When Italian designer and gifted knifemaker Giacomo Cecchi from Saladini Cutlery in La Scaperia (The Italian Sheffield) gave me the opportunity to test his own conception of a Bushcraft Knife, perharps I could share with my friends in the UK.
As you can notice, the steel, who is shining like stainless, is in fact 1070 partially tempered at 58HRC on the edge. SO it should be solid and easy to maintain in the field.
The edge is not orthodoxaly scandi but thin on a saber lightly hollow ground blade.
Blade Length: 140mm for a 5mm thickness !!!!
The balance is perfectly centered at the beginning of the bambu handle. So the knife is really “alive”.
The handle in compressed Bambu got no hotspot and got little ergonomy enhancement for the humb to rest on the side and it suppose to be indestructible.
It looks beautiful but also feels hefty.
It reminds a little the grind and feel of a Fallkniven with carbon steel blade and with a very sensual handle.
Now the sheath is pure beauty made for vertical carry and I will come back on it later.
Now, I will test it in the woods and check its brutal strenght and versatility.
It’s a short knife with anough weith for light chopping and heavy batonning.
So what do you Bushcrafters think about it this prototype baby from Italy ?
EDIT: The Bushcraft is now part of Saladini line of outdoors knives. There is also a version in D2 !
There site is: http://www.coltelleriasaladini.it/
So I went to Italy with my Tuff (named “Varicelle” aka Chicken Pox because of her handle) in my pocket.
And no back up blade but my Paul Watson Victorinox Swisschamp. So Varicelle was on duty.
My idea was: with a blade like the Tuff who needs a fixed blade ?
What possibly would bring a fixed blade over Varicelle ? A better handle ? Yes. Even if the Tuff got great ergos, it’s hard to compete with my Bushcrafter. But the Tuff is easier to carry around.
BTW in the ease of deployment department the Tuff is joining my Millie. The Spyderdrop is so easy: you grap the hole or the fuller or both…
I even started to believe the Tuff is the easiest knife to spyderdrop.
Better, I’m now able to open it with some inertia: a whipping movement from the forearm and the blade is open.
Thanks to what ? The weight of that CPM3V thick heavy blade.
So ZERO complaint about that. What a great folder for quick draws !
Now what are the advantage to have my Tuff with me instead of my Military C36 in M390 ?
Main avantage: quoting Bilbo the Hobbit: ‘Take care ? I don’t care!’
My Millie is slicer and Lamborghini which needs to be cared with love.
The Tuff is also a Lambo’. On the tractor side.
It is solid beyond records. The Tuff is care free. The edge and mechanism are forgiven.
This is an important factor. Sometimes “Orcs and Goblins” are using your “precious” cutting tools. I do not state my friends are orcs BUT I was able to see some blades ruined in a fistful of seconds by beloved ones. My father in law was able to destroy the finish of a blade in 5 seconds by just showing me how to resharp it on a flat stone !!! Go figure.
I don’t mind that kind of abuse with Varicelle. This is such a relief…
I had convexed the grind for whittling. I knew how that wonderful CPM3V steel would behave.
Good and reliable. But please, use it, be my guest. I don’t mind at all.
(I got a BRKT Bravo 1 in CPM3V. I love it BTW… That steel is tough and easy to maintain.)
So you want my knife to cut a thick pizza on a hard plate? Go ahead ! I will eventually realign the edge on ceramic later. It will cost me… 30 seconds of my time ? If the edge is really dulled. Because CPM3V is like that: forgiving and “gentle”. Only leather stropping are enough for maintaining it. No tricks.
Now let’s talk about THE LOCK.
The RIL (Chris Reeve’s Lock) is not 100% genuine as there is a steel interface. That steel interface is an real improvement to prevent lock wear and sticking lock.
BUT.There is a ‘but’.
That steel interface can transmit energy with no absorption. I mean soft titanium is sticky. Hard steel is more slippery.
A hard palm chock on my tuff’s lock was able to disengage it!!!
Wait a second ? This is the hardest use folder ? How could that happen ??
It happen like on that video:
(I had not abused their lock. I had used Varicelle for light chopping though. And I do not test my knives by doing hard spine whacks on table. It’s stupid. See the Stupid Video later…)
Now the “vicious part”:
It’s happen to me after some breaking in.
