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Thread: Lock testing

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Lock testing

    I hear there is a bunch going on with "lock testing" lately. Sorry, I've been quite busy and will not have to time really get into this for a few days.

    I am assuming that those with problems have sent them in to Spyderco for inspection? Rc testing, microscope analysis, etc. Naturally we would want to analyze the problems and solve them.

    Otherwise one might get the impression that it's more staging than it should be.

    If a lock defeats, and something is damaged, it will never work again. Repeating the test, or even filming a repeated test is really a waste of time. The damage has been done. Subsequent tests are like trying to recreate a birth.

    If you hit a part hard enough to break or deform it, this is not a safety test, it is a destruction test. Probably a topic we'll have to get into in some depth and see if we can determine a standard.

    It's your product, that you purchased and you can do what you want with it, but I don't think that manufacturers should not be responsibile for destruction testing done by ELUs.

    A safety test is like turning on your flashlight to make sure it still works, or shaking your canteen. Checking your knife to see if maybe dirt, lint, or some other problem might exist.

    There are only a few reasons that a lock will defeat.

    Try to keep in mind that these are small bits of steel, usually between 1/32" and 5/32" thick that are carefully machined to work together to provide a degree of safety that is greater than a slip-joint.

    Driving your car into a brick wall to test the bumpers, airbags and seat belts is questionable.

    Perhaps some of the more knowledgable might be interested in creating a thread that deals with what kind of testing is useful?

    I personally know someone that intentionally destroys products because the "warrantee" permits him to. I believe that Mick had some interesting comments about these types.

    The goal, at least for Spyderco is to create and produce safe, reliable high performance products for our customers. Anything that we can do to improve our products in those areas is always at the forefront of our R&D.

    While we appreciate the comments and opinions of our customers, we will need to examine the products in our lab to determine the cause. Your support and understanding is appreciated.

    sal

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User d.g.g's Avatar
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    Well said.

    I think it is unethical to beat a knife into junk and expect the maker to fix it. If you broke it you bought it is my motto. I sure don't want to pay more for my knife than I have to because the maker is increasing my price for his cost of needless repairs. Even an unconditional lifetime guarantee should not cover abuse as defined by the maker.

    Link in point:

    http://spyderco.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17715

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Jim Malone's Avatar
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    I have no interrest in testing my knives. I did test my only Benchmade and the lock did fine.
    I have never spinewhacked any of my .
    There are two reasons: #1 i trust to have a certain quality level and that tests have already conducted on my behalf by Spyderco
    #2 if my lock would fail during my own test i would have a defective knife, and the integrity of the lock would be compromised.
    What i do miss, and i would like to ask Sal to re´nstate that, is the lock rating!
    Some locks ( like the ball lock) have never received such a rating and i regret that.
    I guess it will recieve a high rating, but this is just guestimating.
    It's better to be judged by 12 then to be carried by 6

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User HoB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    Perhaps some of the more knowledgable might be interested in creating a thread that deals with what kind of testing is useful?
    sal
    That would be great. Would you be will and start such a thread by suggesting something? Since you have (by far) the greatest experience and professional means to conduct these tests I would think it should probably be you to give a starting point?

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User J Smith's Avatar
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    I think any people are going to see those vidios and really hammer their knife until it fails.When you strike something like that the force that goes into the object is extreme.The more times you do it the weaker you are makeing it.
    IMO the best spine wack test is not by hitting it on a hard object not even rubber because you can't really tell how much force is going into the knife.
    I allways do the spine wack by hitting the back of the spine against my palm,if it really hurts and the lock does not give then I am satisfied that it is safe.
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  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User cheez's Avatar
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    I guess it's a somewhat hot topic. whatever you do or say, you get burned. I got both the Manix and the BM 710 to fail. Used a wooden stick, and held the knife w/ two (2!) fingers. I guess I must have plenty strong fingers if that is called abuse.

    Dunno what to do with this now...
    "I sold my voice to pay for my security. Now I write my sentences on its walls." - Jason Cruz

  7. #7
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    Sal,

    I must admit I am a bit troubled about this topic and I do hope you will have time to look into this in the near future. I doubt the forumites that experienced lock failures did any destruction testing as it would be out of character at least. Both were surprised that their MBC rated folder could not withstand a light spinewhack and in my opinion rightfully so. Testing the lock in this way is in my opinion just another common sense safety check and can in no way be seen as abuse.

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User J Smith's Avatar
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    I light spine wack is differant from hitting the spine on a hard surface.Even if you think you are not hitting it very hard the force that is transmited into the pivot and lock is alot.
    Maybe someone can explain it better than I can.Its like when you are jogging,even though you may only wiegh 120 lbs with every stride you make your feet and knees absorb like 1200 lbs.
    This is not to say that some do not have lock problems,a NIB knife or even a used one that has not been bashed and fails a light spine wack is not normal and should not be accepted.On the other hand if someone gives thier knives dozons of hard wacks and they fail,IMO that is abuse.
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  9. #9
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    J Smith,

    I do agree that spinewhacking your folder hard dozens of times could be considered abuse and doesn't serve any safety purpose.
    I am not sure about the best way to test a lock for safety purposes but I believe it should be able to withstand the kind of things that can happen with normal use and common mistakes and even a bit more in SD related circumstances.
    I also think that someone should be able to report a lock failure here on this forum without being accused of abuse until proven otherwise and not be ridiculed for testing a lock the ways I have seen and read about.

