Tag Archives: Gayle Bradley

Spyderco C214TIP: The Devil’s Advocate by Gayle Bradley.

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“You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire…”

I feel like in the “Honest Trailers”: “Please review the Advocate…” OK here we go:

Oh yes, the Advocate is a looker and really catches the light.  Knowing Gayle Bradley since his first hard chores folder, I really wanted to see his new design.

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At the moment I write those lines, we are all under the official statement from Spyderco about the Advocate. To sum it up: “A careful review of the Advocate’s design revealed that the steel washers used in its pivot are measurably thinner than those used in our other flipper models and are therefore vulnerable to the effects of overtightening….We have suspended production of the current version and are working diligently to redesign the pivot to completely eliminate this concern. We have also decided to suspend shipment of our current inventory of Advocate knives until a satisfactory redesign is complete.” Michael Janich 10th of April 2017.
I don’t have any issues with my Advocate pivot, so I’m not concerned.

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Unless major purpose, I don’t feel the urge to disassemble my knives and I always find that rinsing them under hot tap water and oiling them back once dry, is more than enough to keep them going. I do however have got a gripping pivot issue with my Southard but this was before discovering and using nano oil. Here on the advocate, it seems like even nano oil did not help. but again It do not have any issue on mine. I got other issues and they are from the design, not the manufacturing.

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So I was able to snatch a model before the factory line stopped and I really wanted to try and love another great Gayle Bradley design. The Advocate is his first flipper and he’s using my favorite steel: CPM-M4 (drawing from Gayle Bradley’s extensive experience as a competitive cutting champion, CPM® M4 is a high-performance tool steel renowned for its extreme edge-holding ability).

“The Advocate’s handle consists of two 3-D-machined solid titanium scales that are radiused across their width and feature a unique “orange peel” finish that is both visually striking and provides an enhanced grip texture. The precision machining of these features ensures maximum comfort in the hand and contributes to the knife’s stunning, custom-quality appearance.”

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See how the knife looks great? This is a very thin design. It slips into your pocket very confortably but, in my own experience, its thin handle create a lot of hotspots. I would have preferred a thicker handle even if the finish and lines are wonderful, it is really more a looker than a user so far.
OK mine fires perfectly and once unlocked, the blade falls free. So the action is OK but there is a strong break to it: the ball detent on the lock making the action less smooth than on my other flipper: ZT0562 or Falcon. It’s even noisy, you hear it. What is the point of having ball bearings when you put a brake on it ? Spyderco knows what smooth means ie Ed Schempp’s Bowie the Paramillie. Why not the Advocate ?


Also you can notice how the Zero Tolerance’s (ZT) handle is thicker and hence much better ergonomic-wise. I would not mind that for a Chaparral or for a shorter folder but the Advocate is a medium folder with a 9 centimeters blade and weighs 111 grammes; so it’s not a small folder! Even on the last picture you can see that it’s thinner than the Sliverax….

Also flippers have got a fun factor shared with spinners and balisongs. We love to play with them and because of that, we have tendancies to “test” them more in their opening and closing.
Again, the Advocate’s thin profile doesn’t make it easy to close. The tension on the lock bar is very important and the edge to unlock it is sharp. So it’s not easy on your thumb, almost painful sometimes compared to my ZT and its fat lock… Even the flipper’s tab feels too thin for such a strong detent. It’s biting into the index finger’s pulp….

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You can see the sharp edge of the lock bar; actually it comes from the steel insert.

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You can notice the marks on my thumb.

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Look at the way the lock bar is chamfered on the ZT. Rick Hinderer is not at his first flipper design obviously…

After playing for some time, there is no real fun. The detent is so strong it makes thumb-opening impossible on mine; only reverse grip works for me.

So the strong lock acts like a break; you understand why Compression Lock flippers like the Sliverax are a path to explore.  That said, after playing with both knives, I also feel the Sliverax could have benefited from a stronger detent.

So far the Advocate is not my favorite Gayle Bradley design.

