Friday, June 28, 2013

Kershaw Cryo Re-Review

This is my first re-review.  It came about after a firestorm of controversy prompted by comments on the original review from Thomas W, the brand manager for Kershaw Knives.  Seeing how the comment panned out I decided to respond to it via a full blow post.  You can see that post here.  After consideration I decided that I would re-review the Cryo.  My goal, after all, is to get it right, not be a big mouth.  To that end I called Thomas W and spoke to him for more than a hour.  We talked about the knife business and he gave me a mountain of information that I am still processing.  Thomas is a really intense guy and has lots and lots of experience in the business.  His willingness to talk to me was, frankly, incredible.

Over the course of the conversation and the comments and responses, Thomas's points were pretty straightforward.  First, the Cryo is a massive commercial success.  His numbers were pretty staggering.  The Cryo vastly outsold the Skyline, one of my favorite Kershaw's in the same time period and it placed in the same sales range as the Onion knives, the perennial best sellers in the Kershaw line up.  That success, he claims, has to count for something.  Second, given the price and place of origin, the Cryo is actually a very good knife.  It is an amazing value because it gives consumers Hinderer design features at bargain prices.  Third, it was a critical success, with Blade giving it an award in the 2012 show.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Cryo is not a knife aimed at the enthusiast.  Folks like us, folks that happily drop a pair Ben Franklins on a knife, are not the intended audience for the Cryo.  Seen from the perspective of that audience the Cryo is a GREAT knife.

Those arguments were enough to prompt me to re-review the Cryo.  Here is the re-review policy:

As I noted in my response to Thomas W.'s criticism of the Cryo review, found here, I have decided that I will re-review products.  If you made something I reviewed and were dissatisfied with the review, you can contact me and ask for a re-review.  This is distinct from two things.  First, if I made technical errors, like getting the steel wrong, you can contact me immediately and I will make the correction to the review AND note my mistake.  Second, periodically I go back and update the score of a product.  I do this after a year and then after five years (should I be around that long).  The purpose of the update is different from a re-review.  One issue that comes up with products like knives and flashlights is that as technology improves, scores should reflect that change.  The update does this.  A knife with S30V steel is still a good knife, but that steel is no longer cutting edge (har, har).  Over time this effect will be larger and larger until S30V steel, absent some great heat treat or grind, will merit a score lower than a 2.  The Updates capture this.

A re-review, however, is a separate review with a new testing period for an item I already reviewed.  Think of it like a brand new review.  First, I will do re-reviews at my discretion.  Second, I will do them no sooner than 6 months after the first review as this prevents a maker from coming back right away and rigging the review scoring system.  Third, I will not do a third review.  Once the review and re-review are done, that's it.  The idea is to balance two competing concerns--getting something right against a lack of finality and too much influence from makers.  This site, to the extent that it works, works because I have no financial stake in this.  I don't care if one gear company is mad at me.  I'd prefer if they weren't but my first loyalty, and since this is not for money, my ONLY loyalty is to my readers.  Getting it right is important.  Giving them a final judgment is also important.  I hope this re-review policy does that.  We'll see how it works with the Cryo and go from there.       


In the end, Thomas's arguments made me take this knife seriously and the review deadly serious.  First, once I decided to to the re-review I stopped reading the Cryo review, so that I would have as fresh a take as possible on the knife.  Second, I tallied up the score and then did the comparison stuff AFTER the text of the re-review was written.  Third, I documented a lot more of the cutting tests than I normally do (and that has rubbed off, I am going to do that in the future, when possible).  All of this care though convinced me that I didn't miss the mark by much in the original review.  In the end though, I don't think the knife is good, even in the context of a non-enthusiast knife.  It is too heavy, too slick, too awkward, and too expensive for what you get.  There are better knives from Kershaw and better knives from other companies out there.  They may lack the Hinderer design heritage, but they offer a vastly better value proposition than the Cryo.  It may be a best-selling award winner, but Twilight was too ($392 million take with two Grammy nominations).  Those two things, taken alone, are not enough to convince me I am wrong, especially after two extensive review periods.  This is a ho-hum knife on its very best day.

