Lil’ Native seasoned by JD – Lil’ Pocket Big Knife !

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This is a follow up review from last year LUCKY MEETING THE SPYDERCO LIL’NATIVE BY JD

I got the opportunity to carry JD Native avter he has used it for months (since october).

Now the Lil’Native is smooth and easy to open it and close it but more interesting, JD as refined the edge to some sort of pseudo scandi grind !

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And this knife is cutting so well…

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Push cutting through bottle’s bottom is made easy with that new geometry.

 

JD has made a beautiful regular thin edge from the choil to the tip.

 

The very solid construction, glass smooth action and thin edge turned the Lil’ Native into a very impressive knife. Again this is SPyderco specialty to bring short powerful matter separators. The lock is strong, the blade is strong, it is a very capable tool in a compact size. The belly also helps for push cuts.

Really impressive EDC knife.

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Manix 2 Lockback C101MBGP2 — Native 5.2 Grand Daddy !

This version of the Manix is equipped with one of the strongest lock ever produce by Spyderco in a light package. We are touching here a “Knife of Excellence” and one of the best Eric Glesser’s design. Sadly it is discontinuited in 2019 but this is also the last chance for you to get an absolute fabulous workhorse at a great price. Mine came for 99 dollars…

Can you imagine better bargain for an all made American knife of high performance ?

The operation of the lock goes deep in the notch while unlocking.
And the G10 is factory smoothed (I have used 800 grid to get it even smoother later)  and the action is perfect. Lockback lovers can only fall deeply in love with this one.

The pivot screws are huge even compare hardchore folders like the Yojimbo2 and it is only a part of the enhanced strength of this version as also the blade is a little thicker than normal Manix 2 version.

Here the blade thickness is 0.145″ (3.7 millimeters)
against the usual Manix  thickness of 0.125″ (3.2 mm) !!
Half a millimeter in black thickness is a simple way to have a stronger blade.

G10 is extraordinarily strong and with such thick scales this version of the Manix do not need any steel liners which can rust or get dirty too easily, especially if they are skeletonized !! So this thick G10 use is a great plus in my book: the Manix 2 Lockback is easy to clean and easy to check for grim … It’s a plus for hunters which use their knives in the fiels were hair and blood can get inside the handle. I should also mention than this one, like all my Native 5 got ZERO vertical play and his so smooth it is fun to flick open.
Also don’t forget you can make stealth fixed blade (even Fred Perrin made Balisong’s blade and handles) only with G10: this is a real solid material.
Here the blade is made of S30V. Spyderco knows how to heat treat than steel so this is a no brainer.

The plain stell back space and thick G10 slabs of the handle are just wonderful to avoid blisters. This is where you recognized a tool you can use hard without hand sore.
The balance of the knife is also improved with this full G10 construction, the sweet point is just under the second horn of the handle not the one of the choil, the other further back.
Well it is a lightweight linerless handle construction, fine-textured G10 scales and a stainless steel backspacer ! There is no lateral movement. You know my favorite expression “built like a tank“… so here we go !

The tolerance and the QC are really high. The action is smooth and the blade locks with a firm “KLAK!!”

As you can see, as much as I love the Shaman design, this Manix 2 is the true daddy of the linerless G10 version of the Native. Again a very solid and light EDC.
In both the ergonomy is at its zenith: large choil, no jimping madness the handle spouses your palm.

Both are made in Golden, Colorado, a plant with now very high tolerance and excellent quality control: the blade is perfectly centered.

So what do you got here ? A incredibly solid and versatile outdoors knife ! Easy to clean and maintain, rock strong locking system and of course the full flat ground leaf shape blade which is a must in cutting control. Strong lock, stronger blade, great ergos… This is really a shame this knife is discontinuited …

“We were sanding in the rain – like we invented sanding
There’s a light in the sky from a million street lights
And we danced all the steps from all those old time movies
Rolling down the hill with laughing hearts…”

 

 

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.

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

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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 !

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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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Spyderco C223GPDGY Para 3 Maxamet Part II.

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The Grey Mouser has been in my EDC rotation since it has arrived in my pocket.
So this a little report.

Maxamet is like a super CPM M4 to me, it cannot seem to get dull. I have deshouldered the edge and keep it sharp (razor) with white ceramic and leather. The edge behaviour in wood is like M2, it gives a gentle patina to the part cut.
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The gently rounded spine is a must for thumb push cutting.

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The lock is solid and did not give in to any vertical or lateral play.

