Tag Archives: Taiwan

Voyager XL Clippoint. This is for real.

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OK let’s do it very short as long as this Über Folder is long.
Incredible value.
Smooth. Really smooth.
Lock like a vault.
Perfectly balanced. Alive in the hands.
Light and fast.
Easy to choke up.
Beautiful big flatground bowie clip blade.
Really sharp out of the box.

Now what would be the use of such a big folder?
Let study it from the “tool” point of view as the “weapon” point of view is so obvious it could make Gustave Doré’s famous Navaja come to live in the 21st century.
OK Cold Steel is already making a bigger folder: the Espada XL. I have been lurking the G10 version XL version for some time but, really this one is to big for me.
The 5,5 inches pointy and belly blade of the XL Voyager is IMHO perfect for a big folder.
Very powerful and precise.
This is the kind of silent companion which oozes respect from its pores. A big folder like the XL Voyager is really a great sojourn companioon: easy to carry and rock solid.
Handy and reliable.
I would had prefered a G10 handle but the patterned checkered plastic is confortableto hold even with wet hands.
This is a tool which needs to be anchored in your wet palm. And the ergos are fantastic.
I haven’t tried it yet for chopping but I know some of my friends are not tender with their knoves and praise the XL Voyager.
The previous version I had offered to my dad has been stolen by my mother who still used her XL Voyager in the kitchen. This is the sharpest knife in her drawer.
She uses it to process meat and bread and I was not able to snitch it from her since 2000…
This new version got the famous Triad Lock which is so simple and so clever… it works perfectly.
Compared to my Tanto Recon 1, the XL Voyager is much smoother, much feline and quick in the hands.
Once closed it is quite light for its size and wide but you can tuck in your pants or in the front pocket and forget it.
Now there is a choil and this is something I really love. Compared to my Recon the Voyager is much more tool oriented.
You can eat an apple with it and quickly forget about its size.
This knife is really easy to master and to get confident with it.
It would be a perfect soldier companion, light enough to be forgotten and strong enough to take a beating.
The previous incarnation of XL Voyager was one of the stronger lock back I have ever tried but was developping some vertical play.
This new one doesn’t have any play vertical or horizontal and is much smoother to open and close.
The belly makes it a great hunting knife: again its so light and strong it will be not forgotten in the truck.
The Voyager is a knife for the modern Hobos. The Supertramps need a superknife.
You can cook with it, use it as a light camp knife, cut into pineapple or watermelon in one control cut.
This big knife is really user friendly.
Taiwan is the Place where great knives are made those days. From Spyderco to Le Pointu I was never disappointed once by their craftmanship.
My XL Voyager Clipoint is going to be carried a lot and I feel inside my bag will be the perfect place to clip it.
When you need a long, solid folding cutting tool, the XL Voyager Clipoint is unique in the market. Especially for that price. There is some kind of Texan Spirit in it. Like John Wayne could have used it in a John Ford movie. Bigger than life and big leggy !
Notice also the Vaquero blade which exists in the same size. Again a very usefull workhorse is proposed. But the Clipoint got more heft IMHO.

I will update this quick post later. But right now I can affirm this knife is a keeper. It’s not political correct. I hope morons will not flash it on youtube to show about badasses they think they are and give some stupid ideas to politicians to ban huge folders.On the contrary they can be a great wilderness tools. Bushcrafters should look at it much closer. It’s unique in its category. A big knife made for the voyagers. A tool for the highway men. And if you want to show off with it do not forget, an old lady somewhere in France got the same in her kitchen drawer. It’s her folding Chef Knife.

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Cold Steel Recon 1 – Second Batch – Back In Black.

Cold Steel Recon 1 2011 Version
I always loved the way Lynn Thomson goes boldly when no other CEO as gone before. The Cold Steel production gave us carbon steel modern folders (Pocket Bushmane and ven the Archangel balisong series) and great choppers. Even the chance to own, try and understand weapons from many continent and many era.
I always enjoy the Proof videos and this company walks the walk and cuts the meat.

Triadlocks folders are IMHO a great improvement in lockback mechanism. The positive force of impact are no more entierly taken by the lock bar but mainly by a pin, like on frame lock or liner lock. And also, there is no more vertical play when cutting like on previous incarnation of that lock. Spyderco has also refined their new backlock mechanism, making it stronger and preventing that vertical play.

