Tag Archives: Sal Glesser

Spyderco Proficient FB36CFP — The Nasa Lamborghini Bushcrafter – Part 1

Have you ever asked yourself why they are so many Spyderco Sprint Run released (out of the blue most of the time) with gorgeous carbon fibers handle and impressive CPM S90V blades ?
Because Sal Glesser loves both materials. 

CF is for him a reminiscence of love of motorsports and S90V is a stainless steel which has proven to be in another league in terms of high performance and reliability.

So, long story shorts: FB + S90V = Sal’s favorite combo !

And to quote my friend Spydercollector:

“When the Bushcraft fixed blade was first announced, Sal also planned to do a so-called NASA version; a version of the Bushcraft knife with all high-tech materials. I believe NASA is a protected name, but Endeavour still evokes the high-tech approach most people associate with the famous space agency. The Endeavour features a full flat grind S90V blade and full sculpted carbon fiber handles. It was a beautiful knife with a grip that had me looking around for stuff to cut.”

https://spydercollector.wordpress.com/tag/chris-claycomb-endeavour-prototype/

Here is the Proficient: it is designed by wilderness expert Chris Claycomb of Bushcraft UK, the Proficient functions perfectly with traditional bushcraft skills and cutting methods. Carefully contoured and polished to eliminate hot spots and ensure maximum comfort during prolonged use.

https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/FB36CF/Proficient-trade-/943

Bushcraft knives have specific parameters such as having blades between 4-6 inches. Spyderco’s is typical of the genre with a 4-inch blade (no handguard) that’s fully-tanged. 

Bushcrafters don’t seek the characteristics of stainless over the performance of high-carbon edge retention and this is why traditional Bushcraft knives are produced using tool steel. O-1’s high carbon content offers long-term cutting retention but sharpens easily when laying on a new edge. The knife carries on a belt or strap encased in a leather sheath. Blueprinted for wilderness chores, it slices, chops, whittles and processes game in traditional Bushcraft style.



To quote Spyderco:
The Spyderco Proficient takes the concept of the traditional “do-all” bushcraft knife and elevates it to new levels of performance with state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing methods. Designed by wilderness expert Chris Claycomb of Bushcraft UK, the Proficient functions perfectly with traditional bushcraft skills and cutting methods while offering superior durability, edge retention, cutting performance, and corrosion resistance
Instead of traditional carbon steel and an axe-like “Scandi” (Scandinavian) grind, the Proficient’s blade is crafted from vanadium-rich CPM®S90V particle-metallurgy stainless steel and boasts a full-flat grind for low-friction cutting performance.

This concept of stainless steel with black polished handle is, ten years later, now endorsed by the excellent Casström No. 10 Swedish Forest Knife Black Micarta, 14C28N Flat Grind for example.

I had tried and discovered CPMS90V when it was called CPM420V thanks to Darrel Ralph (RIP) and his beautiful Apogee folder. Its blade was so wear resistant, without diamonds, only a back stand could turn it from dull to sharp. It was a bear to sharp.
It still is but now we got as End Line User access to industrial diamonds.


I have written a lot about S90V. This alloy has proven it can be tough enough as a stainless steel to be used in any all terrain tools; especially since it is available on Manly folders which got the reputation of using a very fine thin geometry.
Modern Bushcrafters (like the Benchmade Puukko) are focused on toughness with the use of the very tough CPM 3V.

What brings CPMS90V ?
1- It is stainless ! Even if you (and I) love the patina on a great carbon steel blade, to hold a reliable stainless steel blade is very easing the mind when working near water, rain, sea.
2- It is really hard to get dull even when used on tricky material like brown cardboard (full of silice).

Also the full flat grind is a must in a matter separator specialized in wood works. As much as I love Scandi Grind found on Woodlore clones (first designed by Ray Mears).
I have found that especially in the wonderful Spyderco Sprig full flat ground knives can be really efficient on hard wood.
(Yes when it’s written in green: it is a link !! and I have tested them here.)

The Sprig was a impressive tool in term of pure geometry. Designed as a hunting fishing knife, it was a wood eater, a real beaver of a knife, cutting deep and with ease.
Guess what? It the same profile on the Proficient especially after some convexing which should be arriving sooner than later and will be in a second article.
So far that contour handle is a charm to use and I will be using it for the second article. The old O1 Bushcrafter got enough heft for light chopping, the Proficient is made for powerful push cuts. This is going to be another experience.
The Proficient is not a big knife, actually once in its sheath, it can disappear in the front pocket of my Denim. No need to have dangling at my belt.

So what do we got ? Imagine the plateforme of the Bushcrafter (link) a solid companion, a reliable 4×4 and you just turn it into some Urus from Lamborghini: stellar alloy and lighter tougher handle.
What not to love ?
The Proficient is Sal Glesser’s gambit, taking a risk because the Bushcraft community loves carbon steel and wooden/natural handle.
Also that jewel got a price. And people in bushcraft are not wall street sharks. They use Opinel, Mora and at great max some 100 euros fixed blades. (Unless they want to afford an original Woodlore….)
So the stealth wealth of that Nasa Bushcrafter was not for everyone.
Like a Lambo actually. But real performance got a price.

