Spyderco Tuff Review: 5 months in. WARNING HUNTING pics

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xavierdoc
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Spyderco Tuff Review: 5 months in. WARNING HUNTING pics

Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:17 pm

I picked up my Spyderco Tuff in August 2012. It has seen regular use since then.

My use for a heavy duty folder, which this certainly is, range from light EDC tasks to processing deer or clearing styles or scrub. Typically, I use a folder over a fixed blade if discretion and pocketability are required. Predominately this applies to clearing footpaths, styles and cycle tracks. A Rajah I performs these tasks superbly, but pushes the definition of "pocketable" to its limit!

I have intentionally used the Tuff for tasks more appropriate for a fixed blade, for the purpose of evaluation. However, I haven't batonned or pryed with it (not heavily, anyway.) No "destruction testing" has been performed.

Although the factory edge was satisfactory in use, when I came to sharpen it, I found the blade was so thick behind the edge near the tip that the 40deg stones on the Sharpmaker weren't even hitting the edge. I have fixed blades in CPM-3V and I knew that a folder didn't need that thickness in my hands. Accordingly, I carefully thinned the blade and reprofiled the edge. Initially a pure convex edge, later a 40deg microbevel:

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Much has been said about the stiffness of the lock and the sharpness of the spydie hole. Personally, neither of these bothered me. I found the knife was OK to deploy and close, both with and without gloves:

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Ergonomics:

Some users have found the offset between the choil and thumb-ramp uncomfortable. I find the knife lends itself to three primary grips (so long as a suitable lanyard knot is used...)

Forward grip: the choil works best with a thumb on the spine of the blade, rather than the thumb ramp:
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Power grip: the thumb ramp is actually better positioned for this grip, if you want some extra feel or control in a power grip:
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Reach grip: I have a chunky lanyard knot which facilitates this grip, which I use with caution for lopping soft/green vegetation (brambles etc.) at full stretch:
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Usage:


So, during the summer and autumn months, the knife has been used primarily on foliage related tasks:

Clearing overgrown styles:
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The odd bushcrafty task:
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Cont. in Part 2
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Spyderco Tuff Review Part 2:


This is at the thickest end of the spectrum of media cut:
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More typical substrate:
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One tough test was 2 days solid hacking, clearing the garden and land of a house that was somewhat neglected; This is the spoil!

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Young and old were pressed into service:

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The stiffest test was hacking through an enormous patch of brambles that had grown up from bricks and through discarded metal grilles:

Cut a path to get into the brambles:
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Then set to work at the base of the stems, trying to avoid the bricks and metal grilles:
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Inevitably, the edge clipped some metal and brick. This was the only visible damage:

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These tasks also generate plenty of body heat, this pic demonstrates condensed sweat on the blade. No corrosion issues with minimal care so far:

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UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Part 3
Although the knife is by no means a carver, I did use it for most of the roughing out and shaping of a ladle. This is a good test for hot-spots. Folders typically don't do well in this area (which is why I would normally use an axe, saw and fixed-blade). The Tuff did not disgrace itself, being comparable to most folders with squarish edges.

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WARNING: the pics show dead animal/gore.













Hunting:

I always carry a folder as well as a fixed-blade when hunting. For testing purposes, I used the Tuff for all the cutting duties:

Rabbits: Works fine but is more than enough blade!

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Foxes (A friend wanted the tails):

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Deer:

Before processing this deer, the blade was shaving sharp:

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Will the fuller act as a blood groove for the letting?
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Who knows?! Blade goes in, blood comes out!

Cont.
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:23 pm

Part 4

One-handed gralloch; this knife can do delicate abdo-entry, too:

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During the unzipping, the fuller acts rather nicely as an aid to grip:
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The knife got pretty grubby but no problems with grip and it cleaned up with no difficulty (open-back construction helped.)
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Skinning and butchering:
The blade profile works well for skinning:
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UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Part 5

The robust tip shrugs-off the de-legging and de-heading:
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The blade profile was never going to be a world-beater for butchery, but it performed OK:
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Summary:

The fit and finish of this Taichung-made knife is superb. The lock hasn't shifted at all, there is no suggestion of blade play. The blade is perfectly-centered.

Appearance is an individual matter. I don't care what it looks like so long as it gets the job done. This knife gets the job done. Grip is fine. I'm not sure about the dimples.

It is heavy; I do not mind weighty knives but others may find this too much for pocket carry. I find it completely unnoticeable clipped in a pocket.

Sharpening has been straightforward on japanese waterstones, Sharpmaker, leather-backed micromesh (for convex). Edge-holding is more than adequate for my purposes (I took a video of paper slicing after full deer processing which revealed a good working edge was retained, albeit not hair-popping. I have so far failed to upload the vid to youtube.)

EDIT: trying to embed video: LINK


Corrosion: I have always cleaned the blade after coming in from shooting. With similar treatment Super Blue and K294, patination/staining has already started but the CPM3V remains as shiny as day 1, so far.

Verdict:

If you launch a knife with the name "Tuff", it is akin to wandering up to the nut-job in the pub, spilling his pint and saying "come an have a go if you think you're hard enough!" To a certain type of person, you are inviting attack.

So is the Tuff all mouth and no trousers? Can it walk the walk?

I say "yes". Emphatically. It feels as solid as a Shing Dreadnought, which is high praise indeed. It is not as slick or light as a Sebenza, and won't slice as well, but I have no qualms about leaning on it.

