I was very eager to get my hands on this little guy as I'm such a big lover of the original Spyderco Gayle Bradley. I think it's quite a hard thing to sit on this side of the Atlantic, biting your nails as you watch all those shiny new Spyderco boxes being opened in the States!
Well mine finally arrived last week and here are my thoughts...
Stats from Spyderco:
length overall: 5.96" (1.51 mm)
length closed: 3.41" (87 mm)
blade length: 2.55" (65 mm)
blade thickness: 0.089" (2.3 mm)
cutting edge: 2.37" (60 mm)
blade steel: CPM M4
handle material: Titanium/Glass Fiber
weight: 1.3 oz (37 g)
First off, I know this might be pretty obvious to say, but goodness me is this light! In fact it is lighter than a Spyderco Kiwi by more than 10 grams! The name 'Air' is very well deserved. In fact it is so light that it almost felt 'fragile' when I first picked it up, however, this is not the case at all and it feels like a miniature version of it's bigger, rugged brother...just as sturdy and well finished, albeit a lot smaller!
This light weight comes from the design and materials...skeletonised titanium liners with silver twill glass fibre scales. This also makes the Air one heck of a looker! After going over this knife with a fine-toothed comb I've got to say that it is quite simply exquisite. The fit and finish from Taichung is yet again flawless...blade perfectly finished and centred, lock up rock solid, action smooth, I can't fault anything in the example I have.
The silver twill glass fibre:
The texture of the scales is pretty much that of carbon fibre. It's smoother than G10 but still grippy enough for your hand not to be sliding around. The material does have a translucent quality when the scales are viewed down their clear (well, misty) sides and the inside of the handle. One of the features that I really loved about the original Spyderco Gayle Bradley were the proud liners and the Air has them too. It doesn't take away from the comfort of the handle at all but somehow gives the knife an extra air of quality. I'm not sure if there is a functional reason behind this aspect of the design, but it sure looks lovely. And this is where the Air really shines...being a darn lovely looking dress knife!
Here she is open and closed:
It's a great size and shape to slip into a suit pocket, it's such a shame that in the UK we can only legally take a slippie out to dinner or the theatre, as this would be the perfect knife for such occasions. A number of people have expressed concern that the Air doesn't have a pocket clip. I myself am quite happy without the clip, but if the Air is to get one in future, I would think it deserves a specific clip design of it's own, to fit in with it's very unique lines and appearance. I think the standard wire clip, whilst being perfectly functional, would take something away from this knife's appearance.