Tag Archives: CPM Cru-Wear

SC60GPGY Spyderco Massad Ayoob Sprint Run — The Pistol Folder is back but for who ?

Here is a Spyderco Folder designed by a Massad Ayoob the famous gun instructor and destined to be a Self Defense folding knife. An ineptia as far as I am concern. Any screwdriver could be used the same way, the rest is just marketing in a country with a huge personal arm market.
Not for me.
But if I were wrong ?

Massad Ayoob is an established authority, LEO (Law Enforcement Officer… a Cop) and a writer on firearms and (sometimes) on knives. For more than four decades he has also taught defensive knife and firearm programs and appears frequently as an expert witness in trials involving edged weapons.

(taken form his bio in https://www.backwoodshome.com/massad-ayoob-bio/)

He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute (LFI) in Concord, New Hampshire from 1981 to 2009, and he now directs the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG).

Should I need to review a SD knife when I have already written that, in my humble opinion, self defense with a knife is the worst use you can do of that sharp tool ?

It’s not the same problem for professionals, those, in the line of duty, who are confronted to knife attacks, cops and soldiers to name a few. But lambda civilians learning to defend themselves with a short blade tool (not “from” a blade) ?…. well this would be a very last solution of a very messy situation which certainly could have been avoid in the first place.
Better than any edge tools to cut in ribbon an threat are “awareness” and mobility.

As a design, I always loved the C60 especially the ergonomy. Certainly not as a edge weapon but as a cutting tool. It functioned so well as a kitchen and general work knife. In fact the C60 was ranked as one of the best baguette opener in my folder world. Especially with my serrated version. Even when knowing the C60’s blade was especially made to fit between the ribs and penetrate deep into the human chest cavity, lacerating lungs, heart and other vital organs… (Puncturing weapons are legion if you look at any tool from wood chisels to crowbars, thrusting weapons are all around us. So I was never impressed by those marketing quotes especially when a wider blade can be turned at 90° to pass between the ribs… Oh well, tools of violence are as old as Abel’s murder by Cain.)
Spyderco is no stranger to that self defense niche: Canis, Matriarch, Carahawk, P’kal, Chinook, Civilian, Yojimbos

Blast from the past.
Back in the 90’s, I had the chance to be one of the first European reviewers of the Master of Defense’s knives back in the 90’s.
Jim Watson, James Keating, Massad Ayoob, Graziela Casillas and Michael Keating were the five instructors being part of that venture.
Massad Ayoob was the only one providing a fixed blade: the MoD Razorback. The quick draw from its kydex sheath in reverse grip was its main asset. Massad was also timing himself to show how quick he could draw his knife. I actually love that fixed blade concept but its was all marketed and designed as a thrusting weapon, not a cutting knife. This is something which is also found on the C60: more penetrating than slashing compared to a Yojimbo 2 which is as pointy as slashy, 50%/50%.

The Razorback prototype is pictured in the middle and Michael Janich’s Tempest is on the right bottom, featuring his Filipino Grip.

Back on the Sprint Run, Michael Janich has written about the C60:
“From a utilitarian standpoint, the negative angle of the blade definitely increases cutting power and leverage, allowing the user to maintain a straighter, stronger wrist orientation. Similarly, for piercing, it does align the blade with the axis of the forearm, allowing for a direct transfer of energy. If those qualities allow it to work better for your individual needs, I understand and respect your appreciation of the design. While you’re waiting for a Sprint Run, I also strongly encourage you to invest in a Schempp Bowie, as it offers all the same qualities for all the same reasons.”

That odd pistol angle:
of the C60 was explained by its designer Massad Ayoob in those terms: “With a typical knife, thrusting lifts the blade’s point above the line of the forearm, like a boat prow going through water. The faster, harder or more resistance encountered, the higher the prow rises deviating the blade off course from its original target which can mitigate the depth of the cut.”

Its grip angle that is more comfortable and familiar to handgun shooters. That design is trying to be as much of a push dagger as possible without being a push dagger. The “dropped” handle design which is also a signature feature of many Ed Schempp designs also added power to the cut.
Let me tell you something: this pistol grip makes great steak knives ! 😉

Quoting Massad Ayoob:

The C60’s radical angle brings the blade into line with the long bones of the forearm, channeling the body’s force directly behind the line of the cut resulting in minimized blade deviation and maximized accuracy.
The blade is directly in line with the radius bone of the forearm when the average human wrist is in the “locked” position, which puts the middle knuckle of the hand directly in line with the axis of the forearm.

This is what gives the C60 its superior stabbing accuracy, and it also gives tremendously more penetration, because it aligns the skeleto-muscular support structure of the arm with the point (number one), and therefore with anyone who knows how to put his weight behind a punch, gets the entire body’s force going directly behind the point.

