Building a relationship with SE

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Evil D
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Building a relationship with SE

Postby Evil D » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:58 pm

For the last couple weeks I've been EDC'ing my very first Spydie, which was a Native lightweight in SE. Back when I bought that knife, I knew 1) nothing about steel types. I actually thought CPM-S30V was the model number or patent number or something.. 2) I knew nothing about sharpening except that I could put a pretty decent edge on a knife with a grinder :eek: and 3) I had originally bought a PE Native and took it home and ended up doing my usual "research after I buy something" routine, which I end up doing to satisfy myself when I buy something on impulse and don't know anything about what I'm buying. At the time I didn't know anything about Spyderco as a company. I remember sitting at home browsing the catalog, thinking that you could basically order a custom knife by selecting different handle materials/steel types/blade types because I saw the tabs showing these different things, and as I browsed I saw so many variants of the same model I figured they were just options. (wouldn't it be so awesome if we could actually do that?)

Anyway, it was this paragraph in the edge-u-cation that made me return the PE version and buy the SE version:
What is a SpyderEdge?

Why does Spyderco manufacture SpyderEdge (serrated) blades?

Because serrations improve cutting ability. The tips of the serrations provide single point penetration at the same time the center of effort rotates around each serration for an infinite number of cutting angles, increasing the cutting edge length by up to 24% (Diagram B). A serration is a sharpened recessed curve along the edge of the blade and has more linear cutting surface than a straight edge in the same space (Diagram A). And, serrations improve edge retention because the tips initiate the cut easing the amount of force required by the recessed edges. The points actually protect the sharp inside curves that continue the cut, thus the curves have less wear over time. Our signature SpyderEdge, also referred to as a two-step serration incorporates a repeated pattern of one large and two small serrations (Diagram B).

There have been many variations of serrated edges produced over the years. Even a properly sharpened plain edge will exhibit vertical scratch patterns with "micro-serrations" that enable the edge to cut efficiently (Diagram C). Overall, the SpyderEdge provides the most efficient cutting performance in a serrated edge. We recommend it for all your aggressive jobs such as cutting rope, seat belts, cardboard, rubber hose and leather. With proper cutting technique, the SpyderEdge can function equally well for fine-skilled tasks such as skinning, cutting paper and slicing. The SpyderEdge is easily maintained with our Tri-Angle Sharpmaker or ProFile sets.
All of that seemed logical to me at the time. I respected how much detail and explanation Spyderco put into all this, and the idea of "infinite cutting surfaces" sounded really cool.

So I got the SE version, and carried it for a few years religiously, but never sharpened the serrations. I had bought a Smith's sharpening setup (very sub par) and was able to maintain the 3/4 inch of plain edge, which was enough PE for me to be happy since I could do detailed slicing with just the tip. However, even though the Smith's kit had a triangle type stone for sharpening serrations, it never did put an edge on those teeth that came anywhere near as sharp as I could put on a PE knife, and so I eventually put the Native away and stopped using it altogether.

___________________________________

Fast forward 8 years later, and I've successfully brainwashed myself into believing SE are for sailors or people who cut rope for a living. Admittedly, it was my inability to sharpen serrations, and conversely my greater ability to sharpen PE that have pushed me away from SE use. My strict moral code against leaving a good tool unused has pushed me to 1) figure out how to sharpen those **** serrations, and 2) really put forth a solid effort to see if they really benefit me in my EDC enough to bother with them.

What I've found has basically contradicted a lot of what I have said over the years. The common argument I've made is "although serrations do excel at cutting things like rope, the vast majority of things can be cut just fine by a sharp PE" or "I've never found myself wishing I had serrations, but I can think of a few cases where if I all I had were serrations I would wish I had a PE". In reality, I've been cutting apples and such just fine with this knife. The only thing I can say is maybe a better blade design/grind would perform even better, something like a SE Stretch for example with a thinner FFG blade so the thickness behind the edge is far thinner. I'm suddenly wondering how something like the Chaparral would perform with that 2mm blade with full SE. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a fully converted person, but I can honestly say I could probably have my primary EDC blade a full SE and be completely content, and then have my backup/keychain knife a PE for the times when I absolutely had to have a smoother slicing blade and I wouldn't feel like I was at a loss. I really think a lot of the loss in popularity stems from peoples' laziness and inability/unwillingness to learn to sharpen serrations, and that if they can cross that bridge and experience a SE that can push cut phone book paper, they would gain a greater appreciation for the use of SE.

