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Spyderco C11WDP Delica HAP40/SUS410 Pakkawood Handles, KnifeCenter Exclusive — Delicate Lady/Gentleman Folder.

20170912_120344-011509878026.jpeg If the Endura with Pekkawood handles is too big for you, there is the Delica alternative ! Again it is IMHO the best version ever made of that legendary folder. I have bought it from the Knifecenter and Howard Korn which is really proud of his exclusive version have buffed the handle to a beautiful result. The Delica is not only a shorten version of the Endura, it got a thinner blade which gives great slicing and whittling power. Again this exclusive version got the clad HAP40/SUS410 blade and it gives you a powder metalurgy high speed alloy in a very thin stock. The blade got also now more lateral strenght than pure stainless steel. On the Delica with its thinner stock, again this pure slicing wonder ! With a little time you can hone it in a true razor. wp-image-136639233 The Delica got that status of pure EDC as it is small enough to be accepted easily by sheeples. The handle adds a touch of class to this little workhorse and the special alloy blade gives more power to the “matter separator”. wp-image-325305067 This is little gem is just asking to be clipped and use. As you can notice there is no laynard hole on the version. That can be an issue for some people who use lanyard to retrieve the knife form their pocket and enhance the handle in length. It’s a matter of taste. I love lanyards on knives pictures but I don’t like them on my EDC and the Delica’handle is perfect for my hand. wp-image-149091807 I have kept the clip mounted for tip up carry, on the opposite of the Endura which I open with a Spyderdrop. But the Delica is so smooth that it can be “spyderdropped” too. wp-image-1199844387 Fit and finish are stellar and you can noticed the 0.5mm of difference in the blade’s stock. Also the full steel backspacegives a feeling of reliable and solid construction pushing the envelop in that great design. wp-image-258000545 You can notice the hole in the clip which is not in use when mounted on the knife butt compared to the Endura’s mounted on the axis clip. Again, you choose your ways they are four positions. All in all the Delica KnifeCenter’s special edition is an incredible EDC and a must for collector. It’s the kind of knife which can not leave your pocket as it’s flat, soft and precious and with the Endura it forms a true daishō (大小) !! wp-image-77962487 wp-image-1669896613 wp-image-175933760 Eventually after some carrying, I have found that tip down carry was fun. The Delica is one of the shortest Spyderco I can spyderdrop as easy and faster than my Millie. Adding a lot of fun! Also the edge once thinned can use the fact HAP40 is ready for a mini apex. I was cutting bottle my Zero Tolerance could not goo through.

Spyderco Persian C83BM — Ed Schempp’s Prince of Persia.

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There is one special knife which is my EDC rotation. It’s not the last steel, not the last lock but this is one of the most beautiful Spyderco ever made. I had pictured it with my Tuff
It was designed by Ed Schempp and quoting Spyderco product presentation:

“Custom knifemakers are way more than just steel junkies. Many are great artists and deep thinking intellectuals with their own specialties and talents. They continue to bring spice, variety and new ideas to the knife world. Custom maker Ed Schempp is a wheat farmer who while driving his tractor through his fields has time to think. He thinks about knives and everything surrounding them: steel, designs, heat treat, metallurgy properties, and he also thinks wheat, but only because he has to. His signature symbol, wheat sheaves are found on all his knives. He recently collaborated with Spyderco in a design called the Persian Folder — a well thought out mixture of classic Western meets the exotic East.

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The shapely Persian blade is traditionally found in fixed blade form but Ed incorporates this Eastern influence into a folding knife. Made of VG-10, the hollow-ground blade is deep-bellied, ending in an upswept tip with a curvy spot on the spine where your thumb rests. The blade’s curves flow through into the handle, which is black Micarta topped with polished steel bolsters. Not only do the curves add visual appeal, they create a finger choil and a crook in front of the index finger then end in a tail, for a myriad of grip positions. A custom designed steel pocket clip positions the knife so it carries right-handed, tip-up. Balance combined with top-notch fit and finish mark this model an Ed Schempp design and a true Spyderco.

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This knife was a gift from JD when he came to visit at the occasion of the SICAC in 2012, five years ago.  It has been sharpen and honed by him and it came really really sharp. Once thing I have noticed is how VG10 can take a very keen edge easily. This one is no exception. His deep belly and thin edge makes it a great slicer really easy to touch up on white ceramic of on leather.

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Made in Seki Japan, the Persian is pure elegance and ergonomy. It spouses my hand gently and brings the blade right where it needs to be: in the extension of my arm. Ed Schempp’s ergos are legendary.

