Thanks to my friend Nemo I have had a chance to check out the Spyderco C(SB) steel with a full flat grind(ffg). This is my first ffg Ladybug and my first experience of Super Blue steel. Let me tell you what I found!
I have had a Ladybug before. The VG10 model with the saber grind.I did not like how it cut, for my taste it was far to thick at the edge and the back. I ground the bevels flat so now it has a singe bevel grind. It cut much better but I did not use it much.
The day I brought the Ladybug SB in to service I put a fob on it, Spyderco Jur style, to give me a little extra to hold on to. I oiled the joint with a little Nano Oil. The mid-lock was smooth and easy to operate. There was just a little vertical blade play. Which is not uncommon on mid-locks and back-locks. My older Ladybug was the same in that regard.
I then sharpened it, as the edge was only cutting note book paper roughly. At the same time I lowered the edge angle. When I sharpened the back the of blade, the part above the Spyderco hole, was about 1mm above the hone. This gave me a final edge that was just below 10dps(degrees per side) blended into the main bevel.
My idea is that a knife this small should cut with very little resistence. You are not going to put much force on the blade as the handle is to small for that. So, thin and sharp is the way to go! Grinding the whole blade flat on the stone would make it cut even better but is just to much work for me.
I cut a little cardboard just so see how well it would cut, how the edge would respond, and how the handle would feel in the hand. The blade cut well with little resistance but the edge had collapsed. After de-stressing the edge (lightly cutting in to a stone to remove the damaged steel) and resharpening it I cut some more cardboard. The edge seemed to be stable but more cardboard cutting revealed a small section had collapsed again. It took a few times de-stressing and resharpening to stabilize also this part of the edge. It has been my experience that often a knife need to be sharpened a few times before you see its full potential.
These sharpening sessions gave me the opportunity to use different hones to sharpen the blade. And I must say: this is a very nice steel to sharpen! No matter the hone. I sharpened with diamonds, a Norton fine India hone, and different ceramics. After de-stressing it could be apexed quickly with hardly any burrs forming. The burrs that did form could be removed with just a few light, high angle, passes into the stone. It was not just easy to sharpen, but easily took very sharp, hungry, edge! :-)
The handle is large enough for me to get a two and a halve finger grip. During the cutting task I used the knife for, I found the handle to give me a good grip and precise control of the edge. I did find the handle small and fiddly for opening the knife with the thump in the Spyderco hole. So, usually I opened the knife in a different way.
The last few weeks I cut medium size apples, cardboard, I opened mail, cut open and removed the seed from and avocado, trimmed a nail here and there, and cut plastic food packaging. The knife handled all these task without much of a fuss, though the apple was at the limit of its abilities due to the length of the edge and the size of apple. Some of these task would have been easier or faster done with a larger knife, but you do not alway have that option. In those cases it is nice to know that this, slightly modified, ffg Ladybug will get the job done. As the saying goes: „I does not have to be big, just sharp!” As for the steel…It takes a great edge! :-)
Text and Photos by JD.