Here comes the Edge of Iron

Latest

Slysz Bowie versus Nilakka – Push Cutting Contest

Slysz versure Nilakka

One my favorite test for my blades is cutting through a plastic bottle bottom. It’s not as easy at it seems as the thicker part (at its center) is surrounded by a ring of softer plastic which can collaps and get crushed before the edge bites and cut through the center.
So of course the sexy Slysz was put into that testing and was able to cross the bottom but it was not better than the Nilakka which was able to do with more ease.
Why ?

After one year of constant use, I have slightly convexed my zero ground Nilakka and for ten months this folder has never warped or chipped its edge. It’s my sharpest knife with my BRKT Canadian Special in CPM3V. Also the thick spin and thick handle help for transmitting strength into push cuts.
So the gorgeous and thin Slysz is not as confortable for push cuts even with its rounded blade spin and concave titanium handle. Also its excellent factory thin edge is no match for the Nilakka’s.
I will do the test again after some gentle convexing of the Slysz Bowie and then we will see if the Nilakka loses his throne.

Slysz and Nilakka

SPYDERCO K2 FOLDER ~ C185TI – The Flat and Furious

Farid K2 SPyderco K2

Farid Mehr is known for his massive designs. He was even doing integral lock from stainless steel slabs. This is pure heavy metal. Here is his first collaboration with Spyderco and the result is well impressive ! The K2 could be seen as an Über-Sebenza and last but not least this is the first CPM10V industrial folder ever.

CPM10V is the King of the Mountain in the pure edge retention field, it’s got even better results than CPM90V.

Typical Chemistry
Carbon 2.45%
Manganese 0.50%
Silicon 0.90%
Chromium 5.25%
Vanadium 9.75%
Molybdenum 1.30%
Sulfur 0.07%

Much less Chromium than CPM110V and CPM90V. CPM10V is an alloy with almost 10% of vanadium. This is a dream steel. Something to test and feel. I have already the great tests of Jim Ankerson about how great CPM10V at 63HRC is a pure beast of work. Cliff stamps also have made some “in deep” researchs with the same conclusions.

My K2 is light, perfectly balanced. The edge is thin. The blade is wide. The handle is flat.
The lock needs some breaking in as it’s sticky. The flat slabs are not close to how the Slysz Bowie feels confortable. Flat and palm are not friends. Also the spine of the blade is square after the hole hump. the finish of the blade is not as refined as the Slysz’s but the K2 got its own charisma. Something brutal which asks to be tested hard. It’s a very masculine tool.

So here are some pictures and size comparaisons. This is a big folder which ride small in the pocket with the best powder steel available nowadays. Pocketing that much high quality edge in a flat, solid and light package should raise the ears of the hunters. Also the R.I.L. lock and construction is easy to clean.

FARID K2

The Slysz Bowie and Farid K2 the Yin and the Yang.


A clever disk to prevent over pushing the RIL.




Compared to the Millie. The K2 leaves almost the same pocket print. The absence of choil gives a lot of edge.



Let’s try to dwarf it with the Cold Steel Voyager XL but in the end the K2 provides a relatively long blade too !


Compared to my Sebbie.


Compared to the Tuff. Two very different philosophies. The Tuff is tougher but the K2 got more edge length.


The construction of the knife uses only two screws. The axis and the other one (near the lanyard hole) which got that kind of squashed steel ball to give rigidity. Very clever. No need for a spacer.


And the belly is perfect for cutting pizzas !!


Is the K2 a folder for Machete ?

Spyderco Slysz Bowie ~ C186TI – The Iron Mistress

Marcin Slycz Bowie

This folder was my favorite of all the knives shown on Amsterdam Minimeet 2014. I loved the ergos. The convex curves on the titanium. The reinterpreted bowie blade. The perfect size for an EDC. The attention to details. Really I have been more than impressed by Marcin next collaboration with Spyderco.
The Techno was IMHO AFAIC a bold move to the EDC world. An heart stroke. But now Marcin was striking again with a refined working folder. Thinner but also more “feminine” hence the “Mistress” title. Raising the bar.