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Shown here with one of the last Spyderco made by Schemp: the Legend of The Fall.

Cutting is easy and even on a board you got control on your pressure. There are no hot spots on that handle and the index can rest before our after the quillon on the choil. This is a bolt constructio: there no screws but on the very exotic mounted clip. Tip up carry for this relatively heavy folder as heavy as my Zero Tolerance.

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This is a true Legend of Spyderco manufacturing, bolt in design and highly praised by users and collectors. Mince is of one of the first batch and it keeps going strong.

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The action is as smooth as the all realisation.

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Zero Tolerance 0562CF — Bright and Beautiful.

wp-image-1933490811 My first Zero Tolerance was the 0770CF and I was really amazed by the quality of manufacturing provided by that Peter Kershaw’s brand. But I wanted something hardchore, heavier at the opposite of my C36 Military which is light and fast like the Hussein Bolt of knives. I have given a chance to the Megalodon, Real Steel flagship. But a poorly designed clip ruined my experience. So I have asked some advice on the Zero Tolerance Facebook group and I have invested in a ZT0562CF ! RIL lock, deep carry dark clip, no hot spot on the handle. The attention to detail is amazing and the ooze of quality. Designed by Rick Hinderer it has won Best American Made Knife at the Blade Show some years ago.

It’s a true flipper, the “thumb” studs cannot be used to open the blade as the detent is too strong. They are just here to be part of the lock. Their also a stop pin but it’s only used to stop the blade once closed not opened.
The first edition of the Real Steel Megalodon used to have the same system and the handle kept that “S” on the front which form two horns which can used as deterrent in case of self defense situation.wp-image-1687282944 As you can notice, it’s easy to pinch your finger between the stud and the handle when opening the blade. So really, it’s a true flipper made to be open in that way. And here the experience is wonderful. The smooth KVT ball-bearing opening system. A washer with caged ball bearings surrounds the pivot and makes opening the knife nearly frictionless. Only the detent ball brings some minor friction actually. But it’s really minimal. The knife opens every time. The balance is perfect, just behind the pivot. So the blade is alive in my hand. wp-image-133474584 What you noticed first when handling the ZT0562CF is her smooth Carbon Fibers scale and butter like action. It’s 156 grams heavy compared to my Military 120 grams (titanium clip)… You fee the heft. And that’s exactly what I wanted. The corners are chanfered and there is no hot spots even the clip is not felt in hammer grip. I love the details on the blade: the stonewashed flat side and the satine grind. wp-image-748540201 It offers alsmot the same working edge. It carries tip up and it’s not as fast to draw as the Millie even with its titanium deep carry clip. The blade is made of CPM 20CV but it was first offered in M390 and CTS204P like on the Spyderco Southard. “CPM-20CV has a high volume of vanadium carbides and a high amount of chromium. You get exceptional edge retention and outstanding corrosion resistance.” said Zero Tolerance site. In fact CPM-20CV is the twin brother of M390 and CTS204P. Different manufacturer and same super steel with at 1.9% carbon, 20.0% chromium, 1.0% molybdenum, 4.0% vanadium, 0.3% silicon, 0.6% tungsten, and 0.3% manganese. The heat treating and the grind will make the difference. But as a Powder Metallurgy (PM) tool steel, you should get a combination of impressive wear resistance and edge retention plus the added benefit of being highly corrosion resistant due to its high level of chromium. wp-image-36373330 You can notice the different surface works on that picture. But as far as the blade was beautiful I felt the edge was thick compared to what I’m used too.

And unfortunatly the ZT did not pass my Plastic Bottle Butt’s test ! It was blocked and even a saw motion did not change anything. The blade was stuck before to reach the thicker part. So I had to summon: the diamonds, the sandpaper and the ceramics and put on thinner edge on that beast of a knife.

wp-image-170153826 I have started with the diamonds of the Fallkniven DC4. It was not easy as I felt the thumb studs was going in the way. eventually I was able to de-shoulder the edge and even to scratch the blade. That “Hinderer flat-ground “slicer” grind” that should provide both slicing efficiency and a tough point was not easy to get at first. wp-image-908967677 Against the scratches I has used a P1000 Sandpaper and they were erased. No big deal. They have disappeared just but doing an 90° motion. I have treated all the blade for good measure. wp-image-737758906 Then came the work on the brown stone, the brown ceramic and the white ceramic. My edge was slowly going convexed. My favorite one for stropping. Soon CPM-20CV was back to razor. I was amazed by the way the steel react under the ceramic. It was much easier than I thought. I had the same excellent experience with my Southard.

