Flytanium on Cruwear PM2 – a sweet customization

Disassembling the Cruwear Knifecenter edition has been a child play once I have found how to use some pliers to keep some rounds spacers from turning by gripping them.

Eventually, the Flytanium scales are perfectly adjusted. No surprises at all.
The action is as smooth as before, no worry.

The sweet point of balance is a little back further.

I have ordered deeper clips for Xmas but the OEM works great !

The feel is heftier and softer. It works well with the PM design. It gives some full metal signature to a usually light design. This scales exists also in brass and copper. titanium sounded perfect and it is under the thumb. The stonewashed finish is absolutely beautiful !

 

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The original weight was 111 grammes, so it is now 28 grammes heavier.

For those who want to know how I have made that patina: here the link.

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Titanium Handles Sanding ? Why not !

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I always believe in personalizing your own tools. I also love how titanium can turn sweet under the fingers. So here I am on this afternoon testing different sandpapers on handles.
Eventually I have found that 800 grid is more than enough to make the frame and edges standing out. This is what I was looking for, this feel of old denim.
Of course I can always go back to it and by using scotchbrit refining the finish but I wanted something rough.
The Spydiechef was the first to be sanded. The idea is to keep always the same direction.

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On the Spyderco Tuff the effect can be more dramatic for a much more steampunk look.

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I’m quite happy with final results.
So let’s try that on the Falcon !

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Spyderco C192TIP – Tasting the Pie In The Sky.

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“I am the Pie in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind…”

This knife used to have the MSRP of a small Sebenza but as it’s been discontinuited I got the chance to buy one at a fraction of its original price. And really, I’m glad to be a later adopter of that wonderful and unique attempt to make a hardchore non locking knife.

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The PITS is the acronym of Pie In The Sky. It’s a folder based on Mike Read’s knives. He is a knifemaker in the UK. So, this knife has been specifically designed for EDC in the United Kingdom. In brief, her Majesty’s laws say you can carry any knife if you have a “good reason”, but just in cases there isn’t a good reason you can still carry a folding knife with a blade of less than 3 inches without a lock.  The UK designed small Wolfspyder with it compression lock is not UK law friendly but the Urban is ! Also the slipjoint Manly Comrade won’t because of its longer blade… but the PITS will !

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This knife is an eye candy. It has a powerful full-flat ground N690Co steel clip point blade and a stunning precision-machined skeletonized blue anodized titanium handle that aids in providing a very positive texture for grip.

The handle features integral split spring arms to form the knife’s unique slip-joint mechanism. Titanium has got that elasticity that Chris Reeve was one of the first to explore for his Integral Locks. Here you have another variation of the use of that incredible metal here used as a strong spring.

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The very good thing I will repeat again and again is that Mike Read has designed this knife to be a tough, hard-use folder and, yes, this is not easy and also this is a good thing.
Not many non-locking knives are destined to be used hard. The Manly Comrade is an exception for example… but here, the PITS is really shining in another department: in the one hand opening and closing realm (making it illegal in Danemark too BTW) . There are no mid steps like on the Comrade as the action is smooth until the blade is fully opened or closed – making even Spyderdrops possible !

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Then you got the choice to apply your thumb on the bar and it’s cleverly secure. Zero play in any direction. Also there a quillon after the choil where your index can rest; meaning, held in the proper manner, the blade cannot close on your precious finger.

Something you ask to a hard working tool is the ease of cleaning. The handle is fully open by construction and thanks to the holes in the titanium slap, it’s very easy to clean and rinse your blade – also there is a lanyard hole !

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N690Co, heat treated (certainly with cryo) in Maniago, is a just a great steel for an EDC. I always considered it as some kind of European VG10. It can get back to razor sharpness very easily and it stays sharp long enough between touches up. It’s not brittle and I got the same sense of all-terrain steel (like VG10 on Fallkniven knives) as when I had done hard testing of other fixed blades made in Maniago. N690co is very stainless. It’s the kind of steel to use around the kitchen and even close to the sea with no after thought; just rinse it!
Also the geometry on the PITS being very thin and with its belly, the first cuts in wood were really deep. The blade did not move/unlock even when stuck in the wood fibers. So this is a very secure non-locking knife. Immediately, you bond with it and want to use it.

