When I was visiting Nemo in Paris he offered me the opportunity to try out his Spyderco Mantra 2. I have handled this knife before and of course have read Nemo’s review of this folder. I was interested in finding out how it would work for me, but not interested enough to buy one for my self. So Nemo’s offer was very welcome!
I have carried a few flipper knives in the past, a Buck Vantage and a Spyderco Domino. The Buck was a great cutter but not a great flipper and the handle didn’t really work for me. The Domino is high quality knife that cuts well and I liked the handle. Nemo and I wrote reviews of it a few years ago. (You can find it here.) After a few weeks I found it to heave and big in the pocket and I stopped carrying it.
One of the things I learned from the Domino and other frame lock flippers is that with manny of them you have to be careful where you place your fingers. A little pressure on the lock bar can stop the flipper from working well. Even just a little pressure can be enough to force the detent to block or slow down the opening of the knife. From having handled the Mantra 2 previously I knew it was very sensitive to this as well. What I was looking to find out was how I would get along with this knife on a day to day basis. Would I adapt to the flipping and the handle with the flipper guard or would it just not work for me.
After having sharpened it, very easy with an extra coarse DMT and the diamond side of the Fallkniven DC4, in to the pocket it went.
First a few words about the flipping action of the Mantra 2. I would describe this as being light. After having made sure that your fingers are not resting on the lock bar or on the front of the clip, little force is needed to shoot out the blade and have it lock with a reassuring click. Both the light-switch and push-button method of flipping are equally effective. Putting a drop of oil on the detent makes the opening and closing the knife noticeably smoother.
After having carried and used the Mantra2 for two weeks I got used to opening a folder with a flipper. When taking it out of my pocket I would feel if my fingers were in the right place, not pressing on the lock bar! and most of the time the blade would open fully the first time. Good fun! But not as intuitive and reliable as a hole opener.
The handle worked well for me. Some hard cuts in cardboard revealed no pressure points. The flipper did not get in the way. And as there is no space wasted in front of behind the flipper guard I felt I had a lot of control over the blade.
I can’t say much about the blade other than that it worked well for my use, mostly cutting cardboard and plastic packaging material. The edge was thin enough to cut well and the point pointy enough to pierce well.
It was fun getting to get to know the Mantra 2! An excellent very day carry flipper from Spyderco!
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