Then came the leather work with some polish white paste and I was able to achieve a nice mirror finish. At all it took me one hour for thinning and polishing the edge to my own taste. wp-image-1937876634 wp-image-1775073832 True convex razor as the hairs were jumping on the blade.

It was time to test it on the Coke bottle butt again:

And this time it was a success ! The blade pushcuts steadily through the thick transparent plastic. And then on tomatoes skin which can be tricky with a polish edge.

Some mozarella slices… with its open construction it was a breeze to clean under the tap.

And eventually all the ingredients wre turned into a salad for lunch. Conclusion: the ZT0562CF is now in my pocket to be tested on a longer run but it already got such great qualities to make it a keeper: unearthy smooth operation, great ergos, best high tech materials and top notch steel. The thumb stud does not get in the way while cutting and the point is strong enough to feel confident about its resilience. The innovative deep carry clip makes it easy to disappear in the pocket. It’s the perfect adequation between hard working and gentleman folder. Now you can also check the Falcon here which is a true jewel in that flipping matter.

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Custom Ed Schempp Bowie on Spydercollector — A gem made by a giant.

A pure wonder made for a friend by a friend. Great review as always !

SpyderCollector

I finally did what plenty of knife collectors have done before me; I ordered a custom knife. Mind you, not a ready-made custom knife from a webshop. No, I’m talking about a custom folding knife tailored to my personal preferences. After deciding on what I wanted, I approached the knifemaker to see if he was interested and able to make it. He was, and right away I tried putting the entire project out of my mind to ease the waiting period. The result is in, and it has surpassed all my expectations. I present you, a left-handed 100% custom made Schempp Bowie folding knife, made by Ed Schempp!

Background
The Spyderco Amsterdam Meets are not just great gatherings with fellow knifeknuts that offer an exclusive first look on new and upcoming Spyderco designs. They are also very enjoyable lectures on knife design. Ed Schempp has joined a few meets in…

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Starmate C55 — Blast from the Past.

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“Spyderco’s original C55 Starmate was a landmark accomplishment in knife manufacturing. ”
Back in the 90’s, the Starmate was an alternative to the Millie. Same engineering, nested liners, same steel CPM440V (S60V) same blade thickness same materials… They were false twins. What I liked with the Terzuola was it “workhorse” design when the Millie was more a “fast respond” folder. The C36 was jumping in my hand with the best penetration and cutting power when the Starmate was slower and ready to put its thick blade to test.

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I was happy to have a thick blade made of that alloy as I was afraid to snap it. I used it as my main edc in rotation with M2 AFCK, ATS34 Sebenza. 
And soon “CPM” like we used to call that steel shows us how different it was: it was keeping it working edge for a very long time. The razor edge was lost fast but then it kept cuttin cutting and cutting. This was new at the time. CPM420V (S90V) was not easily found and it was only in 1999 that I got the chance to test a Darrel Ralph design of S90V.
The only way to get back to sharp was Fred Perrin’s backstand…

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S60V gie us the feeling it was a really new animal. The way it wears was different from all the ATS34, 1095, XC75, D2 or M2HSS we used back then. And it was great. You coud go to a trip and forget your sharpener. Your Starmate will be able to cut for the next two weeks.

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Twenty years later you can see on the left the Starmate and the AFCK on the right: titanium liners do wear much more. Because “Bob Terzuola design is his improved Walker LinerLock mechanism, which features a concave ramp on the blade’s lock face. This lock geometry, pioneered by Terzuola in his custom knives, provides greater strength and security than conventional flat lock ramps and is proudly featured in the Starmate.”

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Twenty years between those two great knives.

The Starmate is a reflection of Spyderco rich collaborative history with one of knifemaking’s most talented and innovative craftsmen.
I should see Bob T. in two weeks for the some Paris knives show. The occasion to make some pictures.

 

 

 

MILITARY C36PIN PART IV: Deep Carry Clip in Titanium

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After the part III where I built a patina by worshipping various acids, here comes the part IV of improving my old classic Spyderco: installing a better clip.
My first attempt in custom deep carry titanium clip has not be good. It was for the Yojimbo2 and I’ve been mounting the original clip back.
Then I have ordered a titanium clip for Ghost my Millie.

Actually I was disappointed again, once mounted the action was not smooth anymore.
For some reason the clip was exercising some forces on the pivot and the opening and closing were stiff. Also the mate finish was not helping the insertion of the knife is the pocket.

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So I have bent the clip for it to be less strong and also I have sand it to smooth it.
It made a difference.

