Tag Archives: Ed Schempp

MILITARY C36PIN PART IV: Deep Carry Clip in Titanium

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After the part III where I built a patina by worshipping various acids, here comes the part IV of improving my old classic Spyderco: installing a better clip.
My first attempt in custom deep carry titanium clip has not be good. It was for the Yojimbo2 and I’ve been mounting the original clip back.
Then I have ordered a titanium clip for Ghost my Millie.

Actually I was disappointed again, once mounted the action was not smooth anymore.
For some reason the clip was exercising some forces on the pivot and the opening and closing were stiff. Also the mate finish was not helping the insertion of the knife is the pocket.

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So I have bent the clip for it to be less strong and also I have sand it to smooth it.
It made a difference.

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Talking about differences, the titanium clip is very well designed and comes with two flat torx screws. It’s a little higher/thicker than the original one but it’s not a problem and does not change the ergonomy.

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Also by sanding the clip, I have obtained a worn look which goes well with the patina.

I have also rounded all the edge on the G10 with P1000 sandpaper to have it smooth in the pocket.

But I felt some resistance when I put the knife in my pocket and I also found that now the lip of my pocket was obliged to go through a new threshhold: the base of the clip.

You see ? There is step formed by the attached base of the clip which can be hard on my pocket, tearing a hole of my worn denim.

So I was back to sanding on P500 this time to smooth the steep and avoid wear.
And it worked !

Eventually I was able to ease the clip spring pressure and get my C36 back to smooth operation.

So it was not an issue with screws length but a slight deformation at the pivot due to too much spring tension.

So I’m happy, the C36 Military now disappears in the pocket but it also easy to “spyder-drop” it in the blink of an eye. The action is a little stiffer but some nano-oil helps it. I’m not able to have the blade closing by gravity anymore. Anyway the Millie as never as smooth as the Ed Schempp Bowie and not as easy to carry.
But now I can carry that C36 in the city with no afterthought. It’s almost invisible and the Jade Natural G-10 helps a lot in its invisibility and sheeple friendly carried tool.
Hence the name “Ghost”.

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Here how the clip looks before sanding the edge and the finish. You can see the sharp edge around the screw and also the jaws mark of my leatherman.

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Patrick Bonetta’s Tactical Paring Knife

Patrick Bonneta

The video can be found here: Patrick Bonetta – Le Coutelier des Grands Chefs

Usually I use my “tactical” knives in the kitchen but this time it is exactly the other way around… This is a kitchen knife ready for “tactical” situations thanks to its great ergos and its kydex sheath worn as a neck sheath.
It was all made by Patrick Bonetta. Patrick is a old friend from Ed Schempp, Fred Perrin and is living the neighborhood!

Patrick Bonetta

He is first known for his incredible skills at sharpening kitchen knives for famous chefs around the world like Alain Ducasse, Jean Louis Nomicos and Palace like Le Bristol, Le Crillon, le Royal Monceau, le Taillevent

He’s also a designer, a blade smith and legendary epicurian.
His first dream was to be a knifemaker then he has found that there was a real lacking in the way knives’s edges were kept. In fact, not many of so called “grinders” are able to understand how to get all blades really keen but Patrick is one of them. This is a rare talent and this is very very special knack.


There is a timeless aura in his workshop which used to be the one of his grand father.


His paring knife is light and razor sharp. To eat a good meat with a blunt knife is blasphemous and a serrated edge will ruined everything!

Patrick’s Commandements are simple: never lend your knife and you don’t break bones with a paring knife.
Now all cooks want everlasting sharp knives and this is not a reality. So, to get them sharp again is mandatory.

My knife is light, well balanced. Its 4 inches very thin blade is tapered, flat ground and comes with a very nice convex edge made of classic knife steel CroMoVa cryo tempered.

The steel used is gentle under the stone and easy to maintain really sharp.

This is a great combo in a very light package. Perfect to snatch in a voyager bag were every grams count !
It’s also easy to carry around the neck in a camp where it will be really useful for every cooking duty.
The handle is in paper micarta, mince is burgundy. Patrick as drill some hole for a better grip when unsheating the knife with wet hands. They work great holding the blade flat on a board.

What a cheer joy to cut vegetables and meat with such a great little buddy. Its polyvalent blade can be used for a wide range of kitchen duties and there is a guilty pleasure to use it also as a steak knife !

