Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

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Airlsee
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Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Airlsee » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:04 pm

Merry Christmas all!!

I'm still waiting for my Advocate to arrive in the mail and have been scouring the web for reviews and first impressions. I know quite a few of you must have picked them up since they seem to be pretty much sold out everywhere. So let's hear it!

I'm very eager to get your thoughts on the knife thus far, what you love, what you hate, whether you will be keeping or sending down the road...

I know that we have the release date thread, but there doesn't seem to be many thoughts by those with the knife in hand. I hope everyone has had or is having a great Christmas and I look forward to y'all's views. Cheers!

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Bodog » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:30 pm

Merry Christmas to all!

I was waiting on some real feedback on these. Since they have the same bearing washers as the Mantra, sadly, I will not be buying one. And I've been waiting since I first saw it and it's been my most anticipated knife in a long time. But those washers and tiny bearings that don't seem to work any better than good washers (honestly worse) turn me off completely having learned my lesson from the Mantra.

Airlsee
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Airlsee » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:43 pm

Yeah, that is concerning...this will be my first experience with them but I did notice how thin and frankly flimsy the washers seemed in the ApostleP video review. I hope it won't become a deal breaker, but that's about all I can do.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby ABX2011 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:05 pm

Bodog wrote:Merry Christmas to all!

I was waiting on some real feedback on these. Since they have the same bearing washers as the Mantra, sadly, I will not be buying one. And I've been waiting since I first saw it and it's been my most anticipated knife in a long time. But those washers and tiny bearings that don't seem to work any better than good washers (honestly worse) turn me off completely having learned my lesson from the Mantra.


Yeah, unfortunately this is exactly the case. I got mine a few days ago. I'd really hoped that the Mantra would be a wake-up call to Spyderco. You can't have a bearing pivot that is less smooth than many (most?) running conventional washers.
The Apostle mentioned that the ball detent friction is in part due to fine grind lines on the blade and that it should smooth out.
Maybe the bearings smooth out too. I know people on this forum tinkered around with the Mantra pivot to smooth it out.
Bottom line for me is that the Advocate is a very good knife that could have been a great knife.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Bodog » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:17 am

ABX2011 wrote:
Bodog wrote:Merry Christmas to all!

I was waiting on some real feedback on these. Since they have the same bearing washers as the Mantra, sadly, I will not be buying one. And I've been waiting since I first saw it and it's been my most anticipated knife in a long time. But those washers and tiny bearings that don't seem to work any better than good washers (honestly worse) turn me off completely having learned my lesson from the Mantra.


Yeah, unfortunately this is exactly the case. I got mine a few days ago. I'd really hoped that the Mantra would be a wake-up call to Spyderco. You can't have a bearing pivot that is less smooth than many (most?) running conventional washers.
The Apostle mentioned that the ball detent friction is in part due to fine grind lines on the blade and that it should smooth out.
Maybe the bearings smooth out too. I know people on this forum tinkered around with the Mantra pivot to smooth it out.
Bottom line for me is that the Advocate is a very good knife that could have been a great knife.


I had to end up taking one of the washers out in order for it to open and smoothly enough to feel satisfied. Now there's blade play but at least it opens and closes better.

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FCM415
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby FCM415 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:51 am

I'm not disagreeing whether or not bearings are worse than washers but is it really a deal breaker? Really? I dont have one yet but I anticipate that my experience wont be too dramatic in regards to how it opens and closes. From my limited experience with bearings (Couple of ZT's and Spydies), it works just fine. Might be harder to clean but nothing I can really cry about. If it's really that bad, it's good that you guys are bringing it to Spyderco's attention. Washers are totally fine anyway, simpler and easier to produce.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby vilePossum » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:29 am

Bodog wrote:
I had to end up taking one of the washers out in order for it to open and smoothly enough to feel satisfied. Now there's blade play but at least it opens and closes better.


Quite sad to hear this. The advocate looked so promising and this really kills it. Sad panda.

Bodog
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Bodog » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:14 am

FCM415 wrote:I'm not disagreeing whether or not bearings are worse than washers but is it really a deal breaker? Really? I dont have one yet but I anticipate that my experience wont be too dramatic in regards to how it opens and closes. From my limited experience with bearings (Couple of ZT's and Spydies), it works just fine. Might be harder to clean but nothing I can really cry about. If it's really that bad, it's good that you guys are bringing it to Spyderco's attention. Washers are totally fine anyway, simpler and easier to produce.


