Why do people mess with CRK knives (a rant by Vermontedge)?

blanco112

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Mine can be flicked no problem too, it just isn’t the best flicking knife. I just find the ones with the oversized ceramic bb lockface/detent have a not very snappy detent. I believe this is due to the oversized detent.

It creates a perfect action for thumb rolling open but not perfect for flicking. The detent breaks too smoothly, and thus there isn’t much stage to preload thumb pressure before it breaks.
I have really kind of found it to be mixed. My Umnumzaan is by far my best flicker and my two large Inkosis are very good. On my sebenzas it varies quite a bit though. And my small inkosi is tricky but mostly because the thumbstud has such little room.
 

BellaBlades

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I think if you adjust an umnum or Inkosi you can get them to flick the best. I check out my Inkosi and my Co workers umnum every few days. They flick about the same. Slight edge to the Umnum. Smaller washers and kind of designed to flick anyway.


But the Inkosi opens easy with both hands. The Umnum is a PIA weak side.

Secretly, I know he wishes he picked up an Inkosi.

Id like an Inkosi with Umnum blade :)
 

Glock Guy

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I agree with most here: If it's your knife, you are free to do whatever the hell you want with it, just be sure to disclose what you did if/when you sell it. That's only fair.

I don't agree with people who think that using anything other than the CRK grease is "modifying" the knife though, as that's just silly. I've used several different types of oils and lubes to try and get what I feel (and yes you can feel a difference) is the smoothest action from the stock knife. The good news is that the CRK grease is in the top 2 of all that I have ever tried.

My current recipe is this:

Use a very small amount of the CRK grease on the blade only, applied with a small detail paint brush. You are not globbing this stuff on, just trying to apply a light, even coat to the blade. Then, I put a single drop of Diaiwa reel oil on my finger and work it into the washers, only on the side that touches the blade, and then reassemble.

I'm not sure why, but this combination seems to both add another level of smooth to the action, as well as keeping it smooth longer than by using grease alone.

One final thing to remember is this: Doing ANYTHING to the knife *may* affect the resale value of it, including just sharpening it, so be aware of that. If you are going to use the knife like the tool it's intended to be, than I'm sure most won't care. If you are a collector, leaving the knife absolutely stock- factory edge and all, is always (yes always) going to be your best bet.
 

Mattinfla

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I’ve just gotta vent. Not trying to pass judgement or start anything here.

I recently worked out a trade that didn’t go so great. It wasn’t on bladeforums and either way I won’t name names. Upon receiving my end of the trade I found a Sebenza with crazy weak detent. Upon contacting the guy he admitted having polished the washers AND bending the lock bar outward to make it “smoother”. Everything worked out ok. He kept the knife I had traded him and bought his own knife back, so everything worked out.

In the past I’ve received two other crks, one of which I suspected the lock bar to have been adjusted on and one of which I think the washers had been polished and the action was way too loose.

Again, I’m still frustrated from this trade and I don’t mean to to judge anyone’s preference on modding or tweaking their own knives but...what’s the deal? Why buy a knife famous for its perfection and tolerances and then mess around with it? I just don’t understand.

I guess my real frustration is just with people not divulging info on knives that they’re selling or trading but...I don’t know. I so value the ability to break in a CRK and have it be perfect. I can’t imagine messing with something like lock bar tension!

I think the issue here is people applying the wrong tool to the job.

I am new to the CRK world, but I really like my small Sebenza. The action is very smooth, but it isn't a "flicky" knife. From everything I have seen and read, it is not intended to be. So I don't use it for rapid-deployment types of tasks.

If I am doing something where I might need a knife *right now*, I either carry a fixed blade or an Emerson Wave'd folder. I don't mean that to sound mall ninja-ish. I'm not an operator out operating operationally in an operational environment. But on occasion, I have to travel to some sketchy places. On those occasions, I carry a firearm, and on the support hand side a knife I can open one handed for retention purposes. And that's not the Sebenza. Not it's purpose or application.

Different tasks, different tools. But some folks seem to want to sharpen a hammer rather than get an axe, so to speak. Which is fine - to each their own - but the OP is correct that if one does such a thing they are obligated to reveal it up front prior to a sale or trade.
 

brownshoe

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...I don't agree with people who think that using anything other than the CRK grease is "modifying" the knife though, as that's just silly. I've used several different types of oils and lubes to try and get what I feel (and yes you can feel a difference) is the smoothest action from the stock knife. The good news is that the CRK grease is in the top 2 of all that I have ever tried....

Per the person I talked to at CRK, the pivot is a "system" that includes the grease. The specific CRK grease, rather than oil, is necessary to give the proper lubrication and protect the pivot assembly from oxidation and dirt. All of the components (washers, holes, bushing, pivot...and grease) are designed to work together. I was told that use of a lighter weight lubricant will work, but will not give the protection and long term lubrication that the Sebenza was designed to provide.

The Sebenza is somewhat unique. Not many knives have such a mature design history and are designed for user disassembly and maintenance. Too bad Chris is retired...
 
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Sounds like he wanted your knife.... and got it. I would have been furious. Bending the lockbar, then trading it saying nothing of it. Low down shit there. Sorry, this is your rant brotha. Not mine ;)
 
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Sounds like he wanted your knife.... and got it. I would have been furious. Bending the lockbar, then trading it saying nothing of it. Low down shit there. Sorry, this is your rant brotha. Not mine ;)
Haha, hey man, rant away! Had he been anything but immediately willing to make it right, I would have lost it. However, being that he bought his own knife back and kept mine, and that I was then able to score a Damascus Sebenza...I guess it worked out ok!
 