The Para3 is really a friendly 3 inches knife with a wide spectrum of uses.
Near the pivot you got as much as any C36 Millie strenght for power cutting as this is the same “cockpit” as the good old Military. The point is easier to control as your hand grabs the blade and the handle with more ease on smaller knives. So you got a very capable knife for the outdoors, able to carve and trim wood.

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Maxamet is giving a beautiful orange red patina. I have not been able to get any pit of rust despite my every day use on acidic foods.

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It’s less sensitive to medium than K390 and close to CPM10V. You got stain but nothing more in my experience.

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I clean it directly under the tap of in a soapy water. Nothing extravagant. The action is on the smooth side even without any oil near the pivot. I have decided to treat it the hard way.

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So far I’m really impressed by the ease of keeping razor sharp that very special alloy. It’s not difficult with only white ceramic and leather and it happen once a week just for a refresh.
The deep carry clip is back for tip up carry and it makes a very low signature for an EDC.

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It’s used every day for eating and mostly I use the spine to push in the plate.

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An apple a day keep the doctor away, especially if you got a good aim.
More to come soon but so far this is a very satisfying experience.

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Spyderco C223GPDGY Para 3 Maxamet — The Grey Mouser.

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It has been half a year of patience before my pre order turns into a mail call. Howard Korn from the Knifecenter.com was kind enough to send it to me as soon as he has received it. It was a quick 6 days of travelling from Fredericksburgh, Virginia to Paris.
The name of this Para3 should be”Desire” but it will be “Mouser” in honor of its color: grey. Also in honor of its almost magical alloy used: Maxamet.
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What is Maxamet ?
According to Spyderco its full name is “Carpenter® steel’s Micro-Melt® Maxamet® alloy”. “Maxamet is an extremely hard high-speed powdered tool steel possessing properties that transcend conventional high-speed tool steels and approach those of cemented carbides – the ultra-hard materials used to machine other steels. When Carpenter developed this amazing alloy for the rollers in their steel mills, they sent samples to various companies in the knife industry to evaluate as a blade material. Although many tried, Spyderco was one of only a handful of companies to successfully develop the specialized methods necessary to machine, heat treat, and grind this demanding material to yield reliable, high-performance knife blades.”
It so difficult to work with that it has given some headaches to Eric and Sal hence the 6 months late in the production of that Para 3.
Maxamet should have better performance than CPM110V.  Now that I got both steel, I will try to see if I feel and see a difference.
What its composition reveals ?
Carbon 2,15% ; sulfure : 0.070% – 0,23%; chromium : 4,75% ; vanadium 6,00% ; manganese 0,30% ; silicium 0,25% ; cobalt : 10,00% ; tungsten 13,00%.

It’s not a stainless steel it’s an high tech tungsten alloy !!

Here its data sheet in Carpenter’s.

The wear resistance of Micro-Melt Maxamet alloy is better than that of conventional powder metal high speed steel grades and is equivalent to AISI A11 cold work powder metal tool steel. A11 is CPM 10V. Better? How much better ?
According to Cliff Stamps: “Maxamet is an extreme alloy, for comparison, it is to 10V what S90V is to 420J2. Maxamet is used when HSS like M4 fail because they are too soft or wear too fast – just consider that for a matter of perspective.”
(For the record he’s not talking about CPM M4 which comes from powder metallurgy process but good old M4HSS.)

So far Mouser is shaving my arm’s hairs which are flying of its blade. Its factory edge is really thin. With that amount of tungsten it should not be sensitive to its final tooling in the Golden plant. I’m not planning to work on it yet and keep it that way for its first run.

Its complex heat treatment and the HRC should be on the very high..

Spyderco is offering that steel on many knives: not counting a Mule but a LW grey Manix 2 , a G10 grey Paramillie 2 and a lightweight grey Native…
The Maxemet version is not a Sprint run.

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I have also noticed the chamfered work they have made on the spine and the spyderhole and the jimping behind the hump. I don’t have to use my diamond rat tail file anymore !!
Thank you Golden ! 🙂

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Also the blade has been gently beadblasted which gives it a very industrial look. The grind is perfectly symetrical as always on my Colorado’s made.

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The thick grey G10 slab also concours to give that toolish look, again the attention to detail are stellar. There is nothing to change when you open your black and red box.

So far what I have changed is the clip, as I don’t plan to spyderdrop this little guy.
The smooth compression lock permits a lot of other way to open it elegantly.
Also I have sanded the G10 to smooth it to my taste and keep my pocket lips healthy.
I keep the pivot area rough for the ergos.
Now the game is on, let see all this fuzz about that Maxamet steel !
Spyderco catalog’s sheet is here.

