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Old 03-11-2019, 10:21 PM   #1
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New One

So my knife expectations have evolved a little bit in recent months. Daily, I carry a Benchmade Adamas. It's a giant thing, tipping the scales at 7.7 ounces and measuring 8.75 inches. It's great for doing work or for serious business if called upon. It's a little too big, though, when I have to dress like a grownup.

I've dabbled with a Ganzo G741 with G10 scales, which is a spectacular knife when you consider it's under twenty bucks. It's not as slick as a knife costing 5-10 times as much, but it's solid enough to carry and use, and I can put a fun edge on it. This one isn't too bad when dressing up. It's 4.5 ounces and 8.25 inches. But it doesn't have pizzaz.

So what to get that is suitable for carrying while dressed nicely, has a true ambidextrous lock, carries point up, and has "pizzaz?"

I always thought Spyderco's were weird looking with the big Spyder Hole and wiiiiide profile. But they do have their own special flair. I started looking, and their Manix 2 line has their "Ball Bearing Lock," which looks and functions similar to Benchmade's Axis Lock. It comes in a LOT of different flavors. Chico talked me into the S110V steel. One variation that caught my eye is the "lightweight" model. It's a polymer handle with a steel insert, not unlike modern pistols. BladeHQ had the best deal on it, and shipping was free.

The knife arrived today, and came in a nice-enough packaging. When I took out the knife, I immediately thought "tinker toy." This thing weighs in at 2.9 ounces. I'm not used to that. But the Spyder Hole is really easy to operate, just like they claim. The blade is secure in the handle, but moves smooth enough that the knife can be closed merely by pulling on the lock and giving your wrist a flick. I was worried that the handle would be slippery, but it's not the case. It's really grippy on my hand, more so than the G10 knife that's here on my desk. I'm not sure how I feel about the finger choil. You CAN grip the handle further back and be fine. But if you use the finger choil, it's instantly clear that you have more control over the blade. But it's disconcerting having my finger that close to the slicey-part.

Now to the edge. I'm really happy with it. The bevel looks dead nuts even on the right side. The left side looks the same, but it narrows ever so slightly toward the back. Under great magnification, the grind marks are all consistent and oriented perpendicular to the edge. And at the very edge, it appears to be evenly stropped a bit finer. The edge is sharp. It's not as sharp as I can do, but it's nothing to sneeze at. As much as I like to "adjust" things right out of the box, I'm going to carry this one and use it just as it is.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:27 AM   #2
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Good review. I've had several Spidies, but my clients keep buying them before I can give them an honest road test.

I have a few days to be home, maybe I'll call Blue Ridge and get one. Do you have any suggestions?
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:37 AM   #3
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This is the only Spyderco model that I seriously looked at, aside from the variations in steel and handle materials.

I'm curious about the spring tension in the lock. I think it's excessive and am tempted to shorten it.

I'll probably end up putting a steeper edge on the blade, but only over time as sharpening is required.

The factory edge intrigues me. It's sharp, but not finely polished. It will thinly slice cherry tomatoes held in the air. But grabs at thin paper. I can improve upon it, but haven't decided what to do. What do you think about establishing the angle I want with rocks, then stropping at 40 microns, being careful to maintain N/S orientation, and then maybe a couple finishing strokes at 1 micron? My thoughts are that the edge would be like a school of angry little pygmy sharks.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:21 PM   #4
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I have owned exactly one Spyderco. 'tis a sad tale. Not the knife's fault, but it involves a balisong fetish, knives that are no longer in production and a house robbery...
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
The factory edge intrigues me. It's sharp, but not finely polished. It will thinly slice cherry tomatoes held in the air. But grabs at thin paper.
You have just described what the Japanese refer to as "kirinaga." Essentially, "sharp, but toothy."

For an EDC knife stuffed in your jeans, it's a good edge.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:47 PM   #6
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Dude! My wife is gonna be pissed when she learns that you're spending even MORE of my... uh... HER.. money. Gotta buy me another strop and some juice, if I'm ever gonna be able to sneak up on this mythical beast known as "The Kirinaga."
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:59 AM   #7
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I'd like a strop. Always wanted one. I'm not sure why.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I'd like a strop. Always wanted one. I'm not sure why.
Well I don't have a leather strop like the barber did when I was a little kid. I have a chunk of nanocloth attached to a chunk of aluminum which I attach to my Faux Edge Praux. I kinda thing that stropping is more about the process, more than what you're using. But I could be wrong.

When you're a newbie like me, there are two ways to go. You can start trying random things until you get good results, and then you try to figure out how to repeat those results. I do plenty of that, and sometimes I'm like the Blind Pig.

The other way is you can find someone better than you, and then be a copycat. Both Chico and Ken Schwartz have been instrumental in pointing me in the right direction. These guys use magic cloth and secret sauce, so that's what I'm doing.

Early on I discovered that stropping, whether it was on denim or a paper towel, would improve my edge. But that's the Blind Pig rooting around in the dirt. When I started using better tools for the job, my edges made a quantum leap forward in awesomeness.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #9
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love my spydercos...
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:49 PM   #10
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I've been carrying the Syderco for a week now, and have some thoughts. I understand that this is a lightweight knife so it was assembled with aluminum rivets. That's fine. But I'd really like to be able to take it apart to adjust the spring tension. To do so would require drilling out the rivets and installing screws. I don't think I want to do that. I wish it was put together with screws.

The other thing that is makes me sad is that my hand is getting sore and calloused. I have working hands, but the fingers are getting really tender. "Why? What's going on," you ask?

It's because in all the Spyderco reviews on Youtube, they do the Spydie Flick. Sure, you can open the knife in the traditional "thumb stud" style, which is perfectly fine. But since Spyderco's have the Spydie Hole, you can do this slick little maneuver that sends the blade flying open. And since it looks cool, I have to do it. It's a little scary, as the knife is really sharp, and I have an aversion to letting the red stuff leak out. But blood letting is sometimes the toll that must be paid on the road to awesomeness. I had to learn.

It didn't take long to figure out the basics of the Spydie Flick, but it took a little longer to learn to get it right. But it's taking much longer to learn to do it so I can't get it wrong. That's where the callouses are coming in. There's a LOT of repetition. I fully expect my wife to tire of the clicking and scream, "ENOUGH WITH THE KNIFE FLICKING AREADY!!!"

If I fall off the radar and you never hear from me again, you'll know that she finally snapped. Wish me luck.
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