The mighty Benchmade Adamas BM275FE-2 CPM – Cruwear for Flat Earth ? First glance at that Heavy Metal Hardcore Folder.

Here it is the Benchmade Adamas second generation with its CPM Cruwear heavy duty blade.
It has been almost 20 years since I have reviewed one of Benchmade hardchore (made for the Military) folder. The last one was the AFCK Axis in D2 and I even think it was not upload even if it was my EDC for two years. I loved the AFCKs because, well, Sal Glesser was involved in its design with Chris Caracci and Les de Asis and Bob Terzuola and I simply appreciate Sal Glesser’s way to invent and design “matter separators”.

But here it is “Tabula Rasa” as far as I am concern ! Go figure: no hole in the blade, but holes in the handle, a gifted designer which I’m going to discover named Shane Sibert who has also designed the Bushcrafter for Benchmade… and Clive Owen’s knife in Sin City.
His signature seems to be fuller on his blade.
“I started making knives in 1994 with the idea of creating blade ware that is simple, practical and efficient. I have been a full-time knifemaker since 2004. Keeping with the theme of practicality, I avoid large metal guards, bolsters and heavy pommels to keep the knives balanced and agile in the hand. Materials have been carefully selected to ensure optimal edge retention and low maintenance. Although the knives incorporate slim handle slabs to decrease unwanted bulk and weight, the handles contour the hand for a synergistic fit. I strive to hold myself to high quality and design standards and produce a knife that will invoke pride of ownership and at the same time perform the task that it was designed for with exceptional ease.”
(quoted from Arizona Customs Knives)

You can notice slabs and hole on the handle.
Actually for such a big knife the Adamas is not that big.
The first version was release in 2011 (you can see it here on Arizona Customs Knives) and was made of D2 the new version came ten years later and with its blade upgrade to CPM Cruwear.
This steel is known to be tough ! Less than CPM3V but with a better edge retention. The Cpm Cruwear Shaman was a big hit !
Here Benchmade has heat treated the CPM Cruwear to 63-65 HRC !
This is something I need to test as it is much harder than Spyderco HRC (61-62HRC) on their CPM Cruwear blades. (Sal tested his own blade at 61.1 HRC).

Cruwear Manix 2 – (63.2 – 63.7) HRC
Cruwear Military – 62.9 HRC
Cruwear Mule (re-release) – (62.1 -62.8) HRC
Cruwear Paramilitary 2 – (62 – 62.8) HRC
Cruwear Para 3 – 61.7 HRC
Cruwear Military – 61.1 HRC

At first touch, the Adamas oozes quality and delicate attention to details. The Olive Drab G10 slabs are wonderfully tappered on both ends and the jimping is done perfectly in my book, not as aggressive as G10 Manix for example. It is palm friendly even when closed. Well done. The holes in the handle help my thumb to index the tool.. There is no hot spots. The handle is totally open and easy to clean and check for debris. It is created as a workhorse which can get dirty but still reliable.
Of course this is an expensive knife with a MRSP at $280.00 but you can see where your money has gone. It is manufactured with love.
The blade is perfectly centered on mine and there is zero blade play in any direction.
I love the Axis Lock concept since its very first Henry&Williams BM710 release.
I have never had any issue with its Omega Spring. It is easy to use with one finger when the SPyderco Cage Ball Bearing needs two finger to work. The Axis Lock makes any knife as fast as automatics. I have never had any play on mine and I have been using them since their very very first release.
I won’t do batonning with the lock engaged like some youtubers seems to do until lock failure. For record, you can do batoning with an opinel…
But engaged lock (any lock) does not like to schoked and a beating can damage an disengaged any lock even a butterfly. Knowing how to use tools in the right situation should be mandatory before doing really stupid things on video and if anyone want to use a folder for batonning some wood (stupid millennial fashion as far as I am concern) just do it with no lock engaged or learn how to bring a better tool…

But once deployed, with just a gentle flick of the wrist — axis lock with heavy blade are just extraordinary easy to deplay— the blade is shown in all its power. I understand why some youtubers would like to shove it in concrete or in bricks…. I’m not certain they will be able to peel an apple in public with it but for that kind of task a Mini Adamas has been released with the same blade thickness…. Oooh well I’m not certain the thick Mini Adamas is made for fruits either. F<or that there is another tool too: the Kapara
The Adamas offering a 0.14″ | 3.556mm thick blade, it is designed hardcore for hard chores for folders. How will it behave, that will be in our next article but that blade surely offers a lot of lateral strength.
For now it is just a very first glance.
All specs of the Adamas can be found on Benchmade here.
You can also notice on that picture its deep carry clip which can be a nice touch for such a big heavy folder. More on that later.
The action is smooth at the pivot but needs a little breaking at the lock release; nothing some nano oil can not fix.

This is a very beautiful folder which is very well balanced, its sweet point being just under the index finger when hold in hammer grip.
It is alive in my hands.
The axis lock makes it ambidextrous and you can notice on that picture the 3 points for adapting that clip or another three screw clip (not deep carry) if needed on both sides of the handle.

