Tag Archives: VG10

Blast From The Past: Spyderco Moran versus Fred Perrin

 

Here is another archive from the stainless steel Delorean which can warp twenty years ago and back !
The Spyderco Moran was the first fixed blade and the first VG10 knife ever.

So here it is without filters or editing:

 

 

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THE MORAN FEATHERWEIGHT
by SPYDERCO
a little review by Fred Perrin
always misdirected by Nemo

It’s important to promote the work of young unknown blade makers.
Meet, William Moran !

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This young newcomer has to be watched…

The Spyderco “Moran” is a classic of little fixed blade and one of the rare made by Spyderco. You all know about it since Spyderco has decided to discontinue it and its price has drop to a very nice bargain.

Why a Moran’s review ? (Thanks to James Mattis we know it’s not discontinuited !)
Because…
a young prodigy named Moran

This is a rigid blade. This is not as common as all these taktikeul fooldears !
Its grip is mega excellent. The composition of that handle is a must even with wet hands.
You can pull or push without anyrisk to slip. Manyplaces for thumnbresting…etc etc…
This handle is unique and a true innovation.
No lanyard hole. WHYYYYYY ?
For fighting grips the handle is also a must. The butt of the handle has “a point” where the tang butt stop inside the plastic handle. This pointed handed is ready to crush any skull around.
The Moran is also an excellent throwing knife ! Do you think we are crasy ?
No, no, we are just insane…

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The blade is a mirror finished à la Moran blade with the famous Moran Grind (flat ground and concave).
The steel is VG-10.
The VG-10 is the steel used by Fallkniven (since they have tried the Moran…)
Excellent steel with a really fine grain.
The blade is vorpal and really solid because it its not so thick it is wide.
The power of cut is great. It’s a slashing tool. Semi circular hits are quick and deep.
The thrust is powerfull thanks to the handle shape resting in the palm.

The lenght (less than 4 inches) is polyvalent for medium and small job. Made first as a skinner, he is the King of the Kitchen !
At first glance you think it’s fragile. But after used you feel the handle, the lightness, the serious of the blade shape.

CLIK HERE TO MEET Mr Mo’ big fans at Little River !
And after removing a sentry, it’s a pleasure to have a mirror finish blade to check your tribal make up.

Now the sheath. WHAT IS THAT SHEATH !!! It’s look like a brown fish ! It’s could be a toy for my dog !
(My dog loves leather sheaths ! I mean, that little bastard eats my favorite leather sheaths and her next target could be my sofa…)

Looking closer you see its quality leather and it’s well made.
then you put the knife inside and you see how well it’s fit.

When you put the sheath “inside” your belt behind the right hip… here it’s paradise.
Your almost forget it ! You can reach your knife for instant Ice Pick grip.
You can even reach your knife while sitting in your car.
Really this sheath is a also a must for a leather sheath ready to be carry with a very low profile. But some thought the Moran desserve a much better sheath

Meet the two Kydex sheaths made by Edge Works Manufacturing

Light, Vorpal, compact and mega grip.
Little industrial fixed blade of that quality are so rare.
This is a “premiere” let’s hope not a “dernière”.
Joli !

But who will ever remember William Moran, huh ?

(Our next young newcomer to watch will be someone with perharps a little future in cutlery: Blackie Collins. )

Fred Perrin
“Where is my hair brush !”

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THESE PAGES ARE DIRECTED BY NEMO

 

 

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Spyderco Persian C83BM — Ed Schempp’s Prince of Persia.

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There is one special knife which is my EDC rotation. It’s not the last steel, not the last lock but this is one of the most beautiful Spyderco ever made. I had pictured it with my Tuff
It was designed by Ed Schempp and quoting Spyderco product presentation:

“Custom knifemakers are way more than just steel junkies. Many are great artists and deep thinking intellectuals with their own specialties and talents. They continue to bring spice, variety and new ideas to the knife world. Custom maker Ed Schempp is a wheat farmer who while driving his tractor through his fields has time to think. He thinks about knives and everything surrounding them: steel, designs, heat treat, metallurgy properties, and he also thinks wheat, but only because he has to. His signature symbol, wheat sheaves are found on all his knives. He recently collaborated with Spyderco in a design called the Persian Folder — a well thought out mixture of classic Western meets the exotic East.

