Prologue: “Seeing what I believe.”
On one of the social networks an happy owner of a new Spydiechef in LC200N steel (like the UKPK) was displaying some pictures of his new acquisition. And there go the comments, mostly to congratulate him and share experiences… when I have noticed some young guy’s: “Too bad this knife is provided with a steel softer than the wooden board it is displayed on.”
I thought to myself: could LC200N have a reputation of being soft ?
Immediately I have checked the Rockwell of Spyderco’s LC200N found on various sites and apart the LC200N Mule being at 56 HRC, it is known to be currently at 58 HRC.
So I have asked to young guy (very proud of its REX45 collection) what LC200N knife he has had such a bad experience with, sharing with him my own mostly excelelnt experience with LC200N I own.
After a very long passive-aggressive answer from him (we know how people are such a d1ck with a keyboard under their fingers…) about how he was so knowledgable by just watching videos on youtube he then wrote me that he had never owned any knife in LC200N.
So eventually this guy was pissing on the parade with zero knowledge of the subject. It is typically the kind of behavior we can notice on the social networks those days. Some so called “experts” don’t believe what they see but only they only see what they believe. The armchairs specialists are long disappeared and here comes the arrogance of the “believers”.
This is the plague of our time: not being your own source. Not checking twice. And not experiencing first hand what is put as a statement.
This is some kind of Reign of Assumptions with its digital garden where flourish fake informations in all subjects. This is not something to be taken lightly. And the only cure is being your own source then read, check and cross opinions.
Is LC200N as soft as wood ? Certainly not. It is even much better than H1 in terms of edge holding. (H1 being the other steel on the Salt Serie).
But H1 is excellent on serration blade, as it is getting harder during the serrating process like 67HRC. (H1 being a work hardened steel, the process that grinds the SE blades hardens the edge to 67, while the PE blades are 58.) Also you can’t have flat ground blade with H1 but you can with LC200N.
So far, LC200N as 58HRC has amazed me. Of course it is not in the range of Maxamet or 20CV but it is worry free good edge holding and not chipping edge’s steel.
Also I have notice how people believe cutting wood is the ultimate edge holding challenge. Nope. Cutting clean piece of wood is not challenging in my own experience. I have found different grain of steel react on different grain of wood. M2HSS (Speedstar steel) gave me soft surface on chestnut cuts for example. The challenging media to cut through are brown cardboard for example because of sand in it. Cardboard and also great way to refresh an edge by stropping the blade on it.
You can have a look at my journey in Tuscany with the Spydiechef.
Back on the UKPK. I have “unshouldered” my edge to get to a gentle convex, keeping the manufactured edge with its microserrations. I always do that when I love a knife as my favorite way to refresh my edge is using an old barber leather bought in Tuscany on a garage sale 15 years ago.
The blade stays “lock” in open position when stropping and this is much better that previous version of the UKPK like I have stated in the first glimpse. The razor’s level of sharpness is easily restored and the thin blade goes steadily into all material it has encountered.
One great enemy of a fine edge is the plate under the meal. Many times I have given an angle to my knife to avoid touching the ceramic at a 90° angle. With the UKPK I have not given a shoot. I have use it as my steak knife like they were no tomorrow. Also the the yellow knife has been friendly approved by the rest of the family who has used it also on plates and stuff without any sign of pity.
The edge near the point has rolled but nothing I could not fix in less than 5 seconds on a ceramic rod. Eventually the rest of the blade was mostly as razor as before. On short blades mostly the point and the very first part of the blade are used on board/plate cutting. It is also a part I have less convexed to keep some useful thickness there.
Of course cutting lemons and any acid food will never bring any sign of patina on LC200N and many times I have fold it dirty when it was not just quickly rinsed under the tap.
The UKPK also offers a very pointy blade which proves to be very useful in many task. LC200N being very forgiving it is sturdy enough for not having any concern about it. Of course I won’t use a slipjoint like a bushcrafter or even the great Wolfspyder but still, old timers used to go in the wood only with Swiss Army Knives or Pradel slipjoints folders and were able to use them for many camp tasks. The choil and hump of the UKPK’blade working as quillions you can apply a lot of force directly to the blade as I have also been whittling with it.
The thin spine makes it not really confortable for thumb pushing cuts though. In that game of pushcuts the Yojimbo 2 is king with its 4mm spine.
But the UKPK goes deep in its cut without much pressure on the spine.
Also when the blade is stuck in the wood it has no tendencies to fold on your finger like previous version of it. This is a great relief.
The yellow handle looks like plastic but those FRN slabs are very rigid. There is no play and it gives you a felling of confidence in your tool. Also the “pro-sheeple” general look helps a lot when using the UKPK in public.
So far it has developed zero plays which is enjoyable.
Quick draw: a friend has challenged me to open the knife using my major finger. At first I thought it would not be possible unless being Check Norris. Eventually:
But this is in Spyderdrop that the UKPK is steadily open: holding the knife by the hole and with a flick of the wrist.
So it is a slipjoint with a very fast draw opening.
The previous Spyderco Splijoint as fast as this one is my Pingo which can be open by inertia as the momentum of the thick blade helps a lot.
So far the UKPK has proven to be a fun knife to use. It is easy to deploy and reliable on the tasks. It can be a primary knife in the city and secondary knife in the woods and its lightness makes it easy to keep in the pocket. It will also find a place to be clipped on any swimsuit and that what makes it so unique. Fishermen will be very glad also as it is so easy to clean and to spot. The opening of the 3 screws montage on this UPKP (some other G10 UKPK got a longer spring/backspacer and 4 screws) make it a breeze to rinse. It is a Gentleman/Lady knife with an all terrain attitude and a very reliable positive semi locking system which can sustain a lot of power cuts. Really a unique gem !
Yellow and black works well together…