My opinion is not based on any pivot issues as mine doesn’t have it but in my book,
it’s too thin, too slippery, not easy to close nor is it easy to open with the thumb hole.  It’s not smooth… It’s the total opposite to its famous GB1.
Perhaps it will grow on me but even the clip is not a deep carry option… Oh well.
I need to play with my Ed Schempp bowie for good measure… as it’s the perfect opposite in the way Taichung can deliver a great folder with great ergos.

So in summary, if you want a really fun and light Spyderco to play with, try the Sliverax.

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edited by pjaffre: jan 5, 2018.

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Spyderco FB33GP Gayle Bradley Pocket Bowie !

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This is Gayle Bradley first Fixed Blade collaboration with Spyderco. A “unique blend of expert design and state-of-the-art metallurgy”… But is it a real Bowie ?

A true Bowie is “the most effective fighting and survival knife ever made.”
Just to quote Bill Bagwell as he was attending the Paris Knife Show, where one of his Bowies won the award for the best fixed-bladed Damascus knife in 1995…
A stiletto can pierce, but not more effectively; a cleaver or kukri can chop with similar result; and a razor can slice, but only in one direction and without the power of a combat Bowie. A 10 inches perfectly balanced beast with a false edge ready for a back cut… This is Bill definition of a big bad Bowie.
Actually I got a Cold Steel Trailmaster but much prefer the Fallkniven A2 for camp knife purpose. The A2 is not a proper bowie but the 8 inches blade gives you the scale of the Bradley Bowie which is not much longer than a Phil Wilson South Fork.
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Also I have noticed the edge is quite thick on the Bowie. It’s not a great whittler. I was immediately tempted to get a thinner edge. I felt also the edge to be very far from the handle because of its large choil.


In that matter its little brother the Junction was much more capable. Being much more thinner behind the edge.
But a 5 inches blade is not the best chopper. The size emphases the portability but not the chopping performance. This Bowie must be designed with a special purpose: hunting knife, pocket camp knife ? It’s a bastard dog but Gayle Bradley don’t design by guessing, he must have a reason. I have asked him in an email and will update this review as soon as he will be kind enough to answer me.

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To quote Bill Bagwell: ” There is a difference between the ideal fighting Bowie and an ideal survival Bowie, even though the basic design is relatively similar. The ideal fighting Bowie and survival Bowie would have roughly the same blade length of about nine to ten inches, because this is the length that offers the perfect amount of balance and leverage in both scenarios. But the ideal survival Bowie might be a fair amount heavier overall and have a greater concentration of the weight further up the blade. This concentration of weight further up the blade gives the Bowie a balance more like a hatchet, so that it has greater chopping power, separating it from the more nimble fighting Bowie class.”

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The Bradley Bowie is a Jack Of All Trade focused on a Sub 6 inches fixed blade market.
In that domain I already got some favorites Spyderco: the Serrata !
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The Serrata offers a cleaver power in the field. But the Bowie is tougher in the choice of its steel. “An incredibly tough spray-formed tool steel. Like the particle metallurgy process, spray forming rapidly solidifies molten steel into small particles so its component alloys cannot “segregate” or settle. This creates an ultra-fine, extremely homogenous grain structure that is ideal for knife blades. PSF27’s alloy composition includes molybdenum, vanadium and a generous 1.55% carbon, but because its chromium content is 12%—just below the official threshold for stainless steel—care should be taken to maintain it properly.”

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The Bradley Bowie is also an eye candy, even if I don’t like where the trademark hole has been placed, at least it is very very small and even smaller than on the Junction.

The contoured polished G10 handle is very confortable in the hands. much better than the Junction which is very very flat. I’m not a fan of the tubular holes on both models but it offers some potential in creativity: who want to make a spear from they knife ? Boar hunting anyone ? And it respects the prime designs of Gayle Bradley.
I also love the balance of the Bowie making it “alive” in the hands.

IMHO the Bradley Bowie would be great as a soldier’s knife. Some kind of modern KABAR…
It’s thick enough to withstand some serious abuse. The tip and the blade shape would make it easy for opening crates if needed.  It can be used for batoning of even light chopping.