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Am sorry you folk have received some butchered knives, for sure. Sanding washers? Really? What fixture are they using to keep them dead flat as originally made? Hand sanding rocks parts and edges get reduced before middle.

But, as for lock tension, although a true safety issue, I have received some CRKs with far too much tension, as in, explode knife apart when screws removed, enough tension to lock the knife next door.

However, a very fine line to walk on safe engagement vs very sore thumb after much playing, and would think the Inkosi far more tweaked due to less lock bar above opposite side and so harder to reach for those of us with blue collar thumbs.

Condolences on the butcher boys, but, sometimes, things DO need adjustment. NOBODY makes it perfect and suited to all users, as pivot and lockbar tension interact and influence one another, the problem being many "improvers" try to deal with them as separate systems.
 
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Does anyone know the lock bar bending process at CRK? Is it a fixture of some sort where the bar is bent to an exact degree or weight? Or is it just an employee bending them to where they "should" be?
 
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Any shop videos I have seen of the Reeve way, or anybody else, shows them initially dressing blade lock face with same gizmo, going to lock sides, and assembling by feel, with the Sebenza getting the extra step of bushing getting a quick rub a time or two on fine grit flat surface for best feel. By quick rub, a quick circular motion enough to burnish a surface minimalist sorta rub...but, seems totally by feel on assembly videos, although assumption all lock sides start pre-bent by somebody prior.
 
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one possible issue is that blades are switched out...maybe someone wanted a damascas blade or switched blades around in their collection...this will result in a poor fit. crk should stamp their blades to match the handles. otherwise you may be getting a frankenstein knife and no way to tell/verify.
 

ChazzyP

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Interesting takes from several angles on our Vermont brother's rant. For sure he was owed full disclosure from his trading partner regarding anything that had been done to the knife. I'm glad it worked out for him in the end.

As to "modding" CRKs, I have slightly reduced the thickness of the washers in two of my large 21s by about .01 mm each. I tape a piece of 2500 grit automotive sandpaper to a sheet of glass and use a circular motion with a damp finger, checking carefully with a micrometer. I polish them on a strop block not used for blade stropping. This was done after an extensive break in period and stock re-lube that did not yield the results I wanted. I have trouble sweeping blades open with my short, thick, arthritic thumbs and prefer to flick my knives open. These two and my PJ large 25 are lubed with W10 Nano on the washers with W85 Nano in the pivot. I have no problem with corrosion or dirt in my pivots, but I don't bury my knives up to the pivot in materials nor get them wet a lot.

My StarTac, Starbenza 25, and Inkosi are just as they came from from CRK other than a very slight pivot loosening to free their actions to suit me better. This is in keeping with their design. My other 21 is a large pre-Idaho with Bocote inlays that will always stay just as it came from the mothership.

As washers are replaceable and lube can be changed, I don't really consider those changes to be mods, though I would certainly disclose them if selling. I can't imagine bending the lockbar on a CRK.

Each of us should have our knives as we prefer. I do admire all that goes into CRKs from conception to final fitting, which is why I have, love, and use several of them. I don't feel, though, that I have to subscribe to a rigid dogma regarding their maintenance and personalization.
 

Bigbobg

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Some folks think they know more that the people who designed and built the knives.
 
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I’ve just gotta vent. Not trying to pass judgement or start anything here.

I recently worked out a trade that didn’t go so great. It wasn’t on bladeforums and either way I won’t name names. Upon receiving my end of the trade I found a Sebenza with crazy weak detent. Upon contacting the guy he admitted having polished the washers AND bending the lock bar outward to make it “smoother”. Everything worked out ok. He kept the knife I had traded him and bought his own knife back, so everything worked out.

In the past I’ve received two other crks, one of which I suspected the lock bar to have been adjusted on and one of which I think the washers had been polished and the action was way too loose.

Again, I’m still frustrated from this trade and I don’t mean to to judge anyone’s preference on modding or tweaking their own knives but...what’s the deal? Why buy a knife famous for its perfection and tolerances and then mess around with it? I just don’t understand.

I guess my real frustration is just with people not divulging info on knives that they’re selling or trading but...I don’t know. I so value the ability to break in a CRK and have it be perfect. I can’t imagine messing with something like lock bar tension!
 
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there is never a need to modify a CRK... I would be very cautious of buying a used CRK unless it was someone I knew and trusted and was certain they hadn't modified it
 

Peter Hartwig

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As washers are replaceable and lube can be changed, I don't really consider those changes to be mods, though I would certainly disclose them if selling. I can't imagine bending the lockbar on a CRK.

Washers(modification/sanding) would not be a big deal if you could just pay $1.50(or what ever they cost) for a new set and throw them in, but since the knife has to be sent in it becomes much bigger deal. So this does need full disclosure(as you said you would do). IMO
 

ChazzyP

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I bought a brand new Chevy diesel truck from the dealer but the tolerances were too tight so I ran it with low oil until it developed piston slap. Now the cylinders are nice and loose just the way I like them.

Zieg

I'm sure that your course of action with your brand new truck is directly analogous to carefully sanding, polishing, and gauging two phosphor-bronze washers to reduce their thickness approx .01 mm each in my knives. I'm very pleased with how they turned out and am glad you're happy with your loose pistons.

Washers(modification/sanding) would not be a big deal if you could just pay $1.50(or what ever they cost) for a new set and throw them in, but since the knife has to be sent in it becomes much bigger deal. So this does need full disclosure(as you said you would do). IMO

Good point about needing to send the knife in for new washers, Peter. That definitely reinforces our agreement on the need for disclosure.
 
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