Marcin Slysz Bowie and Chris Reeve Sebenza
Ah, who could kill the Sebenza ? Huh ? When you hear about Titanium slabs and Integral Lock it’s the first word which come to my mind.

So this is a first glimpse to this gorgeous folder. Let’s start by the cons:
OK, mine needs some opening and closing to be as glass smooth as it suppose to be. I haven’t reach the torx to ease the axis screw yet.
The wire clip got a way to block the pocket’s draws. It comes from the way the lock has been designed. No big deal. It could even been seen as some kind of security but I’m considering switching the clip to the other smoother side of the handle. But again, for reverse grip opening (using the ring finger) I need a smoother action.

Now the pros and they are a lot:
Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder but ergonomy is in the pawns of the user. This one suits my hand perfectly.
No finger choil. But a longer edge. The convex titanium handle, just pure pleasure to hold.
A very clever G10 spacer which is used to improved the ergonomy by avoiding any risk of a slippery handle.
The convex handle which is gentle in your palm.
A lot of belly for a really thin edge. A point in perfect alignement with the handle.

The edge is so thin than I was able to do my favorite Coke bottle test with ease and control.
Proportion blade / handle is near perfect for a folding knife of that size.

This knife is asking to be used. It feels well in the hands and the geometry is optimum. The size is perfect for an EDC. The clip is deep enough to make the knife disappear in the pocket.
The balance is just behind the axis. The absence of hole hump makes it a looker.
So now will come the tests and as a companion, a K2 should come next week.

How will perform the CTS-XHP compared to CPM10V ?

Update:
The convex handle makes it really nice to use. I have found that my index and thumb, which are leading the cuts, are sort of “nested” near the pivot by those rounded titanium slabs. I was able to cut with a lot of accuracy and the belly was welcome for cutting deep.
It’s a gorgeous knife to deploy and eat with. A excellent conversation starter too.
It has been used on plates with no damage to the edge. CTS XHP is a very forgiving steel in my book.
The shape of the blade makes it look like a “country” knife, and has been very sheeple friendly ! As I use the radius spine it’s a pleasure for push cuts in hard wood. Haven’t done anything really serious, it was just a short walk but that knife is screaming to be use hard. :-)

Edit: I have found a simple way to avoid the clip to snag… just by making it a little longer.
And switching with the clip of the Manix 2 Lightweight (I had already removed to witch with the Pingo’s deeper one…)
No more snagging in the pocket now.
Slysz Bowie clip issue
And now the clipped knife goes less deep but the draws are smooth.

“Grinch” is testing his Spyderco Dragonfly in Super Blue Steel

Enjoy the power of that little big knife !

Spyderco C41CFP5 – CPM110V and Carbon FIber handle Sprint Run

Native 5 SPrint Run CPM110V

Exactly three years ago, on 1st october 2011, I had received my Native 5. You can still read how ecstatic I was toward that great ocket knife: solid, ergonomic, easy to carry in the pocket watch. I was especially amazed by the strong lock back with zero blade play and the new easy to polish on leather S35V steel.
Three years later, the Native 5 is getting a spectacular emotionnaly overloading Sprint Run: CPM110V blade and Carbon fiber handles. In 2012 (or 13) the Spyderco Forum knives was also a CPM110V Native but with a green diamond G10 handle.
This time some grammes are outed as Carbon Fiber is lighter than G10.
Mine is as flawless as my first Native. The blade action is smooth as ever and I can generate any play vertical or horizontal. The grind is a little thicker compared to my S35V version but not a big deal as the knife came as a razor.
Again I have installed a Delica 4 blacked clip for low profile, as I carry the knife tip up in my pocket watch.
CPM110V is a great steel that I was not able to really dull yet on my Dark Blue Manix 2. That steel seems to be fresh up easily with a dozen of pass on a white ceramic.
I’m very happy to continue the testing on one of my favorite plateforme: the Native 5 ! Again Spyderco is a figure of pionneer giving the chance to use the best high tech metallurgy on their best refined design.
More soon…. So stay tuned.


