Spyderco Delica FFG Review

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PaloArt
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Spyderco Delica FFG Review

Postby PaloArt » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:29 pm

Spyderco Delica FFG Review

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Written by Paloart
Edited by Anthony aka D1omedes

Let me write a few words about this little folding knife.

The Spyderco Delica is a baseline model of the Spyderco company and serves as a basic workhorse knife along with its bigger sister, the Endura, since 1990.

Since 1990, many things have changed about the Delica – today´s version has nested ss liners, whereas the older Delica models were linerless and super lightweight. Its FRN handles provide perfect grip for all weather situations and very good durability. This knife should be a perfect hard-use knife due to it´s solid construction.

The enlarged 13mm hole is perfect for one hand operation – even with gloves on. Although I would personally prefer a smaller opening hole for both aesthetic reasons and after finding that I could easily open a Ladybug with gloves on. In my opinion, an opening hole around 11 or 12 milimeters would be better looking and still very functional. What I did not like about the knife from the beginning was the blade length to handle ratio. In the closed position you can see at least 4 milimeters are missing. I would prefer a slight improvement of the handle design to fit better with the blade. I think one of the main purposes of folding knife is to have as much blade as possible in the smallest package possible. An example of perfect handle blade ratio is my old belowed Michael Walker FRN model.

A few more words on the handle of the Delica.

I find that the molded grip is very secure. I would add a little bulk to the handle in order for it to feel more comfortable during workhorse duties. With extended use I noticed many hotspots and that the Delica was not that comfy in operation. I´m real world user of my knives: cutting and whittling wood, cutting cardboards, food preparation etc. I believe 1mm of extra thickness on each side of the handle would improve the ergonomics of the knife.

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The hourglass clip is very comfortable and helps improve grip. Truth to be told, I felt less hotspots with the clip mounted than without the clip. The four clip mounting positions are something I like to see on my knives as I sometimes lend them to other people. My left- handed girlfriend is enjoying her Delica on a daily basis and uses it as her EDC. She has commented that the Delica excels at both food prep and outdoor activities.

Lockup was solid from the start. The backlock mechanism is something I like about this knife as it is reliable and fully ambidextrous. What I would really like to see is an improvement on the lock to prevent both vertical and horizontal bladeplay after extended use. I encountered no safety issues but it feels bad when using knife and feeling parts moving while in hand. I took time in adjusting the main pivot and other screws but this did not resolve the bladeplay. I think that the softer hardening of the lock bar is the main problem as it wears really quickly (mine at least shows awfull amount of wear). An improvement would be an easy manufacturing process as friend of mine, who is knifemaker, has made a few new locking bars for Spyderco models. After a little modification, the backlock performed with absolute authority and developed no bladeplay at all after few years of use.

In my opinion, the most important part of a knife is its blade. The blade on the Delica has a beautiful design and excellent geometry. The VG10 steel blade is very good, in my experience. The modified drop point design reminds me of a celtic Sax in a modern folder. VG10’s edge-holding ability is excellent – even with thin grind and pointy needle tip, the blade is very durable. The initial sharpness of the knife out of the box was really great as the low sharpening angle provided excellent cutting ability. The Delica is truly a pocket lightsaber.

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The knife performed very well for skinning small game (ie. Rabbits). The Delica also handled food processing easily; cutting meat, vegetables (especially ripe tomatoes are real piece of cake). After one week of hard use in the woods, the blade‘s was destroyed – totally dulled. After only 10 minutes with a carborundum stone, ceramic stone and stropping on a leather belt the knife was shaving sharp again. My experience affirms the benefits of VG10: it holds an edge very well, can be easily sharpened, takes a good polished edge and initial shaving sharpness has far longer longevity compared to CPM S30V on my ex Military. The Delica’s needle tip provided effortless penetration through different materials and even survived my light prying in wood to get out arrow tips lodged very deep.

After I convexed the edge, edge-holding ability and sharpness improved a lot.

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I found that the action on the Delica was somewhat sluggish. I loosened the pivot screw but it did not help – it actually created more blade play. I found that one side of the blade‘s tang showed more wear than what I felt was acceptable. After disassembling the knife, I discovered only one phosphor bronze washer. On the other side of the tang a washer was missing. I guess I got unlucky and have one that slipped past quality control. After making a new washer from a cola can (yes you read that right, cola can is smoothest material for washers :-D) the knife is operating very smoothly!

