So where do we begin? It must be twenty years . . .
Long story short, it was the beginning of forums on the Internet.
When someone in the tactical new world order of the 90’s named Ernest Emerson was promoting his Tiger Claw… Saying he got that clever idea for a neck knife…
Wait a minute… Ernest invented that ?
Immediately I was reacting on the threads asking questions about that design I already knew from the articles in La Passion des Couteaux. Ernest was bragging he was the inventor of Lagriffe ! Immediately his groupies and especially Kevin “Mad Dog” McClung once king of the forums attacked France, French, our flag, our way of life… McClung was so proud of his lack of knowledge… He even asked one of his friend working in the FBI, a guy named “Hilton” on the forum to buy a Fred Perrin original Lagriffe and write an ugly review about it !! Shame on you “Hilton” you were such a groupie with a brown tongue.
Reading the review nothing was good for Hilton and Emerson was a true American God who give a huge chance to a little Frenchie …
Well I did not know Fred at that time but I had contacted him some weeks after my lonely war against Mad Dog and his groupies… Fred told me that Ernest had contacted him and was ready to pay royalties.
Well, then we became friends and Fred was visiting me every week to show me his last productions and we have started to write review on Geocities about the knives we loved ! It was a great fun. It was long time before digital photography: I was using my SVHS camera and extracted the frames to get images I could publishes. I was also experimenting animated gif…
So La Griffe was the source of this blog, it was even the wallpaper of our pages.
Here the review back in those early Internet times written by Michael Janich:
“Fred Perrin’s “La Griffe,” (02/1999)
Recently, I had the opportunity to become the lucky owner of two knives made by noted
French knife maker Fred Perrin. Although I hadn’t had any previous exposure to Fred’s
work, I had seen a few articles about him and knew that he was an devoted practitioner of
defensive knifecraft and the Filipino martial arts. Since competency in knife fighting is a
unique (and unfortunately rarely seen) quality among knife makers, I had high
expectations for Fred’s work. I was not disappointed.
The knives I received were two variants of Perrin’s “La Griffe” (meaning “claw” in
French) model. Both knives are single edged and hollow ground on only one side of the
blade. The handles are a unique pistol-grip shape with a large hole at the ricasso. The
smaller of the two knives features wooden handle scales, while the larger is of one-piece
steel construction. Both knives came in well-made adjustable kydex sheaths configured for
neck carry. Also included in the package was a training version of the smaller knife made
from a high-strength fiber-reinforced plastic. Like I said, knife makers who are true knife
fighters look at things a little differently. The inclusion of the trainer immediately
convinced me that Perrin was serious about his work.
Although the Griffe is an unconventional design, its purpose, as well as Perrin’s brilliance,
become apparent as soon as you grip it in your hand. What you notice is that with your
index finger placed through the hole in the ricasso, the knife becomes a natural extension
of your hand. By placing your thumb on the back of the blade, the natural motor skills of
the hand are transferred directly to the blade, allowing you to use it almost instinctively as
a cutting and slashing weapon.
With a subtle shift of the handle, the butt of the knife can be placed directly against the
meaty part of the palm. This suppors the handle firmly and indexes the point with the
knuckles of the fist. A natural punching motion now produces a powerful and accurate
thrust with the point of the blade. With the handle braced in this way, you can generate
tremendous power, and the hole in the blade provides a secure grip for withdrawing the
blade from the target. The hole also allows you to open your hand without dropping the
knife (try that with any other knife!) and provides a great index for a quick draw from the
Speaking of drawing, the curved handle of the Griffe design helps keep the knife flat when
suspended from the neck and provides a great tactile index for the blade edge. Many neck
knives have symmetrical handles that are impossible to orient by tactile sense alone. If the
cord on these knives becomes twisted, you can easily draw the knife with the edge facing
the wrong way. Thanks to its unique design, you can draw and orient the Griffe by feel
Basically, the Griffe design combines the best features of a single-edged boot knife and
push dagger and improves upon them with the unique ricasso hole. In case you’re worried
that the hole will weaken the blade, a close examination of both knives revealed that they
are differentially heat treated. A clear temper line (like the hamon on Japanese swords)
was apparent on both knives, showing that the working part of the knife was substantially
harder than the ricasso and handle. When was the last time you saw this kind of attention
to detail on a neck knife?
In summary, Fred Perrin’s La Griffe is a unique, practical, and totally functional defensive
knife design. These days whenever I choose to wear a neck knife, it’s a La Griffe.
CHAPTER TWO: “ME MYSELF AND EYE” 16th of February 1999.
A self portrait of Fred Perrin’s La Griffe !
assisted by Sundey the Cat, specialist in claws since her prime age.
I don’t want to present to you a self evaluation of my own design.
Because it’s almost impossible to talk objectively about something so personal as my GRIFFE. (The Claw in french…)
But a lot of people come to me and ask me: “Why ? Where it comes from ? Where is your hairbrush ?”
