All posts by nemosandman

Journalist Reporter Filmmaker Author Photograph "Turn and the world turns on, we're riding out with the dawn All fired up again like a thousand times before Beneath the blessed sun and the coming day And the years don't change a thing - the rush remains the same And I feel like a knife, these days are calling I feel like a knife, sharpened like steel Touched by the hand of the gods on these golden mornings I feel like a knife for you." "KNIFE" Justin Sullivan 1991

Spyderco Shabaria – Dangerous Curves

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
“Israeli knife designer, Eduard Bradichansky, co-mingled the Shabaria’s traditional utilitarian profile into a modern folding knife. Mr. Bradichansky was a gunsmith and gifted jeweler by trade, new to the knifemaking community, but already attracting collectors and enthusiasts to his fresh design work and crafting skills. His career cut short, he fell victim to a terrorist attack on the West Bank.”
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
Eduard Bradichansky was also behind the design of the clever Spydercard we had reviewed with Fred Perrin back in the 90’s, so when the first Shabaria was released with an ATS 34 blade and a G-10 handle, back in the previous century, we were very excited to test this unique design. For us, it was an evidence: the Shabaria was a weapon and a great one — lean and mean.
The wasp handle or hourglass handle is not a new thing and thousand of people rely on this for eons ! Once you grasp the knife you understand how it works and how clever the design of the Shabaria is. Our was partly serrated and really it was really made to be an Assassin tool.
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
Now the Shabaria is back in a sprint run with a beautiful carbon fiber handle and a plain edge recurved VG10 blade.
This is a very sexy knife. The blade is saber hollow ground, giving a substantial thickness which give you the identity of the knife: a piercing weapon.
The penetration of the strong and thin blade is remarquable. Also the hour glass handle provides you with an additionnal inch of reach. Yes “mean and lean” are the words which are still coming in mind !

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

But now, Spyderco is not a company which is making weapons but tools and Eduard Bradichansky was aware of that. The design was inpired by people of the Jordan River Valley nomads. In the Middle East and North Africa, those wasp handle curved knives are sacred tools which can be used in religious rituals as for everyday tools.
My first thought when I was handling a Shabaria was about Franck Herbert’s Dune books and the Crysknife of the Fremen. The Shabaria could be a folding version of the sacred knife of the fremen ! “Long live the fighters!!!” 😉 or better: “Who sees that knife must be cleansed or slain!” !!!

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

A curved edge means a great deal of cutting power. My Spyderco Dodo is my best hard wood cutter for example. My two Shabarias came razor sharp and my arm’s hairs were flying with just a caress of the edge. Some pass on my razor leather and both knives were upgrade to vorpal status. VG10 is a great steel of EDC. The kind of steel which is forgiving and easy to bring back to peak performances. What the Shabaria’s design brings is a nice belly at the tip of the blade. This is really useful in everyday task. The recurve helps to catch the matter you cut and the positive and negative bellies works like a guillotine.
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
This is a sprint run and limited edition I was really glad to see. As I thought the Shabaria was long gone and I missed it. The previous version got a lot of screws (six ?) on the handle and this one is refined with only three screw including the pivot. Also that new version got a very nice improvment: now a lanyard hole is available ! I really love those constant research in making the design better and better. The wasp handle is easy to clean with no skeletonized liners and an open construction. Also the beautiful CF handle is anchored in your hand but not with the help of a false guard but just by holding it. This is a very very secure grip ! You need experience it. This handle design is as old as the Old Testament ! Generations have been using them and people who counted on their knives everyday. Hammer grip, reverse grip, pikal grip… everything works because the handle is pure symetry. Again this is the kind of knife which makes me smile once open. This is serious business.
Closed, the Shabaria is also really beautiful. the kind of Syd Mead design for Tron’s lightcycles. It doesn’t scream “knife!” and is a great impact tool ! Because even with the blade closed, the grip on the hourglass handle is still very positive and is anchored in the palm of your hand.

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
So eventually you got a very unique folding knife with a very strong lock: a variation of the Michael Walker liner lock wich use the height of the handle instead of its length, another clever design from Eduard. The Spyderhole may be more recessed than other designs preventing a quick spyderdrop but as the hole’s edges are sharp it catch your thumb and is smoooooothly open. There is even an hidden choil à la Michael Walker, so once open the blade is really secured twice. Oh and just by holding it open you feel like that very pointy blade is a permanent invitation to pop some balloons ! 🙂
Playing and using the Shabaria is pure pleasure as this is a very reliable design once you understand how centuries in refining can be used and trusted.

