Tag Archives: Michael Janich

Yojimbo’s C85GP2 and C85CFP2 and a Ronin.

Following my first glimpse on a the Yojimbo Special Run of 2015 , I present you today the classic version of the Yojimbo: G10 handle and S30V steel. There is no difference between the knives but 4 grammes in favor of the CF version (110 vs 115).

Nemo Knives Review Yojimbos

The blade got the exact same length (on the photography, the Yo2 on the right is resting on her clip hence the parallax…). I have also found the detent to be harder on the S90V run but who minds ?

Now the main difference is the steel: S30V vs S90V.

Quoting Jerry Hossom on the knifenetwork.com :
“S90V contains 9% Vanadium. S30V contains 4% Vanadium (originally it was planned for 3% and thus the name). Vanadium carbides are VERY hard and provide a lot of wear resistance. On the flip side of that S30V was designed to be very tough; it resists chipping and breaking. S90V was designed to be very wear resistant, so it’s really a tradeoff. If you’re very careful with your knives, don’t toss them in the sink or hammer them through hard beef bones, S90V will do very well. If you’re rough on a knife, S30V will be a better choice. I’d likely choose S30V for larger knives, because they’re subjected to greater stresses. S90V is certainly fine for smaller knives. ”

So how S90V will behave on EDC chores with the Yojimbo blade particular shape especially its very narrow point. I remember the same kind of exchanges on the forums about the point of the CPM 440V (S60V)C36 military and our request to see a Millie with some strong tool steel hence the desire for CPM M4, CPM3V and CPM Cruwear version.

Back in 2002 I got the chance to own a Ronin made in VG10. The Ronin was a Mike Janich and Mike Snody collaboration on a SD fixed blade and more precisely a neck knife. I used mine for every day chore until the tip get broken and I was obliged to regrind it.

Here is my 15 year old Ronin next to the Yojimbo.

What I love in this design was the way It would cut on hard material without compromise the edge: only the point was touching the plate for example.
Then as S90V is known for its wear resistance, I should be able to keep the point sharp for a longer time…. And time will tell.

Some words from Mike Janich taken from the Spyderco Forums:

“Hey, Guys:

Thank you all for your comments and enthusiasm regarding the Yo2. I am very pleased to have it in production and I’m thrilled at the way it turned out.

I wanted to share a couple of fine points regarding the design. Like everything else I do, I like to explain why. You are free to agree or disagree, like or not like, but at least you’ll have the information to make a decision.

With regard to the not-fully-exposed Spyderco hole, I wrestled with various options on this during the design. I did not want to do the large index-finger choil of the original Yo because it narrows the grip too much in that area and starts to force the hand into a saber grip. The goal was to keep the closed knife as narrow as possible to preserve access to the pocket.

I had a similar challenge when I designed the Be-Wharned. One thing that I learned during that process was that the natural hand position for a thumb opening is typically not with the plane of the handle completely flat. Most people naturally hold the knife palm up, but with the knuckles at about a 45-60-degree angle to vertical. That means that your thumb also indexes the hole (or stud) at an angle, not flat on top of it. With the Be-Wharned, holding the knife at this natural angle and driving the thumb straight along the chamfer of the handle produces the most positive, reliable, and comfortable opening.

With that experience as a guide, I focused on the functional part of the Spyderco hole. When the closed knife is viewed with the edge down, tip to the left, this section is from 12 to 3 o’clock. That’s where the thumb actually bites and drives. That part of the hole is completely unobstructed.

As for the lock release cutout, I purposely made it smaller than that of the Para2. There are two reasons for this: First, some users–especially those who grip the handle tightly with their index fingers during opening–get a slight pinch from Compression Locks as the blade is opened. This is caused by the liner moving into the G-10 scale as the blade clears the detent ball. To mitigate this effect, I asked that the top of the Compression Lock tab be recessed slightly below the top edge of the G-10 scale and purposely made the recess smaller.

Second, speed closing of the knife is not high on my priority list. I close the knife by pinching the lock between my thumb (on the G-10 scale) and the nail of my index finger (on the lock tab). I can do this (and have done it) all day long without soreness or fatigue. For me, it’s perfect the way it is. Most importantly, the knife closes exactly when I want it to and I still enjoy both the extreme strength and the I-don’t-need-to-put-my-fingers-in-the-path-of-the-edge safety of one-handed closing.