But seriously, about the design, I needed that tool for myself and there were no equivalent for real self defense and everyday chores.
During the 80’s, I have used a lot of knives. Some were good some could but I was always looking for a short blade, with an excellent grip, with a total security (like opening my hand without losing my knife, and without using Superglue!).
As a “martial improviser”, I wanted also to use all the grips I knew with no more than 2 inches of rigid blade.
I was looking around the Kerambit and equivalent but I was disappointed
because the ring was at the other side of the handle and it was too big.
With some of my “Hyena Brothers” (close friends) we began to try, to use and to abuse, different designs. The main idea was to put the ring between the blade and the handle.
(And it was long time before the new Gerber Cameleon…)
Then we have tried many blade shapes and handles.
Finally the classic Griffe was born at the end of the year 1990.
1/ A fixed blade is always ready.
2/ Small and easy to conceal
3/ Small edge means great control on razor edge.
4/ Short blade because with long blade I could kill to much easily (sorry but that’s true !)
5/ The ring hole is the security belt. I can climb a tree with my knife in my hand, ready to be used.
Almost impossible to disarmed. (I talk here about real combat situation as during sparing tests…)
The handle ,à la “Derringer Gun” : one finger in the ring, two on the handle and the little finger at the butt.
This is what I always wanted for Christmas !
I can grasp my opponent, i can hit with hand open and then I close my fist and the Griffe gets in action !!!
It is so easy to check and then strikes back.
This is the power of that design. You can check, grasp, use all the power of your hand and the blade sticks in your hand, following your movement.
The moment your opponent will see the Griffe, if he sees it, it will be to late.
Now, my first customers were policemen, soldiers, alpinists, sailors, firemen and dockers…
But soon the concept “Take it, pull it, use it …” has become famous toward women and especially my wife and my wife’s friends.
She: “Ooooh c’est joli !”
Myself : “Grrrrrrroal!”
The neck carry was also a must for me. Whatever you wear, Tuxedo or Santa Claws ‘s “suit” !
Neck knives are really useful when they are light !
Some people around me feel naked without it even consider it as lucky charm.
My Griffe ?
It’s my ” #@&$¤%” signature !
Today while attempting the 29th SICAC, the oldest Parisian knife show, I came across Pierre Supper’s table to check the last Mid Tech Fred Perrin Concept releases. Pierre is responsable of all the industrial production of Fred.
Of course, as a fan as I was immediately attracted by a Perrin/Janich fixeblade name the Fusion: an heavy short knife with a thick spine !!
A very solid massive fixed blade with an aim at self defense.
Michael Janich, like Fred Perrin are both instructors in the way to defend yourself against knives but also to use this sharp tools as equalizers. They bot have a very pragmatic approach. Fred always says that the best defense equipment are runner shoes for running fast and away of danger for example.
Looking on the table they were so many wonders.
A Bowie La griffe. This is a Chisel 440C tool.
Damascus Mini and Normal !
The famous Shark !
Le Shark folding version which is actually a friction folder.
Le Héron, another very unique concept short blade !
The Big Hole Concept in action !
The Mini Pic !
And suddenly the Love at First Sight:
A beautiful double ground La Griffe !!
Eventually I have come back home
This new industrial La Griffe got only one sharp edge, all the others are rounded and D2 steel is stone washed to an exquisite finish.
Fred Perrin is a veteran of the French Army and expert in survival under extreme conditions. He has designed a knife that is the epitome of simplicity, efficiency, and effectiveness. It is used by military and police operators throughout the world and is widely used in the open ocean fishing fleets of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. With the addition of the new variation, the WWR model, it is now the perfect emergency companion for climbers, kayakers, and white water rafters.
Fred is one of the world’s premiere “real world” fighting instructors. This fact is directly reflected in his bare bones no-holds barred style of knife making. His attitude and philosophy have propelled him to design some of the best and most affordable combat knives in the business. Fred comes from a diverse background of French Military Special Forces service and a life long study of martial arts and weapons systems.
Fred Perrin is a highly sought after instructor in Europe and a highly recognized and respected knife maker to those who use and carry knives in high risk environments.
You can notice the temper line on this picture.
On this one: 3 temper lines !
From top to bottom:
a custom forged bushcrafter Lagriffe with a 1075 convex flat ground chisel blade.
a bowie Lagriffe chisel in 1075.
the new La Griffe Dark double flat ground in D2 Tool Steel.
a double hollow ground delux custom in 1075
a three time tempered classic version in 1075.
“…I couldn’t believe it either until I held one, I had similar reservations up till that point too.
