Category Archives: Folders

SC60GPGY Spyderco Massad Ayoob Sprint Run — The Pistol Folder is back but for who ?

Here is a Spyderco Folder designed by a Massad Ayoob the famous gun instructor and destined to be a Self Defense folding knife. An ineptia as far as I am concern. Any screwdriver could be used the same way, the rest is just marketing in a country with a huge personal arm market.
Not for me.
But if I were wrong ?



Massad Ayoob is an established authority, LEO (Law Enforcement Officer… a Cop) and a writer on firearms and (sometimes) on knives. For more than four decades he has also taught defensive knife and firearm programs and appears frequently as an expert witness in trials involving edged weapons.

(taken form his bio in https://www.backwoodshome.com/massad-ayoob-bio/)

He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute (LFI) in Concord, New Hampshire from 1981 to 2009, and he now directs the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG).

Should I need to review a SD knife when I have already written that, in my humble opinion, self defense with a knife is the worst use you can do of that sharp tool ?

It’s not the same problem for professionals, those, in the line of duty, who are confronted to knife attacks, cops and soldiers to name a few. But lambda civilians learning to defend themselves with a short blade tool (not “from” a blade) ?…. well this would be a very last solution of a very messy situation which certainly could have been avoid in the first place.
Better than any edge tools to cut in ribbon an threat are “awareness” and mobility.

As a design, I always loved the C60 especially the ergonomy. Certainly not as a edge weapon but as a cutting tool. It functioned so well as a kitchen and general work knife. In fact the C60 was ranked as one of the best baguette opener in my folder world. Especially with my serrated version. Even when knowing the C60’s blade was especially made to fit between the ribs and penetrate deep into the human chest cavity, lacerating lungs, heart and other vital organs… (Puncturing weapons are legion if you look at any tool from wood chisels to crowbars, thrusting weapons are all around us. So I was never impressed by those marketing quotes especially when a wider blade can be turned at 90° to pass between the ribs… Oh well, tools of violence are as old as Abel’s murder by Cain.)
Spyderco is no stranger to that self defense niche: Canis, Matriarch, Carahawk, P’kal, Chinook, Civilian, Yojimbos



Blast from the past.
Back in the 90’s, I had the chance to be one of the first European reviewers of the Master of Defense’s knives back in the 90’s.
Jim Watson, James Keating, Massad Ayoob, Graziela Casillas and Michael Keating were the five instructors being part of that venture.
Massad Ayoob was the only one providing a fixed blade: the MoD Razorback. The quick draw from its kydex sheath in reverse grip was its main asset. Massad was also timing himself to show how quick he could draw his knife. I actually love that fixed blade concept but its was all marketed and designed as a thrusting weapon, not a cutting knife. This is something which is also found on the C60: more penetrating than slashing compared to a Yojimbo 2 which is as pointy as slashy, 50%/50%.

The Razorback prototype is pictured in the middle and Michael Janich’s Tempest is on the right bottom, featuring his Filipino Grip.

Back on the Sprint Run, Michael Janich has written about the C60:
“From a utilitarian standpoint, the negative angle of the blade definitely increases cutting power and leverage, allowing the user to maintain a straighter, stronger wrist orientation. Similarly, for piercing, it does align the blade with the axis of the forearm, allowing for a direct transfer of energy. If those qualities allow it to work better for your individual needs, I understand and respect your appreciation of the design. While you’re waiting for a Sprint Run, I also strongly encourage you to invest in a Schempp Bowie, as it offers all the same qualities for all the same reasons.”


That odd pistol angle:
of the C60 was explained by its designer Massad Ayoob in those terms: “With a typical knife, thrusting lifts the blade’s point above the line of the forearm, like a boat prow going through water. The faster, harder or more resistance encountered, the higher the prow rises deviating the blade off course from its original target which can mitigate the depth of the cut.”

Its grip angle that is more comfortable and familiar to handgun shooters. That design is trying to be as much of a push dagger as possible without being a push dagger. The “dropped” handle design which is also a signature feature of many Ed Schempp designs also added power to the cut.
Let me tell you something: this pistol grip makes great steak knives ! 😉

Quoting Massad Ayoob:

The C60’s radical angle brings the blade into line with the long bones of the forearm, channeling the body’s force directly behind the line of the cut resulting in minimized blade deviation and maximized accuracy.
The blade is directly in line with the radius bone of the forearm when the average human wrist is in the “locked” position, which puts the middle knuckle of the hand directly in line with the axis of the forearm.

This is what gives the C60 its superior stabbing accuracy, and it also gives tremendously more penetration, because it aligns the skeleto-muscular support structure of the arm with the point (number one), and therefore with anyone who knows how to put his weight behind a punch, gets the entire body’s force going directly behind the point.

In 2001, twenty one years ago, I had the chance to test the very first batch. The handle was made of aluminium coated in black and the blade got that short opening arc. It felt like some kind of sharp pistol and it balance made it very pleasant to use. That smooth thin handle curved handle was really pocket friendly.
But… it has a serious but. Its vertical play was unbearable. I mean, I try to enjoy it with it but eventually, it was drawing me back to small fixed blades, no mechanism, no blade play. I hate to feel the blade moving when I cut on a board.

Long story short: thet 2022 C60 Sprint Run got also some vertical play. But you need to push quite hard on a cutting board to feel it.
I first thought this “rocking lock” would ruin the experience but eventually it is not as dramatic as on the first batch in 2001.

As you can notice the 2001 version was a rivet construction with 3 rivets on the handle. It is not the case of the 2022 sprint run with an all screw construction on G10 slabs instead of aluminium.

How that almite coated handle has survived after 20 years of service ?


This is a picture from C60 #356 from my friend, Joyce Laituri, at Spyderco. Isn’t it a beauty in the patina departement ?I love well used tools and Joyce considers her C60 with serrated edge as her personal favorite Spyderco.

