Another “late at the party” kind of review as JD gave me the chance to test some of his knives: the Lil Roadie is one of them and what a clever sharp folding object.
Being a pure Sal Glesser’s design it is always interesting to study it closer. Sal is an inventor and he always try to have a very pragmatic approach to all his knives. They are not looker but highly functional separating matters tools.
The story around its design is well detailed on Spyderco site here.
Some decades later this little knife is still a workhorse made to be legal in many countries where a band can tour.
Roadies needs little tools ready for anything like leatherman or small knives.
I use to offer my roadie friends Swiss Tech keys for example.
The blade got a signature hole (useless) and a distinctive “Double Dent” feature and a large choil. This is a work-poney not a display knife. It really look like a dodo (the bird).
The blade is thick enough to be relatively well abuse and the cobalt alloy steel is not hard to keep really sharp.
The Roadie is a tricky little critter which can be easily one with one hand thanks to his Dodo’s like beak. You hold the knife by the dent and with a flick of the wrist you can have it open.
Manufactured in Maniago the contoured handle is made Zytel. It catches well the light.
So Let me pocket it and write about it later in this pages… To be continued !
Like I have said in my previous review of that venerable folding knife :
It has taken me a very long time before to get any interest in the Police model.
My first real step in the wide Spyderco world was the Terzuola Starmate and the Millie. The Starmate was equipped with some super new steel the CPMS60V named CPM440V then. It was the beginning of the powder steels and Spyderco was experimenting on a bold plateforme even using (like the Millie) hidden nested liners !
The actual Police with its “non nested” liners is thinner than the Terzuola C55.
Meanwhile in the 90’s, new Japanese steel VG-10 was used on their first fixed blade “the Moran” and the Seki made Police was then “stuck in GIN-1 or GIN-2″… Ah, I was and I’m still a “steel whore” (a term of self qualification of Sal Glesser) after all. I was unfaithful and really attracted by M2HSS version of the AFCK… Not for the patina (as they were PVD covered) but for the benefits of getting a thin pointy blade with more lateral strength than usual stainless steels of that time. As much as I loved the AFCK, the long version BM800 was “plagued” by a titanium linerlock which was less solid than the short version with its stainless liners.
I have later used (a lot) an “oval hole” BM806 with a much stronger lock and D2 tool steel blade.
K390 is a wonderful steel. Strong even not as strong as CPM3V found in the Tuff. I have used the 4th Police as an Ice pick with no fear of breakage.
Like the famous Opinel: thin blades are such a joy to use. A super K390 gives strength to a thin ground blade and turns the “old LEO tool” into a workhorse designed for ranchers. I was disappointed the Spyderco Powerlock was not used in the new Police but, well, the Police feels so solid: I can’t complain.
Now I would do a maximum of lobbyism to get a Nilakka Sprint Run using K390. This steel used is purely a pleasure to keep razor sharp only by stropping it on leather.
Now for the con, I have found the grind is not really even. There is some sort of wave on both side of the blade. I have found it when I was convexing the edge and on light reflexion. This is purely cosmetic.
Let’s keep in mind, K390 is certainly a very hard steel to work on. I have noticed the same waving on my Pingo…
Anyway I can explain now that passionated new love for that venerable knife. It is too long to be acceptable for the Law abide citizen but, what a great tool ! It is much better than my beloved K2: less hot spots and much better blade design from Sal.
This is the same kind of love I got with the extraordinary Bowie from Ed Schempp which shares the same thinness blade wise. I would militate for a K390 Bowie sprint run ! But it seems “Made In Taiwan” sprint runs are rare.
Thinness is good ! Look at that Strudel ! 😉
Here we got a “potentially staining” steel with great (extraordinary) qualities enhanced by a thin thin blade and thin thin geometry saved by a great heat treatment, all is delivered in a slim rock solid package hence the Steel Cheetah’s nickname from my initial review.
This 4th incarnation is an outstanding heir of a great 1980’s design. Sal Glesser is pushing the limits of folding cutlery quietly and gently:
“Integrity is being good when no one is watching.” Such an inheritance !
