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The Folding Knife (& Switchblade) Forum The materials, techniques and the designing of folding knives.

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2003, 12:13 PM
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Messinger Messinger is offline
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Of thumbstuds, flippers, and opening the darn knife

I could use some advice. I'm all geared up to make liner-locking folders and I've been working on paterns for three weeks. I'm being really picky about the look of the knife in both the open and closed possitions. (Lee Williams and Tim Hermans' designs have been of great inspiration in this regard). Where I'm strugling is with regard to opening mechanism. Flipper or thumbstud? My problem is that I have never been able to operate a thumbstud comfortably. It always feels awkward unless I use my wrist to flick the blade open - and I get the impression that this is not an acceptable method of opening the blade. Is that correct? Regarding flippers - I like the idea of a flipper though I've never handled one (besides a popular spring-assist production knife). When I try out my flipper designs on templates I am concerned about the fore-finger getting pinched as the stop-pin contact portion of the blade flies around and mates against the stop pin. This is partly because that part of the blade must protrude further from the pivot point than the portion of the blade flipped with the fore-finger (since the 'flipper' must pass the stop pin and the 'stopper' must not). So what do you all like and what don't you like when it comes to operating a folder be it a flipper or a thumbstud mechanism? Any suggestions for making either work well? I'm leaning towards flippers, but I'd love it if makers in both camps would do their best to persuade me. Are tumbstuds great and I just need a lesson on proper use?

-Ben
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:39 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Well, for me, it comes down to two things. When the knife is drawn from the pocket I want to be able to get it open while holding it as close to the way that I intend to hold it when I use it as possible. In other words, I don't want to have to shift my grip by having to hold it one way to open it and another to use it. I've never used a flipper but they look like a problem in this regard. I have enough trouble holding on to a knife when I'm drawing in a hurry without adding to the problem.

The other thing is, a closed knife should be smooth, no points or projections that can poke you. Sure, some designs of a flipper will project more than others but pointy things in my pocket don't seem like a good idea to me....


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Old 11-18-2003, 01:06 PM
T. Hendrickson T. Hendrickson is offline
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although i have never made a flipper folder, I think that they would probably be a pretty good opening method.
Now, I think you should take a look at crkt's kit carson folders. They utilize a flipper, but they don't have an internal stop pin. The "stop pin" is actually the thumb stud. I'm sure this could be done with a little thought and ingenuity. The advantege to this design is that you don't have to worry about the flipper hitting the stop pin. This allows placement of the flipper wherever you want.
This is my thought on a flipper. Concerning thumb studs, They can be a pretty darn fast method with a little practice, and you don't have to change the hand position to hold it. Just hold it like you would when cutting, move your fingers out of the way, snap your thumb forward and - click!


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Old 11-19-2003, 12:22 AM
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HermanKnives HermanKnives is offline
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Ben,

Thanks for the compliment on designs The flipper is a great idea and the wont pinch your finger closing because as it get clost to being closed, your finger is actually more on top the the back of the blade and not still resting on the flipper part. Also design of the flipper is very important to me. As the guy said, sharp points sticking out anywhere on a knife isnt good.
Thumbstuds really limit your blade grind and too me just looks out of place. Cant put a thumbstud on a dagger grind or a fully ground blade unless you have an unsightly long ricasso. Also with the flipper, the knife is in a using position in your hand when opened unlike the thumbstud kind whre your thumb is over the side of the blade. It just feels unnatural to me also.
I have designed a flipper recently that is completely round on the protruding part so absolutely no sharp corners.
Another thing is that I prefer the flipper to be at the back of the blade tang and not the hanging down finger guard type on the bottom. Because with the bottom type that sticks out the top of the knife when closed, you actually have to flip your wrist and the knife to fully flip it open. With my type you get fully open with just the forefinger flick. And Slivers are actually faster than a switchblade and legal They are really fun to play with.
Good luck. If I can help at all call me.


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Last edited by HermanKnives; 11-19-2003 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 11-19-2003, 06:12 AM
PeterAtwood PeterAtwood is offline
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I like all the opening methods you mentioned and more. Thumbdiscs have their place too as well as slots and round holes. It really depends on the knife, but all can be comfortable and effective opening methods that are in no way unnatural once you get used to them.

My advice, don't get hung up on it. Whatever you make you are likely to look back a year from now after you have made a couple dozen and wonder what you were fussin' about.


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Old 11-20-2003, 07:50 AM
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Jeff Higgins Jeff Higgins is offline
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Thats good advice, Peter. Just what I was about to say as I read through the posts! But I will add my 2 cents...

Ben, just go with what you like. Some folks like thumb studs because they are used to them. Some like flippers, and some like the disc. Heck, some even like the Spyderco hole!

I personally think that studs are the most popular.


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