Teach me about IKBS

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    • Teach me about IKBS

      As the title goes..... Not sure about IKBS, for me you can see the balls looking down the blade when folded. Therefore surely if used, its much more likely to get clogged up with whatever you are cutting. therefore messing up the movement. And knowing how clumsy I am, stripping it down would probably mean losing balls all over the place. I've got factory made Bucks with a bronze bushing that seem to work just as fast and slick. I wouldn't have a fear of either using it or, stripping it down. I believe that you can get ceramic ball race IKBS, that will cut out the rusting but you've still got the other issues, i've mentioned.

      What am I missing here! do you think IKBS is an improvement or, a gimmick. Maybe its for collectable knives only, that are not for general use?

      Educate me on IKBS please.
    • I don't get the point of the system myself - it seems unnecessarily complicated and just done for the sake of it (innovation for innovations sake rather than to provide an actual qualitatively/quantitatively measurable improvement). I also question the strength of the system (multiple, tiny contact points) vs. the (hopefully) full contact provided by a washer system.

      I have knives that fall freely on washers and open with just a tap on the flipper or stud, just as I have done with IKBS and other bearing system knives. So makers out there, do you do it because it's desired by customers, or do you do it for some form of measurable functional improvement?
    • From what I was told, IKBS was originally intended for balisong knives instead of regular bushing systems.
      There are varied opinions, and other bearing systems are used.
      Instead of an outer race, the balls move in a recess in titanium liners so is very compact with few parts other than the ball bearings.
      The same system can also be used, without being mark IKBS.
      The difference being, they will only let you put IKBS on the product if they recognise you to be of a certain level and give permission.
      On the plus side, the balls can be replaced and with no adjustment needed, it's easy to maintain.
      It has since been adopted into other knives, folders and flippers.

      Darrel Ralph used to use IKBS and mark his knives as such, but a lot of his bali's had issues.
      I bought one of his Venturi VIII's a while back and there is serious play in the handles. Needless to say it isn't going back to him to have the bearing system replaced.....
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    • My Winkler F1 has an IKBS system installed, it is , without doubt the smoothest flipper I've handled , there is zero play in the blade in any direction and none of this tweak the pivot to centre or slacken the blade, the pivot is torqued up and loctited, I've been carrying it daily since I got it , I work up to my eyes in dust and crap all day everyday and I've not needed to clear it out yet, when I first got it I stripped and cleaned the factory grease, applied Nano oil and re-assembled using loctite red on all the screws. Being my first folder with this system is for sure look for it as a feature in future purchases.
    • Jimmypie wrote:

      My Winkler F1 has an IKBS system installed, it is , without doubt the smoothest flipper I've handled , there is zero play in the blade in any direction and none of this tweak the pivot to centre or slacken the blade, the pivot is torqued up and loctited, I've been carrying it daily since I got it , I work up to my eyes in dust and crap all day everyday and I've not needed to clear it out yet, when I first got it I stripped and cleaned the factory grease, applied Nano oil and re-assembled using loctite red on all the screws. Being my first folder with this system is for sure look for it as a feature in future purchases.

      Out of interest Jimmy, have you had non-IKBS flippers put through the regular use that the F1 is being put through, and if so, is there a reason why you'd look for IKBS in particular over the other mechanisms?
    • Jimmypie wrote:

      My Winkler F1 has an IKBS system installed, it is , without doubt the smoothest flipper I've handled , there is zero play in the blade in any direction and none of this tweak the pivot to centre or slacken the blade, the pivot is torqued up and loctited, I've been carrying it daily since I got it , I work up to my eyes in dust and crap all day everyday and I've not needed to clear it out yet, when I first got it I stripped and cleaned the factory grease, applied Nano oil and re-assembled using loctite red on all the screws. Being my first folder with this system is for sure look for it as a feature in future purchases.
      It is renowned as one of the best systems out there.
      And bear in mind, as it was designed with balisongs in mind, it was intended for hard use.
      As bali's have progressed, a lot of flippers like to play with handle play and have gone back to bushing systems, but a lot of the seriously high end knives still use IKBS.
      Considered one of the smoothest systems on the market, and proven.
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    • Yeah, I generally carry everything I own or have owned . ZT, Strider, Emerson, Spyderco ....etc they all use copper or similar washer systems , the biggest complaint is that if you tighten the pivot to much, you off centre the blade or simply can't open the knife one handed , too loose and it rattles around ,
      Like I say , this is my first knife with this system (I actually missed it in the description when I bought it so it wasn't a selling point at all) . There's no play at all in the blade during its full movement of travel and everything is nice and tight . 8 points of contact with a hardened steel ball each side obviously is much less friction than the continuos contact of a washer each side, mostly relying on lube to aid it.