Last year, I wanted to try one of those new Cold Steel Recon 1. As I’m not a huge fan of Tantos blade, it was also the occasion to own again a Cold Steel Tanto as they were the first company back in the 80’s to advert this kind of shape.
First thing first. The knife price is not going to ruin you. So you buy a solid tool destined to be used.
The word Taiwan on it made me smile as all the productions knives I know (from the Spyderco Sage, Gayle Bradley, Bushcrafters to Le Pointu) manufacturated in that country are top notch in quality control. (Also the man who introduced me to Chris Reeve Sebenza is a Taiwanese collector, my friend Huan Shang “Hunter” Hsu !)

Second thing I made is sand the G10 handle. Oh you got plenty of thick G10 with a very ergonomic result. This G10 could ruin a trouser in 10 minutes. Once sanded it was perfect but the very short clip was also very tight. So again this was an adjustement easily done. ( Short high clip means: once it’s clipped it disappears completly !)
The heavy AUS8 blade can be open with flick of the wrist and you need some strenght in your hand to disengage the lock. You need to push the trigger release almost one centimeter to unlock the blade and the spring is very strong too.

Looking at the black blade, you can notice the knife got a little smooth belly on its primary edge. Without any ceramic from my Sharpmaker I was able to keep it razor sharp only using it on wood. AUS8 is easy on leather and bothe edge have been kept razor sharp.
Also when you cut in a plate only the corner between the primary and secondary edge (tanto point) is in contact with the ceramic: you cannot dull the knife just by eating with it.
My Tanto Recon has been used in the wood as a light chopping tool. It works great as you can hold its long handle by the back to have more momentum. It was a plesure to use and a very precise tool for any kind of wood cuts. The handle is very confortable and instinctively you choke it up to add more strenght. I also was able to baton with it (with its lock disengaged). But it was light batonning. I did not want to ruin it cause the more I used it, the more I enjoyed it !

This knife is really made to be a hard used folder. Perfect for a LEO, a soldier or someone who need a strong big knife. This is not a sheeple friendly knife. But its performance goes beyond my expectation, so it always find a place with me as a travelling knife of back up tool in my bag or in my car. Whe you hold the Tanto recon 1, it screams to be used hard. I’m so impressed with it that I will try to review soon one of Cold Steel Über Folding knifes (new Voyagers or Espada).
Huge folders got bad reputation but they are great travelling companions and the big tanto blade of the Recon 1 can be used for a lot of application and easily kept sharp.
Oh and the black Teflon coating is holding well. I got some scratches on the back of the blade after one year of use. Perharps I was not enough hard with that knife.

One last thing, it’s totally ambidextrious and a second clip is provided in its box. Nice touch !

Really the Cold Steel recon 1 in its second incarnation with the Triadlock is really a great big tool, very well thought and enginereed.I love mine. Since the blade is coated I would love to see 1095 blade used instead of AUS8. But so far that classic stainless steel is well heat treated

Spyderco BushcraftUK G10 – The Revenge of the Bold and the Beautiful

Santa has spoiled me and (scoop) Santa lives in Golden, Colorado.
I have been a huge fan of the Spyderco Bushcraft and really regretted to see such a great company with such great initiatives
obliged to sale that great knife as Second since the wood handles has cracked.
FYI I got some friends who had moved from San Francisco to Denver and all their furnitures had been ruined.
In beautiful Colorado, high altitude and continental weather can be destructive on wood furniture and wood handles.

BushcraftUK G10
Thea, as a Norvegian Skogkat is inspecting carefully that Scandinavian ground blade.

Anyway, Sal would never had given up such a  knife as the BushcraftUK and now he has spawned the Bushcraft with G10 handle:
the Revenge of the Bushcrafter !
G10 is a very strong material, it won’t crack. Some blades are even made with G10 as a composite layering the steel’s edge or as full G10 undetectable weapon.
G10 is epoxy mixed with fiberglass. It’s impervious to weather, choc, low tempetures, chemicals and is used in tactical knives for twenty years.

For a non conoisseur, the G10 slabs on the Bushcrafter would look almost like hard dark wood. They are absolutly gorgeous !

BushcraftUK G10
Leather stropping is Scandinavian Ground knives best friend !