POCKET LEGENDS OF THE FALL FEAT. SPYDERCO SCHEMPP BOWIE ~ C190CF

Today is the day the world mourns David Bowie.
It’s the perfect time to talk about another Bowie and another hommage: Ed Schempp’s Folding Bowie.

ED schempp Bowie

I have met again Ed at the Police National shooting range at avenue Fosh, Paris, in November. It was some kind of a mini knife show hosted by Patrick Bonetta, coutelier and keen master in sharpening. Both old friends were showcasing there their last knives, from kitchen to law enforcement duty. (Patrick will be the subject of my next articles BTW, the man desserve an entiere book !!)

Immediately Ed introduced me proudly to his last Spyderco collaboration: his bowie. What a gem !
The knife is simply oozing quality from all its pores: brass guard integrated bolster, carbon fiber handles…. a smoooooth opening. The beautiful symmetry once open and the gentle angle between the blade and the handle are trademarks of Ed’s designs we enjoyed so much on his Tuff and Persian.

This is not the first folding Bowie in the Spyderco catalog. Remember the Slysz Bowie ?
And I’m really a sucker for bowie shape blades. They got belly and they are pointy.
So deciding to put my Nilaka at rest for a while, immediately Ed’s Bowie got a ride in my front pocket.

“It has been made to be worn as a much smaller knife” Ed told me.

And he was right, the wire clip is so well designed that the knife disappears and ride deep in the pocket. It won’t be as quick draw friendly as the C36 Military, for example, but it is so discreet in this days of low profile mania.
Once open, the beautiful blade is impressive. Narrower than his Navaja but elegantly theatrical !
Again this is a Gentleman folder destin to be used served by an ‘almost” full flat ground thin blade.
At 2.5mm thick, far are the days of the 4mm hollowground Starmate (pictured here in the Gayle Bradley review).
I was not impressed by the initial factory sharpening and since I have thinned its edge to more akeen result. It was done patiently as CPMS30V is not the easiest steel to let its molecules go away…


The bottle bottom tests are now passed with flying colors. Even the mineral water bottle, thinner and easier to collapse).
The natural angle found in the Kukris is again a nice plus even with a short knife. Ed is a farmer and he creates and builds tools for his ranch.
The integrated guard was a technical requirement which is cleverly accomplished. My first knife ever was a small bowie and its guard was a PITA. I was 5 year old and I knew this knife was not well designed…
On Ed’s Bowie, the guard is nicely “anchoring” the hand as a thumb rest for example. All is smooth and gentle under your fingers. Even in hammer’s grip the small guard doesn’t come in the way.

Reverse grip either.

So if you want a small folding bowie with a great attention to details, a nice belly, a slick and smooth action, the C190CF can be your choice.
I enjoy the brass bolsters and its soft texture contrasting with the woven carbon fibers. It’s a very sensual tool with the handle resting securely in my palm avoiding any lose of grip.
Back in the 90’s they were some very long conversations on the forums about how reliable the linerlocks were. In this bowie, the handle is very rigid and the lock very well executed in Taichung. The knife has passed my tests including the carpet test which was not easy with the Spyderco Tuff. I absolutely got zero concern about the lock on this one. I got zero play lateral or vertical even with white knuckles. It is stout.
This is another ‘home run’ from Ed and another very clever hommage to a legendary design. Once in the pocket it is very addictive.
Also used in the plates, the knife is elegant and do not raise any eye’s brows even in the restaurant. A great steak knife !

Some size comparaisons:

Two worlds but equally great usability. Eric Glesser Manix 2 lightweight in CPM110V is a Nasa dream.


Two Bowie brothers as the Slysz’s was invited for the picture.


Another pocket Bowie, this one made by Xavier Conil.


With the Mighty K2.


With Fred Perrin’s Streetbowies father and sonny Streetbeat.


My good old Benchmade BM806S. Another slick design wich has proven to be reliable in all situation.


With my very first knife purchased at Thiers in 1971 ! Yes it was a Bowie too !


With my good old rehandled Carbon V Cold Steel Trailmaster !


Fred Perrin custom Bowie La Griffe from the 90’s !

Spyderco Amsterdam Minimeet the 10th Anniversary Report

Amsterdam Minimeet 2014

This review will be update on regular basis as we are also dependent from Spydercollector pictures.

