Tag Archives: Spyderco

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.

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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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SPYDERCO C81GPCW2 PARAMILLIE CPM CRUWEAR KNIFECENTER EXCLUSIVE — ONE YEAR LATER

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One year ago I had ordering a Para2 in CPM Cruwear, an exclusive run made for the Knife center.  Since them It has been used as one of my reference knife toward other purchases which sometimes has not reached the blog review as I’m avoiding bad reviews unless there is something to learn from.

20190909_151658-012836386720377641815.jpegAfter some acid work on the blade and titanium scales, eventually I am back to the smooth G10 scales and a deep carry clip. So why ?
First thing, even if the titanium scales were gorgeous, they add some weight and a very slippery feel under the finger, especially during wet works. Also it shifted the balance of the millie in a strange way making it “dead” in the end. I really enjoy the heavy handle of my PPT for example or on my Copper scaled Para but on the Para2 it was not working for me. back on smooth G10, it is more grippy than titanium and the balance point is shifter near the pivot again.

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Despite my love for “Spyderdropping” I have decided to carry it “tip up” with a cheap titanium clip made in Malaysia and sold in Hong Kong. It works great and it is really low profile when I forget to pull it out of the pocket while going urban. (I carry a Lil’Native, a Roady or a Urban when going in the city those days, too much controls and metal detectors to go with a longer blade…)

CPM Cruwear as heat treated by Spyderco is a steel which loves his owner. It is not tricky to get sharp like Maxamet. In fact it asks to get sharp. Of course it is not as easy as 52100 or AEL-B but it is very tough in every task when you twist your blade like a good tool steel. Not easily stained too, my tests and zests are the proof on that and once stained it won’t go off. My edge is polished and smooth as a razor and it got zero major damage in a year of random tasks, no chipping (nothing which can not be cure with ceramic) or anything like on my thinned hard ZDP189 experiences. In fact my home convexed edge is as thin as my 52100 Para2 and it does real wonder on wood or hard plastic. In the kitchen that polish edge needs sometimes more “teeth” (S90V provides that for example) and some passes on a  brown ceramic or on a “butcher’s steel” do the trick for a coarser edge (tomato’s skin are tricky…) !

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The PM2 transfer a lot of power in the cuts. The first inch from the ricasso can go deep in push cuts helps with a thumb’s push. You got as much power as a good old Millie and this is why the Para2 is so loved. The strong tip (strong because of the alloy used in this sprint run) is not convexed (to keep some steel and relative thickness) and I was able to drill hole in hard material with no bending or damage. This is a workhorse like I love them.
It’s a medium knife I can use hard with no immediate discomfort or “palm soar”.
The flat clip I have mounted on it is part of my need for a confortable grip.
I soon going to review a Kapara which is suppose to be better with its rounded handle but at least I had done my best to round the Para2 handle to my taste and eliminate any hot spot including the blade’s spine.

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So, in my book, CPM Cruwear is an excellent choice for a EDC high performance folder.
For your information, the Knifecenter got now a new Sprint Run: a Native 5 with CPM Cruwear. I’m very tempted but the Kapara comes first. Anyway this combinaison of CPM Cruwear and smooth G-10 is just a winning hand. Spyderco (Eric) has also announced at the last Amsterdam Minimeet a Shaman in cruwear and micarta as a sprint run too. So CPM cruwear is here to stay.

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Spyderco Ikuchi C242CFP — First glimpse at Slim Shady.

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The Ikushi is a very strange Taichung made spyderco and his father, Paul Alexander is a perfectionniste-engineer who got radical new ideas on portable cutlery. Remember the Sliverax ?
My first impression after opening the Knifecenter’s parcel (thank you Howard and Tom for the fast shipment!): wow so slim ! So easy to pocket ! What a great handle to blade ratio !
My friend JD and Pascal introduced me to front flipper with both owning Des Horn and I even was a proud owner of one of them.

