Tag Archives: Titanium

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 !

 

20181113_1711058057864771192678199.jpg

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.

Titanium Handles Sanding ? Why not !

20180901_171035.jpg

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.

20180901_171150.jpg

20180901_171525.jpg

20180901_171522.jpg

20180901_171852.jpg

20180901_171603.jpg20180901_172810.jpg

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

20180901_172417.jpg

20180901_172800.jpg

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

20180901_173538.jpg

20180901_174302.jpg

Spyderco C192TIP – Tasting the Pie In The Sky.

20180122_172228-01650321798.jpeg

“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.

20180122_171635-01778448916.jpeg

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 !

20180122_171707-011067578007.jpeg

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.

20180122_171939-011969958578.jpeg

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 !

20180122_171732-011511253351.jpeg

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 !

20180122_171955-011953237779.jpeg

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.

20180122_171742-011620620670.jpeg

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.
20180122_172442-011601018063.jpeg

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.

20180122_172328-01696218311.jpeg

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 …”

20180122_172450-011957815297.jpeg
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

wp-image-1647603082

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.

wp-image-1677734557

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.

wp-image-1872289614

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.

wp-image-756113331

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”.

wp-image-757726932

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.

wp-image-812829568

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

Spyderco Squeak

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!

SPyderco Squeak

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!

null

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 !

20160806_155644-01_zpssysruzfx
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.

20160806_155626-01_zpszuhzxtei

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.

20160806_155734-01_zpsi1kcywds

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

20160806_160235-01_zps9fy8lwxb

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.

20160806_155658-01_zpssylww13n

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.

 

SPYDERCO K2 FOLDER ~ C185TI – The Flat and Furious

Farid K2 SPyderco K2

Farid Mehr is known for his massive designs. He was even doing integral lock from stainless steel slabs. This is pure heavy metal. Here is his first collaboration with Spyderco and the result is well impressive ! The K2 could be seen as an Über-Sebenza and last but not least this is the first CPM10V industrial folder ever.

CPM10V is the King of the Mountain in the pure edge retention field, it’s got even better results than CPM90V.

Typical Chemistry
Carbon 2.45%
Manganese 0.50%
Silicon 0.90%
Chromium 5.25%
Vanadium 9.75%
Molybdenum 1.30%
Sulfur 0.07%

Much less Chromium than CPM110V and CPM90V. CPM10V is an alloy with almost 10% of vanadium. This is a dream steel. Something to test and feel. I have already the great tests of Jim Ankerson about how great CPM10V at 63HRC is a pure beast of work. Cliff stamps also have made some “in deep” researchs with the same conclusions.

My K2 is light, perfectly balanced. The edge is thin. The blade is wide. The handle is flat.
The lock needs some breaking in as it’s sticky. The flat slabs are not close to how the Slysz Bowie feels confortable. Flat and palm are not friends. Also the spine of the blade is square after the hole hump. the finish of the blade is not as refined as the Slysz’s but the K2 got its own charisma. Something brutal which asks to be tested hard. It’s a very masculine tool.

So here are some pictures and size comparaisons. This is a big folder which ride small in the pocket with the best powder steel available nowadays. Pocketing that much high quality edge in a flat, solid and light package should raise the ears of the hunters. Also the R.I.L. lock and construction is easy to clean.

FARID K2

The Slysz Bowie and Farid K2 the Yin and the Yang.


A clever disk to prevent over pushing the RIL.




Compared to the Millie. The K2 leaves almost the same pocket print. The absence of choil gives a lot of edge.



Let’s try to dwarf it with the Cold Steel Voyager XL but in the end the K2 provides a relatively long blade too !


Compared to my Sebbie.


Compared to the Tuff. Two very different philosophies. The Tuff is tougher but the K2 got more edge length.


The construction of the knife uses only two screws. The axis and the other one (near the lanyard hole) which got that kind of squashed steel ball to give rigidity. Very clever. No need for a spacer.


And the belly is perfect for cutting pizzas !!


Is the K2 a folder for Machete ?

Spyderco Slysz Bowie ~ C186TI – The Iron Mistress

Marcin Slycz Bowie

This folder was my favorite of all the knives shown on Amsterdam Minimeet 2014. I loved the ergos. The convex curves on the titanium. The reinterpreted bowie blade. The perfect size for an EDC. The attention to details. Really I have been more than impressed by Marcin next collaboration with Spyderco.
The Techno was IMHO AFAIC a bold move to the EDC world. An heart stroke. But now Marcin was striking again with a refined working folder. Thinner but also more “feminine” hence the “Mistress” title. Raising the bar.

Marcin Slysz Bowie and Chris Reeve Sebenza
Ah, who could kill the Sebenza ? Huh ? When you hear about Titanium slabs and Integral Lock it’s the first word which come to my mind.

So this is a first glimpse to this gorgeous folder. Let’s start by the cons:
OK, mine needs some opening and closing to be as glass smooth as it suppose to be. I haven’t reach the torx to ease the axis screw yet.
The wire clip got a way to block the pocket’s draws. It comes from the way the lock has been designed. No big deal. It could even been seen as some kind of security but I’m considering switching the clip to the other smoother side of the handle. But again, for reverse grip opening (using the ring finger) I need a smoother action.

