For twice these last months, I was considering myself being able to announce my best “EDC ever”. After the Sage 2 Sebenza inheritance, the “hard to get razor” rare Spyderco Paramillie in S90V, the megasharp little Michael Walker, the solid and forgiving Gayle Bradley, the wonderfully engineered Native, the minimalist friendly Pointu, the chopping solid Lionspy, the Techno which is a pure flawless stout companion and lately the Spyderco Southard which is such a great flipping friend served by a crapped clip. I love all of them and I considered myself spoiled. My case is closed.
Now what would be Sal Glesser favorite EDC ?
I knew the Stretch was a special project developped by Sal “in house” for his own needs and I was able to notice how the Stretch was continuing to continued into a Spyderco classic, providing one of the best high tech steel into a lightweight package: the discontinuated C90 and C90BL and the new Green Arrow: C90PGRE.
“The C90 Stretch started as a pet-project lockback knife design. Spyderco’s owner and chief designer made it for his personal use, incorporating features he wanted. He wanted high performance blade steel with edge retention super-powers for outdoor cutting: things like wood, rope and anything encountered in the wild. It had to work equally well indoors on cardboard, mail and fingernails. He sized it so it wouldn’t scare non’knife people and made it look slick on the off chance he’d someday have to wear a suit.”
Isn’t it exiting ? The Spyderpapa has invented a knife for his own needs and no one else. Remember, the famous C36 Military has been design for his son Eric for example… But this very C90 has been designed for no one else but Sal. “The Stretch has been a 25 year work-in-progress and we’d like to continue to make it better. The ZDP FRN version finds a lot of my pocket time.”
So I got now the great opportunity to pocket a Stretch. This one is the one with the handle in peel-ply carbon fiber, with a four-way clip, left/right-hand and tip-up/tip-down and a full flat ground blade of solid ZDP-189.
Quoting my friend Wouter: “Stretch II is IMO a perfect knife for the connoisseur. Its looks might be plain, the blade might seem too thin, but for the knowledgeable knife enthusiast it’s a very impressive folder.”
Ah, ZDP 189 ! I like it on my Rockstead Higo but I love it on my C22CF. On both knife I have been able to cure its chipping with ease and to convex gently their edge. Here we got a 3mm thick blade on a very thin handle: pocket easy. Despite his hourglass clip the Stretch could be the father of my Chaparral. A gentleman folder with an outdoors purpose. The Stretch is incredibly thin and oozing quality. No blade play. Smooth opening. Extraflat design. The Stretch got a James Bond’s appeal.
Mine, after twenty strops on my leather belt is now sharp as my Bushcrafter. So time to test it and to fall in love again.
But quoting Spoonrobot: “Writing about a specific hobby always brings some inherent problems, there are only so many ways to praise a folding knife. I recently made the mistake of declaring a knife “the sharpest out of the box I’ve ever seen.” Only to have the next two knives prove to be even sharper. This makes it quite hard to be taken seriously, so in light of this I’ve decided to make slightly less grandiose claims when describing my newest slicey thing.”
Part II: improving the Stretch’s edge.