Tag Archives: LC200N

Spyderco UK Penknife Salt – All terrain slipjoint Part II

Prologue: “Seeing what I believe.”
On one of the social networks an happy owner of a new Spydiechef in LC200N steel (like the UKPK) was displaying some pictures of his new acquisition. And there go the comments, mostly to congratulate him and share experiences… when I have noticed some young guy’s: “Too bad this knife is provided with a steel softer than the wooden board it is displayed on.”
I thought to myself: could LC200N have a reputation of being soft ?
Immediately I have checked the Rockwell of Spyderco’s LC200N found on various sites and apart the LC200N Mule being at 56 HRC, it is known to be currently at 58 HRC.
So I have asked to young guy (very proud of its REX45 collection) what LC200N knife he has had such a bad experience with, sharing with him my own mostly excelelnt experience with LC200N I own.
After a very long passive-aggressive answer from him (we know how people are such a d1ck with a keyboard under their fingers…) about how he was so knowledgable by just watching videos on youtube he then wrote me that he had never owned any knife in LC200N.
So eventually this guy was pissing on the parade with zero knowledge of the subject. It is typically the kind of behavior we can notice on the social networks those days. Some so called “experts” don’t believe what they see but only they only see what they believe. The armchairs specialists are long disappeared and here comes the arrogance of the “believers”.
This is the plague of our time: not being your own source. Not checking twice. And not experiencing first hand what is put as a statement.
This is some kind of Reign of Assumptions with its digital garden where flourish fake informations in all subjects. This is not something to be taken lightly. And the only cure is being your own source then read, check and cross opinions.


Anyway…
Is LC200N as soft as wood ? Certainly not. It is even much better than H1 in terms of edge holding. (H1 being the other steel on the Salt Serie).
But H1 is excellent on serration blade, as it is getting harder during the serrating process like 67HRC. (H1 being a work hardened steel, the process that grinds the SE blades hardens the edge to 67, while the PE blades are 58.) Also you can’t have flat ground blade with H1 but you can with LC200N.
So far, LC200N as 58HRC has amazed me. Of course it is not in the range of Maxamet or 20CV but it is worry free good edge holding and not chipping edge’s steel.


Also I have notice how people believe cutting wood is the ultimate edge holding challenge. Nope. Cutting clean piece of wood is not challenging in my own experience. I have found different grain of steel react on different grain of wood. M2HSS (Speedstar steel) gave me soft surface on chestnut cuts for example. The challenging media to cut through are brown cardboard for example because of sand in it. Cardboard and also great way to refresh an edge by stropping the blade on it.
You can have a look at my journey in Tuscany with the Spydiechef.

Back on the UKPK. I have “unshouldered” my edge to get to a gentle convex, keeping the manufactured edge with its microserrations. I always do that when I love a knife as my favorite way to refresh my edge is using an old barber leather bought in Tuscany on a garage sale 15 years ago.

The blade stays “lock” in open position when stropping and this is much better that previous version of the UKPK like I have stated in the first glimpse. The razor’s level of sharpness is easily restored and the thin blade goes steadily into all material it has encountered.
One great enemy of a fine edge is the plate under the meal. Many times I have given an angle to my knife to avoid touching the ceramic at a 90° angle. With the UKPK I have not given a shoot. I have use it as my steak knife like they were no tomorrow. Also the the yellow knife has been friendly approved by the rest of the family who has used it also on plates and stuff without any sign of pity.
The edge near the point has rolled but nothing I could not fix in less than 5 seconds on a ceramic rod. Eventually the rest of the blade was mostly as razor as before. On short blades mostly the point and the very first part of the blade are used on board/plate cutting. It is also a part I have less convexed to keep some useful thickness there.
Of course cutting lemons and any acid food will never bring any sign of patina on LC200N and many times I have fold it dirty when it was not just quickly rinsed under the tap.
The UKPK also offers a very pointy blade which proves to be very useful in many task. LC200N being very forgiving it is sturdy enough for not having any concern about it. Of course I won’t use a slipjoint like a bushcrafter or even the great Wolfspyder but still, old timers used to go in the wood only with Swiss Army Knives or Pradel slipjoints folders and were able to use them for many camp tasks. The choil and hump of the UKPK’blade working as quillions you can apply a lot of force directly to the blade as I have also been whittling with it.

The thin spine makes it not really confortable for thumb pushing cuts though. In that game of pushcuts the Yojimbo 2 is king with its 4mm spine.
But the UKPK goes deep in its cut without much pressure on the spine.
Also when the blade is stuck in the wood it has no tendencies to fold on your finger like previous version of it. This is a great relief.
The yellow handle looks like plastic but those FRN slabs are very rigid. There is no play and it gives you a felling of confidence in your tool. Also the “pro-sheeple” general look helps a lot when using the UKPK in public.
So far it has developed zero plays which is enjoyable.