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So it’s a Bowie easy to pocket in its boltaron sheath or rigged upside down thanks to its great retention. The pancake sheath works great and is very secure. There is no play or rattle when shaken. It’s a sheath of great quality.

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Conclusion, the Pocket Bowie made in Taichung is ready to follow you in any kind of expedition you got in mind. Its full tang construction and general design make it fit for any tasks where a solid and reliable knife is needed. The Bradley Bowie is a tough cookie.

More to come soon.

 

Tuscan Raiders #4 – Geometries, Gayle Spyderco Gayle Bradley Junction and whittling.

It has all started when I wanted to review the Spyderco Gayle Bradley Junction. It’s a great design for an EDC fixed blade which can be used for everything. Easy to carry in its pancake constructed bolteron sheath. But the edge was just too thick for my own use. To my knowledge, SPF27 is some kind of CPM D2 steel. A lot of carbon 1.5% and not a lot of chromium around 12%. Not the easiest on the stone as a semi stainless. It was not very soft under the diamonds compared to another blade in N690 HRC59 I got with me. And it was not really easy to remove the shoulder to create a gentle convex edge. Patience… In sharpening is important. And I often lack of it but I was able to improve it. Next some black stone mostly to remove the scratches. And then the white ceramic to get a better finish and a razor steel. You can notice the chamfered signature hole on the Junction. A première. The cuts were deeper. It was better! Much more enjoyable. But the spine was too sharp for my thumb and diamonds came handy to rounded the angles. It would never be a Sebenza spine…. Again the control during whittling was much much better. One should never be scared to round the edges for suiting your own needs. The handle is very flat on that knife. It’s an attention for people who wish to stash their knife in a pocket or a backpack without leaving a print. But a flat knife is not the most comfortable in the palm of your hand… Especially when cutting hard things for a long time. I decided to make a quick comparison with the Spyderco Sprig which is a pleasure to use. You can notice how the Phil Wilson’s Sprig got a thicker handle. And it change everything when cutting hard things. Also Phil Wilson’s is all about performances. Its geometry is stellar. It immediately cuts deep in wood without any real improvement needed…. But diamonds were there to be usef. 🙂 I was able to get thin regular cuts into the wood. So I have decided to try the diamonds on the Gayle Bradley Bowie I have brought with me. This one got a thicker geometry and is made if the same pulverized alloy as the Junction You can always improve an edge. Used as a light chopper it worked just fine. Gayle Bradley has provided a great compact Bowie which can be used as a light camp knife. You can see: it’s not a lot bigger compared to my Ed Chempp Bowie. And the edge once thinned is honorable. Of course it is not as thin as my Pekka Tuominen Urban II for example. And not as aggressive as the Sprig… I got…. too much knives on my table…

It was time to go to lunch. An Francesca knows how to prepare the pasta with pomodori. Crostini a la Toscane. Poultry liver, oignons, red wine, bread and a Bowie. Back in the outside I was thinking of a simple way to see the “impact” of good geometry on whittling. On the right, a single cut if the thin Delica and, on the left, a single cut of the thicker ZT0562CF. The Delica cuts deeper on a more open angle. Better geometry. But the ZT was pleasant to use even if it was not as fast at the job. Also the Delica was able to cut from the ricasso to the point without any hard pressure. In the end, I had noticed that the Junction was less good than the Sprig and the Delica was still the best whittler in the batch. No matter the steel, for wood cutting, geometry is queen. So I have taken my Bowie back to the diamonds and put a keener edge. Tomorrow it will be hunting day.

Spyderco Mantra 2 – Pure Flipper Workhorse !

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The Mantra 2 is Eric Glesser’s design and is one of a kind Spyderco as its blade’s hole is only here as a trademark. Your only way to flick the knife open is the flipper invented by Kit Carson at the end of the 90’s. There is no hump. It’s a very slick knife.

