Pingo Blue C163PBL K390 Exclusive Edge Matters Edition

My first (black) Pingo was almost 6 years ago. Since, Pascal has reviewed his (orange) Pingo… in his entertaining review Pingo Star !
I got the opportunity to get a very rare beast: a blue Pingo with K390 steel blade and studs to mask the tiny trademark hole and protect it from lint.

First I have noticed is the very firm and strong spring in this one, much stronger than my previous version. It is not the easiest opener with stud which is good as it keeps up its legal character: this is a two hands opening knife which can be open with a painful thumb. 😀

Now about the steel K390 is known to me as a friendly steel. I call it an hyper steel !

C Si Mn Cr Mo V W Co
2.47 0.55 0.40 4.20 3.80 9.00 1.00 2.00

The numbers are talking for themselves !!
This is not a stainless steel with carbides forms from Vanadium, Tungsten and Chrome (which is not used for stainless purpose here)…
It will get a patina very quick on daily use (especially eating and cutting meat) and this patina will protect the steel even better. It will show some character in its legality.

What a beautiful tool ! It will be a beater as he name will be Bluebeat !

“Gazing into the heavens on a night as clear as ice
We held our breath
As a new jewel glistens in the Belt of Orion
Out to the west
And parked up on the ridge between all the different lands
I feel I’ve always been here
Do we go back to the city, back to the lights
To the unforgiven world or on into the night
Where there’s always something new to fall in love with
Searching after something new to fall in love with
There’s always got to be something new to fall in love with…”

Bluebeat New Model Army.

So again Spyderco has provided a non locking sub 3 inches spyder with one of the best super “engine” available hence the fun of using it hard!

It can disappear in the watch pocket. There is no reason to leave it behind !

Of course I needed to convex the edge a great deal as I know how stable this alloy is on thin edge. So no fears in making a real blue razor from it.


Back to the Tusk!

Before the Spydiechef, the Tusk has been the first Spyderco with LC200N blade.
This one needs to get back to sharp after being used by Pascal since his first review.

From Spyderco:
“The original concept of the Tusk was conceived by Sal Glesser in the early 1980’s. More than 25 years later, his son Eric picked up the project and made it a reality, creating a truly extraordinary multi-function mariner’s tool. The Tusk’s handle is precision machined from two slabs of solid titanium. One end houses a Plain Edged blade ground from LC 200 N steel—a nitrogen-alloyed tool steel that offers extreme toughness and superior corrosion resistance—and locks open via a sturdy Reeve Integral Lock (R.I.L.) mechanism.

At the other end of the Tusk’s handle is a 300-series stainless steel marlinspike, which features a unique round-to-square cross section for increased leverage when loosening knots. A milled slot in the marlinspike’s body and the gap between it and the handle also serve as shackle keys for unscrewing and tightening threaded shackles. To allow the marlinspike and its shackle key to withstand extreme leverage during use, it locks securely in place with Spyderco’s patented Ball Bearing Lockâ„¢ mechanism containing a special ceramic ball. Constructed entirely of highly rust-resistant, state-of-the-art materials, the Tusk literally began as a tool that was ahead of its time, but whose time has now come.”
This is something of a “heritage” knife for Spyderco (i.e., the father’s idea, and the son’s design)…

The blade’s saber grind is not on the thin side but it can get a little better with diamonds. The Tusk is like a Ferrari hence its high price. I do believe it was also some tests for the Taichung factory. Some kind of high prized yachtman tool.

On the dumb side of their site: because of the ceramic ball lock they have add a message:
“WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD — Toy contains a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

The shackle key is a little on the small size and did not work with all the shackles Pascal had on his boat. Also we were able to force close the marlinspike with our bare hands. The ceramic ball lock-up for the marlin spike is free floating and, therefore will not form any wear spot while in use and, is very smooth in operation. It also seems I cannot reproduced that lock failure now…Perhaps it was dirty or something ? Anyway…

It does not make the Tusk spike dangerous for hard use (the spike got a choil) and it can get a lot of utility from board to starboard… And yes, it’s almost addictive to untie an dry salty knot with it hence the handy clip to keep the Tusk close.

The tusk is a handy tool to loosen knots without having to cut the rope or cordage and forget about any corrosion in salty environment.
It’s also a crew knife that would deploy its blade with ease, and remain locked open under any aggressive uses while under way.