Nemo: Again we have been 80 lucky people to attend the 10th Anniversary Spyderco Meet in Amsterdam.
Some were there since the beginning like my friend JD and this post will be both impressions.
Here the list of knives and our impression.
For the model pictures you can visit Spydercollector excellent blog here as he got the exclusivity:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/page/2/

Sal Glesser

29 concepts and prototype are a lot in a single session. They are a lot and a lot of ideas in non locking knives, bushcrafting, SD tools, long forgotten designs and performances researches but… without showing any pics it’s a little pointless to talk about them here.

JD and Sal

Eric and Sal have harvested our impressions, sucking up feedbacks from 80 feverish minds.
For example JD gives the important hint that Walter Brent trademark was mirror finish blade on his Mamba Concept Model.
JD: Polished deep hollows, thats Walter Brend!
Nemo: And Eric will now see what would be the best steel for respecting that particular signature.

This is where the Minimeet shows how important exchanges are ! Eric and Sal are here to listen to the “hot” feedbacks and they take very good notes of each of them. It’s quite obvious after to notice the changes in a final product. (We got some very passionate exchanges three years ago with Sal about a huge folder featuring an “über” strong lock which could be used as a tough folding camping tool for example…)

Also the Minimeet is the chance now to see designers and knifemakers coming in Amsterdam to present their prototypes.
Like Ulrich “Uli” Hennicke:
Uli new proto

or
Filip De Leeuw:
Filip De Leeuw

So let’s browse the memory of some models we liked:

Slisz Bowie Marcin Slysz Prototype
JD: Impressive! Ergonomic, solid, slicy.
Nemo: This one is my favorite so far in this 10th Anniversary. A sexy shape, a ergonomic titanium handle. This could be a Sebenza Killer with a bowie blade and full flat ground blade. It should be release for mid 2014. So we will have to review it in september.
(I will like pictures from Wouter site as soon as he will have them on line.)

His ‘father’ could be the K2 by Farid Mehr.
JD: Pocked machete!
Nemo: but again if it’s going to be produced in CPM10V this huge Sebenza / Bowie like knife is going to be a must have.
Farid is known for his Heavy Metal knives. He was making RIL locks in stainless steel on thick blades !! The K2 has been refined by Eric and Sal a lot before to born. Now it’s a big folder but with a slick appearance. It’s big but it’s a very useful shape. You can easily see how to cut a whole chicken or a pinapple with it. This knife is also very easy to clean.
Fortunatly we got a link to the pictures here:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/spyderco-2014-production-prototype-farid-mehr-k2/

The Native 5 Lightweight production sample
JD: Favorite Native so far !
Yes it’s light and it’s solid a s a rock. Sal loves it. This is a knife destined to be a classic.
It’s a Native 5 with FRN handle but the feel in your hand is balanced. A great tool to clip. The plastic handle is square and smooth. I really liked it.

ARK Sam Owens design production prototype
Nemo: This little FB is destined to be a self defense tool to prevent rapes under the shower in the Army… Go figure how people are crazy nowadays. What can I say ? Of course it will be rust resistant as it will made in H1. I would have preferred a Fred Perrin La Griffe as even with soap in my hands I would not have lost my grip. Anyway, fighting naked with a blade in the shower seems like a nightmare…
They should invest in video camera instead. The blade shape is like a Sharpfinger which is a very nice utility and skinning edge. For SD I would have prefer a serrated edge for a maximum of pain without to inflict lethal wounds. Anyway a razor sharp neck knife for shower does not seem like a good idea to me anyway. I’m much more for the use of psionic blasts…
picture and description here

Battlestation Alex Diaconescu production sample.
JD: Much of the jimping has been removed after feedback. Nice handle but this is not a thin slicer.
Nemo: Th grip once open is very secure. It’s a very solid feel. again it looks like a weapon oriented project. Would look great in a movie. It’s a “dramatic” design for Snake Plissken to escape from a battle station.
Picture and description here:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/spyderco-2014-production-sample-alex-diaconescu-battlestation/

Bradley Folder 2 Gayle Bradley design Concept model.
We had the chance to tot two BG folders. One with a bolster and the other one without it.
JD: Both very nice, but the bolstered one is nicest. Most comfortable in the hand and prettiest!
Nemo: Yes, but the bolster does not leave any access to the pivot screw… Beautiful knives. No finger choil, very sexy lines. Like a stretched and lighter Gayle Bradley previous hardcore folder.