Here is my review sample with a good small flashlight, the Peak Eiger AAA Oveready Edition:

IMG_3877

Twitter Review Summary: Appearance over performance leads to a poor value, even for a bargain knife

Design: 0

The knife is compact, especially thin, though significantly wider than most blades this size.  The width v. thinness tradeoff is one I am very willing to make (I am, after all, smitten with quite a few Spyderco knives, including the extra wide Manix2 LW.  The overall design is overbuilt and chunky, tactical, if you will.  But there in lies the problem.  This knife's design is more about appearance than performance.  Everything, when it comes to performance, is subpar.  This is a knife that goes for a certain look and achieves that look, but at the cost of everything else.

IMG_0021

The knife's weight is simply incredible.  At 4.2 ounces this knife is just too heavy.  I have talked about this at length on the blog and the podcast, but there is absolutely no reason, none at all, for this knife to weigh as much as it does.  The ratios range from slightly below par to downright bad (.73 blade:handle, not bad; but a .65 blade:weight is craptacular for a small blade).  It is a sign of the major design flaw present in the Cryo--appearance over performance.

Original Score: 0

What Changed:

Nothing.  Still too fat.

Fit and Finish: 1

The original review sample actually had a blade that rubbed against the handle, making it more of a pair of scissors than a folding knife.  Here the new review sample is better, but still not great.  Blade centering is well, take a look:

IMG_0035

That shot exaggerates the problem, but it is indicative of an issue.  Here is the blade head on:

IMG_0033

Original Score: 0

What Changed:

Blade centering is a little better.  There is going to be variation in all knives, production or otherwise.  Given the two review samples I think it is safe to say this is not one of the better budget knives in terms of fit and finish.  The Drifters I had were better.  The Ka Bar Mini Dozier had better fit and finish.  This is not the Cryo's forte, but this model was better than the original.  

Grip: 1

Only the jimping on the blade is actually effective.  The rest of the jimping is aesthetic only, like many of the features on the Cryo.  Add to this, the super slick stainless steel handle and there is not much to hold on to here.  Even the pocket clip, sometimes an aid in holding on to a knife, like on the Spyderco Delica, for example, is not much of a help as it is very small and close to the handle scale (a good thing overall, but a weakness when it comes to grip).

Original Score: 1

What Changed:

Nothing.

Carry: 0

You know this thing is stupidly heavy, but what you can't know unless you carry the knife a lot is that it is actually a snag magnet.  The thumb studs, which do literally nothing, protrude from the body quite a bit snagging on a pocket's lip quite readily.  The whole pivot area is actually a bit snaggy--the thumb studs, the slightly overly large flipper, and the clip all make extraction surprisingly difficult.

Original Score: 0

What Changed:

I hate the way this knife carries now more than before.  Extra 0?

Steel: 1

Here are the results from some cutting tests I did with the Cryo and some other blades (taken from the SOG Bluto's review):
  1. Victorinox 1.4116: Paper: 8; Cardboard: 2; Wood: 3
  2. Kershaw 8CR13MoV: Paper: 9; Cardboard: 4; Wood: 14
  3. SOG VG-10: Paper: 30; Cardboard: 5; Wood: 15
  4. S35VN: Paper: 56+; Cardboard: 11+; Wood: 74+
That seems pretty representative of the product.  8CR13MoV can push through heavy materials, especially in a stock this think, but it is not a slicer.  This is as much do to grind as steel, but no version of this steel has been good.  Kershaw has better steel on similarly priced knives, the Leek, for example, runs the vastly superior Sandvik 14C28N.  Thomas convinced me that it is simply not possible to make the Cryo with other steel because of the country of origin (this is a Chinese made knife and the 8CR13MoV is a Chinese steel), but that is not going to persuade me to change the score.  There are good Chinese steels, 9CR13MoV for example or even CRKT's 8CR14MoV (which is ever so slightly, but consistently better).  