Yojimbo2: swapping the blades back and forth.

My project when I had ordered the Jade Yojimbo2 was to swap the blades with my Carbon Fiber / S90V Yojimbo2, to make a vinegar patina and enjoy a unique CPM M4/ Carbon fiber Yojimbo2.
Yeah well…
I have done it but the patina.

Here is the result. But you know what… As great as the CF handle is… this Jade version got something really special. I love the smoothness I have obtained by sanding the natural G10 and the action is smoother than butter.

So I have swapped it again. It was very easy.
What I can notice about this “sterile” experience is how well adjusted those Golden spawns can be. In both configurations the action was smooth as glass and the blade perfectly centered. It’s a joy to dismount and put back together.
So it’s just me, in the end, seeing the deep carry clip going esthetically much better on Jade natural scales and the heft of the BladeHQ special edition being more appealing to me. Also these transparent slaps help a lot for a non threatening aspect of a very pointy knife. I have already used twice in public place without being noticed…
So back to the start after some nano oiling and putting some fresh blue loctite on strategic screws: pivot and clip. Great knives easy to maintain clean even in the inside.

Spyderco Yojimbo2 C85GM4P2 CPM-M4 The Jade Warrior.

This is a bud of an article about the BladeHQ exclusive Yojimbo2.

At least there is picture.

Story will come later in multiple update.

I have reviewed the Michael Janich’s Yojimbo2 many time here.
And I have been waiting for a tougher alloy for a long time: CPM-M4 is one of my favorite steel.

Why ? Because it’s take a razor sharp edge and keeps it, it’s a tougher than stainless steel super steel and its edge stability is better: no chipping or warping in my uses. Of course it will get stained but that is the part of his multiple charms. This is a steel used in blade competitions and Gayle Bradley is a fan of it.

The Yojimbo2 design asked for a very thin point and a stronger, tougher steel. M4 is a must if you want to use it (like myself) in everyday chores… hard !!
Because such great ergos ask for hard working.

Compared to my previous YO2, the closing sound “TICK” got a much higher pitch than my S90V version. I had noticed that kind of higher pitch on another super tool steel: Maxamet.

Does it mean the steel is harder ? Will see.

So stay tuned!

I have changed the OEM clip for this one.

It’s a shortest deep carry clip.

The Para 3 in Maxamet got the same high pitch TICK.

Dirty blade ready for some chores.
Both knives are excellent EDC. The Yo2 offers really powerful cuts on wood.
A word which comes back a lot with my Yo2 review is “power”. The heft of the saber ground hollow blade and the confortable thick spine is a call for pushcuts and “very light” chopping. You will see what I mean in a few photographies…

Deshouldering and starting to get a thinner edge. The factory edge is excellent though.

“Ghost” and “Jade” together: same materials.

The handle lengths are different just because one is standing on its clip.

Push cuts are easy.

This is the kind of “very light” chopping cuts which are made in blink of an eye.
The Yo2 is a great trimmer. The edge bites deep and the straight edge won’t let go.

It’s very efficient !

M4 steel erases any fear of breaking the thin tip easily but I do respect too much my knife to try any lateral forcing. At least I’m no afraid to use that blade tip hard !


Rinsing and cleaning the blade in a spring stream. No real patina so far but soon it will come. M4 get darker in a slow way on my experience: no hurry !
But that Jade handle goes so well with natural environments…


There is a lot of charm in the Yo2: the heavy blade smooth action, the straight edge power and the great ergos ! Nobody seems to notice it while used in a restaurant, the Jade helps a lot to make it less a weapon and more a tool.


Pear of Cydonia

IMG_8602Its quince season here in Paris (October – December). Quice originate from the Caspian sea banks and has been cultivated as early as 4000 BC. It comes from the quince tree (no kidding) and the fruit looks like a big pear. Raw it is sour, very hard and has a strong scent.
The Greeks would eat quince with honey and the Romans used it to make perfume. It has sevral medical virtues mainly related to the intestins and as anti sceptic. In the very famous book from Cervantes (that I recommend to read if not already done), Don Quichote advises Sancho Pança some slices of quince to ease his digestion!

So I had about 2.5 kg to prepare for the freezer. We eventually de-freeze and cook quince dices to make quince paste (great with cheese) and jelly.

