Pocket Catches?

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by arnisador, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    In another post I asked about two-handed vs. one-handed opens for folders. Part of the context was a pocket catch automatic opening mechansim like the Waverider or a ziptie, intended to open the blade by catching something on one's pants pocket as it is pulled out.

    The first time I saw one of these I thought it was terribly cool, but I've never owned one of my own. How well do they work? Can you rely on them if you practice it enough?
  2. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    While I think a Two handed open is a gross motor skill that can happen while you are stepping back, I like my Wave on my knife. It clips to the front pocket then you draw straight up to avoid opening. If you pull back at all it catches the edge of the pocket. The issue with the Knife I have and my pockets in general is not being able to open with the draw, but to NOT open it with the draw.

    I have no experience with ziptie or other methods.

    I like mine. I know it is not for everyone.
  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Two Handed Opening

    Just my 2 cents: about 10 years ago I'd purchased a balisong and had gotten pretty good at some of the basic manipulations...Then the one and only time I took out my knife in self-defense I very carefully opened it up with two hands. I distinctly recall feeling as if I'd lost all of my fine motor skills and knew I had to concentrate on not dropping it - which was why I was using two hands, etc.

    Nowadays I don't carry a knife for self protection but generally carry a AFCK folder for cutting rope, cardboard, and the occasional pepperoni. I learned from that incident above that my comfort level with knives increases the more that I just consider them tools.

    I've since read that some older Filipinos favor a two handed opening as well with the balisong - but readily admit that I don't know too much about this culture. My sense is that the knife is simply opened for business and hidden until used and that all of the fancy openings and manipulations are just for fun and maybe for intimidation.

    In this context a two-handed opening with a folder makes sense given that a swipe with the thumb against a post or hole is only slightly easier than a simple twirl with a balisong. One thing I have noticed with a hole device (e.g. a Spyderco) is that crimping up on the thumb and giving it less distance to travel makes the knife easier to control.

    I may be mistaken but the "speed" opening wherein something is attached to the edge of a folder (like a Buck folder) and caught on the edge of a pocket was common in the era before posts and opening holes.


  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I like the balisong, but I don't carry one as they tend to be larger and bulkier, and more importantly they tend to be flimsy. I fear it'd fail on use.

    But, I too am very comfortable opening one in my living room but might react similarly to lhommedieu under stress. Perhaps the Wave is a good solution?
  5. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    The waves are nice, but we found that they don't open reliably every time. It often depends on the type of pants one wears, and clothing can determine how the person will have to pull the knife to open it; and with some types of pants it won't open reliably at all.

    I like the wave design, but a two-handed "old fashion" opener is still significantly more reliable.

    If one is thinking about getting a blade that is quick and easy to open with one hand under stress, I suggest biting the bullet and getting an auto-assist. I carry my auto assist on my left side. A good quality auto assisted blade will open pretty reliably; I feel almost just as comfy with my auto as I do with an old fashion opener, and we find that auto's allow for the only one-handed opener that gives results comparable to the old fashion method under stress.

    A downside, however, is that auto assists aren't legal everywhere.

  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes, my experience is that they're illegal wherever I happen to be. Also, most are somewhat flimsy, in my experience.
  7. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    The more expensive ones aren't that flimsey, and some designs are pretty durable at even low prices (like some of the production Darrell Ralph designs by Camillus). I agree that a lot of them are flimsy, though, so you have to shop around.

    But that is either here nor there if they are illegaql for you. In Michigan, as long as the mechanism doesn't use a spring, they are legal and even sold at sporting goods stores. Since most modern designs use a torsion bar, that makes me pretty lucky.

    The old fashion opener really fits most peoples needs, in that for most people it isn't practical to carry an auto assist.

  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Today an article(registration required) appeared in my local paper on Buck Knives' Sirus model, with their "ASAP" assisted one-hand open. Apparently it avoids the switchblade laws and is usually legal. Looks interesting.
  9. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    That's how a lot of makers have been designing them these days; to bypass the switchblade/spring assist/gravity knife bans. I have heard that the buck one is cool but I haven't felt it yet. The SOG trident is a cool design; I own one but after repeated utility use I don't feel that it is sturdy enough. For smaller executive type blades, the Ken Onion Kershaw designs are nice. My favorite, however, are the Darrell Ralph designs by Camillus. I have the Heat. The price is right, yet it is sturdy as hell compared to most assists that I have seen.

    There are a few more to list, but all of the examples above bypass the legal bans here in Michigan; I imagine that it might be the same in other states as well.

    I just hope that legeslatures don't catch on anytime soon...

  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    My Sirus arrived Monday. I've only played with it a little fo far though. I'll try to post a review after more experimentation.
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Here is a page on spring-assisted CRKT knives that need only be opened 30 degrees manually:

  13. James

    James Crescent City Eskrima

    I can reliably open my waved Spyderco Enduras. I have them set up for reverse grip because I have found that they are more reliable in that mode. I fit doesn't open, you can catch the wave on the corner of your pocket and open them that way. Ziptie method is not reliable at all. It will work, but not all the time. I "self waved" my old Endura with a dremel and it works like a charm. You definitely have to practice opening them - including having someone push and pull you and try to foul your draw. It works and is reliable, but just like anything else, it's not 100 % and you need to practice.

    I don't like auto openers - I know too many people who've had them open in their pockets, and they had expensive auto openers, not some cheapie. Assisted openers are OK for the most part but I'm not a big fan of complicating knife mechanics any more than they have to be. I had an auto assist and gave it away to a friend who really liked it.

    Frankly, I think carrying a small fixed blade is really the way to go. If my dress allows it, I usually do. The fixed blade I carry has only a 2 inch blade on it, but it will get the job done. I'm exploring the idea of carrying a fixed blade inside my front pocket. The big problem is that the knife doesn't stay in one place so it's hard to index consistently.
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm in full agreement. I am suspicious of auto/assisted openers. Of course, I've also had regular folders open part-way in my pocket. I prefer a 4" folder to a 2" fixed blade but more and more I gain sympathy for the idea of a shorter fixed blade over a longer folded blade.
  15. James

    James Crescent City Eskrima

    I've had a few liner lock folders open partially in my pocket, and so I stay away from them now as well. Folders are a necessity for most of us because of work or dress, so it's important to practice with them - that being said, a fixed blade is not going to open in my pocket and once I establish my grip on it, there's no other smaller actions to deploy it.
  16. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I played with Mr. Hartman's trainer with a pocket catch quite a bit this past weekend and I could never get it open with a decent grip--it always felt like an awkward grip when I got it out and open.
  17. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    I have Brahm Frank's Lapu Lapu Corto that one can open on a pocket catch. I haven't been able to always open it either. Still a good knife though.
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    For me it typically opens, but I have a half-handed, awkward grip when I'm done and must adjust.
  19. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    What a necropost! :vampfeed2

    But since you did -- are you carrying your folder tip up or tip down?

  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I don't have the pocket catch version, so I usually carry mine in whatever way will let me get it open most quickly!

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