Victim of his own success Blade4sell have taken almost 6 months to send to me two titanium clips. But again the perfection is at the rendez vous.
I have been able to use the original screws on the Police but I had 3 sets of screws (one black) provided with the two clips.
As you can notice the clips got that parallel lip at the tip which makes them less prone to scratch furniture or car paints. It goes easy in and out of the pocket. Nothing catches.
Let’s hope Blade4sell will be able to hire soon to honor their orders faster. But they are very honest and were OK to refund me. It’s good to see good artisan standing behind their production and helping their overseas customers. Highly recommended.
You can notice how the screw flushes with the clip. Nothing to wear your pockets.
It works great on the Police and one The Paramillie.
The Paramillie can be open with a finger flip when the Police is spyderdropped.
It is almost invisible and nothing telegraphes the size of that folder: very convenient.
Like on my Millie, it helps a lot for big folders.
This post is destined to be update with old scan I will found.
I was looking for an old Police/cheetah ads for my previous review…
These one are from American Blade in 1981 and Blade in 1982.
I remember one of the very first advertising of the Clip It collection of Spyderco. The Police was presented in its stainless handle serrated edge version of that time (80’s…) and it was written something like: “Pure Performance” … The cheetah is a good example of incredible fast and lean animal and as this knife, it is thin and light and totally performance oriented.
The venerable Police model designed by Sal Glesser is at its 4th version. Born in the early 80’s it is now part of Spyderco’s Legendary knives. I remember seeing some models with “Pride Integrity and Guts” engraved on their blade: they were the very first. This knife can be spotted in so many Hollywood movies, mostly in the hands of bad guys and even in the excellent classical Spike Jonze’s musical video for the Beastie Boys: Sabotage ! The stainless serrated hollow ground blade was really catching the lights hence it’s success for a dramatic entry in various films !
I was never a real fan of the first 3 versions of the Police models even if I recognized it has a valuable tool. In my book, the Tantaka was the true heir of those years. The fourth version caught my eye as it was promoting a new steel the KC390.
Many times I had noticed some vertical play on “Made In Japan” folders from Spyderco and decided to buy one if only I could test it before.
But this one came from a Massdrop sale and I was very happy to get one with zero blade play in any direction. Mine feels solid and knowing how strong a good backlock is, this flat long folder is really impressive. So it was about time to review this venerable classic folder which is delivered with a plain edge only and K390 … but why choosing a “staining “steel high performance steel when the Police as always been serrated and stainless ?
“We make quite a few designs for the Law Enforcement market at this time, so the design for Police use is (not?) necessarily the case anymore, like it was in 1984. I designed the Police 4 to include what I would like in a knife, more than what a LEO might like. It’s still a kissing cousin, and large for most people. I widened the blade, enlarged the hole and selected a steel that I like to use. The design’s success in the marketplace is unknown at this time. But I get to have one. ” Sal Glesser on Spyderco Forums in 2016.
Also the blade is perfectly centered. The construction is the same as my Endura and Delica, sandwiching the steel liners with the handle material. Here it’s black G10 on skeletonized liners: the knife doesn’t feel heavy at all but very well balanced and fast in the hands.
The long flat blade is still intimidating while deployed. Let’s see some comparaison pictures. Notice the black could of forming patina in the middle.
Here with Ed Schempp’s Bowie which is one of the best blade/handle ratio folder in the Spyderco collection, full flat ground versus high saber flat ground. The Bowie has been convexed to my taste. The large choil on the police is confortable though.
Here compared to the wonderful Manly Peak, another thin backlock lightsaber. The Manly has not been really convexed; it is really thin ground ! With its S90V blade, better edge/handle ratio and zero blade play construction, it is a real contender to the fourth version of the Police.
They share the same thin stock blade. The Manly (on the right) is even pushing the envelop a little further by proposing hidden nested liners for the same handle thickness.