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Talking about differences, the titanium clip is very well designed and comes with two flat torx screws. It’s a little higher/thicker than the original one but it’s not a problem and does not change the ergonomy.

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Also by sanding the clip, I have obtained a worn look which goes well with the patina.

I have also rounded all the edge on the G10 with P1000 sandpaper to have it smooth in the pocket.

But I felt some resistance when I put the knife in my pocket and I also found that now the lip of my pocket was obliged to go through a new threshhold: the base of the clip.

You see ? There is step formed by the attached base of the clip which can be hard on my pocket, tearing a hole of my worn denim.

So I was back to sanding on P500 this time to smooth the steep and avoid wear.
And it worked !

Eventually I was able to ease the clip spring pressure and get my C36 back to smooth operation.

So it was not an issue with screws length but a slight deformation at the pivot due to too much spring tension.

So I’m happy, the C36 Military now disappears in the pocket but it also easy to “spyder-drop” it in the blink of an eye. The action is a little stiffer but some nano-oil helps it. I’m not able to have the blade closing by gravity anymore. Anyway the Millie as never as smooth as the Ed Schempp Bowie and not as easy to carry.
But now I can carry that C36 in the city with no afterthought. It’s almost invisible and the Jade Natural G-10 helps a lot in its invisibility and sheeple friendly carried tool.
Hence the name “Ghost”.

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Here how the clip looks before sanding the edge and the finish. You can see the sharp edge around the screw and also the jaws mark of my leatherman.

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From M2HSS to CPM-M4 — Hightech Peasant Knives and why I love them.

I always wanted a Old Timer feeling on a Nasa tool. Grandpa’s knife update, a workhorse with the latest tech but asking for the same care as the previous 20th century generation used to provide to their pocket knives.

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Back in the 90’s I was running after the Benchmade BM800HS AFCK and Mini AFCK BM812HS. (Yes, Sal Glesser was also involved in its design…) They were modern knives with titanium linerlocks but providing a High Speed Tool Steel a tungsten low chromium allow: M2 Speedstar.

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wp-image-1626599986The Nimravus in M2, and pictured : the mini Nimravus BM45HS.
It has been used a lot, isn’t it ?
The “M” M2 stands for molybdenum with 5% of it in the alloy and with 0.95% of carbon, 2% vanadium and 6% of Tungsten it should have been named T2.
“M2 is the “standard” and most widely used industrial HSS. It has small and evenly distributed carbides giving high wear resistance, though its decarburization sensitivity is a little bit high. After heat treatment, its hardness is the same as T1, but its bending strength can reach 4700 MPa, and its toughness and thermo-plasticity are higher than T1 by 50%. It is usually used to manufacture a variety of tools, such as drill bits, taps and reamers.”
For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_steel

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Cuts in the wood were very special and left some kind of patina with M2 blades: it’s soft. Could it be the fine grain of the alloy, the tungsten carbids ? You can find set of chisels and woodturning tools in M2, some of high quality made in Sheffield, UK, but their main marketing quotes is that they last 6 times more than carbon steel which means nothing IMHO unless they use very soft low carbon steel for comparaison.
As M2HSS is not used anymore my present favorite knives are often made of CPM M4.

When the AFCK M2HSS was provided, its blade was coated. But where was the fun ? Patina is a much better coating in my book. The idea was to give to a very thin pointy knife more strenght as the current production was using mainly ATS-34. IMHO they had killed two birds with one stone by upgrading the steel to a non-stainless-steel.

wp-image-258869882Bud Nealy Pesh Kabz or Travel Knife in M2 the coating has been removed and the Mantra 2.

I was very happy with the Caly 3 in Super Blue Steel (until I lost her) but it was not as good as HS steel. Very angry edge for sure but not lasting like M2 or of course the hyper CPM M4. So for good measure I have invested in a Endura with HAP40: “Spyderco C10WDP Endura 4 Folding Knife 3.8″ HAP40/SUS410 Satin Plain Blade, Mahogany Pakkawood Handles, KnifeCenter Exclusive”.  I’m not in business with Howard of the Knifecenter but back in the 90’s I had designed their Logo !
HAP40 is an Hitachi steel which looks a lot like CPM M4 but with added 8% Cobalt and it is technically exactly what a High Tech Peasant Knife should be.
More to come when I will review it next week !

