A knife safety anecdote


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gamestalker
February 18, 2014, 03:50 AM
Back in the early 90's an F117A (Stealth fighter) pilot / friend of mine had one that the the lock failed, the knife ended up closing on his fingers when he was applying a lot of down force. Actually, he mentioned something to me that he was intoxicated and stabbing something, a board, or sheet rock maybe, but playing none the less. Regardless, the result was he nearly lost all 4 fingers, severed all the nerves, he has no feeling in those fingers, and very limited function, and he can never fly again, well at least not for the USAF. Even though the knife was the cause, the military court marshaled him, and he was dishonorably discharged.

I felt really bad for him, and especially so, since I helped him pick that knife out when he bought it. Last I heard he was going to file suit against the manufacturer because the defective lock cost him his career, and so much more.

The moral to the story here is, make sure any knife of the locking blade type is working properly before you use it. Those blades are deadly sharp and can absolutely sever fingers clean off if the lock malfunctions during use. It also happened to me while removing a broad head from a tree stump, but it wasn't a Spyderco knife, and I wasn't intoxicated.

GS

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Carl Levitian
February 19, 2014, 03:10 PM
"Back in the early 90's an F117A (Stealth fighter) pilot / friend of mine had one that the the lock failed, the knife ended up closing on his fingers when he was applying a lot of down force. Actually, he mentioned something to me that he was intoxicated and stabbing something, a board, or sheet rock maybe, but playing none the less. Regardless, the result was he nearly lost all 4 fingers, severed all the nerves, he has no feeling in those fingers, and very limited function, and he can never fly again, well at least not for the USAF. Even though the knife was the cause, the military court marshaled him, and he was dishonorably discharged.

I felt really bad for him, and especially so, since I helped him pick that knife out when he bought it. Last I heard he was going to file suit against the manufacturer because the defective lock cost him his career, and so much more.

The moral to the story here is, make sure any knife of the locking blade type is working properly before you use it. Those blades are deadly sharp and can absolutely sever fingers clean off if the lock malfunctions during use. It also happened to me while removing a broad head from a tree stump, but it wasn't a Spyderco knife, and I wasn't intoxicated.

GS"

This is typical of the kind of nonsense that takes place all to often when People fall of rthe hype of the latest wonder folder of the month.

It's not Spyderco's fault a knife fails when used as a stabbing tool, it's the owner who's brain is out to lunch. I've seen two very tragic accidents from folders that had a lock fail when the user would have been much better served with a sheath knife. It's a FOLDER, what is not being understood here?

I worked in a machine shop with a young guy who had total faith i his Buck Knife. One day we were doing some modification on some sheets of delrin, and he was suing his Buck knife to drive into the plastic, and then whacking the back of the blade with a mallet. He was warned by the shop forman t know it off and use a real tool. Just aftr lunch, he was doing it again, when his trusty Buck knife folded over, neatly amputationg his right index finger, and almost taking off the middle finger.

A few years ago I was at a hand clinic to get some surgery for a trigger finger, and was waiting in the lobby for my turn to the outpatient survey. Sitting acrtoss from me was a young man with his mother, the kids hand all bandaged up. My wife asked what happened, and the story came out. The kid was playing with one of those big name tactical folder, and was doing what he called a spine whack test. Well, the lock failed, and he cut right through the tendons and nerves in his right thumb, leaving it dead. They were doing surgery to try to get some use back into it.

No matter what kind of wonder lock you have on your knife, if it folds in the middle, then it's 50 broken already, and it's being held open by a mechanical device. Here's the news, mechanical devices fail with regularity. But this trend of the past decade or two, with the so called tactical knife market aimed at young men with Walter Mitty fantasies of taking out Chinese paratroopers or a horde of the walking dead, has done a dis-service to the younger generation of knife users. They have created a highly hyped articial market of these knives that have very little real world use. With some clever if thoughtless marketing, the regular pocket knife has been transformed into some mall ninja pocket Excaliber. There's plenty of very compact sheath knives that are just as easy to carry as some of these heavy clunky wonder knives, yet far safer and more rugged in any emergency you can think of. The smaller puuko's and such slide into the side pocket of the average pants.