A forumite dream came true:
Actually this new C60 Sprint run has been made possible thanks to forumites from Spyderco forum especially JD Spydo.
His thread is already 143 pages and counting:
https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87077&hilit=ayoob

Even Massad Ayoob answered to them:

“…I‘m delighted to see the enthusiasm for the C60.Changes? I wouldn’t care to see it thicker: the comfortable ride in pocket or waistband was one of its signature features.
I’m partial to G10.
As others have noted, I think we got the overall design and blade configuration right the first time.
Steel? I’ve been very happy with the VG-10 in every respect after carrying the C60 for about 18 years now and using it daily. However, Sal knows WAY more about blade steel than I do, and if he has a supersteel he thinks will work better, I’ll defer to him..
.”

It is an immense success and the serrated version is even selling faster than the plain edge version. Go figure !

A Japanese Story:
The C60 is a knife all made in Japan (using now an American steel when the first batch was made in Japanese Steel VG10) Sal Glesser has also explain the story behind that whole C60 2022 project and the Japanese family in charge of it:

“We began working with this maker in 1988. At the time, they were considered by most experts, even in Japan to be THE premier quality knife maker in the world. It is/was a small family business consisting of the “Old Man”, who was the driving force. He had more than 80 patents on his designs and they produced a small number pieces.
The “Old Man’s” wife handled the office. There were two sons. One handled sales (#2 son) and one handled the factory with his father (#1 son). His wife also helped with the office.
Then one day, with no warning, the Father had a stroke and was no longer able to work. The Father’s wife had to stop working to take care of the Father. Now the sons are running the company with the Patriarch and the Patriarch’s Wife no longer involved. Very challenging, even devastating. They had one major lower quality customer (A Hardware chain) that carried the company. A few special customers like Spyderco and their normal consumer direct line.
Then “The Rains came”. In one year, the Father passed away. The Mother passed away. #1 son had a stroke, and #1’s son’s wife passed away. Now the Grandson is running the factory and he really wasn’t ready. Then the main Hardware chain found a less expensive supplier. The family was devastated.
We brought the Grandson to our factory in Golden to try to get him better trained and brought into the 21st Century manufacturing. Ir has been a long road and they are beginning to get back on track which pleases us and we’re helping…”

https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.php?p=1647803#p1647803

This is what I always loved in Spyderco and the Glesser family: the way they take care of their friends and how faithful they are in friendship.

This new Sprint C60 got his blade made of CPM Cruwear. This is a wonderful steel. Just click on the link to see all my articles about it but, really, this is a steel which is hard to stain, very hard to chip and very toothy even when strop. It is a tough alloy.

CPM Cruwear has been a benediction on thin pointy thin models like the SpydercoMillie and Paramilitary bringing strength to their tapered blade. It also found on Benchmade Adamas and Shaman Sprint Runs both hard users with a lot of lateral strength.

Looking at the C60 new edition, we got a relatively thick blade. It sturdy. You feel it is a blade you could use to pry something without second thought. You would use that pointy blade to open a paint pot or pry letterbox. It is stepping on the Adamas hardcore class but in a thinner package.


That’s interesting because “Mas”, as a cop, has designed a tool with Law Enforcement Officers in his mind knowing how they use their knives on patrol for many more things than just cutting. They even use knives as screwdrivers, prybars or ID plate scrappers.
It is the same reflection I had about the Tatanka: a thick folder destined to be used hard and dirty even when applying lateral forces.

Back to my 2022 C60: its factory edge was sharp out of the box but it could not cut through a plastic bottle but. This is a pure geometry issue: a thick saber ground blade cannot perform like an Opinel blade. For better performance, reprofiling is mandatory and diamond (Spyderco Stuff 2) was used because CPM Cruwear loves diamonds even if it takes a lot of time to do it right without any backstand.


BTW CPM Cruwear is not easy on the Patina in my book. (Link provided)
I use this speciality alloy since the Military in Cruwear with zero pitting on the blade. To avoid that, my knives are often used in the kitchen and grease is always there to coat their blade.

Duck is a fat meat…
So we got that thick edge tough narrow blade…. Not my cup of tea actually. I prefer leaf shape full flat grind or razor sharp hollow ground wharncliffe. So I need to reprofile it and it will take some patience.

Also that Massad Ayoob design proposes no choil. I love choils since Sal Glesser has explained he was inspired by boot knives: you hold your folding knife by the blade and it is a great security for your fingers.
The absence of choil is not an absence of hot spots…

As you can notice the blade falls gently on the index finger when unlocked.
The action is smooth but that guard with beveled G10 and sharp liners is problematic. More on this later.
One thing which is remarquable is the choice of the lock.
” It has a notably strong lock-back with a David Boye style release lever that helps ensure safe lock-up. “
The lock-back allow also a very thin handle construction. Thinness means easy for a waistband carry. This is very thoughtful.

Smooth action thanks to bronze washers ? Nope. Who needs washers ?
Actually there is no washer. No bronze, no nylon: nothing.
The Moki factory is known for that washerless high tolerance constructions and the liners are providing some kind of “integrated washers”. Very impressive !

Without washers, well, there is no lateral play. The knife feels rock solid. And it is all screw construction with a steel backspace.

Quoting Massad Ayoob:
“The handle-to-blade angle puts much more force behind a slash as well as a stab. Instead of the blade “skimming” over the target as it hits hard resistance such as bone, the 90 degree angle of the blade when held in reverse grip (and KEPT there by a handle shape that allows the thumb to lock it at that angle) the C60 is more likely to shear directly through whatever resistance it encounters. Because of the design features, something very similar happens with a slash from the conventional saber or pekal grasp.”

The handle got bevelled grey G10 slabs. G-10 has been used instead of the previous 2001 aluminium. Mas actually said on “Glocktalk” that he preferred the G-10 handles to the original handle. Personnaly I prefer the original handle better as it was providing a pocket friendly solution. A smooth handle suits me but I understand it won’t suit from a “tactical” point of view.
To smooth it a bit, I have sanded mine (with 400 grit) especially under the clip to avoid any pocket destruction by filing them with such a coarse G-10.
Oh, there is another visible improvement of that Sprint Run: the possibility to switch the position of the clip: left or right, tip up or tip down. Nice touch.