Original Score: 1

What Changed:

I have more evidence to suggest the steel is subpar.

Blade Shape: 2

I love the simple shape. Always have, always will.

IMG_0024

Original Score: 2

What Changed:

Still great and a reason why this knife should be overhauled and a special, limited edition should be made with improvements to materials and fit and finish.

Grind: 1

The stock is thick, as this is supposed to look like a tactical, overbuilt knife, so the grind needs to be very clean and deep to make this thing a cutter.  It is neither.  The grind is quite sloppy:

IMG_0025

Furthermore, as the cutting tests indicate, it is not very deep.  The stock retains a huge amount of the it's thickness.  Blah.

Original Score: 2

What Changed:

Sloppier grind is one thing, but cutting tests proved that this grind was not great for slicing and in a blade this small, really what are the chances you will be doing chopping?  Not great, but certainly less than the chance you will be performing slicing cuts. 

Deployment Method: 1

The flipper is a pull style flipper, and it is a little too bit for what it is, but I like it enough.  If that were the only problem, the Cryo would get a 2 here.  Its not.  The thumb studs do nothing at all.  It is all but impossible to deploy the knife with the thumb studs.  Instead, they simply snag on about 1/3 of the things they encounter. Good flipper - terrible thumbstuds = score of 1.  Kershaw, GET RID OF THE THUMB STUDS.

IMG_0032

Original Score: 1

What Changed:

Hated the thumb studs then and now.  TERRIBLE.

Retention Method: 2

This is one awesome pocket clip.  I love the design and the clean lines.  It works well, even if it doesn't help with grip and makes extraction difficult.  Both of those flaws are because of the knife's design, not the pocket clip itself.

IMG_0036


Original Score: 1

What Changed:

I realized that the problems with the clip aren't the clip's fault.  This is a great clip, among the best available for production knives under $100.  

Lock: 2

Frame lock.  Fine.  I got used to the narrow lock disengagement point.  It is a good iteration of a budget frame lock with good lock stability and easy engagement and disengagement.

Original Score: 1

What Changed:

I don't like the lock disengagement part of the lock bar, but it is not that big a deal.  The rest of the lock is quite good, especially for a budget frame lock. 

Overall Score: 11 out of 20

Two points.  I was wrong, I'll admit it.  But I wasn't that far off.  This is not the knife people think it is.  The most important feature of the Cryo is seen in that last photo, that little label letting you know it is a "Hinderer Design."  That is its most important feature.

There are better knives regardless of your point of comparison.  For the money and materials the Zing SS is just better--lighter with a bigger blade and same handle size.  As a budget knife, the Drifter, which is about 1/2 as much, is significantly a better value.  For the size there are a dozen knives better (the 2.75 inch to 3 inch market is PRETTY crowded).  For the weight, you get a Manix2 LW and 1.4 ounces to use on a flashlight AND more than a half inch of blade length.  If you want a budget Hinderer, this is it...oh wait, that is not even true.  There is a budget Hinderer from Gerber, the Hinderer CLS, and a few from Kershaw as well.  There is literally no comparison you can make where the Cryo comes out on top.

And there in lies the problem with virtually all of the arguments Thomas made.  This is not an enthusiast's knife.  This is not a budget knife (it retails for around $40).  This is not a Hinderer knife.  This is not a hard use knife.  This is not a big knife.  This is not a lightweight knife.  This is just not a good knife.  Period.  It looks good, yes it does, but it does not perform well.  No amount of argument or reviewing will change those facts, hence basically the same opinion.    

Having just reviewed the Pilot Vanishing Point where every single detail is in service to the writing performance, it is discouraging to go back and look at this knife where virtually nothing promotes the cutting experience.  This is a knife built around a look and not an edge, instead of the other way around. 