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

The Spyderco Shabaria is a knife with a lot of attitude but also a tool which offers a lot of control during the cuts. I was surprised how its blade was handy for whittling.
This is not only a collector piece but a very serious “silent companion” with design’s roots digging in history of mankind.

Le Pointu – Born in Massalia

Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier

Here it is: the D2 Deluxe version of Le Pointu (The Pointy) named after a emblematic boat of Marseilles (known as Massalia for 2500 years!).
The blade is in D2 Tool Steel, the action is smooth, the lockup is solid. This is a great EDC tool, extra flat and chisel ground.
A knife made to be shipple friendly, easy to open and close just by pushing the blade with the thumb.

Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Elegance and strenght in a featherweight package. This is unique offer in the cutlery world where form follow function.

Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
My wife has already adopted the Olive Wood version of Le Pointu. It’s a true mix of hightech design and Provencal natural roots.
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
This is a framelock !
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Mine got beautiful fiber carbon scales. There is a true attention to details, the little big folder is flawless.
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Le Pointu - Xavier Conil - Laurent Monnier
Tip up carrying… generous lanyard hole…

This was just a glimpse as now it’s going to be used and test and we will update that post later in the summer !

Le Pointu can be seend and ordered at
www.lepointu.eu
and for any questions Xavier is reachable at xavier (at) nobug (dot) fr

Stay tuned for more about those little jewels !

OK by EDCing this little big knife you discover how well the ergos have been thought! The round thumb place on the axis of the folder is really something new in the cutlery. The cuts are powerful and controlled. I was also very please with the easy way I can clean the knife after working with it.
Sharpness is easy to get and maintain. The opening is made with a Pointu Drop, holding the blade like a spyderco. The opening is easy and secure: an elegant gesture.
Also the knife is carried in the watch pocket of my denim: perfect size ! 🙂

Rockstead Higo-J in the spring time

I don’t have cherry trees or I would have pictured the Higo with some cherry tree blossoming… but here we got roses almost a month earlier !
So it was the occasion to picture the blade in the middle of them.
As you can notice, the Rockstead quality is something you can mesure in time. The knives which has been included in my EDC rotation and my hicking in the woods, did not suffered from his chores. The mirror polished blade is still perfectly intact. The lock up is secure and there is no play.
Now ZDP-189 is a very nice steel on the long run. I mean by “nice”…. “gentle” !
Using a Paramilitary 2 Sprint Run with a blade S90V, this last is a bear to get sharp. As Sal Glesser said S90V do not want to give away molecules.
ZDP-189 which I EDC with the Michael Walker and the Rockstead is “gentle” as I can polish it. (I was not able to do that yet with S90V.
The Higo is a very pragmatic knife, it is made to get dirty and to be clean easily. WIth his incredibely hard blade, I did not have any issue to keep it razor sharp in the woods. The choil makes it a very precise knife for wood cutting. You can applied a lot of force in confidence and the handle is very confortable despite it’s open fram structure.

Spring is the time for cleaning. I have used my Higo to cut hard plastic before to have it recycle. I was able to try to compare ZDP with S90V.
I’m very confident, even with a 66,6 HRC ZDP when I’m still very careful with S90V at 60HRC. S90V is like a “alien” steel, it can stay as sharp for “strange” reason I can not quantify even if I can qualify it, knowing how the steel carbid matrix is reinforced by vanadium…
ZDP on the other side both on the Michael Walker and the Rockstead got at first some micro chipping issue, but once resharpen never shown any more unreliability.
Oslo I was not able to get any patina on ZDP and my main way to keep it sharp is some white compound on a leather belt.
It’s razor and don’t want to give up.

My only little complaint is the shape of the clip but this is really not a big issue as I have prevent any scratches it could have done. (That was not the case on my various Sebenza clips wich has been very nasty on car paint…).
All in all after eight months of use, the Higo-J is still like a new knife. I was not able to scratch the handle, despite my rings on my left hands. The blade stay sharp with easy maintenance. The lock up is secure and the feeling of using a fixed blade is very strong.

Spyderco Navaja Carbon Fiber ~ C147CF – Spirit of Spaniards

Nemo and his Navaja

The Navaja is a legendary folding knife. For the first time in History, a folding knife was considered as the poor man sword in a country were sword fencing was the highest art. Actually they were three schools in fencing: the French, the Italian and the Spanish school. In Spain however, everybody were encouraged to be armed with a sword at the end of the 15th century. It was the time of Isabelle de Castille (born a 22nd of april) and Ferdinand II d’Aragon who both were in charge of the greatest occidental power of that time.

navaja-fighting-knife-stylized-ornamental-elaborate-handle-design-AMH73J

Navaja
Early navajas were not much smaller than swords

La Navaja was the first Tactical Folding Knife. It was born in the 16th century in Andalusia for one main purpose—fighting. For the first time a folding knife was not made as a tool but as a weapon. James Loriega, wrote two great books about it: Sevillian Steel and the Manual of Baratero and I can only encourage you to read them !
For Randy (Ransom) Price: “These magnificent knives have an ominous appearance when open and it’s easy to understand why many people believe the early navaja was the original inspiration for the Bowie knife. No doubt a navaja unfolded before an unsuspecting victim must have had the same effect as Jim Bowie unsheathing his monster fixed blade.

