Spyderco C136 Persistence Blue Exclusive : My China Blue !

SPyderco Persistence Blue SPrint

I love the Spyderco Persistence. Perfect size to be an EDC. 70 mm is city friendy.
Great ergos. Solid feels. Hidden choil. Smooth, sharp and ready to be used hard.
8cr13Mov is not the snobbish steel but it takes a great razor edge and is quite strong and forgiving.
No blade play. Full flad ground. Skeletonized liners. Light in the pocket.
The Persistence got only great reviews.
When I have learned a Spyderco’s C136 Persistence Blue Exclusive Run will be available, it was the occasion to buy another one. This one to be kept and used.
The clip is a little on the tight side and I have sanded the G10 under it but for the rest the Persistence is delivered with high QC and no flaw.
The Blade is centered. The action is fast and smooth and the edge even and razor sharp. The Royal Blue G10 is the little plus for been accepted by sheeples.

For a workhorse on a measured budget this knife is really a gem. I love the “cowboy knife” equation: cheap but reliable. So you can use it hard with no after thought. This one if ready for dirty jobs and easy to clean with its all open construction. Mine will be used as an eating knife, which means an hard confrontation with the ceramic of plates…
Again like in my previous review, those snobbish bushcrafters should give a chance to that little knife. Perfect for camping, whittling and food processing chores. Hunters of course like fishers should be aware of the polyvalence of that tool. Oh, I really love my China Blue and it can be proudly used next to my S90V Paramillie ! This is like jumping from an Aston Martin to a Beemer but both are reliable and fun to drive.

And yes there is one hair on my blade pictured. My Persistence is really razor popping hairs sharp…:-)

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Victorinox Swiss Champ – Paul Watson Sea Shepherd Special Edition – My other EDC.

I had found this reliable companion on a garage sale. Forgotten in the middle of Gerber pliers and various multitools. It was four years ago and since it has not left my EDC bag.
It was complete, even if second handed. The little needle/pin is there with also all the whittles and bells.
Now I was not able to find any information about it yet. For example when it was sold on Paul Watson’s shops. (See the 2017 update at the end of the article)

Oh and if you don’t know Captain Paul Watson, it is time to discover the Works of this incredibly courageous ocean protector like Jules Verne could had written about….
Everything is on his site and I proudly carry the knife of the nowadays Captain Nemo.
http://www.seashepherd.org/

Victorinox Paul Watson Sea Shepherd
Time to put your screen upside down as Photobucket did not want to edit it….

Victorinox Paul Watson Sea Shepherd

Victorinox Paul Watson Sea Shepherd

Victorinox Paul Watson Sea Shepherd

Victorinox Paul Watson Sea Shepherd

Eventually I have been able to meet Paul Watson twice and we have been talking about his knife. He told me it was unique as it was a gift from Switzerland Sea Sheperd inauguration and that he had it confiscated at Geneva Airport…
So from Geneva Airport to Paris there is a strange net of selling confiscated knives.

David Chaparral vs Goliath Voyager

My Chaparral and my Voyager are great friends.


A convexed edge for a better sharpness.

Sprint Run Spyderco Military C36 with M390 Steel

Imagine a C36 Military with Carbon Fiber handle instead of G10, dual liners when my old Millie in CPM440V got only one and a black aluminium back spacer… now Imagine the chance to test the best steel in the Sprint Runs manufactured in Golden…
Ah, the C36 is available for little time in a limited edition with M390 steel and peel ply carbon fiber… the Cheetah of military folding knives is back with a vengeance.

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

Lightweight. Incredibly light so you forget it once it’s clipped to your pants.
Lightweight is a luxury. The choice of the materials and the refinements of the design since 1995 has kept the feather weight of this big knife.
Soldiers needs to control how much they carry. The millie is a good friend for them.
And a good friend for the hunter, the bushcrafter and the voyager.

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

Again the C36 offers you a very pointy blade for a strong blade. This is polyvalence. The point of needle with the power of a big bad full flat ground blade in the best steels available.
No surprise this knife is a classic and even if a Military II will be produced one day, Eric Glesser at the last Minimeet in Amsterdam told me the Original Millie will be kept.
In all my Military I only saw one broken tip. It was the very first one in CPM440V (S60V) we reviewed with Fred Perrin and he was able to reground it.