In 2001, twenty one years ago, I had the chance to test the very first batch. The handle was made of aluminium coated in black and the blade got that short opening arc. It felt like some kind of sharp pistol and it balance made it very pleasant to use. That smooth thin handle curved handle was really pocket friendly.
But… it has a serious but. Its vertical play was unbearable. I mean, I try to enjoy it with it but eventually, it was drawing me back to small fixed blades, no mechanism, no blade play. I hate to feel the blade moving when I cut on a board.

Long story short: thet 2022 C60 Sprint Run got also some vertical play. But you need to push quite hard on a cutting board to feel it.
I first thought this “rocking lock” would ruin the experience but eventually it is not as dramatic as on the first batch in 2001.

As you can notice the 2001 version was a rivet construction with 3 rivets on the handle. It is not the case of the 2022 sprint run with an all screw construction on G10 slabs instead of aluminium.

How that almite coated handle has survived after 20 years of service ?

This is a picture from C60 #356 from my friend, Joyce Laituri, at Spyderco. Isn’t it a beauty in the patina departement ?I love well used tools and Joyce considers her C60 with serrated edge as her personal favorite Spyderco.

A forumite dream came true:
Actually this new C60 Sprint run has been made possible thanks to forumites from Spyderco forum especially JD Spydo.
His thread is already 143 pages and counting:

Even Massad Ayoob answered to them:

“…I‘m delighted to see the enthusiasm for the C60.Changes? I wouldn’t care to see it thicker: the comfortable ride in pocket or waistband was one of its signature features.
I’m partial to G10.
As others have noted, I think we got the overall design and blade configuration right the first time.
Steel? I’ve been very happy with the VG-10 in every respect after carrying the C60 for about 18 years now and using it daily. However, Sal knows WAY more about blade steel than I do, and if he has a supersteel he thinks will work better, I’ll defer to him..

It is an immense success and the serrated version is even selling faster than the plain edge version. Go figure !

A Japanese Story:
The C60 is a knife all made in Japan (using now an American steel when the first batch was made in Japanese Steel VG10) Sal Glesser has also explain the story behind that whole C60 2022 project and the Japanese family in charge of it:

“We began working with this maker in 1988. At the time, they were considered by most experts, even in Japan to be THE premier quality knife maker in the world. It is/was a small family business consisting of the “Old Man”, who was the driving force. He had more than 80 patents on his designs and they produced a small number pieces.
The “Old Man’s” wife handled the office. There were two sons. One handled sales (#2 son) and one handled the factory with his father (#1 son). His wife also helped with the office.
Then one day, with no warning, the Father had a stroke and was no longer able to work. The Father’s wife had to stop working to take care of the Father. Now the sons are running the company with the Patriarch and the Patriarch’s Wife no longer involved. Very challenging, even devastating. They had one major lower quality customer (A Hardware chain) that carried the company. A few special customers like Spyderco and their normal consumer direct line.
Then “The Rains came”. In one year, the Father passed away. The Mother passed away. #1 son had a stroke, and #1’s son’s wife passed away. Now the Grandson is running the factory and he really wasn’t ready. Then the main Hardware chain found a less expensive supplier. The family was devastated.
We brought the Grandson to our factory in Golden to try to get him better trained and brought into the 21st Century manufacturing. Ir has been a long road and they are beginning to get back on track which pleases us and we’re helping…”


This is what I always loved in Spyderco and the Glesser family: the way they take care of their friends and how faithful they are in friendship.

This new Sprint C60 got his blade made of CPM Cruwear. This is a wonderful steel. Just click on the link to see all my articles about it but, really, this is a steel which is hard to stain, very hard to chip and very toothy even when strop. It is a tough alloy.

CPM Cruwear has been a benediction on thin pointy thin models like the SpydercoMillie and Paramilitary bringing strength to their tapered blade. It also found on Benchmade Adamas and Shaman Sprint Runs both hard users with a lot of lateral strength.

Looking at the C60 new edition, we got a relatively thick blade. It sturdy. You feel it is a blade you could use to pry something without second thought. You would use that pointy blade to open a paint pot or pry letterbox. It is stepping on the Adamas hardcore class but in a thinner package.

That’s interesting because “Mas”, as a cop, has designed a tool with Law Enforcement Officers in his mind knowing how they use their knives on patrol for many more things than just cutting. They even use knives as screwdrivers, prybars or ID plate scrappers.
It is the same reflection I had about the Tatanka: a thick folder destined to be used hard and dirty even when applying lateral forces.

Back to my 2022 C60: its factory edge was sharp out of the box but it could not cut through a plastic bottle but. This is a pure geometry issue: a thick saber ground blade cannot perform like an Opinel blade. For better performance, reprofiling is mandatory and diamond (Spyderco Stuff 2) was used because CPM Cruwear loves diamonds even if it takes a lot of time to do it right without any backstand.