It is obvious the Delica and the Police are sharing the same DNA even if the Delica main difference is the absence of real choil to choke up the blade. I have both in tip down carry position for easy spyderdrops opening. Here is the Knifecenter special edition of the Delica.
The Delica still got the Boy indentation on the lock when the Police is now leaner. This raffinement has never made a real difference to me. The spring on the Police model is quite strong actually so no worry about unlocking it will chocking the handle.
Here you can notice how longer the Millie handle is compared to the Police. Also the belly of the Millie is much more pronounced. I think now the Police 4 has been also designed to be used while wearing gloves (one of the Military plusses). Both finger holes are equally wide with a very pronounced blade’s hump. The Police’s choil is even wider than the Millie’s !
Also the Military blade is thicker as is its handle. The Police is perhaps more “urban” oriented: it is a large folder easy to wear with any suits.
Here you can admire how the Police is a steel cheetah: lean and mean. The clip was mounted that way and I was tempted to add a deep carry clip but eventually, the spyderdrop is the more handy way to open that large folder so the clip is now mounted near the pivot.
This thin blade enhanced by a great steel (K390) is pushing that venerable model to new heights. We are far from the serrated hollow ground model of the 80’s which was respecting special requirements from the LEO. “It was designed to have an as large as possible blade built into a thin, equally sized handle. Because of this, Save and Serve professionals continue buying the Police Model as an essential tool for their trade.”
It is a flat and elegant design with a very clever purpose: to insert easily the knife inside the pocket when tip down carried.
Some sanding was required to get the handle even smoother for easier pocketing.
Aerodynamism is one thing, pocketodynamism is another.
Again, never breath that dust it is toxic for your lungs.
“”The benefits of G-10 as a handle material are many. It can support a building, be drilled and sawed. It’s doesn’t retain heat or cold, shuns chemicals, discoloration and peeling. “
And that makes it long folder which can easily be pocketed. Carried tip down, the handle shape pushes my wallet away when inserted and allow very quick and positive spyderdrop openings. They are four positions to mount the clip on the Police since the 3rd version in 2008.
Next step, with some diamonds, it was time to reprofile the blade to a Manly Peak level and to thin the edge by “deshouldering”. Not an easy task as K390 is a bear to sharpen.
The occasion to picture the blade before to scratch it.
The light reflections on the blade shows it has already started a mild patina while being stored.
Funny how it is hard to catch on photography but the Urban got the convexed grind I want to achieve for the Police. Both knives are signed by Sal Glesser’s logo.
I have check how the patina was easy to remove before going back to sharpening.
Here you can see the dust formed by the diamonds of a DC4.
K390 is a very wear resistant steel…
So slowly it is deshouldered but I will be obliged to go back to the blade later. It is, for me, like painting a ceiling… I always come back for another layer… 😉
All right, the performance are already promising. The plastic Bottle Butt is as thick as the blade itself but it has been able to got through it right in the middle. Again, zero blade play on that huge folder: very happy. Same punition for the bottle neck. The Police shows how powerful it is and that the recipe of “thin blade + super steel” is always a winner for high performance knives. More to come, as this one is going to be user !
I have mounted a deep carry clip from Blade4sell.
Long story short: opening the Manly WASP with two hands is tedious compared to all one hand opening knives available but the pleasure to use such an agressive cutter worst it ! So let’s be short !
Slide #2: I have gently rounded the shoulder of the edge making it even thinner: no chipping or rolling. It tells a lot about the quality of the Bulgarian heat treatment !
Slide #3: The cutting action is absolutely accurate and it slips gently in any material it is confronted to. Peeling an apple is a child play. Also the hard plastic is no challenge for the thin hard WASP’s edge.
It is just fun to “test” that little folder on different chores !! What else ? It is not threatening so even sheeples can borrow it. Also the deep carry clip does wonder.
I have also noticed how the edge is resilient to the plate’s ceramic ! Repeated hard contact on the plate did not affect the sharpness: this is a first for me.
All in all the knife is slow in its opening with two hands but once ready to cut, it is a marvel ! It can bring a smile on your face when you see how easily it can separate matters. It is a keeper.
