Tag Archives: Normandeep

SPYDERCO C234CF AMALGAM : THE (Amal)GAME IS ON !

When Geoffrey from http://www.normandeep.com has sent to me is Spyderco Amalgam to test and review, he had already reground the shape of the blade from drop point to clip point.

Here is a picture of the original:

Geoffrey made a beautiful work. He was even able to create an almost sharp false edge. I understood his project and also the distance of what I loved in a folding knife. I rather use a tool than a weapon and his Bowie Amalgam was really tilting the balance toward the weapon side of that knife.

First thing first. The Brian Lai’s brainchild is a knife which can be flipped and is equipped with a compression lock. It can also be open with its generous spyderhole with a push of the middle finger or the thumb.
It is a fidgeting configuration after you have found a way to avoid the flipper’s return through the lock. You need, like on the Shaman, to get your index finger out of the way when closing the knife.
The action is smooth thanks to ball bearings equipped pivot and the knife is light and well balanced.

Once open it is really a knife which get a very confortable grip. The flipper once deployed is half hidden in the lower quillon, and the blade could not close on your fingers. There is zero play. It feels very solid, very tactical hence the beautiful bowie blade Geoffrey wanted to grind from the massive utility drop point blade.

Since he wanted to sell it. We have made an exchange (he will get my Siren, as he is a diver and own a diver’s shop near the D-Day beaches in Normandy) and I will finish the customization to my liking.

The first thing I have noticed is how thick the blade was to my liking. So, I have “unshouldered” its edge and decided for an aggressive convexing.

As you can notice, there is nothing fancy in my equipment. A Double Stuff 2, an Fallkniven DC4 and some lansky bali diamonds. Also some sandpaper and my old leather belt.

Some compound for erasing all the scratches I have made and polishing it all.

The first test on my wallnut rod were stellar. The Amalgam is now able to shave and also able to cut deep. The large finger choil/ricasso is great to choke up the blade.

Also I have decided to mount a deep carry pocket clip. A black one for a low profile.

One of my goal has been also to round completely the false edge Geoffrey has painfully created as I use the spine of my blade’s knife to push with the thumb of my left hand. Now it is rounded like a Sebenza’s spine which was the first design to introduce me to that confort.

So here we are, ready to test the Amalgam. The Amalgame is on !
Stay tune for another post.

The Danger Pickle is a Bombshell — C250GTI

The Bombshell is a Spyderco’s flash batch at 400 dollars MRSP.
Painful for the wallet, huh ? A flash batch means “it will be produced only once in this exact form. To make them even more collectible, Flash Batches are individually serialized with a laser-engraved number. The Bombshell’s number can be found on the inside of the reverse-side liner.” (When the English is perfect, I have copied and past someone else…)
My friend Geoffrey Vernier has given me the opportunity to try and test his own Spyderco Bombshell. We have met some years ago at the Amsterdam Minimeet, the last one where Sal Glesser was there. Since Geoffrey has developped his own business NORMANDEEP, a diver’s shop near Omaha Beach (one of the D- Day !) in Normandie. https://www.normandeep.fr/
A diver shop where is also sale Spyderco Salts. He is my official sponsor for that review on some other to come. Thank you Geoffrey !


So here is the Bombshell aka the Danger Pickle. Two kind of people will be interested: collectors and adventurous users. First thing you notice when you hold the Pickle is quality oozing for her pores. There is feel like it is a custom knife not industrially made in Taichung. Michael Burch, her designer, is also known for his previous Spyderco’s design, the Chubby. The Bombshell is also a fat little fellow. Same breed as the Slisz’s Techno 1. As described in Spyderco’s site, this is a heavy-duty folding knife with a thick CPM® 20CV® stainless steel blade, which features a drop-point profile, a hollow grind. “Its stout handle is crafted with full, skeletonized titanium liners, radiused olive drab G-10 scales and a matching G-10 backspacer. The liners form the backbone of the Bombshell’s high-strength LinerLock mechanism and a pocket clip configured for right-side, tip-up carry ensures quick access.”

There is no steel interface between the blade and the thick liner. I don’t know if the liner’s end has been heat treated harder but titanium liner locks can wear faster than harder stainless steel’s. It was the case with my 20 years old Benchmade. It is also a designer choice to make a hard use workhorse with a liner lock when the previous design, the Chubby got a Reeve Integral Lock which is in my book, easier to clean.


For the record a steel liner lock like my 1998 Starmate is a work horse with the possibility to adjust the wear just by changing the pivot settings.
Its nested liners and  improved Walker LinerLock mechanism, which features a concave ramp on the blade’s lock face can be also found on the Bombshell.

 

As you can notice, the 22 year old Starmate stainless steel liner show less wear than the new Bombshell but the Pickle got thicker liners.

Also the Pickle’s stop pin is closer to the axis and thinner. So, the old Starmate shows a sturdier construction and it has been used very very hard through the years with zero issue.
These two folders got a lot in common: hollow grinds, same way to put a hole in the blade (frowning hump)… same destination: a workhorse.

The first thing I have noticed with Bombshell is how it was pleasant to touch. The rounded G10 handle. The heft. The Bombshell is no bigger than a Para3 which means you can carry it in the city easily. The belly of its blade makes it a nice wood cutter as its geometry is also thin. Compared to a factory edge Para 3, it is better at pushcutting into wallnut wood. Also the thick spine makes it very confortable for pushcutting as the thumb finds a nice place to rest. There is also a choil where the index goes immediately for precision cuts. So it is pleasant to hold and use. It is well balanced. A very nice tool. The only issue for me would be the clip but it is a designer’s choice and at least it is not creating any hotspot on the handle. Holding the pickle makes you smile and forget the price it has cost you.
So far I really enjoy that Danger Pickle. It is pleasant to hold and use and the material are top notch. It is not only a looker but a true user. But as mentioned, it is really expensive and rare and I would have prefered it to be a regular release instead of a flash batch because it will appeal the collectors more than the users and this knife was destined to be used.
Anyway if not a safe queen, it will be a pleasant EDC with a real “Big Little Knife” character.