Tag Archives: Kapara

Yojimbo2 as EDC Workhorse ? Don’t be shy !

After using the Kapara all this summer I have decided to go the opposite way with a straight edge and flat handle !
And having a lot of fun with my Yojimbo2, I have decided to beat that dead horse again:
“This knife has been designed for Self Defense, It would not be a great EDC, especially in the kitchen.”

All famous SD tools were issued from agricultural items, from nunchakus to kerambits and since when straight sharp knives are not useful in the kitchen ?
So let’s broad the specter of usage of the good old Yo2.

The handle is flat and broad.
This is a real plus for indexing the knife but also to hold it by pivot area between the thum and the index. A very commode grip when carving pumpkins or just cutting on a board.


There is a hump on the handle’s back which fills the palm of the hand making the grip secured even with very wet hands. You can notice the same shape on the Kapara‘s handle.
In fact despite being flat the handle is almost all in curves and
looking at the Yo2, only the very edge is straight.



The blade is short thick but broad and keen. It is shorter than a Kapara’s blade which got almost the same handle length. But this a very powerful blade, able to withstand forceful pushcuts.
For that matter I have rounded the spine on mine. Personal preferences since my first Sebenza.


You can put all your weight on the spine to cut right through any matters. The wide blade goes through like in butter.
Also the Yojimbo2’s blade got a certain heft. It is thick on the spinde and feels hefty hence the sensation of power when cutting. This is not minor in the pleasure of using your tool. Thank kind of weight behind the spine makes it ooze of power.

The high blade can adopt the thin geometry needed for easy slices into cherry tomatoes, a simple chore which can be tricky and is an excellent test for sharpness. Tomatoe’s skin can be tricky and rough or razor edges are their best nemesis.
I also heard a lot: “The tip could be fragile.”

For the record, the Snody/Janich’s Ronin and first Yojimbo were much more thin on their tip. The Ronin being made of VG10, I had managed to break it.

To eliminate any risk I have chosen a stronger alloy on my Yojimbo2: CPM M4 and so far the needle tip is as pointy as Day One.

For that kind of jar, the easiest way to open it is by making a hole right in the middle of its cap. When I want to use the jar again, I will use more force or if stuck a twist of a leatherman’s flat screwdriver under it lips to balance the pressure.
With the Yo2, I have been able to remove staples in wood planks and even drill into hard wood which mean torsions for the drilling. No certain I would try that with S90V but S30V heat treated in Golden is strong enough for knife shores. The CPM M4 used here is just peace of mind even on thin sharp knives. Gayle Bradley has also chosen that steel for the exact same reason: strength.
But a knife will never replace a screwdriver apart perhaps for the infamous Ed Schempp’s Tuff.

Once broken, I have been able to regrind the tip of the Ronin which has been one of my favorite big little fixed blade.

The blade shape allow the Yojimbo2 to cut on a board but also the Wharncliff shape protect the edge from any contact with plate’s ceramic. Only the pointy tip get in contact ! It will make deep scars in your wooden planks if you are not careful.

Wharncliffs are great for whittling and also rope/string cutting. There is no belly for the cut material to run away.
They will be less handy as skinning knife where belly blades are mandatory.

The blade choked, only the tip remains for delicate work. In that matter it is as good as the Paramillie2.

The absence of real choil is not an issue. The place of the thumb on the “hump” gives a lot of controlled power.
As you can notice the flat handle around the pivot is wide and this is a real nice place to land your thumb. So it is great for indexingand always knowing where the edge is. On the opposite concept side of the cutlery world, an Opinel (great knife by the way) with its rounded handle need a double check to know where the edge is as the handle can turn in your grip). So this “thumb landing strip” around the pivot which is especially wide on Yo2 is a great asset for using this SD knife as an EDC tool.
(You can also notice than despite a single spot, I have not been able to get a real patina on that CPM M4 blade.)

In conclusion the Yo2 is really a great workhorse and should not be restricted to Martial Bladecraft. Also the more you use your knife in everyday life and the more your build your motor skills about deploying and closing the blade. The heft of the blade helps a lot for that. Use your Yojimbos hard and you will be surprised how they can handle any tasks !

The YO2 in the words of Michael Janich:
“When I designed the blade for the Yo2, I took a lot of inspiration from the Manix2, both because I like the way it cuts and because, as a Golden-made product, its manufacture respresented a known core competency for Spyderco. Combining a partial hollow grind with a thick, strong spine provides a great balance of edge geometry and strength. Moving the point up towards the blade’s centerline moves it toward the thicker part of the blade; however, if the hollow grind runs parallel to the edge all the way to the point, the resulting point thickness is functionally the same as what you get with a wharncliffe. 

The wharncliffe blade excels at cutting because it cuts with full power all the way to the tip. An acutely angled tip also provides superior penetration with minimal effort. 

From a utility standpoint, the Yo2’s tip is analogous to an X-Acto knife and is excellent for detail work. The heel of the blade, closer to the handle, is extremely strong and more than capable of tackling most cutting chores for which knives are appropriate tools. In general, if you focus on using the part of the blade that is most appropriate to the task at hand, you can perform a wide range of cutting chores without a problem. 