The handle of that knife is a state of art in ergonomy. This a a splinter free design which turns any hard work in sheer pleasure.
The design of the Bushcrafter is really well thought, providing a extremely well balanced knife with an ultrasharp grind.
Chris Claycombe has made his homework as far as I have used my BuscraftUK Second all summer in France and Tuscany, the knife has always performed beyond my expectations.
(The thick square back of the blade is great to remove the bark of a walking stick for example)

BushcraftUK G10
Both of my Bushcrafters. Notice how the edge of the wooden one is polished by stropping.

The heat treatment, as always with Spyderco products, is simply top notch. The scandinavian ground knife stays sharps in various hard tasks and only needs some stropping to be kept razor sharp.
My first Bushcraft is almost mirror polished on its scandy edge now.

BushcraftUK G10
As confortable as it looks good.

I have noticed “Taiwan-Taichung” is now written on the blade.
Some American people were complaining about having “Taiwan” written on their blade. They got what they desserve ! 😉
I don’t understand how those people would never mind to have “Japan” stamps on their Spyderco Police for 25 years and worst
they are the ones who only swear by Maxpedition bags… all made in Taiwan !!
The Taiwanese craftmen chosen by Spyderco have proven to be some of the best knive artists and manufacturers in the world.
The G10 Bushcrafter screams pure quality, attention to detail and reliability in a compact and solid package !
And that knife is really international: designed in the UK, produced in Colorado and manufactured in Taiwan !

BushcraftUK G10
My EDC equipment: the C22 Sprint Run Michael Walker, the Casio GW2000 Gravity Defier and the G10 Bushcrafter.

The leather sheath is now black. I love that sheath which is really suiting my need toward that design.
Again a plastic foam encapsules the blade inside the leather. Under it “classic” look that ambidextrous sheath is really well thought and modern too.

All in all the G10 version was itching my wishlist since I was so in love with the previous wooden handle version.
Now this is going to be some kind of “elegant tank”, capable to withstand all hard used and batonning imaginable.
That kind of knife is really perfect from light chopping to precise whittling.
My friend Jur has added that beautiful lanyard with a micarta bead which is mandatory when chopping. (He also add some usefull red paracord for a dramatic Black & red effect.)
The knife is a very sensual too. Handling and holding it is something which is not found in many design but custom ones. (Like the Sean McWilliams Panama Fighters)
Again, attention to detail is extraordinary.
Eventually, my wooden handle version will soon be adopted by a friend of mine as it cannot desserve to be stuck as a safe queen. It needs to go out into the wild and cuts some wood for Xmas sake ! 🙂
But the G10 version is already hidden in my EDC Bag ready to carve some more turkey on the New Year Eve !
I’m impatient to go back in the woods and use this baby as hard as it desserves it. Timber !!! ;-D

Also as a writer of the “Richard Blade” adventures for Gérard de Villiers, I have equipped that MI6 Operator with a Military Ti but for his new adventures for issues #199 and #200, he has a G10 Bushcrafter as main survival tool. Lucky man.

BushcraftUK G10
The bead on the lanyard is a real genuine Fuzzyedge bead which adds a real touch of class to the whole package. Click here if you want to know more about the gorgeous creations of Fuzz’ via the USN Forums !

In concern of the design, Sal Glesser became interrested in Bushcraft at one of the three Spyderco meets he did in Sheffield, UK for his UK followers. Many of them were also interested in Bushcraft and questioned why Spyderco would not enter that specific arena ?
Sal and Jur met Chris there and he showed them his Bushcraft design, which were different from the Ray Mears (*) design, and Spyderco started talking knife with Chris. They developed the very special and ergonomic handle shape and decided to go on with all the “classic” Bushcraft features: a natural handle, scandi gring, tool steel and a leather sheath.
At that time Spyderco manufacturing was running on the top of its capacity and they could not produce the Bushcraft knife in the USA.
Japan was also (and is still) at the top of what they could handle for them. (Spyderco works with small family businesses in Japan).
Japan was also too expensive. Sal has already established contacts in Taiwan and went there with the Bushcraft project.
The quality of work they provide is, as noticed since, simply top notch.
It’s evident to state that currently, there is no other factory made Bushcraft knife on the market with an handle so specifically shaped for the hand, as the Spyderco FB26P.

(*) Another thing to remember is that Ray Mears is NOT a knife maker nor a knife designer. He is in fact a TV host and a business man who finds his customers through his televised adventures and stories. If you would like to collaborate with him to endorse any outdoor style products, you first deal with his agents and then with his marketing lady. As they have lot’s of success and they are asking high commitments, also in terms of money….