Overbuilt folders : Yes or no?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by patrickguignot, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Internet is funky right now here in Afghanistan, but I've been doing some comparisons between the 4Max, Alpha Mark 1, SATU, and the RAO II. If anything the Alpha Mark 1 has the smoothest flipping action and is by far the smoothest opener and closer with a close second from the RAO. While my preference between all four is the 4Max, both the Alpha Mark 1 and SATU are superb belt-pouch folders and much more size-efficient than the 4Max and RAO.

    It's a heavy piece, but given the slabs of S35VN and titanium, it's not a surprise. While I have pocket-carried it, it's best suited to the belt sheath. Ironically the Cold Steel 4Max, which is the least size-efficient between the Alpha Mark 1 and the SATU, carries pretty good with a deep-pocket clip addition. That said the quality of the Alpha Mark 1 with the quantity of material is actually a decent value; if you value an over-built, heavy folder. The four I currently have (4Max, RAO II, SATU, and the Alpha Mark 1) are all pretty much belt-mounted/pouch folders. While they will work in the pants (minus the RAO which doesn't have a pocket clip), you need deep/stout pockets and a good gun-belt.

    Something like the Recon 1 is a much better value for a pocket folder that is still designed for hard use (and it's much lighter as well). However, if you want a robustly constructed flipping beast with a secondary safety pin, titanium slab handles and a massive S35VN blade, the Alpha Mark 1 will scratch that itch and at a decent value IMHO.

  2. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Having used and American Lawman (as suggested by a BF member!) for a few years now out on the job, I think you are right. It hasn't changed the lockup at all in about 5-6 years, still tight and zero movement. Sometimes things just work.

    With that in mind, I have just purchased a CS Ultimate Hunter. No doubt I will have the same results with this knife. I am not real CS fan (the UH is only my second since the AL), but boy, when they get it right they get it right. I am loving this Ultimate Hunter a lot.

    Since all my knives are work/camp/hunt/hike knives the only other CS model I have had a strong attraction to is the Bush Ranger. Again, like the Ultimate Hunter, sculpted handles of G10, small pocket clip that doesn't draw attention, S35v steel, and of course the Demko Tri Ad lock.

    Tommy-Chi, Dadpool, insta9ves and 2 others like this.
  3. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    That UH is a good looking knife. Does it have full liners?
  4. Lee48


    Apr 29, 2005
    I used to be totally infatuated with heavy duty big folding knives. But now I prefer to carry lighter knives. These days about the only thing I need a knife to do is open a package, cut a thread or slice a lime to squeeze in my beer.
    JBoone, BBW, Jpd0144 and 1 other person like this.
  5. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    It has no liners! Like so many of the other CS designs, it is engineered as to not need them. When I got my CS American Lawman it was very reasonably priced as it was in their AUS 8 days. It was cheap enough and some of the guys here were so enthusiastic I thought, "why not?"

    It's a lightweight knife for its size, and I thought it would never last out on a job site doing all the things I do with my knives. I never abuse them but they get a full day's work sometimes doing all kinds of cutting of anything from wood to dirty fiberglass strapping and cardboard when I unbundle mechanical items. In fact I was a little disappointed when I got the American Lawman because I thought it was supposed to be some heavy duty utility knife. I thought that since I didn't have a lot of money into it, I would see how far I could push it before it actually broke.

    Turns out this knife just doesn't need liners. I couldn't have been more wrong about this knife and all that disappointment faded pretty quickly. It is a uniquely simple knife that is just perfectly engineered. Actually, the lock is still a bit stiff as I am thinking it isn't quite worn in yet! Maybe another 10 years or so...

    I am not a knife fighter, an "operator" of any sort, nor would I think of using my knife as a self-defense tool. I am a skilled blue-collar guy that thinks of knives as tools. I grew up with traditional knives so I am used to opening and closing knives with two hands. I appreciate some of my knives that are one handed openers that are easy to close with one hand as well. But using two hands certainly isn't a deal-killer for me. I never have to instantly deploy my blade in the face of danger.

    I say all that because the Ultimate Hunter doesn't have liners either. It is perfectly smooth inside between the scales which makes it, like the American Lawman, easy to clean. Lack of liners make this knife very lightweight for its size.And although it is often said, but rarely believed by me, this knife is approaching fixed blade rigidity.