Quinces being pretty hard, after cleaning the skin and drying them, I had a rather tough job ahead. I had done this already and had some hands-on experience so wanted to test alternatives. I made a selection of heavy duty fix blades and folders in order to figure out which would turn out being the best fitted for the job.

The knives I chose were:
1. Spyderco’s 2010 Para Military 2 (folder)
2. Spyderco’s Alcyone (folder)
3. Philippe Perotti’s Commander (fix)
4. Morakniv Pro C (fix)



1. Spyderco’s Para Military 2 (folder)
The length of the CPM S30V blade is well adapted to the size of the quince.
The full flat grind reduces any drag during the cut; solid compression lock – no surprises.
Working with the tip enables to get rid of each quarter of the core. The handle being skeletonized for weight consideration, blisters can appear when having to prepare much more quinces. This is what I was referring to as “hands-on” experience last time I prepared quinces  but in much greater quantities (+6 kg). The job was completed at good pace; you can see this on the picture based on the degree of oxidation (not too much).


2. Spyderco’s Alcyone (folder)
Similar behavior to Para Military 2 as it also features the full flat grind blade.
The CTS BD1 Stainless steel blade being a bit smaller, its not always possible to split the quince in halfs in one go. On the other hand, working to remove the each quarter of the core is a bit easier as the blade is shorter. The liner lock is very solid.


3. Philippe Perotti’s Commander (fix)
Longest blade; flat saber grind N690Co. Cutting in quarters was easy but I spent more time to extract the core. Again the oxidation intensity enables to reflect the increase time vs the folders. However the full grip is much more comfortable when performing heavy duty repetitively and for a long time.


4. Morakniv Pro C (fix)
Sweedish carbone steel. Has an optimized handle made of TPE rubber; comfortable grip that does not conduct the cold. Low price.
Surprisingly something unexpected happened to the extent of having to cease the test once I realized what was happening. First cut was easy but I immediately noticed black streaks on the quince. First reaction was to clean and dry the knife but that did not address root cause. So I continued and the quince was continuing to be tainted black; I guess its the carbon. On the blade a patina was rapidly developing. Hence STOP as this is a knive Nemo lended me to test!!
So there is a chemical reaction here and I have not yet identfied what combination of chemical elements are responsible for the rapid stains & patina.


I tested with a pear as it resembles and the constituants seem similar but I did not observe the same behavior; searching for the differences!


And the winner is…

So the test has been very instructive even though at this time I could do with a chemist to help with the full explanation.
As far as reducing the quince in dices, the winner for me is the Para Military 2. As I did not have a huge quantity to do I did not get the blisters. However if I had more, I would use a combination: PP Commander to cut in quarters and Para Military 2 to work the core.

Now I will taste the paste! Yum…


Alcyone : cutlery de bon alloy

Alcyone : cutlery de bon alloy


Back from the 2018 Mini Meet in The Netherlands, my freind Nemo had a nice surprise for testing and benching: the Sal Glesser signed Alcyone!

So I have been testing the knife in different conditions so to get familiar with it. The manufacturing is very precise; serious stuff. Its a lightweight heavy duty!

However before that, I did a bit of research on the origin of the chosen name. There are different mythologies about king Ceyx’s spouse: Alcyone. In all cases she ends up being transformed into a kingfisher (1) by pity, (2) as a punishment for a sacreligous stand, (3) to reward her for her courage and love of Ceyx. A hypothisis is that the kingfisher flew far away from earth and became a fixed star in the Bull Taurus Constellation Alcyone, greenish yellow star and the brightest in the Pleiades star cluster. Finally Alcyone thought to be center of the universe for the Mayan…

Now that we have travelled so far lets land back again for some down to earth experiences.

The idea of this article is to feedback on my experience. For the basic characteristics I found some interesting aricles on the web:
– official description and technical specifications:
– the Americain made CTS BD1 blade alloy:

The first test I like to do is against something that is both hard and soft: hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Imagine what a really dull knife would do: not get through the outer crust and squish the inside. Yuk!!
So I expect exactly the contrary as a demonstration of success. That is the idea with the first test involving an epiphyte (member of the bromeliads family able to store water in a structure formed by their tightly-overlapping leaf bases). For this test I call the ripe pineapple!
The result is great with minimum liquid escaped once the peeling complete and all pineapple “eyes” are removed.

Another example is the pear test. Here the harder element is inside the softer one: the pip! See how the pip got cut without squishing the pear.

So Alcyone passes both tests!

