CHRIS REEVE: Thumb- Numb- Zaan

Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
2
I own and use Chris Reeve knives. I have done so for about 12 years. Recently I ordered a large Umnumzaan and tried over a week to open it easily, and many other ways too. I don't think opening a folder should require instructions or techniques. I get the fact it opens differently. I finally gave up and sent it back. Great knife with a design flaw. Thumb stud is hard to contact with the thumb as its too close to the scale. Also, thumb stud is small and shaped so it hurts to push, straight up as they specify and not out in a arc. I was told to hold the knife so as not to put pressure on the lock bar. Good luck on that one. It can be done while holding the knife in a very awkward way.When doing so it becomes easy to drop the knife as you are not holding on to much. Love Chris Reeve knives, just not the Thumb- Numb- Zaan!
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2010
Messages
2,454
I loved my Startac Umnum but that's exactly why I traded it off. I didn't like how it opened.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Messages
7,465
I generally use two hands to open my 21; the small thumb stud is a bit awkward though still usable. OTOH, a larger thumb stud would be obtrusive, so I can live with it. It's still a masterpiece of design.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
405
I love my Umnumzaan and the way it is being deployed. Indeed one need some training time to be able to deploy it properly. Once you get the hang of it, its very satisfying to use.
 

Ajack60

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
6,949
The Umnumzaan isn't for everyone. I find it easier to open than some 21's.
Maybe the lock bar tension needs adjusting, maybe the pivot can be loosened until it's broken in. Maybe it needs to be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned.
Just because it's not meant for everyone doesn't mean it's a difficult knife to open. Sometimes learning little techniques to open/close a knife make it more enjoyable.
 

Terry M.

Platinum Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
532
Had trouble opening one when I got it too. I’d tell you it gets easier but you already sent it back so.........
 

Makael

Books temporarily closed on sheath orders.
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
10,615
Should post your issue in the CRK area.
I own and use Chris Reeve knives. I have done so for about 12 years. Recently I ordered a large Umnumzaan and tried over a week to open it easily, and many other ways too. I don't think opening a folder should require instructions or techniques. I get the fact it opens differently. I finally gave up and sent it back. Great knife with a design flaw. Thumb stud is hard to contact with the thumb as its too close to the scale. Also, thumb stud is small and shaped so it hurts to push, straight up as they specify and not out in a arc. I was told to hold the knife so as not to put pressure on the lock bar. Good luck on that one. It can be done while holding the knife in a very awkward way.When doing so it becomes easy to drop the knife as you are not holding on to much. Love Chris Reeve knives, just not the Thumb- Numb- Zaan!
 

Wolverine666

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,293
I saw someone on here do a custom Spydie-style hole on a Sebenza and it looked beautiful. Perhaps that’s what would benefit some people on the Umnumzaan.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2000
Messages
3,332
I wound up selling mine for similar reasons. Its bad enough that its so close to the scale, but it being so polished doesnt help either. i think it should be knurled so you can get a better purchase on it. Always had misfires trying to open which really annoyed me. Ive also noticed that over time those o rings wear and need replacing.It makes a difference when new ones are installed.
 

Mako109

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
483
Mine was stiff as hell when new and I almost returned it. Adjusted the pivot, disassembled and polished the washers, tried different lubricants, and it was still stiff...as...hell. Very unlike my Hinderers, Koenigs and almost every other knife of that caliber where the blade flies out on deployment and drops shut straight out of the box.

I decided to give it a chance and kept it my desk where I would fidget with it while working. About 3-4 months later it broke in, or I finally developed a feel for it, but probably a combination of the two. Now the blade can be slow rolled smoothly or thumb flicked out with authority. The pivot is quite tunable too. Just a smidge to the right or left will change the action, so I put a tiny bit of blue Loctite to hold it firmly where I like.

The Umnum and Inkosi were a lesson in patience and perseverance, but now they have become two of my favorite knives.

Edit to add: I do agree with the OP as my thumb was pretty torn up during the break in period.
 
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Hackenslash

Don't feed the Trolls
Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
4,847
The Zaan has perhaps a steeper learning curve than many other knives, but it’s definitely do-able with a nice hydraulic action. You just have to stick with it and develop some muscle memory. I guess not much point for the OP as they already punted.
 

Kmikaz3

Gold Member
Basic Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
959
I find it really easy to open with factory tightening. If your thumb slides along the scale chamfer or ramp and push it upwards, the blade will comes along with your thumb motion instead of trying to push to the side.

3-E2782-FC-9-C25-4017-9369-B5386-A8-BEF6-F.gif


With that said, you can even flick the blade out by building pressure and flick it upwards


35533-F22-169-C-4114-99-A1-B90270-F38966.gif
 

Silvanus

Gold Member
Joined
May 17, 2012
Messages
1,547
I’ve seen more and more posts that are similar to this one popping up lately than I ever have before. I myself have had a similar issue with a Sebenza 31 which uses the same lock interface as the Zaan. I’m wondering if some specs have been tweaked, the detent strength has been increased, or if it’s another factor like how their stop pins on the Sebenza 31’s are rumored to be made differently leading to tolerance issues?

I feel that this is a recent problem as I owned an Umnumzaan and a Sebenza 25 that were both made in 2012 or so and I remember a much smoother action and a more appropriate detent strength.
 

mongomondo

SUPPRESSING FIRE
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
3,226
The last umnum I had was made in 2015 and it was easy to open. Closing on the other hand was torture because the lockbar was so sharp.
 
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