So new models should not have any problem. And it cannot be spot at quality controls.
But it can happen on a phase during ‘breaking in’. It can.
NO BIG DEAL. As all the parts of that Spyderco are engineered for tough jobs. This is not a cheap knife. The axis is monstrous ! The stop pin is HUGE ! The lock bar is strong.
But keep in mind the strength of a lock bar is not linear. It’s logarithmic ! The further the bar engages the less strenght ! The shortest the bar the thinner the range.
But this is only a part of what is happening. On a chock, forces are distributed on a different way than normal uses.
The design is not the culprit. The exact position, the angle, the surface materials combination at that very moment are the culprits.
So eventually how did I cured my Tuff ?
I have forced the lock to engage and disengage again and again. I have continued the breaking in. Until… Three minutes later (!!!) it was reliable again. Locks are working on fraction of fraction of millimeters. Since I did not have any problem anymore.
So, good news, if it ever happen to you: this is NOT a big deal. It’s just a phase. Your Tuff is a hardchore tool. Use it hard and it will do the self adjustments by itself.
I’m not able to disengage the lock of Varicelle anymore with a tap on the back of the blade. And I even tried it on a wooden table many times. Going stupid and destructive for once !
But It is now behind it. Varicelle stays locked.
So what do you got with a Stuff ?
An elegant design. A reliable tool. A forgiving edge. A fast opening folder.
Mine is convexed and her edge can be back to razor with twenty strops on a leather belt. Yesterday I have cut and process a small tree with her. The heft of the blade is great for light chopping. The convexed edge is great of a choke up wood carving. It cuts deep and with ease.
As convenient as my Lionspy, the Tuff is more forgiving but also very sheeple friendly just by its original looks.
Mine has been used by sheeples with… pleasure. Beyond the “Why are carrying such an heavy knife” to “Please, give my your knife !”
Varicelle is not threatening. Exotic perhaps but not threatening.
I have witnessed kids whittling with her (that careless way kids got to cut wood and cut into mud afterwhile). And they were happy with their results! Asking me for my knife again and again. And me asking them to keep it close and not running with it open…
Varicelle has been thrown with shuriken on a wooden board and it sticks very well.
I have open a chianti wine wooden crate in a breeze.
I have chopped three inches diameter trees.
I have eaten with Varicelle in many restaurants.
It have been borrowed from me in restaurant !
I have let children disappeared from my sight and whittling with it. Ok.
I have let my mother in law cutting beef with it. Ouch !
Anyway, the Tuff is a special knife: carrying a folding light chopping tool in a solid package is a great experience.
And knowing it won’t be damaged by clumsiness (mine or others) is a SUPER plus.
Next review teaser:
I won’t let my Manix 2 in any hands.
When The Going Get Tough…The Tuff gets going !
I have witnessed the evolution of that knife since the first prototype in 2005. The beautiful fuller was already its signature and I felt, this was a great complement to the hole for opening purpose.
For descriptions and length and weight, please use the link above.
This folder is not my first “heavy duty folding tool”, but certainly one of the most solid. The Gayle Bradley is an hard used cutter.
My Lionspy is another great contender as I have used it as a light chopper many times. But the heft of the Tuff is making that Ed Schempp designed knife a great woodman folding companion, in my own humble opinion. It’s unique.
Because I enjoy being able to process wood with some light equipment: my Cold Steel Voyager, my Lionspy and now my Tuff are able to work quick as light chopping tools. Of course it won’t replace a hatchet, a machette, a campknife. But they are a folding “attempt” to create reliable hard used knives. The new fashion in folding cutlery. Tactical means nothing. Hard used knife means everything.
My tuff has been named “Varicelle” or “Smallpox” in French. Why ? Because of its handle. All those “bubbles” give it some kind of steampunk look.
Once closed, you recognized the attention for details of Ed Schempp. Varicelle looks like a perfect oval. It’s a beautiful object even if the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just look at that mega huge screw pivot, that massive stop pin, that unique fuller on that thick blade, everything in this knife screams toughness.