Here come the Spyderco reboot and hommage to the mighty Navaja. The Golden princes of tactical folding knives take a bow to the queen of spanish edge.
There is a very strong “spirit” in this design: centuries in refinement which were really inspiring Ed Schemp.
The knife is gorgeous. Made in Taiwan with the highest quality material ( S30V steel blade, Carbon Fiber handle and Stainless Steel bolsters) the C147 is simply a pleasure to the eyes and to the hand.
Opening the blade and you got the “sound” of Caracas. I really like it. It’s discreet and sound like an old camera to me. It gives something dramatically “mechanical” to the opening and closing of the blade. Respecting its heritage, the edge is a little on the thick side and totally weapon oriented. This is minor and it can be improved with some elbow grease to have it turned into a better push cutter. Something I’m planning to do as S30V is a very forgiving steel to convex and to polish. Also the fact that the belly doesn’t start at the ricasso like on a Paramilitary for exemple, change the way you use the knife on hard matter but again, Ed thought about everything and It’s easy to choke up the blade with its very large choil and work with full control.
The long handle gives also the opportunity to have a much better range/reach. Again this is a reminiscence of the 17th Century Navaja made as edge weapon. The balance of the C147 is actually just in front of the index finger when holding the knife that way. The blade is fast and “alive”, easy to control and prompt for backcuts. This is really a fighting folding knife.
But when closed the Navaja keeps all its elegance as this is really a knife to admire in all circonstances.

OK, now this was not a real review as I need to test the knife in my EDC rotation. But as it’s a beauty, I wanted to share it with you.
I’ll be back on this.

Spyderco Navaja C147

The Paramillie 2 and the Navaja: two beauties ! Notice the difference in the belly.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The Navaja in the spring roses.

Spyderco Navaja C147

A fang at the ready !

Spyderco Navaja C147

Detail of the blade.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The beautiful bolster announcing the Sage 4 ?

Spyderco Navaja C147
This is the pure concept of elegance.

Spyderco Navaja C147

A grip with a long reach.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The folded beauty.

Spyderco Navaja C147
Details of the pivot.

Quoting Ed Schempp:

My goal in knife design is to put a very usable blade in the hands of the ELU. I chose the Corsican version as inspiration for the knife. I own a handmade Corsican Navaja made by my Corsican friend Alexander Musso. My interpretation is stylized with Spyderco and my style influences.

The Carraca mechanism is self destructive. The mechanism in the Spyderco Navaja is not part of the lock and on a different axis of impact from the original inspiration for this piece. This knife should bring Spyderco’s reliable high performance to this centuries old ethnic design.

I hope that you get a chance to handle and use this piece…Take care…Ed

Spyderco Navaja C147
Now I wanted to convex the edge of the Navaja to really turn the weapon into an EDC tool.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The tools of the trade are not really fancy: sandpaper, sharpmaker and white compound…

Spyderco Navaja C147
And elbow grease…
Spyderco Navaja C147
Spyderco Navaja C147
Spyderco Navaja C147
Nonw the edge is convexed. Some passes on the white ceramic of the Sharpmaker to erase the burr… and it’s a Razor !
Spyderco Navaja C147
Closed the Navaja is as big as the Paramillie 2 ! But, once open… it’s another story ! 🙂
Spyderco Navaja C147

Spyderco Sage 3 – The Blue Brother

The Sage II is one of the greatest Spyderco knives in my own humble opinion, so I was never really excited by another Sage…
What could have it more ? A better lock than the Reese Integral Lock ? A better Handle than the smooth rich full titanium scales ?
Enter the Sage 3 a.k.a. the C123GBL and the chance for me to change my mind. The Sage 2 and the Sage 3 are not the same animals.

