An unscientific poll about knife pivot bearing types.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Aldebaran, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Aldebaran


    Sep 18, 2004
    Your opinion is highly appreciated Cornsyrup.
  2. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    what were we discussing?

    It's not an SAE research paper or a legal brief, it's an internet discussion. people were sharing their anecdotes and all was fine until you came in here all fired up. you've been on this board for like a month. you have a dozen posts to your name. try to take it easy. everyone will enjoy the ride much more that way. good day syrup.
  3. CornSyrup


    Jan 21, 2017
    Thought we were here to discuss knives, not each other. Let's try to stay on topic.

    I called his knowledge & his approach into question because it directly affected the topic at hand. Vague terms and imprecise thinking opens up the topic for equally vague or imprecise conclusions to be aired as if they were facts. Moreover it gives persuasive posters with an agenda a foothold to grind their various axes.

    The initial post asks:

    If he had not said this there would be no reason to bring these concerns up. These words indicate that the OP suggests actual data or factual conclusions can be obtained from this internet discussion, which I believe they cannot.

    Your comments about my post count and how long I've been on this board do not directly affect the topic at hand.
  4. brandoak


    Aug 1, 2015
    THIS!!! A++
    .... and stop stirring the shit pot.
  5. CornSyrup


    Jan 21, 2017
    We're here to discuss knives, not each other. Let's try to stay on topic or simply ignore the thread if it riles you so.

    The OP meanwhile has stated

    I hope you also brought your concerns about stirring things up to the OP as his two threads about this topic are motivated (in his own words) by an attempt to stir up arguments.

    Because post count appears to matter very much around here, I am sure that once I am at the OP's apparently acceptable post count of 44 that all these concerns about my post count will vanish as well.
  6. wtlj


    Jun 30, 2014
    Yes: Pinched washer on Crk sebenza 21 numerous times from improper assembly. My sebenzas get gritty and tight from dust/dirt. I find myself dissembling, cleaning, lubing about once every 2 weeks.

    No: Never had a BB pivot fail or bind. Having said that I also haven't had as many. All of my BB knives have caged bearings so cleaning is just as simple as washer knives.

    I'm a commercial/industrial electrician. My knives are typically in a rather dirty environment.

    To be fair I've never had either system completely fail from or during use.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  7. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    I have a custom knife that has a bearing system, that I used for my EDC for 4 years, with out fail. No issues on any level. Still functions flawlessly.

    If you don't like a knife with a bearing system, that DON'T buy one!! How many threads do YOU need to start on the same bloody subject?!
  8. GotSteel


    Mar 1, 2016
    Bearings with seals and shields won't keep dirt out and grease in but they do slow that process way down think of a wheel bearing for example.. they see a lot of it. Like others have said dirt can work it's way into any pivot but it probably won't make the mechanism inoperable, I'd recommend a fixed blade as a last ditch if you're going to be relying on the knife in a life or death situation or where failure isn't acceptable.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  9. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    In my usage, every folder's pivot needs servicing/maintenance at one point or for me it boils down to : "How easy is it to get at and service?"

    Result of my experience is that Chris Reeve Knives' Sebenza 21 models are BY FAR the easiest to service. It's just a matter of one allen wrench removing the male pivot, using the wrench itself to poke out the female half, remove the entire blade / stepped pivot / washer assembly at one time, apply some grease, then slide the entire assembly back in, and reapply the pivot male/female. BTW, no need to "fine tune" or "dial in" your pivot tightness, just torque it down & go thanks to the stepped pivot it comes out perfect every time with no bladeplay.

    The tolerances CRK works within make this possible...granted you pay for it. But the simplicity, elegance, and execution of the design is beautiful to me and worth every penny. I can't see a way that a folding knife pivot could work any better any simpler than as with the 21.

    I've had a bad experience with a Spyderco Mantra, so I'll likely never buy another bearing pivot knife...just too many parts.
  10. Misanthropia


    Jul 10, 2011
    This sums up my experience as well, my Sebenza's are about the only knives (bearing or washers) where I feel I need to routinely clean the pivot out. This is probably attributable to the fact that they're also the only knives I use grease on, and very little to do with the washers themselves.

    I also have never had a system fail on me, besides accidentally bending thin nylon washers on a Kershaw Injection.
  11. Steve.b


    Dec 12, 2014
    Let it go, OP. You're turning in to a troll. This is the second topic you've started on this. Opinions were already given in your other post about ball bearings.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    No failures with either. Best way to gain knowledge on this subject is through experience, of which the OP has none. He can't even answer his own poll. Buy a bearing knife and use it. So simple.
  13. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I've never had a pivot fail on a quality knife of either type.

