Spyderco Lionspy – Updating the beast

Spyderco Lionspy

Since I got that wonderful Spyderco Lionspy I did not baby it at all ans test as EDC and hard working knife as I wanted to see if a massive a stout folder would be useful and handy as a fixed blade even if it should not be as strong.

So let’s review some points which I was concerned with:

The very small short butt clip:
yes it is short. But it is very discreet. And it’s a pleasure to pocket that knife: it disappears.
I found it is easy to retrieve once you have adjust your technic: gently pulling the clip first to free the knife from the pocket.

The stopping pin:
while in the woods, I used it as a light chopping tool.And it was great.
I was concerned about the stopping pin as one side is plug in titanium but the other one in G10. Zero problem so far and I have used that knife very hard. So eventually no issues. So far so good.

The rotoblock:
this is a breeze to use. A pinch of the thumb and the safety is on or off. The knife feels very solid and lock failure is not a real concern.
I love this system.

The heavy stout thick blade:
I was able to trim and cut branches for making walking canes very very easily. It was a fast and easy processed job. A dozen of light impacts and a two to three inches diameter wood rod is chopped of the tree. I don’t know if that knife was design for that purpose but it works great. Like a micro pocket axe.

No pointy blade:
if kept very sharp the Lion Spy got a good penetration power. But I’m happy to keep another knife with a more pointy blade on me.

Elmax ?
surpringly easy to keep sharp. My Lionspy this last month has been mainly kept sharp with strops of leather and half a dozen white ceramic strokes.
Very nice steel. Been used on bones, plastic, wood, meat. No chipping edge, no rolling edge… so far. My first experience with Elmax is absolutely positive.

The hot spots:
the blade’s spine is ‘squarish’. And when ‘thumb-push cutting’ without gloves it is quickly not pleasant. I was able to round the corners on the spine with diamond rods, sand paper, caution and patience. Elmax is hard. I do not have any plans to start a fire with it anyway so no more square spine. Now it is much more confortable to use for push cuts. Especially with such a nice convex grind. The wood fibers are sectionned nicely, gently with control.

Handle… now there is one hot spot in the ergo I cannot improved without rethinking the whole knife. It is about the open construction handle’s liners/slabs…. They are profiled like airplane wings, like propelor blades !!! Beautiful but not confortable when used perpendiculary with the palm of the hand. After sometime, you can find another way to hold the handle but compared to a lockback (or the plain handle of fixed blade) this is an ergonomic issue. But there is a reason.
The Spyderco Gayle Bradley got a square handle and is much more confortable as the space between the liners is almost filled. But the gap between the slabs in the Lionspy construction is proportionnal to the thickness of its blade (4.5mm). There is a real gap in this open construction.
Once you find you own way to hold and use the Lionspy, things are going much easier. But gloves can be mandatory for long use of the Lionspy.

Eventually I was surprised by the ease to put that stout knife in service and how fast the cutting job was done when I was in walking rod processing mode. Reliable and clever, it is my favorite light chopping folding knife.

Spyderco LionSpy


4 thoughts on “Spyderco Lionspy – Updating the beast”

  1. Yeah… all that and more while you will discover more and when you do, I would like to read about it. Great write-up and what a great performer it is… I fear however that most of the Lionspies will end up as SafeQueens…. snif, snif, snif… Jurphaas.


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