This is a very utilitarian knife, it’s made to be used. The ring helps you hold onto it even if you’ve heavily jarred the blade…
…It looks like a ring knife, but it’s not. The ring (index in, forward grip; pinkie in, reverse grip) is a retention feature. I have one and let me tell you it’s not going to leave your hand unless you want it to. The handle sits within your fist and gives you a very solid feel.”
NOT ONLY A NECK KNIFE:
“Fred Perrin often carries it in the belt (his kydex sheath is set up with a strap to go over the top of your pants and the strap grabs under your belt so when you draw the sheath doesn’t move) for a reverse grip. This means the blade is down and when you draw you have the edge up, facing your knuckles. His moves were very fast, I don’t know what martial art he studies so I can’t tell you for sure. But what he told me was that he made these knives to compliment that art. A lot of stabbing moves or it seemed to this untrained eye…”
“La Griffe is Fred Perrin trademark and is a concept of its own.
It comes in a variety of styles and lengths and his 100% handmade. Every has a temper line and comes with a kydex sheath. A true utility fighter, maybe the last knife you’ll ever want to own. 100% hand crafted in France. Copied by many, never equaled. Employed by members of the French Secret Services…” LACI SZABO
The only companies which got Fred Perrin’s authorization to make a Lagriffe version are mentioning him in the description of their knife. To my knowledge here they are:
Emerson Knives for the Tiger Claw.
Spyderco for the SPOT and SWICK
Cold Steel for the Cross Guard and
Bastinelli knives for the coming Raptor.
If they are any other manufacturers who mention “Fred Perrin’s design”, he has given his autorisation to reproduce his pattern.
The main defender of inventors is an inventor himself: Sal Glesser. He will never use any design or inventions without mentionning and paying royalties to the source inventor. Sal does that for Emerson’s Wave for exemple but also for the way Fred Perrin used a hole in a neck knife before neck knives were in fashion…
Sal also give credits to locks inventors and pay royalties to them.
This is respect as Fred also shows respect to inventors and forgotten knifemakers.
And here is the Bastinelli Raptor a prototype destined to be produced in 2019.
This one will be my 5th Paramillie 2, so it is a well known plateforme but the offer was to great to pass: a CPM Cruwear blade and a smooth black G10 handle: another exclusive run from the Knifecenter which is synonym of of a great attention to detail. This sprint run is absolutely flawless and its operation is smooth like butter. You really feel in your hand one of the greatest all-terrain EDC version ever made by Spyderco, no more no less. You can also check my previous review of the Knifecenter Smooth S90V Native 5.
Perfectly centered and the grind lines just great. Golden is getting better and better through the years, it is like a real jewel of a “tactical knife”. Sal and Aric can be proud of that one !
This sprint run got smooth black G10 handles but pardon my French, I do love my edges even smoother than that. It’s really a matter of personal choice but the relation with my tools goes through the finger and the palm of my hands.
So OK It was really a matter of minutes just to round a bit the G10, as I was not obliged to sand all the slabs. So it was an minor adjustment.
The edge is already thin, So I cannot really improve it.
CPM Cruwear is great for stropping: a mirror edge is done very easily.
It is just the first try at deshouldering, the factory edge is still there and I want to test it that way.
This is not my first CPM Cruwear blade as my Grey Millie “Gandalf” was my first.
The knife operates so smoothly I have decided to carry it tip up and have installed a short deep carry clip which disappears under my ring finger once deployed. My intention is also to use the version of the Paramillie 2 hard so I want to hold it by the pivot without a clip coming in the way.
More to come soon.
I always believe in personalizing your own tools. I also love how titanium can turn sweet under the fingers. So here I am on this afternoon testing different sandpapers on handles.
Eventually I have found that 800 grid is more than enough to make the frame and edges standing out. This is what I was looking for, this feel of old denim.
Of course I can always go back to it and by using scotchbrit refining the finish but I wanted something rough.
The Spydiechef was the first to be sanded. The idea is to keep always the same direction.
On the Spyderco Tuff the effect can be more dramatic for a much more steampunk look.
I’m quite happy with final results.
So let’s try that on the Falcon !
As you know my experience with 52100 has been enhanced with the owning of a great Paramillie 2 Sprint Run. This steel is staining and pitting just by gazing at it hence the forced patina I have done to protect the pivot’s hidden part.
But then ? After almost a year of rotation how 52100 has behaved ?
“52100 will take a very keen edge. What is often called “sticky sharp” or “a hungry edge.” said Sal in March 2018. He also said he wanted a Millie in 52100 to be used as Mountain knife.
And this is true. Like SuperBlue steel ! Those folding razor steel are flirting with lightsabers and are strong. Of course you don’t use your folders like a fixed blade as the pivot and lock can be weaker than a tang. “Batoning” (if any) with a folder should be made with the blade unlocked to avoid any stress on the locking mechanism. But lateral blade jolting inside the cutting medium is commun. I do that in plastics when It got resistance but it can happen inside a wooden knot too. So lateral strength especially on a thin pointy blade like the Millie/paramillie and Para3 is not a luxury as is also edge stability.
