|Buck Spitfire - successful execution of features and design.|
Let's start with the most obvious, the ball bearing pivot, because it illustrates the idea here. I don't want to get into whether it's practical or not, the point is that for a low cost knife, it's there and it is nice. This is essentially a list of features, that are individually value adding, but don't necessarily make a good knife.
-Ball bearing pivot.
-Aesthetic design. It's attractive looking.
-Functional design. It is a useful knife.
-Rounded blade spine which is also polished.
-Aluminum version with inset steel liner. It adds complexity to manufacture. Can be anodized.
-Steel version frame lock. Still comes in colors even though it can't be anodized.
-Blade material options.
-Well executed flipper and associated detent.
-Hidden, internal blade stop pin. I like that the stop pin holes aren't fully through the handles.
|Rounded, polished blade spine and jimping details.|
|That pocket clip.|
Chasing all these features and spiffy design ultimately, and all too frequently, results in a knife that just doesn't generate any excitement for me. And, I believe it also prevents greater success for the brand. While the knife may be successful for them, they are missing out on that next level where variants could be produced more often or much sooner. CRKT could step into a wider range of variants if the Ripple were selling better now, and the really deep product lines, full of boring designs that will likely get discontinued, would no longer be necessary. Rather than designs destined to fail, I would focus on improving the successful ones instead.
|Tip-down, with a little too much knife sticking out of the pocket, including the flipper.|
|Nice pillars, but closeups show that the finish isn't spectacular on the aluminum handles. You can also see the liner and where it doesn't extend into the furthest rear where the lanyard hole is, and where the pocket clip should be.|