To quote Massad Ayoob:
“As to the tip-down carry: I’m one of those early Spyderco fans whom Sal calls “Clipiteers,” who started their Spyderco experience with the original Police model, learned to open it with a pinch-snap, and discovered we could win bets beating guys with bali-songs and even “automatic knives” in opening speed. The pinch snap uses the gross motor movement of the closed hand instead of the more fine-motor skill of using the thumb to open the blade via the original design intent of the “Spyder-hole.

I’m one of Sal’s early “Clipiteers” who liked the speed of a momentum pinch-snap opening, and remain a big fan of tip-down carry for that reason. Wouldn’t hurt if Sal came up with a design offering the choice, it was already set up for ambi and more choices for the user is good.
Plain edge, serrated edge, or a bit of each is entirely up to Sal. In the first production run, on my end the plain edge far outsold the serrated, but Sal of course has a better handle on sales nationwide than I do. Sal’s call, of course.
I’m hoping the sprint run happens. Thanks to all who requested it from Sal!”


There I will be agree with Massad Ayoob. Actually it seems like back in 2000, Mas was turned into a “Spyderdrop” fan and a Clipiteer like advertised on the original Military C36. It’s a fast way to deploy a blade even quicker than a switchblade or automatic knife. You just grab your knife inside the pocket by the opening hole and by a gentle flick of the wrist, you open it.
The spyderdrop just works great on the C36 as it was a liner lock with a big opening Hole. Once passed the detent ball nothing prevents the blade to open. Certainly Sal Glesser demo caught the eyes of Massad Ayoob who was much more a fan of a fiexed blade quick draw as on its previous design: the Razeoback.
On a backlock folder, though, there is a constant pressure from the spring and no need of a detent ball per se.
You need two things to get an easy spyderdrop: a heavier handle for the momentum and, a speciality of the C60 design: a short opening arc.

Something important to keep in mind, the 2001 version was a lower rider. Its clip was much higher on the handle making it disappearing in the pocket. this is less the case with the 2022 Sprint Run.

So, as the C36 is a game to open with just a flick of the major finger, thanks to its shorter opening arc and its negative angle.
It is fast. The jimping on the blade needs a little filing as it could wear the pocket, but the opening hole and the big hump, the stainless steel spacer assing more momentum ease the spyderdrop.
They are fast and reliable. The negative angle and its shorter opening arc could make it the queen of spyderdropping.


Handle wise, I have found the steel liners edges much too sharp. I have used some diamond file to smooth them but for a knife that price, it hurts… the fingers too. There is a real hot spot near the axis. In case of hard push cut the blade jimping is also another hot spot. It hurts that skin between the thumb and the pointer named the “first web space”. Again this is not a tool for bushcrafters. The C60 is a slick flat knife destined to LEO. It needs to get in action very fast.
The Police 4 is in the same category of knife. Flat, easy to carry, a little on the heavy side and solid but not the best for long cutting chore unless personal customization involving a file and some sandpaper…

I have changed the spoon clip to a deep carry one and notice the screws are not torx but crosstip. Very old school !
Just for those who want a taste of that Golden Era at the turn of the Millenium. The mark on the handle came from me sanding under the clip in tip up carry, which was not the best way to carry it.
Look at the shape of the C60:

There is Banana shape and a curve which is great when carried tip down inside my right front pocket. It leave a lot of place.

With a depp carry clip, you can notice only the “guard” is visible. It is very easy to reach the opening hole for a spyderdrop.

The mid lockback (with that wonderful old school Boye Dent) of the C60 is beefy even if thinner than a beefy liner lock, compression lock or beefy even integral lock, and is one of the sturdier locks ever designed. This one was ranked high on Spyderco’s standarts back in 2001. The original C60 lock was already rated as “hard use”. The 2022 Sprint Run should be rated as “Martial Blade Craft” level, the strongest in the Spyderco line thanks to their Constant Quality Improvement.
Again even with some “rock lock” or “vertical play” only felt when cutting on a board, backlocks are really hard to beat in term of pure strength, often the handle will break before the lock as shown on some tests made by Blade HQ:
https://youtu.be/ERxHUXAFVs4


Conclusion: this is a cutting tool oriented Self Defense, with fast deployment and sturdy blade and mechanism. It is not the best cutter, not the best ergos for long works without gloves even if it shine for quick response and tactical needs. I have read some users are using Massad Ayoob to filet some fish. In my book a filet knife is thin… Also I have found some hunters have used their C60 on games for skinning purpose. That knife is really not design for that but why not ? The hand is mightier than the tool.


For me the C60 is made to work hard anyway. It got a very sturdy penetrating blade which can find a lot of utility even for light prying. Also CPM Cruwear is tougher than VG10 (the 2001 version).

But more important, this Massad Ayoob folder reborn is also a nice symbol of trust between the Moki factory in Japan and the Golden factory in the USA. A trust which goes beyond continent, beyond civilisation. This “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” involvement of the Glesser Family toward the Japan Family is a proof of their generosity toward fellow knifemakers and end line users. This is precious in those volatile times. Sal Glesser knows how to create “matter separators” but he is also able to build very solid bridges too.

Yojimbo2 as EDC Workhorse ? Don’t be shy !

After using the Kapara all this summer I have decided to go the opposite way with a straight edge and flat handle !
And having a lot of fun with my Yojimbo2, I have decided to beat that dead horse again:
“This knife has been designed for Self Defense, It would not be a great EDC, especially in the kitchen.”

All famous SD tools were issued from agricultural items, from nunchakus to kerambits and since when straight sharp knives are not useful in the kitchen ?
So let’s broad the specter of usage of the good old Yo2.

The handle is flat and broad.
This is a real plus for indexing the knife but also to hold it by pivot area between the thum and the index. A very commode grip when carving pumpkins or just cutting on a board.


There is a hump on the handle’s back which fills the palm of the hand making the grip secured even with very wet hands. You can notice the same shape on the Kapara‘s handle.
In fact despite being flat the handle is almost all in curves and
looking at the Yo2, only the very edge is straight.



The blade is short thick but broad and keen. It is shorter than a Kapara’s blade which got almost the same handle length. But this a very powerful blade, able to withstand forceful pushcuts.
For that matter I have rounded the spine on mine. Personal preferences since my first Sebenza.