BTW CPM Cruwear is not easy on the Patina in my book. (Link provided)
I use this speciality alloy since the Military in Cruwear with zero pitting on the blade. To avoid that, my knives are often used in the kitchen and grease is always there to coat their blade.

Duck is a fat meat…
So we got that thick edge tough narrow blade…. Not my cup of tea actually. I prefer leaf shape full flat grind or razor sharp hollow ground wharncliffe. So I need to reprofile it and it will take some patience.

Also that Massad Ayoob design proposes no choil. I love choils since Sal Glesser has explained he was inspired by boot knives: you hold your folding knife by the blade and it is a great security for your fingers.
The absence of choil is not an absence of hot spots…

As you can notice the blade falls gently on the index finger when unlocked.
The action is smooth but that guard with beveled G10 and sharp liners is problematic. More on this later.
One thing which is remarquable is the choice of the lock.
” It has a notably strong lock-back with a David Boye style release lever that helps ensure safe lock-up. “
The lock-back allow also a very thin handle construction. Thinness means easy for a waistband carry. This is very thoughtful.

Smooth action thanks to bronze washers ? Nope. Who needs washers ?
Actually there is no washer. No bronze, no nylon: nothing.
The Moki factory is known for that washerless high tolerance constructions and the liners are providing some kind of “integrated washers”. Very impressive !

Without washers, well, there is no lateral play. The knife feels rock solid. And it is all screw construction with a steel backspace.

Quoting Massad Ayoob:
“The handle-to-blade angle puts much more force behind a slash as well as a stab. Instead of the blade “skimming” over the target as it hits hard resistance such as bone, the 90 degree angle of the blade when held in reverse grip (and KEPT there by a handle shape that allows the thumb to lock it at that angle) the C60 is more likely to shear directly through whatever resistance it encounters. Because of the design features, something very similar happens with a slash from the conventional saber or pekal grasp.”

The handle got bevelled grey G10 slabs. G-10 has been used instead of the previous 2001 aluminium. Mas actually said on “Glocktalk” that he preferred the G-10 handles to the original handle. Personnaly I prefer the original handle better as it was providing a pocket friendly solution. A smooth handle suits me but I understand it won’t suit from a “tactical” point of view.
To smooth it a bit, I have sanded mine (with 400 grit) especially under the clip to avoid any pocket destruction by filing them with such a coarse G-10.
Oh, there is another visible improvement of that Sprint Run: the possibility to switch the position of the clip: left or right, tip up or tip down. Nice touch.

To quote Massad Ayoob:
“As to the tip-down carry: I’m one of those early Spyderco fans whom Sal calls “Clipiteers,” who started their Spyderco experience with the original Police model, learned to open it with a pinch-snap, and discovered we could win bets beating guys with bali-songs and even “automatic knives” in opening speed. The pinch snap uses the gross motor movement of the closed hand instead of the more fine-motor skill of using the thumb to open the blade via the original design intent of the “Spyder-hole.

I’m one of Sal’s early “Clipiteers” who liked the speed of a momentum pinch-snap opening, and remain a big fan of tip-down carry for that reason. Wouldn’t hurt if Sal came up with a design offering the choice, it was already set up for ambi and more choices for the user is good.
Plain edge, serrated edge, or a bit of each is entirely up to Sal. In the first production run, on my end the plain edge far outsold the serrated, but Sal of course has a better handle on sales nationwide than I do. Sal’s call, of course.
I’m hoping the sprint run happens. Thanks to all who requested it from Sal!”

There I will be agree with Massad Ayoob. Actually it seems like back in 2000, Mas was turned into a “Spyderdrop” fan and a Clipiteer like advertised on the original Military C36. It’s a fast way to deploy a blade even quicker than a switchblade or automatic knife. You just grab your knife inside the pocket by the opening hole and by a gentle flick of the wrist, you open it.
The spyderdrop just works great on the C36 as it was a liner lock with a big opening Hole. Once passed the detent ball nothing prevents the blade to open. Certainly Sal Glesser demo caught the eyes of Massad Ayoob who was much more a fan of a fiexed blade quick draw as on its previous design: the Razeoback.
On a backlock folder, though, there is a constant pressure from the spring and no need of a detent ball per se.
You need two things to get an easy spyderdrop: a heavier handle for the momentum and, a speciality of the C60 design: a short opening arc.

Something important to keep in mind, the 2001 version was a lower rider. Its clip was much higher on the handle making it disappearing in the pocket. this is less the case with the 2022 Sprint Run.

