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

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by VermontEdge, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Gold Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    Um ... you sanded your washers and reduced their thickness by .01mm? That's 0.0003937 inch. What grit sandpaper did you use?
    The Zieg likes this.
  2. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    That was likely either 2000 or 2500 grit automotive sandpaper. I polished the washers on a green-loaded strop after.

    I'm very careful with stock removal as I'm only trying to effect a very small change, CRKs already having been hand fitted to get the action just so. Once the stock is gone, it's gone and too much removed means a trip back to the mothership.
  3. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX

    Apr 8, 2018
    I’m not a mechanical engineer, so forgive me if I’m not thinking about this correctly. But one of the selling points I always hear regarding CRK are the “tight tolerances.” If that is indeed true, and I believe that it is, wouldn’t that make them more interchangeable with to parts?
  4. bhyde

    bhyde UNNECESSARY EVIL Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Mar 19, 2002
    There is still alot of hand fitting in the Sebenzas. Angle of the tang to the angle of the lockbar for example- for every .0005in of material removed from either if the angle stays the same, would result in a movement of the lockbar .006in or so.
    If you ever tour the shop, you will see that there is a surface grinder with a fixture on it for this task.
    ChazzyP and Astronaut FX like this.
  5. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Gold Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    JB in SC, red mag and Blue Puma like this.
  6. Pickergrinner


    May 20, 2018
    Why? For me it's a voice that comes from my walnut brain:

    Me: "This darn Sebenza is stiff. The pivot is great but there just seems to be too much lockbar tension for my delicate thumbs"
    Walnut: "You takum two thumbs and shove that bar out...fixum problem"
    Me: "That's crazy, do you know how much this cost not to mention the skill and expertise that went into it's construction?"
    Walnut: "You bendum bar now"
    Me: "Do you remember the bicycle wheels that ended up in the recycle bin? Some jobs require special tools and measuring equipment...listening for the change in pitch when striking the spokes didn't work out so well for us, remember"
    Walnut: "oh yeah, maybe your right, and what about the Ford without the oil experiment?"
    Me: "Huh? we have a Chevy and put oil in it"
    Walnut: "You bendum bar now!"
    Me: "What about the wah wah pedal with the stacked resistor mod"
    Walnut: "What about it? It sounded glorious"
    Me: "It sounded glorious to us, but no one wanted to buy my wah wah pedal after we tinkered with it. Maybe we shouldn't mess with this knife."
    Walnut: "You stop talking, takum two thumbs, and fixum that knife!"
    Me: "ok, ok you win"

    So, I did it incrementally and carefully. Subjectively, I would say that I brought the tension down from a 4/5 to a 3/5. My delicate thumbs love it. I am able to smoothly sweep the blade out as I like. It still locks up at 50-60% with a good thunk. Blade retention in the handle is way more than any button or axis lock that I have, less than my back locks. Bending the bar took this knife from being just my best knife to my best and favorite knife.

    I probably never will, but if I sell it, I'll be sure to reference it as the walnut Sebenza!
    ChazzyP, BD_01 and Astronaut FX like this.
  7. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX

    Apr 8, 2018
    +3 points for inclusion of a wah wah pedal in a discussion about knives.
  8. SubaruSTi


    Nov 28, 2005
    I got a 2007 limited in buckeye burl direct from CRK that had a lock bar go all the way across the other side. I was livid. I quit buying CRK after that. This was before I really used customer service so I never complained when I got something bad. Now I would have sent it back and I'm sure they would have made it right if I had. I think I threw it out a few years later what a waste.
  9. Blue Puma

    Blue Puma

    Aug 17, 2003

    My family used to own a very very very fancy French restaurant. There was a gentleman who used to eat there 5 times a week, minimum, for many years. One day he just simply stopped coming. My Uncle and I saw him on the street a while later and said "We haven't seen you in a while! What happened?" He replied that the last time he came in, his soup was not hot when it was served. Had he let us know, we would have 1) found out where WE went wrong and FIXED the source of the problem, 2) given him a fresh bowl of soup, 3) Bought him a drink, and 4) probably even comped his entire meal.

    Often in high end goods like CRKs, fancy cars, and fancy restaurants, people have expectations of perfection, which are not unreasonable given the cost and workmanship involved. But when something does goes wrong as it inevitably will, the best thing you can do is "complain" or to put it more nicely, let them know that something went wrong. That is the difference between a well run business and a lousy one. A lousy one will blow you off, just doing enough to get you out the door. A good one will own the problem, fix the cause, and make the customer happy. My take on it is in fact, a good business will be thankful to such a customer because their feedback will help to bring them nearer to perfection.
    bhyde and SubaruSTi like this.
  10. SubaruSTi


    Nov 28, 2005
    Yeah I totally understand. This was pre iPhone, I'm a younger guy so I had minimal experience with customer service. I knew Strider had great customer service but that's it.

    A few years earlier I broke a Randall and threw that out but in reality they would have made a new knife I believe. I hit a nail in an old hedge post and chicklet'd the blade!
  11. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    You may know this at this point, but CRK's customer service is excellent. One of the reasons so many of us buy CRK's is that we know if there is a problem they will be able to restore our knives to working condition.

    The one thing they ask is that we give them a chance to make things right before we start public complaints -(this is a general comment and not referring to the quote)
    SubaruSTi likes this.
  12. SubaruSTi


    Nov 28, 2005
    At the time I was shocked they let it go out the door like that. For the limited knives you had to call and find out what was available.

    That's my only negative CRK experience I guess I had to get it out after 10 years haha.
  13. rexromic

    rexromic Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2011
    Don’t mess with the perfection!
  14. Thin-Slice


    Jul 4, 2016
    True to an extend. When I received my first Sebenza it was difficult to open and not only because the thumb stud is further down towards the butt of the knife which makes it harder to flick open (mean harder not impossible). For me at the time, I was primarily a Benchmade/Spyderco owner and many of the Benchmade thumb studs are further up towards the pivot and thereby easier and faster to flick open/deploy. That was the first issue for a non experienced owner of a Sebenza. Second, was because of the harder detent I need time for my thumb to get tougher.

    Similarly imagine all Sebenza owners receiving a Umnumzaan for first time without knowing anything about it and trying to open it.

    Now what I know I would not modify any CRK.

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