But the greatest joy and satisfaction in owning a 52100 blade is in its honing. This steel is made for leather stropping. In two passes it already get back to razor. Of course, I had convexed the blade to a very thin edge. In a simple 2 minutes round, after a full day of using, your knife is back to uncanny sharpness. This is so satisfying !!
The thick bottom of any plastic plastic soda bottle is my favorite test for geometry and bite as it can collapse under the force if not thin enough. The Nilakka is the queen in that game. But my full flat ground blade are all convexed to achieve powerful and controlled cuts. The thinnest of the bunch are my 72100 et CPM M4.
Ghost my CPM M4 millie has been used on various cutting duty involving food and grease as has been my 52100 Paramillie. I don’t do cutting ropes tests or anything which can be numbered, I go with the feeling. Even if I enjoy reading those tests it’s “quantity” over “quality” as a blade is 33% steel 33% heat treatment and 33% blade geometry. Cutting hard wood, looking and touching the wood’s grain and the cut fibers and how the edge behave when twisted inside is my way ad as 52100 is also used in razors: shaving sticks of hard wood is done with ease and control.
For Ed Fowler (grand manitou of forging 52100) when carefully forged and heat treated, this is the most versatile and dependable steel available to the knife industry. He feels that a man who depends on his knife deserves and needs the most reliable knife possible that will not bend easily or break when he needs it the most. A knife that can be sharpened easily and is friendly to his hand.
Ed got a very oldtimer advice for keeping his 52100 blade rust free:
“Any oil will keep rust from the blade, many times I simply apply the oil from the side of my nose or from behind my ear…”
One thing is certain: the more you use your 52100 blade, the more you check it and oil it with your hands.
Ed is not stranger to folding knives as he has teamed up with Ron Appleton and forged the blade out of 52100 for his “Chub” in 2001. Ron wanted to create a folding knife that would be capable of withstanding the rigorous demands of a straight blade user.
Our friend Ed Schempp is another fan of 52100 here what he was saying about it in 2005
“52100 is a very good steel. Ed Fowler has spent a life time tweaking this steel to improve performance. With multiple thermal cycles, normalizing and interrupted quenches, and low temp forging has accomplished and extremely fine grained steel.
Most of the time a good smith can further refine the grain on production steel. Some of the grain can be smaller then but not of the homogenous size that Crucible attains in their CPM products.
This translates to a finer cutting edge that can be sharper than S30V. This edge will not necessarily last as long as a high Vanadium steel like S30V, but can a higher initial sharpness.
The thermal treatment to bring the best of what 52100 has to offer will be expensive, although a simple heat treatment will still bring forward a good amount of what the steel has to offer. Differentially hardened blades would be very difficult to do commercially.”
So 52100 is still a guilty pleasure, because you know it will stain, it will need maintenance but when it come to using it hard and hone it back to sharp, this steel shows is true colors !
My first impression is that this little folder is designed as a very strong little workhorse. Nested liners, carbon fiber, compression lock, integral guard (short choil), full flat ground blade, belly on the edge ? What no to like ?
The hour glass clip !! Because it’s not deep carry friendly ! At least it doesn’t create a real hotspot even when holding the handle tight.
See ? The Rhino could be compared to the PITS in the way the guard/choil is working.
Then it could a be a small folding Sharpfinger.
So far it’s another “Little big Knife” by Spyderco which could be used in the woods or in the city. Taichung is again top notch in the manufacturing, the liners are polished for example. Visible bronze phosphorous washers are visible and gives a very smooth opening.
This is the kind of knife which is crying to be used and the belly with the thin edge will certainly give a max of cutting power.
One last thing: I love the Reinhold logo.
More to come soon.
The Grey Mouser has been in my EDC rotation since it has arrived in my pocket.
So this a little report.
Maxamet is like a super CPM M4 to me, it cannot seem to get dull. I have deshouldered the edge and keep it sharp (razor) with white ceramic and leather. The edge behaviour in wood is like M2, it gives a gentle patina to the part cut.
The gently rounded spine is a must for thumb push cutting.
The lock is solid and did not give in to any vertical or lateral play.
The Para3 is really a friendly 3 inches knife with a wide spectrum of uses.
Near the pivot you got as much as any C36 Millie strenght for power cutting as this is the same “cockpit” as the good old Military. The point is easier to control as your hand grabs the blade and the handle with more ease on smaller knives. So you got a very capable knife for the outdoors, able to carve and trim wood.
Maxamet is giving a beautiful orange red patina. I have not been able to get any pit of rust despite my every day use on acidic foods.
It’s less sensitive to medium than K390 and close to CPM10V. You got stain but nothing more in my experience.
I clean it directly under the tap of in a soapy water. Nothing extravagant. The action is on the smooth side even without any oil near the pivot. I have decided to treat it the hard way.