There have been some reports of lock failure since the Tuff was released, although I don't think any of those knives were ever returned to Spyderco for analysis, so the cause may be user error or modification of the stiff lock.

I had one episode where I inadvertantly disengaged the lock: this was because I was exerting an outwards force on the lock-bar while trying to release the bound blade in a very unusual cutting position (wrist bent to get under an obstructing grille).

The problem (for want of a better word) is that the knife inspires confidence and encourages you to lay into it, using it more and more like a heavy fixed blade. This is what caused the lock release when I was using it- I know because I replicated the circumstance immediately, yet could not provoke the lock to "fail" through other means; closure relied on me twisting on the lockbar while pulling sideways (ie. releasing the lock.)

My final thoughts:

Sometimes you bond with a knife immediately: the Spyderco Gayle Bradley (Mk1) is a personal example of this.
Sometimes you bond with a knife after a period of use: the Spyderco Manix 2 M4 fits in this category for me.

The Tuff, was an expensive knife so although I did feel that immediate bond, I also felt it "owed" me something. Luckily it did not fail to deliver and is one of my most carried and used knives. It is quirky, but not at the expense of function (unlike the Captain, which I find quirky but compromised.)

Am I happy with the knife: Yes

Would I buy one again: Yes

Would I recommend it? Yes, IF you need a more discrete option than a fixed blade or you need a back up (or if you just like overbuilt folders.)
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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WireEdge Roger
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Postby WireEdge Roger » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:31 pm

Wow, we'll done! Nice pics too! Thanks for taking the time to do that.

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captnvegtble
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Postby captnvegtble » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Wow. Nice review. Thanks.

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Holland
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Postby Holland » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:41 pm

Great review! thanks for spending the time to take so many pictures!
-Spencer

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Pockets
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Postby Pockets » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Fantastic pics! Are you taking requests for more reviews? :D
Delica PE, Dragonfly Salt SE, Stretch SE, Manbug SE, Mule 16, Sage 1, black/satin PM2, Native 5

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Postby filardhimuhyi » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:36 pm

nice review! what a powerful knife that is

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:58 pm

Thanks, all.
Pockets wrote:Fantastic pics! Are you taking requests for more reviews? :D
I'm always using knives and so gather "data" and pics as I go.
I write a review when I think I've got to know the good and bad points of the knife. Then it is a matter of time to write it (not literally, more a case of getting round to it.)

Spyderco knives for which I have enough material for a review (pics and/or vid):

Southfork
Warrior
Military in M390
Gayle Bradley (early run)
Caly 3.5 SuperBlue
Probably more if I look through my hard drive.

I'd be interested in requests (only because I may have the knife in question and could use it more.)

There is an element of publication bias- I tend to get rid off knives I'm not using/don't like, so I don't end up writing a review.
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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Fred Sanford
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Postby Fred Sanford » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:11 pm

Very great review. It's also very considerate and thoughtful of you to post a warning. Much respect for that sir.

Side note: What is the rifle on top of the deer? Just curious. ;) I'm a lover of firearms too.
“I'm callin' you ugly. I could stick yo face in some dough and make some gorilla cookies.” - Fred Sanford

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captnvegtble
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Postby captnvegtble » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:11 pm

Have you gutted a deer with the Warrior? I'm curious how it functions for its intended use. :D

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:20 pm

captnvegtble wrote:Have you gutted a deer with the Warrior? I'm curious how it functions for its intended use. :D
Yes, possibly with video. I use the Warrior a great deal- it has been a real surprise.

It is a good skinner and the flattened tip works well as finger rest when unzipping. The serrated back is good for scoring round the joints (spares the true edge). The bellied blade is good for skinning but compromised for butchering.
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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Postby xceptnl » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:23 pm

Great pics and a terrific review. Thanks for sharing. I love seeing photos of an expensive knife covered in blood!
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sal wrote: .... even today, we design a knife from the edge out!
*Landon*

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:31 pm

Some Warrior pics I'd already put on photobucket:

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Using back of blade to score joints:
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Hacking through the ribs (intentionally tough test for the edge):
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The Warrior is a great knife- I have no interest in it as a combat blade but it has hidden versatility!
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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captnvegtble
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Postby captnvegtble » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:46 pm

Nice. Thanks again for sharing.

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xavierdoc
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Postby xavierdoc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:50 pm

David Lowry wrote:Side note: What is the rifle on top of the deer? Just curious. ;) I'm a lover of firearms too.
It's a Sako 75 Varmint Stainless barrel laminate stock, in .308win.
UKPK G10, UKPK Ti, Para 2CF&20CP, Stretch CF, Stretch CF conv, Manix2 M4,Endura Wave, Endura ZDP189, Pacific Salt, Captain, Gunting S30v, P'Kal, Gayle Bradley,Atlantic Salt, Spyderhawk, Crossbill, Wings slipit
Mules: CTSBD1, Super Blue, S90V, VG10, S35VN, Cos-3, M390 Fixed: Bushcraft, Warrior

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Fred Sanford
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Postby Fred Sanford » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:00 pm

xavierdoc wrote:It's a Sako 75 Varmint Stainless barrel laminate stock, in .308win.
Great choice my man. Good taste. ;)
“I'm callin' you ugly. I could stick yo face in some dough and make some gorilla cookies.” - Fred Sanford

Knifeaddict
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Postby Knifeaddict » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:35 pm

best review I have ever seen/read

Great Work!!!!


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