Yes, deal breaker. Certain things I don't feel like fussing with and bearings are the first on that list. My military with PB washers is silky smooth, easily opens, falls closed on its own weight, and absolutely maintenance free unless I simply feel like messing with it. Bearings from any company have been hit or miss. The mantra being the only set that caused real headaches because of the design. I don't know if it's the washers that make it bad or the tiny caged bearings. Everything else about the mantra is pretty flawless, imo. That's probably why it's frustrating. I don't want a repeat with the advocate. If there was an option to replace the thin washers and small bearings with thicker washers and bigger bearings or ideally scrap the bearings altogether for PB washers, I'd buy one today. Life's too short and there are too many options to get frustrated with a knife's opening and closing action.

I do hope Spyderco changes those bearings and washers with something better. The point of bearings is that they're supposed to offer action better than PB or nylon washers. If they don't then they're pointless.

vilePossum
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby vilePossum » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:49 am

Bodog s Post sums up my sentiments as well.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Liquid Cobra » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:11 am

I've owned every flipper Spyderco makes with the exception of the Dice and the Advocate. I've taken most of them apart and haven't had any issues with any of them. Some weren't as smooth opening out of the box as they were after I cleaned them up myself but they were all more than good enough to begin with, I'm just picky and knew I could make it better. The issue with the thin washers is something I'd like see resolved, but even then they didn't hamper the opening of the knife.

I really don't understand this idea that ball bearings are a problem. They work fine for me, helps opening and every single knife I own with them locks up like a bank vault. I can't say the same about some of my Para 2's that are using phosphor bronzewashers. I mean, custom knife makers are using ball bearings so why not?
Most recently acquired: Lil' Temp 3, Black G10 UKPK, K2, UKPK S110V, D'Allara 3 Para-Military 2 M390, Urban K390, UKPK, Advocate, Para 3, Ouroboros, Paramilitary 2 M4, Nilakka, Magnitude, Para-Military 2 M390, Pingo, Assist, Native 5 40th anniversary, Karahawk, Techno, Chubby, Paramilitary 2 M4, Nirvana! :D , Paramilitary 2 M4, EMPingo
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ABX2011
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby ABX2011 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:19 am

As some of Spyderco's most ardent supporters it's our obligation to tell it like it is. My Domino fires like a rocket on bearings. My Slysz Bowie is glassy smooth on washers. I don't have to name all the competing flipper designs that are smoother than the Advocate.
I'm not against bearings but since they add cost and complexity they need to function better than conventional washers. And they need to function well out of the box. Again, competing designs do it so Spyderco needs to do it.

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FCM415
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby FCM415 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:40 am

ABX2011 wrote:As some of Spyderco's most ardent supporters it's our obligation to tell it like it is. My Domino fires like a rocket on bearings. My Slysz Bowie is glassy smooth on washers. I don't have to name all the competing flipper designs that are smoother than the Advocate.
I'm not against bearings but since they add cost and complexity they need to function better than conventional washers. And they need to function well out of the box. Again, competing designs do it so Spyderco needs to do it.


Very good points and Bodog as well. I really need to get one ASAP as I can't compute in my head that it is so bad as its been stated/suggested so far though. Only feedback I have is the early and very positive YT video show and tells and it seems to flip, and Spydie open just fine and dandy. And yes I watched the part where ApostleP pointed out the bearings... yet the entire video he's flipping and opening it like a champ. I'm 100% content with washers but like I said, the bearings I've tried have been great also. Never had a beater on bearings so I never had to clean one/get too dirty before though.

Ti flippers are the rage and they're all doing bearings. Spyderco dances to their own tune as we all know but entering the flipper market and going with what the market wants (specs like bearings included) is also good business.

So either the knife is perfectly fine as is, or could be replaced with washers, OR bearing system can be improved. We need more hands on feedback.

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FCM415
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby FCM415 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:41 am

Just want to say, it's a very handsome knife with great dimensions, bladelength etc. Great steel and good value too. But you all already know that ;)

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby ABX2011 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:50 am

What's amazing is how well the Advocate flips despite the friction from the bearings as well as greater than average friction from the ball (detent). It's not a question of "bad." It could be better, that's all.
There's so much that's awesome about the Advocate that I'm still happy with mine.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Bodog » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:01 pm

I think the advocate could've been the one to bring around a lot of people who've been skeptical about Spyderco's designs, etc. Everything about that knife screams beauty and functionality and some innovative finishing techniques. It just sucks that people can and will compare the action to other brands from both the US and abroad in the same category and it'll come up short, relatively speaking. Some of the things most people want are smooth action, no blade play, and good lock up. Those are bare necessities for the average knife afi. The rest falls on design, price, looks, functionality, and steel that raises eyebrows. The advocate and mantra both have all of those things in spades but both also use the same bearing system. And the mantra has been talked about alot as far as the lackluster action and it looks like the advocate will have the same issues according to the video review from ApostleP. Sure, it'll flip with the right technique and all that, but I can't help but feel that anyone used to good action regardless of brand will be let down.

