We all know how knives get personnal items and how many times we touch them and use them. Synthetic material got their practical side but natural materials provide some spirit to a folder. It gives nobility, it gets some gentle patina over the years and it makes your personal knife much more personal and more precious. Pakkawood is synthetic but it gives than kind of feel, add a steel spacer and steel liners and you got a bank vault workhorse of the 4th generation !!
The legendary Endura and Delica has now provided as the exclusive batch at the Knifecenter and they are not only great Spyderco’s but also near perfection EDC.
First thing to notice is: this is not your regular Endura. Like the Orange Sprint Run C10FPBORE, this C10WDP is offering one of the best blade ever made in Seki: HAP40 steel clad between SUS410. HAP40 is like CPM M4 an high speed tool steel created by particular metallurgy and made by Hitachi. In my book it means a strong edge who will not chipped even if ground thin.
Quoting Spyderco: “HAP40 is a semi stainless, powdered high speed steel (HSS) that takes and holds an edge better than any other steel available on our site. HAP40 is fine-grained enough to sharpen very well and rates 64-68 on the Rockwell Hardness Test (HRC)even harder than the traditional carbon steels used for knives. We have specified a hardness of 65-66 HRC for our blades. Unlike other HSS steels, it can be relatively easily sharpened on normal waterstones, if not quite as easily as traditional carbon steels.
We think HAP40 holds the potential to become one of the best steels on the market for the production of high quality, high durability kitchen knives.”
Edited on the 8th of October: Semi stainless ? With 4% of chrome ?
What I can witness is that my HAP40 does not want to develop a patina yet when CPM-M4 is staining easily.
Perharps HAP40 is not a Japanese CPM-M4 but something closer to acording to CPM® REX® 45(HS)CPM® REX® 45(HS):
CPM REX 45 is an 8% cobalt super high speed steel which has excellent hot hardness along with good wear resistance and toughness, making it suitable for difficult machining applications. Made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process, CPM REX 45 has good machinability and grindability characteristics.Typical ChemistryCarbon 1.30%Manganese 0.30% (0.70%)*Silicon 0.50%Chromium 4.05%Vanadium 3.05%Tungsten 6.25%Molybdenum 5.00%Cobalt 8.00%Sulfur 0.06% (0.22%)Typical ApplicationsBroaches Milling CuttersEnd Mills Extrusion PunchesForm Tools Shaper CuttersGear Hobs Taps* The addition of .20/.25 S in larger diameter rounds (e.g. 2-9/16″ and over) provides a uniform dispersion of small sulfides throughout the structure, resulting in machinability and grindability benefits with no deleterious effect on toughness.”
It’s even better than my superblue Stretch in term of long last edge and certainly less prone to pit or stain. So, it’s much better.
So the fact that the blade is clad HAP40 is a good thing; you get toughness and flexibility where it counts on the spine and rigidity where it counts on the cutting edge. (quoting Sickael a forumite)
Talking about perfection in manufacturing: the blade is perfectly centered and there is zero vertical play !
The steel spacer and skeletonized steel liners gives a very solid feel and a high quality feel. This is the same spacer as on the G10 Endura. It’s not butt heavy, the knife is well balanced. You can noticed how the adjustement between the liner and the spacer are perfectly done.
Of course the factury edge was on the razor side of the scale. With such a special steel it could be thinned by some work on sand paper to de-shoulder it or kept this way.
Even if the endura doesn’t have a choil, when closed the blade falls by inerty gently on the index. Making the closing safe and fast. Perfect !
“The wood is Pakkawood which is a stabilized laminate of birch with stain, but it is the best material for knife handles. It never warps, absorbs water or changes in any way and it looks great. It also polishes up with a buffing wheel to a high gloss. They are totally made in Seki City and I love my Delica. ” Howard Korn – The Knifecenter of the Internet.
Nuff’s said. This is a labor of love. The wood is warm under the touch and provides enough traction for serious cutting job. This knife is a user, a beautiful and rare user. A classical design enhanced by the choice of materials.
Compare to the Stretch and Millie the Endura is taking her place just in between. A little thicker than my Stretch and longer too.
Compared to my Millie, the blade is thinner but provide almost the same working edge. The Endura has always been an impressive cutting machine confirmed by years of production and refinement.
For a must shorter handle tha the Millie, you are pocketing a blade enough long to cut bagels in half or split a melon.
But I have found that the jimping on the blade were a little too much aggressive and by rubbing against the pocket’s lips it could ruin your denim in a week.
It was fixed by using some diamond file turning the 90° edge…
into a smooth rounded one. It was done in 2 minutes. This is something I also made on my Millie, Paramillie… The hump’s jimping is always catching and wearing my pocket.