So, as the C36 is a game to open with just a flick of the major finger, thanks to its shorter opening arc and its negative angle.
It is fast. The jimping on the blade needs a little filing as it could wear the pocket, but the opening hole and the big hump, the stainless steel spacer assing more momentum ease the spyderdrop.
They are fast and reliable. The negative angle and its shorter opening arc could make it the queen of spyderdropping.

Handle wise, I have found the steel liners edges much too sharp. I have used some diamond file to smooth them but for a knife that price, it hurts… the fingers too. There is a real hot spot near the axis. In case of hard push cut the blade jimping is also another hot spot. It hurts that skin between the thumb and the pointer named the “first web space”. Again this is not a tool for bushcrafters. The C60 is a slick flat knife destined to LEO. It needs to get in action very fast.
The Police 4 is in the same category of knife. Flat, easy to carry, a little on the heavy side and solid but not the best for long cutting chore unless personal customization involving a file and some sandpaper…

I have changed the spoon clip to a deep carry one and notice the screws are not torx but crosstip. Very old school !
Just for those who want a taste of that Golden Era at the turn of the Millenium. The mark on the handle came from me sanding under the clip in tip up carry, which was not the best way to carry it.
Look at the shape of the C60:

There is Banana shape and a curve which is great when carried tip down inside my right front pocket. It leave a lot of place.

With a depp carry clip, you can notice only the “guard” is visible. It is very easy to reach the opening hole for a spyderdrop.

The mid lockback (with that wonderful old school Boye Dent) of the C60 is beefy even if thinner than a beefy liner lock, compression lock or beefy even integral lock, and is one of the sturdier locks ever designed. This one was ranked high on Spyderco’s standarts back in 2001. The original C60 lock was already rated as “hard use”. The 2022 Sprint Run should be rated as “Martial Blade Craft” level, the strongest in the Spyderco line thanks to their Constant Quality Improvement.
Again even with some “rock lock” or “vertical play” only felt when cutting on a board, backlocks are really hard to beat in term of pure strength, often the handle will break before the lock as shown on some tests made by Blade HQ:

Conclusion: this is a cutting tool oriented Self Defense, with fast deployment and sturdy blade and mechanism. It is not the best cutter, not the best ergos for long works without gloves even if it shine for quick response and tactical needs. I have read some users are using Massad Ayoob to filet some fish. In my book a filet knife is thin… Also I have found some hunters have used their C60 on games for skinning purpose. That knife is really not design for that but why not ? The hand is mightier than the tool.

For me the C60 is made to work hard anyway. It got a very sturdy penetrating blade which can find a lot of utility even for light prying. Also CPM Cruwear is tougher than VG10 (the 2001 version).

But more important, this Massad Ayoob folder reborn is also a nice symbol of trust between the Moki factory in Japan and the Golden factory in the USA. A trust which goes beyond continent, beyond civilisation. This “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” involvement of the Glesser Family toward the Japan Family is a proof of their generosity toward fellow knifemakers and end line users. This is precious in those volatile times. Sal Glesser knows how to create “matter separators” but he is also able to build very solid bridges too.


Benchmade BM275 Adamas part 2: Reprofiling – From Puff Daddy to Daddy Cool !

It’s time to de-shoulder that Benchmade Adamas‘s edge and to convex it a little to my own taste.
My tools are Spyderco Stuff 2 with diamonds, Fallkniven DC4 and leather strop.

First thing I will do is remove the stud which are in the way. I have found/learned that the hard way just by testing the angle, I have scratched them.

Two T6 torxs are necessary. One on each side.

Cerakote protection is found even inside the stub hole. In fact I was really tempted to remove it for good as the Adamas is so easy to open and close just by manipulating the Axis Lock button. But sometimes I need to be able to open it one hand and slowly too…

Next step is to protect each side of the blade, as I don’t want cerakote to be scratched… yet. I use white gaffer for that.

Slowly the edge is convexed and thinned. CPM Cruwear at 64 HRC is hard and diamonds are mandatory. It is a slow process all made by free hand.

Leather stropping is apply next. Again this is made slowly.

Soon this is a razorblade popping hairs just in one caress.

The Soda Bottle Butt Test was not passed in my previous test.
This is the reason I have decided to thin the edge of the Adamas in the first place.
Now it goes steady in like in butter.

The center of the butt is much thicker and harder to pass as the bottom can collapse. This is really my geometry test and many famous knives were not able to pass it.

The Adamas is now much better in terms of pushcutting and its steel (CPM Cruwear) is perfect for a thinner edge.
The stud has been put back and the big folder is ready !
Easy peazy lemon squizzy. It took me 1 hour.

The mighty Benchmade Adamas BM275FE-2 CPM – Cruwear for Flat Earth ? First glance at that Heavy Metal Hardcore Folder.

