Tag Archives: CTS 204P

Thoughtful Southard part 2.

Spyderco Southard Nemo

Using the Southard is a pure pleasure.
Why ?
Because you got a thin edge and a thick spine.
The full belly has proven to be hard to mistrust. It’s a curved guillotine.
Cardboard sheaths are cut like with a lightsaber, tomatoes are slices thin, rabbit’s bones are cut with no chipping even wooden wine boxe from Burgandy are open with a twist of the handle.
The thick handle is really confortable for hard and long period of work. I cannot find any hot spot in this knife especially since… I have removed that awful clip.
It’s look like folded metal sheath. It’s pointy and will pierce my pocket instead, it’s shiny, sharp and will keep my knife on an high profile while clipped to my pocket.
The Southard is so nice without its clip.
Since I have Steve Rice from STR’s Backyard knifeworks who has gently sent to me one of his beautiful Lowrider’s clip he has especially invented for the Southard and a Southard part 3 is in preparation.

For now on, my C156 is clipless and this is a pure wonder. The Carpenter version of M390 has proven to be absolutly reliable as CTS 204P is really a great steel. No chipping so far. Stay razor sharp for a week long. Easy to strope on leather. Easy to maintain on ceramic.

But clip are an issue on a lot of flipper. Check the Massdrop Falcon for example.

You can see there is a lot of attention to detail. I love how the blade flush with the handle, especially near the pivot. I love the No Spin construction. The absence of any play in any direction. This folding knife looks more solid and beefy than my Sebenzas !
The flipper is acting as a guard. But its all rounded so choking up the blade is possible. The asymetrical handle’s slabs/liners are not a big deal as they are providing a very comfortable experience.

As you can notice the blade of the Southard got something special. It’s full belly but also it seems like the tip is able to catch the cutting material. Like the last centimeter toward the tip is a claw. When I cut with my Southard I can feel all the length of the edge being in use. This is really something unique in that edge design. The blade cuts with ease without any drift. Like the Spyderco Dodo.
Yes, the Dodo is one my favorite whittling knife. Not for fine work but to cut a rod from a tree. The continious curves in the Dodo edge make it a great matter separator. The Dodo was able to cut into hardwood with less energy than any of my knives. The belly and the geometry of the Southard are in the same league.
Now the thick spine is a pleasure for my thumb when I’m doing powerful pushcuts. I can choke up the blade beyond the flipper and work with all my weight. Thanks also to its thick square handle I do not need gloves like with the Lionspy or my Sage 2.
So my mileage with that flipping beauty so far is exceeding my expectations. It’s even hard for me to enjoy my Techno or my Tuff or my Persian: the Flipper is really addictive and beyond the gimmick there is a really thoughtful design in that Southard.
Easy to use. Confortable. Easy to clean.Easy to keep razor sharp.
The Southard is also an eyecandy.
Anyway, mine has been used daily, in the plate, the kitchen, the wood, the boat, the city, the car, the office, the field, the dirt, the rain, the sea… It cuts. Stay sharp. Is easy on my palm. Is nice in my eyes.

SPyderco Southard without clip
No clip, more clip.

Southard Techno Nemo
The Techno clip is really the best. The Techno is the only SPyderco folder which is absolutly flawless IMHO.

Southard Techno Nemo
Fred Perrin and Jerry van Cook ?

Southard Nemo
CTS 204P is easy on white ceramic and the edge is kept on the popping hair sharp level.

Spyderco Southard
Eye candy when closed too !

Spyderco Southard C156GBN – Flipping Beauty.

Southard

“One of the most advanced Spyderco folders ever produced.”
dixit Spyderco on their site

Come on…

OK let’s give a look.

Oh no, I’m in love again. I really thought the Wonderful Techno would be the Ultimate EDC, even beating the amazing Michael Walker and the great Gayle Bradley and the Legendary Military and the perfect Native 5 and…. but the Gods of the Hole in The Blade got their own way.