Thomas, I am sorry if this is not what you would have wanted, but I just can't shake the notion that this knife is not all it could be.  A G10 version (heck make it a liner lock) would cut weight and make this knife better.  A USA Made G10 version with Sandvik 14C28N and no thumb stud that weighed around 3 ounces would be a friggin' stud.  I'd pay $60 for that knife easily.  I am fairly certain a lot of other people would too.

The current version of the Cryo just isn't that good. 

30 comments:

  1. I bought my wife a Cryo and she's not a knife enthusiast. She liked the flipper but complained that the knife was too heavy, so now it's out of her purse and replaced by one of my Spyderco Delicas.

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  2. Another great review, Tony, and it's big of you to re-review the Cryo.

    I think you're dead on that this is a knife chasing a look rather than a function, so it's not going to appeal to someone who has a workhorse like a Skyline or a Delica in the arsenal.

    I can also respect that Kershaw has to use Chinese steel to stay in the mall-ninja price point. I wish the Cryo had one side of G10, though, so they could mold in some texturing and improve the grip while substantially reducing the weight. A choil would also improve the grip, although at the expense of some cutting edge, which may not sit well with the target customer.

    Good on Kershaw for creating a great looking knife that obviously appeals to a lot of people, but good on you for choosing function over appearance and calling it as you see it.

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  3. This was really thoughtful. The re-review added enough insight that I'm officially setting aside my grumpiness that Thomas harangued you into doing it. I think this time you really put your finger on it: the knife seems built for a look rather than functionality.

    As for the argument from sales volume, Backstreet Boys sold over 130 million records and have 7 Grammy nominations. Nuff said.

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  4. BTW just to underscore how far we are from being Kershaw bashers, I recently picked up a Knockout and it is nice. Beautiful fit and finish, satisfying deployment, great blade shape.

    It could use a little more jimping or other traction on the handle (I incorporate by reference the Nutnfancy review of the Knockout and second it), but it is a fun and useful Made in USA blade.

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    1. The more I think about it, the Knockout is not far from the knife Tony is imagining, a debugged Cryo, or a Cryo for people who know knives.

      Both Knockout and Cryo are framelocks (yeah yeah, subframe lock) with flippers, assisted opening, drop-pointish blade shapes, and metal scales. Same pocket clip too. But the Knockout uses matte aluminum scales with a smidge of steel liner. It is thin as hell, has half an inch more blade than the Cryo and yet weighs half an ounce less, 3.7 oz. The Knockout's flipper is smooth and ergonomic. Its thumb studs actually work for deployment and do not snag. Corners are smoothed and rounded. Blade centering is perfect. 14C28N steel (with beautiful stonewash) instead of 8Cr13. USA Made.

      So which do you want for your $60; two Cryos or one Knockout?

      Enough from me on this. Rock on.

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  5. Excellent review. It was great for Kershaw to be willing to talk, I'm looking forward to your distillation of that conversation in another post. I'll stick with my Caly 3

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    1. It was really great of Thomas to talk. Kershaw is a quality company making quality products. This one just isn't for folks like us.

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  6. I think that I may have gotten one of the very early Cryos. It is perfectly centered and wicked sharp. I still do not like the knife though even after only paying $30 for two of them after an Amazon coupon last December.

    I hate hate hate painted metal and is it way too heavy for its size.

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  7. Hi Tony,

    I think your updated policy is fair and maintains your integrity. This site is about a high standard for quality gear and why I read it and recommend it to friends. An appreciation for a clean aesthetic and design are very nice and very much a part of that goal too.

    Best seller or not, I will say this: all my non-enthusiast friends who bought a knife like this or the Leek stopped carrying it after a month or two. One of them has gone back to a small Victorinox and the other got an Al Mar Hawk (guess who introduced that?). I should add that these are guys too. I would rather see how many people carry the Cryo at least 5 days of the week after a 6 months instead of how many sold and in a drawer; the 'carry population', if you will.