Chubby Michael Burch design Production Prototype
A lot of belly and a false edge for nice looking little big knife. But I did not get any vibes from this one… I did not like the clip at all as it is ready to scratch the car’s paint.
Pictures are here:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/spyderco-2014-production-prototype-michael-burch-chubby/

Condor Jot Singh Khalsa design CM
JD: Interesting look, awkward and uncomfortable in the hand.
Nemo: Yes, there is pig tail to the handle for the pinky to rest. But like you I was not convinced. They are a lot of curves in this knife but I was not able to find it confortable to hold too.

Dice Eric Glesser Design PP
JD: The Dice is Nice. Fits me even better than the Domino.
Nemo: The opposite to me. I miss the blade of the Domino which is the minimal length for me.
Pictures:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/spyderco-2014-production-prototype-dice/

Dog Tag Folder Serge Pancheko PP
Nemo: this one going to be a success as it is so cute. It could be a anti rape self defense tool too as this small folder can be a latch ditch weapon for naked fights.
Pictures:
http://spydercollector.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/spyderco-2014-production-prototype-serge-panchenko-dog-tag-folder/

*******Edition of the 10th of marc 2014. Further reading will be even more chaotic than the previous one. 🙂

Foundry Spyderco design PS
JD: Comfortable and useful design. Bit heavy.
Nemo: and it will be rare as the Carpenter workers will have it in priority. Eric told us it took him one year to design it as he wanted to design a simple knife for blue collars. This is a knife which can be used for eating, the kitchen and for hunting. This is the kind of knife my grandfather would have love.

Frontier Ed Schemp design PP
JD: Nice thin grind!
Nemo: I usually a big fan of Ed Schempp design but here the S guard is getting in my thumb’s way. I like to give pressure on the back of the blade with my thumb (that’s why I do not like vertical play also).

Mini Nilakka Pekka Tuominen design CM
JD: Interesting. Clip needs to move to the back of the handle.
Nemo: The clip was not as clever as the Nilakka folder. A very impressive little knife.

Grievous Dave Gagne design CM
JD: Do not understand what it is for.

Introvert Chris Knutson CM
JD: Interesting look, fun to flip, rings get in the way of use.
Nemo: another folding Lagriffe. Good thing is that Spyderco is always giving credits to the original designer.

Ion Brad Southard design
JD: Pretty and smooth. Liked the inlayed lock the best. Gentac knives.

Joule Michael Reinhold design
JD: Functional design if the handle is rounded. It has to many shar points now.

Kingyo Liong Mah design
Kiwi 4 G10 Prototype
Lady Finger Ed Schempp design
Lil’ LionSpy Gianni Pauletta design Proto
JD: Nice but thick.

Liong Mah Liong Mah design CM
JD: Nicest and most practical of the two Liong Mah designs.

Manix 2 LTWT 110V
Mike Draper design PS
JD: Big but comfortable and useful design.

Myrtle Filip De Leeuw design CM
Native 5 Fluted CF Proto

One-Eyed Jack A.T. Barr design
Opus 14 Ulrich Hennicke design CM
JD: Anonimus, would like to de a DE/UK legal design from him.

Ouroboros Paul Alexander design
JD: strange ergonomics.

Para Military 2 Composite – Sprint Sample
Para Military 2 Fluted CF – CM
JD: Most comfortable PM2 ever!

Parata Paul Alexander design
JD: strange ergonomics.

PIP Jamie Bailey design CM
JD: End of handle too pointy, fun little knife

PITS Mike Read design Proto
JD: Comfortable, practical & elegant. Most upscale UK legal production folder.

Retract Ed Schempp design CM
Roadie Spyderco design
JD: Cute! Sharpen flat on the stone to make a pocket scalpel

ROC Serge Panchenko design proto
Rockhopper Michael Reinhold design CM
Spydi hole hard to reach.

Roto Wedge Spyderco design CM
Rubicon Peter Carey design Proto
JD: Pretty! But clip is digging uncomfortable in the hand.

Shaman Spyderco design CM
Six Blade Tool CM
JD: Pointy holes.

Southard Folder (all black)
Spin Blue Nishijin
Splitter. Spyderco design CM
JD: Solid, ATR 2.0

SpydieChef Marcin Slysz design CM
JD: Impressive! Beautiful and practical.

Spy-DK Prod sample
JD: Nice thin edge! I could open it with one hand, but not easily.

Stop Lock CM
Swede Michael Henningson CM
JD: Nice look, lanyard hole very sharp and pointy.

Szabo Higo Laci Szabo dsign CM
JD: Needs to be found thinner, more like the knife it is based on. Other than that nice modernization of and classic.

