g-10 or frn?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Sam G.
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Postby Sam G. » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:51 pm

I see you've already purchased a knife in g10, but I'd still like to chime in. I don't own a Byrd knife myself, but I do own a g10 Spydie as well as an FRN handled model, and on the whole, I prefer FRN.
The look of g10 is quite attractive, that's a given. It looks and feels "high end," and it is. But it doesn't seem to be as wildly indestructible as FRN. G10, from my experiences, is softer than FRN. For example, the g10 handled Spyderco I own is the Ocelot, and from the factory, the clip orientation has the knife in the "tip down" position. I don't happen to like this position, so I unscrewed the clip to put it on the other side, in "tip up." After unscrewing the clip, I found that it had left a noticeable impression in the material. It had literally flattened the pattern. Not a huge problem, I cut a small piece of grip tape to fit over the mark, and it's worked perfectly to cover the blemish as well as provide extra grip. It even looks cool!

This really isn't a huge deal, but if you are a stickler about the condition of your tools (and toys!), the issue that I came across can be a bit disconcerting. FRN isn't quite as grippy, or stylish, but it's less expensive, tough as nails, and gets the job done just fine.

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Postby ChaosSpear » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:02 pm

Funny. I have a nice rubbery frn on my knife (rt hand tip up only) and I tried to put the clip on the left side (it all fits together in the pivot screw) and It worked, But was too tall. Once I took it off there was the noticeable impression from it. Although I only had this for a day.

But regardless, I dont plan on changing the clip since there is only 1 left hand placement. Ill see how it goes.
Proud owner of a meadowlark g10!! :spyder:

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Postby Firebat » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:24 pm

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Postby Crocodilo » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:28 pm

Personally, I'm a bit of a G10-loving snob. It's grippy, rigid and classy.

Nevertheless, FRN is nothing to be sneezed at, especially if done right, like is the case with Spyderco. FRN linerless handless are only acceptable on a small knife, were torsion forces won't get much leverage (FRN is somewhat flexible). On bigger knives, sunken liners combined with FRN slabs are enough to get the job very well done. When I took down my Endura 4 Wave I was pretty impressed with the insides of it, and found a renewed love for that knife. And one thing is certain, FRN does hold up very well throughout time, much better than I expected. That same flexibility allows it to endure blows and pressures that might crack stiffer materials.

In conclusion: don't let price dictate your choices, go with your in-hand feeling. I've heard that G10 is pricier, but easier to work with piece by piece - best for small runs. FRN on the other hand is cheaper, but the molds are supposed to be very expensive. In the end, because a mold can produce countless parts, the retail price is lower, but only after large numbers get rolled out.
:spyder: 7 Millies, 4 Paras, 2 Calys, 2 Enduras, 1 Chinook, 1 Manix, 1 Delica, 1 UKPK, 1 Tasman, 1 D'fly

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Postby yowzer » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:47 pm

I like FRN handles a lot. Cheaper in the long run to make, strong, grip is fine, especially with the BiDi texturing, though the old Volcano one that's still found on the Salts is fine too.

Spyderco's G-10 feels like holding a chunk of concrete at first, and is plain and boring. Now, if they used multi-colored or textured G-10 the way some other companies do... look at Bark River for examples of gorgeous G-10 (Not to mention Micarta) handle slabs.
Newest :spyder: in hand: Halloween Handle Hap40 Endura and Delica.

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Sword of Morning
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Postby Sword of Morning » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:36 pm

For all out durability and grip, I pick FRN. It's a material that doesn't always get the credit it deserves. However, it seems no plastic ever does. Regardless, FRN is in many ways the most ideal balance of properties that you want in a handle material. You can drop it, run it over, get it wet, get it dirty and it will still function just fine for years. The bi-directional texture that Spyderco uses is the best I have felt for grip in molded polymer handles, and compares well with any other textured material. A big bonus is that Spyderco can make the liners nested in FRN handles more often than not. G-10 can have nested liners as well, but it has to be much less common for a reason (such as cost).

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Postby Firebat » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:45 pm

G-10 all the way. Far more appealing than FRN, which no matter how well it's textured, colored, nested, whatever- will always, always, always feel like cheap plastic to me.

As for FRN being "softer" than FRN or somehow less durable, I don't think so.

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