We all love flippers. They have taken the knife world by storm, but in the end I think that we have lost focus on what really matters. Its a way to open your knife--that's it. It doesn't make the knife cut better or stay sharp longer. It may be fun to fidget with, but I think for lots of folks the flipper is more important than the blade. This obsession with secondary details reminds me of those Mercedes Benz commercials that focused on the quality of their doors. It was telling that those commercials came during a time when many in the automotive press thought that MB was in a fallow period design-wise.
The other thing that makes me worried about fetishizing flippers is that they always fall into that "ineffable" quality discussion, that thing that people love to rave about but can't really explain. This brings to mind the Wittgenstein notion about language--namely that if something can't be reduced to language, it is, in the end, nonsense. They will tell you its something you "just have to experience". I get that. I do. But that can't be the beginning and end of the analysis. If it is, then it is just a matter of faith or opinion and not reason. Its also something that is easy to sell because it is hard to prove--the perfect place for scammers to operate and folks that are subject to a heavy dose of post purchase rationalization to exist.
Finally, for all the talk of silk and effortlessness, flippers on customs aren't generally speaking, better than those found on good production knives. Heresy, I know. Sure there are elite customs that have truly superior flipping action. I have handled a few of them ::cough::Q36::cough::. But in reality some of the best flippers I have handled were production models. Here's what I am talking about:
Its still just a way to open a knife. If it does that well, I am happy. The rest of the minutiae is really just about knife masturbation. That's a perfectly good reason to own a knife, but I am not sure how much its worth.