Tag Archives: Spyderco

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.

Para 3 blades swapping on New Year’s Eve

I got two Para3: a M390 Lightweight and I got a Maxamet Copper handled.
The Lightweight is so good,  I wanted to use the 70 HRC blade on that plateform.
Nothing wrong with M390 which is just a great EDC steel with stellar performances but staining steels are part of DNA.
After watching Nick Shabazz having the same idea and filming it, once the novelty of the M390 faded away, I have decided to step ahead. It was really easy to do it but for the stoppong pin of the lightweight (Torx 6) which was dismounted with two tools as it was turning inside the handle.

Easily disassembled copper scales.

Now mounted on the lightweight handle.
For more about disassembling a Para3 lightweight here is Eric Glesser’s Video.

Here we go: two excellent knives. As you can notice they are users.

I have been able to thin the edge of the M390 when the Maxamet refused to give away any particules…

The Spyder logo is golden on the M390 and black on the Maxamet.

Perfectly centered blades on both and smooth action with no lateral play.
Here my Little Red Hoodie ready for tonight 24 oysters opening.

Happy Saint Sly everyone !

Maxamet being more denser it has add 3 grams on the scales.

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Spyderco C208G – Clipitool Standart -The Three Eyes Alien.

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Someone I used to know has posted this review on our Facebook group about that Alien kind of knife and his post is a gem:

Whilst rather drunk it seems that I bought a Spyderco ClipiTool (TM) Standard.
Because it was cheap in the Black Friday Sale. And I was drunk.
Well, it has arrived and after a day of playing with it and using it I don’t really know what to make of it.
In the past looking at it online I had assumed it was quite small, bigger than a Dragonfly but smaller than a Delica. But it isn’t small, it’s quite large, with a 3.50″ (89mm) liner locking full-flat ground blade in 8Cr13MoV. Which is……a steel. It’s adequate. G10 handles with a central steel liner which functions as the linerlock. It also weighs a substantial 4.2.oz (119g) which in context is really quite heavy for what this is.
The blade is thin and nicely slicy, which is good.
The tin can opener with screwdriver tool blade and opposing bottle cap opener with screwdriver tool blade are marvels of design, in that they look cool and work, but they don’t work any better than those on an SAK.
It has a classic Spyderco three screw pocket clip. Obviously, as it’s a ClipiTool (TM).
So in conclusion I don’t understand this knife. Or knife/tool combo. It’s quite large, quite heavy, doesn’t do anything differently to a host of other knives and multitools and has a steel that to us Knifeknuts is barely adequate.
And when not on sale this is not a cheap knife, it costs around USD80. That’s a lot of money.
What is this for? Who is it aimed at? Aside from drunk Spyderco collectors like me?

This is not an hommage to Victorinox but a parody.
Pardon his French: “Seulement un hommage? Je comprends cela mais c’est plutôt une parodie.”
“”Let’s put a couple of fancy design SAK style tools on a fairly crap Spyderco and try and sell it. Oh yeah, idiots will buy it when they are drunk.”  was his conclusion.

Could he be right ? Could he be wrong ? Or at least could I disagree or agree with him ?

Fist I was wrong assuming it was Sal Glesser design with Eric huge signature on the blade. I remember Sal looking at SAKs with admiration. Sal is an inventor and so is Eric.


My first impression when opening the blade of that Standart Clipitool was WOW.
It is a long thin blade with a very nice geometry: it was razor factory sharpen.
There is a generous choil and the hump of the next tool is creating some kind of sub-guard ! The ergos are quite good actually.
But let’s compare that knife with other classic backpackers option: a Böker Plus Tech-Tool Carbon 4 and a good old SAK from the 70’s.

The Spyderco is less in the blocky side, which also means it offers less tools.
In fact it offers 3 blade/tools.

That’s all. But to quote Spyderco:
“The star attraction of this design is a full-flat-ground leaf-shaped blade crafted from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. It locks securely open via a stout LinerLock mechanism

 

and is complemented by a folding can opener/small screwdriver and a bottle opener/large screwdriver with a wire-stripping notch. 


Both screwdriver heads are hollow ground to ensure a secure fit in slotted screws. Although they do not lock, they are supported by sturdy slipjoint spring mechanisms to keep them open during use.

Like the primary blade, both tools are precision machined from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and feature generously sized Trademark Round Holes.”

I would add that both tools also got a generous choil which lacks on the SAKs.
The screwdriver is hold and secure by your grasp and cannot close on your fingers.
That choil is the same which can be founded on boots daggers as quillons and which was featured on the good old C36 Military. It is a clever way to avoid any forcing on the handle and the pivot.

Opening a jar with the screwdriver, waiting for the “Pop” to happen.