The Ikushi is an eye candy. The knife is unique in many ways. It is a tour de force. So let’s quote Spyderco:

“The ultra-slim Spyderco Ikuchi is a radically different approach to pocketknife form and function. Designed by Paul Alexander, a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a lifelong knife enthusiast, the Ikuchi (pronounced ee-koo-chee and named after a mythical Japanese sea monster) has an elegantly curved handle crafted with full, skeletonized stainless steel liners and stunning carbon fiber/G-10 laminate scales.

In the closed position, the handle’s narrow, open-backed profile completely contains the knife’s blade—except for a small textured section of the tang that serves as a flipper opener. Stroking this section of the blade with an index finger or thumb provides leverage to swiftly pivot it into the open position, where locks securely via Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock™ mechanism. The satin-finished CPM® S30V® stainless steel blade is full-flat ground for exceptional edge geometry and cutting performance and has an acute, scalpel-like point for detailed work.

To ensure discreet carry while keeping the Ikuchi instantly accessible, its handle includes a low-profile, deep-pocket wire clip that is reversible for left or right-side tip-up carry.”

Some user has argued about the point of the blade being able to catch their finger. If clipped to the right pocket, the seam will be against the handle and it is impossible to catch that tip. I can feel that sharp tip with the meat of my finger and I can understand how I could cut myself too. We will see that in future reports.

But first I have asked to Paul Alexander what was is thoughts behind that design.
“I’ve had a version of the Ikuchi in the works for 4-5 years, but only got around to submitting it to Spyderco at the end of 2016. Part of the reason was the non-functional Spydie-hole, which I thought would stop Spyderco from producing it. The release of the Positron and Mantra 2 made me rethink that, and I started to seriously prep it for submission.

The whole design started around the blade shape. My dad has always preferred a narrow blade because it’s easier to turn the blade in the middle of a cut if you are paring, whittling, etc. Most of my designs have had a fairly wide blade, and I wanted to do something that would fit his preferences a bit more. He’s also been partial to the narrow clip blade found on the American traditional muskrat knives, and the Ikuchi blade shape is my version of that. Sticking with the traditional inspiration, I used the toothpick handle pattern as the inspiration, which also kept the entire knife nice and slim. In the end, I suppose the whole thing came out looking like a modernized Laguiole… which is likely the design which originally inspired the American toothpick pattern.

The wheel flipper was a slower evolutionary process that was a collaborative effort with the Spyderco team. Eric had sort of mentioned that he was curious about adapting the compression lock to a flipper opening mechanism when I first started working with Spyderco, and I tried coming up with a handful of options, with this being one of them. I originally had more of a tab-like interface on the flipper surface on the Ikuchi design, and that morphed into the final wheel configuration through iterations and refinement with input and prototypes from Spyderco.

The early phases of that development process got me so excited for the Ikuchi, I adapted the locking and flipper geometry to three other traditional knife patterns and blade shapes I liked, and created a series of knives. I called the series by the working title of the ‘Four Horsemen’, and tried to tap into that theme for the look and style of all four pieces in the series. The Ikuchi was initially code named ‘Famine’, which fit the inspirational traditional pattern’s name and the overall aesthetic of the design. The other horsemen designs are ‘Pestilence’, ‘War’, and ‘Death’, but that seemed too dark of a theme to use for the marketing of the designs, so I officially named them all after different mythological beasts… and that’s how the Ikuchi became the Ikuchi.”

Mine is not as easy to open/fire as I thought.
The detent is quite strong and it can be a hit and miss. I have hurt my index finger and failed attempt to fire open the knife. Not fun.
I wonder if it will get better but not being able to trust the fact to simply open it…
I have asked Paul.

Some beautiful Tour de Force but not flawless. I would be need to be certain the tip of the blade once closed won’t catch anything in my pocket and to be certain I can open the knife easily and not only half of the time. Unless I need to strenghten the tip of my index ?As you can notice this is the first design which can be easily locked to prevent children to play with it.
Also the flipper once open acts as a guard for your finger but not on a design like the Ikushi. I have never trusted a locking system even on balisongs so it is a knife which is intended to be used as a gentle tool: beautiful to admire as an engineer’s dream.
How will it perform in day to day basis ? We will see.