You can put all your weight on the spine to cut right through any matters. The wide blade goes through like in butter.
Also the Yojimbo2’s blade got a certain heft. It is thick on the spinde and feels hefty hence the sensation of power when cutting. This is not minor in the pleasure of using your tool. Thank kind of weight behind the spine makes it ooze of power.

The high blade can adopt the thin geometry needed for easy slices into cherry tomatoes, a simple chore which can be tricky and is an excellent test for sharpness. Tomatoe’s skin can be tricky and rough or razor edges are their best nemesis.
I also heard a lot: “The tip could be fragile.”

For the record, the Snody/Janich’s Ronin and first Yojimbo were much more thin on their tip. The Ronin being made of VG10, I had managed to break it.

To eliminate any risk I have chosen a stronger alloy on my Yojimbo2: CPM M4 and so far the needle tip is as pointy as Day One.

For that kind of jar, the easiest way to open it is by making a hole right in the middle of its cap. When I want to use the jar again, I will use more force or if stuck a twist of a leatherman’s flat screwdriver under it lips to balance the pressure.
With the Yo2, I have been able to remove staples in wood planks and even drill into hard wood which mean torsions for the drilling. No certain I would try that with S90V but S30V heat treated in Golden is strong enough for knife shores. The CPM M4 used here is just peace of mind even on thin sharp knives. Gayle Bradley has also chosen that steel for the exact same reason: strength.
But a knife will never replace a screwdriver apart perhaps for the infamous Ed Schempp’s Tuff.

Once broken, I have been able to regrind the tip of the Ronin which has been one of my favorite big little fixed blade.

The blade shape allow the Yojimbo2 to cut on a board but also the Wharncliff shape protect the edge from any contact with plate’s ceramic. Only the pointy tip get in contact ! It will make deep scars in your wooden planks if you are not careful.

Wharncliffs are great for whittling and also rope/string cutting. There is no belly for the cut material to run away.
They will be less handy as skinning knife where belly blades are mandatory.

The blade choked, only the tip remains for delicate work. In that matter it is as good as the Paramillie2.

The absence of real choil is not an issue. The place of the thumb on the “hump” gives a lot of controlled power.
As you can notice the flat handle around the pivot is wide and this is a real nice place to land your thumb. So it is great for indexingand always knowing where the edge is. On the opposite concept side of the cutlery world, an Opinel (great knife by the way) with its rounded handle need a double check to know where the edge is as the handle can turn in your grip). So this “thumb landing strip” around the pivot which is especially wide on Yo2 is a great asset for using this SD knife as an EDC tool.
(You can also notice than despite a single spot, I have not been able to get a real patina on that CPM M4 blade.)

In conclusion the Yo2 is really a great workhorse and should not be restricted to Martial Bladecraft. Also the more you use your knife in everyday life and the more your build your motor skills about deploying and closing the blade. The heft of the blade helps a lot for that. Use your Yojimbos hard and you will be surprised how they can handle any tasks !

The YO2 in the words of Michael Janich:
“When I designed the blade for the Yo2, I took a lot of inspiration from the Manix2, both because I like the way it cuts and because, as a Golden-made product, its manufacture respresented a known core competency for Spyderco. Combining a partial hollow grind with a thick, strong spine provides a great balance of edge geometry and strength. Moving the point up towards the blade’s centerline moves it toward the thicker part of the blade; however, if the hollow grind runs parallel to the edge all the way to the point, the resulting point thickness is functionally the same as what you get with a wharncliffe. 

The wharncliffe blade excels at cutting because it cuts with full power all the way to the tip. An acutely angled tip also provides superior penetration with minimal effort. 

From a utility standpoint, the Yo2’s tip is analogous to an X-Acto knife and is excellent for detail work. The heel of the blade, closer to the handle, is extremely strong and more than capable of tackling most cutting chores for which knives are appropriate tools. In general, if you focus on using the part of the blade that is most appropriate to the task at hand, you can perform a wide range of cutting chores without a problem. 

Having designed several wharncliffe blades now, I have also been privy to the warranty repair claims concerning these blades. In all honesty, broken tips are rare. The ones that do come in typically come with a story that begins “I dropped my knife on concrete/a hard tile floor….” or “I know I shouldn’t pry with a knife, but…” 

Like a box cutter, a wharncliffe cuts with both power and finesse because of its straight edge. If your style of utility knife use actually focuses on cutting, it will serve you well. If your utility knife use focuses on prying, digging, or using your knife as a jack handle, buy a knife that is better suited to that type of use–and don’t expect it to cut very well… 

I hope this helps. “

MANLY CITY S90V 3DG10 – Excellence and Quality from Bulgaria

This a Mail Call/ Show and Tell. The in-use deeper review will unfold in the coming weeks but as a knife’s fan, this City is just stunning.

Yes, Manly has done it again !
After the Peak, the Comrade, the Wasp… All great knives made in Sofia !
Yes, the knifemakers of Bulgaria have done it again: another wonderful knife !

What is the Manly’s game level in cutlery:
A solid backlock with zero play.
A wonderful geometry totally focused on performance: they are really sharp !
CPM S90V heat treat in the rules of the art.
Clever ergonomy and deep carry clip.
Smooth action and drop chute…
All of that at a great bargain ! My S90V City cost me 63 euros with their 20% winter discount. By the way their shipping cost is still at 5 euros and in less than a week it has gone from Bulgaria to France with DHL.
In a time when S90V sprint runs can be found around 250 euros or more.
This is not only a bargain: this is a must have.

When the Peak has been released, I have started to ask a shorter version to Manly people. Cleverly they have first been focused in proposing a 3 inches not locking knife: the mighty Wasp.
All of those stories can be found in my reviews about that company of perfectionists:
https://nemoknivesreview.com/?s=Manly

The handle: this is a four fingers handle even when not using the ricasso. It is confortable, filling my palm, the jimpering on the back of the blade is not too aggressive. It is a pleasure to hold the City in your hand.
It is not a light knife (93 grammes), there is a little of heft which is also really pleasant even if the nested liners (a tour de force which is not only reserved to Spyderco) are skeletonized. A steel spacer makes the handle totally flex free. The blade is perfectly centered. Just handling the Manly City and my mind goes: wow !

