Category Archives: Review

Le Couteau Des Sorgues III – The Legal Folding Bushcrafter

Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier

Imagine a powerful blade in a legal folding package. This friction folder is the offspring of Xavier Conil who is a really gifted bladesmith knifemaker and designer leaving in the South of France. Like every Conil’s knife, you find a strong personnality in a very well thought package.
No lock. The blade is lock with your grip like with all friction folders. Also this new version (the third actually and for history the first batch has been offred and carried by Sal Glesser four years ago…) provides a choil which is a second security.

The really good point in the Couteau des Sorgues is… Wait a minute. you don’t know what a Sorgue is, do you ?
OK let’s start by this: the sorgues are a net of streams and rivers in the south east of France in the Vaucluse. The Sorgue is a river. So this a knife for the outdoors and for the amphibians…. the frogs !
The beautiful wooden Olive Tree handle is gentle and generous. You cut hard and deep. The belly of the flat grounded convexed edge blade helps a lot. This is a knife thought for great performance. Once open the “natural” lock works perfectly and the new add choil helps you to feel what is happening.
For reminder, the friction folder knives can be found since the antic times. But let’s not forget: what we call the handle was considered in that times has a attached sheath. So the cutting were made by holding the knife by the blade, like a barber with a razor. With this new batch of Couteaux des Sorgues, you can grasp the handles and cut with full power.
The construction is über solid and work is precise and reliable. Easy to carry in a Denim watch pocket and easy to pull and retrieve, you got here a great alternative to “tactical” folders.
This knife is made at Thiers by Claude Dozorme and the steel used is Xr50.
The factory edge is gently stropped and convexed which is an incredible attention for such a bargain.
Le Couteau Des Sorgues III is a great folding bushcrafter and it can be enjoyed in the UK.

Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier
Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier
Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier
Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier
Lames des Sorgues Xavier Conil Laurent Monnier

Mine can be found there:
http://www.couteaux.kingeshop.com/Couteau-des-Sorgues—Olivier–cbbacaaca.asp
(Knife pictured on the link is a previous version as there is no choil!)

Voyager XL Clippoint. This is for real.

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OK let’s do it very short as long as this Über Folder is long.
Incredible value.
Smooth. Really smooth.
Lock like a vault.
Perfectly balanced. Alive in the hands.
Light and fast.
Easy to choke up.
Beautiful big flatground bowie clip blade.
Really sharp out of the box.

Now what would be the use of such a big folder?
Let study it from the “tool” point of view as the “weapon” point of view is so obvious it could make Gustave Doré’s famous Navaja come to live in the 21st century.
OK Cold Steel is already making a bigger folder: the Espada XL. I have been lurking the G10 version XL version for some time but, really this one is to big for me.
The 5,5 inches pointy and belly blade of the XL Voyager is IMHO perfect for a big folder.
Very powerful and precise.
This is the kind of silent companion which oozes respect from its pores. A big folder like the XL Voyager is really a great sojourn companioon: easy to carry and rock solid.
Handy and reliable.
I would had prefered a G10 handle but the patterned checkered plastic is confortableto hold even with wet hands.
This is a tool which needs to be anchored in your wet palm. And the ergos are fantastic.
I haven’t tried it yet for chopping but I know some of my friends are not tender with their knoves and praise the XL Voyager.
The previous version I had offered to my dad has been stolen by my mother who still used her XL Voyager in the kitchen. This is the sharpest knife in her drawer.
She uses it to process meat and bread and I was not able to snitch it from her since 2000…
This new version got the famous Triad Lock which is so simple and so clever… it works perfectly.
Compared to my Tanto Recon 1, the XL Voyager is much smoother, much feline and quick in the hands.
Once closed it is quite light for its size and wide but you can tuck in your pants or in the front pocket and forget it.
Now there is a choil and this is something I really love. Compared to my Recon the Voyager is much more tool oriented.
You can eat an apple with it and quickly forget about its size.
This knife is really easy to master and to get confident with it.
It would be a perfect soldier companion, light enough to be forgotten and strong enough to take a beating.
The previous incarnation of XL Voyager was one of the stronger lock back I have ever tried but was developping some vertical play.
This new one doesn’t have any play vertical or horizontal and is much smoother to open and close.
The belly makes it a great hunting knife: again its so light and strong it will be not forgotten in the truck.
The Voyager is a knife for the modern Hobos. The Supertramps need a superknife.
You can cook with it, use it as a light camp knife, cut into pineapple or watermelon in one control cut.
This big knife is really user friendly.
Taiwan is the Place where great knives are made those days. From Spyderco to Le Pointu I was never disappointed once by their craftmanship.
My XL Voyager Clipoint is going to be carried a lot and I feel inside my bag will be the perfect place to clip it.
When you need a long, solid folding cutting tool, the XL Voyager Clipoint is unique in the market. Especially for that price. There is some kind of Texan Spirit in it. Like John Wayne could have used it in a John Ford movie. Bigger than life and big leggy !
Notice also the Vaquero blade which exists in the same size. Again a very usefull workhorse is proposed. But the Clipoint got more heft IMHO.

