Tag Archives: Sofia

Bulgarian Rhapsody – Manly Wasp in S90V

In winter we all need vitamin C, after a long wait I get my shot !!
My Viking friend Dan Sharpe has been the one who has injected me the Manly Virus. First one was the Manly Peak, the Comrade…  And with my Welsh pal Wayne, both were keen to have the chance to carry their Manly knives legally in the UK: three inches blade, no lock and a deep carry clip. By luck some people of Manly were reading our conversation on our Facebook Group and voilà: the WASP was born.
But our Bulgarian friends were even more clever than this… Let see why. First picture, please ?

Here is my Manly family. The Wasp is the shorter. All are in S90V and with a very thin edge.

The stout WASP is showing proudly is wide belly. This is a powerful combinaison: belly and ultra thin edge.

The cleverness of having the Wasp steel liners hidden inside the G10. The Comrade got thicker G10 slabs too keeping is role of hardchore slipjoint.
You got the best tech of the Peak and the Comrade in a compact tool.

Thin edge is evident on simple tasks like peeling a fruit. Thos Manly knives are razor sharp out of the box and their S90V is very well het treated: no chipping and no bending. I have used hard my WASP in plates and the ceramic was not able to mark the blade. This is really amazing.

I’m starting to think that Manly S90V is as tough as 3V !! (Benchmade CPM 3V Pukko pictured)

The WASP is not threatening at all on a table. It can be used in a restaurant or amount non knives friends with no problem. I know, I only got compliment about it.

Yes, that wide thin belly edge is really powerful. It goes deep and steady in any material. Of course the slip joint mechanism is the same as the Comrade with zero play and 4 steps to avoid closing on the finger. Also the guard is an excellent protection. You really will need your two hands to open it.

I’m not crazy about the “look” of the screw but this is consistent in all my Manly Family. It’s really “cosmetic” but I think this knife desserve a more beautiful screw. No big deal. The Orange G10 is perfect and I won’t need to sand it. The G10 on the Comrade was more aggressive… The ergonomy is absolutly great for a short knife with no lock. So far it is a joy to use. There is no “square” feel like on the comrade. It is really close to the Peak in term of flat handle.

Here is a close up on the wonderful deep carry clip, the same which is found on the Peak. It works great.
The Comrade clip is the only “proud” clipped of the family. But again it is logic with the way the Comrade has been design as a slip joint tank for outdoors applications.
The Wasp is more on the stealth side but its belly near the pivot makes it really powerful in pushcuts I do when cutting wood to make a pole. More to come after some use,  but this one is ready for travelling is Danemark !
Anyway all those Manly have thin edge, great action, and wonderfully heat treated S90V blade. The Wasp is the proud son of the Comrade and the Peak. Now I hope a 3 inches version of the Peak will be proposed.

Manly Comrade S90V – Heavy Duty Slipjoint !

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What strikes first when you hold the Comrade is its thickness and weight.
This 9 cm blade non-locking slipjoint folder is massive; once open, see how its beautiful classical lines are gentle to the eye.
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I have chosen the CPM S90V version with a camo G10 theme. As this non locking knife, it deserves some virility. It’s a a slipjoint with a very strong attitude. The kind of knife our grandfather would have loved. The notch in the blade is like a reminiscence of my childhood…

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Also it is such a pleasure to have a non-locking traditional knife with a CPM420V AKA CPM S90V blade.

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As you can notice the blade is perfectly centered !

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And it comes with a clip which is unfortunately not a need carry clip.

Surprisingly it is much more beefy and thick handled than its grand brother the Peak.

The Peak has got hidden recessed liners whereas the Comrade has got a more simple layered construction. It gives a real confort as the square handle fits the palm of your hand.

There are three steps before to open it completly. The last one is the harder to pass giving a very secure feel in the non locking open position. This is really a knife to open with two hands. Once open the choil forms almost a quillon where the index goes to secure it.
Like on a locking Spydie Millie, this is a system found first in boot knives. The force applied during the cut goes directly to the blade.

I have sanded mine to my taste and for that I removed the clip.
No doubt we got here a hardchore workhorse non-locking folder with enough blade for many tasks and a steel which is hard to beat in term of edge holding.
Its clip makes it easy to carry. The edge is thin like on the Peak and it’s going to be a great knife to go around places where locking knives are forbidden.