Here it is the Benchmade Adamas second generation with its CPM Cruwear heavy duty blade.
It has been almost 20 years since I have reviewed one of Benchmade hardchore (made for the Military) folder. The last one was the AFCK Axis in D2 and I even think it was not upload even if it was my EDC for two years. I loved the AFCKs because, well, Sal Glesser was involved in its design with Chris Caracci and Les de Asis and Bob Terzuola and I simply appreciate Sal Glesser’s way to invent and design “matter separators”.

But here it is “Tabula Rasa” as far as I am concern ! Go figure: no hole in the blade, but holes in the handle, a gifted designer which I’m going to discover named Shane Sibert who has also designed the Bushcrafter for Benchmade… and Clive Owen’s knife in Sin City.
His signature seems to be fuller on his blade.
“I started making knives in 1994 with the idea of creating blade ware that is simple, practical and efficient. I have been a full-time knifemaker since 2004. Keeping with the theme of practicality, I avoid large metal guards, bolsters and heavy pommels to keep the knives balanced and agile in the hand. Materials have been carefully selected to ensure optimal edge retention and low maintenance. Although the knives incorporate slim handle slabs to decrease unwanted bulk and weight, the handles contour the hand for a synergistic fit. I strive to hold myself to high quality and design standards and produce a knife that will invoke pride of ownership and at the same time perform the task that it was designed for with exceptional ease.”
(quoted from Arizona Customs Knives)

You can notice slabs and hole on the handle.
Actually for such a big knife the Adamas is not that big.
The first version was release in 2011 (you can see it here on Arizona Customs Knives) and was made of D2 the new version came ten years later and with its blade upgrade to CPM Cruwear.
This steel is known to be tough ! Less than CPM3V but with a better edge retention. The Cpm Cruwear Shaman was a big hit !
Here Benchmade has heat treated the CPM Cruwear to 63-65 HRC !
This is something I need to test as it is much harder than Spyderco HRC (61-62HRC) on their CPM Cruwear blades. (Sal tested his own blade at 61.1 HRC).

Cruwear Manix 2 – (63.2 – 63.7) HRC
Cruwear Military – 62.9 HRC
Cruwear Mule (re-release) – (62.1 -62.8) HRC
Cruwear Paramilitary 2 – (62 – 62.8) HRC
Cruwear Para 3 – 61.7 HRC
Cruwear Military – 61.1 HRC

At first touch, the Adamas oozes quality and delicate attention to details. The Olive Drab G10 slabs are wonderfully tappered on both ends and the jimping is done perfectly in my book, not as aggressive as G10 Manix for example. It is palm friendly even when closed. Well done. The holes in the handle help my thumb to index the tool.. There is no hot spots. The handle is totally open and easy to clean and check for debris. It is created as a workhorse which can get dirty but still reliable.
Of course this is an expensive knife with a MRSP at $280.00 but you can see where your money has gone. It is manufactured with love.
The blade is perfectly centered on mine and there is zero blade play in any direction.
I love the Axis Lock concept since its very first Henry&Williams BM710 release.
I have never had any issue with its Omega Spring. It is easy to use with one finger when the SPyderco Cage Ball Bearing needs two finger to work. The Axis Lock makes any knife as fast as automatics. I have never had any play on mine and I have been using them since their very very first release.
I won’t do batonning with the lock engaged like some youtubers seems to do until lock failure. For record, you can do batoning with an opinel…
But engaged lock (any lock) does not like to schoked and a beating can damage an disengaged any lock even a butterfly. Knowing how to use tools in the right situation should be mandatory before doing really stupid things on video and if anyone want to use a folder for batonning some wood (stupid millennial fashion as far as I am concern) just do it with no lock engaged or learn how to bring a better tool…

But once deployed, with just a gentle flick of the wrist — axis lock with heavy blade are just extraordinary easy to deplay— the blade is shown in all its power. I understand why some youtubers would like to shove it in concrete or in bricks…. I’m not certain they will be able to peel an apple in public with it but for that kind of task a Mini Adamas has been released with the same blade thickness…. Oooh well I’m not certain the thick Mini Adamas is made for fruits either. F<or that there is another tool too: the Kapara
The Adamas offering a 0.14″ | 3.556mm thick blade, it is designed hardcore for hard chores for folders. How will it behave, that will be in our next article but that blade surely offers a lot of lateral strength.
For now it is just a very first glance.
All specs of the Adamas can be found on Benchmade here.
You can also notice on that picture its deep carry clip which can be a nice touch for such a big heavy folder. More on that later.
The action is smooth at the pivot but needs a little breaking at the lock release; nothing some nano oil can not fix.

This is a very beautiful folder which is very well balanced, its sweet point being just under the index finger when hold in hammer grip.
It is alive in my hands.
The axis lock makes it ambidextrous and you can notice on that picture the 3 points for adapting that clip or another three screw clip (not deep carry) if needed on both sides of the handle.

