Question about the wave feature

Discussion in 'Emerson Knives' started by Gideons, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Gideons

    Gideons Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    Hey BF,

    In all of the videos discussing or demonstrating the wave feature they are often in open spaces, standing still and vertically, wearing jeans with either a short shirt or tucked in shirt. In my opinion this is the optimum situation(s) for using the wave feature. However, life is never that convenient, especially in unplanned emergency situations. I've never owned a true Emerson, but 5 ZT Emersons and one Kershaw Emerson trainer. I've been intrigued in purchasing some Emerson knives before, however in my personal experience while using the trainer to practice I've found that in areas that restrict your movement (in a car, on the ground, any confined space), the wave feature is extremely less effective and I'm not willing to rule out user error as a factor in these outcomes. Or since I'm canadian, I often have to wear many layers of clothes and I have found the wave feature fails to deploy the blade because it will often get caught on a jacket, hoodie, longer sleeve etc. I do believe muscle memory is important in in any sort of stressful or emergency situation so I primarily prefer to use only one method of deployment (flipper).

    This leads up to the reason for my post, for those who religious use emerson's (and the wave feature), do you also have issue(s) with using the wave feature in less than ideal scenarios (like listed above) or what would you do to prevent issues like I listed above from happening? Or are situations like these when you would just use the thumbdisk/flipper on your emerson?

    Thank you,

  2. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama

    Sep 25, 2011
    Well you already have used the wave on the zt collabs you have, and the trainer, so getting an authentic Emerson will change things but not the wave. You'll get different blade steel, super grippy g10, and a tank of a knife, but it's still the same wave feature.

    That said, I prefer to get the Emerson out of the pocket without waving it most times. I like to practice the technique, but in reality there is no reason to use it over and over again with most normal edc cutting. Normally i'll pull the pocket clip so there is a bit less tension, and then easy the knife out of the pocket where the wave won't catch. I live in a really hot place, so bulky clothing is not really a norm here, but at times I'm in heavier clothing I've never noticed any inability to use the wave. I don't need it while I'm driving, and if I'm on the floor things have gone really bad and any knife being deployed would be inconsistent.

    Now finally, if you are wanting a backup in case the wave did not work, get an Emerson flipper, like the sheepdog, I love the design and it has 3 ways to open!

    Gideons likes this.
  3. lex2006

    lex2006 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    Many different ways to open any emerson knife, the wave is just another option.
    Lapedog likes this.
  4. harvey554

    harvey554 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    This is a great topic. Here are my experiences with the wave after carrying Emersons as a work edc for 10+ years and personal carry since 2000 when I picked up a Commander.

    1. While waving can be reliable, there is a possibility for misdeployments. You are right, the blade can snag on things nearby such as gear or loose clothes. I've definitely poked some holes in some untucked shirts or other long clothes. In situations where I wear jackets that block my pants pockets, I'll keep the knife clipped to or loose in a jacket pocket instead the pants. Waving out of a jacket is possible, but pretty tricky if the jacket isn't zipped/buttoned up... You can even wave it out of some basic nylon belt sheaths. Use your judgement, if there are obstructions one handle length away from the deployment area, you probably shouldn't wave it.

    2. Wave performance varies between models and the clothes you wear. Before going out, I test to make sure the Emerson model I grab waves easily from the pocket I want to carry it in. Luckily I have a rather large pool of models to pick from so I can keep testing until I find the most reliable one. As of late, it has been a Tiger or Barracuda. Another day it could be a sheepdog, Etak, commander or whatever else works more efficiently. All depends on pocket construction, position, and waving technique. So test test test and practice practice practice.

    3. Waving in confined spaces is usually ok for me, but I prefer to use the disk or flipper in those situations. Using the wave while sitting in a car doesn't seem like a good idea to me and probably shouldn't be done, same can be said if you're on the ground grappling. While waving can work in those situations, the chance for misdeployments is a lot higher and creates uncertainties about the locking status or where the knife point is. Lex2006 said it perfectly:
    lex2006 likes this.
  5. Timothy 75

    Timothy 75

    Aug 11, 2011
    Imho the wave is best for utility use, work, home, showing your buds etc. As mentioned above too many things affect its function, pants, pocket, body position, even underwear. I cant count how many times ive practiced waved deployments for hours and then blown the last draw of the night. No one would accept that in a carry pistol so 95% of my practice is overriding the wave and using the thumb disk. I do wish emerson would offer more waveless models, i think his designs could all stand on their own without it.
  6. Officer's Match

    Officer's Match Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    Not my experience - all my waved Emersons come out of my pocket fully deployed every time I want them to without fail.
  7. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Simple solution. Put the clip on the “left hand” carry side of you knife but continue to wear your knife in your right pocket. This will allow you to “reverse wave” your knife into reverse grip. It takes up far less space to do the motion and can easily be done from sitting or even laying on your back. It also waves the knife into a more secure grip than the standard waving motion does, which leaves you sort of awkwardly pinching the knife. Just roll the knife into a fist and it will be in edge in reverse grip. Or with abit of practice it is very easy to flip the knife up into forward grip once it is in your fingers. Its second nature to me.

    Me waving a reverse waving my Spyderco pikal. (Note I have the knife set up for “right hand” carry but am carrying it in my left pocket. You will do the opposite, have it set uo for “left hand” carry but have it in your right pocket)

    Also most genuine Emersons don’t come tapped for left hand configuration so reverse waving isn’t always possible unless you get them tapped.
  8. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Oh also when I am wearing my winter jacket and such my pocket is usually below the bottom of my jacket. With a reverse wave the jacket never gets in the way and I can actually access my reverse waved knife faster than I can a iwb fixed blade.

    The secret is to practice your reverse waves until you could do it while you’re in a coma. The fastest and most secure grip is either to reverse wave into a reverse grip edge in. (You can switch to a preferred grip once you create some distance)

    The other good waving option is reverse waving a ringed folder. This will let you reverse wave into a reverse grip edge out securely.

    One like this

    Notice how the Spyderco (or any waved karambit) come set up with what would normally be considered a left handed clip set up? This is because they are meant to be reverse waved.

    @Yo Mama another good technique to make sure a knife doesn’t wave is just putting a finger over the spine as you draw it.
    Gideons likes this.
  9. Yester5


    Dec 11, 2002
    Yeah...the wave is just for "showing off".
    That's why every Police and Military contract that Emerson receive requires the Wave Feature.

Share This Page