I chose the standard hourglass clip for the Yo2 because it has been refined and perfected over the years. It works great, so why reinvent the wheel? Also, savvy Spyderco fans know that the same basic clip design used on the Yo2 is used on the Endura and Delica, but in black (and with the addition of the lanyard hole that matches the holes in those knives). Don’t like the shiny clip on the Yo2? Buy a replacement clip for an Endura for a few bucks and you’ve got an instant subdued clip. How easy is that?

As far as clip position goes, most folks know I prefer tip-up carry. The key to getting a personal defense knife into action quickly is being able to draw it and immediately open it without having to change grip position. The key to that is making sure that the overall size of the closed knife, the position of the Spyderco hole, and the height of carry are all proportionate to the average hand size. If you have a big knife with a deep-pocket clip, it may carry discreetly, but when you draw it, you’re holding it by the butt end with your thumb a long way from the hole. Unless you can magically Viagra your thumb into growing, you have to change your grip to get the knife open.

The clip placement on the Yo2 makes the knife ride high enough so that, with a proper draw, your thumb is automatically on the opening hole when the knife clears the pocket.

If you prefer discretion and a low profile over deployment speed, I purposely added tip-down carry to the Yo2. The clip holes at the pivot-pin end of the handle are as close to the front edge of the handle as physically possible to support deep-pocket carry. Yes, it’s tip down, which is slower. So is deep pocket carry in general. If you need deep-pocket carry and speed, arry tip down and use a Spyder-Drop opening. You’ll find that although a small portion of the Spyder Hole is obscured, there’s still plenty of surface area to grab onto. As you pinch the hole with your thumb and index finger, you’ll also find that your fingertips start to push the handle away from the blade, “cheating” your start on the opening.

As for a lanyard hole, I’m not a fan of fobs, so I opted for the additional strength of a screw post at the butt instead of a lanyard tube. However, if you are a lanyard fan, there is still enough room between the blade edge and the screw post to wrap a thin lanyard around the post with a cow hitch. That keeps the lanyard centered in the handle instead of wrapping around it and makes for a sleeker package. Think of a typical flashlight lanyard where the loop that attaches to the light is thin and strong and the rest of it is 550 cord sized. If you must use 550 cord for the whole lanyard, pull the guts out of it so it wraps flat around the screw post.

I hope this helps you better understand why the Yo2 is the way it is. A lot of thought went into it and it is truly a reflection of more than 35 years of experience, training, and daily carry of personal defense knives.

Stay safe,

Mike

P.S. As far as meat cutting tests go, yes, that was a big part of my personal R&D of the prototypes. Simple answer: It has more blade length than the original Yojimbo. It therefore cuts even deeper.”

 

 

Another one from Michael Janich in August 2012:

“Thanks for the discussion and your continued enthusiasm for the Yo2.

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.

Stay safe,

Mike
Michael Janich
Spyderco Special Projects Coordinator
Founder and Lead Instructor, Martial Blade Concepts”

 

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Yojimbo 2 C85CFP2 – S90V & Carbon Fiber

“Number 17” has entered in my life yesterday as I was angry about an order blocked in the airport for 12 days. I had ordered a Yojimbo 2 (G10, S30V) and since the 5th of May it has disappeared from the tracking.
So yesterday I indulged myself with a very rare exclusive run for Knifeworks three years ago: a Yo2 with S90V and Carbon Fibers handle.
Better, I had ordered a deep carry clip and it’s now mounted.

My idea is to use the Yojimbo, not as a SD tool but as EDC tool. So this safe queen is going to see some mileage and S90V will be welcome for it’s very high abrasion resistance. This is my point, I hope the Yo2 will keep its own (point) sharp and solid.

Some intense sharpening was mandatory. The edge was uneven from one side to the other (3mm against 2mm)… Now it’s much better after some intense passes on the Fallkniven little diamond/black stone tool and the Spyderco ceramic grey/white.

And well, it works just fine.