BTW mine seems to be the 2019 version with no contact between the blade and the spring when closed.
This is the first Benchmade’s review for a long time. Why ? Not because of the quality of Les De Asis company’s products but because I was not really excited by their production in the last decade after a huge love with their AFCK back in 90’s, and also with Nimravus and all those blades in M2HS which is a tungsten high speed steel, the granddaddy of CPM M4.
I still got a AFCK in M2HSS and browsing that blog, you will find it here.
So here we go, two words has caught my attention on that new Benchmade: Puukko and CPM3V.
“CPM 3V is a high toughness, wear-resistant tool steel made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It is designed to provide maximum resistance to breakage and chipping in a high wear-resistance steel. It offers impact resistance greater than A2, D2, Cru-Wear, or CPM M4, approaching the levels provided by S7 and other shock resistant grades. CPM 3V is intended to be used at 58/60 HRC in applications where chronic breakage and chipping are encountered in other tool steels, but where the wear properties of a high alloy steel are required.” Source Crucible.
C Mn Si Cr Mo V
0.80 0.30 1.00 7.50 1.30 2.75
To quote my friend Max Wedge:
“3V loses 1/3 of the toughness going from 58hrc to 60 hrc (still 1/3 above A2 at 60 hrc, and A2 is indestructible… almost). Both 4V and Cruware start to shine around 60-62 Hrc… so, 3V for choppers, 4V or Cruware for slicers, Cruware having best corrosion resistance ( trait appreciated by soldiers & foresters)”
So this tough short blade made of chopper steel is at a very good bargain !! Let see what it is all about.
The leather sheath is beautiful even (if there is a loop in the stitching… I will upgrade it into a kydex for pocket carry.) and cleverly designed as a dangler. You can remove the loop to transform it into a classical sheath.
There is a place for sparkling rod in the Bushcraft fashion. I don’t care about carry a knife of that size attached to my belt. I prefer to have it inside my pocket or my bag.
The blade is an eye candy for some reason it reminds me the small SOG Seal Pup knife with no false edge but that’s me… Is this a Puukko ?
That handle is made in some kinf of thermorun… but it is rubberized Santoprene is a soft, non-hygroscopic elastomer which exhibits excellent surface appearance, a durable soft-touch feel, excellent colorability and excellent “processability”… made by Exxon.
It is made from underground forgotten dinosaurs and jurassic biomass aka “petroleum” hence the look of scales on it ? Because that handle looks like some sort of snake or cold blood creature. I love it.
Now is this a scandi ground blade ? Nope. There is a secondary bevel. Is the knife sharp ? Yep, very sharp but could be better. Later/soon on that.
It is a hidden tang construction and you can see the steel in the lanyard hole. This knife is solid as CPM3V is really tough !!
Hidden tang are great when you work in cold weather, protecting your hand from a frozen steel.
That blade is short but handy: it asks to be used hard like… Snake Plissken’s hard actually ! Because 3V is magic in toughness ! 😀
Compared to a Mora or the Urban Hunter (from Pekka Tuominen) the Benchmade 200 stands its ground.
Here are two vision of CPM3V industrial use. Ed Schempp Spyderco Tuff is pure business. So that BM200 should be even tougher as a fixed blade.
Teamed with a Manly Wasp, you got a great combo.
But a puukko (in my book) needs a thinner edge and it is time to scratch that blade to de-shoulder all that. Diamonds do scratches but then scratches will be polished later. Thinner convexed edge is destin to go deep and get twisted; this is a tough steel.
Diamonds, ceramic and leather. Who needs more ? CPM 3V is really like chewing gum you need abrasive medium to form that convex edge.
A some compound with the leather stropping is mandatory to erase those scratches
See ? Now it is convexed and will be smooth on whittling wood. No worry for that edge stability again 3V is perfect for that use.
Standing next my Serrata which is my only naturally serrated knife.
So now, I just need some white ceramic to keep it sharp and some stropping. It is ready for testing. The Puukko shape is more for me a “Coutelas de Rahan” shape actually (French people will understand but here is the link: Rahan in Wikipedia.
making this little tough knife very appealing to bring it everywhere.
