I am still uncertain about flippers, but am warming up to the idea. Maybe I am just resistant to change and missing out on something good. The idea here is that rather than opening the knife with your thumb on a hole or stud, you open the knife with your index finger on a flipper tab. Many of these knives have ball bearings on the pivot to make them especially smooth. Some are assisted.

My recent interest in flippers started with the Spyderco Mantra. I got excited when I realized that it was a knife with an M4 steel blade and titanium scales. There are now two variants of the Mantra, as well as another titanium scale M4 knife (the Advocate). There is also their original flipper, the Southard -- which sports CTS-204P steel (another of my all time favorites). All knives worth taking a hard look at.

The Mantra and Advocate have had issues with the bearings. Spyderco is doing an overall redesign of the Advocate to address the issue and has encouraged anyone with issues to use their warranty service. Part of what they say is that they cannot react to rumors and online complaints. They need to see knives with problems, which makes perfect sense. So send them in! The Southard seems to not be affected by the problem, so if you like the steel and blade shape, it is a great choice.

ZT flippers

Many of ZT knives are flippers and I don't read about any problems. You do have lots of choices and special edition limited runs to further complicate matters.

ZT 0450

This is a small (3.25 inch blade) flipper with titanium scales and S35VN steel. A trouble free alternative to the Spyderco Mantra if you are looking for a small flipper with titanium scales. Sells for $160.

ZT 0452CF

This is a big (4.1 inch blade) flipper with S35VN steel. One side is carbon fiber, the other (with the frame lock) is titanium. Although it is a big knife (some call it a pocket sword), it is slim and is said to be easy to carry. About $220.

ZT 0562CF

This looks like a work of art (but the others aren't bad either). It is a great design from Rick Hinderer, and is said to be virtually a copy of his custom XM-18. This is a burly flipper with a 3.5 inch blade. It is about the size of the Spyderco PM2. The steel is CPM-20CV (or CTS-204P), which is a nice choice either way. Somewhat pricey at $240. You have to decide whether you want a shorter burly flipper or the long slim 0452 design. Ultimately they are very different knives.
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Tom's Knife Info / tom@mmto.org