Now I prefer Tip Down carry for Spyderdrops and it gives a reason to have this holl in the clip.
So here it is: the best Endura version with a great “Wow Factor”. Even sheeples love it. It’s not menacing, it’s all in elegance and choice in refinement. This is a stunning folder and a rare Endura giving you the chance to carry a Grandpa’ knife with the last technology.
And now let’s start to use it. The kitchen is my battlefield as the knives are subject to their main purpose: cutting efficiently.
Let’s try this on code fish and tomatoes. The factory edge is “honest” but this steel begs for a thinner manifestation, better efficiency.
No stain and no risk for that hande, the wood is stabilized.
So let’s use some diamonds. De-shouldering the edge and creating an apex.
And then gently stropping on leather. The wine glass i not mandatory.
The day after I was sanding the scales !
A pure wonder made for a friend by a friend. Great review as always !
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!
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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“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.
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…
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
The 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
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.
Bud 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 !
Last 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.
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.
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 !
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.
All plastic bottles are not equal in thickness. And this batch made me thought my knives were dull until I have used the champion in that category : the Nilakka.
I have found the thickness was on a steady 4mm. Almost twice the usual!
The Nilakka was able to cut through but the Native 5 I was testing could not.
“After building a Patina, coat it with cheese.”
This is an old trick Fred Perrin used to do just un case someone asked him about his knife:
– Is it a weapon?
– Nope I eat a lot of cheese.
But the cheese grease also protected the blade from pitting. Olive oil, butter are also useful to coat you carbon blade. And they are not toxic.
Eating with your knife is solving a lot of issues: you use your knife a lot, you take care of your edge a lot, you display it and people get used to your taste in cutlery. It’s not a Silent Companion anymore: it’s your coming out as a knifenut.
Ok, first picture was only an industrial cheese, it was mandatory to show a real Camembert from Normandie:
(First made in 1791 by Marie Harel, a farmer from Normandie, she had given refuge to a priest who gave her the recipe in gratitude. She first made the cheese for her family, but word spread and the rest is legend. This version of French Camembert is produced in the heart of Normandie.
The velvety white rind encases a pale yellow interior which softens towards the outer edges. The rind has mild mushroom aromas that are well balanced with the saltiness and supple creamy texture of the interior. The flavour profile displays cauliflower and yeast notes, an indication of a real Camembert…)
You don’t need to force a patina when you eat with your knife. Here, tomatoes with vinagar provide an acid environment able to built it. CPM M4 is much slower than Super Blue Steel in getting darker. A catalyst is heat. Hot meat, hot acid dish (tomatoes) will build the patina quicker. Often, meat loaves will add some rainbow stains which once polished are beautiful.
(My father in law used to clean his knife by thrusting its blade in the earth. Old timer did not respect their blade like us. But one thing is sure, they used them for everything. Their edges were often ruined in the dirt or just by scrapping son paints on a tool, but at least they used them hard.)
Cutting an apple pie in a plate will be hard on your blade’s point and edges. But again this is the game of letting your precious EDC goes in other hands. Iy your knife is really the quality knife you claimed, you should be able to clean it and refresh it in a blink of the eye.
Again, I also got bad experience by cutting vegetable in the garden and having dirt and earth ruining my edge.
The point of your knife will get darker sooner than the entiere blade. But this is the signature of a used knife and they are tools to be used.
In the end, DLC coated blades will never show as much as character as naked carbon steel.
This is my first post sent directly from my smartphone. As I’m looking for easier way to publish on the blog.
It was made at the occasion of preparing a quick lunch with mozzarella, salade and tomatoes with my Yojimbo2. Nothing fancy really but a very sharp and easy to clean knife is mandatory.
In the kitchen, its first use is to open bags. Many times you won’t find a pointy knife in a kitchen drawer so the sharp EDC like the Yojimbo 2 is handy to pierce plastics.
Another great test for the edge is the tomatoe skin. Tomatoes are fragile fruits and their skin can be tricky. If the knife is dull it will squash the tomatoe. You need a sharp toothy edge for best results. Chef goes very fast for that matter. Fast means sharp fresh edge.
The S90V has been refreshed yesterday after whittling with Ghost.
The last part was the mozzarella balls to cut in loaf. It’s sticky on the blade and very flabby. You need a broad knife to work on it. A Chef knife could have been handy but the Yo2 was able to deliver its task.
Again SD knives can be used for EDC tasks especially kitchen unless they are a Kerambit. 😉
We all know that the steel is only 30 percent of the equation for a great blade. And I’m not talking about the whole knife — ergonomy, lock quality, sheath, clip — just the blade: the main “Matter Separator” to quote Sal Glesser.