    Don't let the lack of liners put you off. And all the time I have used the American Lawman none of the pins have wallowed out thir holes one bit, and no screw has ever come loose. Honestly, I would have never believed it. The knife is so solid still that I simply take it for granted at this point.

    Great engineering, and great execution. And the new Ultimate Hunter is a well-made
    and well finished knife. No doubt, this one will last me till the end of my days. Not bad for under a hundred bucks!

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  6. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Excellent. Both the Ultimate Hunter and SR1 are on my list. And both are linerless.
    hugofeynman likes this.
  7. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    SR1 has small strip of liner just along the two stop pin to make the triad lock extra strong. It’s similar to the G10 Espada models.
    Good thing about the Triad lock design is that you can add small pieces of liner around the stop pin and lockbar pivot to make the lock much stronger without adding much more weight. It’s already very strong without liner yet you can make even it stronger by changing material or adding extra reinforcement. This is what i call a good scalable design.
    hugofeynman, DocJD and Dadpool like this.
  8. The Zieg

    The Zieg Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    The Buck 110 is as heavy and bulky as I want to get. It's why I bought an aluminum framed 110. But I like large folders, so if I ever get out of control online, I'll buy a CS Espada XL and call it a day.

    DocJD likes this.
  9. Weiss


    Jan 3, 2007
    onekerf likes this.
  10. fielder


    Jan 25, 2011
    I wish that other cold steel folders had at least partial liners like the SR1. I know they say they aren't needed, and I'm sure they're right, but I like them.
    hugofeynman and insta9ves like this.
  11. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I completely understand, and I get it! No liners seems to fly in the face of everything that I understand about heavy duty knives. That's why I just put my toe in the water with the older, less expensive model of the American Lawman.

    My finances can be tighter than a top on a banjo. Worse, I hate it when I don't get what I pay for. And seriously, the only reason I bought the AL was at the urging of a couple of folks here.

    What brought my confidence level up to spend the money was looking at YouTube videos where people did absolutely stupid punishing tests just to see if they could break it. I realized then that I would never, ever use a knife in the way they did just to test. And the test that actually broke one was just idiocy.

    It took a few years of personal testing to get it through my head that the AL engineering design is a winner, but I am on board with CS and Demko's engineering after my own personal use.

    I look at my ZT knives and remember the Spydercos that I used to have and while they all performed very well, there was just a lot of extra meat on those knives. Probably in part to sell the whole overbuilt idea, and partly to make it more appealing to most folks.

    Who knows... now that my confidence is high, I might buy that Bush Ranger in about 3 to 4 years, instead of waiting 5 to buy another Cold Steel Tri Ad!

    DocJD likes this.
  12. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I like the one where Andrew Demko -- not a small dude -- opens the Lawman, props it flat between two stacks of boards (one end on each stack), and then stands on it. And bounces up and down.

    When he takes it off, it opens and closes normally. I don't remember it being affected in any way (though it has been a year or two since I watched that video).
    DocJD likes this.
  13. OogieBoogie


    Mar 29, 2014
    I like overbuilt folders because I just do (my money, my choice). My EDC is a Strider AR. I have no problems with the size or weight, and it's a pretty tough knife. I do like the looks of it and the cool factor, both of which are important to me. I also have confidence that if I find myself in a situation where I need a tough knife this one will be up to the job. In the end, carry what you like.
  14. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    It seems there are a few companies that don't use steel liners on some of their G10 scales. Spyderco has one or two and I think Medford does too (along with CS). I guess thicker G10 works just as well.
    Lapedog and DocJD like this.
  15. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    The SR1 has Steel liners around the Triad and Rocker Lock Pins, and the pivot. They extend through the screws that secure the backspace rat the rocker lock
    DocJD likes this.
  16. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    I like overbuilt folders, EDC a GB #1. My favorite overbuilt folder is a German Parachute Gravity Knife. It is good for using as an ice pick too! Maybe you have to be European to appreciate such craftsmanship.

  17. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Then it's just not worth it ! :rolleyes:;)
  18. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    I'm currently interested in a folder that weighs over 9 oz. It's big and heavy and I want it.
  19. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Are we supposed to guess ?;)

    I don't think weight per se was ever my limiting factor so much as sheer bulk . The CS Rajah 2 proved just a bit much to carry regularly , but not bad for an occasional hike in the woods . I don't even notice anything smaller , anymore . :cool::thumbsup:
  20. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Yeah , guess o_O

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