So far I’m really impressed by the ease of keeping razor sharp that very special alloy. It’s not difficult with only white ceramic and leather and it happen once a week just for a refresh.
The deep carry clip is back for tip up carry and it makes a very low signature for an EDC.
It’s used every day for eating and mostly I use the spine to push in the plate.
An apple a day keep the doctor away, especially if you got a good aim.
More to come soon but so far this is a very satisfying experience.
Nowadays rendering of three iconic 90’s lock: Liner Lock, Back Lock and Integral Lock.
They are plethora of locks since the 90’s when the Tactical Folders trend started.
“Tactical” , a term which has been mainly used in a marketing way, means you can get access to your knife easily — A clip or a well thought pouch — and more important: to be able to open it and close it with one hand.
The blade needs to be locked in open position and also to stay closed while in the pocket.
Let’s have a look on the locks I prefer and use.
The Compression Lock.
“A lock mechanism that uses a leaf-like spring from a split liner in the handle to wedge laterally between a ramp on the blade tang and the stop pin (or anvil pin).”
What I like about that Spyderco in-house engineered system is how smooth the action is.
Spyderco is now developing and proposing flippers with the CL because the breaking action on the pivot is minimal. On my different CL folders I can open the blade in different ways: using the index, pushing the paddle to unlock the blade…
It’s fun. It depends on a detent ball to keep the blade closed.
It’s a lock easy to clean and check as the handle are all open framed. It also asked for some nested liners which, when they are skeletonized, need more attention for cleaning, especially when you use you knife in the kitchen like I do. I rinse them under hot tap water , wipe the blade and make them dry inside the pocket with body heat.
Also the compression lock can be hurting the palm of your hand when cutting hard matters.
Native 5 Back Lock.
The Back Lock.
Described on the Spyderco” Edge-U-Cation pages as: “A locking system positioned on the back of the handle that uses a rocker arm that pivots in the center. A lug on one end of the arm engages a notch in the blade’s tang to lock the blade open.”
The Manly Peak and the Native 5.
This lock has been infamous since the Buck110 and all its copycats. Spyderco has developed mainly mid-locking system which can be unlock without changing your grip lick on a Buck110. It was demonstrated with the first Native how safe it was it unlock their knife and let the choil of the blade get in touch with your finger before to close it.
This is still the way I do it, even on my Delica and Endura which got no proper choil: unlocking the blade by pushing the lock free and let the blade falling half way on your finger. The Back Lock got a spring which is strong enough to avoid a detent ball. Old timers used to pu a match inside their closed Buck110 to pass the stronger spring tension and get it open faster. On Spyderco’s, it’s also easy to avoid any locking noise just by pression the paddle before it get completely opened. Unless the blade is very heavy like on XL Cold Steel Voyager, it’s not a lock for gravity opening. But it’s one of the most solid lock. In fact because of the way it’s engaged, it can be much more solid than all the other locks. Spyderco were testing their strong back found on the Chinooks and Manix with amazing results.
It’s not the easiest lock to clean as there is no open framed handle. It’s hard to see if debris can be jammed in. Also it’s not the funniest lock to use as the spring tension is felt during all the opening and closing motion. The Spydies with relatively heavy handles can be spyderdropped for quick opening. I do that on my Knifecenter stainless steel spacered Delica for example. It’s also easy on your palm during hard cuts because of their closed handle spine. Some Compression Lock haters are Back Lock lovers because of that confortable handles.
Also I have noticed on many of my Back Locks knives some vertical play when cutting on board which brings us to…
The TriAd Lock
Featured on Cold Steel’s folders it is essentially a Back Lock with a stop pin. There is no more vertical play when cutting. It doesn’t change anything toward the negative force used to close the lock blade.
You can also find inside the Chaparral an hidden stop pin invisible as it’s hidden near the pivot.
The Liner Lock.
“A locking system developed by custom knifemaker Michael Walker that uses a leaf-like spring split from the liner to wedge laterally against a ramped surface on the tang of the blade.”
This lock was the king of Tactical frenzyness back in the 90’s. The Benchmade CQC7 and AFCK promoted them in titanium and Spyderco developped their Military with a stainless steel liner lock. If I remember well Sal Glesser and Les de Asis were together private students of Bob Terzuola which is a master in liner locks making before to start their own production. Depending on a detent ball, the liner lock was bringing that smoothness the Back Lock could not provide but it was not the strongest lock available.
Ed Schempp Euroedge strong liner lock.
To test it many people tried the infamous and stupid spine whack and many time with shock the liner was unlocked and damaged by that treatment.
It’s a very easy to lock to get open and close fast just be careful to put your finger out of the way when closing.
Titanium liner locks are wearing more than stainless steel liners.