If you need a knife that will absolutely not fold up on you, then carry a knife that is not already broken in the middle. Anything else is just fooling yourself with very bad consequences luring over the horizon.

Yo Mama
February 19, 2014, 05:15 PM
Carl, I agree and couldn't say it any better than you did.

gs, sorry to hear about your friend, but he should be suing himself. Same as this guy that was in the Iditarod: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/iditarod-musher-attacked-his-own-knife-becomes-laughing-stock

If you are drunk, or not using the knife as it was designed you are in line to be a focus of natural selection.

Carl Levitian
February 19, 2014, 06:01 PM
Folding knife:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3675/10100389315_c097156480_c.jpg

Un-folding knife.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3712/9902483144_165fa09b0b_c.jpg

There is a difference.

ugaarguy
February 21, 2014, 01:02 AM
I've moved these posts into their own thread since they weren't on topic where they were.

rcmodel
February 21, 2014, 02:01 AM
Stupid has it's own reward in the form of the American Lawyer.

No folding knife will just fold up and cut your fingers off, unless you are applying force to the blade in the totally wrong direction then where it has a cutting edge on it.

Anyone that dumb deserves nothing from the manufacture, unless the blade folded over backward. and the dull back edge cut their fingers!

rc

olderguns
February 21, 2014, 06:06 AM
I can see the moral of this story as don,t depend on any folder to be used like a fixed blade, or even simple as use the right tool for the job you're doing,
But I think the biggest Moral should be Don,t handle knives,tools, guns or cars, When you are Drunk.
It was not the knifes fault he got drunk and started doing Stupid things with it.
Sorry he had to pay such a heavy price for the lesson, but the just it you never know what the end result will be be when you do something dumb like Drink and drive, drink and shoot, or drink and play with knives,tools.

lemaymiami
February 21, 2014, 09:24 AM
Carl, that is the best looking old Henckels I've seen - I still have mine. It was the sharpest blade I ever had and I carried one on the streets in uniform for many years, riding in an old single magazine pouch.

I was taught many years ago to use tools properly or suffer the consequences and I don't think that concept will ever change...

hso
February 21, 2014, 09:46 AM
Even though the knife was the cause, the military court marshaled him, and he was dishonorably discharged.
No, the knife wasn't the cause. His behavior was the cause and he's responsible for that. There's more to the story than you're being told if he was dishonorably discharged.

The moral of the story is that abuse of a knife and improper use will lead to injures, but most folks know that already.

Carl Levitian
February 21, 2014, 12:19 PM
[Carl, that is the best looking old Henckels I've seen - I still have mine. It was the sharpest blade I ever had and I carried one on the streets in uniform for many years, riding in an old single magazine pouch.

I was taught many years ago to use tools properly or suffer the consequences and I don't think that concept will ever change…]

Thanks, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for old school German sodbusters like the Freidrich Herders, Eye Brand, and Henkels. Love the thin flat grind blade, gets really wicked sharp with very little work, and slices and dices right up there with the Opinel, but without the swelling issues. PLus they usually have walnut handles that if you smooth them out with some 0000 steel wool, and take a rag with some linseed oil and buff the heck out them, they look great.

Sol
February 21, 2014, 12:40 PM
I can tell the exact same story but with a different person with much less prestige.

Stupid guy wanting to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend thought that slashing her new boyfriends tires was a genius move. Stupid guy proceeds to car to slash tires but doesn't realize that one should stab the sidewall, not the tread.

Low and behold, lock fails, lacerated fingers, trip to the hospital and visit from the police.

Most locks handle normal to rough abuse but for some strange reason never stand up to stupidity.

I'm thinking "intoxicated" and "pilot" and "F-117a" and $42,000,000 price tag may have something to do with the DD.

Sam Cade
February 23, 2014, 12:02 AM
Mitch Seavy (who is of some repute in the dogsledding world) sued Kershaw for over $100k when he closed a lockback on his finger.

Seavey was using a Kershaw folding knife, which featured a gut hook, a common tool used by mushers to slice plastic ties, when it accidentally closed on his finger. The damage was severe enough for officials to make him bow out of the race.