Quick draw: a friend has challenged me to open the knife using my major finger. At first I thought it would not be possible unless being Check Norris. Eventually:

But this is in Spyderdrop that the UKPK is steadily open: holding the knife by the hole and with a flick of the wrist.
So it is a slipjoint with a very fast draw opening.
The previous Spyderco Splijoint as fast as this one is my Pingo which can be open by inertia as the momentum of the thick blade helps a lot.

So far the UKPK has proven to be a fun knife to use. It is easy to deploy and reliable on the tasks. It can be a primary knife in the city and secondary knife in the woods and its lightness makes it easy to keep in the pocket. It will also find a place to be clipped on any swimsuit and that what makes it so unique. Fishermen will be very glad also as it is so easy to clean and to spot. The opening of the 3 screws montage on this UPKP (some other G10 UKPK got a longer spring/backspacer and 4 screws) make it a breeze to rinse. It is a Gentleman/Lady knife with an all terrain attitude and a very reliable positive semi locking system which can sustain a lot of power cuts. Really a unique gem !

Yellow and black works well together…

Spyderco UK Penknife Salt LC200N C94PYL Yellow — First Glimpse at The Diver Slipjoint !

“Originally developed in response to restrictive knife laws in England that prohibited the carry of one-hand-opening lock-blade knives, the UK Penknife was the trailblazer of Spyderco’s unique SLIPIT™ line of knives. Now this iconic knife makes history again as the first non-locking member of our ultra-corrosion-resistant Salt® Series.

Its full-flat-ground, leaf-shaped blade is precision machined from nitrogen-enriched LC200N steel and housed in a high-visibility yellow FRN handle. A reversible deep-pocket wire clip and fully accessible Trademark Round Hole ensure that this fearlessly corrosion-resistant cutting tool is both left and right-hand friendly.”

OK that’s Spyderco’s original topo. Eventually it is the best way to describe it. I have had a UKPK as a gift at Amsterdam Minimeet. I think it was in GIN-1 steel and the blade was in another shape. But long story short the spring was so weak it was not pleasant to use.
What a great surprise on this Salt UKPK: at least the slipjoint locking system is much stronger than ever make it really a pleasure to use.
Of course, unlike on his little brothers: the Urban and the Squeak the UKPK is a four finger grip slipjoint folder with the index on the choil, used as the main security.


The choil on the UKPK (like the Military C36) is reminiscence of San Francisco Gambler’s boots daggers in the 19th century which means on the force during a cut is transfered to the blade directly not the handle and pivot. It is the Roman folding knife system where the handle was more considered as a sheath more than a handle.

The blade is thin and Spyderco provide one of the highest performance in cutting experience out of the box. My UKPK cut like a razor.
The performance on this one, geometry wise, are on par with Manly’s thin blades and even Opinel’s. It is not made for Midford’s fans.
There is a lot of European flavour in that leave shaped blade which looks a lot like the Caly3. It is some kind of UK Caly actually.


The Blade is long and pointy and requires less force to do the job as seen on my plastic bottle butt test. It has cut right in the middle steadily right in the thicker part of the matter. With your major finger on the choil you can shock up the blade for delicate works. Really it is versatile and polyvalent. Actually it cancel my need for a slipjoint Native. 3 inches blade on a 10cm handle, when Imperial meets metrics.
LC200N is a space steel which has shown great properties and not only in the stainless department. The users of the Spydiechef, like myself have found how steady the edge was kept and how easy it was to keep it fresh. LC200N has shown how it was forgiving (not chipping on mine) and ready to work long hours. A true workhorse steel !

Colour wise the yellow and black handle on the UKPK is very friendly. It looks like a scuba diving accessory. This is a knife made for going on the ocean. A real all terrain friendly companion. There is even a serrated version for the mariners with many rope and fibrous matter cutting tasks. The Salt collection is made for that: having a dirty knife in a sea salty socked pocket and not minding at all.
At 48 grammes (1,7oz) this is thought a travelling companion. The deep carry wire clip is a must even to wear it inside the watch pocket of denims.

There is no play in my UKPK. The spring retention is great. The jimpings are really positive under the pulp of the fingers. It is a serious contender to the hyper polyvalent Native Salt which has got one major issue in my book: its clip and a little more toyish and “boxy” handle. I know this really subjective but the UKPK handle feels more qualitative.
So here we got an all terrain slipjoint with strong mechanism and thin pointy blade. A knife impervious to the elements which can be clipped to a swimming suit and take care of oysters easily.
Really the UKPK Salt is one of the best Made In Golden folder and the first Scuba Diving Slipjoint. It is even a slipjoint which makes you forget it has no lock. Highly recommended.