The blade handle ratio is almost to 1 with the Adamas compared to the Military C36 which is known for its long handle.
Of course the Adamas came very sharp out of the box, but not as sharp as I want. The blade is protected with cerakote coating Flat Earth colored which got excellent reputation in terms of tough protecting the CPM Cruwear from rusting. Cruwear can get a patina but it is not easy.
Here Benchmade and Shane Sibert have chosen to propose a stealthy look for the soldiers which need no blade reflection under the sun too.

It is also sold with a very nice sheath offering many carry options for soldiers and hunters alike.
The deep carry clip is perfect in term of retention and ease to retrieve the big and heavy knife.
Oh it is 183 grams (5,45 oz) which is really heavy. The liners are stainless steel not titanium. This is Heavy Metal !

As you can notice the Adamas is much thicker than the C35 Military and much heavier too. Sal Glesser wanted his military to be as light as possible as a soldier got already many heavy things to carry.
Benchmade has taken another direction. The Adamas is beefierand thicker. Actually it can also been more confortable for long usage. We will see…

Another beefy released was the Shaman which almost has the same handle length. The Adamas provides a lot of edge.

Here is my good old AFCK Axis. It was used with a lot of love as you can notice. Zero issue with the lock BTW.

Now it is time to give some work to that Adamas designed to “deliver unrivaled performance throughout hard-use applications”. The next step will involve certainly some sharpening and reprofiling…
More to come soon…. But for now on, it is a knife which makes me grin when I open and close it. Kuddos to Benchmade and Shane Sibert for bringing this second gen of the mighty Adamas.

NATIVE CHIEF™ REX 45 SPRINT RUN™ – C244GBORE – The Joker !

“It’s been a long road
Getting from there to here
It’s been a long time
But my time is finally near…”

Yes, it has been 22 years (since 1999) that we have been waiting for the Native Chief to be produced.

Sal Glesser said:

In 2008: “We only made one prototype. The model never went into production.”

In 2017: “The Native “Chief” has been on hold for some 15 – 20 years. I imagine we can get it to queue if there is demand. I’ll watch the thread. The Shaman is designed to be 3.5″ blade length which is legal in more places that the Chief’s 4.0″ blade.”

In 2018 “Working on the refinements for the 3rd prototype. We work on roughly 20-30 designs at any given time…. We’ll use a Golden back lock.”
Then…
I’ve been carrying a “Chief prototype. A 20 year old “sal” design with modern “Eric” mods.” had written Sal Glesser in March 2019.

As shown on Eric Glesser video “Native Chief Breakdown”, the prototype looks a lot like the finale version.

Here is also a video from Wouter (Spydercollector) presenting the production sample:

Also, knowing the Vanilla version released in 2019, all made in their new facility in Golden Colorado Earth, was in S30V, waiting for a Sprint Run was mandatory in my case.
I got my eye on the Rex45 Chief before even to be able to get the Tree Rex Shaman. Rex45 seems to me a great steel for such a “toothpick”. Last year I had the chance to get a Tree Rex and my experience with that alloy made the wait of the Chief even longer.
You can read my thoughts about CPM REX45 here:

https://nemoknivesreview.com/2020/02/07/the-tree-rex-also-known-as-the-shaman-in-cpm-rex-45-and-dymondwood/

To quote Spyderco’s site:
Crucible® CPM® REX® 45 is a super-high-speed particle metallurgy tool steel enriched with large volumes of cobalt, tungsten, molybdenum, and vanadium. Its high cobalt content increases the steel’s attainable hardness and enhances the positive properties of the steel’s other alloys. The addition of vanadium promotes the formation of vanadium carbides, which provide high wear resistance, fine grain size and increased toughness.

CPM Rex45 is just great: no chipping, pleasant to keep ultra sharp with only some leather + compound stropping: a great super steel. Just be careful with its dust with 10% of toxic cobalt, better be safe than sorry.

OK, my Chief was expected for the first of April, hence the name “Joker”. The slim shade and the burnt orange color scales also inspired me… (Certainly not the Joachim’s or Jared’s crappy interpretations, much more Ledger and Bolland.)

Back to the knife: stretching in length the Native is a beautiful result. Since the Native model people were asking for a longer version and a shorter version, they have been heard.

Right out of the box, the Chief felt very angular: sharp edges on the scales, gritty G10, and a lot of hot spot on the choil/ricasso and the blade spine.
My Mandy City felt the exact opposite and it cost me a third of the Chief Price. So I was a little disappointed. It was not love at the first sight. Luckily , I know my Spyderco for a looooong loooong time and get my sandpaper ready.

I have send it under the tap to avoid any G10 dust which are really toxic for the lungs. Now the handle is suiting my taste.

The last experience I got with thick all-G10 construction knife in the Spyderco Family was the great Manix 2 Lockback (sold for 99 euros !) which was a great hard working folder.