EDIT: Eventually I have gone back to the OEM hourglass clip in a Tip Down carry option.
Because it’s so fast to draw like a I do on my Millie and Paramillie 2.
The spyderdrop is so elegant and bound to the spyderhole: it works like a breeze.
Also I have starting to test the sharpness which is uncanny right our of the box.
I did not have that kind of result with its S30V bro. The Maxamet thin edge goes through the plastic bottle butt to make tagliatelle !! The edge is really hungry.

 

Also my previous review on the Para3 is here.

 

 

Between both knives there is a little difference. It is the sound of the mechanism.
The opening and locking on the S30V version will be a TAK.
When the opening of the Maxamet version will be a TIK.
The pitch of Mouser is much higher. Different alloys, different hardness produce different sounds.

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The Mouser is a small (not much more than five feet) mercurial thief, gifted and deadly at swordsmanship (often using a sword in one hand named “Scalpel” and a long dagger or main-gauche in the other named “Cat’s claw”), and a former wizard’s apprentice who retains some skill at magic.
The cynical-sounding Mouser is prone to showing strains of sentiment at unexpected times. He’s a rogue, living in a decadent world where to be so is a requirement of survival. It was created by Fritz Leiber.
Part II is here:
https://nemoknivesreview.com/2018/06/12/spyderco-c223gpdgy-para-3-maxamet-part-ii/

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Amsterdam Minimeet 2018

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Again this year, eighty guests were lucky enough to gather at Hotel Mercure near Amsterdam Airport for a day of presentation and exchange with Spyderco. Eric Glesser and Joyce Laituri came from Golden and made a stop over before going to IWA next week.

Again it was the opportunity to get direct access to Eric and his prototypes and “next in production” (before June !) galore but also the chance to meet friends from all over the world (a new designer Aleister Phillips came from Australia ! He was actually in France since February taking care of a WWI memorial for the Australian soldiers.)

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Aleister Phillips Instagram picture.

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And his “Redback” custom folder with licensed spyderhole.

Again pictures were forbidden but soon 18 knives (from the 100 shown) will be displayed on Spydercollector website exclusively. Wouter was one of the “Old Timers” who has been attending the last 14 meets like my friend JD who also wrote in this columns.

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The master of ceremony was Jur who always give good vibes and jokes.
Spyderco changed the rules this year: no more passing of the prototypes in all hands.
Instead Eric presented all the knives, from concepts to almost in production. Many designers were featured; Paul Alexander and Ed Schempp come of course to my mind as they are my favorites. Some designers were present like Tom Zoomer who was not very confortable with some questions I had, hum, asked about batonning and sharpening his bushcraft knife…

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That was also the chance for new designers to defend their concept and explain to Eric what they can bring to the knife world.

20180304_134349-01.jpegSo eventually, we left our chairs early to gather around tables where Ted had displayed all the knives. It was time for intense exchange and card writing.
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Also we were gently asked to fill some cards showing our remarks about every prototype numbered and displayed. It was a chance for Spyderco to have written feedback about what we loved or hated. I think our favorites knives were the Wolf Mouse by Gareth Bull of SA and the Unnamed Redback from our Australian mate.

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Imagine the same with a hole in the blade. 😉

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Oh! we were given pens to write on the cards. Also the day was rythmed by a loto game with knives and goodies to win – even more surprises involving plastic spiders and other gifts. JD won a wonderful Lil’Native and soon we will have his review !

I have noticed in the past years how the new Golden factory is bringing some of the best quality in knife manufacturing to date. For example my new Para3 is absolutely flawless: perfectly centered, perfect smooth action… I had noticed that raise in quality of execution on my last sprint run Para2 in 52100 too. Now Golden is as good as Taichung in quality control if not better. So kuddos Colorado ! Also Eric told us that they have just hired two new engineers there who will “make a real difference”. He told us that Spyderco is also training their own engineers as no school had prepared them for the knife industry. So there is a Spyderco Engineering School there.

In conclusion, one last thing to outline: this Minimeet was a Compression Lock festival. It looks like Spyderco will be using more and more one of their  successful “in-house” locks for many models to come. It’s true, Compression Locks are extremely solid and smooth but they also are challenging in terms of placing the flipper on a blade for example but like the Spyderhole, they are a Spyderco trademark.

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A lonely Eric and an empty table.

Oh and BTW Joyce showed us how to wear a Cricket the fashionable way.

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