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The handle is generous even in reverse grip and it fits in the hand very well for such a small knife. This is in hammer grip a four fingers knife, which is welcome for hard cuts.
I have found it very confortable with zero hotspots when held tight.
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Also the full titanium handle gives a near to perfect balance. The PITS is light and fast in the hand, it is alive. To close the blade it’s better to push the spine with the thumb as the notch is not easy to pass.

The PITS Folder includes Spyderco’s  best clip: the deep carry wire clip for reversible tip-up carry. It almost disappears in my pocket.

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SO here we have got a non threatening tool, with a beautiful blue handle. It cannot make non knives people unconfortable at all. Also titanium being not easily detected by metal detectors, the PITS should not make them beep easily…. No, I mean you can cut live wire with as titanium does not conduct electricity… oh well, I only have bad recommandations tonight.

So here we have got the Pie In The Sky, a knife which is going to kick my Urban out of my pocket when I go for a walk in the city. It’s very pleasant to have a tool engineered  to be a user. Next step is to remove the sharp edges on the blade spine and give a little convexed edge to this baby…
More to come soon.

“…I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that  I can read your mind, I can read your mind …”

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The Alan Parson’s Project lyrics is an idea from our editor: Pascal. 🙂

last edited by Pascal Jaffré on 24 jan 2018.

MILITARY C36PIN PART IV: Deep Carry Clip in Titanium

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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Squeak of same feather, fly together – The Titanium Squeak meets the FRN Squeak by JD

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Not long after the original Squeak SC154PBK came out I got one. I carried and used it for a few months and enjoyed its performance. The blade was thin enough at the edge to cut well, the steel (Böehler N690Co) held its edge and was easy to resharpen. The handle was comfortable and I am a fan of the wire clip. The back spring was strong enough to keep the knife open and closed as needed, but not to stiff to impede easy one hand manipulation. The overall fit and finish was excellent. Well done Spyderco Maniago!

For me and my urban life style I have found that five centimeters of sharp is enough for my usual cutting tasks. The Squeak fit the role of urban cutter to a tee!

During the last Spyderco Meet in Amsterdam I enjoyed handling Nemo’s titanium and Elmax sprint run version of the Squeak. When Nemo suggested I try it out for a few months, I was delighted! Having carried this one for a while now, on its own as well as alternating with my FRN version, and I must say: I am impressed!

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It seem even thinner at the edge and making it cut with little effort than my FRN version. I was unable to find any difference between the steels. I have found that it is difficult to tell steels apart in use. It is much easier to tell them apart by much effort they are to sharpen. Besides, I have a Spyderco Urban in Elmax from the same factory that I have carried and used for months that held its edge well.

The titanium handle was nicely rounded and, after having been in a pants pocket for a while, pleasantly warm to the touch. The smoothness of the titanium helped it slip in and out of the pocket just a little easier than the FRN model, without fear of it falling out by its self.

On Nemo’s Squeak the back spring is a little stronger due to titanium being stiffer than FRN, making the walk and talk more pronounced and the blade slightly harder to open with one hand. By-the-way, both the FRN and the titanium version can be opened with the Spydie drop! A sharp flick of the wrist does the trick!

Fit and finish is of a very high level. This knife exudes quality. All in all an excellent upgrade of the standard Squeak. Well done Spyderco!

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The author: JD is a good friend and a regular contributor to the NKR. He also known for his precise skills in sharpening and is a real encyclopedia about knives. His carrying preferences goes for small folders.
All Pictures and text copyrighted by JD.

Spyderco C154TIP – Every Day Squeak !

It’s time to present a one year old friend who doesn’t want to leave my watchpocket.

The Squeak in its Deluxe Sprint version: Titanium handle and Elmax steel blade.

This little knife is made in Maniago Italy but has been designed by Sal Glesser.
You can find Sal signature engraved / laser etched on the blade near the hole.

This is one of the shorted blade I own, but again, unique to Spyderco, this is a little big knife.

The first sensation is purely tactile. The smooth titanium handle is a pleasure under the thumb and in the palm: its smooth surface and rounded edges are very appealing. The ergonomy is superb in its three fingers grip.

Noted that Satin finished Titanium can be a scratch magnet but you can easily remove them with light sandpaper or jeweller erasers.No big deal.