The G10 slabs are much more thick than with the steel liners construction.
Quoting Sal:
“Actually Eric and Tom went over this model with the engineers for quite a while before making the decision to make it liner-less. We’ve done a lot of experimenting lately and you can see a lot in the many different designs and options. It surprises me that some would think to make decisions on values without any experience. if we screwed it up, we’ll fix it, but we don’t screw up often considering the many envelopes we’re willing to push.”

Compared to the Police:

You can compared thick G10 and thinG10+Liners.

As with the steel liner’s knives, there is zero flex and zero play, horizontal or vertical. It is like a vault. (My old Benchmade AFCK BM800HSS got titanium liners and flexes a lot.)
G10 is a really solid material. They even makes stealthy fixed knives with G10 blades… A steel liner could also bend and warp, not a thick G10 slab IMHO. Also the Cold Steel Recon folders are steel linerless and Cold Steel’s Recons are known for their sturdiness. I got an XL Recon and the lack of liner is really not an issue.
The blade, helped by two bronze phosphorous washers, chutes free when unlock which is very reliable and easy to learn to put back the knife in the pocket. It is done smoothly and fast.
It is a very secure way to close your knife.

Let’s not forget: a one hand opening knife needs to be a one hand closing knife. The best example is using a knife at the top of a ladder: you want to be able to get the knife back in the pocket easily and safely.

I’m not a huge fan of the hour glass clips founded on the Native 5 and the Delica/Endura/Paramillie/Para3. It has been immediately replaced mine with a Blade4sell small titanium clip.
Let’s do a family photo:

On the Shaman (“made to be a fairly heavy duty folder. Simple, but stout.” according to Sal), the Chief, the Native and the Lil’ Native my favorite clip is that last one.

The Native family is the no “hump” clan of the Spyderco Catalog.
The Chief is co signed by Eric and Sal.

Back to the Orange Chief, I was not really pleased also by its edge geometry. I felt it thick behind the edge. Even if the knife was razor sharp out of the box, it could not pass my plastic bottle test which consist in cutting the butt of a soda bottle by the center which is thicker.
The thin Manly City was able to do it right out of the box, as were able my Swayback, my PPT or even my Delica too for example… The champions being the Michael Walker and the Nilakka.
It is a matter of “deshouldering”, convexing the edge as always.

Diamonds are super steel best friends.

And now it is able to pass the test. 🙂
But let’s do it again for good measure.

Once thinned with diamonds, I usually strop it for a nice shining results. So far I need more elbow grease but it slowly get better and better.

Also the choil was very sharp to my taste. A little diamond filing and it was much more finger friendly.

So far, the Chief is a slim knife but destined to be very polyvalent. When the Shaman is very outdoors oriented, the Chief finds its place also in the kitchen.
It takes time to built a natural patina on Rex45 but it will come later after some fruits and hot meats.

The orange scales make it very table’s friendly too, despite its very pointy shape which could make sheeples nervous.

In a plate nothing force you to keep the edge perpendicular to the surface. I have found REX45 being hard to dull on plates anyway. It is a very easy going steel.

Another easy going steel is K390 found in the Police Model. You can see it is a tad longer than the Chief with also a thinner stock blade.

The Chief is elegant and certainly one of the most beautiful design in the Spyderco scuderia. Their backlock is so solid, the handle will break before it. Sal Glesser knows that making a longer version of the Native was not as simple as a sketch on a drawing board. You can watch the video at the end of this article about that.

The double signature, Eric and Sal.

THE TREE REX Part 2 – Beveling THE SPINE.

The Tree Rex is certainly my favorite hard work folder from Spyderco. Sal Glesser has made a real beauty able to deliver a lot of power.
The handle is especially thicker and rounder than any other folders proposed by the Golden Company. The pseudo wooden slabs which can be rinsed in water with zero issues. (I have erased the smell with some alcohol solution) and the mighty blade made of a very lovely steel: REX45 got that “touch” of Speed Star aka M2HSS I have loved on Benchmade AFCKs and Nimravi. The steel is easy on leather and bites steady when whittling with control. The best wood chisels are made from M2HSS.

But they are some hot spots on the spine and on the choil. I use my thumb to pushcut in wood and a square spine is painful after a while.
Knowing the Rex45 is a 8% Cobalt steel, I have decided to send it in the wind and with some water to prevent dust. The very hard steel (66,5 HRC) was eventually rounded to my taste.

Rounding the spine to a be less aggressive was done using 600 grint sand paper. Eventually I have used the sand paper to do some convexing.
Soon a Jade stone will be tested for mirror finish on the edge.

The TREE REX also known as the Shaman in CPM-REX 45 and Dymondwood.

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This is the C229RWDP Spyderco Shaman in CPM-REX 45 Satin Plain Blade, Rosewood Dymondwood Handles and it is a KnifeCenter Exclusive.
Like the previous Crucarta, Micarta Cruwear Shaman, this is a very rare animal and a king in his family. Of course they are discontinued too. You can notice my Crucarta has now convexed edge where the Tree-Rex is still wearing her factory edge.
There is also another difference you can notice: the pivot screw !