Having designed several wharncliffe blades now, I have also been privy to the warranty repair claims concerning these blades. In all honesty, broken tips are rare. The ones that do come in typically come with a story that begins “I dropped my knife on concrete/a hard tile floor….” or “I know I shouldn’t pry with a knife, but…” 

Like a box cutter, a wharncliffe cuts with both power and finesse because of its straight edge. If your style of utility knife use actually focuses on cutting, it will serve you well. If your utility knife use focuses on prying, digging, or using your knife as a jack handle, buy a knife that is better suited to that type of use–and don’t expect it to cut very well… 

I hope this helps. “

Spyderco Kapara C241CFP, Alistair Phillips Life Saver.

“On a knife edge razor day
If you listen long enough they’ve got nothing to say
It’s a time warp place don’t change
The rhythm of the night, the beating rain…” Midnight Oil.

After so much hesitation I was able to get a Kapara thanks to Tom (and Howard) at the Knifecenter. My “fear” was real since I had held the Kapara prototype at the Amsterdam Minimeet, worse it was a love at first sight when Alistair was showing is original design: the “Red Back” to the forums and Facebook… I was also hooked when Alistair came to Europe for working on the Australian museum bout WWI in the East of France.
(This should not be Forgotten Years, and if you can try to see Peter Jackson, the director of Lord of the Rings, “They Shall Not Grow Old” and see how he has used technology to render the footage from that area in colors and with sound: amazing!).
Also since the early 80’s I’m a big fan of the Oil, the Finn brothers (OK they are from New Zealand too), and even bands like Eden, Little Heroes, Ice House and Iva Davies.

Many description and test of the Kapara has been done last year but this very one here is the Version 2.0 as it has return to the bench for some adjustments as Eric Glesser has announced at the Minimeet 2019. So this is a new version.

So what do we get with that knife ? First you got a very strong flavour from the Big Southern Land: some pragmatism and commun sense for the tools you bring with you in the bush. OK the Kapara was first design as a kitchen knife for making Alistair Sandwich but this perfectionist of a designer as provided something incredible:
– beautiful line,
– smooth action of a “free dropping smooth as glass powerhouse”
– excellent blade ratio
– great ergos…
And a very very sharp factory edge. So sharp, I don’t want to convex it yet. Go figure!

So, from what I was afraid of ? I was afraid of near perfection EDC knife: the one knife which create distance with all the other designs you love.
I was right to be afraid.

No need to ask, he’s a smooth operator…

As you can see the blade ratio is excellent bringing a maximum edge for than handle, the hidden choil helps a lot.

The carbon fibers rounded handed is so nice to watch and use.
A word about Taichung manufacturing again: I was not able to find a single hotspot on the V2. The blade is centered. The blade drops with a release of the lock. The red spacer and the liners are soft and perfectly adjusted. This is really something to experiment to understand: it is like if Des Horn has been on the quality control for this one. Very very impressive !

Alistair has designed a very utilitarian high performance blade. There is not jimping.
The blade of the Kapara has been enhanced with a subtle hidden choil for the more precise cutting tasks. With this choil you will have a lot of control over the knife which is practical when peeling fruit.

The wire clip is set for deep carry and this is simply the best Spyderco configuration. The one which is missing on the Shaman design for example. I cannot imagine you would wear a pocket with that smooth handle and deep wire clip. It carries so easy like the marvelous Ed Schempp Bowie.

People call it “fancy pocket knife” but it is a Miss Australia in a Terminator design. The smooth and precise action, the long sharp edge, the wonderful ergo which can be used to cut on a board like the Spydiechef of the PPT.
It is a practical EDC knife with as a main function in mind: the cutting and peeling of different types of fruit and vegetables: the 9.1 cm blade is measured exactly to be long enough to cut most types of fruit in half. This is a fruit knife with an open back design: very easy to clean. And yes: tomatoes are fruits.
This is a tool with a healthy purpose as quoted on Spyderco site.
“Phillips originally created the Kapara as a personal carry knife to help him prepare healthy, vegetable-based meals.” Fruits and vegetables are good for your health. This knife could be a life saver but for now it is a “Coup de Maitre” !
Bonza Mate !!
On the Knifecenter description:
“According to Phillips, he originally designed the Redback/Kapara as a personal carry knife that he could use for food preparation in an office environment. After gaining a bit of weight, he was committed to eating healthier and trimming down, so he decided to create a cutting tool that would help him achieve that goal. He began by measuring a variety of fruits and vegetables to determine an appropriate blade length. He then tried using several of his existing designs, which happened to be flipper openers, to prepare food on a cutting board. Realizing that the flipper tab got in the way of using the entire length of the edge, he envisioned a knife with a long cutting edge, a Spyderco Round Hole for easy opening and a Compression Lock to keep food from getting into the lock mechanism.”

From the spyderco forums:
“We’re working on a 3.0″ Slippie for the UK market. I’ll keep a 3.25 compression lock model in mind as we watch the model in the future.
Sal”

A Kapara Slippie ? WOW !!

Convexing the edge!