I will update this quick post later. But right now I can affirm this knife is a keeper. It’s not political correct. I hope morons will not flash it on youtube to show about badasses they think they are and give some stupid ideas to politicians to ban huge folders.On the contrary they can be a great wilderness tools. Bushcrafters should look at it much closer. It’s unique in its category. A big knife made for the voyagers. A tool for the highway men. And if you want to show off with it do not forget, an old lady somewhere in France got the same in her kitchen drawer. It’s her folding Chef Knife.

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Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition in H1 – Green Power !

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition
In my quest for a travelling knife, I’ve been considering a lightweight big folder. I already know and appreciate the Cold Steel Voyager Serie and also I’m a big fan of the Spyderco C36 Military. Then I got the chance to purchase a sprint run (600 ex.) of the Spyderco Catcherman for USN forums. First it was the chance to handle and own one of the most extreme concept ever made by the Golden crew. The C17 Catcherman was designed as “a filleting tool for the serious fisherman” and offered a long and thin AUS 8A Steel blade.
According to the wonderful book “The Spyderco Story” by K.T. Delavigne (“from the vineyard” in French BTW): “… its name was derived from an optimistic reply to the qquestion: “Are you going fishing ?” : “No I’m going catching.” Also this model was designed by one of Spyderco’s Japanese suppliers, the 4,75 inches long blade offers plenty of belly for skinning and filleting fish. With a .07-inch thickness allows it to flex slightly and pass though more easily…”

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

Now imagine this very serious and gentle tool Evil Twin: the USN Special Edition. With its black blade (titanium carbonitride coating!) and partially serrated blade and toxic green handle (the official color of the USN…) the folder filleting tool could be now…a great toy for Dexter Morgan !!!
OK, but now looking at it, this is still a very serious folder and a wonderful travelling companion.
First of all, that toxic green handle is perfect to find your knife in the bottom of your bag, boat, drawer. It gives a green Stabilo look to it once its clipped to your pocket (the clip tip up right carry is integrate to the handle and is as green as the rest for a .) They are serious improvements as it’s now a Salt knife.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

It’s very easy these days to find a lot of review on the new Salt series by Spyderco with their H1 blades. Started with the Salt 1, a modified Delica 3 with a bigger hole in the blade and a stronger tip, it features a steel impervious to corrosion. ‘H1’ is a self hardened steel with 1% amount of nitrogen. Don’t ask me why this alloy matrix does not want to have an affair with our atmosphere’s oxygen. I don’t know ! But it works great and it does no rust or stain in salty environnement.
From South African hunters to Bali’s divers, the folder are following their owners without piting. So fellow outdoors men (not only fishermen or sailors) you can expect from a Salt knife the relief to be able to use a sharp tool without to mind about cleaning it after.
Your Catcherman from the blade to the clip is purely rustproof.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