Three Blade rescue CM
JD: Small holes have pointy tops.

Texture tech CM
ULU CM
Ulize M Ulrich Hennicke design
JD: Very Spyderco jet different. More carriable size.

Valloton Sub-Hilt 3.5 Butch Vallotton design CM
Victory Jot Singh Khalsa design
JD: Interesting look, awkward and uncomfortable in the hand.

Worker G-10
JD: Comfortable handle. Will probably be sold out very quickly.

Genzow Hatchet Martin Genzow design CM
Lum tanto Sprint
Ronin 2 Michael Janich Proto
Packer Gayle Bradley design
JD: Excellence!
Nemo: I was very impressed by the balance and the heft of that “Tomahaxe” 😉
Beautiful lines and great handling. I would love to test it as soon as it is released. I think this gorgeous hatchet has made a great impression !

The Dutchman tom Zoomer design CM
B & T Phil Wilson design CM
JD: Slicey
Nemo: But the “cobrahood” guard wich will go in the way when power cutting and batonning.

Whale Blade H1 w/handle Spyderco design.
JD: For the GI’s

Eric Jur and Sal

SPYDERCO SCHEMPP TUFF BY ED SCHEMPP – C151GTI – My Folding Kukri

When The Going Get Tough…The Tuff gets going !

I have witnessed the evolution of that knife since the first prototype in 2005. The beautiful fuller was already its signature and I felt, this was a great complement to the hole for opening purpose.
For descriptions and length and weight, please use the link above.

This folder is not my first “heavy duty folding tool”, but certainly one of the most solid. The Gayle Bradley is an hard used cutter.
My Lionspy is another great contender as I have used it as a light chopper many times. But the heft of the Tuff is making that Ed Schempp designed knife a great woodman folding companion, in my own humble opinion. It’s unique.
Why ?
Because I enjoy being able to process wood with some light equipment: my Cold Steel Voyager, my Lionspy and now my Tuff are able to work quick as light chopping tools. Of course it won’t replace a hatchet, a machette, a campknife. But they are a folding “attempt” to create reliable hard used knives. The new fashion in folding cutlery. Tactical means nothing. Hard used knife means everything.

SPyderco Tuff and Lionspy by Nemo

My tuff has been named “Varicelle” or “Smallpox” in French. Why ? Because of its handle. All those “bubbles” give it some kind of steampunk look.
Once closed, you recognized the attention for details of Ed Schempp. Varicelle looks like a perfect oval. It’s a beautiful object even if the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just look at that mega huge screw pivot, that massive stop pin, that unique fuller on that thick blade, everything in this knife screams toughness.

Once open, you feel that you are holding a tool not a weapon. Even if the balance is perfect with a sweet spot under your index. This knife has been created to be a reliable companion toward the hardest situation a folder can withstand in a…. farm ! And what is useful in a farm can be useful everywhere. But, thinking about it: the most famous martial artists weapons were initiated by farm tools.
Ed told me he has cut into aluminium tanks without any damage to the blade. I don’t know wahta he was cutting but I trust him to put his blades in pace to test them. (E.G. My Persian is such a great knife BTW)

CPMS3V is a really tough steel. It’s another crucible powder steel. I love the behavior of that steel and its forgiveness toward my clumsiness.
I cherish a great BRKT Bravo and I love how its convexed edge is easy to maintain while being a true laser. Oh I love that powder manufactured steel.
It’s not stainless, but it’s a fine grain tool steel which can stand a lot of abuses.
Having the chance to carry “that” steel on a folding knife is absolutely rare. Another Spyderco premiere.
I had the purpose of convexing my Tuff as I knew how easy that tough alloy was with leather stropping.
So Varicelle has been slowly convexed. Using elbow’s oil mainly.

Eventually the blade on the Tuff is longer than the edge. Again the mighty choil is another Ed Schemp signature like on my Navaja.
You can hold your knife by the blade only, helped by the fuller and the choil, the hardest jobs can be soft on the lock and pivot.
The edge is making that knife very legal. It’s not threatening. Again you got a tool in your hand not a serial killer nightmare.
Yes, but it looks like a kukri and it perform like a folding kukri. And Kukris are famous to be the sacred weapon of Burkhas…
But again Kukris are great tools tunred into weapons. The Tuff’s designer was focus on some kind of G-Shock folder. Not a self defense device. Not a sentry removal tool. The Tuff is just a gentleman farmer’s knife designed by one.

