrote:
Bodog wrote:Stiff competition in the bearing market.

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70066

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=72930

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showt ... al-Failure

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... pers_suck/

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=68621

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=71835

https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?t=70802

https://www.reddit.com/r/knifeclub/comm ... no_owners/


https://bladereviews.com/spyderco-mantra-1-review/


https://youtu.be/VyDCkcL_A24




Doesn't seem to be only the advocate. Those links are from doing a quick search into Google. I'm sure a deeper search would have many more results. Hopefully they do something that competes with the other companies and not just continue doing something that only barely satisfies customers. When most of us think of really good flipping action, what companies do it right? Sadly, most in the under $400 range come from China with one obvious choice made in America.

It's a good thing I don't care a lot about flippers and bearings. My slysz bowie still satisfies me and yeah, it's still smooth.


Please just leave if all you're going to do is crap on everything everyone says. I've not seen one post in the last 6 months where you actually add value to a conversation.


Exactly what is wrong with saying there are at least multiple reports of multiple models with bearings showing the same issue as opposed to NO other models having ANY problems whatsoever?

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Afterman » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:15 am

Now we just need a 'Rhino Release Date: An Official Statement from Spyderco'.

:p

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby Bodog » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:18 am

I know and they know other people have problems unless they're saying that these other reports are fabrications. Other people HAVE had issues across the board with bearing pivots regardless of model and its always the same complaint and its usually the same thing. Disappointing action and not much else. People don't normally bring it up here or on BF because so many people attack them and tell them they're wrong or whatever and spyderco loses a customer. Especially when it's known that Spyderco is happy with the action.

I'm not crapping on spyderco. They're great. I just don't see why they're so bent on defending what is obviously a lackluster feature.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby roger-roger » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:49 am

Its not a bad thing for Spyderco that all the info is easily out there, for the consumer to make up their own mind.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby TazKristi » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:54 am

Bodog wrote:I know and they know other people have problems unless they're saying that these other reports are fabrications. Other people HAVE had issues across the board with bearing pivots regardless of model and its always the same complaint and its usually the same thing. Disappointing action and not much else. People don't normally bring it up here or on BF because so many people attack them and tell them they're wrong or whatever and spyderco loses a customer. Especially when it's known that Spyderco is happy with the action.

I'm not crapping on spyderco. They're great. I just don't see why they're so bent on defending what is obviously a lackluster feature.


Bodog:
We're not saying those reports are fabrications - we just can't base decisions on reports posted on the internet. I can find all sorts of things through Google searches. It doesn't mean the resulting information is complete or accurate. It's kind of like you saying you don't care about flippers or "that's all I have to say about that" but your posts demonstrate something very different.

We can't make decisions about potential or actual issues based on posts on the internet. We absolutely listen to those and they carry some weight in our decisions but at the end of the day, we have to rely on research and evaluation of the knives themselves - meaning what we have here and what is sent into W&R for evaluation.

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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby spyderg » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:59 pm

I'm glad that they are addressing the issues with the Advocate. I was on the fence on this one, something about the handle put me off although I love the blade. I held off and started to hear the complaints. I have a Mantra, if I close it with the least possible pressure needed, I can fell the bumpiness that must be caused by the bearings in the indents in its washers. I assume the Advocate must be far worse? It is far less noticeable now than it was when new. I assume the washers have smoothed out some. I do worry that they will wear through and split someday but in the meantime it is ever so smooth opening and closing normally. I use it a lot and fairly hard at times. If the washers ever fail I trust Spyderco will take care of me although I'm in canada so I assume it will cost me a lot in shipping and of course take forever. The Mantra would **** near perfect on phosphor bronze washers, no bearings and stronger detent. Perhaps the Advocate too. They do it so well on other knives. I guess they are making what the market wants but I think many of us spyderholics would prefer PB, no?
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Re: The Advocate - An Official Statement from Spyderco

Postby ZrowsN1s » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:06 pm

spyderg wrote:... The Mantra would **** near perfect on phosphor bronze washers, no bearings and stronger detent. Perhaps the Advocate too. They do it so well on other knives. I guess they are making what the market wants but I think many of us spyderholics would prefer PB, no?

That's what I'm sayin! :D I think the bearings are unnecessary (especially considering all the recent issues), PB washers would be a design improvement I think.
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