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The handle of the Shaman is appealing for beautiful textured handle. Micarta is such a pleasure but faux wood like this Dymondwood is also a pure pleasure under the thumb.
I have been able to see a broken pakkawood endura handle so what is Dymondwood ?
“”Dymondwood” is the tradename for a product that was produced by Rutland Plywood. Essentially, it is a lamination of very thin veneers, usually birch, impregnated with a resin. The designation Walnut, Cocobolo, etc refers to the color of stain used, not the species of wood. It is a very stable product. Unfortunately, the Rutland factory was destroyed by fire about a year ago. As a result, the future supply of Dymondwood is in doubt.” dixit Bertl on the Bladeforums. This one is rosewood Dymonwood and it looks like real wood to me in rich brown colors and not as orange as the pictures. So it is an excellent surprised. This is the pleasant feel you can get from a rifle, it is warm and pleasant to the eye. “Generally the terms Rosewood, Cocobola, Heritage Walnut, Cherrywood etc are dye colors, not wood species.” said another forumite on the same page.

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The factory edge is even and really really sharp. Just some pass on leather and I got a clean razor which cut the hairs without scrubbing the skin. It is amazing.
So I have decided to round the edge of the spine but keep the edge as it is for a change.

CPM REX 45 is a new steel to me. According to crucible: “CPM REX 45 is an 8% cobalt super high speed steel which has excellent hot hardness along with good wear resistance and toughness, making it suitable for difficult machining applications.A data sheet.
It has red hardness comparable to that of M42 but offers abrasion resistance even better than that of M3. With its excellent red hardness, good wear resistance and good toughness, CPM Rex 45 is suitable for high cutting speed applications.

Carbon 1.30%
Chromium 4.05%
Vanadium 3.05%
Tungsten 6.25%
Molybdenum 5.00%
Cobalt 8.00%
Sulfur 0.06 (0.22%)

As far as I understand a sprint run with orange G-10 and the same blade will be available soon and lot of REX45 knives are coming.

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On the Spyderco Forums you can find a great test of that steel by Deadboxhero comparing REX45 and CPM M4.
Eventually he found M4 works great with coarse edge and REX45 with polish edge. That what I was looking for as polishing edges is my guilty pleasure.
So far, I’d say people will enjoy the properties of Rex 45, while M4 prefers a more toothy finish Rex 45 will prefer the opposite which is unique amongst Crucible steels let alone US steels. It’s interesting to a US steel closer to the properties of a japanese steel which have more of a bias toward Polished edges.” wrote  Deadboxhero.

REX45 seems to be the same as HAP40 found in the Endura review, but HAP40 was 63HRC when REX45 heat treated by Spyderco is pushing the envelop to an incredible 66-67 HRC as hard as this Japanese ZDP189 Rockstead Higo… For the record the Maxamet blades are at 70HRC and brittle as ceramic in my record.
Also the 4% chrome makes it a staining steel and I expect to find a patina after to use.

My friend Max Wedges has given me that advice about cobalt:
Careful with the knives you use with food (specially acid food). The problem is that COBALT is a Cancer agent. For any steels that are sharpened often & go close to food, I avoid ALL Cobalt steels (Tungsten Carbides are less of an issue). If you sharpen you always get some “swarf” residue on the blade… better clean it properly before use: use a cotton swipe with alcohol & a drop of tea tree oil, after carefully washing & drying the blade (& avoid the grinding dust like the Pest it is). M4, M2 Steels have no Cobalt. CPM S110V, N-690, VG-10 do, so I use the older S90V, S35VN, RWL-34/CPM154, 440-C or AEB-L for food knives. Were I a knife maker, I would totally refuse the use of any steels containing Co. Moly is related to Tungsten: these are much less harmful, and are bound into Carbides… but Cobalt forms no carbides & gets airborne easier. Be wise?

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That’s very interesting ! It is something to discuss.
How a steel could harm your health is a subject which I have not seen yet on forums.
Steel is not neutral. If you cut a green salad with carbon steel, the leaf will get brownish. The same cuts with a stainless steel and the salad will stay green for hours. Steels are not neutral with the medium they cut. Is a Powder Tech steel using 8% of Cobalt be poisonous ?

However, if you sharpen a knife, you are grinding the steel with an abrasive. Even a slightly abrasive chef’s “steel” (a rod used to sharpen and condition chef’s knives before using) will leave a residue of the blade steel and the abrasive (silicon carbide, ceramic, aluminum oxide, other steels, etc.) behind. This residue is called swarf. How many chefs have you seen whip a knife blade on a rod, then go right to cutting your brisket? How many wipe the swarf onto a grimy rag that hangs over their shoulder or around their belt before cutting your salmon? How many actually go to a sink and wash the knife with soap and water before returning to the block or cutting board?
From The Special Case of Cobalt by Jay Fisher provided by Max Wedges.

Guys who purport to be experts—posting particularly on knife forums—claim that concern about cobalt is all amped-up hype. It’s easy to find endless discussions, particularly about VG-10, and the concern about exposure to cobalt. The uneducated flock to these forums; they are not experts, they do not read scientific studies, they do not believe the CDC, the American Cancer Society, or any of the numerous organizations that warn against cobalt exposure. “Show me the reports,” they say, yet they are unable to find the very references that the rest of us can easily locate. The reports are numerous; the professionals don’t just make this stuff up, but you have to read.