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

The big hole is perfect for Spyderdropping. The knife is open with an elegant movement and close in a breeze with or without gloves.

The quillons, created by the choil and the hump behind the hole, give all power to the blade without to go through an handle “interface”. This gives a lot of control. You are able to cut hard and quick. But also by choking up the blade you can whittle and do some precise works. This is where a Millie shines compared to for example my Lionspy which got heft and strong cutting power and certainly a stronger lock.
This is a question of choice. The nested liners in the carbon fiber handle is such a clever invention to keep an extra flat a incredibly solid tool. The balance point is just

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

All in all, that Sprint Run is a second chance for those who could not pull the trigger on the S90V / Carbon fiber limited edition of the C36 some years ago.
Now S90V is a really strange steel. My Paramillie in S90 V is kept sharp as I don’t want to fight with diamonds to get its razor edge back. S90V do not want to lose any atoms.
One of my C36 Military came with a very keen edge. I think it’s around 20°. I was able to goes to vorpal dangerous sharpness only by stropping it on leather. I would not be able to get the same results with my equipements unless I got a lot of time on my hands.
So IMHO M390 is not S90V but so far it looks like a excellent alloy. Better than S30V in the way it keeps its high sharpness once polished (And I love to polish my edges). More to come later on a longer run. But this steel is going to be a very strong contender in the race to super powder metallurgy steels.

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

What a pleasure to pocket a C36 again.This is an EDC which knows how to be forgotten until you need it and the range of use of this Classic is wider than many knives even many spydies. A long blade. A long handle. A research in excellence for 17 years by Sal Glesser.

Many Spydies are little big knives: short knives with great power. This one is a long knife which knows how to be light like a shorter folder. And looking at it you can be delighted by its exquisite lines in all its unique engineering details. A must.

Spyderco Military with M390 Steel

Dirty jobs for a strong folder…

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The Lionspy expresses its design in the woods. The heavy blade and strong lock even make it a light chopping tool for small branches.
But the handle open construction next the pivot is not the most confortable spot for push cutting into hard material like 90% of modern folders the use of working gloves is mandatory for hard cutting. On that, the Gayle Bradley is more ergonomic.

Lionsteel belly cutting

The thick high flat ground blade’s belly gives you a lot of power especially when you need to cut with the first third of the blade (near the point as shown on the picture) when the knife is not perpendicular to the cutting material and the belly acts as a guillotine. Here it works great.
Lionspy in the Wild
With its heavy blade the “need” to chop comes naturally. It helps a lot to clean small branches when making a staff for example. Also I was able to give some lateral pushs and pulls to that wedge blade and everytime the wood gaps with a satisfactory crack. I did not baton it yet, it’s a short blade, but in this case I would certainly not engage the lock.
The open construction makes it very easy to clean but even very dirty all the elements of that big folding knife works perfectly. Sand and dirt do not prevent the blade to lock and unlock perfectly with both systems (RIL and Roto). So far I was not able to noticeably scratch the handle or the blade.
Lionspy in the wild
The Lionspy is really destin for hard user it really remembers me the HEST fixed blade. No surprise the HEST Folder is also made by Lionsteel and got since its second batch so well appreciated.
Both the Lionspy and my good old HEST folder have been used for cutting roots. The Hest is my favorite dirty jobs small knife as I know how solid is it and how easy it’s to restore the convex edge I put on it.
Lionspy and HEST
The Lionspy came with a gently convexed grind and Elmax is surprisingly easy to keep razor sharp with ceramic and leather stropping.
Lionspy in the wild

The Lionspy tonight…

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In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lionspy tonight…

Lionspy

C 157GTIP – Spyderco Lionspy – Pocket Lion King

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“I got a lion in my pocket
And baby he’s ready 2 roar…”

Prince – 1999

The Lionspy is not a big knife. It’s an animal with big paws. Shorter than a Millie, in the same size as a Gayle Bradley this is a compact knife.
Stout would be the term.The extra thickness of the blade is balanced by the almost full wide flat ground convexed edge.
This is not a pointy knife. It’s almost like my beloved small Panama fighter from Sean McWilliams: not pointy but with a strong penetration factor.
So let’s not be fooled by it. The Lionspy got a very sharp tip and it’s perfectly useable for piercing.