Everywhere is a good point to start. 😉
In winter we all need vitamin C, after a long wait I get my shot !!
My Viking friend Dan Sharpe has been the one who has injected me the Manly Virus. First one was the Manly Peak, the Comrade… And with my Welsh pal Wayne, both were keen to have the chance to carry their Manly knives legally in the UK: three inches blade, no lock and a deep carry clip. By luck some people of Manly were reading our conversation on our Facebook Group and voilà: the WASP was born.
But our Bulgarian friends were even more clever than this… Let see why. First picture, please ?
Here is my Manly family. The Wasp is the shorter. All are in S90V and with a very thin edge.
The stout WASP is showing proudly is wide belly. This is a powerful combinaison: belly and ultra thin edge.
The cleverness of having the Wasp steel liners hidden inside the G10. The Comrade got thicker G10 slabs too keeping is role of hardchore slipjoint.
You got the best tech of the Peak and the Comrade in a compact tool.
Thin edge is evident on simple tasks like peeling a fruit. Thos Manly knives are razor sharp out of the box and their S90V is very well het treated: no chipping and no bending. I have used hard my WASP in plates and the ceramic was not able to mark the blade. This is really amazing.
I’m starting to think that Manly S90V is as tough as 3V !! (Benchmade CPM 3V Pukko pictured)
The WASP is not threatening at all on a table. It can be used in a restaurant or amount non knives friends with no problem. I know, I only got compliment about it.
Yes, that wide thin belly edge is really powerful. It goes deep and steady in any material. Of course the slip joint mechanism is the same as the Comrade with zero play and 4 steps to avoid closing on the finger. Also the guard is an excellent protection. You really will need your two hands to open it.
I’m not crazy about the “look” of the screw but this is consistent in all my Manly Family. It’s really “cosmetic” but I think this knife desserve a more beautiful screw. No big deal. The Orange G10 is perfect and I won’t need to sand it. The G10 on the Comrade was more aggressive… The ergonomy is absolutly great for a short knife with no lock. So far it is a joy to use. There is no “square” feel like on the comrade. It is really close to the Peak in term of flat handle.
Here is a close up on the wonderful deep carry clip, the same which is found on the Peak. It works great.
The Comrade clip is the only “proud” clipped of the family. But again it is logic with the way the Comrade has been design as a slip joint tank for outdoors applications.
The Wasp is more on the stealth side but its belly near the pivot makes it really powerful in pushcuts I do when cutting wood to make a pole. More to come after some use, but this one is ready for travelling is Danemark !
Anyway all those Manly have thin edge, great action, and wonderfully heat treated S90V blade. The Wasp is the proud son of the Comrade and the Peak. Now I hope a 3 inches version of the Peak will be proposed.
In the ease of maintenance department few knives are easy to live with, the Spydiechef is part of that very small club. You can pocket it while it is still wet. For a travelling knife this is a must and the reason I have taken it for that Xmas Journey.
Reuniting with an old friend: the 110V CF Native.
When used in the kitchen or on the dining table, knives get dirty and the food is dried and hard to detached. Avoid the use of the green back of sponges or you could scratch the blade’s finish badly.
Hot cheese from that Napolitan Pizza is part of that dirty equation but the plate is also not the edge best friend as ceramic is harder than knives and will ruin any razor sharp knife. You should cut with an angle of 45° on the plate to avoid any real damage.
The Spydiechef is a actually whittling friendly. LC200N is not losing its edge as fast as H1 and I was able to work on wooden rods with ease.
Of course mine has been enhanced with some gentle convexed edge.
But really that knife is really happy in the wood. It has not the most ergonomic handle for hard wood cutting but the gentle belly helps a lot in push cuts.
LC200N is really easy to keep fresh on ceramic. no need of diamonds like on other Hyper Steels.
My Para3 Maxamet Sprint run needed a unique way to express how hardchore the Maxamet blade was to me.