They claim that you would have to grind up and eat knife after knife in order to be exposed to enough cobalt to cause cancer. They know this because they are toxicologists (ahem), and know that metal exposure recommendations are a conspiracy by nut jobs (uh-huh). I guess all the nut jobs work for the CDC and the American Cancer Society… right?

They sometimes go on to compare cobalt to chromium, vanadium, and other alloy elements, saying that they are just as dangerous. This is typical ignorance on forums. All of these elements have been extensively studied, and cobalt has been found to cause cancers, while the others have not. This is the reason I state over and over, “Don’t get your information on a forum of any kind!”

Experts, professionals, and scientists don’t post there; open forums are mainly occupied by the uneducated and unknowledgeable anonymous masses, hobbyists, and part-time knifemakers and enthusiasts who know very little about knives overall. If you believe them, then you’ll believe that the best steels are hammered together in an open fire, just like it was done in 1875. You’ll believe that the entire modern metals and machining industry does not know anything, that some oaf with a hammer can make an improved axle, planer blade, or turbine part. After all, you saw it on the History channel…

Sorry to be so blunt, but if you are reading this, you deserve to know the truth. Or maybe the thousands of professionals at the CDC, IARC, NCS, NIOSH, and in the research community are all wearing tin foil hats… sigh. Welcome to the internet, where the idiots get the same voice as the intelligent, damn the truth!

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So guess what ? In my great wisdom (ahem) I have asked the question on the Spyderco forum 😀
Knowing Japanese Chef knives are often HAP40 and VG10. Even my Ikea Chef Knife is VG10… Let see what they think about Cobalt in steels:
https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85929

Even Pekka helped there:

Me: Do you think Cobalt dust could be dangerous ?
Pekka: Every dust is ! I do not believe that anybody get cancer if they sharp knife sometimes of month… if they do not collect all dust for they sandwich :) There is lot of f.ex. nickel in steels and chromium etc. all are very bad for health.

Me: How do you protect yourself?
Pekka: I do not breathe ;) serious I use mask with motor. But no gloves, I do not like gloves, I lost my feeling, as you know I do everything with freehand method, no jig etc.

So eventually we can eat with our knives but not eat our knives… ;)
Capture d'écran 2020-02-11 18.44.26

And also Sal Glesser which was one of the rarest bringing zero assumption or opinion but facts.
Most of the other comments were just mostly about bragging on other way to die like:
“Compared to driving in city traffic, I would say the danger from cobalt or anything in your knife is truly negligible.”
“I would assume it’s perfectly safe when bound together with iron.”
“The oxygen your breathing right now is also causing oxidative stress and damaging your cells and DNA with free radicals. Yet, we keep breathing.”
“Life has a 100% chance of death, get over it.”
“There is cobalt in your food and organs. It’s essential to live. Got B12?”

 

Yes, being deficient in vitamin B-12 causes physical and psychological symptoms, including nerve problems, fatigue, and difficulty thinking…
And yes we got so many chemicals in our bodies but it’s a matter to have them in the right proportion in the right place.
Oh well…
Fortunately Sal Glesser saved the day:

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“Fun subject. Figures it would be Nemo to bring this up from the depths. :p

I remember Nemo and I discussing Eric Taberly’s death in the sea, because he spent so much time at sea. So in the end, what gets you is what you do the most? That concept brings up some interesting thoughts? :eek:

We have to put warning labels on our products because they might be sold in California and there is sever punishment for not warning the people about the danger of the chemicals in our products.

In Manufacturing, most grinders and mills are used wet. Masks re a good idea if dry grinding. I breathed in a tiny amount of G-10 dust once and it did make me sick.

sal”

I guess we were the only few there to see that thread as a “fun” subject as there is the new cartesian way to answer questions of the Internet:

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Someone even has written:
“As Sal said, what gets you is what you do the most. Now that is actually worth thinking about.”
Hummm, I guess many forums specialists will eventually die from masturbation as their armchairs are mostly harmless to their health… No reason to be afraid from any poisons, then.
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And Sal final word on that subject:
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OK, so back to this wonder of a knife: I have changed the position of the clip to a tip down carry because I have found that the Spyderdrop openings are really easy and fun on the shaman. The steel backspacer give momentum and the compression lock is a breeze to operate.

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This knife got zero lateral play too. It can really be open as fast as the good old Millie. For the record 25 years ago Sal’s was beating in speed every owner of automatic knives while opening his own Military. Spyderdrops are really an advantage in putting your tool in action very fast. Also the fact the clip is not a deep carry clip makes the spyderdrop a breeze to execute. Actually it is fun with the Shaman !

 

As illustrated: the clip is not deep carry but, oh well it is a big knife which rides small in the pocket.

 

Trying the edge on some hard chestnut wood and the cuts are deep and steady. It will be a pleasure to use ! It also bring the same smoothness I have had enjoyed on M2 High Speed Steel found on Benchmade knives back in 90’s. Once cut the wood chip feels smooth under the thumb.

