Tag Archives: Yojimbo2

Pleasure of whittling — Which knife ?

A knife and a piece of wood make my day.
I can sit and enjoy a good blade taking nice wooden chips.
Steel chemistry is important, especially how fine its grain is.
Back in the 90’s I have found how a Benchmade in M2HSS was more enjoyable than the same model in ATS-34.
How is the blade is ground is also very important, scandi makes shallower cuts when hollow grind got deeper in my experience.
But more than this: the general ergonomy of the knife and especially the spine of the blade do make a difference for me.

But let’s have a look at the knives: Ed Schemp’s Tuff and Bowie, Police 4, Yojimbo 2, Sebenza, Spydiechef, PPT, Paramillie, Lil’Native, Wolfspyder, A little TOPS scandi, Mantra2, Millie and Nilakka.

A rounded spine like my Sebenza is great. It’s very thin edge is also a plus but ATS34 is not making the moment enjoyable. Of course it will cut but the pleasure of feeling how the edge is making the chips is not there. Its edge is like a mad cow !! Hard to control.

 

One of the great surprise in term of pleasure has been that Lil Blue 2 from Raker (Ray Kirk). Made of 52100 ball bearing steel and brought to razor by JD !
The rounded spine of that small fixed blade makes it super enjoyable. The fine grain 52100 makes thin chips but can also be use hard for deeper cuts. That would the kind of knife you can enjoy all an afternoon without thumb soar.

A good old Opinel N°8 is able to cut deep and with power, for sure. Do I enjoy it ? Not really. It does the job but there is no pleasure when the thin spine bites my thumb during push cuts.

A great surprise and even a better surprise that my previous whittling with a Yojimbo 2 in S90V is my Yo2 Jade with a CPM M4 blade.
It is not a knife designed for whittling but it does the job perfectly. Better even is a tougher blade in CPM M4 which is very aggressive. The spine also is thick and my thumb can push with with confort and control. The Yo2 and especially that version is a great wood companion I can use with serenity.

Another knife I highly recommend for going in the woods and whittling with pleasure. And another knife with some martial pedigree has proven to be a great whittler: the PPT.
The S90V thin blade of that edition with a very confortable handle has been eating wood like a chef.

Speaking of chef: lets’ continue with the surprises. One important side of the Spydiechef is how easily it can go out of the kitchen. Sailors and sea kayakists are using it without any risk of failure but within the woods? OK mine has been convexed but this is another great tool to bring with you everywhere. I was able to create beautiful chips and the spince have not bite my thumb. Really a nice experience with this one.

My CPM Cruewear Paramillie has been convexed and its edge was really hungry for wood.
It was in all the bunch the one which went the easiest in the rod of wood. But then the square spire was so sharp and thin: it was not enjoyable. More about it later.

The Lil’ Native with JD sharpening skill is nice and powerful for its size. Really a nice you should not judge by the size. But then again, JD reground it to almost a scandi level. The belly and the thin edge does marvel for whittling. Just a tad longer blade will improved the experience but then you got a Native not a Papoose no more.

Another knife improved by JD sharpening skill is the Mantra 2. I had rounded the spine on this one and it turned to be a very powerful wood cutter. The kind of knife which disappears in your pocket and once deployed is a game changer. The very solid construction and great ergos of that Eric Glesser design is blooming in the woods.

The Police 4, as powerful as its K390 thin convexed blade was a real disappointment. The thin spine is really hurting my thumb when push cutting. The Police is and stays a very urban design. I was not really able to enjoy fine whittling with it. It does the job but the thin spine ruined it for me. This one is much better in cutting cardboards or ropes…

Of course the Nilakka is a five stars experience. nothing new: thick spine, zero ground blade. It is powerful and accurate. Pekka Tuominen knows. Just the thin point could be an issue when digging in the wood to make a hole for example. This is were the Wolfspyder shines: a very solid point !

Another great surprise in term of pleasure has been the Gent knife from Massdrop. I had convexed the edge and its S35VN rounded spined blade is just great. Its natural belly helps a lot in term of push cuts. It is a great folder and 100% shot flipper, easy to keep clean, and look at the shape of that blade: it is stunning and for less than 100 dollars shipping included. It will be reviewed.

Sorry, but the Mora has been the worst. It was not able to bring me nice chips.
I’m certain it would be a great hard used tool in the wood but here for fine gentle whittling: zero pleasure.
The synthetic handle is becoming sticky, the scandi edge is rusting and it was not able to bite in the wood. Cheap fixed blade.

So eventually, using 400 grits sandpaper, I have decided to rounded the spine of my Paramillie 2 and of course it makes a huge difference. Actually I have been really surprise in how deep It was cutting in the wood, kind of remembering its brother in 52100.
Soon I will try AEB-L steel which is considered as a stainless 52100 on a Sprint Run Urban already in transit. So more will come.

