The spectrum of people who buy knives ranges from glass-case custom knife collectors to nothing-is-sacred-let’s-modify-this-beast users. I am squarely on the dirty modder end of that spectrum.
Disclaimer: Before going one word further, I want to make this perfectly clear: this is a modification on a personal blade, not for sale. This is for inspiration only. The upgrade is clearly inspired by Ernie Emerson’s patented wave opener, and infringing on patents is never cool, even though this may not cross that line. Patent infringement is especially not cool when it’s a patent owned by someone as clearly cool as Ernie Emerson (watch any video interview with him for all the proof anyone needs of that fact). Congrats, you’ve been officially disclaimed.
Bottom line: great knife that I liked, but wanted to love. It had a few things I felt needed to be addressed to get there. If I were a collector, it would probably go into a drawer never to be touched again. But I’m a modder, so I went to town. (Literally, since I needed some modding supplies.)
There are people out there who have electroplating and anodizing setups, spray booths, and powder coating gear. I’m not one of them. I’m just a dirty modder.
I roughed up the clip with 60 grit sandpaper and cut to shape a piece of 3M stair tread tape. This is great stuff with tons of uses. Thoroughly wiping finger oil off the surface of the clip is necessary for good adhesion. The edges will eventually peel, but one piece of the tread tape is basically a lifetime supply for a few knives.
You can also use friction tape, but the adhesive is much less secure:
I’ve heard all-black Spyderco Endura / Delica clips can replace the standard clip as well.
There are lots of guides and videos for how to “wave” a blade, particularly Spydercos since the thumbhole is a straightforward candidate for reshaping. This works better on some knives than others, mainly due to the shape of the blade spine and position of the thumbhole.
I sketched out a few potential Dremel cuts (with a cutting disc) that could work, and noticed that they required removing quite a bit of steel. The Yojimbo 2 doesn’t have a typical Spyderco blade or spine shape. I settled on making a single cut and making the opening wide enough to act as the pocket catch, rather than cutting all the way into the thumbhole.
It worked pretty well, but I had a few “misfires” right off the bat when drawing from the pocket, so I added a second parallel cut. A little smoothing and deburring later, and it opens every time… as in, just a handful of failures to open after 1000+ opens. The edges are all smooth, so it won’t tear a hole in your pocket, and while it looks vicious, it’s rounded to the touch.
Consistency is key. This solution may not work in all circumstances. The “vicious wave” may not catch well on your pocket if you wear thin dress pants, or if you rotate which pocket you carry it in. If you carry the Yojimbo 2 in your waistband, it will not open when you draw it (probably a good thing).
I hope this gear mod rundown gives you some ideas about what it takes to be a dirty modder… which is not much.
It can be unnerving to take a shiny, new, expensive piece of gear and change it with no going back if you screw it up. This is how I determine if it’s worthing modify a piece of gear: If your proposed mod won’t solve a real (not imagined) problem for YOU specifically, don’t do it. I only make mods to improve functionality, so the payoff of a better functioning tool is the reward of that improvement vs. the risk of ruining something of value.
Do you modify your gear? What’s your favorite mod you’ve done or seen?
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