Category Archives: Folders

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.

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.

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!

SPYDERCO C81GPCW2 PARAMILLIE CPM CRUWEAR KNIFECENTER EXCLUSIVE — ONE YEAR LATER

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One year ago I had ordering a Para2 in CPM Cruwear, an exclusive run made for the Knife center.  Since them It has been used as one of my reference knife toward other purchases which sometimes has not reached the blog review as I’m avoiding bad reviews unless there is something to learn from.

20190909_151658-012836386720377641815.jpegAfter some acid work on the blade and titanium scales, eventually I am back to the smooth G10 scales and a deep carry clip. So why ?
First thing, even if the titanium scales were gorgeous, they add some weight and a very slippery feel under the finger, especially during wet works. Also it shifted the balance of the millie in a strange way making it “dead” in the end. I really enjoy the heavy handle of my PPT for example or on my Copper scaled Para but on the Para2 it was not working for me. back on smooth G10, it is more grippy than titanium and the balance point is shifter near the pivot again.

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Despite my love for “Spyderdropping” I have decided to carry it “tip up” with a cheap titanium clip made in Malaysia and sold in Hong Kong. It works great and it is really low profile when I forget to pull it out of the pocket while going urban. (I carry a Lil’Native, a Roady or a Urban when going in the city those days, too much controls and metal detectors to go with a longer blade…)

CPM Cruwear as heat treated by Spyderco is a steel which loves his owner. It is not tricky to get sharp like Maxamet. In fact it asks to get sharp. Of course it is not as easy as 52100 or AEL-B but it is very tough in every task when you twist your blade like a good tool steel. Not easily stained too, my tests and zests are the proof on that and once stained it won’t go off. My edge is polished and smooth as a razor and it got zero major damage in a year of random tasks, no chipping (nothing which can not be cure with ceramic) or anything like on my thinned hard ZDP189 experiences. In fact my home convexed edge is as thin as my 52100 Para2 and it does real wonder on wood or hard plastic. In the kitchen that polish edge needs sometimes more “teeth” (S90V provides that for example) and some passes on a  brown ceramic or on a “butcher’s steel” do the trick for a coarser edge (tomato’s skin are tricky…) !

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The PM2 transfer a lot of power in the cuts. The first inch from the ricasso can go deep in push cuts helps with a thumb’s push. You got as much power as a good old Millie and this is why the Para2 is so loved. The strong tip (strong because of the alloy used in this sprint run) is not convexed (to keep some steel and relative thickness) and I was able to drill hole in hard material with no bending or damage. This is a workhorse like I love them.
It’s a medium knife I can use hard with no immediate discomfort or “palm soar”.
The flat clip I have mounted on it is part of my need for a confortable grip.
I soon going to review a Kapara which is suppose to be better with its rounded handle but at least I had done my best to round the Para2 handle to my taste and eliminate any hot spot including the blade’s spine.

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So, in my book, CPM Cruwear is an excellent choice for a EDC high performance folder.
For your information, the Knifecenter got now a new Sprint Run: a Native 5 with CPM Cruwear. I’m very tempted but the Kapara comes first. Anyway this combinaison of CPM Cruwear and smooth G-10 is just a winning hand. Spyderco (Eric) has also announced at the last Amsterdam Minimeet a Shaman in cruwear and micarta as a sprint run too. So CPM cruwear is here to stay.

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Spyderco C127PBN Sprint Run: First Glimpse at a Cappucino Urban Razor !

 

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Spyderco has made a Sprint Run using AEB-L on the Urban Plateforme. Mine was bought 65 dollars with 13 dollars of shipping. An honest price and 7 days of waiting. Kudos to DLC Trading.

AEB-L is a razor’s steel. Stainless. When 52100 is also a razor’s steel non stainless (this link take you to a Jerry Stark 6/8″ Straight Razor at 275 dollars…).
Both are small carbides steels and AEB-L is a low chromium medium carbon alloy.
“AEB-L differs from most simpler stainless steels in that it forms very small carbides when heat treated and has a very fine grain structure. Since the carbides are small, they are easier to sharpen, and since the grain is so fine, edge stability and toughness get a boost. Because of these advantages, AEB-L can compete with more complex “super steels” but at a much lower cost.” says Nordsmith site who considers AEB-L perfect for the outdoors knives they made. AEB-L is also consider as a tough steel.

From Doc Dan on the Spyderco Forum:
“I have a couple of folders in 13C26 (AEB-L). It is no super steel and those who are used to S90V or something might be disappointed. It tends to bend and roll rather than chip. In fact, I have never had a chip in either knife. When we first started talking about the AEB-L Urban I was surprised to discover how tough this steel actually is. I think it is a razor blade steel, and for a pocket knife, It think it is a good choice. It sharpens easily and holds a decent edge, but maybe slightly less than 154CM, VG-10, etc. However, if it is run harder by Spyderco, then all of my experience goes out the window.”

So let’s convex it ! Gaffer tape is used to prevent any scratch on the flat of the blade.

I’m happy to use diamonds as it feels hard to scratch.
I heard it was heat treated at 62 HRC. The idea is to have it hard. It feels hard under diamonds.

I keep the factory edge and just deshoulder it.

Then some diamonds paste (thank you JD) and compound for stropping.
It get to a mirror very very fast like 52100.

It is very easy to strop it for a razor level. I have noticed also the edge is like a caress and hairs are jumping.

The point of the blade is not as recessed as on my other Urban. It due to a QC on the spring. But I cannot bring the meat of my finger to be bitten. No issue.

Now starts the test and it will be done in the UK where the Urban is a lawful folder to carry. The mechanism is quite stiff and I really enjoy that. Actually I also love its Cappucino handle and that’s will be his code name from now on.