And H1 Steel performs quite well. I head once that the very edge on the plain edge version is 65 HC Rockwell and 68 on the serration (due to the grounding of the serrations).
Better, the more your use your knife the more it will have a tendancy to get even harder…

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

Now opening the C17 USN version and you got a thin and long blade beautiful. This is the thinnest blade of all the H1 knives I own and know.
To quote Sal Glesser in the Spyderco Story Book: ” The blade was thinned out more than normal and if you look at the top of the spine near the pivot area you’ll see that the lock is actually thicker than the blade.” It was true for the original C17 it’s also true for the C17 in H1 and like many qpeople thought: this is not a flaw, this is part of the design.
Also there is now a little improvement: the pivot is a screw giving you the option to tune the tension. Mine came with no vertical neither horizontal bladeplay.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

Why a half serrated version when the original C17 only came primary in full serration or plein edge ? Again the answer is in the Spyderbook: “The combination edge gives you enough serration so that you can cut a bone with the small section of serrations near the handle.” Cleverly the C17PSGRBK kept just enough serration to be very useful. It’s for example so easy to cut a line caught in the H1 teeth and there is still plenty of plain edge for other chores on the shore. For what I know about H1, even with a thin edge, it has been impossible to chip the edge. It can roll though.

 

Another good point for the H1 is for cooks. Who has ever cut and prepare a lettuce with good old carbon steel knows that simple fact: the green leaves will turn black in 9 minutes! With VG 10 and stainless steel for example you need to wait for 4 hours before ruining your dish. H1 should be more delicate with food contact. This is something I have been testing with excellent results. Delicate food is delicatly treated.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

This is also where the Catcherman shines: in the kitchen. Melons, for example ask for a longer blade than your usual EDC, but also pinnaples where the thin blade of the C17 is vorpal. Again, the acidic juices are not a concern: H1 protected by the coating is impervious to blood, sweat and tears usually able to dull a carbon steel edge in 10 minutes. Also carving any cucurbitaceae for halloween is now a childplay. My C17 came razor sharp and as I not destined it for cardboard or whittling wood, it’s still (almost) razor sharp after 4 monthes of constant and regular use. Of course chicken and turkeys are no match for the thin black blade and after rinsing it under the tap you can pocket it without to worry about it.
So yes, really this a knife which becomes quickly addictive especially in moist environnement from the kitchen to the sea shores.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

As I really prefer to scuba dive with my Salt Pacific or eat with my serrated H1 Dragonfly (both reviews will come next year), the Catcherman is one of my “carried in the bag” knife and it’s the knife wich goes with me when I’m sailing or daycruising. In the galley of a ship, it’s great to be able to fold your cutting tool after use. This is a great safety inside a boat where everything rock’n roll in every direction.

Conclusion: new and limited edition in the Salt series, the C17 was always IMHO destined to be mounted with H1 steel. I even hope Spyderco would make a regular Salt Version for the serious fishermen around the world. This is a fruit/meat processing knife and if used properly (no scaling, battoning, shopping, throwing…) you will be very surprise in how usefull it will be. There are not a lot of 4,75 inches thin pointy blade folders around and this makes it a high performance reliable companion.

C17 Spyderco Catcherman USN Edition

Frankly the Catcherman was really *not* the knife I would have bought until I hold it in my hands. And… Once open it’s light but also perfectly balanced. Very ‘handy’. Very serious.
I immediatly figure how useful it could be and eventually it has proven to be really a great knife for food and meat preparation.
Usually I’m so in love with natural (wood) or dull colors (G10, Titanium, CF) for my knives and this one is screaming GREEN like a smurf screams BLUE !:D
But again, the Catcherman is so great once put in use… the black blade, the grinning goat logo and half serrated blade… True, it’s almost like a ‘caricature” of a ‘tactical’ folding knife which makes it immediatly sympathic to my eye and strangely… very sheeple friendly. (‘Oh, it’s green!!!’. Yes it is.).