The next test is a “no going backwards test” over a long distance and observing whether matter builds up (which would be the result of a dulling blade). So for this resistance test I have used honeycombed cardboard over a meter long.
The result is very neat from start to finish both thick exterior and thinner inside making up the alveolus. Somewhat similar in structure: the french baguette and the test was conclusive too!

Cheese or the art of preserving milk…
The idea of Conte cheese was to accompany the bread I had just cut! That with the cork, we enter the realm of the famous “perpetual movement”: reserving oneself of wine, bread or cheese as an excuse to finish the trilogy.
In this case the Conte is one that has aged in good conditions for atleast 20 months in the french Jura as we start to see Tryosin crystals (the white spots). Tryosin is an amino acide that enters in the composition of milk protines. All that to say that the cheese can be moist inside but crumbly near the crust: even more with one aged 30+ months.
With all respect due to the Ceyx’s spouse, Alcyone cut the cheese well!

Finally the Big Sirs: two legs of lamb. Here I focused on working mostly with the tip of the blade to be precise when cutting the meat and removing it from the bones; tagine was excellent! From the mini meet to the big meat!


Approved, Approved, Approved…

Massdrop Ferrum Forge Gent — The Ultimate Contender.

My first experience with Massdrop exclusive design was one year ago.
The Falcon has been a surprise in its quality and design and since has been my Spyderco Techno replacement. The Gent is even a better deal !! We are in presence of a real masterpiece in modern cutlery and, pardon my French but I weight my words.
First thing I have noticed is the blade to handle ratio: in a folder, the blade will be most of the time shorther than the handle but with some designers tricks you can give the illusion… It was already the case with the Falcon: we got a real elegant knife despite being short, the blade is perfectly centered, the blade evenly ground, the action is smooth as butter and the edge cut my hairs… WOW !!

The large choil seems to be a Ferrum Forge signature and it is handy for precision cutting. Also when not using it I can hold the handle with 4 fingers. It is much more ergonomic and fonctionnal that my Izulas in that matter.

The lock is similar to the Spyderco PPT.  It is a thick pride liner lock made of bead blasted grey titanium. The slabs are G10 with a very nice texture. Attention to details is stunning: quality is at the rendez vous. The lock feels strong and any way your hand is protected by the flipper used a guard and by the choil if you choose to use it. This is a very solid folder.

The blade is exquisitely ground and the edge is thin, razor sharp our of the box.

The opening construction is ultra minimalist and VERY EASY to keep clean !!
I love ultra minimalists design as found on the Spyderco K2 for example.

The spine is gently chanferred for an excellent confort in thumb pushing cuttings.
Something I won’t have to do myself.

Immediatly you want to play with and put the high saber flat ground S35VN blade in its pace. A steel first introduced to me through the Spyderco Native 5.

As a Lady/Gent knife it is small like a jewel.

Non threatening is a must in that kind of EDC knife. But don’t get fooled by its size; this is a real workhorse !

The detent is a little harder than the one of my Falcon or my ZT0562CF but it works and fires every time. It is really smooth and no side play so far. I was not able easily to open the blade without using the flipper.

The deep carry clip is well thought and it makes the knife disappearing in the pocket. EDC is often better in low profile configuration.

So let’s put a little convexing on that baby: Stuff 2, Fallkniven DC4 and leather…

Diamonds are in play for the first round. The thin edge makes it easy to scratch and of course I have scratched it. You can notice the very nice belly on the blade.

But nothing some use and future stropping won’t erase in a “beautility” attempt. The idea is just to bring convex in the middle of the belly.

Leather stropping, razor sharp let try it on my favorite test in ergos and edge: the Bottle Butt !!

As you can see it was an easy cut for that little knife. There is power in this one. The blade is just thick enough to provide a comfortable spine to strongly push through.

The Belly always help for push cutting in hard material.

So far what do we got:

an elegant, non threatening short folder with premium materials (Titanium and S35VN).
It can be deployed and close with one hand.  Great balance with its sweet spot just behind the pivot. Great ergos, thin edge and easy to clean ?
This is almost the perfect EDC, worst it the best EDC you can buy for 80 dollars !!
This kind of high quality knife could be the only folder to bring with you anywhere. A great little big knife ready for anything ! Thank you to my friend Dan Sharpe for having introduced me to that little wonder !


From The Edge To The Point Since 1995

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