Spyderco Southard C156GBN – Flipping Beauty.

Southard

“One of the most advanced Spyderco folders ever produced.”
dixit Spyderco on their site

Come on…

OK let’s give a look.

Oh no, I’m in love again. I really thought the Wonderful Techno would be the Ultimate EDC, even beating the amazing Michael Walker and the great Gayle Bradley and the Legendary Military and the perfect Native 5 and…. but the Gods of the Hole in The Blade got their own way.

Why ? Tell me why ?
Why the Southard is not two inch longer and would loss its portability? At an hair under 8 inches (202mm) open and 114 mm closed (great blade/handle ratio BTW) this knife is not unforgettable once clipped: you forget it even when not clipped. Worst than that, I’m able to carry the Southard in my watch pocket.
Arrrgh. Brad Southard, if you hear me, I hate you for this amazing design.
And thank you. Thank you for giving us that pointy shiny clip with high visibility. Thank you ! At least you have left something to improve. Lucky us.
This clip is a joke actually.

The knife could be also a Spyderjoke. Go figure:
This the first Spyderco to be not advertised for its ease of opening with its hole. “Don’t use the hole ! It got a flipper ! ”

OK as far as I’m concern the only Spydercos with useless holes are their fixed blades but the SPOT, SWICK… inspired by Fred Perrin’s Lagriffe.

So “Don’t use the hole as primary opening device… use the Flipper”.
In France Flipper is a dolphin. For Spyderco it’s a pedal. Some Dolphin are also pedal but only during le Tour de France and this is another story.

OK let’s talk about its blade. Have you notice its belly ? From the tip to the flipper, the edge does a beautiful arc. It means, cutting power.
The blade is 4mm thick but its edge is thin. This means a lot of cutting power. I was able to cut through hard plastic with the same ease as my Gayle Bradley. this is impressive.
The flipper, once the knife is open offers a guard to your finger erasing any fears of lock failure.

The lock ? A Reeve Integral Lock with some refinement like a system to prevent over bending the lockbar. Very clever.

Lets’ talk about smoothness. With its wide ball bearing pivot the action on the flipper is smooth and only the friction of the lock bar seems to brake the movement. It’s not as smooth as the Gayle Bradley but it’s at least as smooth as the Lionspy and much smoother than the Tuff, both R.I.L. folders.
Taiching is again showing how they hare great in manufacturing. The blade is dead centered and everything is perfect but the clip.

There is one detail I love: no stop pin. The stop pin is hidden near the axis. With its open handle the Southard is a breeze to clean.
The absence of hump of the hole makes it a beauty. With its very uncommon blade mixing drop point and sheepfoot… with the back of the blade offering a thumb space to rest. All angle are smooth but the G10 gives a great grip.
The Southard is a pure hardecore folder. You feel you could thrust it with full force. The flipper/guard will prevent any slippering and lock failure.
This is a knife wich express itself in your hand. Perfectly balanced. It’s fast and easy to put in use. Really this is something to experiment by yourself. This is not a big knife but with its 1/1 handle ratio it’s all business.
The steel is one of the latest powder metallurgy Über Alloy made by Carpenter the CTS 204P. The kind of monster steel with almost 2 percent of carbon. For now the knife is so sharp, I was able to cut cardboard with the ease hollow ground blade desserve. I was laos able to stumble on a stable.
And…. zero damage to the edge. As far as I’m concern I’m quite impressed by the new generation of Powder Steel.

Now the handle is a little on the squarish side. It’s thick as there is a brown G10 liner over a liner of titanium. This asymetry could be a show stopper for some but actually I like the way the handle fills the palm of my hand. The knife is anchored. I will see in the next review if there is any hot spots… I already spot one: the clip !

The Persian carpet, even the most beautiful got all a little imperfection. For one reason, only God can create perfection not humans.
This is the meaning of that clip.
This piece of shining metal has already tried to pierce my denims pocket… and it hurts my palm. This is the only imperfection of the Southard who’s desserved better. BTW a dremel should be able to round that pointy tip on that prehistoric clip…

But this is true. My Techno, for example, is absolutly flawless. Nothing to sand on the handle. Everything is perfect.
And the Southard got a Perfect Flaw. But you forgive everything to such a Flipping Beauty.

The C156GBN is the kind of folder who can make you sold all your other knives. It’s ‘that’ great.

Southard
Peekaboo in the pocket watch… no clip used.

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7 Comments on “Spyderco Southard C156GBN – Flipping Beauty.

  1. Great review! I am also a big fan of the Southard. I personally like the clip, but would prefer it to be stonewashed to match the handle. Also, it could be more rounded both on the ‘bottom’ and on the top near the screws. I love this knife though, regardless. I always enjoy your reviews Nemo, and look forward to them.

    Best,
    Nick

    Like

    • Thank you for the very nice words Nick. Indeed the Southward is such flawless floder it makes me fell good to be able to nag about a detail like the clip. 🙂
      I’m so impressed with Spyderco released those last month, I’ll need to do a Benchmade review to find some credibility in my posts. 😉

      Like

      • Haha! Spyderco really has been on a roll lately. I am really impressed with the Southard, Techno, and Manix 2 lightweight.

        I can enjoy using a Benchmade knife too though, from time to time… 🙂

        Like

  2. Are you familiar with Nemo & his reviews George? He is a huge supporter of the knife world and Spyderco as well. You need to relax, guy, and gain a little perspective!

    Best,
    Nick

    Like

  3. “In France Flipper is a dolphin”
    celle là m’a bien fait rire!
    avec ce paragraphe de la review on comprend qu’elles ne sont pas écrites à l’eau claire 😉

    Alex

    Like

  4. Pingback: Thoughtful Southard part 2. | Nemo Knives Review

  5. Pingback: Zero Tolerance ZT0770CF – Fast and Furious. | Nemo Knives Review

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