Seavey accuses the knife company of being negligent because of what his attorney claims to be a serious design flaw. A lever that releases the blade from locking position is in the middle of the handle and can be accidentally depressed when using the gut hook.
http://www.knife-depot.com/blog/musher-suing-kershaw-over-nearly-severed-finger/

Mr.Seavy explaining how he did it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGGOSyfq2qg

hso
February 23, 2014, 12:21 AM
With the court's decision being...???

When you use a knife as other than designed you don't get much sympathy. (http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/iditarod-musher-attacked-his-own-knife-becomes-laughing-stock)

pretzelxx
February 23, 2014, 12:50 AM
He damaged government property, shouldn't have played with knives.

Sam Cade
February 23, 2014, 03:20 AM
With the court's decision being...???


Haven't heard yet. I'll poke around tomorrow and see what I can find.

Carl Levitian
February 23, 2014, 10:32 AM
More importantly, what the heck has happened to this country, that any idiot can screw the pooch and himself, and then turn around and blame via a law suit that it's not really his fault, but the evil company that he misused in a fit of brain dead activity. Cutting himself with his own knife, then suing Kershaw should not even have been allowed to have been filed.

If I'm driving like a maniac, and run off the road and cream a tree, cripple myself, do bring suit against Toyota for not making a better handling pickup?

I'm hoping Kershaw not only wins, but files a counter suit against the guy. I wonder if knife rights is involved in anyway?

hso
February 23, 2014, 10:35 AM
Why would KR be involved in any way on a civil lawsuit like this?

Glocktogo
February 23, 2014, 02:01 PM
It's one thing for a knife to have a flaw in design, workmanship or materials that results in failure and injury during normal, expected use.

It's another entirely when the knife failes due to improper usage or handling. :(

jerkface11
February 23, 2014, 02:34 PM
How can you use the guthook on a knife and put pressure on it in such a way that it forces it closed? Shouldn't you be pulling it toward you?

Bopleo
February 23, 2014, 03:05 PM
Similar story here. Had a friend of mine drunk on Christmas day and trying to open a gift for his niece.

Being very drunk he pushed the knife straight thru the packaging and straight thru his hand.

His lost his job, home, all of his money, and his sanity by doing this.

hso
February 23, 2014, 05:58 PM
How can you use the guthook on a knife

Instead of hooking the hide and pulling the hood towards you with a lifting motion the Alaskan gentleman was cutting bindings on bales and pushed the knife in and then hooked the binding and pulled up putting pressure on the spine (opposite of how splitting hide would pull).

jerkface11
February 23, 2014, 06:12 PM
So he's suing because he used it wrong and got hurt. Nice.

hso
February 23, 2014, 08:11 PM
It may be that there was a defect in the design or the manufacture of that particular knife, but the inescapable fact is that it wasn't used as designed and only the court will decide how culpable the manufacturer was or Mr. Seavy was for the blade closing on his fingers.

Sam Cade
February 23, 2014, 08:43 PM
I can't find any mention of a decision having been reached.

I'll call Bethel on the morrow and see if the case has proceeded.

ChaoSS
February 24, 2014, 12:02 AM
Instead of hooking the hide and pulling the hood towards you with a lifting motion the Alaskan gentleman was cutting bindings on bales and pushed the knife in and then hooked the binding and pulled up putting pressure on the spine (opposite of how splitting hide would pull).
And then to pull up so much that you actually close the blade on your fingers hard enough to do some serious damage....

The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

mg.mikael
February 24, 2014, 01:52 AM
Being very drunk he pushed the knife straight thru the packaging and straight thru his hand.

His lost his job, home, all of his money, and his sanity by doing this.

Wait, what?

Sounds to me like this isn't the whole story, but one of those exaggerated tales where you catch a minnow and after telling the story a few times the minnow becomes a prize-winner.

bldsmith
February 24, 2014, 01:59 AM
Forrest Gump moment here. So far as the DD, would like to read the proceedings of the CM. My take, pilot for the F117 took more than 2.5million to train. Now he has removed himself from the pilot pool because he was drunk and doing something stupid. Military does not take losing that kind of money even though they spend $300 on a hammer or toilet seat.

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