    Keep doing what'cha doing. This move was fair and didn't let big people or big sales volume cloud salient points and high standards . I'll be around.

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  8. Sorry, but I am still grumpy with the amount of capitulation one knife industry insider was able to cajole. Sure, the score is not what they were hoping for but they were able to put you in a defensive position, which has it's own impact on objectivity, acknowledged or not.

    In addition, I think it surprisingly naive to consider a phone conversation with someone who has EVERYTHING to gain from impressing a well respected EDC reviewer such as yourself. If doing his job right, he made you feel very special to have time with him and it shows in how you characterize the conversation. In the end, you were NOT wrong but it still scored another way for Kershaw and Thomas W. to get blog time...

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    1. I would acknowledge that it impacted my thoughts about the knife. If it didn't I wouldn't have re-reviewed the knife. In the end though, I think it is important to listen to the industry. They aren't the end all and be all, but they are a very important part of this whole thing. I think it would be just as irresponsible to ignore them entirely as it would be the capitulate to them completely. The two scores that went up were something I learned looking at other knives. The clip is actually quite good. The placement and the pivot aren't. Additionally with more knives reviewed I have learned that production variance is just a fact of life. Either way though, both Cryos were at or below par in terms of fit and finish.

      I tried to take a balanced approach because that is what I think benefits you folks the most. Again, because this isn't a job or even a source of free gear, my only loyalty is to bring people good, reliable well-researched information. I hope this did that, even if it was, in part, in response to requests from industry insiders.

      Finally, while I an thrilled with the readership of the blog, it is still small potatoes to a company like Kershaw. It was generous of Thomas to talk with me on the phone. The amount he had to gain for his company, in the grand scheme of things, was vanishingly small in comparison to the time and effort he took to interact with us.

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    2. Forget the Cryo. Just buy a Skyline.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for calling out the Cryo as you saw it the second time. It is a good seller but not something I want to carry because of weight in my pocket. Also, I'd rather have it without the useless thumb studs, too, as a snag-preventer. Do you still have the Echelon in your list of yet-to-come reviews? It looks good and would be lighter, I'd think, based on scale material. Wonder if the scales should have gimping to make up for lack of choil? Or is that even reasonable? I'm no Kershaw hater -- bought a spare Skyline to store for when/if I lose the one I have in carry rotation. And I bought the Skyline fixed blade, but have had no occasion to wear/use it, and need to buy a better sheath.

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  10. Tony,

    I understand and appreciate you acknowledging an impact was unavoidable. I certainly do not advocate ignoring the industry insiders but instead avoid putting yourself in a position where their sales numbers and angst disrupt your steadfast, untainted judgement.

    We all grow in our understanding of things over time and it is a given that your evaluations are within the context of your experience, knowledge and perspective. THE reason I enjoy your blog SO much is that it is written from YOUR perspective...not theirs.

    Furthermore, I think it is more important they seek to learn from your EDC point of view than you learn more about what makes a knife sell. Now, if they were to provide a technical education of why their heavier build is actually better for EDC...that MIGHT be helpful. Instead, we learned that a heavy, poorly finished knife is a massive success. THIS is NOT good for EDC enthusiasts.

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    1. I don't personally think Tony is writing from anyone's perspective but his own, this second review, while it seemed spurred on by Thomas' opinion (bias, vested interest, etc.) it still resulted in the same findings more or less. I don't get the feeling any integrity has been lost, nor do I think that Tony's softened his approach to their product.

      It's clear that the Cryo was conceived to satisfy a look, and to that end it's a success. At least to the mass market anyhow and seeing it in display cases at shops it certainly looks the part of a technical high quality knife at first (and maybe second) glance. It's not made for the discerning buyer, and that's not entirely surprising given Kershaw's volume output.