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There is a lot of edge on this blade/handle ratio as there is no choil too !  Not your typical Spydie huh ? (Apart from the autos destined for Militaries and LEO, you won’t find that in Spyderco Catalog.)
All of these makes the Mantra 2 a compact design with a deep wire pocket carry. A solid R.I.L. lock , an ergonomic handle and a full flat ground CPM M4 blade. This powder metalurgy super tool steel once introduced on Gayle Bradley’s designs has proven to be one of the best in strenght and edge retention.
So the Mantra 2 is a very powerful package which can withstand punishing and be easily washed under tap water thanks to its all open handle design (no back spacer).
Its strange nose seems here to strenghten the tip of the blade. Again with Spyderco, aesthetics come  second in their knives.

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The lock is wearproof and reinforced  with steel. All engineering details has been thought to get to the ELU a reliable heirloom tool.

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Dwarfed next to my K2, I use my M2 for mondaine chores including eating in a plate. M4 has no stain yet BTW.
It’s not the kind of knives which raise any eyebrows in the sheeple crowd which is good nowadays. It’s low profile apart from its flipping opening. There it could almost look like an auto. There is no way to open it in a softer way but to use both hands. It works also.

The deep carry clip doesn’t make it very fast to draw compared to the Wolfspyder for example. But it disappears in your pocket and is very stealthy, perfect for an EDC.

Edgewise I have found mine a little on the thick side. I will thin it even if CPM M4 can a bear on a stone.  Nothing serious there.

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All in all the Mantra 2 is a very unique design. A compact tool with a lot of applications.
Again this is a gentleman knife with the power of a much bigger knife.
Eric Glesser has provided another very clever design with the best material available and a great attention to details. This is not a safe queen but a compact and slick workhorse.

And FYI a portion of sales of the Mantra is donated to The National Parkinson Foundation.

 

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 Air – Popping Sharp ! by JD

I had asked my Dutch friend JD to write a review of the Spyderco Air. He’s a big fan of small blades. From the classic slipoint to the most modern design, he’s always seeking for the best geometry in cutting. Through the years he has developped an wide encyclopedic knowledge in cutlery but also has proven to be the best free hand sharpener I have ever met, being able to enhance any edge to a very high level of pure performance. Here is his review of the Spyderco Air:

 
Spyderco Air by JD
 

I have had the Air in my possession for 4 months of which I have carried it for about two. When I first got it I liked the knife overall but thought it was too thick behind the edge and found blade finish a little rough. Since then I have thinned out the shoulder of the edge, so now the blade flows from the back to the edge in a slightly convex curve. The first halve centimeter from the edge is now just a little thicker than on an Opinel in the same area. I consider the blade grind on Opinels to be a benchmark of a thin, very well cutting, folder blade. I used an extra course DMT diamond stone for most of the shaping. It was then cleaned up with sandpaper. The edge was finished on an extra fine DMT stone. It how has a fine jet toothy edge that will easily cut phonebook paper, shave arm hair, as well as be grabby enough to bite into and cut plastic packaging material.
I tried sharpening it with the brown Spyderco ceramic hone. A hone that I have good experiences with sharpening other (Spyderco) knives. But found that for this knife it was not the right tool for the job. It polished more than it ground and so was right for the shaping part of sharpening. The M4 steel the blade is made of is quite wear resistant compared to, for instance, VG10, a steel Spyderco uses in many of its popular models. M4 is not stainless.
I use the Air to cut up an apple in the evening, to cut a piece of cheese or to get liverwurst from its plastic packaging. It also works well for opening up a kaiser roll and putting butter on it for lunch (butter with the back of the blade). It work great for the usual edc tasks of opening packages and cutting paper. With use, mostly thanks to the apples, it has developed a nice dark patina.

Spyderco Air by JD

The handle feels good in the hand. No sharp points and, thank goodness, no jimping! Only when you push hard on it does the open construction become a little uncomfortable.
The Air opens and closes smoothly. The linerlock on my example has moved a little past the middle of the locking ramp. Slightly further then when new.

The detent is strong enough to keep the knife savely closed in the pocket.
In the pocket you hardly notice it, it is so light and compact. I have not missed a pocket clip at all! I think on this knife a clip would compromise the ergonomics of the handle to much.
The more I carry this knife the more I enjoy it. Thinning behind the edge make all the difference! It has transformed the knife from okay to a great cutter.
JD