Again the Taichung plant is offering a close to the perfection production knife with a rich blue handle.
You know that beautiful G10 like the one found on the Dodo or on the Manix sprint run…. It’s very sheeple friendly.
Blue is a cool color. The Navii, the Smurfs, the Cops, the Collars, the Sky, our planet… all are blue and my Blue G10 Dodo is really one of my favorite knife ever made.
So I got that feeling as I grap the beautiful handle.
The weith on that knife is not as lightweith that I thought. It’s even 1 gram heavier than the Sage 2 titanium tank ! Looking closely inside the handle they are two stainless steel nested liners ! Those are really the kind of hidden features you only find in a Spyderco Knife. There is even no mention of that in the Spyderco official communication.
So this is a very very solid handle destined to be on a heavy duty knife.
Once open there is no play in any direction. The knife feels solid like a fixed blade. The Bolt Action Lock has been patented by Blackie Collins and is operated like the Manix 2 lock with its caged Ball Bearing lock. It’s even a little easier as I’m able to disengage it using only my thumb.
So this is a very fast knife to open just by disengaging the lock and flicking the wrist and fast to close to.

The real difference with the two other Sages is that this knife doesn’t have an open handle construction. There is a blu G10e backspacer running along all of it. The result, filling the gap between the two scales, is a much more confortable handle for hard cutting. I remember a video of Bluntruth4U where he was complaining about his Sage 1 handle and he was obliged to wear gloves for hard cutting. The Sage 3 is really an improvement in ergonomy thanks to it full blue spacer. I remember how the Tim Wegner Spyderco serie was gentle on my palm. Same here with the blue Sage.

So we got a very strong knife, which feels even beefier than the Sage 2. The full flat ground S30V leave blade is equally strong and accurate in all the cuts.
With its backspacer and skeletonized nested liners, the Sage 3 will be a little harder to clean than the Sage 2 but the confort of its handle is really appreciable on hard chores. So if you use your knives very hard, the Blue Bro strong lock and confortable ergos is really something to try. Another little big knife from Spyderco and real workhorse with a royal blue robe.

Oh, something also to remember. The Sage serie is about memory. Memory and hommage to the inventors of the locking folding knives. And 5% of the sales is donated to the National Alzheimer’s Association Denver, Colorado Chapter. Another great initiative.

Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman
Spyderco Sage 3 The Blue Brother by Nemo Sandman

Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011 – The Forbidden Pictures !

Only here, you will be able to see the forbidden pictures of the Am’dam Minimeet.
Here we go:

I’m everywhere ! 🙂
The Lucane and Eric and Sal Glesser
Sal, Eric and Jur looking at the Lucane prototype.
The Lucane and Eric and Sal Glesser
Sal taking a closer look.
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
The gathering of the spydernuts is starting !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Father and son…
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
JD and Sal !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Gail and Sal Glesser
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
The proto, the concepts all in one pic !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Jur (with his new Spyderbeat Sheath made by Emmanuel Amoreau) giving his last instructions to Sal. 😉

Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
And all the feedbacks are welcome !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Gail, Sal and Eric.
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Gail and Sal’s old van where Spyderco started last century…
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
The Massad Ayoob is inspected.
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Eric explaining the raffinements of the new back lock !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
The graph of the Spyderco Knives Breaking Machin !
Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011
Joyce Laituri chatting with Ted and friends…

Gail and the boys ! 🙂

All the knives came back on the table eventually.

JD and the Lucane.

A closer look at Jur sheath ! 😉

– End of line –

Edit 01/05/2017 There is a video made for BladeHQ “Meet Your Maker” using some part of this post and crediting the blog.
Here the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLcTWwh1Cpc

The Lucane by Jérôme “Torpen” Hovaere

We met Jérôme at last Paris Knive Show. This young gifted full time knifemaker just had received his Spyderhole licence from Golden. He’s a huge fan of Spyderco.
I immediatly fell in love with the radical lines of his Lucane Folder. An efficient powerfull blade and an ergonomic handle, this is a workhrose designed by a worker who needed a strong a practical knife as an EDC. It’s a knife to use for mondane task and even to eat with it. The back of the blade was especially though after pushing aliments on a plate without to dull the edge.
My prototype is made of 02 for the blade and G10 with SS liners for the handle. It was made to be shown around at Amsterdam Minimeet 2011.
This will be also the occasion to achieve one of Jérôme’s dream: to have his baby pictured in the hand of Sal Glesser.
More on it later.



All the pictures down under are (c) Jérôme Hovaere (so, you will notice the hand of the maker!)


The G10 Proto with another clip.






The ergonomy is amazing thanks to its wasp shape handle.

A previous aluminium handle prototype. Notice how the lock release is not placed as on the G10 version.




The Lucane next to a Spyderco Tenacious

I have forgotten the specs:

Length: 203mm (with clip)
Blade length: 90mm
Once closed: 110mm
Blade thickness: 3,4 mm
Handle thickness: 16mm

Weight: 140 grammes

The steel on this proto is 90MCV8 which another name for O2.