Quoting Michael Janich about his own design on the Spyderco Forum:

“…With regard to the utilitarian function of the Yo2–absolutely. I grew up in pretty humble surroundings. Although we didn’t have much, my Dad was very smart and skilled with his hands. I learned that the best way to have stuff was to make it, so I used to spend hours making toys out of cardboard, scrap wood, string, and anything else I could scrounge. One of my most prized possessions back then was an X-Acto knife set my Dad bought me with all the different blade shapes. Initially, I thought the different blades were cool and spent time swapping blades to cut different materials and shapes. After a while, though, I realized that the standard straight cutting edge was the most versatile. If I needed precision, the tip did the job. At the same time, if I needed cutting power, the straight cutting edge transferred power all the way to the point.

The blade for the original Yojimbo was based very much on these experiences and the shape of a common utility knife/box cutter. It was designed before 9/11, but released after. Promoting it as a “box cutter on steroids” was not appropriate at that time, but functionally, that’s exactly what it was. The Yo2 does the same thing, but even better…”

And more from another thread:

” … Helping my Dad with DIY projects around the house, I noticed that most utility knives, electrician’s knives, and similar “trade-oriented” cutting tools were Wharncliffe or sheepfoot blades. Again, in practice, it made sense and they worked. I chose my first pocketknives–Case slipjoints with straight edges–based on that experience.

When I started studying combative knife skills as a teenager, I read all the classic WW2 books on the topic, many of which recommended Bowie-style blades with significant “belly” to the edge so they could be used to snap cut. My taste in knives changed as a result of that and I began carrying blades with more belly and well-centered points. My first commercial knife design–the Masters of Defense Tempest–even reflected that style. However, when I had a chance to design what ultimately became the Ronin, I went “back to the drawing board” and did a lot of live-blade cutting with everything in my collection. I found that the knife that cut best was actually my Spyderco C25 Centofante, which was a Wharncliffe. When I began to analyze and really understand the dynamics of cutting, I realized why.

Cutting is cutting, whether it’s utilitarian or defensive. For cutting power and dexterity in a small blade, the Wharncliffe really shines…”

There is nice video made by Michael Janich explaining his design here on Youtube.

And by the way, the collector is just using a Yojimbo2 (S30V/G10) as an EDC.
It got the scars to tell its story.

To be continued… here :
Yojimbos-c85gp2-and-c85…

Spyderco Caly3 C113GGY in Super Blue Steel Sprint Run- Grand pa knife is going high tech.

“Yasuki Hagane steel has been produced in their plant in Shimane prefecture in Japan where the high quality iron sand has been produced for making traditional Japanese swords since ancient times. These are three main premium grade high carbon steels (Shirogami, Aogami and Aogami Super) that have been used for making Japanese made field & kitchen knives. Hitachi metal is also known as the manufacture of high grade premium stainless steel, ATS-34 and ZDP-189.Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.
Now Super Blue Steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White Steel) that makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and mostly used for making high-grade Hocho (kitchen knives) and outdoor knives.”

From http://japan-blades.com/how-to.

I’ve never been interested in the Calypso. Call me names but the lock was “old”. Not the smoothest operating tool… as all lockbaks.
But the Calypso and all its offsprings got a common feature: ergonomy. A thin blade (not wide for a Spyderco after all) in a light and pointy package.
The years (decade) go by. The Caly 1.5 turns into a test platform for the Aogami Super with a first Sprint Run. I was very excited when Jur has shown me that absolutely beautiful folder. But alas to much vertical play for me and that, made me step back.

This is the problem with all back locks but with my Caracara chinese made G10 first generation. I remember falling in love with the first XL Cold Steel Clip Point Voyager… vertical Play. Massad Ayoob first Spyderco folder… vertical play. The Mighty Chinook , first and second generation ? Vertical play.
Oh you can live with that.
But I do not like a tool which got moving parts in the palm of my hand when I’m cutting something hard.

The Caly3 in Super Blue Steel got vertical play but much less than the Caly 3.5 I had tested.

Now the Cold Steel Triadlock is curing that “disease”. That’s why they are so pleasant to use and so reliable to chocks like Fred Perrin has shown us by throwing his mini Lawman repetitively (more than a 1000 throws!) without any failure or even any vertical play.