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The shapely Persian blade is traditionally found in fixed blade form but Ed incorporates this Eastern influence into a folding knife. Made of VG-10, the hollow-ground blade is deep-bellied, ending in an upswept tip with a curvy spot on the spine where your thumb rests. The blade’s curves flow through into the handle, which is black Micarta topped with polished steel bolsters. Not only do the curves add visual appeal, they create a finger choil and a crook in front of the index finger then end in a tail, for a myriad of grip positions. A custom designed steel pocket clip positions the knife so it carries right-handed, tip-up. Balance combined with top-notch fit and finish mark this model an Ed Schempp design and a true Spyderco.

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This knife was a gift from JD when he came to visit at the occasion of the SICAC in 2012, five years ago.  It has been sharpen and honed by him and it came really really sharp. Once thing I have noticed is how VG10 can take a very keen edge easily. This one is no exception. His deep belly and thin edge makes it a great slicer really easy to touch up on white ceramic of on leather.

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Made in Seki Japan, the Persian is pure elegance and ergonomy. It spouses my hand gently and brings the blade right where it needs to be: in the extension of my arm. Ed Schempp’s ergos are legendary.

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Shown here with one of the last Spyderco made by Schemp: the Legend of The Fall.

Cutting is easy and even on a board you got control on your pressure. There are no hot spots on that handle and the index can rest before our after the quillon on the choil. This is a bolt constructio: there no screws but on the very exotic mounted clip. Tip up carry for this relatively heavy folder as heavy as my Zero Tolerance.

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This is a true Legend of Spyderco manufacturing, bolt in design and highly praised by users and collectors. Mince is of one of the first batch and it keeps going strong.

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The action is as smooth as the all realisation.

 

Yojimbo’s C85GP2 and C85CFP2 and a Ronin.

Following my first glimpse on a the Yojimbo Special Run of 2015 , I present you today the classic version of the Yojimbo: G10 handle and S30V steel. There is no difference between the knives but 4 grammes in favor of the CF version (110 vs 115).

Nemo Knives Review Yojimbos

The blade got the exact same length (on the photography, the Yo2 on the right is resting on her clip hence the parallax…). I have also found the detent to be harder on the S90V run but who minds ?

Now the main difference is the steel: S30V vs S90V.

Quoting Jerry Hossom on the knifenetwork.com :
“S90V contains 9% Vanadium. S30V contains 4% Vanadium (originally it was planned for 3% and thus the name). Vanadium carbides are VERY hard and provide a lot of wear resistance. On the flip side of that S30V was designed to be very tough; it resists chipping and breaking. S90V was designed to be very wear resistant, so it’s really a tradeoff. If you’re very careful with your knives, don’t toss them in the sink or hammer them through hard beef bones, S90V will do very well. If you’re rough on a knife, S30V will be a better choice. I’d likely choose S30V for larger knives, because they’re subjected to greater stresses. S90V is certainly fine for smaller knives. ”

So how S90V will behave on EDC chores with the Yojimbo blade particular shape especially its very narrow point. I remember the same kind of exchanges on the forums about the point of the CPM 440V (S60V)C36 military and our request to see a Millie with some strong tool steel hence the desire for CPM M4, CPM3V and CPM Cruwear version.

Back in 2002 I got the chance to own a Ronin made in VG10. The Ronin was a Mike Janich and Mike Snody collaboration on a SD fixed blade and more precisely a neck knife. I used mine for every day chore until the tip get broken and I was obliged to regrind it.

Here is my 15 year old Ronin next to the Yojimbo.

What I love in this design was the way It would cut on hard material without compromise the edge: only the point was touching the plate for example.
Then as S90V is known for its wear resistance, I should be able to keep the point sharp for a longer time…. And time will tell.

Some words from Mike Janich taken from the Spyderco Forums:

“Hey, Guys:

Thank you all for your comments and enthusiasm regarding the Yo2. I am very pleased to have it in production and I’m thrilled at the way it turned out.

I wanted to share a couple of fine points regarding the design. Like everything else I do, I like to explain why. You are free to agree or disagree, like or not like, but at least you’ll have the information to make a decision.

With regard to the not-fully-exposed Spyderco hole, I wrestled with various options on this during the design. I did not want to do the large index-finger choil of the original Yo because it narrows the grip too much in that area and starts to force the hand into a saber grip. The goal was to keep the closed knife as narrow as possible to preserve access to the pocket.