In conclusion my more enjoyable whittler is still the Wolfspyder.
The surprise joy came for the Gent, The Yojimbo 2, the Mantra 2 and the Raker.
The Paramillie with a more rounded spine will be certainly part of the club.
The biggest down was the Police 4 and the Mora.

But in term of sitting under the porche and whittling a rod the Ray Mears designed Wolfspyder is winning. It was designed for that task.

 

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Yojimbo2: swapping the blades back and forth.

My project when I had ordered the Jade Yojimbo2 was to swap the blades with my Carbon Fiber / S90V Yojimbo2, to make a vinegar patina and enjoy a unique CPM M4/ Carbon fiber Yojimbo2.
Yeah well…
I have done it but the patina.

Here is the result. But you know what… As great as the CF handle is… this Jade version got something really special. I love the smoothness I have obtained by sanding the natural G10 and the action is smoother than butter.

So I have swapped it again. It was very easy.
What I can notice about this “sterile” experience is how well adjusted those Golden spawns can be. In both configurations the action was smooth as glass and the blade perfectly centered. It’s a joy to dismount and put back together.
So it’s just me, in the end, seeing the deep carry clip going esthetically much better on Jade natural scales and the heft of the BladeHQ special edition being more appealing to me. Also these transparent slaps help a lot for a non threatening aspect of a very pointy knife. I have already used twice in public place without being noticed…
So back to the start after some nano oiling and putting some fresh blue loctite on strategic screws: pivot and clip. Great knives easy to maintain clean even in the inside.

Spyderco Yojimbo2 C85GM4P2 CPM-M4 The Jade Warrior.

This is a bud of an article about the BladeHQ exclusive Yojimbo2.

At least there is picture.

Story will come later in multiple update.

I have reviewed the Michael Janich’s Yojimbo2 many time here.
And I have been waiting for a tougher alloy for a long time: CPM-M4 is one of my favorite steel.

Why ? Because it’s take a razor sharp edge and keeps it, it’s a tougher than stainless steel super steel and its edge stability is better: no chipping or warping in my uses. Of course it will get stained but that is the part of his multiple charms. This is a steel used in blade competitions and Gayle Bradley is a fan of it.

The Yojimbo2 design asked for a very thin point and a stronger, tougher steel. M4 is a must if you want to use it (like myself) in everyday chores… hard !!
Because such great ergos ask for hard working.

Compared to my previous YO2, the closing sound “TICK” got a much higher pitch than my S90V version. I had noticed that kind of higher pitch on another super tool steel: Maxamet.

Does it mean the steel is harder ? Will see.

So stay tuned!

I have changed the OEM clip for this one.


It’s a shortest deep carry clip.

The Para 3 in Maxamet got the same high pitch TICK.

Dirty blade ready for some chores.
Both knives are excellent EDC. The Yo2 offers really powerful cuts on wood.
A word which comes back a lot with my Yo2 review is “power”. The heft of the saber ground hollow blade and the confortable thick spine is a call for pushcuts and “very light” chopping. You will see what I mean in a few photographies…

Deshouldering and starting to get a thinner edge. The factory edge is excellent though.

“Ghost” and “Jade” together: same materials.

The handle lengths are different just because one is standing on its clip.

Push cuts are easy.

This is the kind of “very light” chopping cuts which are made in blink of an eye.
The Yo2 is a great trimmer. The edge bites deep and the straight edge won’t let go.

It’s very efficient !

M4 steel erases any fear of breaking the thin tip easily but I do respect too much my knife to try any lateral forcing. At least I’m no afraid to use that blade tip hard !

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Rinsing and cleaning the blade in a spring stream. No real patina so far but soon it will come. M4 get darker in a slow way on my experience: no hurry !
But that Jade handle goes so well with natural environments…

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There is a lot of charm in the Yo2: the heavy blade smooth action, the straight edge power and the great ergos ! Nobody seems to notice it while used in a restaurant, the Jade helps a lot to make it less a weapon and more a tool.

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Spyderco C135CFP Perrin PPT — Portable Praetorian Tool.

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The first PPT was release eight years ago. It was the mind child of Sacha Thiel, Philippe Perotti and of course Fred Perrin which it got all the power. For the record Philippe Perotti aka “PP” was Fred’s student in knife making (and Fred was PP student in handguns). I still own one of PP’s Streetbowie made in D2 and also one of his great Commander knife made with Sacha Thiel which looks a lot like the Perrin Streetbowie.

