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Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife

Offline Red Ranger

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Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife
on: December 26, 2022, 02:01:11 PM
Anybody else notice differences in tolerances from one knife to another?

I only have three 91mm knives, a Huntsman, a Ranger, and now a Climber. All three knives were bought new.

I used the Huntsman for 5 months and then got the Ranger. First thing I noticed was the cap lifter spring tension on the Ranger was far stronger than on the Huntsman. It snaps open and closed very solidly. The Huntsman’s cap lifter is easier to open and doesn’t really snap closed at all, and at times I even have to push it all the way down when closed. I concluded that after 5 months of use that it’s just gummed up and needs cleaned. That would explain the partial closing to me, but not really the ease of opening it compared to the Ranger. If it is just caused by being gummed up, it’s probably because I used the saw a lot on green limbs at work this past summer and I know that can generate debris and sap. The knife is not filthy though, and appears clean visually, not really in need of a clean. I rinsed it often but I’ve never taken a toothbrush and soap to scrub it out yet. I did wipe it regularly and cleaned the blades and tools with alcohol. Also it has been oiled a few times with Tsubaki (Camellia) oil. But the joints might still have some gunk down in them.

The Ranger now has less than 3 months of use on it, and I’ve cleaned and oiled it the same way as I did the Huntsman. The saw did not get much use at all due to me getting it after the summer weather had gone, so it has not had a lot of exposure to sap. It did cut one good sized branch from a tree about 2” thick and beyond that it has only been used on dry wood and PVC. I do use the main blade pretty often though.

Now I got a brand new Climber just two days ago. The cap lifter on it equals the Ranger in stoutness, so 3 months on the Ranger’s cap lifter has not changed it as far as I can tell. I also noticed the Climber’s main blade snaps open and clicks into place nearly as solidly as the cap lifter does. It’s absolutely STOUT! I love this and really wish the other two knives were that strong. I know maybe some wear has already taken place on the others but it’s not been all that long. So besides 3-5 months of wear differences setting in, could I really have already forgotten how strong or not strong the blade tension was on the others in the beginning? I don’t think I have, I think this Climber’s blade back spring is just really that much stronger than the others. I’m just wondering if spring tension differences are common from knife to knife.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 02:12:58 PM by Red Ranger »


us Offline nate j

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Re: Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife
Reply #1 on: December 27, 2022, 02:18:21 AM
In general, I would say spring tension differences are common knife to knife, though usually less pronounced with Victorinox than with some other brands.


00 Offline Grand_Banana

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Re: Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife
Reply #2 on: December 27, 2022, 03:57:18 AM
 :iagree: I have noted a few differences between 91mm models. Most are minor. I wouldn’t notice them if I wasn’t regularly maintaining my knives.

My huntsman is 15 or so years old, but was not as heavily used as yours. Cap lifter has a decent snap but I do notice the saw has a less robust snap. Newer explorer and swiss champ have stronger snap with the swiss champ cap lifter likely similar to what you’re saying about your climber. Main blades are roughly equivalent. I use my Swiss champ frequently for all sorts of jobs so I would expect it to lose some snap, but I might keep it cleaner than my huntsman. My compact main blade has a noticeably stronger snap, much like my Alox Solo which is scary robust.

I scored a used electrician with nearly untouched blades and noticed immediately the tools had to be pushed into place just as you mentioned. I soaked and scrubbed and oiled and recovered an OK snap. I suspect an ultrasonic wash would be needed to get all the pocket grime from the pivots. It might never recover to the level of the solo.

I think it also depends on presence of back tools on the spring.


Offline Red Ranger

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Re: Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife
Reply #3 on: December 27, 2022, 08:03:30 PM

My huntsman is 15 or so years old, but was not as heavily used as yours.

Yes, I have used my knives quite a bit. I carry one daily with me now, and since Christmas day a few days ago I now carry two. It is in my hand and in use about every 30 minutes all day long at work, and quite often in the evening after work.


us Offline Buzzbait

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Re: Differences in tolerance specs from knife to knife
Reply #4 on: December 28, 2022, 11:48:43 AM
I honestly haven't noticed any change in tolerances over the years. But....... Fit can be a slight issue. The larger the SAK, the tougher it is to get the fit on all of blades just right. The opener layer always seems to be the toughest to get right, probably because it's on the end of the stack, and closest to the liner on that side.

The problem looks like it has to do with the attachment of the pivot itself. If it's even a hair off, the opener layer suffers first. Then the layers with less spring tension, such as a saw or the scissors. If you've ever replaced the pins on an alox model with bolts, you know what I mean. Just the slightest change in how far you turn the bolts, makes quite a difference in how well the tools open and close. These things have to be done with a painful amount of accuracy. I would imagine that the pivot pins on a 91mm model could swell quite easily, and affect how well the tools open and close.

My best fix for this is to take the tool that is sticking, grasping it as close as possible to the pivot, and introducing some lateral pressure, while opening and closing the tool. This can sometimes free up the tool a bit. Open and close it a number of times while under pressure, and give the tools pivot and spring some light lubricant. More often than not, this frees up the opener layer enough that the tools will close more readily on their own, without hanging up.
--
'Buzz


 

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