By the way, I don’t have any problem to open it fast. I have changed the clip position to tip down carry. Now I can spyderdrop it, holding the blade by the hole and the fuller. It’s as easy and smooth as with my Millie. The heavy handle helps a lot. The lock bar can be harder than other knives. I won’t mind.
The closing is even easier than on my Lionspy. The meat of my thumb catches the lock release with ease. So I can open it fast and close it fast which is a must in safety for hard used tools in difficult environment. My tuff is reliable. Easy to put in play and easy to remove from sight.
This is all I ask from my folders.

So what do you got ? A CPMS3V folder with RIL Lock in a compact package offering great ergos while open.
Now will come the time of testing.
Stay tune for part 2.


Before convexing.


In between convexing.

Spyderco Tuff by Nemo
Fully convexed.

SPYDERCO SCHEMPP TUFF BY ED SCHEMPP ~ C151GTI – When The Going Gets Tough – The Tuff Keep Going

Spyderco Persian and Tuff Ed Schempp

The Persian is reviewed here.

Ed Schempp is a very clever designer. As I have noticed in my previous post, it took him almost a decade to get the Tuff to the End Line Users. The purpose of the design was to create the tougher knife possible, kinda über Strider Sebenza Blackwood mix… A folding pry bar.
But let’s not forget: Ed is a farmer. A knife user. And his previous design included the wonderful Persian. Since I got the chance to receive as a gift one of the first batch Persian made (thanks JD!) I was also able to compare the two designs.

Persian and Tuff Ed Schempp

Ed seems to love heavy knife. The one you know you (still) got in your pocket. But also Ed got a very precise idea about ergonomy. Both knives got that angle once open giving you a great cutting power without to twist your wrist. You can push cut vertically, locking your wrist and your arm, and just using the strenght and weight of your shoulder. The Persian and the Tuff share that particularity.

SPyderco Tuff

But the Tuff is almost like a Folding Kukri. A folding mini chopping knife. The pivot is oversized as is the stop pin. The lock bar is the hardest I have ever tried. Everything is tough.
But now that I have installed the clip for tip down carry, my Tuff can be open very fast (Spyder drop) and close easily.
Despite the fact that I have oiled the pivot, my Tuff is squicking/singing like a fiddle and I now considering that sound as a part of its character.

SPyderco Tuff

The “prairie dogs hole” on the G10 and titanium are not the most sexy way to remove weight but it gives some kind of steampunk look to the knife.
Once close it’s all oval, all rounded and not thick compared to other über folder like the Lionspy. I was really surprised how it disappears once clipped to the front or back pocket and is forgotten.
The clip is a little on the stiff side but no big deal. Anyway now that I carry it like my Millies, I enjoy deploying it just by holding the blade by the fuller. Hiiiii CLACK !!!
The lock got that Reeve Integral Lock with improvements with some hardened steel insert which ensure superior strength and increase wear resistance (as on the Millie Tie, and the Rockstead Higo) and a security to prevent over bending (good luck with that anyway). It’s hard to unlock but not as hard as other lock like some Triadlock folders.

SPyderco Tuff

Ha the Fuller! I love the idea. It’s almost like Conan’s Atlantean sword ! 🙂 I would love to see the fullers adapted on the Spyderco Salt for example.
The blade is gorgeous as the light play with the fuller and the flat grind. I was not able to have a patina yet. CPM 3V is not a stainless steel and will picture my Tuff again as soon as a patina will start to develop.
It’s an heavy blade. Like with M2, CPM M4, I always got the feeling that density of non stainless tool steels is higher than stainless. I remember having noticed something like 20% between M2 and ATS34, but I could be wrong. Anyway the CPM 3V feels heavy and the knife is really well balanced.

SPyderco Tuff

Now I was able to get it to razor by stropping it on leather with ease. This is not as difficult as S90V or ZDP89. CPM 3V seems very leather friendly.
The heavy thick blade of my Tuff is shaving hair with a gentle caress. But it was also able to pass my bottle butt test despite its thickness. A beautiful Opinel with its thin and mirror polished blade was able to do it like through butter, but the Tuff was able to cut through showing its good geometry.
On flesh the Tuff is cutting with ease and this time thanks to the ergonomy and the “Schempp Angle”. I was surprised how it was borrowed to kitchen duty. Those Prairie Holes make it sheeple friendly after all and the heavy blade can cut only with its weight.

