An afternoon's play with the Kershaw Reverb
My Reverb came today and I was surprised by all the things I liked about it for a $20 knife. But it has a horrible action, and that's really down to a couple purposeful design elements. The first is that the stop pin is so close to the pivot point that there's not much room for a washer -- less than standard washers will allow, in fact. And the second is the frame lock is very heavy on the tang, and flipping wise it's a bit of a lead balloon, with a lot of drag on the action. So I decided to dive into it.
Not a ton to it, which I like. And lo and behold, causes for the poor action quickly emerged.
As you can see, the washers have been chewed up.
I thought the stop pin was rubbing -- the stop pin is fine, it's the detent ball.
(See the circle worn in the metal? That's from the ball bearing embedded in the detent, grinding against the steel.)
After sanding, the works was a little smoother.
None of the standard washers I have would fit this pivot with the stop pin right there, and any that would fit would be so thin that they'd be providing questionable support to the pivot, and would be prone to quickly crush and fail under pressure. So no perfect solution existed and I decided to see if a little phosphor bronze and some filework would suffice as a replacement. Phosphor bronze wears in over time and becomes smoother with use, but is strong enough to resist crush pressure, because when the washers start deforming, that introduces a lot of side to side wobble in folding knife blades. The washers would be too thick to spin, they'd have to be notched to fit against the stop pin, which would kind of lock them in place and hence lose some of their value as washers, but what the hell -- I wasn't putting the chewed up nylon things back on, so onward it was.
Fifteen minutes later:
Almost, but not quite, as if I knew what I were doing!
The knife went back together as simple as you please, which is a good thing.
And there are the bronze washers in the knife. They look to be settling into their new home.
The net result? Well, it's still not a flipper, but it's a lot smoother than it was, and the knife will stand up to a little heavier of use now. If you look at it like that, it's kinda not that big of a deal, but I entertained myself for a few hours getting to know this thing, and I made it a little bit better in the process. That's a lazy Saturday afternoon gone just fine, by my standards. :)