Great knife even though it had some flaws from beginning, today it is one of my favorite EDC knives.

Definitely my Delica will see same amount of pocket time as it did untill now.

Ps: I would love to thank to Anthony for editing this whole mess for me and making it readable "Thank you so much Sir!"

MattBPKT
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Postby MattBPKT » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:06 pm

Thanks for this! I agree the VG-10 sure does hold an edge extremely well.

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:29 am

MattBPKT wrote:Thanks for this! I agree the VG-10 sure does hold an edge extremely well.
Thank you very much :-)

During weekend I will probably post pictures how knife executes while whittling wood etc. Hope more people will find this review helpful.

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glbpro
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Postby glbpro » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:55 am

PaloArt wrote:The four clip mounting positions are something I like to see on my knives as I sometimes borrow them to other people.
Very well-written and balanced review!

You might like to change the above sentence to "I sometimes lend them to other people." You borrow from, but lend to other people :)

Regards,
Bruno
Regards,
Bruno

"Each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked." - Nehemiah 4:18

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:02 am

glbpro wrote:Very well-written and balanced review!

You might like to change the above sentence to "I sometimes lend them to other people." You borrow from, but lend to other people :)

Regards,
Bruno
Bruno, thank you very much for correcting. My english is obviously really on low level right now. Thank you also for kind words.

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glbpro
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Postby glbpro » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:26 am

You're most welcome. I think your English is fine - I have seen university students who make far more grammar mistakes ;)
Regards,
Bruno

"Each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked." - Nehemiah 4:18

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Nemo3000
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Postby Nemo3000 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:33 am

This is a great review. I love long run experience.
I especially enjoy the Cola washer part.
And I would really love to see how you proceed.

Knives as EDC are friends.
You know the definition of friend?
Knowing their flaws but still loving them. :-)

Cheers
Nemo

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:04 am

You are very kind Nemo.

I did not expect you to react here, thank you very much as this means alot to me - great feedback from one of the best reviewers.

Take care,

P.
Nemo3000 wrote:This is a great review. I love long run experience.
I especially enjoy the Cola washer part.
And I would really love to see how you proceed.

Knives as EDC are friends.
You know the definition of friend?
Knowing their flaws but still loving them. :-)

Cheers
Nemo

jmh58
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Postby jmh58 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:46 am

Real nice review paloart.. John
A great rabbit chase ends with a.. BANG!!!

Son.. You need to get off the front porch once n a while!!!

Not all who wander are lost!!!

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kennethsime
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Postby kennethsime » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:02 am

More reviews please! Nice pics, you hit on some good points. A tip: You use the phrase "my opinion," or "in my opinion," quite a bit; we're already reading your review because we're interested in your opinion, so you can go ahead and just cut those out.

The Sax, or Seax, is germanic, according to everything I've ever read. Are you referring to the broken-back sax, found often in Britain and Ireland? I think even these were considered to be germanic.Like this?
C90GRE Stretch 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 Emerson Open
C81G2 Para Military 2
C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green
C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:02 pm

John, many thanks :) :spyder:
kennethsime wrote:More reviews please! Nice pics, you hit on some good points. A tip: You use the phrase "my opinion," or "in my opinion," quite a bit; we're already reading your review because we're interested in your opinion, so you can go ahead and just cut those out.

The Sax, or Seax, is germanic, according to everything I've ever read. Are you referring to the broken-back sax, found often in Britain and Ireland? I think even these were considered to be germanic.Like this?
Hi, Thanks for critics, really appreciate that. As Sax/Seax/Scramasax etc. I meant, as you precisely pointed out, broken back sax. Delica is not exact copy of sax but as I mentioned it reminds me Sax (I used to have little one :-) ). Maybe Yojimbo or Ronin from Mike Janich should be considered more modern folding Seax but Delica feels that way to me too. Btw. real folding Seax should be next project of Ed Schempp, HOW ABOUT IT Sal?? :D

More reviews will come in future, I had many years little ladybug that I gave to my friend, knifenut and Guro in Arnis - Martin. So this little folding miracle deserves some review too I think.

Have a knife day :spyder:

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Donut
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Postby Donut » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:09 pm

Nice review. Thanks for posting it.