SPyderco Tuff

Now the next step will be in the woods. Time to see how tough the tuff is. I have noticed that the stainless steel liner is skeletonized. The ease of cleaning will be test also as the handle is not fully open.
The Tuff feels very solid and screaming to be use hard but for the moment it has shown me its softer side: I can open it and close it easily (changing the clip position helped a lot), it’s easy on the trouser, and it’s precise and really sharp. The big choil is a big plus when you need to choke up the blade for precise works. Oh, I have found some hot spot which won’t resist to my diamond files. the back of the blade is sharp enough for striking an iron rod, but as I love to push my cuts with my thumb, I have round it for a more confortable use.
The tuff is screaming hard use but also is whispering cleverness. There is a reason why Ed Schemp took his time on that design and this one is going to be a knife which will grow on you. Just look at the belly, the point and the way the knife goes into action and you will start to see what Ed wanted to produce.
Again Taichung plant has made a flawless work and the Tuff is a beautiful piece of steel. Let see how it performs in the woods.

This is what Jerry Hossom has to say about CPM3V in 2007:

“In my opinion, CPM-3V is the best knife steel ever.

It has the finest grain structure of any high alloy steel used in knives today, about 1 micron. That translates into extraordinary toughness and arguably as fine an edge as can be had. When you sharpen it, you don’t have to cut through carbides, so it sharpens a lot easier than you might expect, certainly easier than S30V or even D2 IMO. I had a 3V knife at Rc61 destruction tested by bending it to 90 degrees, back and forth, four times before it finally snapped, and that blade was hollow ground which resists bending because of the geometry. 3% vanadium, coupled with extreme toughness to resist microchipping allows it to hold an edge a very long time.

The ONLY downside to 3V is its corrosion resistance which is pretty good but the nature of how it corrodes is annoying as hell if it happens. You do not get a smooth patina or a surface bloom of light rust. What you see IF it corrodes are some small orange spots on the blade, under which will be deep pits. This is likely due to minor oxide contamination in the steel, so I passivate all my 3V blades by etching them in 50% FeCl for about 10 minutes, before the final brushed finish is applied. This has ALMOST eliminated the problem, but I still recommend keeping a light coat of oil on the blade and have never had rust once a blade is etched and oiled. I use Birchwood Casey’s Synthetic Gun Oil, which is a great protectant for any metal. 3V is about the same as D2 in this area, but benefits by taking a much finer finish than D2 so corrosion has fewer toeholds than with D2.

I put a fine finish on all my blades, but with 3V I always go to ~800 grit. All of my 3V blades, except swords, are hardened to Rc61.

Tough? In one test of one of my swords, the tester cut laterally through a shank of beef, including over 9″ of meat and over 3″ of bone without splintering the outcut on the bone and the only evidence of the cut on the blade was a very small (~1/8”) flat spot on the edge, which had been sharpened to shaving sharpness. You couldn’t see the flat spot from the side, only by looking down on the edge where you could see the reflection. That was a single-handed sword and just an amazing cut considering that beef leg bone is a VERY hard bone.

It’s a great steel, and it’s unfortunate that more people aren’t familiar with it. It took a bit of a bad rap when it first came out because it is very sensitive to a well-controlled heat treating schedule, as is S30V for that matter, and some makers who tested it early on before that was well understood just didn’t get what the steel had to offer. That’s why I sold my heat treating oven and send all my steel to Paul Bos for heat treating.

I just read through this and guess this is as close to hype as I get, but the steel is a great steel and this is my experience with it. Just as an interesting side note, when I first started using this steel I told Crucible I was convinced that microchipping was a major component of knives going dull and that this steel would “wear” better than its component numbers might suggest because it was so tough. At the time CPM-10V was Crucible’s super wear resistant steel. About 18 months later at the Eugene knife show, the top metallurgist at Crucible told me that they we finding that 3V was “outwearing” 10V in stamping dies. When they studied the reasons they discovered the 10V was microchipping and the hard, sharp edges were crumbling long before any abrasive wear could develop.

People in the woodworking industry have known about the toughness issue for a long time and many of the best woodworking tools are made with A2, which is a very tough steel. 3V is about 7 times tougher than A2, and I recently consulted with some people in that world who made some chisels and turning tools with 3V and found they cut better and longer than anything they had ever seen. AND BTW, they are also now putting convex edges on their chisels…

Try it, you’ll like it.”