The Working Seahorse! SPyderco Siren C247G

Here it is, the famous Lance “Surfingringo” Clinton’s folder: the Siren. Une sirène in French is a mermaid. This knife is maid to be an rustproof EDC.
This is more a glimpse review, first impressions but you will have a follow up in the coming weeks.
So far I’m very impressed by the quality of the knife.
Here is a little video of presentation:

I love that video because it is rich in different scenes showing the everyday application of that tool . Also this is a knife designed as an EDC tool not a mall ninja nightmare. As Lance Clinton has repeated: this is not a specialized fisherman knife but an EDC knife designed by a fisherman.

Immediately you notice how grippy the G10 handle is. Even with oily hands you got a grip. Also the guard is substantial. This shape makes the choke up of the knife easy with the ring finger anchored in the guard, as seen in the video.
The handle looks like one of Spyderco’s earliest collaborations: their folding knife designed by Master Bladesmith Wayne Goddard. Over the years, this design has been produced in various forms and sizes and remains a favorite among dedicated Spyderco fans.
It also the exact shape of the other Lance Clinton’s design: the Waterway.
Also I have noticed how smooth the mechanism is and the blade was able to dropchut out of the box !

OUCH !!
Be careful. There is no choil on this knife and the blade is sharp !

Here we go: first blood ! Good omens.

See? There is only two places for your index finger when you close the knife: against the guard or out of the way.
You will notice how Lance closes his knife on the video: he unlock it with his index, not his thumb !



This is the reason why the handle is a little bit longer: it gives you the possibility to unlock with index and to hold the knife with your fingers out of the way.

So this is a aquatic tool. A knife Lance Clinton tosses and forgets in the bottom of his sea kayak. For his living, he is a professional fisherman.

Three knives with no humps. Lance Clinton has also been a reviewer of the Spydiechef (which he had reground the blade now looking s a lot like his Siren, on the picture this is my own knife so no regrind) and also he as reviewed the fantastic Native 5 Salt.
All those knives share the same steel for their blade:
the now famous ultra-corrosion-resistant LC200N steel !
(read the Spydiechef review for a presentation).
The Chef offers the same edge length in a shorter handle but the Siren got a thinner profile.

The choil of the Native 5 is much more safe but the Siren also offers a maximum of edge.

The edge is sharp but a little thick in my book. It is destined to be thinned. Also the LC200N works great with a little rough toothy edge.

The smoothness of the action is uncanny. I’m also able to flip it open (like in the video) with a push from the index in the Spyderhole.

The great confort of handle lake the knife usable in all condition and a great companion for any trip around the world.

But that grip will chew your pocket’s lips fast. To prevent that I have sanded the G10 under the clip. Now It is perfect a I have especially kept the grippy G10 around the pivot.

It would be also a great folding diving knife like all Spyderco Salt.
For the record the Salt Pacific was used by Navy Seals.
LC200N got an amazing edge retention which made it perfect for an EDC solution.

Talking about EDC solution here is a 4 times less expensive EDC, the Luna Real Steel Heinie Edition, It is a slipjoint with an hidden choil.
Another EDC solution with a razor edge soon to be reviewed…

Anyway the Siren is a well balanced all terrain workhorse. Spyderco’s backlocks are some of the strongest made and there is no blade play in any direction. It is also a light folder which disappears in the pocket. The black deep carry clip makes it invisible. So far I’m very impressed and I’m looking forward to playing with it.

Here is Lance Clinton’s own video review:

Back to the Tusk!

Before the Spydiechef, the Tusk has been the first Spyderco with LC200N blade.
This one needs to get back to sharp after being used by Pascal since his first review.

From Spyderco:
“The original concept of the Tusk was conceived by Sal Glesser in the early 1980’s. More than 25 years later, his son Eric picked up the project and made it a reality, creating a truly extraordinary multi-function mariner’s tool. The Tusk’s handle is precision machined from two slabs of solid titanium. One end houses a Plain Edged blade ground from LC 200 N steel—a nitrogen-alloyed tool steel that offers extreme toughness and superior corrosion resistance—and locks open via a sturdy Reeve Integral Lock (R.I.L.) mechanism.

At the other end of the Tusk’s handle is a 300-series stainless steel marlinspike, which features a unique round-to-square cross section for increased leverage when loosening knots. A milled slot in the marlinspike’s body and the gap between it and the handle also serve as shackle keys for unscrewing and tightening threaded shackles. To allow the marlinspike and its shackle key to withstand extreme leverage during use, it locks securely in place with Spyderco’s patented Ball Bearing Lock™ mechanism containing a special ceramic ball. Constructed entirely of highly rust-resistant, state-of-the-art materials, the Tusk literally began as a tool that was ahead of its time, but whose time has now come.”
This is something of a “heritage” knife for Spyderco (i.e., the father’s idea, and the son’s design)…

The blade’s saber grind is not on the thin side but it can get a little better with diamonds. The Tusk is like a Ferrari hence its high price. I do believe it was also some tests for the Taichung factory. Some kind of high prized yachtman tool.

