Tag Archives: Spydercoknives

Starmate C55 — Blast from the Past.


“Spyderco’s original C55 Starmate was a landmark accomplishment in knife manufacturing. ”
Back in the 90’s, the Starmate was an alternative to the Millie. Same engineering, nested liners, same steel CPM440V (S60V) same blade thickness same materials… They were false twins. What I liked with the Terzuola was it “workhorse” design when the Millie was more a “fast respond” folder. The C36 was jumping in my hand with the best penetration and cutting power when the Starmate was slower and ready to put its thick blade to test.

I was happy to have a thick blade made of that alloy as I was afraid to snap it. I used it as my main edc in rotation with M2 AFCK, ATS34 Sebenza. 
And soon “CPM” like we used to call that steel shows us how different it was: it was keeping it working edge for a very long time. The razor edge was lost fast but then it kept cuttin cutting and cutting. This was new at the time. CPM420V (S90V) was not easily found and it was only in 1999 that I got the chance to test a Darrel Ralph design of S90V.
The only way to get back to sharp was Fred Perrin’s backstand…


S60V gie us the feeling it was a really new animal. The way it wears was different from all the ATS34, 1095, XC75, D2 or M2HSS we used back then. And it was great. You coud go to a trip and forget your sharpener. Your Starmate will be able to cut for the next two weeks.


Twenty years later you can see on the left the Starmate and the AFCK on the right: titanium liners do wear much more. Because “Bob Terzuola design is his improved Walker LinerLock mechanism, which features a concave ramp on the blade’s lock face. This lock geometry, pioneered by Terzuola in his custom knives, provides greater strength and security than conventional flat lock ramps and is proudly featured in the Starmate.”


Twenty years between those two great knives.

The Starmate is a reflection of Spyderco rich collaborative history with one of knifemaking’s most talented and innovative craftsmen.
I should see Bob T. in two weeks for the some Paris knives show. The occasion to make some pictures.




MILITARY C36PIN PART IV: Deep Carry Clip in Titanium


After the part III where I built a patina by worshipping various acids, here comes the part IV of improving my old classic Spyderco: installing a better clip.
My first attempt in custom deep carry titanium clip has not be good. It was for the Yojimbo2 and I’ve been mounting the original clip back.
Then I have ordered a titanium clip for Ghost my Millie.

Actually I was disappointed again, once mounted the action was not smooth anymore.
For some reason the clip was exercising some forces on the pivot and the opening and closing were stiff. Also the mate finish was not helping the insertion of the knife is the pocket.


So I have bent the clip for it to be less strong and also I have sand it to smooth it.
It made a difference.


Talking about differences, the titanium clip is very well designed and comes with two flat torx screws. It’s a little higher/thicker than the original one but it’s not a problem and does not change the ergonomy.


Also by sanding the clip, I have obtained a worn look which goes well with the patina.

I have also rounded all the edge on the G10 with P1000 sandpaper to have it smooth in the pocket.

But I felt some resistance when I put the knife in my pocket and I also found that now the lip of my pocket was obliged to go through a new threshhold: the base of the clip.

You see ? There is step formed by the attached base of the clip which can be hard on my pocket, tearing a hole of my worn denim.

So I was back to sanding on P500 this time to smooth the steep and avoid wear.
And it worked !

Eventually I was able to ease the clip spring pressure and get my C36 back to smooth operation.

So it was not an issue with screws length but a slight deformation at the pivot due to too much spring tension.

So I’m happy, the C36 Military now disappears in the pocket but it also easy to “spyder-drop” it in the blink of an eye. The action is a little stiffer but some nano-oil helps it. I’m not able to have the blade closing by gravity anymore. Anyway the Millie as never as smooth as the Ed Schempp Bowie and not as easy to carry.
But now I can carry that C36 in the city with no afterthought. It’s almost invisible and the Jade Natural G-10 helps a lot in its invisibility and sheeple friendly carried tool.
Hence the name “Ghost”.


Here how the clip looks before sanding the edge and the finish. You can see the sharp edge around the screw and also the jaws mark of my leatherman.