Tag Archives: Sacha Thiel

The Spyderco PPT Round 3- Long Term Review of a Faithful EDC with Supersteel.

20190527_091110.jpg

Since last year round with the PPT, the very unique ergos of this unique folder have made me come back again to its radical design and I have decided to EDC it in all circumstances (instead to keep it safe).

20190526_133858.jpg

Still, I really enjoy how the weight of the handle glue it to my hand and I have found zero hot spots after filing a bit the choil. Smoothness of its action has been really enhanced by using it everyday. Now it deploys fast and close by gravity.
After some work on the blade, the edge has been thinned as my Manly’s.

20190526_134348.jpg

The PPT is a very easy companion. My main battlefield is the kitchen. It is not an open handle design but with some hot water I have been able to keep the spacer and the skeletonized liners clean. A dip in very hot soap water is all my maintenance after a full day in the kitchen but a tiny drop of oil is then always welcome. It has been used in the woods where I was able to use it on wood. The knife has behave perfectly even when twisting the edge. Zero issue here. The chips are flying everywhere as the full flat ground is fast in making deep cuts in wood. While in the forest, when working with it, most of the time I have thrusted its blade’s point in a tree instead closing it and opening again.

No damage at all. For the record, Sal has developed and sold his own version of a Bushcraft knife, at first named the NASA Bushcrafter with S90V blade and Carbon Fibers handle and later the Proficient. It means that the melange S90V plus CF is approved by Sal for being used in the wood with reliability.

20190525_202132-01.jpeg

The lock which is almost a RIL lock has not failed me because your grasp reinforced it when you hold the knife in your hand. Zero movement vertical or horizontal. I have not been able to fumble my grasp when closing. The opening of the knife is now made with my major finger flicking it like.


I have sanded the handle (just a bit) to smooth the edges of the corrugated CF, just to protect my trousers from being chewed. Nothing changed in the look but the PPT is now much easy to retrieve and introduce in my denims. I carry it in my right front pocket along with a leather wallet.

20190526_132205.jpg

Once brought to “razor sharp level”, S90V is easy to maintain to that level mostly only with white ceramic and some leather stropping. ( JD has given me some diamond compound that help the process too). After some cardboard cutting, the ultra razor level is lost but the working edge is keen enough to slit through paper and this sharpness will last for a very long time. Zero chipping even after various cuts into very hard plastics. It is almost a maintenance free knife, like my Manix in CPM110V which I use for travelling (It is light and stays sharp for a very long time avoiding me to bring some sharpening tool).

20190525_194311-01.jpeg

When cutting with the PPT you got a very agile blade with its center of gravity inside your hand and, by just holding it by its hole, it immediately orients itself tip up. It helps when you need to change your grip: it like a compass telling you where is the point and the very sharp edge even with greasy or wet hands.

20190526_125800.jpg

Despite its martial pedigree, sheeples seems not afraid of my PPT. No raising eyebrows even when used in restaurant or family dinners. Nobody seems to notice it which is a very good thing.

 

61222845_10156664360180958_6031297147842854912_n

Eventually if the PPT was a dog, it would be an Amstaff : compact, bold and powerful.

20190528_190957-01.jpeg

Advertisements

The Spyderco PPT Round 2 — The Son of Anarchy.

20180424_184458-01.jpeg

Strangely I am coming back often to the PPT when I first thought it would be a collection and a safe queen. Safe queen my a$$ ! Pardon my French but there is something quite sensual when holding this knife, something which makes the other feel “hollow” in comparaison. The PPT got that heavy butt “anchoring” it to the palm but also the toxicated finish of the handle’s slab is a delight under the thumb.
There is something almost “paleo” in the finish. Something primal in the mechanical way it feels. It’s dense but is designed to be heavy metal. It’s a knife Opie could have admire…

20180424_184506-01.jpeg

On the performance side, I have decided to get a convexed edge. Diamonds are the only language stubborn S90V seems to understand and scratches on the blade side are, well especially for the clumsy sharpener, something hard to avoid especially when using the stone at a 10° angle to get rid of that secondary bevel. The performance in pushcutting are really enhanced now. I can measure it to the Manly Peak and its thin S90V blade.

20180424_184620-01.jpeg

I use white ceramic to make the steel shiny but S90V is really a tough cookie in the kindergarden of alloys: it’s a game of patience to obtain a nice finish.