On the Amazon.com dumb side of their site: because of the ceramic ball lock they have add a message:
“WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD — Toy contains a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

The shackle key is a little on the small size and did not work with all the shackles Pascal had on his boat. Also we were able to force close the marlinspike with our bare hands. The ceramic ball lock-up for the marlin spike is free floating and, therefore will not form any wear spot while in use and, is very smooth in operation. It also seems I cannot reproduced that lock failure now…Perhaps it was dirty or something ? Anyway…

It does not make the Tusk spike dangerous for hard use (the spike got a choil) and it can get a lot of utility from board to starboard… And yes, it’s almost addictive to untie an dry salty knot with it hence the handy clip to keep the Tusk close.

The tusk is a handy tool to loosen knots without having to cut the rope or cordage and forget about any corrosion in salty environment.
It’s also a crew knife that would deploy its blade with ease, and remain locked open under any aggressive uses while under way.

Spyderco C211TIP Marcin Slysz SpydieChef — Folding Utilitarian Cooking Knife.

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OK , I do love acronyms, pardon my French but when I have received the Spydiechef I was very excited to test a design made for chefs: a folding tool cooks could keep in their pocket.
Knowing my needs to turn SD design into tools, this time the grass was cut under my feed. Marcin Slysz purpose was very clear even in the material choice.
But first the design.

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Why using a Sebenza like handle ? Because Titanium is stainless and the opening construction is easy to clean. It’s also a relatively thin design, easy to pocket. No jimping, no need for and again easier to rince under water.
Because a cooking tool do get dirty. Here for example are the remain of Mozzarella di Buffala…
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The choice of the blade steel is also interesting. LC200N is a state-of-the-art high nitrogen alloyed tool steel that is specifically formulated to offer superior corrosion resistance and extreme toughness, even at high levels of hardness. I have used carbon steel with patina on it and no smell or taste has been noticed during their use with food, but here with that kind of steel you are certain to show a clean knife to inspection before starting your recipes…

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So the whole knife is very much completely impervious to rust. That means it could also been used near the sea and even on a boat where the possibility to open and close a rust free knife with one hand can be really safe and useful. There is no steel insert to prevent excessive wear on the lock, like many new RIL locks nowadays. I don’t know if the titanium has been heated to be harder, or perhaps the nitrogen alloy is not abrasive ?
One thing which can be noticed is that this alloy can be ground flat when H1 could not. All H1 steel were hollow ground blade.

 

Back to the kitchen. Once closed it needs a bottle to stand up right. Chose your poison !
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The detent is quite strong and is the main brake to the opening and closing of the blade. The more it will be in use the better it will become. unlock, the blade falls free and there is no blade lateral or vertical. Taichung has done a great work again.

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But what is especially great with that Marcin’s design is the possibility to cut on board.
It’s much easier than to use a flipper knife for example as here all the edge can get in contact with the cutting board with nothing on the way even no choil. Practical to do all those moves for vegetable preparations for example. This is very very practical in my book.

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The factory edge was so sharp and toothy, it was a breeze to cut into tomatoes. Tomatoes are a good test for sharpness as those fruits can have a resilient skin on very soft flesh.
The Spydiechef was a razor right out of the box and the geometry is thin enough for its main battlefield: the kitchen.

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The broad blade goes easily with a lot of control. And the lenght makes it handy in polyvalence. You would need a longer blade too, but the Spydiechef can do 90% of the work with precision and ease. It is also a beautiful tool to use and feel under the hand.

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And out of the kitchen ? Is the Spydiechef a knife to go ?
Yes it is.  With it’s belly, this knife can be a nice tool to bring with you during hunting season. You can hold it by the broad blade and you got a very efficient skinner.  I still don’t know how the edge will last on dirty rabbit hairs but so far it was easy to keep the edge razor sharp with a light touch up.
On wood, the knife goes steady and deep as the edge is thin and the belly helps a lot. The lock is also very sturdy. I was able to get big chips of wood. The blade is not fragile either especially the tip which won’t break easily. So yes, the cook can go camping ! There is even a lanyard hole, so the knife was thought with outdoor safety in mind.
Overall this is a lovely knife, which can be a great EDC. At least it’s not a free ticket to jail.
It works great in the kitchen and I’m looking forward using it on bigger chores.

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And the Chef and Honor.

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