Yes, they are perfectionists because the city is not a shrung Peak it a whole new knife. Making a short folder asks for a lot of thinking and a tabula rasa state of mind.
A great proof of clever engineering is the placement of the thumb stud.
It is completely out of the way when cutting.
Also the City can easily be opened two hands and that stud removed if your juridiction banned one hand opening knives.

The City is also proposed in 3D G10 like mine and the ergos are just stunning. It fits my hand like a glove.
For the Southpaw, two little wrenches are provided in the box.
You can also reverse the thumb stub for the other side of the blade.
So you are not forgotten: the City is totally ambidextrious !

The action is smooth. Not Spyderco Lightweight Native smooth though but the blade once unlock drop chutes gently on the ricasso. Zero risk to get cut. When the knife is unlock the blade movement is silky but there are a little gritty feel when the lock push on the pivot. It is easy to cure: a little oil and moving/wanking the blade back and forth for ten minutes. It wears the parts just enough to get it to a much smoother action. No big deal.
Not the same story with the Spyderco Siren which has cut my finger at first try, huh ?
No vertical or lateral blade play. Knowing the backlock system is the most tried and true reliable and solid of all the lock: this is a hard working knife deep in its DNA.
Oh and for compulsive sharpeners, like myself, there is a nice sharpening choil !

Mine is in CPMS90V but there is also a version for 50 euros in 14C28N (a great razor stainless steel equivalent of AEB-L which should be also a pleasure to strop on leather)…
Manly also propose multicolored G10 variation and 3D shape. You got the choice !

The Blade is a drop point with a very powerful feel: it is wide full flat ground on a 2,7mm stock. This is pure performance oriented ! The thin geometry makes it easy on any job: cardboard, wood, plastic. I have tested on hard dry chestnut wood and it went deep and steady, making nice chips. Knowing how great the heat treatment was on all my previous Manly, there is not reason to get concerned: they know to do it.
S90V is a uncanny alloy which stays sharp for a very very very long time.
It is Sal Glesser’s favorite hightech steel and I think it is still.
For more info:
https://nemoknivesreview.com/tag/s90v/

As you can notice the bottle’s butt test was passed with flying colors because of the Manly infamous thin geometry. The edge out of the box was razor level.




Lets copy the specs from Manly:

Technical Specification

  • Model Name: CITY CPM S90V Black 3D Handle
  • Type: Pocket Knife
  • Overall Length: 17.7 cm
  • Blade Length: 7.0 cm
  • Folded Length: 10.5 cm
  • Blade Thickness: 2.7 mm
  • Weight: 95 g
  • Blade Material: CPM S90V
  • Handle Material: 3D G10
  • Opener: Thumb Stud
  • Opening: one hand
  • Lock Type: Lockback
  • Color: Black
  • Blade Color: Uncoated

    Found there:
    https://manly-bg.com/product/city-cpm-s90v-black-3d/#tab-additional_information

The G10 is grippy but on the smooth side: zero risk for the pocket to be destroyed. No need to send it. Keeping looking at it in details: Manly has really made an eye candy.
There is no hotspot. Also when closed the talon of the blade flushes with the handle. No hard angles when closed (looking at you Cold Steel’s folders…). Again this is Manly’s attention to details !
I love the big bead blasted pivot and hardware.

The bead blasted deep carry pocket clip is also beautifully designed it is the same as the clip introduced on the Wasp and the Peak. I would have preferred a flat screw but this is really nitpicking.

Let’s picture the City with some of his brothers and cousins as you can notice Manly made in apparence simple tools like our grandfathers would have loved: they are made to cut and be reliable.

“I like performance for money. Like the Manly knives, but also the Urban. Not bling-bling but real cutting power!”
JD.

The City is providing the same blade length as the excellent Para3.
All in all, the City is an all terrain folding knife. There is even a lanyard hole, go figure ! 😉 It would be a great hunting knife: a drop point skinner. It would be also great for bushcrafters: Ray Mears is known to use those kind of short folders (made by Fallkniven). For my Italian hunters in Tuscany: the City is perfect for hare’s hunting. It can be an urban friendly solution but the powerful thin blade is afraid of nothing, you feel it asks to be a workhorse not a church’s knife.
So really, kuddos to Manly for this little big knife !! It took me by surprise !
In a time when S90V sprint runs can be found around 250 euros or even more.
This is not only a bargain: this is a must have if you really love knives.
So clearly, yes, I got a huge crush on this excellently designed pocket knife !

The City will get a lot of pocket time until the chapter II of this review in some weeks.
Since then updates and photos will be done on the Facebook Group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/nemoknivesreview

Edited the 24th of March 2021:
Since Manly Knives do not answer to any messages and emails and was not respecting their customer’s requests, Si I had really recommended caution when ordering from their site.
(See the comments and Knife Lover issue with them. I have tried to help him with no success.)
I will edit that review again when I will have a positive contact from Manly.
Is it the Covid crisis ? I don’t know, but for now, without any answer from Bulgaria, you are warned to order knives from Manly’s site with caution.

Edited the 25th of March 2021.
Manly has answered to Knife Lover.
“Thank you for contacting us.

First and foremost, we sincerely apologize for any inconveniences caused due to the delay.We would like to inform you that we are working in reduced capacity due to Covid 19.
Today your order  has been provided to our forwarder A1post.Here is a link to follow the shipment… “


So, case closed. Manly is alive and kicking, still providing excellent knives at very fair price. (Even their shipping cost is fair) but are they are running on skeleton crew, it could be a little longer than before in the ordering process, so don’t worry.

This is the Swayback – Spyderco C249TIP First glimpse at a Sebenza Grand Child.

Here it is, the new Marcin Slysz designed Spydie some have been dreaming for almost 10 years. Inspired by 19th Century pocket knives design this is another grand child of the Mighty Sebenza with a Reeve Integral Lock and many other details which relie on Reeve’s legacy of making high quality folding workhorses.
(BTW big kuddos to the Coutellerie Tourangelle which has been able to send it during vacation’s period in 3 days.)
You will see, it is more a Sebenza’ heir that I thought.