      Should they listen to people like Tony? Sure they should, and maybe they will eventually - but given the tone and basis of Thomas' initial attack I wouldn't count on it. They're a company concerned with moving units first and foremost, and in a way act as a great introduction to knives and work by makers that would be otherwise difficult to obtain.

      Two different markets entirely, and I'm sure that Thomas' insistence on "educating" Tony comes from that review's google ranking, which must sting a whole lot. He'd do better to try paying off Nutnfancy.

      Delete
    2. Ben, We generally agree. Just to be clear, I was reacting more to the fact that Thomas' involvement successfully prompted a re-review in the first place, followed up by Tony's statements such as;

      "Thomas is a really intense guy and has lots and lots of experience in the business. His willingness to talk to me was, frankly, incredible." (The last sentence almost made me throw up in my mouth).

      I would submit Thomas W's willingness to talk to Tony was calculated and necessary (not incredible) because Tony is respected as an independent reviewer with a practical approach to daily carry tools and his hits reflect it. Thomas' point that the Cryo's commercial success has to count for something is worthless for Tony's audience because we do not include retail sales methods such as product placement, in store marketing and sales SPIFs into our EDC evaluation. Those factors are major when contributing towards making a commercial success. Success for the Cryo has had much more to do with general trust for Kershaw knives and Rick Hinderer than the quality of the knife and this is what Tony's review ultimately revealed (twice). Therefore, Thomas should not be shoving the self-serving general commercial success facts up the crevice of the enthusiast crowd in order to prove Tony wrong.

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    3. You act as if Tony's audience is some sort of exclusive club which is just as "self serving", so you don't have any room to talk imo. His "audience" as you put it, consists of anyone who stumbles onto his page while looking for info, which voids your argument about whether critical success is a factor (if it was a secret society that involved a secret handshake and password to join then you would be correct, but it's not). With that being said you're both entitled to your opinions though and it's just that.. an opinion. It's a shame that there are people out there who will take someone else's opinion as their own before trying something themselves, when they could be missing out on something great because of it. That's their responsibility though and if that's what they decide to do so be it, but the Cryo is an excellent knife and it's their loss if they choose to let someone else form their opinions for them.

      Delete
  11. Well unfortunately this goes to show that you can't fix stupid. You're entitled to your opinion (even though it's wrong) but luckily so am I. This is a perfect example why reviews are utterly worthless, because it always boils down to personal preference. It might be too slick for your greaseball sweaty hands, but for those who don't have that issue it doesn't detract from the quality of the knife whatsoever. Apparently you wear some weird pants or shorts because the thumb studs have never once got caught on anything in my pockets, so once again for those who don't have that problem it doesn't detract from the quality of the knife. I could go on and on about it, but you've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that those are things that you simply refuse to take into consideration. This is why I read reviews only after I purchase something, because I like to form my own opinion about it, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't think the same way so they might wind up missing out on a great knife all because it doesn't meet your personal expectations and needs.

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    1. Hmm ... well ... Not everyone can afford to buy every product and test it themselves. God bless you that you can! The rest of us rely on reviews to help keep us from squandering our limited resources. We may miss out on a great thing now and then but we do so with some spare change in our pockets.

      Delete
  12. "Thomas convinced me that it is simply not possible to make the Cryo with other steel because of the country of origin (this is a Chinese made knife and the 8CR13MoV is a Chinese steel),"

    Of course A.G. Russell's catalog boasts a number of nice looking Made in China knives with Japanese VG-10 blades.

    Oh well.

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  13. This is a knife that you buy your kid to play with! Used for carving his/her initials in a tree or carving sticks to sharp points. I paid $20.50 for the Cryo on Amazon, at this price I don't expect the blade to be center or the blade to be sharp enough to shave with. This is really just a teenager's toy knife. You compared Apples to Oranges when comparing this to the Spyderco Delica, the price points are not at all the same. The Delica runs around $50-$60 bucks. When comparing knives use comparable comparisons.

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    1. The two knives I compared the Cryo to in terms of centering were the Ka Bar Dozier and the CRKT Drifter, knives that are usually less expensive than the Cryo.