Once open, you feel that you are holding a tool not a weapon. Even if the balance is perfect with a sweet spot under your index. This knife has been created to be a reliable companion toward the hardest situation a folder can withstand in a…. farm ! And what is useful in a farm can be useful everywhere. But, thinking about it: the most famous martial artists weapons were initiated by farm tools.
Ed told me he has cut into aluminium tanks without any damage to the blade. I don’t know wahta he was cutting but I trust him to put his blades in pace to test them. (E.G. My Persian is such a great knife BTW)
CPMS3V is a really tough steel. It’s another crucible powder steel. I love the behavior of that steel and its forgiveness toward my clumsiness.
I cherish a great BRKT Bravo and I love how its convexed edge is easy to maintain while being a true laser. Oh I love that powder manufactured steel.
It’s not stainless, but it’s a fine grain tool steel which can stand a lot of abuses.
Having the chance to carry “that” steel on a folding knife is absolutely rare. Another Spyderco premiere.
I had the purpose of convexing my Tuff as I knew how easy that tough alloy was with leather stropping.
So Varicelle has been slowly convexed. Using elbow’s oil mainly.
Eventually the blade on the Tuff is longer than the edge. Again the mighty choil is another Ed Schemp signature like on my Navaja.
You can hold your knife by the blade only, helped by the fuller and the choil, the hardest jobs can be soft on the lock and pivot.
The edge is making that knife very legal. It’s not threatening. Again you got a tool in your hand not a serial killer nightmare.
Yes, but it looks like a kukri and it perform like a folding kukri. And Kukris are famous to be the sacred weapon of Burkhas…
But again Kukris are great tools tunred into weapons. The Tuff’s designer was focus on some kind of G-Shock folder. Not a self defense device. Not a sentry removal tool. The Tuff is just a gentleman farmer’s knife designed by one.
By the way, I don’t have any problem to open it fast. I have changed the clip position to tip down carry. Now I can spyderdrop it, holding the blade by the hole and the fuller. It’s as easy and smooth as with my Millie. The heavy handle helps a lot. The lock bar can be harder than other knives. I won’t mind.
The closing is even easier than on my Lionspy. The meat of my thumb catches the lock release with ease. So I can open it fast and close it fast which is a must in safety for hard used tools in difficult environment. My tuff is reliable. Easy to put in play and easy to remove from sight.
This is all I ask from my folders.
So what do you got ? A CPMS3V folder with RIL Lock in a compact package offering great ergos while open.
Now will come the time of testing.
Stay tune for part 2.
In between convexing.
Spyderco Caly3 (khaleesi) C113GGY in Super Blue Steel Sprint Run- Grand pa knife is going high tech.
“Yasuki Hagane steel has been produced in their plant in Shimane prefecture in Japan where the high quality iron sand has been produced for making traditional Japanese swords since ancient times. These are three main premium grade high carbon steels (Shirogami, Aogami and Aogami Super) that have been used for making Japanese made field & kitchen knives. Hitachi metal is also known as the manufacture of high grade premium stainless steel, ATS-34 and ZDP-189.Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.
Now Super Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.”
I’ve never been interested in the Calypso. Call me names but the lock was “old”. Not the smoothest operating tool… as all lockbaks.
But the Calypso and all its offsprings got a common feature: ergonomy. A thin blade (not wide for a Spyderco after all) in a light and pointy package.
The years (decade) go by. The Caly 1.5 turns into a test platform for the Aogami Super with a first Sprint Run. I was very excited when Jur has shown me that absolutely beautiful folder. But alas to much vertical play for me and that, made me step back.
This is the problem with all back locks but with my Caracara chinese made G10 first generation. I remember falling in love with the first XL Cold Steel Clip Point Voyager… vertical Play. Massad Ayoob first Spyderco folder… vertical play. The Mighty Chinook , first and second generation ? Vertical play.
Oh you can live with that.
But I do not like a tool which got moving parts in the palm of my hand when I’m cutting something hard.
The Caly3 in Super Blue Steel got vertical play but much less than the Caly 3.5 I had tested.
