Recommendation? Cold Steel Air Lite loose blade

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by GABE MULLOY, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. daybd

    daybd

    138
    Oct 13, 2006
    Got me the AirLite finally and after playing with it for a few days....the same thing - loose blade. When I push the lock bar the blade immediately closes. So I'll have to disassemble it and fix. Thanks God and Bladeforums I already know the cure method :)

    P.s. The knife is freaking good anyways. I LOVE IT!
     
    AF likes this.
  2. Þráinn Njálsson

    Þráinn Njálsson

    27
    Oct 16, 2018
    Just a caution: when I fixed it (stoning the lockbar face), it developed vertical blade play when open. It's better than having a loose blade, but not perfect. As others have said, I still love the knife.
     
  3. Daniel L

    Daniel L

    Nov 2, 1998
    48 hours later and plenty of openings... it hasn't slipped off again. I think it's to do with how well the end of the spring bar is seated deep into the retaining groove. I think mine was maybe 0.5 - 1mm out and so it occasionally caused the loose blade issue.

    I did use a small screwdriver to press / wiggle it around and since then, no issues.

    SO... don't be afraid. This is a really under rated knife!
     
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  4. Þráinn Njálsson

    Þráinn Njálsson

    27
    Oct 16, 2018
    Wait, so you think it's just the spring not seating properly? It's hard to imagine how that would cause the lockbar to not press against the blade when closed. I hope that's all it is though.
    P.S. The Air Lite drop point is in stock on BladeHQ
     
  5. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Just got a brand new Air Lite tanto today, and after a couple of hours I noticed that it had the "loose blade when closed" issue and remembered this thread. I'm used to my CS knives needing to break in, but this issue is a new one for me.

    Long story short, my attempts to fix the problem turned a defective knife into a broken one. That's never happened before, and boy is it ever humbling. I thought I'd be safe gradually working through the maintenance ideas in this thread, but I screwed up. I can't in good conscience return the knife, and what was originally a (presumably) covered warranty issue is now clearly end-user damage. Expensive lesson learned. :oops::(
    1. I started with just a careful disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly. That didn't fix the loose blade issue.
    2. The next least-drastic measure seemed to be increasing the spring tension, so I tried that. No luck.
    3. Now able to see that the issue was the stop pin preventing the lockbar from seating deeply enough when closed (which I confirmed by simply removing the stop pin, resulting in perfect closed detent), I filed down the lockbar interface.
    I clearly filed it too far, because it now drops all the way into the "hook" on the tang and there's an unsafe amount of front-to-back blade play. Along the way I also damaged the tiny hole in the G10 that seats the metal pin in the backspacer located closest to the spring well. That's a small, shallow hole and I bet my stronger spring blew out one edge of it.

    I love this model but I'm honestly not quite sure how to go about acquiring another one. The issue didn't show up immediately, only after a bit of use -- and pandemic aside, it's not like I can play with one in the store for two hours to see if there's a problem. ;)

    TL;DR: If you're at all hesitant about trying to fix this issue yourself, do what I should have done and either return it to the dealer as defective or send it to CS for warranty repair/replacement. :cool:
     
    115Italian likes this.
  6. Þráinn Njálsson

    Þráinn Njálsson

    27
    Oct 16, 2018
    Sounds familiar man! I had the same thoughts, and took the same steps. Now mine also has vertical blade-play when open, but it's only slight. That said, I can also still get the original loose-blade issue to happen, but only if I work at it. So, I still carry it, but I doubt there's a real, solid fix for this issue.

    Oh, and I have the same issue with the hole in the G-10, so now the plastic back-spacer flexes under the spring.

    Such a shame, because I love the design! Cold Steel just needs to fix the tolerances and QC, and make the back-spacer from aluminum, like on the Lawman. Then you'd have a perfect knife IMO.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  7. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    If the lockbar was rubbing against the stop pin, wouldn't you want to remove material from the front of the lockbar rather than where it interfaces the tang? If you did remove it from the front, I don't see how that could create a problem.
     
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  8. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
    There’s a pin that prevents the lockbar from travels down too far into the blade tang. Did you lose any pins? Are the pins in the right place? I can’t see how the lockbar seating too far can cause any play.
     
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  9. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
    You have to post pictures. There has to been a reason there’s play. There has to be a way to fix it. I worked on this knife and found the problem and fixed it. I cant see how it would cause blade play. I want to help. Throw up some pictures with the scale off, internal parts in still.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  10. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Poor description on my part, sorry. I meant that interface, where the lockbar contacted the stop pin; despite my fuzzy wording, that's the bit I filed down.

    Nope, no lost pins and all parts in their proper places. I've disassembled Tri-Ad folders before and feel comfortable with what goes where.

    I agree that it seems odd, since the lock is designed to wear in deeper and continue to function. (And it does still function, just with significant blade play; it's also no longer loose when closed.) When closed, it now seats so deeply that it's immediately obvious something is off about the knife just from looking at it.
     
  11. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
    When the knife is closed the lock bar cant travel down that far. I can’t understand what’s happening. There’s a pin that the lockbar falls on to that prevents it from travel down too far.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  12. 115Italian

    115Italian

    Nov 13, 2015
     
  13. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    Could you have mixed up the stop pin with the lockbar pin? On some models they are slightly different diameters and swapping them can create up and down play. Not sure of how they're sized on the Air Lite.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  14. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I appreciate your help and suggestions, fellow knife knuts. :D I was just posting a cautionary tale and data point, and figured this knife was a lost cause (not this model, this specific one...because I broke it).

    Open and closed pics below. Please excuse the fingerprints and so-so lighting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This sounded so promising! But as far as I can tell I have them identified correctly. The one with the slightly larger diameter matches the diameter of the hole around which the lockbar pivots. The other one is slightly narrower.

    Just to be sure I switched them around. The knife felt off, but honestly I'm pretty frazzled at this point after a couple of hours of messing with it; I could easily be screwing something up and not realizing it. :oops:
     
  15. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    Typically the larger pin is the stop pin. The hole in the lockbar is drilled oversized.
     
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  16. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    That pin stops the blade in the closed position.
     
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  17. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Got it! Thank you.

    Switched those two pins. Now it's back to solid lockup when open, but won't stay closed/still has the original issue. New pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    "Now able to see that the issue was the stop pin preventing the lockbar from seating deeply enough when closed (which I confirmed by simply removing the stop pin, resulting in perfect closed detent), I filed down the lockbar interface."

    I think if you do more of this, it will solve the problem.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  19. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    Sounds like it's just the tanto that has this issue? My drop point was fine. If so, the tangs must be slightly different on the two models.
     
    Dadpool likes this.
  20. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    My drop point exhibits the issue if I open and close it gently. But a good hard open/close and it's fine again.
     
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