It should not be difficult to clean depending of the handle conception. On that matter the last version of the C36 Military got rid of they spacer and got now a full open handle for easy check.
Then Chris Reeve came with his Sebenza and used a lock bar that is integral to one of the handle scales. It was giving you the sentiment, you hand’s grasp was also enhancing the locking mechanism. It’s also a very easy mechanism to clean and check hence the Spydiechef, or the K2 which are easy to use in the kitchen even after being defiled by grease and meat…
RIL of the Advocate and the ZT550.
The PPT is a mix of both RIL and liner designs with the possibility to grasp it and hold it in opening position.
BALL BEARING LOCK
“A patented compressive lock that wedges a ball bearing between a fixed anvil and the blade tang. The mechanism also serves as a detent to hold the blade in the closed position.” I was developed by Eric Glesser for his Dodo and can be found on the Manix 2 folders with a caged ball version. Some people found a lot of similitude with the Axis Lock from Benchmade but here, instead of two omega springs, it is a coil spring pushing a ball bearing made of ceramic of stainless steel. It’s smooth but not as easy to clean as other locks. Actually I prefer it on the Lightweight version of the Manix which is my main travelling knife with its CPM110V blade. It’s engineering makes it one of the strongest as you can not squeeze a ball bearing easily and it is also self adjusting.
The cage ball can be exchange with a custom titanium cage in case of breaking after years of using. It happen to my cousin who has modeled his own resin ball.
The Balisong Lock.
This could be the most fun system to use and also the strongest. Easy maintenance, no spring… It’s a very old design. The first trace was found in 1780 in France with a knife called “Le Pied Du Roy” (The King’s Foot) and circa 1800, butterfly knives were uncommon. They were made in Paris and Thier. There is a beautiful collection of the old Butterfly Knives in the Thiers Museum. French Army troops were provided with Butterfly Knives, but after WW2 there is no more trace of Butterflies made by this brand.
(More to come in the re-edition of the Fred Perrin’s balisong review soon.)
Locking a folding blade has been a puzzle for engineers for centuries. The roman folders were not locking and 2000 years ago a folding knife’s handle was considered as an attached sheath which means it was hold like a razor: by the blade.
So how to choose a lock ? Recently I have been surprised on how well the Bulgarian Manly Peak was operating: no vertical or lateral play on its very strong Back Lock. I have been playing with the Sliverax Compression Lock flipping options. My old Sebenza RIL lock is still in great shape and my Ed Schempp Bowie flies in opening position…
Lock is just a matter of taste and use, selling a design just by its lock won’t work. Some designs are made for compression lock like the Sliverax wasp shape flipper design could not go easily with another lock.
But always remember a folder cannot be as strong as a fixed blade. Marketing can be your enemy but the main enemy of locks are shocks because its weakest element will give in, bend or broke. Now when you choose a knife made by reknown makers and manufacturers you can trust their locks but it’s not the case with all the copycats and cheap knives which often got very bad quality elements ready to break or bend at the first use. I’m not saying the best locks are the most expensive but looking for quality in the making should be mandatory in your choice.
It has been half a year of patience before my pre order turns into a mail call. Howard Korn from the Knifecenter.com was kind enough to send it to me as soon as he has received it. It was a quick 6 days of travelling from Fredericksburgh, Virginia to Paris.
The name of this Para3 should be”Desire” but it will be “Mouser” in honor of its color: grey. Also in honor of its almost magical alloy used: Maxamet.
What is Maxamet ?
According to Spyderco its full name is “Carpenter® steel’s Micro-Melt® Maxamet® alloy”. “Maxamet is an extremely hard high-speed powdered tool steel possessing properties that transcend conventional high-speed tool steels and approach those of cemented carbides – the ultra-hard materials used to machine other steels. When Carpenter developed this amazing alloy for the rollers in their steel mills, they sent samples to various companies in the knife industry to evaluate as a blade material. Although many tried, Spyderco was one of only a handful of companies to successfully develop the specialized methods necessary to machine, heat treat, and grind this demanding material to yield reliable, high-performance knife blades.”
It so difficult to work with that it has given some headaches to Eric and Sal hence the 6 months late in the production of that Para 3.
Maxamet should have better performance than CPM110V. Now that I got both steel, I will try to see if I feel and see a difference.
What its composition reveals ?
Carbon 2,15% ; sulfure : 0.070% – 0,23%; chromium : 4,75% ; vanadium 6,00% ; manganese 0,30% ; silicium 0,25% ; cobalt : 10,00% ; tungsten 13,00%.
It’s not a stainless steel it’s an high tech tungsten alloy !!
Here its data sheet in Carpenter’s.
The wear resistance of Micro-Melt Maxamet alloy is better than that of conventional powder metal high speed steel grades and is equivalent to AISI A11 cold work powder metal tool steel. A11 is CPM 10V. Better? How much better ?
