Category Archives: Review

Spyderco C208G – Clipitool Standart -The Three Eyes Alien.

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My friend Dan Sharpe has posted this review on our Facebook group about that Alien kind of knife and his post is a gem:

Whilst rather drunk it seems that I bought a Spyderco ClipiTool (TM) Standard.
Because it was cheap in the Black Friday Sale. And I was drunk.
Well, it has arrived and after a day of playing with it and using it I don’t really know what to make of it.
In the past looking at it online I had assumed it was quite small, bigger than a Dragonfly but smaller than a Delica. But it isn’t small, it’s quite large, with a 3.50″ (89mm) liner locking full-flat ground blade in 8Cr13MoV. Which is……a steel. It’s adequate. G10 handles with a central steel liner which functions as the linerlock. It also weighs a substantial 4.2.oz (119g) which in context is really quite heavy for what this is.
The blade is thin and nicely slicy, which is good.
The tin can opener with screwdriver tool blade and opposing bottle cap opener with screwdriver tool blade are marvels of design, in that they look cool and work, but they don’t work any better than those on an SAK.
It has a classic Spyderco three screw pocket clip. Obviously, as it’s a ClipiTool (TM).
So in conclusion I don’t understand this knife. Or knife/tool combo. It’s quite large, quite heavy, doesn’t do anything differently to a host of other knives and multitools and has a steel that to us Knifeknuts is barely adequate.
And when not on sale this is not a cheap knife, it costs around USD80. That’s a lot of money.
What is this for? Who is it aimed at? Aside from drunk Spyderco collectors like me?

For Dan, this is not an hommage to Victorinox but a parody.
Pardon his French: “Seulement un hommage? Je comprends cela mais c’est plutôt une parodie.”
“”Let’s put a couple of fancy design SAK style tools on a fairly crap Spyderco and try and sell it. Oh yeah, idiots will buy it when they are drunk.”  was his conclusion.

Could he be right ? Could he be wrong ? Or at least could I disagree or agree with him ?

Fist I was wrong assuming it was Sal Glesser design with Eric huge signature on the blade. I remember Sal looking at SAKs with admiration. Sal is an inventor and so is Eric.


My first impression when opening the blade of that Standart Clipitool was WOW.
It is a long thin blade with a very nice geometry: it was razor factory sharpen.
There is a generous choil and the hump of the next tool is creating some kind of sub-guard ! The ergos are quite good actually.
But let’s compare that knife with other classic backpackers option: a Böker Plus Tech-Tool Carbon 4 and a good old SAK from the 70’s.

The Spyderco is less in the blocky side, which also means it offers less tools.
In fact it offers 3 blade/tools.

That’s all. But to quote Spyderco:
“The star attraction of this design is a full-flat-ground leaf-shaped blade crafted from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. It locks securely open via a stout LinerLock mechanism

 

and is complemented by a folding can opener/small screwdriver and a bottle opener/large screwdriver with a wire-stripping notch. 


Both screwdriver heads are hollow ground to ensure a secure fit in slotted screws. Although they do not lock, they are supported by sturdy slipjoint spring mechanisms to keep them open during use.

Like the primary blade, both tools are precision machined from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and feature generously sized Trademark Round Holes.”

I would add that both tools also got a generous choil which lacks on the SAKs.
The screwdriver is hold and secure by your grasp and cannot close on your fingers.
That choil is the same which can be founded on boots daggers as quillons and which was featured on the good old C36 Military. It is a clever way to avoid any forcing on the handle and the pivot.

Opening a jar with the screwdriver, waiting for the “Pop” to happen.

The main idea behind the Clipitool was to provide a One Handed Tool. When you are climbing a ladder or holding something with your other hand, opening your SAK with your teeth can be a problem. Here you can get access to your tools very easily.

This is also something which has been explored on Leatherman’s for two decades but Spyderco’s blade is really generous.

 

I have convexed the edge as the steel is not as hard as many other super steel. It was also a breeze to polish. It won’t have the same edge retention as many of my usual EDC but I know I can use it hard and easily bring it to sharp. After all the SAKs steel works the same. I can scratch the edge on rocks when gold digging (long story) and bring it back to sharpness after without diamonds.

“The handle of the ClipiTool Standard is built on a framework of nested stainless steel liners, textured black G-10 scales, and solid stainless steel backspacers and springs. Its screw-together construction ensures the precise alignment of all parts, and a two-position hourglass clip provides a choice of right-side tip-up or tip-down carry.” Spyderco’s card again.

So what do we got ? An honest tool which does not swear you to be the ultimate all around multitool but an easy partner which won’t be scared of dirty jobs. A proud blue collar’s solid companion, easy on budget and easy on the ride.