      I'll say it again, first knife with this system, carried daily for 3 weeks now, no issues to report , I'd certainly not dismiss it as a feature or deem it over complicated till you try one.
    • Teach me about IKBS

      Seems to just be a system of ball bearings instead of washers to reduce friction in opening and closing the knife. Dirty can get into any knife using washers or bearings but the bearings should be a lot smoother using lots of smaller points of contact rather than the large surface area of washers. I like that it is user serviceable and looks pretty robust but I think it is overkill for a knife that only rotates a blade 180 degrees slowly relative to most bearing applications

      ikbsknifetech.com

      This cleaning video seems to show the system very well

      [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
    • Jimmypie wrote:

      Yeah, I generally carry everything I own or have owned . ZT, Strider, Emerson, Spyderco ....etc they all use copper or similar washer systems , the biggest complaint is that if you tighten the pivot to much, you off centre the blade or simply can't open the knife one handed , too loose and it rattles around ,
      Like I say , this is my first knife with this system (I actually missed it in the description when I bought it so it wasn't a selling point at all) . There's no play at all in the blade during its full movement of travel and everything is nice and tight . 8 points of contact with a hardened steel ball each side obviously is much less friction than the continuos contact of a washer each side, mostly relying on lube to aid it.

      I'll say it again, first knife with this system, carried daily for 3 weeks now, no issues to report , I'd certainly not dismiss it as a feature or deem it over complicated till you try one.
      The overtightening may have been dealt with using other means in your F1 in combination with the IKBS, but it won't be the IKBS alone. Using IKBS doesn't remove that issue by itself, but it may be less pronounced due to the reduced friction compared to a similarly tightened-down PB washer, but IKBS itself is not like say Reeve's pre-25 Sebenza bushing system which essentially makes it physically impossible to overtighten the pivot.

      I've found the IKBS in my Beetle gets gritty with regular pocket carry, and that must be down to pocket lint as I am fortunate to not be in the rather more hostile dust-filled environments your F1 is being exposed to!

      Interesting differences surfacing.
    • jibjob79 wrote:

      Seems to just be a system of ball bearings instead of washers to reduce friction in opening and closing the knife. Dirty can get into any knife using washers or bearings but the bearings should be a lot smoother using lots of smaller points of contact rather than the large surface area of washers. I like that it is user serviceable and looks pretty robust but I think it is overkill for a knife that only rotates a blade 180 degrees slowly relative to most bearing applications

      ikbsknifetech.com

      This cleaning video seems to show the system very well

      [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
      As I said originally, it was designed for balisong knives which rotate trough more than 180 dergrees, and at faster speeds. Everyone else just liked the system and jumped on the band wagon.
      You know what we are like in the knife world, we even want steel that is harder or over rated, for what we actually need.......
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    • jibjob79 wrote:

      Seems to just be a system of ball bearings instead of washers to reduce friction in opening and closing the knife. Dirty can get into any knife using washers or bearings but the bearings should be a lot smoother using lots of smaller points of contact rather than the large surface area of washers. I like that it is user serviceable and looks pretty robust but I think it is overkill for a knife that only rotates a blade 180 degrees slowly relative to most bearing applications

      ikbsknifetech.com

      This cleaning video seems to show the system very well

      [VIDEO][/VIDEO]


      Thank you for taking the time with the video, it's good to see alas makes me wince at the thought of cleaning it. Even if you can lose some of the balls.
    • san-mai-usa wrote:

      jibjob79 wrote:

      Seems to just be a system of ball bearings instead of washers to reduce friction in opening and closing the knife. Dirty can get into any knife using washers or bearings but the bearings should be a lot smoother using lots of smaller points of contact rather than the large surface area of washers. I like that it is user serviceable and looks pretty robust but I think it is overkill for a knife that only rotates a blade 180 degrees slowly relative to most bearing applications

      ikbsknifetech.com

      This cleaning video seems to show the system very well

      [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
      As I said originally, it was designed for balisong knives which rotate trough more than 180 dergrees, and at faster speeds. Everyone else just liked the system and jumped on the band wagon.You know what we are like in the knife world, we even want steel that is harder or over rated, for what we actually need.......