Let’s read the description:

Inspired by 19th century English Jack knives, the sway back pattern is a stylish and extremely functional cutting tool. In his latest Spyderco collaboration, renowned Polish knifemaker Marcin Slysz supercharges this classic design by rendering it with state-of-the-art materials and craftsmanship. 
The SwayBack’s hollow-ground Wharncliffe blade is crafted from CTS® XHP stainless steel and has a handsome stonewashed finish. It is housed in an open-backed handle constructed with solid titanium scales. Both scales are beautifully crowned for comfort and the reverse-side scale forms the foundation of a sturdy Reeve Integral Lock (R.I.L.) with a stainless steel interface. 
A polished stainless steel clip provides convenient carry and is reversible for left or right-side tip-up access.

OK… Polished stainless steel on a Polish expensive knife… tss.. tss…
Now the specs:
Overall Length 204mm
Blade Length 90mm
Steel CTS XHP
Closed Length 115mm
Edge Length 84mm
Weight 111g
Blade Thickness 3.5mm

When I have receive the knife I was chocked. Chocked by a simple fact: I could not open that damn folder with one hand ! It was like glued !!
Two hands I could. One hand -> impossible. Glued.
Again: IMPOSSIBLE. And again. And again. 
The hole is not sharp, he got a light bevel and my thumb cannot catch it. 

In fact, as seen on the 3rd picture, the lock bar is wide, the hole is deep in the handle, so instinctively my other fingers push the bar and augment the detent strength -> you can not open it.
On the second picture you can notice my middle finger pushing the handle’s bar of the the frame lock.
So I was the source of my problem. Not the knife.
It is just a matter of NOT touching the lock bar when opening the damn thing !
Also it is also important to push at 90° from the handle, like Chris Reeve was advising 20 years ago about his Sebenza. You see ? It is really a Sebbie grand child. 🙂
With the Spyderco Ikushi, this is my second tricky Spyderco. Eventually I gave up on the Ikushi. The Swayback is more on a learn curve and finding new muscle motors way.

As you can notice, it ask a little gymnastical way: holding the knife by the pivot and the clip. But it is learnt quick.
I really thought it is the answer of Marcin to all that fidget fashion.
For example the Para3 is so easy to open and close it is almost a game for some people. Click open. Clack closed.
But here, the Swayback tells you “I am a very serious knife ! Not a toy.”
Like Chris Reeve said: “Think twice, cut once”.
You open it with a certain joy and he closes just by gravity.
It is ‘that’ good.

 

Perhaps this is also a way to force you to use two hands to opening it. It is a polite way to open your knife in public. Also it prevents children or other people to open the knife without your permission. In this case it is great ! 🙂
I also found a way to open it in reverse grip with my ring finger.
It is also a very polite way to open a folder as the point is turned toward yourself. Also the reverse grip is really made for that knife.

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Now the other point of disappointment is the stainless steel clip.

It is high and really not in the style of all the previous Spyderco Slycz which were wired like you can see it on my picture of the Swayback next to the Spydiechef.

I got some titanium clips in spare so let see… which one could fit.

They are all as high as the OEM Spyderco but I do not wanted the deep carry titanium clip to stand over the handle edge.  Also I wanted it to match the handle better.

Too long….

Too shiny…

Perfect.

So let’s make some pictures:

So now the edge is very thin on this knife. It is an hollow ground blade like the Sebbie. My 1997 ATS34 is still in a great shape.

Let’s try the edge….

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The factory edge is impressive. Just a few pass on leather and it get to real razor. CTX XHP fine grain is known for that behavior.
I have used it on tomatoes and it passed the test with the famous flying colours.

It is a relatively big folder with great ergos. I appreciate the hidden “choil” or hidden guard and the sway back fits the meat of my palm perfectly. No hot spot there, even with the old or new clip.

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The plastic coke bottle’s butt has been perfectly passed. It is really amazing.

The edge/handle ratio is also great. It is really a tool which screams to be used and looking forward to use it on wood for whittling. There is plenty of space for my thumb to push on the spine.
The Swayback is also an exquisite work of love by Taichung plant.
Many details are hidden like the double pins screw inside the blade around the pivot. They works as stop pin with bevel inside the slabs.
Nick Shabbaz has made a nice video about it.
Taichung rocks really.

So here we got a very elegant folder with a lot of very thin edge. I told you it is very CRK in his blood.
The clip provided is OK but it is a matter of preference to find another one. Once you have learned to put your index high on the handle, near the pivot, the opening is flawless.

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It is very very sharp and the straight edge us generous in length and geometry.
I’m looking forward using it and it will the in another article.

 

And now you can proudly say: “THIS IS THE SWAY !!”    😉

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THE TREE REX Part 2 – Beveling THE SPINE.

The Tree Rex is certainly my favorite hard work folder from Spyderco. Sal Glesser has made a real beauty able to deliver a lot of power.
The handle is especially thicker and rounder than any other folders proposed by the Golden Company. The pseudo wooden slabs which can be rinsed in water with zero issues. (I have erased the smell with some alcohol solution) and the mighty blade made of a very lovely steel: REX45 got that “touch” of Speed Star aka M2HSS I have loved on Benchmade AFCKs and Nimravi. The steel is easy on leather and bites steady when whittling with control. The best wood chisels are made from M2HSS.

But they are some hot spots on the spine and on the choil. I use my thumb to pushcut in wood and a square spine is painful after a while.
Knowing the Rex45 is a 8% Cobalt steel, I have decided to send it in the wind and with some water to prevent dust. The very hard steel (66,5 HRC) was eventually rounded to my taste.

Rounding the spine to a be less aggressive was done using 600 grint sand paper. Eventually I have used the sand paper to do some convexing.
Soon a Jade stone will be tested for mirror finish on the edge.

The TREE REX also known as the Shaman in CPM-REX 45 and Dymondwood.

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This is the C229RWDP Spyderco Shaman in CPM-REX 45 Satin Plain Blade, Rosewood Dymondwood Handles and it is a KnifeCenter Exclusive.
Like the previous Crucarta, Micarta Cruwear Shaman, this is a very rare animal and a king in his family. Of course they are discontinued too. You can notice my Crucarta has now convexed edge where the Tree-Rex is still wearing her factory edge.
There is also another difference you can notice: the pivot screw !