Now the Cold Steel Triadlock is curing that “disease”. That’s why they are so pleasant to use and so reliable to chocks like Fred Perrin has shown us by throwing his mini Lawman repetitively (more than a 1000 throws!) without any failure or even any vertical play.
Vertical Play is a curse. I remember Michael Janich’s “Street Steel” book explaining why to go away from any lateral or vertical play in a folder knife. And I believe every single words Mr Janich is writing. Common sense is more precious than adamantium nowadays.
Ok my Caly3 vertical play is minor. And on a short knife with ergos like a boot knife this is not a major problem. I mean if the lock should ever fail (and that vertical play on locks has been noticed on very very strong backlocks) my precious fingers would be protected by the quillons on the blade: when you are holding a Spyderco folding knife, you are holding it mostly by the blade. Giving all strength and all structure stress directly to the blade not “through” a fragile channel: the pivoting handle. The C36 Military was the first to offer that “boot knife” feature. Holding the knife by the blade is something as ancient as the Roman folding knives you can find in archaeological fields. In the ancient times, the handle was considered merely as a sheath not something to hold your tool… So folding knives were used as hand razor: by holding the blade.
So about the Caly3, this means that I don’t “feel” any important play when I cut on a board for example. This is mandatory for me to trust a folding knife and sticking to short fixed blade for EDC (as you perharps know I love short fixed blade, Ian Grenier’ FIne Urban Cancelled Knife, Fred Perrin’s Lagriffe, my Izulas, My Newt Livesay NRG, my wonderful Fred Perrin / Spyderco Streetbeat and my great BRKT Bravo1… (chich is not that small after all).
Ok, the Caly is sheeple friendly. It got a thin, short, not threatening blade and this Sprint Run got also a grey G10 handle and a stainless steel back spacer. It doesn’t scream “TACTICAL KNIFE!!!” like the mighty Cold Steel Recon 1 XL CLip Point… So I can use it in the plate in a restaurant. nobody notice it and it makes the difference as a matter separator.
The Caly3 clip is the wire clip and this is the masterpiece in the clipping design industry. I got the same of my Sages, my Techno, my Slipits, my Pingo, my Dodo, my Chaparral and they are simply the best. Nothing can get close to it. It may look cheap. But they are the best in low profile, and ease of pocketing. (Let me hammer that the clip of the Southard being the worth of all Spyderco’s clip ever made IMHO.)
The Sprint Run of C113 got a non stainless steel blade. This is something to experiment. I love my 1075 and 1095 and my M2 blades to get stain. A patina is a must IMHO. It gives character and low profile to a bad reputation tool. I first enjoy patina on my 1095 Schrade Sharpfinger almost 20 years ago… The blade feels “natural” to react to oxygen and acids… It gives “beautility” to a very personnal tool.
Now the Grey G10 gives also some kind of beautility to the Caly 3. Mine is dirty and I love it that way.I got Fifty shades of grey… (and with the Games of Thrones fans I should score…)
So what to not love in the Caly3 ?
Even closed that folder featuring Sal signature is radiating honesty and confidence. I remember reading an article about a man saving his baby boy from a mountain lion attack with a Spyderco Caly 1.5 knife. This means confidence in your tool.
My Caly3 is reliable. I can trust it when I need it to cut deep and fast. And I can trust it to get stains in warp speed too. No surprise there. Like an Opinel in carbon steel you know how to clean and oil it to keep it far from rust.
The Caly is pointy. Much more than a Techno. It got almost more edge length than a Native.
Ho, there is something I love: the bulging pivot screw on this sprint run. The pivot screws is falling perfectly under your thumb when cutting horizontally. About ergos the knife is held in full grip like a much bigger knife. On the handle, there is place for four fingers even without involving the choil.
The Caly3 is not a all screw construction and …. I don’t mind. I got no plan to dismount it. I have cleaned it by rinsing it under hot water tap.
It so far so good.
Now about Super Blue. I have re-profiled the blade as I was expecting much better sharpness. no the edge is thin and convexed but still… I got a much better sharpness feeling with my AUS8A blades (Cold Steel Voyagers, Recon1 and Code4) or the CPMS3V on my BRKT Bravo 1…. I need more mileage on Super Blue Steel to crown it. So far it could be 1075, I don’t feel the difference.
