Custom Tilite 6

Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
4,034
The folding stiletto has been my favorite type of knife for over 40 years now. I resisted buying a Tilite for many years because I preferred the more traditional style stiletto. But eventually I decided to go ahead and buy a Tilite 6, and I'm very glad I did, as it quickly became my favorite knife.

I enjoy customizing and re-building knives to better suit my personal tastes, so I decided to combine my interest in stilettos with my enjoyment of working on knives. Ever since I bought my first T6 I felt it was the perfect candidate for customization. So I bought a second one and just recently finished it.

First, what I started with. A stock Tilite 6.

NC6r7oE.jpg



And this is what I finished with.


vYCSnyk.jpg


G7Fsqzb.jpg


The bolsters are 3/16ths inch thick 6061 aluminum, and the handle scales are extra coarse G10 for maximum grip. I also made an aluminum back spacer (pics below).

I wanted the knife to have a clean, streamline appearance, so I removed the guard spurs (I don't really like them, nor do I have a need for them), I ditched the thumstud and filled the screw hole (a mild wrist-flick opens the knife, smooth as silk), and I sanded the printing off both sides of the blade.

OPjQgGg.jpg


bjkB1ME.jpg


Notice the screw under the stop pin, there's no screw present there in the stock knife. The stock plastic back spacer has two posts that stick out on each side and fit into holes in the liners. Since those holes are already there I decided to run a screw (4-40) through them adding strength to that area of the knife. The screw runs all the way through the handle and back spacer.

8GpmWHp.jpg


The original threaded posts that hold the handle together have a very small lip around their heads, so I'm using stainless steel washers with them so I can compress the handle together more tightly.

fR3r6pc.jpg

dY1fpga.jpg


One of my few issues with the stock Tilite 6 is the amount of "flex" in the handle. This is due in most part to the stock plastic back spacer. The stock spacer is very "bendy" and allows the handle to bow or flex under lateral pressure. I prefer my stilettos to be as rigid as possible. Here's a pic of the aluminum back spacer I made along with the stock one. You can see how much more material there is on mine, it's much stronger and more rigid. This removes the flex and helps make the knife much more solid.

1FDVJqu.jpg


In this pic you can see how much extra room there is between the edge of the blade and the stock back spacer when the knife is closed. This extra space allowed me to make my spacer wider.

HcgOpkW.jpg


It's hard to see, but there's about a millimeter of space between the edge and my back spacer. The edge never touches it.

D0VgKJd.jpg


Something else I did was replace the stock handle screws with ones more than twice as long. The stock screws are less than 3/16ths of an inch long, but the threaded posts the screws thread into have a thread depth more than twice that. That means a lot of threads were not being used. The more threads you utilize the stronger the connection will be and you can tighten them more with less risk of stripping. I like my knives TIGHT. A tight knife is a stronger knife. Using longer screws allows me to really secure the handle together tightly which, along with the aluminum back spacer completely removes all flex from the handle.

Thank you Cold Steel for producing the Tilite 6. As I said before, even in stock condition it would still be my favorite knife.

I own many knives. Some of my knives I consider to be "treasures". But this Tilite is my greatest treasure. If I could only have one knife on earth, this would be the knife.

I also want to compliment Cold Steel on how sharp this knife is out of the box. One might not expect a thick bayonet stiletto blade to be very sharp, but this one is shaving sharp.
 
Last edited:

tinfoil hat timmy

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
10,133
The folding stiletto has been my favorite type of knife for over 40 years now. I resisted buying a Tilite for many years because I preferred the more traditional style stiletto. But eventually I decided to go ahead and buy a Tilite 6, and I'm very glad I did, as it quickly became my favorite knife.

I enjoy customizing and re-building knives to better suit my personal tastes, so I decided to combine my interest in stilettos with my enjoyment of working on knives. Ever since I bought my first T6 I felt it was the perfect candidate for customization. So I bought a second one and just recently finished it.

First, what I started with. A stock Tilite 6.

NC6r7oE.jpg



And this is what I finished with.


vYCSnyk.jpg


G7Fsqzb.jpg


The bolsters are 3/16ths inch thick 6061 aluminum, and the handle scales are extra coarse G10 for maximum grip. I also made an aluminum back spacer (pics below).

I wanted the knife to have a clean, streamline appearance, so I removed the guard spurs (I don't really like them, nor do I have a need for them), I ditched the thumstud and filled the screw hole (a mild wrist-flick opens the knife, smooth as silk), and I sanded the printing off both sides of the blade.

OPjQgGg.jpg


bjkB1ME.jpg


Notice the screw under the stop pin, there's no screw present there in the stock knife. The stock plastic back spacer has two posts that stick out on each side and fit into holes in the liners. Since those holes are already there I decided to run a screw (4-40) through them adding strength to that area of the knife. The screw runs all the way through the handle and back spacer.