The main idea behind the Clipitool was to provide a One Handed Tool. When you are climbing a ladder or holding something with your other hand, opening your SAK with your teeth can be a problem. Here you can get access to your tools very easily.

This is also something which has been explored on Leatherman’s for two decades but Spyderco’s blade is really generous.

 

I have convexed the edge as the steel is not as hard as many other super steel. It was also a breeze to polish. It won’t have the same edge retention as many of my usual EDC but I know I can use it hard and easily bring it to sharp. After all the SAKs steel works the same. I can scratch the edge on rocks when gold digging (long story) and bring it back to sharpness after without diamonds.

“The handle of the ClipiTool Standard is built on a framework of nested stainless steel liners, textured black G-10 scales, and solid stainless steel backspacers and springs. Its screw-together construction ensures the precise alignment of all parts, and a two-position hourglass clip provides a choice of right-side tip-up or tip-down carry.” Spyderco’s card again.

So what do we got ? An honest tool which does not swear you to be the ultimate all around multitool but an easy partner which won’t be scared of dirty jobs. A proud blue collar’s solid companion, easy on budget and easy on the ride.

I really enjoy the fact to be able to get a screwdriver out of my pocket with one hand. I will use as a mini prybar, a scratching tool, a probe, a good reason to justify the fact I’m carrying a knife after all and keeping its generous blade sharp and pointy for more mondaine task.
All in all that pragmatic Clipitool can be escorted by my Para 3 and my Shaman with zero shame.
So thank you Eric !

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.

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!

Pekka Tuominen’s Puukko —Terävä Marvel

At the FICX 2019 I have bought one of Pekka Tuominen’s Puukko to replace my Spyderco Puukko.

The husband of Pekka’cousin, who was also exposing as the Paris Knives Show told me: in my country, to “taste” a knife we just hold it in our hand without to loot at it: to feel its balance and if it suits us.
Holding that marvel of a Puukko in your hand is something to experiment. First, the handle is made of birch’s bark, which feels like a hard cork from a seasoned wine bottle. It is soft under the thumb but also grippy in the palm.
Pekka assured me this kind of handle are indestructible! Just some soap and water.
This handmade knife is a display of the highest craftmanship. Everything is perfect.
With that kind of handle, you need a pommel.

As you can see the mirror finish on the nicorros pommel is “melting” with the showing tang’s end. Look closer, there is some microscopic lines ! This is the level of craftmanship you are encountering with Pekka’s knives.

Now the blade being made of RWL34 and mirror finished, it is not easy to picture it without reflections.

RWL34 has been used in the Lil’Nilakka I have reviewed here.
Pekka used his own Spyderco version to cut leather for his sheaths. But I have also seen a video where he use the same puukko as mine in his workshop.
For record, RWL34 is some kind of powder steel version of ATS34: with a very very fine grain and an easy to put a mirror finish on.

A puukko is not a real puukko without its sheath.
I remember 4 years ago, Pekka talking with Sal Glesser about the sheath of the Spyderco Puukko version. There were testing prototypes of the sheath and Pekka was adamant in what retention he was asking from it. It a sheath with wood inlays inside encapsulating the blade, the traditionnal puukko scabbard is very elaborated.

So here are my main Pekka creation, the Nilakka which is my sharpest Spyderco ever.
“Ned” which is a “Urban Hunter II” with carbon fiber and titanium and the new Marvel.

You can notice the pure and clean lines of their edges.

Pictures wise, I will meet Pascal who has bought a Hunter with the same finish as my Puukko. Those marvels encounter will be photographed.

Having harvest a piece of chestnut wood, dried under the summer sun, I have put the new Puukko at the test.

The rounded spine makes it an ideal thumb pushcutting’s friend. The blade goes deep like in butter. In fact it beats the Nilakka and the Hunter in terms of spine confort and for an unknown reason it was just cutting like the proverbial lightsaber. The experience is putting a grin on my face.

To get the blade to the razor sharpness I really wanted , I have used white ceramics for 20 minutes and then leather stropping for another 15 minutes as Pekka has advised.

Yes it is now a razor with the same caress found on the AEB-L Urban.

Now, I’m going to use it also in the kitchen, which is some kind of battlefield where the Puukko will ne

Some pictures from Pekka’s Facebook page:

67270012_2580940811956868_4830865277648371712_nA picture of my Puukko by Pekka. The handle is like a finger print. 🙂

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A tactical version which I loved too.

46782264_2196982117019408_1857255772753231872_nA sistership with brass bolster.

 

48891712_2246541792063440_2784894109402267648_nThat could be Pascal’s hunter.

 

51345914_2293930640657888_6713102130678333440_nA Hunter and a Puukko.

 

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And the last one with a strong French flavour is “Ned” my Hunter.

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