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Thread: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

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    Default What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Can someone explain what exactly makes a switchblade illegal and a Speedsafe or other assisted knife not?

    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    Mike
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    That's the meat of the matter. I've heard that they're now trying to outlaw that as well.

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    Flashaholic* kwkarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    It's a matter of hot debate.

    Check this site:
    http://home.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm
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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    at the moment, speedsafe is getting past regulations because it still requires some force to open the blade; the spring only comes into action when the blade is already half-open.(I believe)

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    Flashaholic* kwkarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
    An "automatic" knife is opened by pushing a button or lever on the handle. An "assisted" opening knife is only opened by moving the blade, a spring then assist the opening.

    The speedsafe and other AO type knives are safe for now, but it was a close one there for a little while. Let this incident remind us all of how important it is to pay attention to issues that matter to us.

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    Flashaholic jahxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
    On my SOG Twitch II, the blade only needs to move about 15 degrees before the spring assist takes over; it opens by pressing on a small tab that is part of the blade which protrudes through the back of the handle when closed.

    So in practice it is hardly different from pressing a button to activate the spring, but the important technical point which allows Lowes to sell these knives in PA is that what you are pressing on is the actual blade, and not a separate button mechanism.

    It's a very fine distinction that I could easily see be legislated away, but I hope not.
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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    That is actually not the reason why SpeedSafe (and other assisted openers) are categorized separately from full automatics. Assisted openers are not considered automatics because the means by which you actuate the opening of the knife (thumbstud or flipper tab) on an assisted opener is part of the blade, whereas an automatic knife uses a separate, detached means of actuation, such as a button or a lever or a scale or bolster.

    However, the resistance that you speak of, along with the detent, does help prevent assisted openers from being classified as gravity knives.
    Last edited by commodorewheeler; 11-15-2009 at 11:56 AM.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    "(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward
    closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome
    the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."

    I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.
    Last edited by Frankiarmz; 11-15-2009 at 04:10 PM.

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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    "(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward
    closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome
    the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."

    I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.
    From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by commodorewheeler View Post
    From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.
    Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.

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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.
    You're welcome! Actually, most autos do require you to reload the spring when you close the knife, it's fairly typical in just about every type of auto except D/A OTFs.

    The segment of law that you listed has more to do with resistance to opening when a knife is closed rather than resistance to closing when the knife is open.

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    Flashaholic Per-Sev's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    That is a tough question it all depends on the cop that day and what the blade length laws are in your state. In some states you can carry a switchblade some require a concealed weapons permit and you can carry what ever you want then. I have a permit to carry a gun in Michigan and that permit is only good for the gun and if I get caught carrying a knife with a blade over 3'' I could lose my permit. You have to check your local laws and your state laws where you live. Some might consider that a gravity knife if you can flick it open also. So all those easy opening liner locks could fall into that category.

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