But now on plastic I can enjoy the enhancement of that already very thin edge. It goes easy through.

Someone asked me why using a workhorse knife on tomatoes ? Tomatoes may look like some fragile fruits but they are not: their skin got no pity for any dull knife and their flesh will give in under any pressure. The best tools for tomatoes are serrated and micro serrated knives.

20180429_134118-01.jpeg
Hence that test on my polished edges. You need a very keen blade to push cut in a tomato and make thin loaves. Plastic and bambou can be used to test the edge stability which often is only due to thermic treatment of steel.

20180429_134128-01.jpeg

The alignement of the point on the PPT is very different from my Millie and is very close to the experience of the YO2: its makes powerful cuts.
Also the handle makes Icepick/reverse grip very confortable, knowing this is the favorite grip of Philippe Perroti on Fred Perrin’s La Griffe, a grip I have found handy in forcing a door. Just kidding but the confortable reverse grip (à la “griffe de chat” in French) is not a joke.

20180429_143749-01.jpeg

You get also an excellent blade/handle ratio for a choiled knife compared to my Para3 for example.

20180429_143822-01.jpeg

And as good as the non-choiled Sliverax !!

20180429_142459-01.jpeg
My PPT has been used in the kitchen is not easy to clean because the way the hole in the liners are not accessible. This is serious issue if, for example, a piece of raw meat get stuck there and could contaminated the blade. The full Reeve Integral Locks are the best lock for checking your folding for any debris. I would have preferred solid titanium liners without that hidden cheese holes which ask for special maintenance starting by unscrewing the slabs to get full access and complete cleaning.

So in a wrap, the PPT is a compact hard user with very high performances featured by great ergos. It has a really strong character (it feels like it has been done for some Hell’s Angel fan) but once deployed it will pierce and cut with high reliability. Once the PPT is entering the game: this is serious business. For the record Fred Perrin was often one of the knifemakers going faithfully to bikers gathering. Bikers love La Griffe as a neckknife is handy on a ride. So it’s easy to understand some DNA in the PPT design.

20180429_141539-01.jpeg

Spyderco C135CFP Perrin PPT — Portable Praetorian Tool.

20180326_172840-01.jpeg

The first PPT was release eight years ago. It was the mind child of Sacha Thiel, Philippe Perotti and of course Fred Perrin which it got all the power. For the record Philippe Perotti aka “PP” was Fred’s student in knife making (and Fred was PP student in handguns). I still own one of PP’s Streetbowie made in D2 and also one of his great Commander knife made with Sacha Thiel which looks a lot like the Perrin Streetbowie.

20180326_193321-01.jpeg

Now the design’s goes in the stardom with a luxury amazing S90V / Carbon Fibers corrugated stunning handle.
This rude boy is a beauty like Marlon Brando in a Streetcar Named Desire or Tom Hardy in Taboo. It’s heavy in your palm. But this weight is a pleasure exactly like the Sharpfinger.  Marc Animal McYoung in his book “Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles” was choosing a butt heavy short knife over any other. The weight is like an anchor in your hand as the knife handle is cuddling inside your palm. You find the same idea of weight distribution on heavy butt  first Streetbeat.

20180326_172946-01.jpeg

Talking about the handle, this macro-texturing shows a wild side of this tool.

20180326_173400-01.jpeg
On this picture you can notice the unique clever sturdy lock. It’s made to be secured once the handle is hold tight.

20180326_172905-01.jpeg

The steel liners and the full steel back spacer, the full steel construction, while sturdy, makes for a dense carry.  Knowing Fred, being able to use the “pommel” as a crowd pleasure won’t be a surprise. Anyway it’s a tool which can certainly be used to drive a nail in a plank.

20180326_173656-01.jpeg20180326_173708-01.jpeg

Let’s compare with a titanium folder, the Spydiechef.

20180326_173044-01.jpeg

It’s a matter of taste but I love it as the balance suits me.

In eight years the Taiwanese manufacturer has refined his production.

20180326_173014-01.jpeg

The choil used to be a hotspot in the first version. No more now, there is absolutely no hot spot but… the clip.

20180326_173227-01.jpeg

The way it’s stand with a point proud point …it’s really not the best SPyderco clip just compared with for example… the Lil’ Lionspy great great spoon deep carry clip !!
The point/end of the clip needs to be parallel to the handle as this one is an invitation to scratches cars doors and catches things.
20180326_173426-01.jpeg
But its zips easily inside the pocket. It’s a no brainer.