 

 

SPYDERCO NATIVE C41CFP5 – CPM110V Three years update.

wp-image-1801371413Last year, Jim Ankerson made a Military CPM110V test and was able to “cut 6,000 linear ft of cardboard checking every 500 ft for phone book paper sharpness, would still slice phone book paper after this stage, zero edge damage.” He had stopped but ” it could have cut a lot more. I try and keep the cardboard to a reasonable amount.”
For Euros, this is 1829 meters ! CPM110V is so special to him that it’s his Bladeforum’s profile picture. This is special stuff as seen in my Manix 2 review here.

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It’s been three years since I got my Native 5 in CPM110V and 6 years since I use a Native 5 as one of my EDC: friendly size, great ergos… Time to look at it.
First of all,  I have never touched up the blade. Some stropping but not a single ceramic touch. With its factory edge, the blade looks like new: no scratches at all and the Carbon Fiber handle is pristine.  Those materials are hard and made to last no question this folder is a knife made to be some kind of time capsule. Its backlock is one of the strongest  in the knife industry behind the triadlock and has developed zero play which is great because I got many backlocks with vertical play even out of the box. Spyderco backlocks have undergone many refinements and through better manufacturing tolerances are among the safest and easiest locking systems to operate. To quote a forumite: “the engineering wizards at Spyderco have (IMO) outdone themselves”.

The Native is a must-have for any knifenut and got a near cult following aura. First thing, it’s an all American made knife which is IMHO better than the Seki’s and also it has been designed to be a great EDC. A totally polyvalent knife. It has even been chosen to be the symbolic knife of Spyderco’s 40th Anniversary with a Thor Damasteel blade special CF edition. Now it also exists with flutted titanium handle, full carbon fiber handle and S90V blades and lightweight with Maxamet and 110V…
It’s easy why people are collecting them and clipping them with pride.

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Eventually, during this 3 years I have never used “hard” my Native 5. Simply because the false edge is not thumb friendly. I do push the blade with my left hand thumb when whittling. It has been used in the kitchen, but not that much as its blade is short. It has been used for sausages processing and mondaine tasks. I would have use it as much as my Chaparral… And as the Native is overbuilt, it handles on those task with ease.
Also the handle is a little on the squarish side. I have sand it but even though it is not as ergonomic as a Yojimbo2, the Manixes or the guardless Nilakka. So it is not appealing me to use it hard even if I know the construction can handle it.

My Native is some kind of overbuilt Gentleman folder. I carry it mainly in the city or in office environment. I know it will 200% reliable and with his thin edge the cutting tasks will be done in a blink. Unless It has failed on a cutting the plastic bottle butt but it was not its fault. The plastic was 4mm thick !

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If you want to learn more about Natives:
A 2012 video from MrBlonde (Spydercollector) shows the history of the Native.
Also Paul Beretta (The Deacon) has a great post on his site about it.
The Native was also used for Bladeforums exclusive knives many years.

Cold Steel Recon 1 XL — O’ Brother where art thou ?

Everything I could have said about that knife is already in my XL Voyager Review here !

Really, you should start by that post.

This Recon 1 XL version is just proposing some real great upgrades.
Compared to the Recon 1 normal version: this is a full flat ground bowie blade when the other version is hollow ground.

The DLC coating is really really nice and not easily scratched like the goo paint used before.

The CTS XHP made by Carpenter is a wonderful alloy I have had first discovered on the Spyderco Techno. But here you got 5,5 inches of steel !!

G10 is more luxurious than Grivory and it’s easily sanded to your preferences.
My Recon 1 XL could have been used as a wood file as the G10 was too grippy for my taste. G10 is so solid, you can make blades in G10, it doesn’t need any liners. The result is a very light package. (My Voyager XL got aluminium liners).


Sanded the G10 turns white but is cleaned back under tap water.
(Don’t breath that dust !!!)

The clip is not useable. anyway clipping such a knife is not the easiest way to carry it.
It disappear perfectly in a deep pocket or in my case in my travel bag.
I would be able to EDC my K2 but this voyager asked for a vest or a bag.

The detent is smooth. even a little too smooth to my taste. But nothing to worry about. The knife can be open with a gentle flick of the wrist as the heft and momentum is important with such a blade.

Again, like all CS blade I have chosen and which are manufactured in Taiwan: the thin edge is remarquable. That monster blade slits plastic, wood and flesh with an uncanny ease. There is a lot of power in the cuts. And all is served with their Triadlock which is the Mega lock by excellence. There is zero play in any direction.
The knife is fantastic, this is a dream for Crocodile Dundey !
It also perfectly balanced with it sweet point two centimeters behind the axis.
This blade is alive and fast in your hand.

I was able to import that big bad baby for less than 100 euros including shipping. Talking about power/price ratio, huh ?