I had a similar challenge when I designed the Be-Wharned. One thing that I learned during that process was that the natural hand position for a thumb opening is typically not with the plane of the handle completely flat. Most people naturally hold the knife palm up, but with the knuckles at about a 45-60-degree angle to vertical. That means that your thumb also indexes the hole (or stud) at an angle, not flat on top of it. With the Be-Wharned, holding the knife at this natural angle and driving the thumb straight along the chamfer of the handle produces the most positive, reliable, and comfortable opening.

With that experience as a guide, I focused on the functional part of the Spyderco hole. When the closed knife is viewed with the edge down, tip to the left, this section is from 12 to 3 o’clock. That’s where the thumb actually bites and drives. That part of the hole is completely unobstructed.

As for the lock release cutout, I purposely made it smaller than that of the Para2. There are two reasons for this: First, some users–especially those who grip the handle tightly with their index fingers during opening–get a slight pinch from Compression Locks as the blade is opened. This is caused by the liner moving into the G-10 scale as the blade clears the detent ball. To mitigate this effect, I asked that the top of the Compression Lock tab be recessed slightly below the top edge of the G-10 scale and purposely made the recess smaller.

Second, speed closing of the knife is not high on my priority list. I close the knife by pinching the lock between my thumb (on the G-10 scale) and the nail of my index finger (on the lock tab). I can do this (and have done it) all day long without soreness or fatigue. For me, it’s perfect the way it is. Most importantly, the knife closes exactly when I want it to and I still enjoy both the extreme strength and the I-don’t-need-to-put-my-fingers-in-the-path-of-the-edge safety of one-handed closing.

I chose the standard hourglass clip for the Yo2 because it has been refined and perfected over the years. It works great, so why reinvent the wheel? Also, savvy Spyderco fans know that the same basic clip design used on the Yo2 is used on the Endura and Delica, but in black (and with the addition of the lanyard hole that matches the holes in those knives). Don’t like the shiny clip on the Yo2? Buy a replacement clip for an Endura for a few bucks and you’ve got an instant subdued clip. How easy is that?

As far as clip position goes, most folks know I prefer tip-up carry. The key to getting a personal defense knife into action quickly is being able to draw it and immediately open it without having to change grip position. The key to that is making sure that the overall size of the closed knife, the position of the Spyderco hole, and the height of carry are all proportionate to the average hand size. If you have a big knife with a deep-pocket clip, it may carry discreetly, but when you draw it, you’re holding it by the butt end with your thumb a long way from the hole. Unless you can magically Viagra your thumb into growing, you have to change your grip to get the knife open.

The clip placement on the Yo2 makes the knife ride high enough so that, with a proper draw, your thumb is automatically on the opening hole when the knife clears the pocket.

If you prefer discretion and a low profile over deployment speed, I purposely added tip-down carry to the Yo2. The clip holes at the pivot-pin end of the handle are as close to the front edge of the handle as physically possible to support deep-pocket carry. Yes, it’s tip down, which is slower. So is deep pocket carry in general. If you need deep-pocket carry and speed, arry tip down and use a Spyder-Drop opening. You’ll find that although a small portion of the Spyder Hole is obscured, there’s still plenty of surface area to grab onto. As you pinch the hole with your thumb and index finger, you’ll also find that your fingertips start to push the handle away from the blade, “cheating” your start on the opening.

As for a lanyard hole, I’m not a fan of fobs, so I opted for the additional strength of a screw post at the butt instead of a lanyard tube. However, if you are a lanyard fan, there is still enough room between the blade edge and the screw post to wrap a thin lanyard around the post with a cow hitch. That keeps the lanyard centered in the handle instead of wrapping around it and makes for a sleeker package. Think of a typical flashlight lanyard where the loop that attaches to the light is thin and strong and the rest of it is 550 cord sized. If you must use 550 cord for the whole lanyard, pull the guts out of it so it wraps flat around the screw post.

I hope this helps you better understand why the Yo2 is the way it is. A lot of thought went into it and it is truly a reflection of more than 35 years of experience, training, and daily carry of personal defense knives.

Stay safe,

Mike

P.S. As far as meat cutting tests go, yes, that was a big part of my personal R&D of the prototypes. Simple answer: It has more blade length than the original Yojimbo. It therefore cuts even deeper.”