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Now the design’s goes in the stardom with a luxury amazing S90V / Carbon Fibers corrugated stunning handle.
This rude boy is a beauty like Marlon Brando in a Streetcar Named Desire or Tom Hardy in Taboo. It’s heavy in your palm. But this weight is a pleasure exactly like the Sharpfinger.  Marc Animal McYoung in his book “Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles” was choosing a butt heavy short knife over any other. The weight is like an anchor in your hand as the knife handle is cuddling inside your palm. You find the same idea of weight distribution on heavy butt  first Streetbeat.

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Talking about the handle, this macro-texturing shows a wild side of this tool.

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On this picture you can notice the unique clever sturdy lock. It’s made to be secured once the handle is hold tight.

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The steel liners and the full steel back spacer, the full steel construction, while sturdy, makes for a dense carry.  Knowing Fred, being able to use the “pommel” as a crowd pleasure won’t be a surprise. Anyway it’s a tool which can certainly be used to drive a nail in a plank.

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Let’s compare with a titanium folder, the Spydiechef.

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It’s a matter of taste but I love it as the balance suits me.

In eight years the Taiwanese manufacturer has refined his production.

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The choil used to be a hotspot in the first version. No more now, there is absolutely no hot spot but… the clip.

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The way it’s stand with a point proud point …it’s really not the best SPyderco clip just compared with for example… the Lil’ Lionspy great great spoon deep carry clip !!
The point/end of the clip needs to be parallel to the handle as this one is an invitation to scratches cars doors and catches things.
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But its zips easily inside the pocket. It’s a no brainer.

 

 

Like the Spydiechef the design of the PPT notice how it give you a lot of power in case of cutting on a board. But the PPT won’t be as easy to clean with it’s squeleton thick liners but nothing which cannot resist to some hot tap water.
This new incarnation got a very thin edge. Those full flat ground blade in S90V provided by Spyderco lately are a pleasure to use and performance oriented.

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But its true brother in law could be the Yojimbo 2.

The PPT got a very strong spirit, mix that with Sacha Thiel attention to details and Philippe Perotti pragmatism and you got a very powerful EDC which can be used by soldiers, firefighters, hunters, cooks, collectors and bushcrafters.

A little edit: after some EDC carrying and using.
Of course I have started to de-shoulder the edge and gives the PPT a more friendly way to get strop on leather.
Ergo wise, this heavy butt is really addictive. It works like a magnet because of that handgun handle. For the record La Griffe got a Derringer shape handle too which is also heavy compared to the blade. It makes your tool almost jumped in your hand and really anchored it in your palm while the perfect radius of opening makes it a very fast and safe opener. The meat of your finger is caught by the sharp hole and SHLACK !! It’s really one of my fastest tip up carry opener so far.
Why is the PPT a tip up carry ? I remember Fred bitching about the way some newcomers (back in 90’s)  who were providing RIL locks with a tip down carry: the clip was in the way. What Fred loved in the RIL lock on the Sebenza was the way the hand will secure the lock. With a clip attached near the pivot, you could not squeeze the handle anymore and secure the lock.
So the PPT reflect all those years. It’s a real biker friendly design, like the La Griffe has always been. Bikers are modern world horse riders. The PPT would a horse rider best friend too.
In the part 2 the rider could be a nightrider ?

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Knives for Self Defense — Is it a good idea ?

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Some knives are marketed on self defense purpose but self defense is not a current situation in the use of a knife. Before you get yourself in a situation where your life is at stake, there is a lot of extraordinary thresholds you have already crossed where your personal knife was not part of the equation.
It’s not the famous Sandbar Duel anymore and we are not, any of us, Jim Bowie’s heirs.
Finding yourself facing dangerous people with guns is not a good situation for “knife self defense”. As you know: “never bring a knife to a gunfight”.
Finding yourself assaulted by someone unarmed, is not a good situation for drawing a blade, especially in front of witnesses. Your lethal response is much too high.

When coud be the knife a good equalizer ? And in what situation ?
Against many opponents, drawing a blade can make you win some times but then your aggressors will adjust their ways to attack you, like throwing chairs and miscellaneous missiles for example.

Also, knife wounds are not painful, especially if the blade is razor sharp: you don’t feel the cuts or the stabs. A furious or drugged opponent won’t feel anything and will continue to attack and even bleed on you…

An opponent in a dark alley draws a knife  on you? Are you ready for a duel “mano a mano” ? Do you think the knife in your hand would be the best way to get away without being wounded yourself ?
Knives are part of the dirty fighting arts; if used as a weapons they are for attack – not defense..

wp-image-258869882(Bud Nealy’s knives were sold as “fast response defense knives”. Here a Peshkab near a Spyderco Mantra 2 for scale purposes.)