I'm not saying this to attack spyderco or their designs or anything at all, really. Just a heads up to Sal and the gang that they're falling a little short in this area. Everything about the rest of these two knives are really spectacular. And it's a problem because it's one of the pillars of what most knife afis prop a knife up on. No one can make a long video review and spend a long time talking about the action or else they'll HAVE to talk about how it doesn't really compete with what else is out there. No one can talk about it being better than the rest out there because of the action. That's how I see it. It takes those pillars at a minimum to hit a home run and I think all of us here want spyderco to hit home run after home run.

And I have to believe Sal will look at and listen to this and consider doing something different and that's why we all respect him. What we can't do as Spyderco fans is fail Sal by covering these things up or defendint them or fail ourselves by being disrespectful about it.

I hope the advocate is a long term production piece and that there's a CQI that replaces the bearings but leaves everything else alone. As soon as that's done I'll definitely have one in my pocket.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Spydergirl88 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:12 pm

Why no spring assisted openers in the Spydie lineup?
Edit:non-auto
:spyder: My Spydie-Sense is tingling! :eek: :D :spyder:
Waiting on the Chap FRN, Rhino, H1 Manbug, Manix2 Backlock, Swayback :cool:
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toomzz
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby toomzz » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:11 pm

Interesting discussion. Initially I was very enthousiast about the knife but my gut-feeling told me to hold my horses. I did not purchase (yet?) and first want to see and hear more reports of the knife and its design-in-action before I do. Still a huge Bradley-fan though ;) Thanks sofar for this first information.

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby rodloos » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:03 pm

I just received my Advocate in the mail yesterday. While that's not enough time to really evaluate everything about the knife, I love mine. It flips open very well, and the spyderco-hole is functional as well, unlike my Mantra 2. I love the orange-peel texture on the Ti scales as well. Easy to get a grip on, and very comfortable in my hand.

I like the blade shape as well. Just the right amount of point, not too much belly, and M4 is great! I don't tend to take apart my knives, with the exception of one Military that for some reason was not opening very smoothly, so I cleaned it out and lubed it.

Now just a few days ago when I was playing with one of my Dominos, it seemed to become very gritty to open. It that the issue that y'all are talking about with bearings? I'm not going to disassemble my Domino, but will send it in to Spyderco for evaluation. So far my Advocate is a keeper.
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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby four_shore » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:22 pm

I bought and sold mine already. Just like others have mentioned, spyderco keeps using bearings to stay competitive with other brands but they're not doing it right. Those paper thin silver washers are absolute junk and easily damaged. What happened to CQI? It's frustrating for a knife thats roughly $230, on bearings to not have smooth action. On top of that if you accidentally over tighten the pivot, the washers dent and the knife becomes pretty much useless..

Lets fix this up spyderco. Could be on of the greatest production knives ever..

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Re: Gayle Bradley Advocate First Impressions?

Postby Airlsee » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:06 pm

I got mine yesterday and I have to say that I'm really pleased with it. Fit and finish are superb, blade size and profile perfect, handle thin but ergonomic and weight just about ideal. I personally could use a little more texturing, and not so much from the orange peel finish but from the polished edges of the scales, which can become slick if there is much moisture on your hands.

The detent is strong and the blade rockets out of the handle with authority when "push buttoned" and also engages consistently when "light switched" albeit with slightly less force. As has been stated in previous posts, the thumb flick and middle finger flick are also very functional.

As for the smoothness, on my knife at least it seems to have more to do with the blade finish than anything else. The grind is coarse and if you run your fingernail perpendicular to the grind lines you can feel all of the minute ridges. This is what I am feeling when moving the blade slowly, is the apex of all the individual bearings plus the detent ball moving over these ridges in the blade finish. If the blade had been finished more finely, better yet mirror polished around the tang and pivot area this issue would not exist. Since the blade is M4 though and the wearablity makes this process completely impractical on a production model, I will have to wait for the pivot bearings and detent ball to wear a nice raceway before that silky smoothness becomes a reality.

So in summary this knife for me is darn near perfect, honestly the smoothness of the polished scale edges are more of a knock than out of box silky smooth action in my opinion, because I feel the action will smooth with time/use and functionally it has no bearing whatsoever.

Absolutely fantastic design, that flips consistently and with authority, ultimately, all I was hoping for in an elegantly solid pocket friendly cutting tool.


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