 

 

Another one from Michael Janich in August 2012:

“Thanks for the discussion and your continued enthusiasm for the Yo2.

When I designed the blade for the Yo2, I took a lot of inspiration from the Manix2, both because I like the way it cuts and because, as a Golden-made product, its manufacture respresented a known core competency for Spyderco. Combining a partial hollow grind with a thick, strong spine provides a great balance of edge geometry and strength. Moving the point up towards the blade’s centerline moves it toward the thicker part of the blade; however, if the hollow grind runs parallel to the edge all the way to the point, the resulting point thickness is functionally the same as what you get with a wharncliffe.

The wharncliffe blade excels at cutting because it cuts with full power all the way to the tip. An acutely angled tip also provides superior penetration with minimal effort.

From a utility standpoint, the Yo2’s tip is analogous to an X-Acto knife and is excellent for detail work. The heel of the blade, closer to the handle, is extremely strong and more than capable of tackling most cutting chores for which knives are appropriate tools. In general, if you focus on using the part of the blade that is most appropriate to the task at hand, you can perform a wide range of cutting chores without a problem.

Having designed several wharncliffe blades now, I have also been privy to the warranty repair claims concerning these blades. In all honesty, broken tips are rare. The ones that do come in typically come with a story that begins “I dropped my knife on concrete/a hard tile floor….” or “I know I shouldn’t pry with a knife, but…”

Like a box cutter, a wharncliffe cuts with both power and finesse because of its straight edge. If your style of utility knife use actually focuses on cutting, it will serve you well. If your utility knife use focuses on prying, digging, or using your knife as a jack handle, buy a knife that is better suited to that type of use–and don’t expect it to cut very well…

I hope this helps.

Stay safe,

Mike
Michael Janich
Spyderco Special Projects Coordinator
Founder and Lead Instructor, Martial Blade Concepts”

 

SPYDERCO TATANKA C180G – FIRST GLIMPSE AT THE BUFFALO

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So here it is that new In House design of a super folder. Sal Glesser’s signature is engraved near the spyderhole. God, this is an heavy contender (A stainless steel backspacer!!) and a huge folding knife but, once open, it’s surprisedly well balanced despite its general weight which is really well distributed. A grin has appeared on my face…
This new Power Lock provides a zero vertical play experience. This knife in its action feels like a Mercedes Truck !!
The look and sound are really really nice. So far so good. What a massive MF !
The unlocking action is smooth and easy. This is a major difference with Cold Steel’s big Triadlock which can be a PITA to unlock…

Tatanka
The blade is much more beautiful in “person” than on any pictures. The false edge is stunning ! Not Spyderco best steel (CPM 3V comes in mind for massive blade), not the best grind (Saber grind is really “weapon oriented” in my book) but the impression of reliability is there. The Tatanka could be used to remove a tire and break a door. The 4mm thick blade is designed for penetration and would easily find its way through kevlar layer. Of course it came razor sharp even if the edge is not as thin as the recent K2 and Slysz Bowie.

Tatanka vs K2

Could it be some kind Super Police folder ? Indeed, compared to the Spyderco Police, the Tatanka got a lot in common. The saber ground (OK, the classic Police got an hollow ground though) the mass…the false edge… Is it a LEO wet dream coming true ? Could be.

My first glance feeling is that the Tatanka is more Police and Military oriented than a K2 for example. Farid huge folder is lighter, thinner with almost the same edge length in a shorter handle, thinner edge and better steel… But again perhaps experience will change my POV.
So yes, the Tatanka looks IMHO like a tool for the SWATs: a massive, pointy reliable, well balanced folding tool. Now in the right hands it certainly could be a great SERE folder. The kind of knife used by Helicopter pilots for survival. (I’m thinking at the ESEE 5’s design, for example or the AlMar Sere folders…). This new Power Lock seems beefy enough for light chopping (despite the disclaimer in the box…) but this is something I’m going to test soon.
Anyway after the K2 and the Tuff, it’s always good to see Spyderco producing strong reliable locking Über folders. They are so useful in the woods, the camps and the action fields.