Makes me think about a clown in a circus. You know clowns got a lot of flashy colors and strange “over the top” gear, like very long shoes for example.
In a movie, the USN Catcherman could be the knife flashed by the Joker in the face of a scared Gotham policeman but…
Like the clown there is a long story of labour and courage behind the make up.
To be a clown is not the easiest job in the circus: you need to be a good acrobat (means your fitness needs to be at the top always), you need to be a musician (good enough to improvised on every tune and to be an multi-instrumentalist too.) and you need to be a good comedian.
The USN C17 is my clown knife: “once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.”
😉
Really, this knife make me smile everytime I open it. In a very good way.

Spyderco Native 5 – The Revenge of the Lockback

Spyderco Native 5
Some years ago the Spyderco Manix was hitting the ground with a mighty THUD!: a leaf blade and a back lock strong beyond any standards.
Then came a mini Manix with a sub 4 inches blade and a stout feeling.
Now imagine a refined version of this Manix: this is what the Native 5 is all about: a little big knife in a gentleman knife size.
At the Amsterdam Minimeet 2011 the Native 5 G10 and Flutted titanium were revealed.
Spyderco Native 5
IMHO they were the clever answer from Spyderco to the Triadlock of Coldsteel: better engineering and tighter tolerance for a stronger and solid felt lock.
This is all about Spyderco philosophy: improving and being good when no one is watching. This is also what refinement in invention is all about.
The “Native” project is an American project, providing a Made In The USA knife and starting the production in the Golden Colorado plant.

Now this is a very compact hard working folder with a stout lock and high perf edge. It has the perfect size to be carried in a Denim’s watch pocket !
The blade is smooth like butter and only gravity helps you to close it once the lock is release. This is pure jewellery.

Again the construction is made to such high tolerances you can even tight the pivot, the blade movement will remain as smooth as before.
This is a again one of Spyderco “Little Big Knife” with no hot spots on the handle and an ergonomy beyond expectation.
Of course mine has been sanded and I have used some diamond file on the choil to smooth it a little more.

But the edge was so sharp out of the box, only some leather stropping and I was able to cut hairs without even touching the skin.
S35VN seems to be a very stropping friendly steel and I’m heading forward using it as my new EDC.

The Native 5 is a real EDC: short and easy on sheeples. But it’s also a very capable and polyvalent tool. My favorite lockback so far.
This was Eric Glesser project to improve the Native to this fifth incarnation: this is an instant classic !
More to come soon.
Spyderco Native 5

Something about the engineering: Spyderco uses an induction wire cutting system for high precision tooling of the lock. This is so special and precise. Sal and Eric are very proud of the production quality and the High Tech standard and you can easily understand why. And when you unlock the blade you got the safe feeling the sharp guillotine won’t touch your precious knuckles: the fall of the edge (in fact it’s the choil) is blocked gently before it touches your finger. This is a very secure knife to operate ! 🙂
Here is the link to the CPM100V Sprint Run version of the Native 5.

Thanks to our friend JD here is a VIDEO link about this cutting system:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBueWfzb7P0

Spyderco Native 5

Cold Steel Recon 1 – Second Batch – Back In Black.

Cold Steel Recon 1 2011 Version
I always loved the way Lynn Thomson goes boldly when no other CEO as gone before. The Cold Steel production gave us carbon steel modern folders (Pocket Bushmane and ven the Archangel balisong series) and great choppers. Even the chance to own, try and understand weapons from many continent and many era.
I always enjoy the Proof videos and this company walks the walk and cuts the meat.