The blade handle ratio is almost to 1 with the Adamas compared to the Military C36 which is known for its long handle.
Of course the Adamas came very sharp out of the box, but not as sharp as I want. The blade is protected with cerakote coating Flat Earth colored which got excellent reputation in terms of tough protecting the CPM Cruwear from rusting. Cruwear can get a patina but it is not easy.
Here Benchmade and Shane Sibert have chosen to propose a stealthy look for the soldiers which need no blade reflection under the sun too.

It is also sold with a very nice sheath offering many carry options for soldiers and hunters alike.
The deep carry clip is perfect in term of retention and ease to retrieve the big and heavy knife.
Oh it is 183 grams (5,45 oz) which is really heavy. The liners are stainless steel not titanium. This is Heavy Metal !

As you can notice the Adamas is much thicker than the C35 Military and much heavier too. Sal Glesser wanted his military to be as light as possible as a soldier got already many heavy things to carry.
Benchmade has taken another direction. The Adamas is beefierand thicker. Actually it can also been more confortable for long usage. We will see…

Another beefy released was the Shaman which almost has the same handle length. The Adamas provides a lot of edge.

Here is my good old AFCK Axis. It was used with a lot of love as you can notice. Zero issue with the lock BTW.

Now it is time to give some work to that Adamas designed to “deliver unrivaled performance throughout hard-use applications”. The next step will involve certainly some sharpening and reprofiling…
More to come soon…. But for now on, it is a knife which makes me grin when I open and close it. Kuddos to Benchmade and Shane Sibert for bringing this second gen of the mighty Adamas.

Crucarta’s Family — The Spyderco Shaman reveals its power.

Since its arrival my Crucarta has been used hard, fallen twice on rocks and pavement and been immerged in dirty water.
Well this Shaman is made for that.
In fact I have notice how well it could inserted between my CPM M4 Millie and my CPM 3V Tuff.  Theyu both could be his parents.
Knowing the Tuff is Ed Schempp design for a “Built As A Tank” folder and the Millie “Built As A Tool” Sal’s Glesser design, the Shaman got the best of both world:
A tank knife built as a tool: a solid folder which is really sharp.

This is not the easiest design to achieve. The result is a very powerful folder: solid in term of lateral strength and razor sharp for deep push cutting.
So yes, the Shaman is outstanding bring the slicing power of a Millie with the toughness of a Tuff.
CPM Cruwear is the right choice as it is really standing between CPM M4 and CPM 3V.
It is tougher than CPM M4 and less tough than CPM 3V and in term of pur edge retention it is also in between both.

Being clumsy and getting clumsier, my Shaman has fallen on tiles and rocks twice.
No damage after a very close inspection. Nothing on Micarta or on the blade. The recess steel spacer is immaculate too. The blade is not Stonewashed on the Crucarta sprint run, it it gets some scratches from use but nothing really bad so far.
It has been used on wood, dirty roots, plastic and kitchen duty.


For those who know how tricky a coke bottle butt push cutting can be… The Shaman  is “that” powerful.

I had notice some hot spots to my delicate hands.
The were easy to erase on the micarta handle.

A gentle filing is eliminating them and the rounded handle does marvel in terms of confort.

I have used the same diamond file, and it was a longer task, to file the teeth of the blade’s spine as I use my thumb for my push cuts. Also you can notice there is a flat place for the hand before the lock as I mentioned it in my previous review about the Para3 Lightweight which lack of that “flat bed”. It changes every thing in terms of confort when cutting in repetition hard thing without gloves.

Eventually IMHO the real son of the Shaman is designed by Sal’s own son: Eric.
TheLil’Native is really playing in the same league in term of strong workhorse folder but at a lesser scale. Like its father it conserves a thick spine for a very strong tip.
The Native and the Chief on one side with their thinner blade and lockbacks and the Shaman and the Lil’Native and the other.

Like father, like son. Les chiens ne font pas des chats as we say in French.

Massive Attack: First Glimpse at Sal’s Shaman Sprint Run C229MPCW

“The first drawing of the Shaman was dated December 17, 2014. That can give you an idea of how long I work on some of these creations.”
Sal Glesser.

Thanks to Tom Song and Howard Korn from the Knifecenter, I have been able to get one of the most coveted Sprint Run from Spyderco: The micarta cruwear Shaman.
Without Tom and Howard always excellent service (I know Howard since the very beginning of his Internet venture), it would have been mission impossible.

It was announced at the 2019 Minimeet by Eric Glesser and every ears were pricked up.
Since it has appears in the very frustrating way being immediately unavailable since the demand was so high.
But here it is after a long journey. This is my first Shaman actually as I was waiting for the first Sprint Run to jump on the bandwagon.