Vertical Play is a curse. I remember Michael Janich’s “Street Steel” book explaining why to go away from any lateral or vertical play in a folder knife. And I believe every single words Mr Janich is writing. Common sense is more precious than adamantium nowadays.

Ok my Caly3 vertical play is minor. And on a short knife with ergos like a boot knife this is not a major problem. I mean if the lock should ever fail (and that vertical play on locks has been noticed on very very strong backlocks) my precious fingers would be protected by the quillons on the blade: when you are holding a Spyderco folding knife, you are holding it mostly by the blade. Giving all strength and all structure stress directly to the blade not “through” a fragile channel: the pivoting handle. The C36 Military was the first to offer that “boot knife” feature. Holding the knife by the blade is something as ancient as the Roman folding knives you can find in archaeological fields. In the ancient times, the handle was considered merely as a sheath not something to hold your tool… So folding knives were used as hand razor: by holding the blade.

So about the Caly3, this means that I don’t “feel” any important play when I cut on a board for example. This is mandatory for me to trust a folding knife and sticking to short fixed blade for EDC (as you perharps know I love short fixed blade, Ian Grenier’ FIne Urban Cancelled Knife, Fred Perrin’s Lagriffe, my Izulas, My Newt Livesay NRG, my wonderful Fred Perrin / Spyderco Streetbeat and my great BRKT Bravo1… (chich is not that small after all).

Ok, the Caly is sheeple friendly. It got a thin, short, not threatening blade and this Sprint Run got also a grey G10 handle and a stainless steel back spacer. It doesn’t scream “TACTICAL KNIFE!!!” like the mighty Cold Steel Recon 1 XL CLip Point… So I can use it in the plate in a restaurant. nobody notice it and it makes the difference as a matter separator.
The Caly3 clip is the wire clip and this is the masterpiece in the clipping design industry. I got the same of my Sages, my Techno, my Slipits, my Pingo, my Dodo, my Chaparral and they are simply the best. Nothing can get close to it. It may look cheap. But they are the best in low profile, and ease of pocketing. (Let me hammer that the clip of the Southard being the worth of all Spyderco’s clip ever made IMHO.)

The Sprint Run of C113 got a non stainless steel blade. This is something to experiment. I love my 1075 and 1095 and my M2 blades to get stain. A patina is a must IMHO. It gives character and low profile to a bad reputation tool. I first enjoy patina on my 1095 Schrade Sharpfinger almost 20 years ago… The blade feels “natural” to react to oxygen and acids… It gives “beautility” to a very personnal tool.

Now the Grey G10 gives also some kind of beautility to the Caly 3. Mine is dirty and I love it that way.I got Fifty shades of grey… (and with the Games of Thrones fans I should score…)

So what to not love in the Caly3 ?
Even closed that folder featuring Sal signature is radiating honesty and confidence. I remember reading an article about a man saving his baby boy from a mountain lion attack with a Spyderco Caly 1.5 knife. This means confidence in your tool.

My Caly3 is reliable. I can trust it when I need it to cut deep and fast. And I can trust it to get stains in warp speed too. No surprise there. Like an Opinel in carbon steel you know how to clean and oil it to keep it far from rust.
The Caly is pointy. Much more than a Techno. It got almost more edge length than a Native.
Ho, there is something I love: the bulging pivot screw on this sprint run. The pivot screws is falling perfectly under your thumb when cutting horizontally. About ergos the knife is held in full grip like a much bigger knife. On the handle, there is place for four fingers even without involving the choil.
The Caly3 is not a all screw construction and …. I don’t mind. I got no plan to dismount it. I have cleaned it by rinsing it under hot water tap.
It so far so good.

Now about Super Blue. I have re-profiled the blade as I was expecting much better sharpness. no the edge is thin and convexed but still… I got a much better sharpness feeling with my AUS8A blades (Cold Steel Voyagers, Recon1 and Code4) or the CPMS3V on my BRKT Bravo 1…. I need more mileage on Super Blue Steel to crown it. So far it could be 1075, I don’t feel the difference.
So guess what ?
More on patina and old timer steel in the 52100 serie