The first thing you notice when you handle the Lionspy is how well balanced it is. There is a very good reason to have an half titanium and half G10 handle: balance.
This is a knife which is “alive” in the hand, easy to manipulate and a pleasure to hold. Again, for comparaison it remembers me the DPX HEST fixed blade in the way that thick tool can be very handy for hard works.

Spyderco Lionspy

Shorter than the Millie and in the same size as the Gayle Bradley which is a great hardcore folder with a much thinner blade of of wonderful steel.
The Lionspy is my first Elmax blade. Another exotic powder alloy to test.

Spyderco Lionspy

Eventually the Lionspy is a very compact stout folder as tall as some very familiar object. It doesn’t scare sheeples so far.

Spyderco Lionspy
On a table it’s really a shorty knife for such a relatively wide huge blade. Notice the Rotolock invented and patented by Gianni Pauletta.
This is a very simple way to turn a very strong folder into some mega strong folder. Not a fixed blade. But a mega strong open folding knife.

Spyderco Lionspy

From the thin CPM-M4 to that Millie special edition M390 to the massive Elmax of the Lionspy… The CPM-M4 has proven to be able to amazingly carve into very hard materials.
The convex flat ground Lionspy is absolutely razor sharp right out of the pouch (as there is no box but a great Spyderco pouch with a little stainless steel tool wrench to adjust the pivot and the clip.)

Spyderco Lionspy
Handy and comfy in any grip. See how the grind is even. But the confortable “not square” handle is the first thing I had noticed.
You got a very strong positive grip on hammer or reverse. “Built like a tank” is really the cliché which comes out loud from my mouth.

Spyderco Lionspy

Compared to the Millie’s clip the Lionspy clip is very low profile deep carry alternative. As the knife is short enough to be completly forgotten inside the pocket. Great EDC !
Now it’s not as easy to draw out of the pocket as compared to the Millie “quick draw spyder drop option”. But the Lionspy is a strong tool not a fast cheetah of a knife like the Millie.

Spyderco Lionspy
The cheetah and the lion. Two different kind of animals both very addictive. The Millie is performance oriented, light and fast.
The Lionspy is pure strenght and majesty.

Spyderco Lionspy

Two strong tools. The Gayle Bradley has proven  how useful and reliable it can be. Now it’s up to the Lionspy to prove how it can be too.
So let’s put my beloved GB back in a box and use only the Lionspy for a while…
Let see how the lion can roar on the long run…

Spyderco Lionspy

Spyderco Chaparral. – Gentleman extra flat companion.

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The Chaparral is the new true gentleman folder designed by Sal Glisser. Is it destined to be proposed with various handles. The first batch was supposed to be titanium but due to some delays the carbon fiber handle version get released first.

What amazed me on that little jewelry is the flatness of the overall design and the smoothness of the operations.
I read somewhere (I think it was Paul the Deacon who wrote that) the Chaparral was an alternative to the Michael Walker.
It is ambidextrous and even smoother, flatter and its wire clip is much better than the metal one on the C22.
The Chaparral is inobstructive and sleek design. The CF handle give you perfect retention. It’s a joy to operate.
Like all Taichung release this a jewel. No blade play in any direction. A hidden pin mechanism has been added to the pivot to strengthen the lock and can be felt during opening and closing. The knife despite its ultra thin feel very solid.
Compared to my beloved C22 Michael Walker, well it’s almost beats it but on the edge, the steel, the blade to handle ratio.
I would say the Walker is a BMW Series One when the Chaparral is an Audi A3. 😉
Two great knives for sure but with different performance.
The edge on the Chaparral is a little thick for my test when the ZDP of the C22 is thin and hard.
On hard plastic the Walker is even better than my Gayle Bradley and since I have been able to buy a safe queen, my first Walker will be used hard this year.
On hard matters the Chaparral cannot compete with the Walker.
I have deshouldered its edge a bit but it is not as aggressive as that C22.
But for office task and EDC it is perfect. Also I’m certain someone gifted sharpeners like my friend JD or Tom Krein would easily turn their Chaparral into Vorpals.
Overall the Chaparral is pure pleasure to operate. I use mine when I need a discreet companion at the office or in the city. You will forget it is clipped on you and will bring you a big grin when you will use it.
Another great design with and incredible smooth and flat alternative.
This could be James Bond choice. 😉

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This is my Chaparral saluted by my two Walkers. Can you identified the safe queen?
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Gayle Bradley 2 years after – The Workhorse of outstanding performances.