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A funny thing has happen to my parcel when flying from the Knifecenter to Paris: it has gone West instead of East and has landed in Hawaï, Honolulu ! Thank to Kristin at the Knifecenter it has been rescued and after one week of storage in Hawaï has been able to fly from the other side of the planet and land to mailbox in 48 hours.
For the record, Hawai as the place where Jurassic Park has been filmed. It was logical for my Tree Rex to go there first. 😉

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Crucarta’s Family — The Spyderco Shaman reveals its power.

Since its arrival my Crucarta has been used hard, fallen twice on rocks and pavement and been immerged in dirty water.
Well this Shaman is made for that.
In fact I have notice how well it could inserted between my CPM M4 Millie and my CPM 3V Tuff.  Theyu both could be his parents.
Knowing the Tuff is Ed Schempp design for a “Built As A Tank” folder and the Millie “Built As A Tool” Sal’s Glesser design, the Shaman got the best of both world:
A tank knife built as a tool: a solid folder which is really sharp.


This is not the easiest design to achieve. The result is a very powerful folder: solid in term of lateral strength and razor sharp for deep push cutting.
So yes, the Shaman is outstanding bring the slicing power of a Millie with the toughness of a Tuff.
CPM Cruwear is the right choice as it is really standing between CPM M4 and CPM 3V.
It is tougher than CPM M4 and less tough than CPM 3V and in term of pur edge retention it is also in between both.

Being clumsy and getting clumsier, my Shaman has fallen on tiles and rocks twice.
No damage after a very close inspection. Nothing on Micarta or on the blade. The recess steel spacer is immaculate too. The blade is not Stonewashed on the Crucarta sprint run, it it gets some scratches from use but nothing really bad so far.
It has been used on wood, dirty roots, plastic and kitchen duty.

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For those who know how tricky a coke bottle butt push cutting can be… The Shaman  is “that” powerful.

I had notice some hot spots to my delicate hands.
The were easy to erase on the micarta handle.

A gentle filing is eliminating them and the rounded handle does marvel in terms of confort.


I have used the same diamond file, and it was a longer task, to file the teeth of the blade’s spine as I use my thumb for my push cuts. Also you can notice there is a flat place for the hand before the lock as I mentioned it in my previous review about the Para3 Lightweight which lack of that “flat bed”. It changes every thing in terms of confort when cutting in repetition hard thing without gloves.

Eventually IMHO the real son of the Shaman is designed by Sal’s own son: Eric.
TheLil’Native is really playing in the same league in term of strong workhorse folder but at a lesser scale. Like its father it conserves a thick spine for a very strong tip.
The Native and the Chief on one side with their thinner blade and lockbacks and the Shaman and the Lil’Native and the other.

Like father, like son. Les chiens ne font pas des chats as we say in French.

Spyderco Para3 – Let there be light!

So here I am, minding my own business.  (Always wanted to start a review with that kind of sentences… à la Michael Di Mercurio.)
I love heft. A heavy knife is sexy in my book.
Bought in the 80’s, one of my German version of a Buck110 was an anchor and I loved it.
I dig the Fred Perrin PPT for its massive butt balance but I’m quite certain Fred would love a lightweight para3 as he loves to hide light tools on himself. 😉

But now.

Now Spyderco has always been about Performance. Performance in geometry, ergonomics, in locking mechanism, steel’s heat treating, choice of materials… and refining refining and refining… Constant Quality Improvements they say.

That Para4 lightweight is born from that CQI state of mind.
Remember the Military ? It always been a lightweight because every kilograms counts when you are carrying a weapon and ammo. At first the C36 was using only one nested liner if I remember well. The fight against weight was hard and not understood by many.
Just look at some heavyweight folding brick found nowadays… No comment.

So Sal loves sport cars and racing boats. His passion for sailing is oozing from his designs.
He has just release a lightweight version of his Police knife.
That Para3 got only one liner like is first Millie.

So lightweight is an obsession as much is lock reliability in folders.
Just like in the Ford V. Ferrari (Le Mas 66 for Europe) james Mangold’s movie.
BTW Spyderco has just release a Lightweight Sage with a compression lock too.

You need need to have a great confidence in the materials you are using too to implement a Compression lock in a plastic handle because the lock needs tension. But FRN is considered as strong as aluminium and Fiber Reinforced Nylon is something Spyderco explores and masters for more than 25 years now.
I remember self defense instructors driving with their trucks on their FRN Delicas (pre liners version) just to show how strong this lighweight folders were.

The lightweight handle brings also great balance to a very “alive” knife. The Para 3 lightweight is something your enjoy playing with. It can be open and close it in a blink. This is really fun and elegant.

The texture is perfect when my hands were wet and greasy. The Bi Direction Texturing is perfect near the pivot: my thumb meat is gripped by the FRN in the forward direction.
It feels so secured in my wet hands ! Also the bi-texturing works in the other direction for pulling the knife out of the pocket. In term of security, not dropping your tools which is like glued in you hand, it is a must. The wonderful Carbon Fiber of my Kapara can not compete with that. It feels like a soap compares to my Para 3.So for the pragmatics, you can reach for your knife, pull it out and use it even with oil on your hands. This is so great and really rare in the knife industry. Sal’s inventor’s mind again.