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ront's Avatar
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    Dumb question time AGAIN. Why all of a sudden do we feel like we have to be safety testing our knives? I sort of feel that that is included in the price when I buy the knife. I have no desire to start spinewacking my knives.

    Ron

  11. #11
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    If you buy a book you have every right to expect all the pages to be in there and in the right order. I do however check if they are because I have found it is not always so.
    If you buy shoes in your size you have every right to expect them to fit. I do however try them on because I have found it is not always so.
    If you buy a knife you have every right to expect it to be safe to use. I do however check if it is. I do have a Lum Chinese that does not engage consistently. I know I can mend it but I will not really use it before I have (if I ever will).
    In the end you are responsible for your own safety.

  12. #12
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    Well, one thing is for sure, I'm not going to spinewack my knives. I do use them, sometimes hard, but I'm not going to destroy them by abusing them and putting forces on the knife that won't occur during normal use.

    I can see why people want to test the strength of their locks, but there must be a better way to test this and not ruin your knife.

    I do a visual inspection of the locks on my knives occasionally and that's all.
    I have no desire whatsoever to hit my knives on a wooden table until something breaks. I'm sure I could even break a fixed blade if I really wanted to, but what's the point?

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ront's Avatar
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    How hard would you pull on the pages of the book to make sure that they are securely fastened into the book?
    I just think that the lock tesing is going to far. Just my thoughts.

    Ron

  14. #14
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    Taken from the online catalogue discription of the Chinook II:

    "The folder has a modified-Bowie-shaped blade and an MBC rated locking system so the knife could be used for cutting as well as passing or blocking. These combined features have since taken root with the MBC crowd and additionally found favor with the hard-use camp/hunting/outdoor knife industry."

    This knive was obviously designed with SD purposes in mind, as you can tell from the description. In the case of this knife, it should be able to survive a fairly hard spinewhack. If I were in a situation where that called for "passing or blocking" with this knife, I would be mightily upset if it closed on my fingers. And, since the blade shape was designed to facilitate 'backcuts', the lock should be able to handle those too.

    Now what's the best way to simulate a spinewhack to a hand or arm? Probably by spinewhacking a hand or arm. I feel that the Chinook II should be able to withstand a pretty hard whack on the spine from an appendage.

    I'm not too good at this whole physics thing, but I imagine if you were to hit the spine of the blade into a wooden table and an arm using the same force, the table impact would put more stress on the lock.

    I hold my knives so that if the lock disengages the blade won't cut my fingers and then I use my palm to hit all the different areas of the spine, with quite a bit of force. If the lock holds, then that's good enough for me.

    To not test a safety device in any situation is silly. Just because you pay for a quality knife doesn't mean there won't be faulty ones out there. If I haven't driven my car for a few days, i'll test the brakes before I get up to speed. Just because they should work doesn't mean they can't fail. Routine maintenance and proper testing is always prudent.

    Fugs
    Last edited by Fuglee; 10-14-2005 at 04:03 PM.

  15. #15
    Spyderco Forum Registered User J Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard Breuker
    J Smith,

    I do agree that spinewhacking your folder hard dozens of times could be considered abuse and doesn't serve any safety purpose.
    I am not sure about the best way to test a lock for safety purposes but I believe it should be able to withstand the kind of things that can happen with normal use and common mistakes and even a bit more in SD related circumstances.
    I also think that someone should be able to report a lock failure here on this forum without being accused of abuse until proven otherwise and not be ridiculed for testing a lock the ways I have seen and read about.
    Please don't think I am jumping anyone.I belive that problems should be reported here and I have done so in the past.
    There does need to be guidelines of how to test.
    I posted what I posted because of the vidieo of the Para.I would not be surprized at all to hear of its lock failing soon after that kind of hammering and it is that image that got me to comment on the abuse.If someone grabs there knife and bashs it that hard that many times on a desk I would expect it to fail or at least be weakened.
    I think I have seen a post that Sal tells how to do a spine wack test and IIRC it was to lightly but firmly tap (not bash or hammer )the spine.
    As long as a lock is not folding from light preasure on the spine or a light wack I feel comfortable useing it.I also agree with Sals desciption of what a lock on a folder is designed to do,I do not expect a folder to be a fixed blade.ANY company that says it has an unbreakable lock I will just take as hipe.
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  16. #16
    David Lowry
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    Like I stated in another thread. I test my knives only by using them. About a year ago I did spine whacks just because I didn't know any better, and "everybody else was doing it".

    I have never had a knife lock fail under normal use. Never.


  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sundown's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks, Mr. Glesser

    Mr. Glesser,
    I had an issue with the lock disengaging on my Manix, so I'm pretty sure that I am one of the people you might have intended this post for. As such, I'm going to address some of the issues you've brought up here.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    I hear there is a bunch going on with "lock testing" lately. Sorry, I've been quite busy and will not have to time really get into this for a few days.