It’s a very minimalist construction every is hold by two screws. A third one is used for the deep carry clip which is my SPyderco’s favorite

The blade is full flat ground and especielly thin edge witha great steel: Elmax.

The choil makes it a reliable folding tool even if its a slipjoint.
The sprint is strong, much stronger than my UKPK, and the short blade offered less leverage for closing. To quote Spyderco: “The Squeak’s blade is held in the open position when cutting by a notched-joint at the knife’s pivot.  When closing the blade, the notch generates resistance functionally similar to traditional slip-joint penknife and performs the additional function of smoothing the motion of the blade opening.”

It’s a very very sharp blade. It goes through plastic bottle butts very very easily. The excellence in steel choice and the great edge geometry is so great that I have not touch it at all since I got it. After one year on regular use, the knife is still razor sharp. I keep it that way with some white ceramic and stropping on leather. That’s all. It is ‘that’ great.

I was very surprised by how usefull a short blade like this one can be.
Carried as a second folder (when usually I only use one knife or one multitool)

in my pocketwatch, the Sqweak has proven to be very useful.
I have been also able to eat with it. Its belly helps a lot to cut the meat in a plate. Again, the knife is not rising any eyebrows, nobody seems to notice the little tool in public places or even in a restaurant. Let’s be clear, knives in restaurant suck, one of my favorite low profile knife for that is the Mantra 2. It’s always handy to carry a small sharp blade in places where any knife could afraid the sheeples. I use mine a lot in the supermarket. It gets fast in the hand, open fast and closed fast. Very discreet and very powerful on cardboard and plastic tags of all sorts. Also last year I have been obliged to carry a Leatherman Wingman and the lil’ Squeak was my main eating knife for bread, cheese, sausages, meat and it was easily a much better blade than the multitool’s short thick blade…

The Squeak has also replaced my Pingo as my UK knife. I was on the verge to by an elmax Pingo but eventually I really need the opening hole. I need a one hand opening knife. Also it has renewed my love for Elmax so badly that I have bought the Zero Tolerance ZT0770.

Spyderco Mantra 2 – Pure Flipper Workhorse !

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The Mantra 2 is Eric Glesser’s design and is one of a kind Spyderco as its blade’s hole is only here as a trademark. Your only way to flick the knife open is the flipper invented by Kit Carson at the end of the 90’s. There is no hump. It’s a very slick knife.

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There is a lot of edge on this blade/handle ratio as there is no choil too !  Not your typical Spydie huh ? (Apart from the autos destined for Militaries and LEO, you won’t find that in Spyderco Catalog.)
All of these makes the Mantra 2 a compact design with a deep wire pocket carry. A solid R.I.L. lock , an ergonomic handle and a full flat ground CPM M4 blade. This powder metalurgy super tool steel once introduced on Gayle Bradley’s designs has proven to be one of the best in strenght and edge retention.
So the Mantra 2 is a very powerful package which can withstand punishing and be easily washed under tap water thanks to its all open handle design (no back spacer).
Its strange nose seems here to strenghten the tip of the blade. Again with Spyderco, aesthetics come  second in their knives.

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The lock is wearproof and reinforced  with steel. All engineering details has been thought to get to the ELU a reliable heirloom tool.

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Dwarfed next to my K2, I use my M2 for mondaine chores including eating in a plate. M4 has no stain yet BTW.
It’s not the kind of knives which raise any eyebrows in the sheeple crowd which is good nowadays. It’s low profile apart from its flipping opening. There it could almost look like an auto. There is no way to open it in a softer way but to use both hands. It works also.

The deep carry clip doesn’t make it very fast to draw compared to the Wolfspyder for example. But it disappears in your pocket and is very stealthy, perfect for an EDC.

Edgewise I have found mine a little on the thick side. I will thin it even if CPM M4 can a bear on a stone.  Nothing serious there.

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All in all the Mantra 2 is a very unique design. A compact tool with a lot of applications.
Again this is a gentleman knife with the power of a much bigger knife.
Eric Glesser has provided another very clever design with the best material available and a great attention to details. This is not a safe queen but a compact and slick workhorse.

And FYI a portion of sales of the Mantra is donated to The National Parkinson Foundation.