8GpmWHp.jpg


The original threaded posts that hold the handle together have a very small lip around their heads, so I'm using stainless steel washers with them so I can compress the handle together more tightly.

fR3r6pc.jpg

dY1fpga.jpg


One of my few issues with the stock Tilite 6 is the amount of "flex" in the handle. This is due in most part to the stock plastic back spacer. The stock spacer is very "bendy" and allows the handle to bow or flex under lateral pressure. I prefer my stilettos to be as rigid as possible. Here's a pic of the aluminum back spacer I made along with the stock one. You can see how much more material there is on mine, it's much stronger and more rigid. This removes the flex and helps make the knife much more solid.

1FDVJqu.jpg


In this pic you can see how much extra room there is between the edge of the blade and the stock back spacer when the knife is closed. This extra space allowed me to make my spacer wider.

HcgOpkW.jpg


It's hard to see, but there's about a millimeter of space between the edge and my back spacer. The edge never touches it.

D0VgKJd.jpg


Something else I did was replace the stock handle screws with ones more than twice as long. The stock screws are less than 3/16ths of an inch long, but the threaded posts the screws thread into have a thread depth more than twice that. That means a lot of threads were not being used. The more threads you utilize the stronger the connection will be and you can tighten them more with less risk of stripping. I like my knives TIGHT. A tight knife is a stronger knife. Using longer screws allows me to really secure the handle together tightly which, along with the aluminum back spacer completely removes all flex from the handle.

Thank you Cold Steel for producing the Tilite 6. As I said before, even in stock condition it would still be my favorite knife.

I own many knives. Some of my knives I consider to be "treasures". But this Tilite is my greatest treasure. If I could only have one knife on earth, this would be the knife.

I also want to compliment Cold Steel on how sharp this knife is out of the box. One might not expect a thick bayonet stiletto blade to be very sharp, but this one is shaving sharp.
VERY nice work. I love threads like this simply because I have tte desire but lack the means to do these things.

Maybe someday.

Again, nice job.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
2,299
Good job,tilite is quality as it is,but this mod makes it close to perfect,are you going to be making auto versions?i used my tilite for few years,and for stiletto,it cuts very well.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
4,034
Thanks again everyone. :)

Good job,tilite is quality as it is,but this mod makes it close to perfect,are you going to be making auto versions?i used my tilite for few years,and for stiletto,it cuts very well.

For a few years now I've been thinking about doing an auto conversion of a Ti-lite 6 (I've mentioned it a few times), figuring out the mechanics and how to make it work, and I have most of what I would need, but sometimes it's a little difficult for me to work up the motivation to start a new project. I will often look at one of my switchblade builds, think about how much work went into it, and wonder to myself "How the hell did I work up the motivation to do that?". Once I start I get a momentum going that drives me, but getting started, knowing how much time and work it's going to be, is the hard part.

It was easier to motivate myself to do this re-build for two reasons-1. it's a manual, so it was a LOT simpler than an auto. And 2. Unlike an auto, I can legally carry this knife (not sure if I will, but at least it's an option). Working up the motivation to do another auto is made harder by knowing I could never carry it and it would be just another homebound auto, and I already have several of those.

And I just recently went through a house sale and moved, so that always complicates life for awhile.

And in a funny way, procrastination can sometimes pay off. For example- the pivot for the Ti-lite 6 is 6mm in diameter, just a hair short of 1/4". I couldn't find a 6mm pivot that would work in my conversion design, so my original plan was to use a 1/4" carbide drill bit and enlarge the blade pivot hole, and the liner pivot holes to 1/4", and use a 1/4" pivot, which are plentiful. This would have required me to purchase an expensive 1/4" carbide bit, and if the bit chipped before I was done, I'd have to buy another (carbide bits are a bit brittle because they're so hard). But just recently I found a 6mm stainless steel threaded barrel nut that I believe could work perfect. So that would save me from drilling out the pivots, and mean less work and expense.

Anyway, I can't make any predictions, but the topic is always somewhere in my head. I think about it every day. Maybe someday the spark will finally hit tinder and light a fire under my ass to get started.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
4,034
Man that is awesome! Job well done.
Thank you very much. I'm honored to receive a compliment from someone at Cold Steel.

As I said before, and any other time the subject comes up, the Ti-lite 6 is by far my favorite model of knife, out of ALL knives.

As much as I loved this knife the day I finished it, I've found that my affection for it has grown even more with each passing day. It's my dream knife come true. And it wouldn't be possible if not for Cold Steel.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
476
Your knife is epic! I love my ti-lite 6 as well. Mine is the aluminum/S35VN model.
Great build on your custom!
 
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