According to Cliff Stamps: “Maxamet is an extreme alloy, for comparison, it is to 10V what S90V is to 420J2. Maxamet is used when HSS like M4 fail because they are too soft or wear too fast – just consider that for a matter of perspective.”
(For the record he’s not talking about CPM M4 which comes from powder metallurgy process but good old M4HSS.)
So far Mouser is shaving my arm’s hairs which are flying of its blade. Its factory edge is really thin. With that amount of tungsten it should not be sensitive to its final tooling in the Golden plant. I’m not planning to work on it yet and keep it that way for its first run.
Its complex heat treatment and the HRC should be on the very high..
Spyderco is offering that steel on many knives: not counting a Mule but a LW grey Manix 2 , a G10 grey Paramillie 2 and a lightweight grey Native…
The Maxemet version is not a Sprint run.
I have also noticed the chamfered work they have made on the spine and the spyderhole and the jimping behind the hump. I don’t have to use my diamond rat tail file anymore !!
Thank you Golden ! 🙂
Also the blade has been gently beadblasted which gives it a very industrial look. The grind is perfectly symetrical as always on my Colorado’s made.
The thick grey G10 slab also concours to give that toolish look, again the attention to detail are stellar. There is nothing to change when you open your black and red box.
So far what I have changed is the clip, as I don’t plan to spyderdrop this little guy.
The smooth compression lock permits a lot of other way to open it elegantly.
Also I have sanded the G10 to smooth it to my taste and keep my pocket lips healthy.
I keep the pivot area rough for the ergos.
Now the game is on, let see all this fuzz about that Maxamet steel !
Spyderco catalog’s sheet is here.
EDIT: Eventually I have gone back to the OEM hourglass clip in a Tip Down carry option.
Because it’s so fast to draw like a I do on my Millie and Paramillie 2.
The spyderdrop is so elegant and bound to the spyderhole: it works like a breeze.
Also I have starting to test the sharpness which is uncanny right our of the box.
I did not have that kind of result with its S30V bro. The Maxamet thin edge goes through the plastic bottle butt to make tagliatelle !! The edge is really hungry.
Also my previous review on the Para3 is here.
Between both knives there is a little difference. It is the sound of the mechanism.
The opening and locking on the S30V version will be a TAK.
When the opening of the Maxamet version will be a TIK.
The pitch of Mouser is much higher. Different alloys, different hardness produce different sounds.
The Mouser is a small (not much more than five feet) mercurial thief, gifted and deadly at swordsmanship (often using a sword in one hand named “Scalpel” and a long dagger or main-gauche in the other named “Cat’s claw”), and a former wizard’s apprentice who retains some skill at magic.
The cynical-sounding Mouser is prone to showing strains of sentiment at unexpected times. He’s a rogue, living in a decadent world where to be so is a requirement of survival. It was created by Fritz Leiber.
Part II is here:
The first PPT was release eight years ago. It was the mind child of Sacha Thiel, Philippe Perotti and of course Fred Perrin which it got all the power. For the record Philippe Perotti aka “PP” was Fred’s student in knife making (and Fred was PP student in handguns). I still own one of PP’s Streetbowie made in D2 and also one of his great Commander knife made with Sacha Thiel which looks a lot like the Perrin Streetbowie.
Now the design’s goes in the stardom with a luxury amazing S90V / Carbon Fibers corrugated stunning handle.
This rude boy is a beauty like Marlon Brando in a Streetcar Named Desire or Tom Hardy in Taboo. It’s heavy in your palm. But this weight is a pleasure exactly like the Sharpfinger. Marc Animal McYoung in his book “Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles” was choosing a butt heavy short knife over any other. The weight is like an anchor in your hand as the knife handle is cuddling inside your palm. You find the same idea of weight distribution on heavy butt first Streetbeat.
Talking about the handle, this macro-texturing shows a wild side of this tool.
On this picture you can notice the unique clever sturdy lock. It’s made to be secured once the handle is hold tight.
The steel liners and the full steel back spacer, the full steel construction, while sturdy, makes for a dense carry. Knowing Fred, being able to use the “pommel” as a crowd pleasure won’t be a surprise. Anyway it’s a tool which can certainly be used to drive a nail in a plank.
Let’s compare with a titanium folder, the Spydiechef.
It’s a matter of taste but I love it as the balance suits me.
In eight years the Taiwanese manufacturer has refined his production.
The choil used to be a hotspot in the first version. No more now, there is absolutely no hot spot but… the clip.
The way it’s stand with a point proud point …it’s really not the best SPyderco clip just compared with for example… the Lil’ Lionspy great great spoon deep carry clip !!
The point/end of the clip needs to be parallel to the handle as this one is an invitation to scratches cars doors and catches things.
But its zips easily inside the pocket. It’s a no brainer.