Also after watching the video of BlackforestGhost here, I think batonning with a slipjoint non locking knife is less stressful for the tool as there is nob lock to take the impact. The slipjoint is a spring ! So no lock failure possible. 😉 “I bend and do not break…” from the Oak and the Reed from Jean de la fontaine.
I really love that Bulgarian Comrade which is the only industrial S90V slipjoint I know so far. Manly, please do a 3 inches version and a one hand open version !! 🙂
More to come soon.

A shorter version The WASP can be found here.
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edited by Pascal Jaffré on 17 jan 2018

MANLY PEAK S90V — THE BULGARIAN WONDER AT WORK.

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The Manly Peak is a workhorse. So, it has been put to good use in various tasks.

The main features of that folder are a very thin geometry and a zero play mid backlock.
It has not developed any play and the edge has ever been thinned for outstanding results.

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Tomatoes are great for testing. As you can notice, it was a very easy task to cut through the skin.

The same for any fruits it was confronted to. The thin and long blade gives a lot of hand control when peeling and cutting or on the cutting board. No pitting on the S90V alloy after intense and daily kitchen duty.


Pushing the envelop, I have thinned both my S90V Native and S90V Peak. I was inclined to think that the Native 5 with its belly would be better than the Bulgarian folder but in fact not. The thinner grind of the Manly got better results on hard plastic and when the Native was stuck, the Peak was going through like the Nilakka or my Opinel would do.

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I was even able to do multiple cuts on the same bottle butt. This is really impressive. Let’s not forget that should should have the same results on a 45 euros Peak with D2 steel.

The mechanism feels a little smoother now on opening and closing but it is also due to a drop of nano oil.  The clip is really perfect, it is deep, secure and smooth. It has been well thought and I really wish the future generation of Manly folders will be likewise equipped.
So the Manly Peak is really a high quality workhorse in terms of reliability, power cuts and ease to wear. This is a serious tool for any users, from the LEO to the ELU.  It’s a thrill to see it compete against folders which can reach 4 times its price and see how easily it can beat them. Now this is a stiff mechanism “à la Cold Steel” and you will need some open and close mileage so that it folds and unfolds with ease. Once in action though you have a pocket lightsaber able to work hard and keep going. Highly recommended!

More Manly folders here.

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last edited by Pascal Jaffré on 18 jan 2018

Manly Peak S90V — First glimpse at a Bulgarian Wonder.

Thanks to my friend Dan Sharpe I had ordered a Manly Peak directly from the manufacturer in Sofia in Bulgaria.
Having the choice of steel I had clicked on S90V but a D2 Tool Steel and CPM156 versions are also available. For a D2 version it will cost you around 50 euros with shipping.
This is a beautiful folder. Two keys are provided for pivot adjustement and pocket clip placement.
It’s a very solid backlock with zero vertical play. The full flat ground blade’s edge is really thin. The G10 is not harsh and feels like I sanded it myself. The clip is deep…
It’s a wonderful industrial knife with a lot of attention to details.

About the action:
There is a gentle resistance when opening at the end of the course then it clicks like a vault. So it’s not a fast intervention tool. No spyderdrop possible. There is no fun like on a Paramillie with compression lock but you feel it is VERY solid. For the record Backlocks are perhaps the strongest system of all according to some destruction test you can find on the internet. One of BladeHQ comes to mind…
Something I immediately love: the blade’s spine is all smooth. No guards but some jimping under the pivot.
The hole seems oval which means this is not a Spyderco licence. Let’s have a look.

The blade is perfectly centered. Don’t forget we are talking here about a 40 euros folder.

The deep clip is trademarked and beatblasted.

The oval opening hole… and the sharpening choil (indentation). This is S90V which is the king of powder metallurgy.

Thin and alive in the hand. You can notice the jimping under the pivot.

Deep carrying with a long and easy to pocket clip.

Attention to details here with the name of the model on the lock.

The clip pad on the other side of the handle is screwed inside the steel spacer. The liners are skeletonized and nested inside the G10. The knife is light and well balanced. The sweet point is between the lock and the lock screw.

The adjustment is top notch with the G10 slab chamfered on both sides. The liners are invisible as they are nested into the G10 slabs.

Size comparaison with my  mighty Millie.

So far I’m really impressed by this Bulgarian wonder. Mine (in S90V) is around 80 euros shipped. I have also ordered a slip joint Comrade which should be arriving soon.
More to come as now the Bulgarian game is on. Here is Part II.

edited by pjaffre 3 jan 2018