Apart from the Steel they are the Heat Treating, the Grind and the BET “Behind the Edge Thickness”.
And also the quality of the edge coarsed or polished change the way the blade will cut in materials.
Wood is a fibrous material which depend of its grain and freshness when whittled.
Again, a rabbit to skin or a cardboard box to dispatch will behave differently under a sharp edge.
And a Self Defense designed knife will not need to be a Scandinavian Grind for example…
So I have decided to gather the Yojimbo 2 (Black), the Wolf Spyder and Ghost to practising my scales and mastering the rudiments of whittling on a hazel rod which has been drying for a month (since the Lil Nilakka Review actually). My whole idea was to see and experience how the very different blades grind and shape would behave and eventually adjust Ghost for better whittling.
I have not used my Nilakka as it is a game changer. It’s too hard to reach its performance. (The pictures has disappeared because Photobucket has changed their policies, I will need time to create new links, sorry for the convenience…)
Also I’m a lost cause in whittling compared to what my father was able to do as a kid when he was whittling his own toys but I do have affinities with wood as my grandfather was cabinetmaker and my other grand father was clogmaker.
I had noticed back in the 90’s when I owned a Benchmade AFCK in ATS-34 and on in M2HSS that wood would be almost “patined” differently depending of the grain of the steel. M2’s cuts were leaving a very soft surface compared to ATS-34 which was a more aggressive cutter. I have then found that one of the most expensive wood chisels were made in M2 High Speed Steel.
The Wolfspyder is in her element here. Since I have sharpened her back to razor, the scandi grind cut deep and with ease in the wood. This little knife is purely amazing when it comes to carve deep or caress the rod. The sturdy design is asking to be used hard and the big chunks of wood were flying. It is a pocket beaver ! (OK no more kinky innuendo, pardon my French…). In pushcutting perpendicularly , the Wolfspyder was the more aggressive.
Again, S30V as heat-treated by Spyderco has proven to be a great “all terrain” steel as its edge was not dulled a bit. I’m surprised about the way it kept a perfect edge after all the cuts in a dirty bark and hard wood. Hairs were still flying of my arm. (I heard so much about it losing that very sharp fine edge beause of its relatively big carbids…). It will not be the was with…
Yojimbo 2 Sprint Run was another surprise. First I need to clarify that I had the edge “unshouldered” to be thinner. S90V is a bear to sharpen it feels like “plastic” and without diamonds it is time consuming.
But here it’s the ergos and geometry which made a difference. I was able to cut big chunks of wood with ease. The blade was going deep and my thumb got plenty of space to push behind the edge.
Michael Janich proved it: its Yo2 straight edge keep the pressure on the material. His design was primary made for cutting clothing and flesh in a attempt to keep an aggressor away but it has always proven to be a great EDC for mondaine task. Now I know that bringing the Yojimbo 2 in the woods won’t be a fashion faux-pas. This incredibly solid folder in the right hands can be a great wood processor.
Now I was surprised to notice how my razor S90V edge dulled. I mean, it was still in great shape and has reached the level of a “working edge” but it was not a reliable razor anymore. Twenty seconds on white ceramics and leather and it was back to Vorpal. S30V did not have that issue and of course not CPM M4 of…
Ghost new convexed edge proved to be able to cut deep with a lot of control and also to remove bark with ease and no pressure as pictured. It was fun to use. CPM M4 got also that tendency to leave the wood’s fresh surface very smooth to touch. I could go on for hours but it needed some twist and home edjustment to ease my thumb sore.
…The Yo2 ! Back in the 90’s I had broken my Ronin point drilling in wood. It was a much thinner point and I was really stupid. So I was very careful with the Yo2. It’s clearly not its strong point (pun intended…) but I did not snap it.
C36’s pointy blades, first made of S60V (known as CPM440V) and then of S30V, are known to be relatively fragile but CPM M4 brings much more toughness to the whole design. Perhaps the CPM Cru-wear Sprint Run was even stronger but, anyway, I got zero concern with Ghost which was able to drill the hazel rod easily.
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to adjust and improve your expensive EDC knives to your own uses and tastes. My first attempt has been on my Paramilitary 2 handle. But a knife is a personal tool and it needs to fit you perfectly. Just take your time. Don’t use powertools and risk to heat the blade and ruin the heat treatment (done that in the 80’s…), just go slowly. Also don’t breath G10 and Carbon Fiber dust. Use a mask or do it under the tap. It would attack your lungs badly. Anyway my EDC have really been enhanced by all those little changes and Ghost is no exception to that thumb rule (pun…).
Enjoying your personal tools is always a joy when they are based on great designs in the first place.