Now the pros and they are a lot:
Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder but ergonomy is in the pawns of the user. This one suits my hand perfectly.
No finger choil. But a longer edge. The convex titanium handle, just pure pleasure to hold.
A very clever G10 spacer which is used to improved the ergonomy by avoiding any risk of a slippery handle.
The convex handle which is gentle in your palm.
A lot of belly for a really thin edge. A point in perfect alignement with the handle.

The edge is so thin than I was able to do my favorite Coke bottle test with ease and control.
Proportion blade / handle is near perfect for a folding knife of that size.

This knife is asking to be used. It feels well in the hands and the geometry is optimum. The size is perfect for an EDC. The clip is deep enough to make the knife disappear in the pocket.
The balance is just behind the axis. The absence of hole hump makes it a looker.
So now will come the tests and as a companion, a K2 should come next week.

How will perform the CTS-XHP compared to CPM10V ?

Update:
The convex handle makes it really nice to use. I have found that my index and thumb, which are leading the cuts, are sort of “nested” near the pivot by those rounded titanium slabs. I was able to cut with a lot of accuracy and the belly was welcome for cutting deep.
It’s a gorgeous knife to deploy and eat with. A excellent conversation starter too.
It has been used on plates with no damage to the edge. CTS XHP is a very forgiving steel in my book.
The shape of the blade makes it look like a “country” knife, and has been very sheeple friendly ! As I use the radius spine it’s a pleasure for push cuts in hard wood. Haven’t done anything really serious, it was just a short walk but that knife is screaming to be use hard. 🙂

Edit: I have found a simple way to avoid the clip to snag… just by making it a little longer.
And switching with the clip of the Manix 2 Lightweight (I had already removed to witch with the Pingo’s deeper one…)
No more snagging in the pocket now.
Slysz Bowie clip issue
And now the clipped knife goes less deep but the draws are smooth.

SPYDERCO C06TI TUSK – PASCAL JAFFRE’S REVIEW “INSPIRATIONAL BLADE”

Once in a while I invite some friends to write reviews about knives. Pascal Jaffre is a passionate of classical music, shooting and computing with a lot of cultural background, he’s also a skipper. So, he was the right person to review the

“Inspirational blade”


A Spyderco Tusk Review

« Try Spyderco’s Tusk folding knife and tell me what you think about it! » were captain Nemo’s words one evening at the shooting club in Asnières (town’s name comes from “ane” = donkey). No donkey hunting for Tusk as the quadrupeds long left the patches where they used to graze and rest from barge tugging against the Seine’s current. On the contrary, Tusk’s tasks have been diverse and peaceful; in turn it has proven to me as a great inspirational source!

If I were a castle, which one would I be? Marlinspike Hall of course and Tintin would have been better equipped against the “l’Oiseau brothers” with me in his pocket.


Could I have influenced world famous composers like Mozart and Wagner? Maybe I have… take a close look!


Given that folded, my shape resembles that of a drop of water, had I been a musical note, which one would I have been? “A flat” of course which is Chopin’s “drop of water” in the famous Prelude N°15 – Prelude à la goutte d’eau!


Transposed to music this picture does not sound as harmonious as it looks: A-flat and G (Tusk and la sole – not Schubert’s trout)! The fish was delicious and it was a pleasure to eat “a flat” fish with a G-em.


More seriously let me show how sharp the blade is. Even trickier than the tomato test: the rotten pineapple test! Hard on the outside and soft (much too soft) in the inside. However Tusk did the job perfectly and my trash can got the pinapple – less the first bite.


Let’s finish off the food test with a panel of some other tricky things to cut. The sausage (saucisson): very thin slices. The avocado hard skin and yet ripe inside not crushed and perfect cut. The well cooked French bread – I was really impressed how a blade without dents cut the crust. To finish 2 types of Comté cheese (24 and 32 month aged) from the Jura region. The most difficult cheese to cut out of the 2 is the eldest because less moist and having a tendency of breaking: Tusk cuts the cheese at ease!


Birds of a feather? No, not feather but leather – courageous Tusk about to beat the baby crocodile and the result is below! Well done Tusk!


Good hunt!

Tusk also participated in the assembly of C 4.8 my French catamaran built in the early 80’s.

The result I’d say is contrasted in the sense that in my case the marlinspike was preventing from using the shackle key. This is due to the small volumes in which the tool needs to evolve. Had the shackles been oriented with a 90 degree rotation, that limitation would not have appeared.
Here is a demonstration of how the marlinspike limits the rotation: blocked at one point by the top of the hull. Obviously shackle keys that have an outer curve add further difficulty so it’s important that the tool be as thin as possible.

Another similar situation when installing the shackle key that holds the stays, forestay and shrouds to the mast. Again unfortunately the length of the marlinspike hinders the ability to rotate by a wide angle. However what I found really comfortable is Tusk’s ability to deliver power when working with the shackle key; this is due to its length combined with its overall robustness.

So to summarize a long strong tail does not necessarily get to go everywhere! That said, as during the assembly of C 4.8, wind was blowing up to 33 knots the marlinspike eventually had a good effect after putting it in the wind because in the evening we were down by some… knots!

Tusk ne manque pas d’air!
Tusk has been a great knife to test: discrete in the pocket, a beautiful gem that fuels imagination and a strong working tool. I’ll have to test against larger boat!

(Text and Photo Pascal Jaffre.)

Tusk !

Pascal Jaffre