I really enjoy the fact to be able to get a screwdriver out of my pocket with one hand. I will use as a mini prybar, a scratching tool, a probe, a good reason to justify the fact I’m carrying a knife after all and keeping its generous blade sharp and pointy for more mondaine task.
All in all that pragmatic Clipitool can be escorted by my Para 3 and my Shaman with zero shame.
So thank you Dan and thank you Eric !

Crucarta’s Family — The Spyderco Shaman reveals its power.

Since its arrival my Crucarta has been used hard, fallen twice on rocks and pavement and been immerged in dirty water.
Well this Shaman is made for that.
In fact I have notice how well it could inserted between my CPM M4 Millie and my CPM 3V Tuff.  Theyu both could be his parents.
Knowing the Tuff is Ed Schempp design for a “Built As A Tank” folder and the Millie “Built As A Tool” Sal’s Glesser design, the Shaman got the best of both world:
A tank knife built as a tool: a solid folder which is really sharp.


This is not the easiest design to achieve. The result is a very powerful folder: solid in term of lateral strength and razor sharp for deep push cutting.
So yes, the Shaman is outstanding bring the slicing power of a Millie with the toughness of a Tuff.
CPM Cruwear is the right choice as it is really standing between CPM M4 and CPM 3V.
It is tougher than CPM M4 and less tough than CPM 3V and in term of pur edge retention it is also in between both.

Being clumsy and getting clumsier, my Shaman has fallen on tiles and rocks twice.
No damage after a very close inspection. Nothing on Micarta or on the blade. The recess steel spacer is immaculate too. The blade is not Stonewashed on the Crucarta sprint run, it it gets some scratches from use but nothing really bad so far.
It has been used on wood, dirty roots, plastic and kitchen duty.

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For those who know how tricky a coke bottle butt push cutting can be… The Shaman  is “that” powerful.

I had notice some hot spots to my delicate hands.
The were easy to erase on the micarta handle.

A gentle filing is eliminating them and the rounded handle does marvel in terms of confort.


I have used the same diamond file, and it was a longer task, to file the teeth of the blade’s spine as I use my thumb for my push cuts. Also you can notice there is a flat place for the hand before the lock as I mentioned it in my previous review about the Para3 Lightweight which lack of that “flat bed”. It changes every thing in terms of confort when cutting in repetition hard thing without gloves.

Eventually IMHO the real son of the Shaman is designed by Sal’s own son: Eric.
TheLil’Native is really playing in the same league in term of strong workhorse folder but at a lesser scale. Like its father it conserves a thick spine for a very strong tip.
The Native and the Chief on one side with their thinner blade and lockbacks and the Shaman and the Lil’Native and the other.

Like father, like son. Les chiens ne font pas des chats as we say in French.

Spyderco Para3 – Let there be light!

So here I am, minding my own business.  (Always wanted to start a review with that kind of sentences… à la Michael Di Mercurio.)
I love heft. A heavy knife is sexy in my book.
Bought in the 80’s, one of my German version of a Buck110 was an anchor and I loved it.
I dig the Fred Perrin PPT for its massive butt balance but I’m quite certain Fred would love a lightweight para3 as he loves to hide light tools on himself. 😉

But now.

Now Spyderco has always been about Performance. Performance in geometry, ergonomics, in locking mechanism, steel’s heat treating, choice of materials… and refining refining and refining… Constant Quality Improvements they say.

That Para4 lightweight is born from that CQI state of mind.
Remember the Military ? It always been a lightweight because every kilograms counts when you are carrying a weapon and ammo. At first the C36 was using only one nested liner if I remember well. The fight against weight was hard and not understood by many.
Just look at some heavyweight folding brick found nowadays… No comment.

So Sal loves sport cars and racing boats. His passion for sailing is oozing from his designs.
He has just release a lightweight version of his Police knife.
That Para3 got only one liner like is first Millie.

So lightweight is an obsession as much is lock reliability in folders.
Just like in the Ford V. Ferrari (Le Mas 66 for Europe) james Mangold’s movie.
BTW Spyderco has just release a Lightweight Sage with a compression lock too.

You need need to have a great confidence in the materials you are using too to implement a Compression lock in a plastic handle because the lock needs tension. But FRN is considered as strong as aluminium and Fiber Reinforced Nylon is something Spyderco explores and masters for more than 25 years now.
I remember self defense instructors driving with their trucks on their FRN Delicas (pre liners version) just to show how strong this lighweight folders were.

The lightweight handle brings also great balance to a very “alive” knife. The Para 3 lightweight is something your enjoy playing with. It can be open and close it in a blink. This is really fun and elegant.

The texture is perfect when my hands were wet and greasy. The Bi Direction Texturing is perfect near the pivot: my thumb meat is gripped by the FRN in the forward direction.
It feels so secured in my wet hands ! Also the bi-texturing works in the other direction for pulling the knife out of the pocket. In term of security, not dropping your tools which is like glued in you hand, it is a must. The wonderful Carbon Fiber of my Kapara can not compete with that. It feels like a soap compares to my Para 3.So for the pragmatics, you can reach for your knife, pull it out and use it even with oil on your hands. This is so great and really rare in the knife industry. Sal’s inventor’s mind again.