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The handle of the Shaman is appealing for beautiful textured handle. Micarta is such a pleasure but faux wood like this Dymondwood is also a pure pleasure under the thumb.
I have been able to see a broken pakkawood endura handle so what is Dymondwood ?
“”Dymondwood” is the tradename for a product that was produced by Rutland Plywood. Essentially, it is a lamination of very thin veneers, usually birch, impregnated with a resin. The designation Walnut, Cocobolo, etc refers to the color of stain used, not the species of wood. It is a very stable product. Unfortunately, the Rutland factory was destroyed by fire about a year ago. As a result, the future supply of Dymondwood is in doubt.” dixit Bertl on the Bladeforums. This one is rosewood Dymonwood and it looks like real wood to me in rich brown colors and not as orange as the pictures. So it is an excellent surprised. This is the pleasant feel you can get from a rifle, it is warm and pleasant to the eye. “Generally the terms Rosewood, Cocobola, Heritage Walnut, Cherrywood etc are dye colors, not wood species.” said another forumite on the same page.

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The factory edge is even and really really sharp. Just some pass on leather and I got a clean razor which cut the hairs without scrubbing the skin. It is amazing.
So I have decided to round the edge of the spine but keep the edge as it is for a change.

CPM REX 45 is a new steel to me. According to crucible: “CPM REX 45 is an 8% cobalt super high speed steel which has excellent hot hardness along with good wear resistance and toughness, making it suitable for difficult machining applications.A data sheet.
It has red hardness comparable to that of M42 but offers abrasion resistance even better than that of M3. With its excellent red hardness, good wear resistance and good toughness, CPM Rex 45 is suitable for high cutting speed applications.

Carbon 1.30%
Chromium 4.05%
Vanadium 3.05%
Tungsten 6.25%
Molybdenum 5.00%
Cobalt 8.00%
Sulfur 0.06 (0.22%)

As far as I understand a sprint run with orange G-10 and the same blade will be available soon and lot of REX45 knives are coming.

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On the Spyderco Forums you can find a great test of that steel by Deadboxhero comparing REX45 and CPM M4.
Eventually he found M4 works great with coarse edge and REX45 with polish edge. That what I was looking for as polishing edges is my guilty pleasure.
So far, I’d say people will enjoy the properties of Rex 45, while M4 prefers a more toothy finish Rex 45 will prefer the opposite which is unique amongst Crucible steels let alone US steels. It’s interesting to a US steel closer to the properties of a japanese steel which have more of a bias toward Polished edges.” wrote  Deadboxhero.

REX45 seems to be the same as HAP40 found in the Endura review, but HAP40 was 63HRC when REX45 heat treated by Spyderco is pushing the envelop to an incredible 66-67 HRC as hard as this Japanese ZDP189 Rockstead Higo… For the record the Maxamet blades are at 70HRC and brittle as ceramic in my record.
Also the 4% chrome makes it a staining steel and I expect to find a patina after to use.

My friend Max Wedges has given me that advice about cobalt:
Careful with the knives you use with food (specially acid food). The problem is that COBALT is a Cancer agent. For any steels that are sharpened often & go close to food, I avoid ALL Cobalt steels (Tungsten Carbides are less of an issue). If you sharpen you always get some “swarf” residue on the blade… better clean it properly before use: use a cotton swipe with alcohol & a drop of tea tree oil, after carefully washing & drying the blade (& avoid the grinding dust like the Pest it is). M4, M2 Steels have no Cobalt. CPM S110V, N-690, VG-10 do, so I use the older S90V, S35VN, RWL-34/CPM154, 440-C or AEB-L for food knives. Were I a knife maker, I would totally refuse the use of any steels containing Co. Moly is related to Tungsten: these are much less harmful, and are bound into Carbides… but Cobalt forms no carbides & gets airborne easier. Be wise?

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That’s very interesting ! It is something to discuss.
How a steel could harm your health is a subject which I have not seen yet on forums.
Steel is not neutral. If you cut a green salad with carbon steel, the leaf will get brownish. The same cuts with a stainless steel and the salad will stay green for hours. Steels are not neutral with the medium they cut. Is a Powder Tech steel using 8% of Cobalt be poisonous ?

However, if you sharpen a knife, you are grinding the steel with an abrasive. Even a slightly abrasive chef’s “steel” (a rod used to sharpen and condition chef’s knives before using) will leave a residue of the blade steel and the abrasive (silicon carbide, ceramic, aluminum oxide, other steels, etc.) behind. This residue is called swarf. How many chefs have you seen whip a knife blade on a rod, then go right to cutting your brisket? How many wipe the swarf onto a grimy rag that hangs over their shoulder or around their belt before cutting your salmon? How many actually go to a sink and wash the knife with soap and water before returning to the block or cutting board?
From The Special Case of Cobalt by Jay Fisher provided by Max Wedges.

Guys who purport to be experts—posting particularly on knife forums—claim that concern about cobalt is all amped-up hype. It’s easy to find endless discussions, particularly about VG-10, and the concern about exposure to cobalt. The uneducated flock to these forums; they are not experts, they do not read scientific studies, they do not believe the CDC, the American Cancer Society, or any of the numerous organizations that warn against cobalt exposure. “Show me the reports,” they say, yet they are unable to find the very references that the rest of us can easily locate. The reports are numerous; the professionals don’t just make this stuff up, but you have to read.

They claim that you would have to grind up and eat knife after knife in order to be exposed to enough cobalt to cause cancer. They know this because they are toxicologists (ahem), and know that metal exposure recommendations are a conspiracy by nut jobs (uh-huh). I guess all the nut jobs work for the CDC and the American Cancer Society… right?

They sometimes go on to compare cobalt to chromium, vanadium, and other alloy elements, saying that they are just as dangerous. This is typical ignorance on forums. All of these elements have been extensively studied, and cobalt has been found to cause cancers, while the others have not. This is the reason I state over and over, “Don’t get your information on a forum of any kind!”