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The bottle’s butt test is passed with flying colours.

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The bottle’s neck thick plastic was easy game too.

On wood, it made very clean and precise cuts.
Same feel as 52100 and the exact opposite to ATS-34 for example.
The stronger mechanism makes it much more whittling friendly.
Once the Boot’s dagger quillon held, the knife is powerful and accurate in every cut.

Pleasure of whittling — Which knife ?

A knife and a piece of wood make my day.
I can sit and enjoy a good blade taking nice wooden chips.
Steel chemistry is important, especially how fine its grain is.
Back in the 90’s I have found how a Benchmade in M2HSS was more enjoyable than the same model in ATS-34.
How is the blade is ground is also very important, scandi makes shallower cuts when hollow grind got deeper in my experience.
But more than this: the general ergonomy of the knife and especially the spine of the blade do make a difference for me.

But let’s have a look at the knives: Ed Schemp’s Tuff and Bowie, Police 4, Yojimbo 2, Sebenza, Spydiechef, PPT, Paramillie, Lil’Native, Wolfspyder, A little TOPS scandi, Mantra2, Millie and Nilakka.

A rounded spine like my Sebenza is great. It’s very thin edge is also a plus but ATS34 is not making the moment enjoyable. Of course it will cut but the pleasure of feeling how the edge is making the chips is not there. Its edge is like a mad cow !! Hard to control.

 

One of the great surprise in term of pleasure has been that Lil Blue 2 from Raker (Ray Kirk). Made of 52100 ball bearing steel and brought to razor by JD !
The rounded spine of that small fixed blade makes it super enjoyable. The fine grain 52100 makes thin chips but can also be use hard for deeper cuts. That would the kind of knife you can enjoy all an afternoon without thumb soar.

A good old Opinel N°8 is able to cut deep and with power, for sure. Do I enjoy it ? Not really. It does the job but there is no pleasure when the thin spine bites my thumb during push cuts.

A great surprise and even a better surprise that my previous whittling with a Yojimbo 2 in S90V is my Yo2 Jade with a CPM M4 blade.
It is not a knife designed for whittling but it does the job perfectly. Better even is a tougher blade in CPM M4 which is very aggressive. The spine also is thick and my thumb can push with with confort and control. The Yo2 and especially that version is a great wood companion I can use with serenity.

Another knife I highly recommend for going in the woods and whittling with pleasure. And another knife with some martial pedigree has proven to be a great whittler: the PPT.
The S90V thin blade of that edition with a very confortable handle has been eating wood like a chef.

Speaking of chef: lets’ continue with the surprises. One important side of the Spydiechef is how easily it can go out of the kitchen. Sailors and sea kayakists are using it without any risk of failure but within the woods? OK mine has been convexed but this is another great tool to bring with you everywhere. I was able to create beautiful chips and the spince have not bite my thumb. Really a nice experience with this one.

My CPM Cruewear Paramillie has been convexed and its edge was really hungry for wood.
It was in all the bunch the one which went the easiest in the rod of wood. But then the square spire was so sharp and thin: it was not enjoyable. More about it later.

The Lil’ Native with JD sharpening skill is nice and powerful for its size. Really a nice you should not judge by the size. But then again, JD reground it to almost a scandi level. The belly and the thin edge does marvel for whittling. Just a tad longer blade will improved the experience but then you got a Native not a Papoose no more.

Another knife improved by JD sharpening skill is the Mantra 2. I had rounded the spine on this one and it turned to be a very powerful wood cutter. The kind of knife which disappears in your pocket and once deployed is a game changer. The very solid construction and great ergos of that Eric Glesser design is blooming in the woods.

The Police 4, as powerful as its K390 thin convexed blade was a real disappointment. The thin spine is really hurting my thumb when push cutting. The Police is and stays a very urban design. I was not really able to enjoy fine whittling with it. It does the job but the thin spine ruined it for me. This one is much better in cutting cardboards or ropes…

Of course the Nilakka is a five stars experience. nothing new: thick spine, zero ground blade. It is powerful and accurate. Pekka Tuominen knows. Just the thin point could be an issue when digging in the wood to make a hole for example. This is were the Wolfspyder shines: a very solid point !

Another great surprise in term of pleasure has been the Gent knife from Massdrop. I had convexed the edge and its S35VN rounded spined blade is just great. Its natural belly helps a lot in term of push cuts. It is a great folder and 100% shot flipper, easy to keep clean, and look at the shape of that blade: it is stunning and for less than 100 dollars shipping included. It will be reviewed.

Sorry, but the Mora has been the worst. It was not able to bring me nice chips.
I’m certain it would be a great hard used tool in the wood but here for fine gentle whittling: zero pleasure.
The synthetic handle is becoming sticky, the scandi edge is rusting and it was not able to bite in the wood. Cheap fixed blade.

So eventually, using 400 grits sandpaper, I have decided to rounded the spine of my Paramillie 2 and of course it makes a huge difference. Actually I have been really surprise in how deep It was cutting in the wood, kind of remembering its brother in 52100.
Soon I will try AEB-L steel which is considered as a stainless 52100 on a Sprint Run Urban already in transit. So more will come.

In conclusion my more enjoyable whittler is still the Wolfspyder.
The surprise joy came for the Gent, The Yojimbo 2, the Mantra 2 and the Raker.
The Paramillie with a more rounded spine will be certainly part of the club.
The biggest down was the Police 4 and the Mora.

But in term of sitting under the porche and whittling a rod the Ray Mears designed Wolfspyder is winning. It was designed for that task.