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  14. I got a Cryo, I like it. To each his/her own opinion. Why I have a Hyundai and the next person has a Dodge.

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  15. Just read all 3 reviews concerning the cryo. I already had one so the review did not have anything to do with my purchase. Also bought a ss zing and a ss volt. The cryo is heavy and bulky compared to the zing. The blade centering on the cryo is almost perfect. The zing has a loose pivot, might be able to get the blade centered with adjustment. In hand feel for my xl glove size palm is better with the zing than the cryo. The zings flipper/guard feels better when deployed thwn the cryo. The pocket clip on both is not useable on anything other than a tougher material such as jeans. No chance either would work on running shorts. The zing clip is just too tight, the cryos is slightly better. Fit and finish on both are very good for the price range. A g10 drifter makes bests either knife for pocket carry. Now the ss volt surprised me. It is a longer knife than the zing or cryo, but only slightly heavier than the cryo. It fits my hand much better as it has more pinky real estate. And the finger grooves actually fit me on both hands. No unnecessary thumb studs either. And the pocket clip is great, works with soft or loose material just fine. Rj Martin did a good job on the volt ss. I would like it to be lighter.

    The volt and zing really show how far the cryo misses the mark. It is cool looking but the functionality is just not there for me.

    What I need to do is find a g10 zing at dicks and swap the clip from the volt. Or just carry a g10 drifter like I have been.

    I will say the zdp 189 dragonfly 2 is the best edc knife I have found for use with running shorts.

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  16. I recently bought a Cryo, because I wanted a flavor of the "Hinderer Design" to see if I like it enough to consider a more expensive ZT or perhaps an actual Hinderer. My criteria for what I find important in a knive differ somewhat from Tony's, and because of that, I'm not nearly as critical of the Cryo as he is. From an objective standpoint, he's right about pretty much everything (with one exception that I'll get to). The knife is heavy, the knife is slippery, and the overall build quality is lacking in some areas. Mine has the same sloppy grind at the base of the blade as his does. I also found the lock to be a bit sticky. But, my blade is perfectly centered, and after I broke the knife in, I found the pivot to be smooth. Subjectively, I don't find the weight to be an issue at all. I don't notice the weight in my pocket at all, and when it's in hand, I prefer a little more weight. Having the weight bias toward the handle instead of toward the blade makes it feel like it wants to move with me instead of against me. To me, it's just like trying to point a handgun. A 6" revolver with a full lug barrel is harder to point than a 4" revolver with a half-lug because there's less weight way out at the point farthest from your wrist. But, this is subjective. Your mileage may vary.

    Another area where I disagree with Tony is with the thumbstuds. Initially I felt that the knife was hard to open with the thumbstuds, but once I flipped it enough to break the pivot in, I found the thumbstuds to be adequate. The handle shape allows for decent access to the thumb stud when holding it in the right hand. As a lefty, I found the lock bar to be a bit close to the stud when deploying left handed, but it was still usable.

    Lastly, carry. I had none of the issues that Tony had with carrying the knife. As I stated before, the weight is a non issue for me. I carried in jeans and in my Carhartt pants that I most often wear, and in both cases, I never felt the knife in my pocket. I also had absolutely no problems with the thumbstuds nor the flipper catching on anything. The width of the knife and the closeness of the thumb studs to the scales seemed to ensure that the pocket liner was always pushed away from the thumb studs. I found this knive very easy to retrieve from my pockets, thanks to the smooth scales. One thing that Tony didn't mention, is how the clip was positioned on the knife. The first thing I did before I even attempted to carry the knife was to move the clip for left-handed tip-up carry. Maybe in it's original configuration, the shape of the knife didn't "hide" the thumb studs as well.

    Overall, I enjoy carrying my Cryo, and I like the overall design of the knife enough that I'm now considering an upgrade to a Hinderer-designed ZT.

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