So guess what ?
To be continued…
I was already in love with Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto. The the Spear Point came. Same greatness in construction, perfectly balanced, mega solid triadlocklock, amazing ergos and razor sharp thin hollow ground blade. This is a beast of a knife !!!
But this time I wanted to have it less “Recon” and more “Workhorse”. So good bye black paint… Same treatment as on my old Izula:
got a lot of knives since the 80’s. I have tested a lot of knives since 1995.
You mileage may vary but like everyone I got my favorite regarding pure cutting power, ease of resharping, ergos…
For example the SPyderco Bushcrafter is one of my joy to use in the wood. My 1990’s ATS 34 Sebenza has proven many time to be reliable in the worst situations.
I’m amazed by my Paramilitary S90V edge holding capabilities.
For push cutting in wood, my Blue Dodo has always a phenemonal performer, the S shap thin edge is getting deep.
Then the thin Michael Walker and the Gayle Bradley have been demonstrating all their power on hard plastic and delicate works.
And after stropping the Cold Steel Recon 1 blade to a dangerous whittling hair level, this big folder is breaking my own records. I was able to cut through the thick butt of plastic bottle twice in parallel cuts with ease. The handle is so confortable, I can apply a lot of strenght and the hollow ground powerful blade separate material like in butter.
I’m really realy impressed and will continue my testing.
I have received this knife for my B Day from The Knife Connection. (Excellent service as always.)
This is the version without the “Hump” and I have chosen a weatherproof leather sheath. “…a genuine Bark River Sheath features heavy, top grain cow hide leather and Bark River Knives’ waterproofing treatment called Extreme Environment Protection. The EEP treatment features include: Water Resistant, Mold Resistant, Mildew Resistant, High Temperature Resistant, Will Not Dry Out. Unlike other treatments, EEP goes completely through the thickness of the leather leaving no room for water to damage your sheath. The finish can be maintained indefinitely with Obanuf’s Heavy Duty Leather Preservative. The treatment is guaranteed for 1 year, but should last for years.”
Beautiful convex grind. Excellent balance.
This knife is screaming to be used.
“The Bravo 1 Field Version takes the Bravo 1 to a new level of versatility for those looking for a superb outdoor knife. Whether you are field dressing large game, battoning wood or building a shelter, the Bravo 1 Field Knife will handle your chores with ease & beg for more! As a direct descendant of the Bravo 1, the Bravo 1 Field Knife builds on the sterling reputation of the Bravo 1 by providing a tough, great handling field knife that is sure to please the most descriminating outdoorsman/woman!”
Now this is a serious contender to me beloved Spyderco Bushcrafter as it has more momentum due to its weight behind the edge.
More later but enjoy the pics:
Cutting frozen chicken breast like butter.
The first thing wich stands out in this folder is how flat and confortable it is to pocket. This is the kind of knives you totally forget once clipped.
The second thing is how easy it is to put in action. The oversize hole and the relatively heavy butt handle and the smooth action make it a great spyder drop opener if your carry it (like myself) with the clip mounted near the pivot. The grap the hole between the thumb end the index and in a fluid motion the knife is open in your hand, ready for any chore.
Now the thin blade is a laser. Again the thin cuts through all materials submitted to it with ease and, good news, the little vertical play of the backlock seems to have disappeared with the breaking in and the constant use. Now the knife feels rock solid. Also the thin edge on the thin blade doesn’t need a lot of force to cut deep.
The ZDP 189 edge seems to lose its hair popping sharp sharpness fast but the working edge seems to last forever. Another good news, leather bely and compound is enough to bring back the hair popping edge in a matter of seconds. So far I was not able to ruin the edge: no chipping, no bending, no excessive dulling. My edge is polished and convexed and it cuts, cuts, cuts:
Some very hard cardboard tube is no match for the Stretch thin blade.
Also I got no discoloration or pitting on a ZDP189 blade which has been used a lot in the kitchen. It has been cleaned by rinsing under water and wipe just after.
All in all the Stretch is an incredible high performer. It’s relatively long blade makes it really useful for a wide specter of chore and his polyvalence will be hard to match. This is really great folder to EDC.