Spyderco C221GPWH Lil’Nilakka — Pekka Tuominen’s Lady/Gentleman Folder.

I first had the chance to play with the Son of the Nilakka at the Minimeet. It looks beautiful but the action was not smooth and the handle squarish. I was not really a fan. Especially as I thought my Nilakka full size was the perfect blade length for my use. Then I heard the concept of a Flash Batch: this is not a sprint run, once the knives are gone, it won’t be made again by Spyderco.

The 1200 manufactured C221 were going numbered, so it was another chance to own a Pekka’s folder. I bought one directly from him, as it was not easy to get one from the USA.  I asked him to choose a smooth one. He did choose well.

This little gem came in a pouch. The Ivory G10 and relatively butt heavy little knife made me thought to some kind of of gambler folder knife.  You could picture it in San Francisco in the 19th century on a poker table.

Very charming to the eyes and to the pocket and also under the fingers. The smooth handle and contours disappears in your palm, ready for action.

What are the main differences with the Nilakka ?
The blade thickness. The Nilakka is famous for it. The Lil seems more reasonable.
Visible stop pin on the C221.

Bigger hole on the little one !

A different clip and a visible pivot screw.

The Nilakka made by Pekka Tuominen was a shock in my little folding knives world. It was the first zero ground Spyderco knife I was able to play with. Zero ground are really thin and really fragile. The S30V edge was soon chipping on hard wood and plastic but after some resharpening, I was able to keep one the my keenest edge as acute as the first day it came out of its box. The Nilakka is still my benchmark for sharpness. So when the Lil’Nilakka arrived in my hand, it immediately went through the same tests: cutting some reed for my roses and…  This time the edge did not chip but warp.
See what’s happen to the edge and how to fixe it here:

That kind of damage is commun on thin edge made of stainless steel. I got it on a Pointu Deluxe made by Citadel for Le Pointu Coutellerie. Again a very very sharp beauty with a mirror finish blade, so the warps were easily spotted.
On the C221 it was also evident, the edge was warping and needed some elbow oil to keep in line. The damage was minor but visible. After reprofiling with diamonds stone and ceramic and eliminating the micro bevel, I was able to obtain a keen and stable edge.

Because the Lil’ Nilakka desserves it ! It’s an incredible powerful cutter. I’am able to hold that handle with 4 fingers and transfer a lot of force to that pointy blade.

This little knife is made for confortable powerful cutting, so the edge needs to be in great shape.
RWL34 is an excellent edge. Named after Rober W. Loveless, it’s like an ATS34 made by powder metallurgy. Pekka Tuominen uses that steel on his own customs and mine, the Urbain Hunter II. I add noticed in cutting bones and dry bambu how RWL34 was tough compared to S30V.

So here we go: a very sharp short pointy blade in a solid handle. Another Little Big Knife score for Spyderco and the third Pekka Tuominen design in their catalog. This is really the kind of little companion you can carry in the middle of the sheeples (non knife people), knowing you dispose of a very powerful cutting tool for EDC chores.
It would be also a great SD tool as you can hold it completely concealed in your hand. It’s very surprising in the way it can penetrate layers thanks to its thick handle and very pointy design. BTW mine got zero vertical or lateral play. Making it a very reliable tool.

For me it will be another sausage killer. And again in this role, the Lil’ Nilakka shows its excellence despite its short blade. I also use it to process plastic bottles before recycling and here, again, the Lil Nilakka shows no mercy after regrinding its edge.
You can follow her adventures in the last PJaffre review here:


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