Triadlocks folders are IMHO a great improvement in lockback mechanism. The positive force of impact are no more entierly taken by the lock bar but mainly by a pin, like on frame lock or liner lock. And also, there is no more vertical play when cutting like on previous incarnation of that lock. Spyderco has also refined their new backlock mechanism, making it stronger and preventing that vertical play.

Last year, I wanted to try one of those new Cold Steel Recon 1. As I’m not a huge fan of Tantos blade, it was also the occasion to own again a Cold Steel Tanto as they were the first company back in the 80’s to advert this kind of shape.
First thing first. The knife price is not going to ruin you. So you buy a solid tool destined to be used.
The word Taiwan on it made me smile as all the productions knives I know (from the Spyderco Sage, Gayle Bradley, Bushcrafters to Le Pointu) manufacturated in that country are top notch in quality control. (Also the man who introduced me to Chris Reeve Sebenza is a Taiwanese collector, my friend Huan Shang “Hunter” Hsu !)

Second thing I made is sand the G10 handle. Oh you got plenty of thick G10 with a very ergonomic result. This G10 could ruin a trouser in 10 minutes. Once sanded it was perfect but the very short clip was also very tight. So again this was an adjustement easily done. ( Short high clip means: once it’s clipped it disappears completly !)
The heavy AUS8 blade can be open with flick of the wrist and you need some strenght in your hand to disengage the lock. You need to push the trigger release almost one centimeter to unlock the blade and the spring is very strong too.

Looking at the black blade, you can notice the knife got a little smooth belly on its primary edge. Without any ceramic from my Sharpmaker I was able to keep it razor sharp only using it on wood. AUS8 is easy on leather and bothe edge have been kept razor sharp.
Also when you cut in a plate only the corner between the primary and secondary edge (tanto point) is in contact with the ceramic: you cannot dull the knife just by eating with it.
My Tanto Recon has been used in the wood as a light chopping tool. It works great as you can hold its long handle by the back to have more momentum. It was a plesure to use and a very precise tool for any kind of wood cuts. The handle is very confortable and instinctively you choke it up to add more strenght. I also was able to baton with it (with its lock disengaged). But it was light batonning. I did not want to ruin it cause the more I used it, the more I enjoyed it !

This knife is really made to be a hard used folder. Perfect for a LEO, a soldier or someone who need a strong big knife. This is not a sheeple friendly knife. But its performance goes beyond my expectation, so it always find a place with me as a travelling knife of back up tool in my bag or in my car. Whe you hold the Tanto recon 1, it screams to be used hard. I’m so impressed with it that I will try to review soon one of Cold Steel Über Folding knifes (new Voyagers or Espada).
Huge folders got bad reputation but they are great travelling companions and the big tanto blade of the Recon 1 can be used for a lot of application and easily kept sharp.
Oh and the black Teflon coating is holding well. I got some scratches on the back of the blade after one year of use. Perharps I was not enough hard with that knife.

One last thing, it’s totally ambidextrious and a second clip is provided in its box. Nice touch !

Really the Cold Steel recon 1 in its second incarnation with the Triadlock is really a great big tool, very well thought and enginereed.I love mine. Since the blade is coated I would love to see 1095 blade used instead of AUS8. But so far that classic stainless steel is well heat treated

Spyderco Shabaria – Dangerous Curves

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

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

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

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

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

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

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

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

Rockstead Higo-J in the spring time

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

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

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

Spyderco Sage 3 – The Blue Brother

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amsterdam Spyderco Minimeet 2011 – The Forbidden Pictures !

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

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

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

Gail and the boys ! 🙂

All the knives came back on the table eventually.

JD and the Lucane.

A closer look at Jur sheath ! 😉

– End of line –

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

The Lucane by Jérôme “Torpen” Hovaere

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



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


The G10 Proto with another clip.






The ergonomy is amazing thanks to its wasp shape handle.

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




The Lucane next to a Spyderco Tenacious

I have forgotten the specs:

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

Weight: 140 grammes

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