Like the Spydiechef the design of the PPT notice how it give you a lot of power in case of cutting on a board. But the PPT won’t be as easy to clean with it’s squeleton thick liners but nothing which cannot resist to some hot tap water.
This new incarnation got a very thin edge. Those full flat ground blade in S90V provided by Spyderco lately are a pleasure to use and performance oriented.
But its true brother in law could be the Yojimbo 2.
The PPT got a very strong spirit, mix that with Sacha Thiel attention to details and Philippe Perotti pragmatism and you got a very powerful EDC which can be used by soldiers, firefighters, hunters, cooks, collectors and bushcrafters.
A little edit: after some EDC carrying and using.
Of course I have started to de-shoulder the edge and gives the PPT a more friendly way to get strop on leather.
Ergo wise, this heavy butt is really addictive. It works like a magnet because of that handgun handle. For the record La Griffe got a Derringer shape handle too which is also heavy compared to the blade. It makes your tool almost jumped in your hand and really anchored it in your palm while the perfect radius of opening makes it a very fast and safe opener. The meat of your finger is caught by the sharp hole and SHLACK !! It’s really one of my fastest tip up carry opener so far.
Why is the PPT a tip up carry ? I remember Fred bitching about the way some newcomers (back in 90’s) who were providing RIL locks with a tip down carry: the clip was in the way. What Fred loved in the RIL lock on the Sebenza was the way the hand will secure the lock. With a clip attached near the pivot, you could not squeeze the handle anymore and secure the lock.
So the PPT reflect all those years. It’s a real biker friendly design, like the La Griffe has always been. Bikers are modern world horse riders. The PPT would a horse rider best friend too.
In the part 2 the rider could be a nightrider ?
Here is another archive from the stainless steel Delorean which can warp twenty years ago and back !
The Spyderco Moran was the first fixed blade and the first VG10 knife ever.
So here it is without filters or editing:
THE MORAN FEATHERWEIGHT
a little review by Fred Perrin
always misdirected by Nemo
It’s important to promote the work of young unknown blade makers.
Meet, William Moran !
This young newcomer has to be watched…
The Spyderco “Moran” is a classic of little fixed blade and one of the rare made by Spyderco. You all know about it since Spyderco has decided to discontinue it and its price has drop to a very nice bargain.
Why a Moran’s review ? (Thanks to James Mattis we know it’s not discontinuited !)
a young prodigy named Moran
This is a rigid blade. This is not as common as all these taktikeul fooldears !
Its grip is mega excellent. The composition of that handle is a must even with wet hands.
You can pull or push without anyrisk to slip. Manyplaces for thumnbresting…etc etc…
This handle is unique and a true innovation.
No lanyard hole. WHYYYYYY ?
For fighting grips the handle is also a must. The butt of the handle has “a point” where the tang butt stop inside the plastic handle. This pointed handed is ready to crush any skull around.
The Moran is also an excellent throwing knife ! Do you think we are crasy ?
No, no, we are just insane…
The blade is a mirror finished à la Moran blade with the famous Moran Grind (flat ground and concave).
The steel is VG-10.
The VG-10 is the steel used by Fallkniven (since they have tried the Moran…)
Excellent steel with a really fine grain.
The blade is vorpal and really solid because it its not so thick it is wide.
The power of cut is great. It’s a slashing tool. Semi circular hits are quick and deep.
The thrust is powerfull thanks to the handle shape resting in the palm.
The lenght (less than 4 inches) is polyvalent for medium and small job. Made first as a skinner, he is the King of the Kitchen !
At first glance you think it’s fragile. But after used you feel the handle, the lightness, the serious of the blade shape.
CLIK HERE TO MEET Mr Mo’ big fans at Little River !
And after removing a sentry, it’s a pleasure to have a mirror finish blade to check your tribal make up.
Now the sheath. WHAT IS THAT SHEATH !!! It’s look like a brown fish ! It’s could be a toy for my dog !
(My dog loves leather sheaths ! I mean, that little bastard eats my favorite leather sheaths and her next target could be my sofa…)
Looking closer you see its quality leather and it’s well made.
then you put the knife inside and you see how well it’s fit.
When you put the sheath “inside” your belt behind the right hip… here it’s paradise.
Your almost forget it ! You can reach your knife for instant Ice Pick grip.
You can even reach your knife while sitting in your car.
Really this sheath is a also a must for a leather sheath ready to be carry with a very low profile. But some thought the Moran desserve a much better sheath
Meet the two Kydex sheaths made by Edge Works Manufacturing
Light, Vorpal, compact and mega grip.
Little industrial fixed blade of that quality are so rare.
This is a “premiere” let’s hope not a “dernière”.
But who will ever remember William Moran, huh ?
(Our next young newcomer to watch will be someone with perharps a little future in cutlery: Blackie Collins. )
“Where is my hair brush !”
THESE PAGES ARE DIRECTED BY NEMO