Tag Archives: carbon fibers

Spyderco Proficient FB36CFP — The Nasa Lamborghini Bushcrafter – Part 1

Have you ever asked yourself why they are so many Spyderco Sprint Run released (out of the blue most of the time) with gorgeous carbon fibers handle and impressive CPM S90V blades ?
Because Sal Glesser loves both materials. 

CF is for him a reminiscence of love of motorsports and S90V is a stainless steel which has proven to be in another league in terms of high performance and reliability.

So, long story shorts: FB + S90V = Sal’s favorite combo !

And to quote my friend Spydercollector:

“When the Bushcraft fixed blade was first announced, Sal also planned to do a so-called NASA version; a version of the Bushcraft knife with all high-tech materials. I believe NASA is a protected name, but Endeavour still evokes the high-tech approach most people associate with the famous space agency. The Endeavour features a full flat grind S90V blade and full sculpted carbon fiber handles. It was a beautiful knife with a grip that had me looking around for stuff to cut.”

https://spydercollector.wordpress.com/tag/chris-claycomb-endeavour-prototype/

Here is the Proficient: it is designed by wilderness expert Chris Claycomb of Bushcraft UK, the Proficient functions perfectly with traditional bushcraft skills and cutting methods. Carefully contoured and polished to eliminate hot spots and ensure maximum comfort during prolonged use.

https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/FB36CF/Proficient-trade-/943

Bushcraft knives have specific parameters such as having blades between 4-6 inches. Spyderco’s is typical of the genre with a 4-inch blade (no handguard) that’s fully-tanged. 

Bushcrafters don’t seek the characteristics of stainless over the performance of high-carbon edge retention and this is why traditional Bushcraft knives are produced using tool steel. O-1’s high carbon content offers long-term cutting retention but sharpens easily when laying on a new edge. The knife carries on a belt or strap encased in a leather sheath. Blueprinted for wilderness chores, it slices, chops, whittles and processes game in traditional Bushcraft style.



To quote Spyderco:
The Spyderco Proficient takes the concept of the traditional “do-all” bushcraft knife and elevates it to new levels of performance with state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing methods. Designed by wilderness expert Chris Claycomb of Bushcraft UK, the Proficient functions perfectly with traditional bushcraft skills and cutting methods while offering superior durability, edge retention, cutting performance, and corrosion resistance
Instead of traditional carbon steel and an axe-like “Scandi” (Scandinavian) grind, the Proficient’s blade is crafted from vanadium-rich CPM®S90V particle-metallurgy stainless steel and boasts a full-flat grind for low-friction cutting performance.

This concept of stainless steel with black polished handle is, ten years later, now endorsed by the excellent Casström No. 10 Swedish Forest Knife Black Micarta, 14C28N Flat Grind for example.

I had tried and discovered CPMS90V when it was called CPM420V thanks to Darrel Ralph (RIP) and his beautiful Apogee folder. Its blade was so wear resistant, without diamonds, only a back stand could turn it from dull to sharp. It was a bear to sharp.
It still is but now we got as End Line User access to industrial diamonds.


I have written a lot about S90V. This alloy has proven it can be tough enough as a stainless steel to be used in any all terrain tools; especially since it is available on Manly folders which got the reputation of using a very fine thin geometry.
Modern Bushcrafters (like the Benchmade Puukko) are focused on toughness with the use of the very tough CPM 3V.

What brings CPMS90V ?
1- It is stainless ! Even if you (and I) love the patina on a great carbon steel blade, to hold a reliable stainless steel blade is very easing the mind when working near water, rain, sea.
2- It is really hard to get dull even when used on tricky material like brown cardboard (full of silice).

Also the full flat grind is a must in a matter separator specialized in wood works. As much as I love Scandi Grind found on Woodlore clones (first designed by Ray Mears).
I have found that especially in the wonderful Spyderco Sprig full flat ground knives can be really efficient on hard wood.
(Yes when it’s written in green: it is a link !! and I have tested them here.)