Also beware of the big spyderhole, mine was so sharp than I cut my thumb on its edge. I have used sandpaper to remove it. Ouch ! 🙂

Spyderco Shabaria – Dangerous Curves

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
“Israeli knife designer, Eduard Bradichansky, co-mingled the Shabaria’s traditional utilitarian profile into a modern folding knife. Mr. Bradichansky was a gunsmith and gifted jeweler by trade, new to the knifemaking community, but already attracting collectors and enthusiasts to his fresh design work and crafting skills. His career cut short, he fell victim to a terrorist attack on the West Bank.”
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
Eduard Bradichansky was also behind the design of the clever Spydercard we had reviewed with Fred Perrin back in the 90’s, so when the first Shabaria was released with an ATS 34 blade and a G-10 handle, back in the previous century, we were very excited to test this unique design. For us, it was an evidence: the Shabaria was a weapon and a great one — lean and mean.
The wasp handle or hourglass handle is not a new thing and thousand of people rely on this for eons ! Once you grasp the knife you understand how it works and how clever the design of the Shabaria is. Our was partly serrated and really it was really made to be an Assassin tool.
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
Now the Shabaria is back in a sprint run with a beautiful carbon fiber handle and a plain edge recurved VG10 blade.
This is a very sexy knife. The blade is saber hollow ground, giving a substantial thickness which give you the identity of the knife: a piercing weapon.
The penetration of the strong and thin blade is remarquable. Also the hour glass handle provides you with an additionnal inch of reach. Yes “mean and lean” are the words which are still coming in mind !

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

But now, Spyderco is not a company which is making weapons but tools and Eduard Bradichansky was aware of that. The design was inpired by people of the Jordan River Valley nomads. In the Middle East and North Africa, those wasp handle curved knives are sacred tools which can be used in religious rituals as for everyday tools.
My first thought when I was handling a Shabaria was about Franck Herbert’s Dune books and the Crysknife of the Fremen. The Shabaria could be a folding version of the sacred knife of the fremen ! “Long live the fighters!!!” 😉 or better: “Who sees that knife must be cleansed or slain!” !!!

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

A curved edge means a great deal of cutting power. My Spyderco Dodo is my best hard wood cutter for example. My two Shabarias came razor sharp and my arm’s hairs were flying with just a caress of the edge. Some pass on my razor leather and both knives were upgrade to vorpal status. VG10 is a great steel of EDC. The kind of steel which is forgiving and easy to bring back to peak performances. What the Shabaria’s design brings is a nice belly at the tip of the blade. This is really useful in everyday task. The recurve helps to catch the matter you cut and the positive and negative bellies works like a guillotine.
Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
This is a sprint run and limited edition I was really glad to see. As I thought the Shabaria was long gone and I missed it. The previous version got a lot of screws (six ?) on the handle and this one is refined with only three screw including the pivot. Also that new version got a very nice improvment: now a lanyard hole is available ! I really love those constant research in making the design better and better. The wasp handle is easy to clean with no skeletonized liners and an open construction. Also the beautiful CF handle is anchored in your hand but not with the help of a false guard but just by holding it. This is a very very secure grip ! You need experience it. This handle design is as old as the Old Testament ! Generations have been using them and people who counted on their knives everyday. Hammer grip, reverse grip, pikal grip… everything works because the handle is pure symetry. Again this is the kind of knife which makes me smile once open. This is serious business.
Closed, the Shabaria is also really beautiful. the kind of Syd Mead design for Tron’s lightcycles. It doesn’t scream “knife!” and is a great impact tool ! Because even with the blade closed, the grip on the hourglass handle is still very positive and is anchored in the palm of your hand.

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman
So eventually you got a very unique folding knife with a very strong lock: a variation of the Michael Walker liner lock wich use the height of the handle instead of its length, another clever design from Eduard. The Spyderhole may be more recessed than other designs preventing a quick spyderdrop but as the hole’s edges are sharp it catch your thumb and is smoooooothly open. There is even an hidden choil à la Michael Walker, so once open the blade is really secured twice. Oh and just by holding it open you feel like that very pointy blade is a permanent invitation to pop some balloons ! 🙂
Playing and using the Shabaria is pure pleasure as this is a very reliable design once you understand how centuries in refining can be used and trusted.

Spyderco Shabaria  photo by Nemo Sandman

The Spyderco Shabaria is a knife with a lot of attitude but also a tool which offers a lot of control during the cuts. I was surprised how its blade was handy for whittling.
This is not only a collector piece but a very serious “silent companion” with design’s roots digging in history of mankind.