In the end, I still don't feel that carrying only PE leaves you at a loss, but I do think there is a good amount to be gained from carrying SE. If nothing else I might be seriously looking into finding some older full SE models that you can't find anymore and using them as my primary EDC, and then leaving my Ladybug as my PE backup.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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ginsuwarrior
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Postby ginsuwarrior » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:13 pm

Nice insight bud....I was anti SE for a while, picked up a Tasman about 3 weeks ago and that's all I carry. In fact my next on the list Spydercos are all SE. Yes I love a hair popping, push cutting plain edge as much as the next guy but Spyderco's serrated edges are from the future, in a good way!!! They are on the next level. And for EDC the serrated edge is an awesome choice for lots of hard choices...and I've got an infinite amount of hard choices I have to make every day.

p.s. And yes each little serrated half moon can push cut paper!

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xceptnl
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Postby xceptnl » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:50 pm

Thanks for sharing David. I too have learned to love the SE because I was finally ready to give the sharpening process the time it deserved. The 701 Profile set made a huge difference in my understanding of the serrated edge. Even better was the fact that all the free-hand SE practice translated to the PE skills and I became a free-hand animal.
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sal wrote: .... even today, we design a knife from the edge out!
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Postby bpeezer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:12 pm

Good insight! I can honestly say that the only reason I don't carry serrated or combo blades is because I really prefer the serrations to be ground on the right side of the blade, and on 99% of knives they're ground on the left side.

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Postby GoodEyeSniper » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:20 pm

I've been looking to get on the serrated Spydie train for awhile, too. Unfortunately due to an injury and no work I have chosen to freeze my unnecessary spending habits so I've been sort of dragging my feet about finding a good trade for some of my knives I don't use anymore. (not Spydercos) My main concern is still sharpening. I'm mediocre at best with the sharpmaker. And I can sometimes get a paper slicing edge on bench stones, but I sometimes lack the patience on some of the harder steels...

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angusW
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Postby angusW » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:41 pm

In a way se seems easier for me to keep tuned up because I'm just using the edge of the Sharpmaker or the 701's on basically one side of the blade as opposed to multiple stones and a strop for a pe but getting a very dull se sharp is more difficult I find. I've carried a Tasman se for a few years. I used and abused it and didn't bother sharpening it and it was a nightmare for me to bring it back to a semi-decent edge. I always carry it at along with that day's pe knife. At home I always carry a Lil' Matriarch as well as that days pe. I figure I usually have at least five pockets so I might as well carry two knives.
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My Spydies

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johnnygomer
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Postby johnnygomer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:53 pm

Thanks for sharing that David.
I have held on to similar negative perceptions of serrated edges for many of the same reasons.
Also, aesthetically I just like the sleek smooth look of a fine plain edge.
Similarly, I like the smooth, sleek lines of a classic Corvette, but I understand that another sports car with more "exotic" styling that does not necessarily appeal to me, can and often does out-perform the Vette (in some cases by leaps and bounds).
It's a matter of perception.
What I'm thinking is that I have a couple of cheaper Byrd knives with combination edges and I will use these to begin with to practice and "perfect" my technique, then move on to higher quality blades.
Thanks again.

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Holland
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Postby Holland » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:38 pm

I never thought to try out serrations until about 2 months ago when i decided to start using my para1 SE. the cutting ability has blown me out of the water and it also forced me to watch the sharpmaker video which was super educational and i wish i watched it when i bought the darn thing. Using the sharpmaker, a SE actually takes less time to sharpen from my experience :D YMMV
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Holland
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Postby Holland » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:47 pm

I think this thread could use some pictures :D

Image

Image

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-Spencer

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GoodEyeSniper
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Postby GoodEyeSniper » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:56 am

nice. did you grind the jimping down a bit on that one?

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Brock O Lee
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Postby Brock O Lee » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:13 am

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, you post something like this David...

I like my Salt SE's, but when I use them I always wish they were FFG.