Two years ago in March 2012 I have ordered and received overseas within 5 working days my Spyderco Gayle Bradley.
I knew at first glance this knife was going to be a hit. You feel it in your hand and in the way it’s operate.
Back then, some people were “blocked” by the fact it was made in Taiwan and were nagging about the fact it was not made at 100% in the USA, simply forgetting that Seki was also importing knives into the USA and since Spyderco’s first success Sal Glesser have been able to build a plant in Golden Colorado to start a local production.
Also some forumites, like myself, have been wasted their time, throwing pearls to the swines, explaining Taiwan is NOT North Korea….
But despites those “retards”, everybody able to hold a GB were going “WOW !!!”
This knife is incredibly smooth and well finished. Oh the gorgeous liners… Some friends who are also in business with Taichung told me each parts of their knives are marked and numbered. We are almost in jewelry.

Two years ago, this is my favorite hard used folding knife: why ?
Answer: outstanding performances thanks to:
its hollow grind is thin and gently convexed. The steel is great. The GB is one the best push cutter in my collection (with the C22 ZDP Walker which is a true state of the art!).
Another great asset: the chunky heavy (I got the first batch more on that later) handle.
This square handle give you a great grip for turning/twisting the edge during the cutting to remove matter, the kind of abuse the Gayle Bradley blade can withstand easily thanks to that great CPM-M4 steel!

On hard materials, the GB is the King. You control the cuts. You feel the blade making constant thick chips of removed platic/wood…. The hidden choil give the control and the “feedback”/feel of the hardware during the hard cutting. Many times you think: it won’t do it but… it does, steady and smoothly separating matters. I have noticed how the edge near the choil is usefull and got a lot of applied force for hard matters cutting. This is the same bonus you got with the small Spydie Michael Walker design. Those “hidden” choil give you a lot of leverage near the axis. You can push with all your weight on that portion of the blade, it will separate matter smoothly.

So after two years of constant use: no rust or pitting on the non stainless steel blade. No blade play what so ever. And the lock is still at the same engagement as new.
I was not able to chip /damage the handle. I was taking care of it enough not to have the liners scratched (the blade is scratched though on its sides but it gives caracter to the knife)
My GB is one of the first batch, the liner of the first version are not skeletonized and it helps a lot to rinse and to clean under tap water. It makes it a little butt heavy but I like it that way… Also the clip was so tigh I was obliged to sand the carbon fiber to have it loose. But since that first adjustement, my GB did not change a bit.
I was even able to keep it sharp with only ceramic and stropping. The edge is thin and is easy to realigned. It’s especially forgiving, like a well tempered carbon steel and with the incredible perf of a high tech alloy. I have also used the handle liners to break glass and I was glad they were exposed that way.
This is the knife I put to the test each time I got something “hairy” to cut, something, I’m not certain I can do it with a knife. And each time the Spyderco Gayle Bradly was able to do it with ease and each time I have try another knife just to check if it was able to do it as “easily” but no. The only contender is the C22 and it’s not a workhorse but a gentleman knife.
Really you can be surprise has how the GB get through wooden knots and with a twist of the handle your break the branch with no damage. The edge goes deep and the blade is resilient. What a knife !

Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

Edit of 20th of may 2012:
I have found those words of Gayle Bradley on the Bladeforums some times ago and I really think this is something to read:

“First of all, thank you for your interest in my Spyderco collaboration. I thought I would address some questions I have read on the forums.

I chose a hollow grind because it gives you a thinner edge with less resistance to the material being cut. The blade material (CPM M4) is so tough and strong it will allow for a very thin edge and still have ample strength for a rough use knife. (My competition knives have an edge thickness of about .014 before the sharpening bevel is ground.) The blade has belly from tip to ricasso for better cutting ability in most cases. The tip is slightly thicker for additional strength. The handle is large enough to accomodate any hand size and most types of grips. Some dimensions not covered in the spec sheet are: liners are .068; blade is .120; thickness is .517. Because of the size of the knife and thickness of the liner material, I chose carbon fiber to reduce weight and add furher strength. One last thing about CMP M4, it is not stainless, but I have found that applying silicone to the blade will prevent most corrosion and stains.

Thank you for your interest in my work-horse design and your trust in Spyderco knives.

Stay sharp, Gayle Bradley”
Nemo Sandman Gayle Bradley

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!)

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