Spyderco Navaja Carbon Fiber ~ C147CF – Spirit of Spaniards

Nemo and his Navaja

The Navaja is a legendary folding knife. For the first time in History, a folding knife was considered as the poor man sword in a country were sword fencing was the highest art. Actually they were three schools in fencing: the French, the Italian and the Spanish school. In Spain however, everybody were encouraged to be armed with a sword at the end of the 15th century. It was the time of Isabelle de Castille (born a 22nd of april) and Ferdinand II d’Aragon who both were in charge of the greatest occidental power of that time.

navaja-fighting-knife-stylized-ornamental-elaborate-handle-design-AMH73J

Navaja
Early navajas were not much smaller than swords

La Navaja was the first Tactical Folding Knife. It was born in the 16th century in Andalusia for one main purpose—fighting. For the first time a folding knife was not made as a tool but as a weapon. James Loriega, wrote two great books about it: Sevillian Steel and the Manual of Baratero and I can only encourage you to read them !
For Randy (Ransom) Price: “These magnificent knives have an ominous appearance when open and it’s easy to understand why many people believe the early navaja was the original inspiration for the Bowie knife. No doubt a navaja unfolded before an unsuspecting victim must have had the same effect as Jim Bowie unsheathing his monster fixed blade.

Here come the Spyderco reboot and hommage to the mighty Navaja. The Golden princes of tactical folding knives take a bow to the queen of spanish edge.
There is a very strong “spirit” in this design: centuries in refinement which were really inspiring Ed Schemp.
The knife is gorgeous. Made in Taiwan with the highest quality material ( S30V steel blade, Carbon Fiber handle and Stainless Steel bolsters) the C147 is simply a pleasure to the eyes and to the hand.
Opening the blade and you got the “sound” of Caracas. I really like it. It’s discreet and sound like an old camera to me. It gives something dramatically “mechanical” to the opening and closing of the blade. Respecting its heritage, the edge is a little on the thick side and totally weapon oriented. This is minor and it can be improved with some elbow grease to have it turned into a better push cutter. Something I’m planning to do as S30V is a very forgiving steel to convex and to polish. Also the fact that the belly doesn’t start at the ricasso like on a Paramilitary for exemple, change the way you use the knife on hard matter but again, Ed thought about everything and It’s easy to choke up the blade with its very large choil and work with full control.
The long handle gives also the opportunity to have a much better range/reach. Again this is a reminiscence of the 17th Century Navaja made as edge weapon. The balance of the C147 is actually just in front of the index finger when holding the knife that way. The blade is fast and “alive”, easy to control and prompt for backcuts. This is really a fighting folding knife.
But when closed the Navaja keeps all its elegance as this is really a knife to admire in all circonstances.

OK, now this was not a real review as I need to test the knife in my EDC rotation. But as it’s a beauty, I wanted to share it with you.
I’ll be back on this.

Spyderco Navaja C147

The Paramillie 2 and the Navaja: two beauties ! Notice the difference in the belly.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The Navaja in the spring roses.

Spyderco Navaja C147

A fang at the ready !

Spyderco Navaja C147

Detail of the blade.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The beautiful bolster announcing the Sage 4 ?

Spyderco Navaja C147
This is the pure concept of elegance.

Spyderco Navaja C147

A grip with a long reach.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The folded beauty.

Spyderco Navaja C147
Details of the pivot.

Quoting Ed Schempp:

My goal in knife design is to put a very usable blade in the hands of the ELU. I chose the Corsican version as inspiration for the knife. I own a handmade Corsican Navaja made by my Corsican friend Alexander Musso. My interpretation is stylized with Spyderco and my style influences.

The Carraca mechanism is self destructive. The mechanism in the Spyderco Navaja is not part of the lock and on a different axis of impact from the original inspiration for this piece. This knife should bring Spyderco’s reliable high performance to this centuries old ethnic design.

I hope that you get a chance to handle and use this piece…Take care…Ed

Spyderco Navaja C147
Now I wanted to convex the edge of the Navaja to really turn the weapon into an EDC tool.

Spyderco Navaja C147
The tools of the trade are not really fancy: sandpaper, sharpmaker and white compound…

Spyderco Navaja C147
And elbow grease…
Spyderco Navaja C147
Spyderco Navaja C147
Spyderco Navaja C147
Nonw the edge is convexed. Some passes on the white ceramic of the Sharpmaker to erase the burr… and it’s a Razor !
Spyderco Navaja C147
Closed the Navaja is as big as the Paramillie 2 ! But, once open… it’s another story ! 🙂
Spyderco Navaja C147