I'll have to re-prioritise that FFG SE blade I've been eyeing for the last few months.
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Favourites at the moment: Military 204P, Spydiechef, Sage 2, Pits, Heinnie UKPK, Native Cruwear, Chaparral Ti

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Postby razorsharp » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:47 am

I picked up my first full SE knife last week, a SE Endura 1 as an impulse and cheap buy, the serrations are in bad shape, im gonna send it in and maintain it from there and try it out. It is shaving, but theres chips in the serrations

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Evil D
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Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:05 am

I think for me sharpness is the game changer. I don't want to have to saw through stuff. That's not the point of serrations. I'm looking at it like having 50 or so PE hawkbills on one blade. They all have to slice as well as my PE knives do. Once you get it that sharp the whole idea comes together.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Postby BAL » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:50 am

Nice detailed thread Evil. I prefer a plain edge for most work and carry them.
However, I would also classify myself as a spyderedge fan, not as much as
JD, but nonetheless a big fan.
Not so much at the office, but I use one religiously around the farm. One is
always included in my carry set as I am one of those that carry three knives
at a minimum.
Early into my introductiomn into the land of Spyderco, the Sharpmaker was
one of my first purchases and I watch SAl demonstrate his sharpening expertise
numerous times, trying to imitate the draw strokes. As a few have noted, I find
it very easy to keep my serrated edges in top sharpness from with the sharpmaker
and don't have any desire to try to sharpen the serration one at a time.

I have had a few different spyderedged knives high on wish list and must admit
that I am with JD on longing for a Spyderhawk with a G-10 handle and maybe
different steel. But I also would love to a see a fully serrated Military make its
way back, even if only a sprint.

Good stuff Evil.

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Postby akaAK » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 am

Great thread. I was always a fan of serrations and then was blown away by my first ones on a spydie. I never understood the negative attitude to serrations (CE's especially). If the tool works for the cutting you do its a good tool. Knowledge and experience cannot be static. The description of your increased level of knife sharpening skills leading you back to the spyderedge is a great example of this. I was lucky enough that I always found SE to be relatively easy to keep acceptably sharp on the SM. My sharpening skills are still relatively weak (to me and probaly most of you, the average non-knife person is usually surprised at how sharp my knive are).

Thankfully Spyderco still offers alot of options for most knife users. That being said I would be pulling out my CC if a Para 2 SE or CE came out.

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Postby Donut » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:25 am

David, this is probably a good time to ask you. :p

Do you think the recent obsession with coarse edges is from people trying to create a serrated edge on a plain edge knife?


Also, I didn't email the guy, but there's someone on BF trade section that mentions a Military with serrations. I'm not sure if it's full serrated or combo edge.
-Brian
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Brock O Lee
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Postby Brock O Lee » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:41 am

I have just made a deeper commitment to my relationship with SE, by fishing a Millie C36GSE from the bay !
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Favourites at the moment: Military 204P, Spydiechef, Sage 2, Pits, Heinnie UKPK, Native Cruwear, Chaparral Ti

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Postby xceptnl » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:54 am

Brock O Lee wrote:...by fishing a Millie C36GSE from the bay !
Nice!
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sal wrote: .... even today, we design a knife from the edge out!
*Landon*

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Evil D
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Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:12 am

Donut wrote:David, this is probably a good time to ask you. :p

Do you think the recent obsession with coarse edges is from people trying to create a serrated edge on a plain edge knife?


Also, I didn't email the guy, but there's someone on BF trade section that mentions a Military with serrations. I'm not sure if it's full serrated or combo edge.
I dunno that's an interesting thought. There's the whole "micro serrations" thing which is more or less what you get with a toothy edge, but I think it's the points and curved edges that make a SE shine more so than the edge finish. I haven't even started thinking about different edge finishes to test with SE since I'm sort of limited to what I can sharpen with. If I could get a set of rods like the 701 set that were in different grits, I would probably lose sleep over it.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Welcome to the Spyderedge Evil D

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:12 am

Preaching to a very devout choir indeed Evil D :cool: I will admit that it took me a lot of practice to sharpen Spyderedges to my personal satisfaction but I experimented with many sharpening tools before I found one that I really like and get very consistent results with.

I still say that the now discontinued Spyderco 701 Profile set is far and above my personal favorite tool for sharpening most of my fully serrated and/or Spyderedged blades. The Spyderco 204 Sharpmaker will indeed get most serration patterns very sharp but the one thing I don't like about using the 204 Sharpmaker unit on serrations is the hard fact that it does to a degree deform the original grind that the serrations came from the factory with.

Everyone that I've converted and convinced that the 701 Profile set is a great tool for sharpening serrations seems to take on the same opinion I got from them. Albeit I'm still anxious to see Sal get his video done on the Goldenstone because I'm sure that tool has a lot to offer as well.

I'm still experimenting a lot on stropping serrations but so far leather bootlaces with polishing compound seems to be the way to go. However I'm always open to any new ideas someone wants to throw out on the table.
Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!


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