      Hi San-Mai-USA, I see where you are coming from with the Balisong knives. I wonder if there are any other advantages for typical folders. Perhaps someone could chart pros on one side against cons.
    • Karlo wrote:

      san-mai-usa wrote:

      As I said originally, it was designed for balisong knives which rotate trough more than 180 dergrees, and at faster speeds. Everyone else just liked the system and jumped on the band wagon.You know what we are like in the knife world, we even want steel that is harder or over rated, for what we actually need.......

      Hi San-Mai-USA, I see where you are coming from with the Balisong knives. I wonder if there are any other advantages for typical folders. Perhaps someone could chart pros on one side against cons.
      I see it used a lot in balisongs and a lot in mid to high end flippers, where the action and smoothness is part of the appeal.
      It may simply be that the high end package suits that system. You wouldn't want to pay a couple of thousand bucks for a flipper that was slow or took two hands to open.
      But then if you want a work horse folder that is going to be in extreme environments, maybe that level of opening action (and the associated problems) is simply not required.
      A race car engine is great for F1, but as a truck driver, it's not what I need.
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    • Both Andre Van Heerden & Andre Thorburn both use these bearings a great deal.

      They are two highly experienced very discerning makers - if IKBS had been no good, they'd've ditched them a long time ago.

      Now, both Andre's sell most of their stuff to USA I believe, so maybe there's some influence coming from there..?
      ..





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    • I know the Andres are using multirow IKBS now too.

      My take is that bearings are not absolutely necessary but when executed properly do make a difference in how freely a blade rotates around the pivot.

      The criticism that IKBS balls attract dirt and grime into the races is also a benefit because it gives and avenue for that stuff to be freed from them as well, where as caged bearings trap stuff and its not so easy to clean them up.

      I have flippers on washers that fly open, flippers on caged bearings that a slick as snot on glass, and one IKBS folder that flies as well, all are secure with no bladeplay and I don't really have issues with contamination in any of them.

      I will say the Detent tuning is more important to the action of a flipper than bearings all other things being equal.
      "Do or Do not, There is No Try" - Yoda
    • Let us look at the pure mechanics here...

      Yes the IKBS system is smooooth...
      But, there is a huge space for all sorts of dirt to get in, and stay in...especially with more area around the balls that are coated in grease...
      As a flipper, you really want the pivots to moooove!

      With a more traditional approach...where blades are moving 180° or thereabouts, and slower than a bali...
      A simple phos broze bushing on either side of the blade, and a smaller amount of lubricant, means less place for dirt to get and stay in...
      And when a phos bushing wears, replace it with one of the shelf...

      Not to rubbish what others make and buy...
      But...I know which one I prefer...
      You can get jagged, brutal cuts, slow fades, shimmering little morphs...
    • Stuart Ackerman wrote:

      Let us look at the pure mechanics here...

      Yes the IKBS system is smooooth...
      But, there is a huge space for all sorts of dirt to get in, and stay in...especially with more area around the balls that are coated in grease...
      As a flipper, you really want the pivots to moooove!

      With a more traditional approach...where blades are moving 180° or thereabouts, and slower than a bali...
      A simple phos broze bushing on either side of the blade, and a smaller amount of lubricant, means less place for dirt to get and stay in...
      And when a phos bushing wears, replace it with one of the shelf...

      Not to rubbish what others make and buy...
      But...I know which one I prefer...
      which models with the system have you tried ?
    • My tilt on this subject is that ball bearings are an engineering solution for bearings that rotate constantly and/or at high speed. By reducing the contact area (compared to a plain bush) they generate less heat and consequently retain their lubricant longer, particularly in high speed installations (ball/roller bearing lathes for example are capable of running at higher speeds than those with plain bearings). However they are prone to collecting dirt (far more than plain bushes) and in nearly every application will need close fitting dust or waterproof seals. In the case of a ball bearing installation in a folding knife, the bearing does not move through a full circle, does not operate for long enough or sufficiently fast enough to generate significant heat, and is rarely, if ever, fitted with a proper waterproof seal (as found on cars and bicycles etc).

      I would agree that a small ball bearing system is likely to feel smoother than a plain bronze bush when relatively new (and clean), but I feel that in long term use the tried and tested, porous bronze (hopefully) bush, will prove more tolerant of wear (the bushes will never wear out or fail in normal use), are tolerant of infrequent maintenance (there is little ill effect and they will not fail or fall apart if they are not perfectly adjusted), will retain lubricant better, need less frequent adjustment, and importantly for many users, can be stripped down and reassembled anwwhere with little risk of losing parts.

      All this said, I like the idea of the concept of ball bearings in a knife, even if for no reason other than as a demonstration of engineering prowess, but I don't see myself buying one because it has a ball bearing system.