    I have fought washers trying to reassemble a knife a couple of times. I've never needed to get into the baring system on any of my ZTs.

    I work around mud and dirt a lot. My old man found the perfect low maintenance work folder about 40 decades ago...the Buck 110. Nothing to take apart, no washer to lose, no barings to roll away:D

    But he's not a knife knut like me. I've used both types of knives in conditions where the tool was caked with mud or splattered with concrete. I did nothing more than wash them under a garden hose and shoot a little WD40 in the action and worked another 6 hours. When I got home, I didn't even take them apart. They just got a hot soap bath, hit with my wife's hair dryer, a little compressed air, and a few drops of gun oil. Washer or BB, both worked just fine.

    I'm not anti BB. I own at least 3 knives sporting them. I wouldn't pay a premium for them, but I don't shy away from them. When it comes to "failure" regarding a folding knife, I just don't get bent out of shape over what is the strongest. If I am anticipating needing to use a knife hard enough that it might break any quality folder featuring any quality pivoting system or any quality method of locking the blade...I'm just take a fixed blade.

    So, in short, I don't really care. Both work great for me. I've got too many other problems in life than to count angels on the head of a pin.
  14. BTGuy

    BTGuy Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    I have a few knives with washers and a few with bearings. I prefer to use the ones with bearings, especially my ZT 562 which I've had for a few months now. I've used the 562 outdoors quite a bit to cut things like wood, heavy-duty bags (for sand, etc.) and various other tasks. It's been dropped in the dirt, water, and snow more than a few times as well. I never noticed any issues with the pivot or opening action, but decided to disassemble and give a thorough cleaning a couple weeks ago. There was a bit of gunk in the bearing track and that's about it. After cleaning and oiling I didn't notice much of difference in the action.

    I'd echo what others have suggested and agree you should just pick yourself up a knife with bearings and give it a shot. The ZT 562 seems like a decent example for you to scrutinize. :)
  15. palonej

    palonej Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Many knives with washers and many knives with BB. Never a failure, or even a hiccup, with either.
    My first knife with bearings was my ZT 452CF. I fell in love with the action on that knife and realized, I like BB pivots!! How did I come to that conclusion you ask????? I bought one and used it. Yup, that's it!
    It didn't matter what anyone else thought, or said. Had to check them out for myself. I would think this would be obvious to most people, but nooooooooo.
    Definite troll.
  16. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    Much better approach here, Aldebaran. BBs vs washers is a hot topic to begin with and as you saw in your other thread, a provocative OP made for a contentious discussion with a lot of posturing and insults. Got everyone's post counts up, though.

    No need to poke a stick into a hornets' nest, you can get stung just approaching it. Even taking a more measured tack, some people just want to argue or make things personal instead of talking about knives, as you can well see above.

    So, back on topic:

    I've never had any pivot failures with either washers or BBs, but I have had both gunk up on me. Like wtlj and Misanthropia I've had issues with my CRKs. I just have no luck with grease and am transitioning to NanoOil in them as cleanings are called for. They seem to run much better for me that way.

    I've had a couple BB knives get sluggish, but I don't believe it had anything to do with their design or nature. They just came with an excess of crappy grease in them and have run fine since having that cleaned out and replaced with NanoOil.

    I have both and I like both.
  17. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    Never had a failure on either BB or washers
    Seems that the BB technology is now as stable as the washer technology

    Initially I had some concern about dirt messing up the BB but it never actually happens
    In my experience dirt/sand is just bad for knife, no matter the technology

    I think the question may be about service and maintenance
    But that is related more about the design than the BB/washer thing ;)

    Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk


    Apr 4, 2007
    Great points on maintenance. This is often odd to me as it seems many people here are also fans of guns. And anyone with a gun knows you cant take it into dirty and dusty environments for extended periods of time without performing maintenance. Why not apply the same thinking to a knife.
  19. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    No failures on either, I've had one bearing pivot get gummed up, but canned air immediately resolved the issue. I've not noticed any particular difference in level of maintenance. And I still think the best/coolest pivot system I've use is Hogue's bolster plate system.
  20. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Basically , most here states that did not have a problem with BB pivot .Well it s OK , I believe you . The fact that you have not had any problems does not mean you're right . Take one small OPEN ball bearing , degrease it , apply a drop of oil , spin it with hand and then throw it in the sand ! Next , if you turn it without cleaning I will buy you a knife at your choice!
    You can try the same with washers ....................I can bet that washers will spin after sand :D
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017

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