 

 

Like the Spydiechef the design of the PPT notice how it give you a lot of power in case of cutting on a board. But the PPT won’t be as easy to clean with it’s squeleton thick liners but nothing which cannot resist to some hot tap water.
This new incarnation got a very thin edge. Those full flat ground blade in S90V provided by Spyderco lately are a pleasure to use and performance oriented.

20180326_183925-01.jpeg

But its true brother in law could be the Yojimbo 2.

The PPT got a very strong spirit, mix that with Sacha Thiel attention to details and Philippe Perotti pragmatism and you got a very powerful EDC which can be used by soldiers, firefighters, hunters, cooks, collectors and bushcrafters.

A little edit: after some EDC carrying and using.
Of course I have started to de-shoulder the edge and gives the PPT a more friendly way to get strop on leather.
Ergo wise, this heavy butt is really addictive. It works like a magnet because of that handgun handle. For the record La Griffe got a Derringer shape handle too which is also heavy compared to the blade. It makes your tool almost jumped in your hand and really anchored it in your palm while the perfect radius of opening makes it a very fast and safe opener. The meat of your finger is caught by the sharp hole and SHLACK !! It’s really one of my fastest tip up carry opener so far.
Why is the PPT a tip up carry ? I remember Fred bitching about the way some newcomers (back in 90’s)  who were providing RIL locks with a tip down carry: the clip was in the way. What Fred loved in the RIL lock on the Sebenza was the way the hand will secure the lock. With a clip attached near the pivot, you could not squeeze the handle anymore and secure the lock.
So the PPT reflect all those years. It’s a real biker friendly design, like the La Griffe has always been. Bikers are modern world horse riders. The PPT would a horse rider best friend too.
In the part 2 the rider could be a nightrider ?

20180326_174932.jpg

 

 

Choosing a knife for the city.

You don’t need a reason to carry a knife.
Whatever they ask you, just lie or tell them what they want to hear.
In the woods or in the countryside carrying a knife, whatever your gender, is wise.
But in the city ?
You really think you will defend yourself with a knife ? Let’s forget about it. A chair, a stiletto shoe, an ashtray will be better defense tools if you know how to train your mind first. And be prepared mentally whatever your gender, is wise.
Knife is not the best tool to get away of trouble. It’s like playing with matches in a gaz tank. It’s used by madness and idiots to create horrors. So unless you want to be an idiot.
Since knives, cheap and ugly dull knives, are often used to hurt people. Worst, some people think knives has been used when they were not even in history.
An example ? When Lucheni, a madman, has stabbed the Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Geneva he did it with a file. “There was no blood on the file and the tip was broken off, which occurred when Lucheni threw it away. The file was so dull in appearance it was speculated that it had been deliberately selected because it would be less noticeable than a shiny knife, which would have given Lucheni away as he approached.”
So you want to carry a knife in the city. It’s your choice, your business. Nobody else business. Your freedom of choice. In those days where metal detectors are common and official journalists are scanned all over their body before filming some president from ten yards away, when policemen can search you with no good reason because of the state of emergency… you better carry something which is small and sheeple friendly.
Better: you should conform with the laws of your country.

Younger I felt some kind of thrills being an outlaw. My first knife even was a folding AF dagger from Gerber. Go figure ! But later, I have found it is more fun to be lawful and cleverly respect the rules, because it gives you the occasion to try new designs and new makers. Of course you can always carry a Swiss Army knife. I almost never do. It’s in my bag not in my pocket. Because since the 90’s I have fallen in love with clips. Clips are such a great way to avoid a pouch or a scabbard or anything used to say to the world: I carry a knife !! So the clip is mandatory for me. My last clipless knife has been slipping under my wallet and at the Airport it has been taken away from me. So no more clipless knife for me.