Experts, professionals, and scientists don’t post there; open forums are mainly occupied by the uneducated and unknowledgeable anonymous masses, hobbyists, and part-time knifemakers and enthusiasts who know very little about knives overall. If you believe them, then you’ll believe that the best steels are hammered together in an open fire, just like it was done in 1875. You’ll believe that the entire modern metals and machining industry does not know anything, that some oaf with a hammer can make an improved axle, planer blade, or turbine part. After all, you saw it on the History channel…

Sorry to be so blunt, but if you are reading this, you deserve to know the truth. Or maybe the thousands of professionals at the CDC, IARC, NCS, NIOSH, and in the research community are all wearing tin foil hats… sigh. Welcome to the internet, where the idiots get the same voice as the intelligent, damn the truth!

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So guess what ? In my great wisdom (ahem) I have asked the question on the Spyderco forum 😀
Knowing Japanese Chef knives are often HAP40 and VG10. Even my Ikea Chef Knife is VG10… Let see what they think about Cobalt in steels:
https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85929

Even Pekka helped there:

Me: Do you think Cobalt dust could be dangerous ?
Pekka: Every dust is ! I do not believe that anybody get cancer if they sharp knife sometimes of month… if they do not collect all dust for they sandwich :) There is lot of f.ex. nickel in steels and chromium etc. all are very bad for health.

Me: How do you protect yourself?
Pekka: I do not breathe ;) serious I use mask with motor. But no gloves, I do not like gloves, I lost my feeling, as you know I do everything with freehand method, no jig etc.

So eventually we can eat with our knives but not eat our knives… ;)
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And also Sal Glesser which was one of the rarest bringing zero assumption or opinion but facts.
Most of the other comments were just mostly about bragging on other way to die like:
“Compared to driving in city traffic, I would say the danger from cobalt or anything in your knife is truly negligible.”
“I would assume it’s perfectly safe when bound together with iron.”
“The oxygen your breathing right now is also causing oxidative stress and damaging your cells and DNA with free radicals. Yet, we keep breathing.”
“Life has a 100% chance of death, get over it.”
“There is cobalt in your food and organs. It’s essential to live. Got B12?”

 

Yes, being deficient in vitamin B-12 causes physical and psychological symptoms, including nerve problems, fatigue, and difficulty thinking…
And yes we got so many chemicals in our bodies but it’s a matter to have them in the right proportion in the right place.
Oh well…
Fortunately Sal Glesser saved the day:

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“Fun subject. Figures it would be Nemo to bring this up from the depths. :p

I remember Nemo and I discussing Eric Taberly’s death in the sea, because he spent so much time at sea. So in the end, what gets you is what you do the most? That concept brings up some interesting thoughts? :eek:

We have to put warning labels on our products because they might be sold in California and there is sever punishment for not warning the people about the danger of the chemicals in our products.

In Manufacturing, most grinders and mills are used wet. Masks re a good idea if dry grinding. I breathed in a tiny amount of G-10 dust once and it did make me sick.

sal”

I guess we were the only few there to see that thread as a “fun” subject as there is the new cartesian way to answer questions of the Internet:

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Someone even has written:
“As Sal said, what gets you is what you do the most. Now that is actually worth thinking about.”
Hummm, I guess many forums specialists will eventually die from masturbation as their armchairs are mostly harmless to their health… No reason to be afraid from any poisons, then.
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And Sal final word on that subject:
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OK, so back to this wonder of a knife: I have changed the position of the clip to a tip down carry because I have found that the Spyderdrop openings are really easy and fun on the shaman. The steel backspacer give momentum and the compression lock is a breeze to operate.

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This knife got zero lateral play too. It can really be open as fast as the good old Millie. For the record 25 years ago Sal’s was beating in speed every owner of automatic knives while opening his own Military. Spyderdrops are really an advantage in putting your tool in action very fast. Also the fact the clip is not a deep carry clip makes the spyderdrop a breeze to execute. Actually it is fun with the Shaman !

 

As illustrated: the clip is not deep carry but, oh well it is a big knife which rides small in the pocket.

 

Trying the edge on some hard chestnut wood and the cuts are deep and steady. It will be a pleasure to use ! It also bring the same smoothness I have had enjoyed on M2 High Speed Steel found on Benchmade knives back in 90’s. Once cut the wood chip feels smooth under the thumb.

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A funny thing has happen to my parcel when flying from the Knifecenter to Paris: it has gone West instead of East and has landed in Hawaï, Honolulu ! Thank to Kristin at the Knifecenter it has been rescued and after one week of storage in Hawaï has been able to fly from the other side of the planet and land to mailbox in 48 hours.
For the record, Hawai as the place where Jurassic Park has been filmed. It was logical for my Tree Rex to go there first. 😉

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Maxamet defiled and born again.

As far as I know I have always noticed how blunt and scratched were my father, grandfather and father in law EDC folders. The old timers were using their knives hard and their blades were tools to be reliable in all situations. They were not expensive and used as screwdrivers and skinners and staples removers and whittlers and they were in contact with plates while eating with them…

Swapping the Maxamet blade on the Lightweight plateform was done for “Mule” testing  on a steel I had always babied since Eric told me it was 70HRC and since I have been waiting 9 months for getting the Para3 Maxamet.

Anyway encouraged by the Cliptools great results on opening oysters…

 

Well the maxamet lost its blade tip at the first attempt. I was able to open 4 oysters but the blade was already a mess.
On the other side the Clipitool was able to open 32 oysters with almost no damage but light scratches and edge bending. This is the kind of knife my family fathers would have chosen: thin and strong blade was always their favorite.
So really kuddos to Eric for designing the clipitoolas a reliable workhorse.

So now time to fix the Maxamet blade. And with no pity !
It means using diamonds DC4 and Double Stuff 2 to repair that edge.

Actually when you got nothing to lose, you go hard on the fixing.
Also doing that by hand will repair any factory burnt edge syndrome…

It a matter of minutes it was already going back to part serrated to plain edge.
The tip is going to take a little more time but it will be reshaped slowly.
Anyway, it is back to razor and ready to be used harder than before.

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Spyderco C208G – Clipitool Standart -The Three Eyes Alien.

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Someone I used to know 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?

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 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.

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.