CHRIS REEVE: Thumb- Numb- Zaan

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Dave Agazzi, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I've had mine for over 10 years and never had an issue. I've even used it with gloves before. Not sure why so many people have problems with it, very weird.
    Dcdavis, highestpoint and Kmikaz3 like this.
  2. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I ran into the "easy-opening" problem years ago, and nyefmaker saved my bacon.
    Read my post # 1 from this thread in 2013...
    Opening and closing of the blade are both part of the same problem, IMO.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  3. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Agreed! I'm paying a premium price for a knife that doesn't open as well as an infinite number of quality options? Does not seem like a good plan to me.
    Alsharif likes this.
  4. Dave Agazzi

    Dave Agazzi

    Feb 28, 2021
  5. Mistman68

    Mistman68 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2019
    Hmmm...... mine opens pretty easily, always has. Bought new in '19. I flick it open more than I slow roll it. I have a lot of thumb stud knives, I don't find it difficult or uncommonly odd the way it opens. While using it hunting last year I did find I used 2 hands to open it when my hands were filthy and wet but I may have done that w/any TS opener at the time.

    Anymore how a knife opens is less important to me than how it works and feels when open. I do prefer TS's to most other methods.
    Sharp & Fiery likes this.
  6. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Though I've never owned a Zaan, I did own a Sebbie for about a week but my big thumb just couldn't get purchase on those conical studs. I always wondered if a zaan might be better. Fidget factor is important to me. Crazy as it sounds, flicking/flipping a knife open and closed helps with my anxiety. Calms me down. Weird maybe, but better than taking Clonazepam.
    Triton, Alsharif and Sonnydaze like this.
  7. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    The Zaan is a very different animal from the Sebbie...I can say that having had 2 Zaans and a multitude of Sebbies over the yrs... The Zaan is the bigger "tactical" brother IMO, and has its own following...including me.
    ...and...try diazepam for me when my wife gets on my nerves...
    353 likes this.


    Sep 24, 2020
    Just took possession of an Umnum from a member here - my sixth CRK, and first Umnum. I had read about the “difficulty” of opening, but honestly there was exactly zero learning curve out of the box. Not sure if it is already “broken in” compared to right from the factory. I don’t think I would have ever known about such difficulty if it weren’t for threads about it.

    Might just be this one though, sample size of one.
    Kmikaz3 likes this.
  9. BD_01

    BD_01 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    Umnumzaan thumb is a real thing!

    i went through it twice, once with each Zaan. During break in, I would have to put the knife away for a few days periodically to let my thumb recover. In the end, it was worth the effort!

    A few other things I did for break in:
    -remove the pocket clip to make sure it wasn’t adding to the lockbar tension.
    -run the pivot as loose as possible. No LockTite, adjust periodically.
    -make sure there’s a sparing amount of fresh grease on the washers and detent ball track.
    -I also did a quick pass of the washers over a strop, once or twice. Not a polish, just a smoothing of rough edges.

    I understand those that’ll say a $400 knife shouldn’t need a lot of break in. I’ll also be quick to say that a well broken in Zaan is pretty amazing.


    And then there’s the opening technique, which has already been mentioned. I found it intuitive—but it wasn’t joyful before my knives were broken in.

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  10. highestpoint

    highestpoint Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Lol muh knive don’t flick opun. It’z defictive.

    Give the majority of non knife people any thumb stud opener and what do they do. Push the blade open, then wrist flick it the rest of the way. That doesn’t mean it’s the action. It’s the manipulation of the knife they don't know.

    Definitely think everyone who gave up on the zaan is really missing it’s full potential. The more you use it the more it shines.
    jaypopsti, Kmikaz3 and unwisefool like this.
  11. jiggyfly16


    Feb 11, 2009
    To me personally, it's like saying "Red wing boots cost $300+ so it shouldn't need to break in." But once it's broken in you'll know exactly why it's worth it.
    DMG, highestpoint and BD_01 like this.
  12. J85909266


    Jun 6, 2005
    I still have not had a chance to own one. That said, I am 100% positive that if I ever get one then I will have no issue opening it or breaking it in.
  13. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Ha my new red wings still haven't broken in fully after a year. They are comfy though
    DMG likes this.
  14. Alsharif

    Alsharif Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    It's a dumb design. CRK can't figure out how to make an ergonomic thumbstud. One of the few reasons to stay away.
    Triton likes this.
  15. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    The user error is strong with this thread.
  16. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    The thumb stud design on the Umnumzaan is very different than the sebenza. I like the Umnumzaan thumb studs much better, and I feel the rubber o-ring helps my thumb get a little extra traction when opening.
    FullMetalJackass likes this.
  17. jiggyfly16


    Feb 11, 2009
    Yup, they aren't broken in until their lust for numb pinky toe or blisters has been satiated. Once that lust has been fulfilled, they'll break in nicely.....or maybe I should double check my foot size the next time I buy.
  18. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Ha yeah might want to get it measured again, that shouldn't be happening.
  19. Kmikaz3

    Kmikaz3 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 28, 2019
    I dont get it, the Zaan opens nearly the same as other thumbstud folders. Am i doing something differently?
    BTTLBRN likes this.
  20. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I think a lot of people are used to using an arc motion instead of a straight forward push.

    Like this:

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