It’s like a piano string, the famous “wetworks” used in the commando. Warfare knives are made to kill silently. They can be good stealth weapons in the hands of specially trained soldiers but as a “defense” tool, they are much better equipment like…

The good old hiking staff, a walking stick or the humble cane.
In France, when swords were forbidden, cane fencing developed as a way to protect oneself against knives and for the record common used and carried knives were slipjoints.
After some training, rods, staffs, canes and even solid umbrellas can be used for parrying and inflicting pain should you be in need.

Before to get yourself in dangerous situations where self-defense can be useful, there are certainly other things to be honed than a knife’s edge: your awareness. This is the most important skill. Check your surroundings: always. Being immerse in music under your headphones won’t help. You need your ears and your eyes. Avoiding dangerous areas and avoiding people who makes your instinct react; so many ways to avoid a real self-defense situation. Don’t fall asleep in the subway!
Professionals who get themselves in that kind of situation will not count on their blade as their main self-defense tool. They have telescopic rods, electrical weapons, mace, even flat suitcases they carry are in fact used to “protect” as a shield. Remember: a knife will not protect you; it can arm the opponent. There are no parrying methods with a knife. Also a knife does not have any reach. It’s a close quarter combat weapon. Even a kick has got more reach than a lunge made with a knife in one’s hand. Agreed it’s not the case with a sword or a rapier, or a spear or a staff…

Now you can always learn from those various technics of using a knife as a weapon. It’s like fencing or iaido, it’s always good to learn fighting skills with all tools and the knife is one of the oldest tools used in combat. It helps you to understand a culture. It helps you also to understand the threats and the body language and the stance and the balance. You will learn that from boxing too; footwork and mobility are the first things to master…. “fly like butterfly”. Learning how to fight can also help you to learn how to carry out first aid if someone gets hurt. Knowledge is always good and the more you will learn about knife fighting the less you will dream about using it in a real self-defense situations even though dreams fuel good marketing.

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(Edited by Pascal Jaffre)

Yojimbo2 vs Paramilitary2 — Face 2 Face !

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I got two requests for writing that little comparaison hence a lot of users are hesittating between those two radical designs.

My Yojimbo2 is a special edition as is my Paramillie 2. Both got carbon fiber handles. Both are made in Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth. Both are second generation.

The Yo2 has been designed by Michael Janich and The P2 by Eric and Sal Glesser. Both got compression locks and inhouse system invented by the Glesser. The Yo2 got an S90V blade and the Para got a 52100 ball bearing blade.

The steel in those exclusive runs are totally opposite. S90V is a powder metalurgy alien steel named CPM420V in the previous Century. It is like some kind chewing gum alloy which refuses to let got any particules even during sharpening when 52100 is more of traditionnal old timer bladesmith steel of choice with carbon and a pinch of chromium. S90V got carbid of vanadium and chromium and more than 2% of carbon. 52100 got 1.2% of carbon. They are on the two opposite sides of the famouse best steels spectrum. S90V will stay sharp more than 3 times longer than 52100 if used on abbrasive material like cardboard. But 52100 will be easy to reach razor sharpness. S90V loses its razor edge very fast before to keep a plateau of working edge for a very very long time.

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Both knives got a convexed edge, it was a bear to obtain it on S90V.
Both got very pointy tips fir a equivalent lenght.
But the Yo2 blade is saber hollow ground when the P2 is full flat ground.

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On wood I have already noticed how great the Yo2 was for making sticks.
It has a very confortable handle for hard use and the keen edge got full power from the choil to the tip. Also the thick back helps a lot for pushing with the thumb.
Try the Yo2 on sticks: it will amazed you. But if you need some belly, the P2 will be obviously better. You won’t take the Yo2 for an hunting knife at all.

The Paramillie got this wonderful performance and control the full flat ground can provide. It is in his element: reliable and steady.
But the Self Defense knife is not the last in performing camp task. Do not underestimate it in that mattet as Michael Janich always advocated to use his knives to get used to their ergos and the way you carry them on your person.  the more you do it, the more you train to to draw them in stress situations.

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But in pure quick drawing, the Paramillie got a serious avantage: you can easily spyderdrop it. It is opened in a breeze just by drawing it by holding the hole. This is fast and actually faster than the Yo2 which required first to be clear from the pocket.
Both knives are equally smooth. The YO2 got a little more momentum because the blade is heavier. But, in my book, the Self Defense knife is beaten by the utility knife.
The Yojimbo got also more presence than the Paramillie2,  it is like one of wolverine claws and not really sheeple friendy.

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So really it just a matter of look and taste if you need to choose between them.
Both a high performance folders, with great locks, great ergos and an attention to detail breed in a second generation design. Both will find a way to be very useful in everyday  chores. They are false brothers but you know…
Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum,
What might be right for you, may not be right for some……

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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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