So I went to Italy with my Tuff (named “Varicelle” aka Chicken Pox because of her handle) in my pocket.
And no back up blade but my Paul Watson Victorinox Swisschamp. So Varicelle was on duty.

My idea was: with a blade like the Tuff who needs a fixed blade ?
What possibly would bring a fixed blade over Varicelle ? A better handle ? Yes. Even if the Tuff got great ergos, it’s hard to compete with my Bushcrafter. But the Tuff is easier to carry around.

BTW in the ease of deployment department the Tuff is joining my Millie. The Spyderdrop is so easy: you grap the hole or the fuller or both…
I even started to believe the Tuff is the easiest knife to spyderdrop.
Better, I’m now able to open it with some inertia: a whipping movement from the forearm and the blade is open.
Thanks to what ? The weight of that CPM3V thick heavy blade.
So ZERO complaint about that. What a great folder for quick draws !

Now what are the advantage to have my Tuff with me instead of my Military C36 in M390 ?

Main avantage: quoting Bilbo the Hobbit: ‘Take care ? I don’t care!’
Spyderco Tuff cutting
My Millie is slicer and Lamborghini which needs to be cared with love.
The Tuff is also a Lambo’. On the tractor side.
It is solid beyond records. The Tuff is care free. The edge and mechanism are forgiven.

This is an important factor. Sometimes “Orcs and Goblins” are using your “precious” cutting tools. I do not state my friends are orcs BUT I was able to see some blades ruined in a fistful of seconds by beloved ones. My father in law was able to destroy the finish of a blade in 5 seconds by just showing me how to resharp it on a flat stone !!! Go figure.

I don’t mind that kind of abuse with Varicelle. This is such a relief…
I had convexed the grind for whittling. I knew how that wonderful CPM3V steel would behave.
Good and reliable. But please, use it, be my guest. I don’t mind at all.
(I got a BRKT Bravo 1 in CPM3V. I love it BTW… That steel is tough and easy to maintain.)
So you want my knife to cut a thick pizza on a hard plate? Go ahead ! I will eventually realign the edge on ceramic later. It will cost me… 30 seconds of my time ? If the edge is really dulled. Because CPM3V is like that: forgiving and “gentle”. Only leather stropping are enough for maintaining it. No tricks.

Now let’s talk about THE LOCK.
The RIL (Chris Reeve’s Lock) is not 100% genuine as there is a steel interface. That steel interface is an real improvement to prevent lock wear and sticking lock.
BUT.There is a ‘but’.
That steel interface can transmit energy with no absorption. I mean soft titanium is sticky. Hard steel is more slippery.
A hard palm chock on my tuff’s lock was able to disengage it!!!
Wait a second ? This is the hardest use folder ? How could that happen ??
It happen like on that video:
(I had not abused their lock. I had used Varicelle for light chopping though. And I do not test my knives by doing hard spine whacks on table. It’s stupid. See the Stupid Video later…)
Now the “vicious part”:
It’s happen to me after some breaking in.
So new models should not have any problem. And it cannot be spot at quality controls.
But it can happen on a phase during ‘breaking in’. It can.

NO BIG DEAL. As all the parts of that Spyderco are engineered for tough jobs. This is not a cheap knife. The axis is monstrous ! The stop pin is HUGE ! The lock bar is strong.
But keep in mind the strength of a lock bar is not linear. It’s logarithmic ! The further the bar engages the less strenght ! The shortest the bar the thinner the range.
But this is only a part of what is happening. On a chock, forces are distributed on a different way than normal uses.
The design is not the culprit. The exact position, the angle, the surface materials combination at that very moment are the culprits.

So eventually how did I cured my Tuff ?
I have forced the lock to engage and disengage again and again. I have continued the breaking in. Until… Three minutes later (!!!) it was reliable again. Locks are working on fraction of fraction of millimeters. Since I did not have any problem anymore.

So, good news, if it ever happen to you: this is NOT a big deal. It’s just a phase. Your Tuff is a hardchore tool. Use it hard and it will do the self adjustments by itself.

I’m not able to disengage the lock of Varicelle anymore with a tap on the back of the blade. And I even tried it on a wooden table many times. Going stupid and destructive for once !
But It is now behind it. Varicelle stays locked.


So what do you got with a Stuff ?
An elegant design. A reliable tool. A forgiving edge. A fast opening folder.

Mine is convexed and her edge can be back to razor with twenty strops on a leather belt. Yesterday I have cut and process a small tree with her. The heft of the blade is great for light chopping. The convexed edge is great of a choke up wood carving. It cuts deep and with ease.
As convenient as my Lionspy, the Tuff is more forgiving but also very sheeple friendly just by its original looks.
Mine has been used by sheeples with… pleasure. Beyond the “Why are carrying such an heavy knife” to “Please, give my your knife !”
Varicelle is not threatening. Exotic perhaps but not threatening.
I have witnessed kids whittling with her (that careless way kids got to cut wood and cut into mud afterwhile). And they were happy with their results! Asking me for my knife again and again. And me asking them to keep it close and not running with it open…

Varicelle has been thrown with shuriken on a wooden board and it sticks very well.
I have open a chianti wine wooden crate in a breeze.
I have chopped three inches diameter trees.

normal uses:
I have eaten with Varicelle in many restaurants.
It have been borrowed from me in restaurant !
I have let children disappeared from my sight and whittling with it. Ok.
I have let my mother in law cutting beef with it. Ouch !

Anyway, the Tuff is a special knife: carrying a folding light chopping tool in a solid package is a great experience.
And knowing it won’t be damaged by clumsiness (mine or others) is a SUPER plus.

Next review teaser:
I won’t let my Manix 2 in any hands.

    Tuff SPyderco



  1. Very enjoyable review! You have a way with words and an ability to inspire. The passion for knives is contagious!


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