After using the Kapara all this summer I have decided to go the opposite way with a straight edge and flat handle !
And having a lot of fun with my Yojimbo2, I have decided to beat that dead horse again:
“This knife has been designed for Self Defense, It would not be a great EDC, especially in the kitchen.”
All famous SD tools were issued from agricultural items, from nunchakus to kerambits and since when straight sharp knives are not useful in the kitchen ?
So let’s broad the specter of usage of the good old Yo2.
The handle is flat and broad.
This is a real plus for indexing the knife but also to hold it by pivot area between the thum and the index. A very commode grip when carving pumpkins or just cutting on a board.
There is a hump on the handle’s back which fills the palm of the hand making the grip secured even with very wet hands. You can notice the same shape on the Kapara‘s handle.
In fact despite being flat the handle is almost all in curves and
looking at the Yo2, only the very edge is straight.
The blade is short thick but broad and keen. It is shorter than a Kapara’s blade which got almost the same handle length. But this a very powerful blade, able to withstand forceful pushcuts.
For that matter I have rounded the spine on mine. Personal preferences since my first Sebenza.
You can put all your weight on the spine to cut right through any matters. The wide blade goes through like in butter.
Also the Yojimbo2’s blade got a certain heft. It is thick on the spinde and feels hefty hence the sensation of power when cutting. This is not minor in the pleasure of using your tool. Thank kind of weight behind the spine makes it ooze of power.
The high blade can adopt the thin geometry needed for easy slices into cherry tomatoes, a simple chore which can be tricky and is an excellent test for sharpness. Tomatoe’s skin can be tricky and rough or razor edges are their best nemesis.
I also heard a lot: “The tip could be fragile.”
For the record, the Snody/Janich’s Ronin and first Yojimbo were much more thin on their tip. The Ronin being made of VG10, I had managed to break it.
To eliminate any risk I have chosen a stronger alloy on my Yojimbo2: CPM M4 and so far the needle tip is as pointy as Day One.
For that kind of jar, the easiest way to open it is by making a hole right in the middle of its cap. When I want to use the jar again, I will use more force or if stuck a twist of a leatherman’s flat screwdriver under it lips to balance the pressure.
With the Yo2, I have been able to remove staples in wood planks and even drill into hard wood which mean torsions for the drilling. No certain I would try that with S90V but S30V heat treated in Golden is strong enough for knife shores. The CPM M4 used here is just peace of mind even on thin sharp knives. Gayle Bradley has also chosen that steel for the exact same reason: strength.
But a knife will never replace a screwdriver apart perhaps for the infamous Ed Schempp’s Tuff.
Once broken, I have been able to regrind the tip of the Ronin which has been one of my favorite big little fixed blade.
The blade shape allow the Yojimbo2 to cut on a board but also the Wharncliff shape protect the edge from any contact with plate’s ceramic. Only the pointy tip get in contact ! It will make deep scars in your wooden planks if you are not careful.
Wharncliffs are great for whittling and also rope/string cutting. There is no belly for the cut material to run away.
They will be less handy as skinning knife where belly blades are mandatory.
The blade choked, only the tip remains for delicate work. In that matter it is as good as the Paramillie2.
The absence of real choil is not an issue. The place of the thumb on the “hump” gives a lot of controlled power.
As you can notice the flat handle around the pivot is wide and this is a real nice place to land your thumb. So it is great for indexingand always knowing where the edge is. On the opposite concept side of the cutlery world, an Opinel (great knife by the way) with its rounded handle need a double check to know where the edge is as the handle can turn in your grip). So this “thumb landing strip” around the pivot which is especially wide on Yo2 is a great asset for using this SD knife as an EDC tool.
(You can also notice than despite a single spot, I have not been able to get a real patina on that CPM M4 blade.)
In conclusion the Yo2 is really a great workhorse and should not be restricted to Martial Bladecraft. Also the more you use your knife in everyday life and the more your build your motor skills about deploying and closing the blade. The heft of the blade helps a lot for that. Use your Yojimbos hard and you will be surprised how they can handle any tasks !
The YO2 in the words of Michael Janich:
“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. “