The Pink, the Sprint Run, The S35V and the Dark Blue Manix 2.


The Carbon fiber is on the right.


Yin and Yang…

SPYDERCO C06TI TUSK – PASCAL JAFFRE’S REVIEW “INSPIRATIONAL BLADE”

Once in a while I invite some friends to write reviews about knives. Pascal Jaffre is a passionate of classical music, shooting and computing with a lot of cultural background, he’s also a skipper. So, he was the right person to review the

“Inspirational blade”


A Spyderco Tusk Review

« Try Spyderco’s Tusk folding knife and tell me what you think about it! » were captain Nemo’s words one evening at the shooting club in Asnières (town’s name comes from “ane” = donkey). No donkey hunting for Tusk as the quadrupeds long left the patches where they used to graze and rest from barge tugging against the Seine’s current. On the contrary, Tusk’s tasks have been diverse and peaceful; in turn it has proven to me as a great inspirational source!

If I were a castle, which one would I be? Marlinspike Hall of course and Tintin would have been better equipped against the “l’Oiseau brothers” with me in his pocket.


Could I have influenced world famous composers like Mozart and Wagner? Maybe I have… take a close look!


Given that folded, my shape resembles that of a drop of water, had I been a musical note, which one would I have been? “A flat” of course which is Chopin’s “drop of water” in the famous Prelude N°15 – Prelude à la goutte d’eau!


Transposed to music this picture does not sound as harmonious as it looks: A-flat and G (Tusk and la sole – not Schubert’s trout)! The fish was delicious and it was a pleasure to eat “a flat” fish with a G-em.


More seriously let me show how sharp the blade is. Even trickier than the tomato test: the rotten pineapple test! Hard on the outside and soft (much too soft) in the inside. However Tusk did the job perfectly and my trash can got the pinapple – less the first bite.


Let’s finish off the food test with a panel of some other tricky things to cut. The sausage (saucisson): very thin slices. The avocado hard skin and yet ripe inside not crushed and perfect cut. The well cooked French bread – I was really impressed how a blade without dents cut the crust. To finish 2 types of Comté cheese (24 and 32 month aged) from the Jura region. The most difficult cheese to cut out of the 2 is the eldest because less moist and having a tendency of breaking: Tusk cuts the cheese at ease!


Birds of a feather? No, not feather but leather – courageous Tusk about to beat the baby crocodile and the result is below! Well done Tusk!


Good hunt!

Tusk also participated in the assembly of C 4.8 my French catamaran built in the early 80’s.

The result I’d say is contrasted in the sense that in my case the marlinspike was preventing from using the shackle key. This is due to the small volumes in which the tool needs to evolve. Had the shackles been oriented with a 90 degree rotation, that limitation would not have appeared.
Here is a demonstration of how the marlinspike limits the rotation: blocked at one point by the top of the hull. Obviously shackle keys that have an outer curve add further difficulty so it’s important that the tool be as thin as possible.

Another similar situation when installing the shackle key that holds the stays, forestay and shrouds to the mast. Again unfortunately the length of the marlinspike hinders the ability to rotate by a wide angle. However what I found really comfortable is Tusk’s ability to deliver power when working with the shackle key; this is due to its length combined with its overall robustness.

So to summarize a long strong tail does not necessarily get to go everywhere! That said, as during the assembly of C 4.8, wind was blowing up to 33 knots the marlinspike eventually had a good effect after putting it in the wind because in the evening we were down by some… knots!

Tusk ne manque pas d’air!
Tusk has been a great knife to test: discrete in the pocket, a beautiful gem that fuels imagination and a strong working tool. I’ll have to test against larger boat!

(Text and Photo Pascal Jaffre.)

Tusk !

Pascal Jaffre

JD’S SPYDERCO LADYBUG IN SUPER BLUE STEEL LGYP3E

JD LADYBUG
 

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 187 other followers