This folder got a massive blade on a smooth like butter pivot. Perfectly centered. And the blade is razor sharp. There is a lot of heft in that knife which is the absolute opposite to the Police “Cheetah” model. The Shaman is an outdoor’s folder dream. You can use it hard and clean it easily. I would compare the way it moves in the hand to the mighty Lionspy.

I regret the clip is not one of the wired but, hey, their must be reason to offer four positions.

The micarta is not polished like a Bark River Knife would be. It is rough but pleasant under the thumb. The handle is thick and made for hard use. I mean it is pleasant to old tight with no hotspot so far.
Now I need to use it but is a very solid folder not destined for the city.
More to come, stay tune… 🙂



“My designs begin with an “idea”, hard to put into words. The final design says it better than words can. I also refine that design (idea) over time to make it closer to the pure form originally envisioned. The P4 is in it’s 4th refinement and in my opinion, closer to my original “idea” than ever.
While the P4 is very different from the Shaman, they both embody the “spirit” of what I was thinking of for their purpose. I’ll start with pencil and paper, CAD it, make plastic models with Peter from CAD drawings, often for months until I get as close as I can at the time to my “idea”. Like carving an elephant; take a piece of material and cut away everything that isn’t elephant. Once the design is close to it’s “pure form”, I’ll refine the materials based on the original idea and run with it. I don’t have the “eye” of a Lum, so appearance plays little in the fished outcome.”
Sal Glesser.




One year ago I had ordering a Para2 in CPM Cruwear, an exclusive run made for the Knife center.  Since them It has been used as one of my reference knife toward other purchases which sometimes has not reached the blog review as I’m avoiding bad reviews unless there is something to learn from.

20190909_151658-012836386720377641815.jpegAfter some acid work on the blade and titanium scales, eventually I am back to the smooth G10 scales and a deep carry clip. So why ?
First thing, even if the titanium scales were gorgeous, they add some weight and a very slippery feel under the finger, especially during wet works. Also it shifted the balance of the millie in a strange way making it “dead” in the end. I really enjoy the heavy handle of my PPT for example or on my Copper scaled Para but on the Para2 it was not working for me. back on smooth G10, it is more grippy than titanium and the balance point is shifter near the pivot again.

Despite my love for “Spyderdropping” I have decided to carry it “tip up” with a cheap titanium clip made in Malaysia and sold in Hong Kong. It works great and it is really low profile when I forget to pull it out of the pocket while going urban. (I carry a Lil’Native, a Roady or a Urban when going in the city those days, too much controls and metal detectors to go with a longer blade…)

CPM Cruwear as heat treated by Spyderco is a steel which loves his owner. It is not tricky to get sharp like Maxamet. In fact it asks to get sharp. Of course it is not as easy as 52100 or AEL-B but it is very tough in every task when you twist your blade like a good tool steel. Not easily stained too, my tests and zests are the proof on that and once stained it won’t go off. My edge is polished and smooth as a razor and it got zero major damage in a year of random tasks, no chipping (nothing which can not be cure with ceramic) or anything like on my thinned hard ZDP189 experiences. In fact my home convexed edge is as thin as my 52100 Para2 and it does real wonder on wood or hard plastic. In the kitchen that polish edge needs sometimes more “teeth” (S90V provides that for example) and some passes on a  brown ceramic or on a “butcher’s steel” do the trick for a coarser edge (tomato’s skin are tricky…) !


The PM2 transfer a lot of power in the cuts. The first inch from the ricasso can go deep in push cuts helps with a thumb’s push. You got as much power as a good old Millie and this is why the Para2 is so loved. The strong tip (strong because of the alloy used in this sprint run) is not convexed (to keep some steel and relative thickness) and I was able to drill hole in hard material with no bending or damage. This is a workhorse like I love them.
It’s a medium knife I can use hard with no immediate discomfort or “palm soar”.
The flat clip I have mounted on it is part of my need for a confortable grip.
I soon going to review a Kapara which is suppose to be better with its rounded handle but at least I had done my best to round the Para2 handle to my taste and eliminate any hot spot including the blade’s spine.


So, in my book, CPM Cruwear is an excellent choice for a EDC high performance folder.
For your information, the Knifecenter got now a new Sprint Run: a Native 5 with CPM Cruwear. I’m very tempted but the Kapara comes first. Anyway this combinaison of CPM Cruwear and smooth G-10 is just a winning hand. Spyderco (Eric) has also announced at the last Amsterdam Minimeet a Shaman in cruwear and micarta as a sprint run too. So CPM cruwear is here to stay.



Cruwear and Patina, the Lemon Edition.