So, in the city, I need to follow the rules and I need a flat design clipped to a pocket’s lip. Again a thick Victorinox Swiss Champ is a no-no as is an rounded handle Opinel. Opinel are not for the city unless they are under N°8. And I want a slick design something easy in and easy out without telegraphing around I’m going to use it.
I love the Worker design from Sal Glesser , the very first clip it, which could be used without opening it completely the blade thanks to its false edge. Very clever.
In the city I want elegance. the object needs to be warm and tell a story. I’m not a predator, I carry a tool not a weapon. For the records, hammer, screwdrivers are much more lethal than any Perrin Lagriffe destined to wound and not kill. I like to be able to cut my food without using the dull silverware of restaurants. Because there is some places which are not fast food too. And even at the Macdonalds, using a sharp knife can help to share in two portions a single burger. But in restaurants nowadays it’s not common to find good steak knives. I always enjoyed bringing my own knife like my grandfather used to and that manner that my father hated so much. My father was carrying a switchblade for SD and then a La Griffe. He also used a small turtle shell slipjoint folder made in Nogent in his bag. The exact opposite of my way. Strange how generations go counter clockwise just to complete a full circle thinking they are re-inventing the wheel.

A knife, may it be a slipjoint of a locking folder, is a door for adventures. I often walk on the avenue of the Opera remembering Ernest Hemingway.
“He was a customer of the house Kindal, 33 avenue de l’Opéra, he used to go through the shop, after his purchases, to the Ritz, Place Vendôme. His Parisian triangle was the Harris Bar, Kindal then the bar of the Hotel Ritz. His deer stag handle locking folder, with blade, saw, bottle opener and corkscrew, was his daily companion, he even packed his tobacco and curated his pipe with it. The stag’s wood cracked at the end with time and the tobacco was constantly caught in the cracks, obliging him to clean his knife regularly, he had the idea to place an ivory knob, coming from one of his African hunts probably.
Many years after his death, Mrs. May Kindal, found Hemingway’s knife at the bottom of a drawer, left there for maintenance.
She had him reborn by Jacques Mongin, knifemaker and Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
Since then, the Hemingway knife is sold exclusively by the Kindal cutlery.” Translated from Kindal.

I remember the first time I have seen Ray Mears on the TV. He was walking in the beautiful English countryside and he used one of his elegant Woodlore fixed blade to cut some plant and give some stories. Wait a minute, this guy is walking in the UK and carries a fixed blade in his pocket. But as a black belt in Judo he won’t go in trouble with bushcraft knife anyway.

In the city, knives are making conversations. So it will leave your hands for those of a friend who want to see it. And you will be sitting in the sun drinking a cappucino. So the knife needs to be beautiful and smooth and not aggressive in any way because it can be display in public like smartphones and cameras.

I also need the knife to be out of the way, because I carry stuffs in my pockets or I got a messenger back and it happen sometimes: the knife get hooked to something and falls. So the clip and the way to carry it needs to be secure.
It needs to be very sharp also. And stays sharp. Because I’m not going to show my honing and sharpening skills in the street and a dull edge is dangerous for your finger. So, a good geometry and a good steel. A knife thought to be used not only to be displayed.

So here are some examples.

The Delica in its Knifecenter Special Edition is my actual companion. This one is so sharp it goes beyond my scale. HAP40 can be thinly honed, it’s a true razor. More can be found on it following that link:

In the very highest performances you also got Pekka Tuominen little Wonder Nilakka. You can click on its link. Again a little big knife with performance and ergos which change the game of current gentlemen folders.

The Michael Walker is a rare Gem and this Sprint run has proven how excellent it was as a skinner for very serious hunters.

In the Slip It territory the Urban is the perfect companion unless one hand operation is forbidden by the law. The steel of this one just does wonder and I’m thinking a lot about testing the new Police Model…

One of my old little city companion has been that little Tim Wegner Mouse II knife.

Spyderco has covered all the ground about small knives to carry by men or women. The Dragonfly is one of their pure example of acceptable locking Clip It.

My friends Xavier Conil and Laurent Monnier propose an elegant not threatening folder: le Pointu.

This knife got no clip and is not one hand opening but I have bought it in South Africa at the Good Hope Cape’s shop. This is my Southern souvenir. It has no vertical play and got a story to tell.

respecting the Danish law, the Pingo is one of the solutions for having a clipped knife with no opening hole.  The hole here is only a trademark.
There is a Sprint run with Elmax blade and Titanium handle, I often look with envious eyes…

This one is French, it’s JD’s folder a Sacha Thiel which will be reviewed soon. The blade can be open with a gentle flick helped by the thumb and the deep pocket clip makes it disappears.

So here my knives for the city. My Griptilians are too tactical. My small Sebenza has been lost. I could dig my drawers for more but I think you were able to catch my drift.
Here is a following up about choosing a 3 inches folder.