Like many compression locks including the beautiful Kapara,  you can get soared hands when using the knife without gloves. It comes form the area on the top of the pivot which bites your hand skin. My friend Pascal got reported blisters from his Paramillie 2 for the same reasons. The space between the thumb and the index needs to have a surface to rest or it will hurt. Some Youtubers got that issue when cutting ropes for edge testing too.

This details has been featured in the Ray Mears Wolfspyder. You can use your knife for hours !

See the difference ?
Whittling and bushcrafting ask for the maximum of confort.

Also look at the C36 Military: again there is a surface to rest your hand avoiding soar and blisters hence its great ergos when whittling.

So let assume the Para3 is a light user or at least design as such. Nothing bad about it they are plenty of other designs and even better great fixed blade like Puukkos when working on wood and hard materials for a long session.

But what a great light user it is. It is versatile. With a powerful blade and solid point.
Easy to clean. Anti slippery handle. Non threatening design. Light and invisible once clipped. What not to love about it ? This is a milestone in my book.
And I do favor heavy knives. My Maxamet Para3 got a copper handle.

I have thinned the edge to my taste.

And now the leather is enough to keep it razor. M390 heat treated by Golden is a must.

Para 3 Lightweight DLT Trading Exclusive – C223PRD – My Little Red Riding Hood !

It is light, it is red and it is cute and can skin a wolf or granny’s apple ?
DLT Exclusive M390 steel blade on the Para 3 Light plateforme has hit the old continent after NOT taking any shortcut… It was stuck in Paris airport for a week !Action is perfect. The blade is centered. Drop chute works perfectly. This DLT Trading Exclusive is clicking all the right buttons as I was not really excited to test this knife without some spicy exclusive steel.
Bringing the compression lock to the FRN is a Tour de Force Eric and Sal can be proud of.
At 69 grammes it bring a very strong little big knife into the “pocket and forget” realm.
This is going to be a very Sheeple friendly knife thanks to its red scale and deep carry clip.
I love high performance blade on FRN. My Manix Lightweight is a CPM 110V version and my favorite holiday knife as it is easy to put in a luggage and keep its sharpness for weeks.
This is Little Red Riding Hood is destined to de-throne it. Less moving parts, easier to clean. Very impressive quality !
And M390 heat treated by Spyderco is a sure value since 2012 ! :-)More to come soon as right in the pocket it goes ! Riding !“But Grandmother! What big teeth you have,” said Little Red Riding Hood her voice quivering slightly.My own copper Maxamet Version is just a really heavy weight.SO LIGHT…
“The better to eat you with, my dear,” roared the wolf and he leapt out of the bed…Deep carry clip and excellent lanyard hole placement.

Massive Attack: First Glimpse at Sal’s Shaman Sprint Run C229MPCW

“The first drawing of the Shaman was dated December 17, 2014. That can give you an idea of how long I work on some of these creations.”
Sal Glesser.

Thanks to Tom Song and Howard Korn from the Knifecenter, I have been able to get one of the most coveted Sprint Run from Spyderco: The micarta cruwear Shaman.
Without Tom and Howard always excellent service (I know Howard since the very beginning of his Internet venture), it would have been mission impossible.

It was announced at the 2019 Minimeet by Eric Glesser and every ears were pricked up.
Since it has appears in the very frustrating way being immediately unavailable since the demand was so high.
But here it is after a long journey. This is my first Shaman actually as I was waiting for the first Sprint Run to jump on the bandwagon.

This folder got a massive blade on a smooth like butter pivot. Perfectly centered. And the blade is razor sharp. There is a lot of heft in that knife which is the absolute opposite to the Police “Cheetah” model. The Shaman is an outdoor’s folder dream. You can use it hard and clean it easily. I would compare the way it moves in the hand to the mighty Lionspy.

I regret the clip is not one of the wired but, hey, their must be reason to offer four positions.

The micarta is not polished like a Bark River Knife would be. It is rough but pleasant under the thumb. The handle is thick and made for hard use. I mean it is pleasant to old tight with no hotspot so far.
Now I need to use it but is a very solid folder not destined for the city.
More to come, stay tune… 🙂

 

 

“My designs begin with an “idea”, hard to put into words. The final design says it better than words can. I also refine that design (idea) over time to make it closer to the pure form originally envisioned. The P4 is in it’s 4th refinement and in my opinion, closer to my original “idea” than ever.
While the P4 is very different from the Shaman, they both embody the “spirit” of what I was thinking of for their purpose. I’ll start with pencil and paper, CAD it, make plastic models with Peter from CAD drawings, often for months until I get as close as I can at the time to my “idea”. Like carving an elephant; take a piece of material and cut away everything that isn’t elephant. Once the design is close to it’s “pure form”, I’ll refine the materials based on the original idea and run with it. I don’t have the “eye” of a Lum, so appearance plays little in the fished outcome.”
Sal Glesser.