Back to trying to get a patina on cruwear after my first attempt.
Because lemon juice is not smelly and we use it a lot in the house, I have tried to let the blade all night in a tissue imbibed.

Tissue seems to be some kind of catalyst as it help to keep a contact between the citric acid and the surface of the blade.


In the morning the tissue was dark!

And you can notice rust starting to form in between strokes of the patina.

Rust is removed with some polishing which keeps the patina.

So here we are now with a kind of camouflage results.

It looks forced but should “mild” with uses but yes you can get a Patina from Cruwear with lemon juice and a night…

Which means if you forget your knife in the sink after making some salad, you can get rust on your Cruwear blade and a very swaggy patina.

Patina on Cruwear ? Not that easy !


Forcing a Patina on Cruwear!
Because I’m going to the sea and I just need to be certain it won’t pit.
Now Cruwear seems tricky compared to 52100 or Maxamet.
Let see how it will get…


45 minutes later… No patina yet some stains…
“It’s not as rusty as 1095 usually, so it’s easy to get complacent. It can go 3-4 days easier than O-1 or 1095 but 3-4 months is a different story. It’s easy to get fooled by steels with this level of chrome ( 8%) as to corrosion resistance. It will appear as a tiny spot of rust. Easy to overlook as it does not make it apparent that spot is deepening, not getting wider. The surface layer of rust covers up the hole. ”
The Mastiff

And he was right…


Trying to mix oxygen and vinegar using tissues and apple vinegar ?… Nope.


Apple vinegar and apple sugar under the sun….. Nope.


Aceto di Modena…. nope.


Even in the wind…

Naaah forget it. This steel won’t stain beautifully… Just a bit but not enough in my taste.
It will perhaps pit if let unclean some weeks but in my daily uses it should not.

Putting the blade back in the handle the tolerances on that knife are so great you can tight the screws with locktite and pur a drop of nano oil… the pivot is smooth as butter.
Also ten passes on white ceramic and it is back to jumping hairs harvest again.
So cruwear seems to be a very “friendly” steel which doesn’t smell anything when confronted to apple, apple vinegar, various vinegar including aceto … nothing seems to harm it surface.
It is like CPM 3V and will be kept oiled and shiny. My Ed Schempp’s Tuff never needed or develop a patina as my grey Military in Cruwear.
At least I got less worry. 🙂


Convexing Cruwear!

This time I have decided since the blade of this Paramillie is thin, to protect it with some gaffer tape.

Same process as usual: diamonds, then ceramic and stropping on leather.
The DC4 of Fallkniven and the Spyderco Double Stuff 2 were used.
I got also an old barber leather I use with some polish.

I use the diamonds to remove the shoulder of the edge to round it a little, this is where you can scratch the blade as the angle used is very shallow.
Once you see the edge is widen, you can switch to tsone and ceramics mainly to smooth the scratches made by the diamonds.
It is very simple and just ask for time and patience.

Cruwear is stropping friendly much less than 52100 though.



Edit of the 24th of September:

More convexing after failing to Patina


Spyderco C81GPCW2 Paramillie CPM CruWear KnifeCenter Exclusive — Another Smooth Operator.


This one will be my 5th Paramillie 2, so it is a well known plateforme but the offer was to great to pass: a CPM Cruwear blade and a smooth black G10 handle: another exclusive run from the Knifecenter which is synonym of of a great attention to detail. This sprint run is absolutely flawless and its operation is smooth like butter. You really feel in your hand one of the greatest all-terrain EDC version ever made by Spyderco, no more no less. You can also check my previous review of the Knifecenter Smooth S90V Native 5.

Perfectly centered and the grind lines just great. Golden is getting better and better through the years, it is like a real jewel of a “tactical knife”. Sal and Aric can be proud of that one !


This sprint run got smooth black G10 handles but pardon my French, I do love my edges even smoother than that. It’s really a matter of personal choice but the relation with my tools goes through the finger and the palm of my hands.

So OK It was really a matter of minutes just to round a bit the G10, as I was not obliged to sand all the slabs. So it was an minor adjustment.


The edge is already thin, So I cannot really improve it.


CPM Cruwear is great for stropping: a mirror edge is done very easily.


It is just the first try at deshouldering, the factory edge is still there and I want to test it that way.
This is not my first CPM Cruwear blade as my Grey Millie “Gandalf” was my first.

The knife operates so smoothly I have decided to carry it tip up and have installed a short deep carry clip which disappears under my ring finger once deployed. My intention is also to use the version of the Paramillie 2 hard so I want to hold it by the pivot without a clip coming in the way.
More to come soon.


En this black smooth handle reminds me that knife of my childhood: Le Couteau d’Office Nogent Carbon (Nogent carbon steel paring knife) which was the sharpest knife in the kitchen.

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