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Lil’ Native seasoned by JD – Lil’ Pocket Big Knife !

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This is a follow up review from last year LUCKY MEETING THE SPYDERCO LIL’NATIVE BY JD

I got the opportunity to carry JD Native avter he has used it for months (since october).

Now the Lil’Native is smooth and easy to open it and close it but more interesting, JD as refined the edge to some sort of pseudo scandi grind !

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And this knife is cutting so well…

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Push cutting through bottle’s bottom is made easy with that new geometry.

 

JD has made a beautiful regular thin edge from the choil to the tip.

 

The very solid construction, glass smooth action and thin edge turned the Lil’ Native into a very impressive knife. Again this is SPyderco specialty to bring short powerful matter separators. The lock is strong, the blade is strong, it is a very capable tool in a compact size. The belly also helps for push cuts.

Really impressive EDC knife.

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A Spirit In a Material World: Sting, The Police.

Like I have said in my previous review of that venerable folding knife :
It has taken me a very long time before to get any interest in the Police model.

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My first real step in the wide Spyderco world was the Terzuola Starmate and the Millie. The Starmate was equipped with some super new steel the CPMS60V named CPM440V then. It was the beginning of the powder steels and Spyderco was experimenting on a bold plateforme even using (like the Millie) hidden nested liners !

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The actual Police with its “non nested” liners is thinner than the Terzuola C55.

Steel wise:
Meanwhile in the 90’s, new Japanese steel VG-10 was used on their first fixed blade “the Moran” and the Seki made Police was then “stuck in GIN-1 or GIN-2″… Ah, I was and I’m still a “steel whore” (a term of self qualification of Sal Glesser) after all. I was unfaithful and really attracted by M2HSS version of the AFCK…  Not for the patina (as they were PVD covered) but for the benefits of getting a thin pointy blade with more lateral strength than usual stainless steels of that time. As much as I loved the AFCK, the long version BM800 was “plagued” by a titanium linerlock which was less solid than the short version with its stainless liners.
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I have later used (a lot) an “oval hole” BM806 with a much stronger lock and D2 tool steel blade.

K390 is a wonderful steel. Strong even not as strong as CPM3V found in the Tuff. I have used the 4th Police as an Ice pick with no fear of breakage.

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Like the famous Opinel: thin blades are such a joy to use. A super K390 gives strength to a thin ground blade and turns the “old LEO tool” into a workhorse designed for ranchers. I was disappointed the Spyderco Powerlock was not used in the new Police but, well, the Police feels so solid: I can’t complain.

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Now I would do a maximum of lobbyism to get a Nilakka Sprint Run using K390. This steel used is purely a pleasure to keep razor sharp only by stropping it on leather.

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Now for the con, I have found the grind is not really even. There is some sort of wave on both side of the blade. I have found it when I was convexing the edge and on light reflexion. This is purely cosmetic.
Let’s keep in mind, K390 is certainly a very hard steel to work on. I have noticed the same waving on my Pingo

Anyway I can explain now that passionated new love for that venerable knife. It is too long to be acceptable for the Law abide citizen but, what a great tool ! It is much better than my beloved K2: less hot spots and much better blade design from Sal.

This is the same kind of love I got with the extraordinary Bowie from Ed Schempp which shares the same thinness blade wise. I would militate for a K390 Bowie sprint run ! But it seems “Made In Taiwan” sprint runs are rare.

Thinness is good ! Look at that Strudel ! 😉

Here we got a “potentially staining” steel with great (extraordinary) qualities enhanced by a thin thin blade and thin thin geometry saved by a great heat treatment, all is delivered in a slim rock solid package hence the Steel Cheetah’s nickname from my initial review.
This 4th incarnation is an outstanding heir of a great 1980’s design. Sal Glesser is pushing the limits of folding cutlery quietly and gently:
“Integrity is being good when no one is watching.” Such an inheritance !