 

Spyderco Kapara C241CFP, Alistair Phillips Life Saver.

“On a knife edge razor day
If you listen long enough they’ve got nothing to say
It’s a time warp place don’t change
The rhythm of the night, the beating rain…” Midnight Oil.

After so much hesitation I was able to get a Kapara thanks to Tom (and Howard) at the Knifecenter. My “fear” was real since I had held the Kapara prototype at the Amsterdam Minimeet, worse it was a love at first sight when Alistair was showing is original design: the “Red Back” to the forums and Facebook… I was also hooked when Alistair came to Europe for working on the Australian museum bout WWI in the East of France.
(This should not be Forgotten Years, and if you can try to see Peter Jackson, the director of Lord of the Rings, “They Shall Not Grow Old” and see how he has used technology to render the footage from that area in colors and with sound: amazing!).
Also since the early 80’s I’m a big fan of the Oil, the Finn brothers (OK they are from New Zealand too), and even bands like Eden, Little Heroes, Ice House and Iva Davies.

Many description and test of the Kapara has been done last year but this very one here is the Version 2.0 as it has return to the bench for some adjustments as Eric Glesser has announced at the Minimeet 2019. So this is a new version.

So what do we get with that knife ? First you got a very strong flavour from the Big Southern Land: some pragmatism and commun sense for the tools you bring with you in the bush. OK the Kapara was first design as a kitchen knife for making Alistair Sandwich but this perfectionist of a designer as provided something incredible:
– beautiful line,
– smooth action of a “free dropping smooth as glass powerhouse”
– excellent blade ratio
– great ergos…
And a very very sharp factory edge. So sharp, I don’t want to convex it yet. Go figure!

So, from what I was afraid of ? I was afraid of near perfection EDC knife: the one knife which create distance with all the other designs you love.
I was right to be afraid.

No need to ask, he’s a smooth operator…

As you can see the blade ratio is excellent bringing a maximum edge for than handle, the hidden choil helps a lot.

The carbon fibers rounded handed is so nice to watch and use.
A word about Taichung manufacturing again: I was not able to find a single hotspot on the V2. The blade is centered. The blade drops with a release of the lock. The red spacer and the liners are soft and perfectly adjusted. This is really something to experiment to understand: it is like if Des Horn has been on the quality control for this one. Very very impressive !

Alistair has designed a very utilitarian high performance blade. There is not jimping.
The blade of the Kapara has been enhanced with a subtle hidden choil for the more precise cutting tasks. With this choil you will have a lot of control over the knife which is practical when peeling fruit.

The wire clip is set for deep carry and this is simply the best Spyderco configuration. The one which is missing on the Shaman design for example. I cannot imagine you would wear a pocket with that smooth handle and deep wire clip. It carries so easy like the marvelous Ed Schempp Bowie.

People call it “fancy pocket knife” but it is a Miss Australia in a Terminator design. The smooth and precise action, the long sharp edge, the wonderful ergo which can be used to cut on a board like the Spydiechef of the PPT.
It is a practical EDC knife with as a main function in mind: the cutting and peeling of different types of fruit and vegetables: the 9.1 cm blade is measured exactly to be long enough to cut most types of fruit in half. This is a fruit knife with an open back design: very easy to clean. And yes: tomatoes are fruits.
This is a tool with a healthy purpose as quoted on Spyderco site.
“Phillips originally created the Kapara as a personal carry knife to help him prepare healthy, vegetable-based meals.” Fruits and vegetables are good for your health. This knife could be a life saver but for now it is a “Coup de Maitre” !
Bonza Mate !!
On the Knifecenter description:
“According to Phillips, he originally designed the Redback/Kapara as a personal carry knife that he could use for food preparation in an office environment. After gaining a bit of weight, he was committed to eating healthier and trimming down, so he decided to create a cutting tool that would help him achieve that goal. He began by measuring a variety of fruits and vegetables to determine an appropriate blade length. He then tried using several of his existing designs, which happened to be flipper openers, to prepare food on a cutting board. Realizing that the flipper tab got in the way of using the entire length of the edge, he envisioned a knife with a long cutting edge, a Spyderco Round Hole for easy opening and a Compression Lock to keep food from getting into the lock mechanism.”

From the spyderco forums:
“We’re working on a 3.0″ Slippie for the UK market. I’ll keep a 3.25 compression lock model in mind as we watch the model in the future.
Sal”

A Kapara Slippie ? WOW !!

Convexing the edge!