    I am assuming that those with problems have sent them in to Spyderco for inspection? Rc testing, microscope analysis, etc. Naturally we would want to analyze the problems and solve them.
    I have not sent mine in yet because I was hoping to hear, in the thread I started, "Will Spyderco cover light spine-whack failure?", a definitive answer. However, since I have not, I will send my Manix out on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    Otherwise one might get the impression that it's more staging than it should be.
    No "staging" attempts here. As a matter of fact, I have complete faith that Spyderco will make things right.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    If a lock defeats, and something is damaged, it will never work again. Repeating the test, or even filming a repeated test is really a waste of time. The damage has been done. Subsequent tests are like trying to recreate a birth.
    No damage that I can see, and the test (spine-whack, fairly light, and was conducted on the rubber-soled tip of my boot) was only done enough times for me to ensure that there was no user error (error on my part while conducting the test).

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    If you hit a part hard enough to break or deform it, this is not a safety test, it is a destruction test. Probably a topic we'll have to get into in some depth and see if we can determine a standard.
    Don't think that applies to me, unless a light spine whack on a boot can break or deform an MBC rated lock.


    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    It's your product, that you purchased and you can do what you want with it, but I don't think that manufacturers should not be responsibile for destruction testing done by ELUs.
    Nor do I. The questions I was hoping to have answered were whether or not the Manix's lock should fail after being lightly whacked on a boot, and whether or not Spyderco will find out why it fails and fix that problem for the ELU.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    A safety test is like turning on your flashlight to make sure it still works, or shaking your canteen. Checking your knife to see if maybe dirt, lint, or some other problem might exist.
    Does a failed, light spine whack on a fairly soft medium constitute "some other problem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    There are only a few reasons that a lock will defeat.

    Try to keep in mind that these are small bits of steel, usually between 1/32" and 5/32" thick that are carefully machined to work together to provide a degree of safety that is greater than a slip-joint.
    I would think that a knife with a lock described as, suitable for hard use, and, MBC (Martial Blade Craft) rated, would provide a "degree of safety" that is many, many, many times "greater than a slip-joint".

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    Driving your car into a brick wall to test the bumpers, airbags and seat belts is questionable.

    Perhaps some of the more knowledgable might be interested in creating a thread that deals with what kind of testing is useful?

    I personally know someone that intentionally destroys products because the "warrantee" permits him to. I believe that Mick had some interesting comments about these types.
    Is it Cliff Stamp you're talking about? If so, didn't you post on BF that you had sent him a Manix to be tested? What exactly do you mean by "these types"? Forgive my curiousty.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal
    The goal, at least for Spyderco is to create and produce safe, reliable high performance products for our customers. Anything that we can do to improve our products in those areas is always at the forefront of our R&D.


    While we appreciate the comments and opinions of our customers, we will need to examine the products in our lab to determine the cause. Your support and understanding is appreciated.

    sal
    I do support Spyderco (have for a long time), and if Spyderco decides that a spine whack on a boot is abusive, I'll take my lumps like a man. I don't expect the manufacturer of a fine product, like Spyderco, to be responsible for the actions of the "destructive tester". I would, however, like to know whether or not Spyderco considers a spine whack test on a work boot to be abusive, as it will help me properly gauge how to test my knives.

    Thank you,
    Sundown
    GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stevie Ray's Avatar
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    Here's something to think about. I used to carry nothing but slipjoints until ten or fifteen years ago. I never had one accidently close on me .... I never thought of those knives as unsafe.

    I carry nothing but knives with locks these days, but to Sal's point, those locks are nothing more than small pieces of finely machined steel of one form or another. They can be broken if you work at it.
    Steve

  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User cheez's Avatar
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    Are you suggesting that a MBC-Rated lock is nothing more than a slipjoint? If this is the case these days, I guess I will not buy production folders anymore, but invest my money in customs where the maker will tell me that his knife won't fail a spinewhack and is something more than a slipjoint. That, and fixed blades are the way to go I guess.

    The only part that I don't understand is this: People start yelling abuse and all that, yet every other knife I have (excluding the 710) pass the spinewhack without any trouble, including for instance the Waved Endura. None of these have developed any damage or even bladeplay. They're not abused, and least that is far from abuse as far as I'm concerned. I am not Cliff Stamp
    I guess the key here is that their locks are not such good locks...they're not slipjoints.

    Keno
    "I sold my voice to pay for my security. Now I write my sentences on its walls." - Jason Cruz

  20. #20
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Jim Malone's Avatar
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    Mick is pissed (and he should be) because the fact that he has a "no questions asked" waranty gives some people the idea that they can abuse their knife to the point of destruction and ask a brand new one! "Hey Mick i just drove over my Strider with my battle tank and it seems the blade is bent, please send me a new knife"

    I would be pissed off too by these types. Everything that can be constructed can be destroyed as well.

    If you put your strider in a hydraulic press and apply a few tons of weight on the knife why does it give you the right to ask a new one because it "seemed to break"?
    It's better to be judged by 12 then to be carried by 6

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