The Sprig was a impressive tool in term of pure geometry. Designed as a hunting fishing knife, it was a wood eater, a real beaver of a knife, cutting deep and with ease.
Guess what? It the same profile on the Proficient especially after some convexing which should be arriving sooner than later and will be in a second article.
So far that contour handle is a charm to use and I will be using it for the second article. The old O1 Bushcrafter got enough heft for light chopping, the Proficient is made for powerful push cuts. This is going to be another experience.
The Proficient is not a big knife, actually once in its sheath, it can disappear in the front pocket of my Denim. No need to have dangling at my belt.

So what do we got ? Imagine the plateforme of the Bushcrafter (link) a solid companion, a reliable 4×4 and you just turn it into some Urus from Lamborghini: stellar alloy and lighter tougher handle.
What not to love ?
The Proficient is Sal Glesser’s gambit, taking a risk because the Bushcraft community loves carbon steel and wooden/natural handle.
Also that jewel got a price. And people in bushcraft are not wall street sharks. They use Opinel, Mora and at great max some 100 euros fixed blades. (Unless they want to afford an original Woodlore….)
So the stealth wealth of that Nasa Bushcrafter was not for everyone.
Like a Lambo actually. But real performance got a price.

52100 Paramilitary 2 by the ocean.

So here I’m in Southern Bretagne near Lorient, city of Eric Tabarly with my Paramillie Exclusive Run in 52100 Ball Bearing Steel.
For those who don’t know Sal is a fan, this is why Eric is named Eric. 🙂

The moisture and salt are present and cars got a serious tendacy to rust just by being parked outdoor.

The knife has been used on food and for all the chores around another anniversary preparations. The Patina is a real surface protector as no pit or coloration has been noticed during that 4 days week end.

It eventually has been used to pop the remaining balloons after the party.
No oil needed. The edge did not rust. It was used daily. Very happy with that knife.
This is a very robust folder, with a strong blade.
It was still shaving hairs after 4 days of mild but constant uses. I did not process a lot of cardboard for example, but a lot of meat ! Duck for the matter.

The 52100 makes a beautiful blade with its mirror convexed edge. It was noticed.

Tuscan Raider #3 – Spyderco C215GP Euroedge.

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Again this is all made with my smartphone as I’m far from any computer.

A folding dagger as beautifully designed and made is not a bushcraft knife.

But my very first modern folder back in 1993 has been a Gerber Applegate folding dagger.

The first models were made in a stainless steel close to 420Hc.

The Euroedge is made of S30V.

Cutting wood with it is like making chop sticks with a bastard sword: it was not designed for that. The Euroedge is like a weapon a Templar will keep at hand. The blade is massive and the stock is thick.

The handle is so well made G10 feels like carbon fibers.

It is one of the most beautiful Spyderco ever made and a real tour de force in pure hommage to ancient times.

“”I can do anything”, Ed Schempp, will push the envelope, often just to see if he can. I did a “hammer” in at Ed’s house. Just a bunch of knife afi’s with great skill working on a globe. But no hammers. Ed designed and built a series of miniature rolling mills so we can produce mosaic
Damascus pieces, each with an assignment. Ed’s my “go to” guy for Ethnic series knives. Take a design hundreds, or even thousands of year old, capture the purpose and function and re-create that in a modern folder. He studies the design, the history, function and purpose before beginning. Those of you that have studied and used Ed’s designs know what I’m talking about. True original classics, each and every one.”
Sal Glesser.

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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Team Cuscadi new Carbon Fibers Scale on K390 Urban.

Why the change ?

After my Urban review I wanted a smoother experience. And give a more precious apparence.
Carbon fiber is a really sturdy material and twenty years ago you could only find it in Formula One and jetfighters.
The feel under the thimb is wonderful and the knife get clipped with ease.

Great work from Team Cuscadi and great service.

Team Cuscadi Scales on Urban K390