Like many compression locks including the beautiful Kapara,  you can get soared hands when using the knife without gloves. It comes form the area on the top of the pivot which bites your hand skin. My friend Pascal got reported blisters from his Paramillie 2 for the same reasons. The space between the thumb and the index needs to have a surface to rest or it will hurt. Some Youtubers got that issue when cutting ropes for edge testing too.

This details has been featured in the Ray Mears Wolfspyder. You can use your knife for hours !

See the difference ?
Whittling and bushcrafting ask for the maximum of confort.

Also look at the C36 Military: again there is a surface to rest your hand avoiding soar and blisters hence its great ergos when whittling.

So let assume the Para3 is a light user or at least design as such. Nothing bad about it they are plenty of other designs and even better great fixed blade like Puukkos when working on wood and hard materials for a long session.

But what a great light user it is. It is versatile. With a powerful blade and solid point.
Easy to clean. Anti slippery handle. Non threatening design. Light and invisible once clipped. What not to love about it ? This is a milestone in my book.
And I do favor heavy knives. My Maxamet Para3 got a copper handle.

I have thinned the edge to my taste.

And now the leather is enough to keep it razor. M390 heat treated by Golden is a must.

Para 3 Lightweight DLT Trading Exclusive – C223PRD – My Little Red Riding Hood !

It is light, it is red and it is cute and can skin a wolf or granny’s apple ?
DLT Exclusive M390 steel blade on the Para 3 Light plateforme has hit the old continent after NOT taking any shortcut… It was stuck in Paris airport for a week !Action is perfect. The blade is centered. Drop chute works perfectly. This DLT Trading Exclusive is clicking all the right buttons as I was not really excited to test this knife without some spicy exclusive steel.
Bringing the compression lock to the FRN is a Tour de Force Eric and Sal can be proud of.
At 69 grammes it bring a very strong little big knife into the “pocket and forget” realm.
This is going to be a very Sheeple friendly knife thanks to its red scale and deep carry clip.
I love high performance blade on FRN. My Manix Lightweight is a CPM 110V version and my favorite holiday knife as it is easy to put in a luggage and keep its sharpness for weeks.
This is Little Red Riding Hood is destined to de-throne it. Less moving parts, easier to clean. Very impressive quality !
And M390 heat treated by Spyderco is a sure value since 2012 ! :-)More to come soon as right in the pocket it goes ! Riding !“But Grandmother! What big teeth you have,” said Little Red Riding Hood her voice quivering slightly.My own copper Maxamet Version is just a really heavy weight.SO LIGHT…
“The better to eat you with, my dear,” roared the wolf and he leapt out of the bed…Deep carry clip and excellent lanyard hole placement.

Massive Attack: First Glimpse at Sal’s Shaman Sprint Run C229MPCW

“The first drawing of the Shaman was dated December 17, 2014. That can give you an idea of how long I work on some of these creations.”
Sal Glesser.

Thanks to Tom Song and Howard Korn from the Knifecenter, I have been able to get one of the most coveted Sprint Run from Spyderco: The micarta cruwear Shaman.
Without Tom and Howard always excellent service (I know Howard since the very beginning of his Internet venture), it would have been mission impossible.

It was announced at the 2019 Minimeet by Eric Glesser and every ears were pricked up.
Since it has appears in the very frustrating way being immediately unavailable since the demand was so high.
But here it is after a long journey. This is my first Shaman actually as I was waiting for the first Sprint Run to jump on the bandwagon.

This folder got a massive blade on a smooth like butter pivot. Perfectly centered. And the blade is razor sharp. There is a lot of heft in that knife which is the absolute opposite to the Police “Cheetah” model. The Shaman is an outdoor’s folder dream. You can use it hard and clean it easily. I would compare the way it moves in the hand to the mighty Lionspy.

I regret the clip is not one of the wired but, hey, their must be reason to offer four positions.

The micarta is not polished like a Bark River Knife would be. It is rough but pleasant under the thumb. The handle is thick and made for hard use. I mean it is pleasant to old tight with no hotspot so far.
Now I need to use it but is a very solid folder not destined for the city.
More to come, stay tune… 🙂

 

 

“My designs begin with an “idea”, hard to put into words. The final design says it better than words can. I also refine that design (idea) over time to make it closer to the pure form originally envisioned. The P4 is in it’s 4th refinement and in my opinion, closer to my original “idea” than ever.
While the P4 is very different from the Shaman, they both embody the “spirit” of what I was thinking of for their purpose. I’ll start with pencil and paper, CAD it, make plastic models with Peter from CAD drawings, often for months until I get as close as I can at the time to my “idea”. Like carving an elephant; take a piece of material and cut away everything that isn’t elephant. Once the design is close to it’s “pure form”, I’ll refine the materials based on the original idea and run with it. I don’t have the “eye” of a Lum, so appearance plays little in the fished outcome.”
Sal Glesser.

 

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!