Acceptable Knife Flaws?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by johnnywizzo, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. johnnywizzo


    Mar 1, 2018
    Everyone has different levels of tolerance for imperfections and flaws in their knives when purchased new. Obviously price paid comes into consideration. Personally I don't care if my bone handles don't match perfectly, but some folks do. What tends to bother me is sunk or proud backsprings, weak or overly strong springs, and bad handle to bolster transitions. At what point do you reject a new knife?
    Will Power likes this.
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    Flaws in functionality. Cosmetics are a lesser concern for me.
    Travman, Shurke, GABaus and 4 others like this.
  3. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    I'm pretty "easy going", I suppose. I can accept minor cosmetic "flaws" or "defects" such as "mirror polished" blades and bolsters (ok ... that is more of a "medium" "flaw" or "defect"), a slight gotta look for em' and use a bright light to see em' gaps, blades that are not exactly centered to with-in a fraction of an atom, a small crack in a bone or other natural material cover, uneven dye job mark to pile side, grinds that are not precisely even, or depending on how much I like the knife otherwise, the factory gave the blade a axe like 40 to 60 degree inclusive edge. (reprofiling to 20 degrees inclusive by hand can be a Regal Royal pain in the sitter.)

    "Deal Murderers" for me are excessively stiff pulls that require I fight with the knife to open it, and other "flaws" and "defects" that affect the functionality: blade(s) hitting the liners or another blade to the point that one or more blades need a nudge to fully close, a case of the wiggly wobblies, sharp edges where there ain't supposed to be any, and pointy pins that act like needles, and make me leak red stuff ... and if the factory edge is as wide or wider than the spine.
    Impossible to tell until after getting and using the knife: The factory "forgot" to heat treat the blade or blades. (those are destroyed and put in the landfill)
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  4. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Theres not a lot I can really think of that would have me reject a knife aside from a thick grind that doesn't cut that well and a pull I cant handle.
    Some things I can just live with, and others I've just gotta do my best to fix.
    Scales don't have to be a perfect match, it doesn't need a perfectly centered blade, I don't get too obsessed over snap, and I can live with some minor blade play.
    I will sharpen any blade that comes dull, I will straighten any edge that's supposed to be a straight edge, I can fix a little blade play if it does bug me enough, and if the blade doesn't open perfectly parallel with the spine I'll get is as parallel as I can.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  5. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    Locks that don't lock
    Anemic pulls, lazy snap, or no snap at all
    Blade rub so bad that the blade falls on top of another one.
    Old Hunter, johnnywizzo and Cutfinger like this.
  6. JaxBaron


    Jul 4, 2016
    I’m a stickler for blade centering ( I have become more forgiving over the years) I cannot overlook a really weak spring.
    hughd, johnnywizzo and Cutfinger like this.
  7. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    No go for me is blade wobble, lousey snap and poor fit (gaps) of the side material to bolster. If its a user I can deal with sub par finish & off center blades (I can usually fix those). Really poorly matched sides bug me, but it's a moot point, as I won't buy a knife without pictures showing both sides ... figure only reason somebody won't take 10 seconds to take pictures of both sides of a $40-50 knife is they must be a mismatch.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  8. TX180SX

    TX180SX Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    I think the only flaw I've ever returned a knife for was the blade rubbing against the liner, it was a case sodbuster. Had a blade that was horribly off center. I can deal with almost everything else. The cost of the knife does come into play for sure but I've been lucky that anything I've paid over $85 for has had great F&F.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  9. Night Rider

    Night Rider

    Apr 16, 2018
    Uneven grinds are a big turn off for me but blade rub or a weak back spring with little to no snap are a deal breaker. I can deal with uneven wood grain or bone to a certain extent.
    johnnywizzo and Cutfinger like this.
  10. Cutfinger

    Cutfinger Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    I will accept: sunken or proud back springs, cosmetic flaws, bad scale to bolster transitions, gaps, wobble or proud tips (easy to fix), and blade rub, and some blade droop.

    Pulls and heat treat need to be good. I like grinds to be good, but will fix bad ones when I have to.

    I am prepared to accept quite a few so called faults, if I like a knife. I have become attached to some I needed to fiddle with.

    I have nothing against a well put together knife though... ;)

    Edited to add: TLDR- what @hornetguy said :thumbsup:
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  11. Tjstampa

    Tjstampa Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2019
    For me it must affect functionality. Just got a case sowbelly that has very hard pulls but still looks nice and cuts.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  12. GaiusJulius


    Jan 9, 2016
    I’m pretty harsh. If a knife is $15 not so much. But when they’re $75-150, I hope for perfection. And I’ve had more cheap Rough Riders that were pretty spot on, compared to the pricier US made knives.

    Minor blade rub on pen patterns doesn’t bother me, but sunken or proud backspring when open or closed really annoys me. Also gaps between the backspring and liners. Mismatched color on mark/pile side, or stag that’s not very similar in pattern and thickness... if you aren’t going to other to get it right I’d rather it not be done at all. Poor shield inletting as well.

    Blades not centered and blade play are also both annoying. Easily enough fixed, but that makes it all the more galling if they leave the factory that way.
    GABaus and johnnywizzo like this.
  13. johnnywizzo


    Mar 1, 2018
    It's funny how we all have certain knife flaws that we just can't overlook. I actually like mismatched handles, I think they add individuality to a knife, but I know that they are a negative for most people. Getting a new knife can be either instant happiness or anxiety.
    GaiusJulius likes this.
  14. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Mismatched scales are perfectly OK provided both are interesting-notably with Stag or Ram's Horn, equal thickness is important though.

    I detest sunk or raised spring on open or closed, as this is where my thumb goes, signals shoddy in my book I'm afraid.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  15. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    Tips that protrude above the liner when closed on a brand new knife.

    Blade rap.

    Nail nicks that are "hidden" behind another blade.
    Ace Rimmer and johnnywizzo like this.
  16. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Hairline cracks appeared on the scales of a custom fixed blade I commissioned. I think they add character to a beautifully crafted knife.
    johnnywizzo likes this.
  17. Travman

    Travman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2016
    Yep. These are the only real deal breakers for me.
    JohnDF likes this.
  18. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    What John said - he nailed it! OH
    JohnDF likes this.

Share This Page