Why ? Tell me why ?
Why the Southard is not two inch longer and would loss its portability? At an hair under 8 inches (202mm) open and 114 mm closed (great blade/handle ratio BTW) this knife is not unforgettable once clipped: you forget it even when not clipped. Worst than that, I’m able to carry the Southard in my watch pocket.
Arrrgh. Brad Southard, if you hear me, I hate you for this amazing design.
And thank you. Thank you for giving us that pointy shiny clip with high visibility. Thank you ! At least you have left something to improve. Lucky us.
This clip is a joke actually.

The knife could be also a Spyderjoke. Go figure:
This the first Spyderco to be not advertised for its ease of opening with its hole. “Don’t use the hole ! It got a flipper ! ”

OK as far as I’m concern the only Spydercos with useless holes are their fixed blades but the SPOT, SWICK… inspired by Fred Perrin’s Lagriffe.

So “Don’t use the hole as primary opening device… use the Flipper”.
In France Flipper is a dolphin. For Spyderco it’s a pedal. Some Dolphin are also pedal but only during le Tour de France and this is another story.

OK let’s talk about its blade. Have you notice its belly ? From the tip to the flipper, the edge does a beautiful arc. It means, cutting power.
The blade is 4mm thick but its edge is thin. This means a lot of cutting power. I was able to cut through hard plastic with the same ease as my Gayle Bradley. this is impressive.
The flipper, once the knife is open offers a guard to your finger erasing any fears of lock failure.

The lock ? A Reeve Integral Lock with some refinement like a system to prevent over bending the lockbar. Very clever.

Lets’ talk about smoothness. With its wide ball bearing pivot the action on the flipper is smooth and only the friction of the lock bar seems to brake the movement. It’s not as smooth as the Gayle Bradley but it’s at least as smooth as the Lionspy and much smoother than the Tuff, both R.I.L. folders.
Taiching is again showing how they hare great in manufacturing. The blade is dead centered and everything is perfect but the clip.

There is one detail I love: no stop pin. The stop pin is hidden near the axis. With its open handle the Southard is a breeze to clean.
The absence of hump of the hole makes it a beauty. With its very uncommon blade mixing drop point and sheepfoot… with the back of the blade offering a thumb space to rest. All angle are smooth but the G10 gives a great grip.
The Southard is a pure hardecore folder. You feel you could thrust it with full force. The flipper/guard will prevent any slippering and lock failure.
This is a knife wich express itself in your hand. Perfectly balanced. It’s fast and easy to put in use. Really this is something to experiment by yourself. This is not a big knife but with its 1/1 handle ratio it’s all business.
The steel is one of the latest powder metallurgy Über Alloy made by Carpenter the CTS 204P. The kind of monster steel with almost 2 percent of carbon. For now the knife is so sharp, I was able to cut cardboard with the ease hollow ground blade desserve. I was laos able to stumble on a stable.
And…. zero damage to the edge. As far as I’m concern I’m quite impressed by the new generation of Powder Steel.

Now the handle is a little on the squarish side. It’s thick as there is a brown G10 liner over a liner of titanium. This asymetry could be a show stopper for some but actually I like the way the handle fills the palm of my hand. The knife is anchored. I will see in the next review if there is any hot spots… I already spot one: the clip !

The Persian carpet, even the most beautiful got all a little imperfection. For one reason, only God can create perfection not humans.
This is the meaning of that clip.
This piece of shining metal has already tried to pierce my denims pocket… and it hurts my palm. This is the only imperfection of the Southard who’s desserved better. BTW a dremel should be able to round that pointy tip on that prehistoric clip…

But this is true. My Techno, for example, is absolutly flawless. Nothing to sand on the handle. Everything is perfect.
And the Southard got a Perfect Flaw. But you forgive everything to such a Flipping Beauty.

The C156GBN is the kind of folder who can make you sold all your other knives. It’s ‘that’ great.

Southard
Peekaboo in the pocket watch… no clip used.