I was thinking about the convex edge today. Does anyone make and use a coarse convex edge or does everyone use a polished convex edge?
-Brian
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Waiting on a Squeak, Pingo, and Cliptools with a Split Spring!

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Donut wrote:Nice review. Thanks for posting it.

I was thinking about the convex edge today. Does anyone make and use a coarse convex edge or does everyone use a polished convex edge?
Hi Brian (Donut)!

I convexed edge and used it both - coarse and polished. Coarse edge was very agressive cutting but loosing edge quickly (I´m talking here about 320 grit), better results for edc were with 600 grit "semi polished" and then stropped on clean leather belt (no polish compound). Excelent for shaving but not for cutting tomatoes and edc was polished edge. It did not cut as well as I would like it to (vegetables, fruits etc.). I use knife these days mainly as paring knife and in the office - so I like more agressive edge. Highly polished edge was great for use on wood btw. ;-)

Hope this helps a little.

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Postby VeloWeave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:26 pm

Great review. Your talking points are very unique. Usually a knife review is the same old same old, not this one!
Most Carried: Sebenza Insingo small, Chaparral, Modded Southard Flipper, Delica 4, Ritter Mini-Grip, Techno, Injection 3.0
Wishlist 2014: Sage 2, Mnandi, Krein Alpha,
Other's I own or have sold: Vallotton, Anso Zulu, Blur CF, Scallion, Leaf Storm, Sage 2, Caly 3 CF
Flashlight EDC: Preon 0, Peak Eiger AAA Oveready edition with QTC & momentary button Nichia 219 emitter, Beta-QR, Muyshondt Aeon

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kennethsime
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Postby kennethsime » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:12 pm

PaloArt wrote:John, many thanks :) :spyder:

Hi, Thanks for critics, really appreciate that. As Sax/Seax/Scramasax etc. I meant, as you precisely pointed out, broken back sax. Delica is not exact copy of sax but as I mentioned it reminds me Sax (I used to have little one :-) ). Maybe Yojimbo or Ronin from Mike Janich should be considered more modern folding Seax but Delica feels that way to me too. Btw. real folding Seax should be next project of Ed Schempp, HOW ABOUT IT Sal?? :D

More reviews will come in future, I had many years little ladybug that I gave to my friend, knifenut and Guro in Arnis - Martin. So this little folding miracle deserves some review too I think.

Have a knife day :spyder:
I had never seen one before looking up that broken-back sax, and now I can't help but agree about the similarity with the delica.
C90GRE Stretch 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 Emerson Open
C81G2 Para Military 2
C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green
C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:13 pm

VeloWeave wrote:Great review. Your talking points are very unique. Usually a knife review is the same old same old, not this one!
Thank you! This is big compliment. I´m big fan of Nemo - his reviews are from my point of view one of the best so try to check him out (try to google nemo knives review) :)

PaloArt
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Postby PaloArt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:16 pm

kennethsime wrote:I had never seen one before looking up that broken-back sax, and now I can't help but agree about the similarity with the delica.
I´m glad not to be the only one to see that ;) this is great utility shape, think I forgot to mention that I love using this kind of shape as plate knife. When cutting, you dull only tip and not entire edge, when used properly. Second thing is woodwork, as this blade type cuts really agressively.

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Postby mrphotoman » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:38 pm

I think the delica is perfect as it is. Thin (one of the best things about it) light and the perfect size.

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Postby appliancejunk » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:07 pm

Great review and photos!
I love reading knife reviews like this.

My Delica is like my cell phone, it's with me all the time.

If it's not in my hand it's in my pocket or next to me on the night stand when I'm a sleep.
:spyder: Ladybug 3 Black FRN PE
:spyder: Dragonfly 2 Black FRN PE
:spyder: Dragonfly 2 Black FRN SE
:spyder: Delica 4 Blue FRN FG
:spyder: Sharpmaker

EDC Knife: Dragonfly 2 Black FRN SE
EDC Flashlight: Fenix LD12 XP-G2

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Postby DougC-3 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:43 am

Very nice review! I think I'm moving the Delica up near the top of my want list... I'd like the super blue sprint or the BR green ZDP-189. About the washers: I'd read in an Amazon review that they had occasionally been left out or even assembled with two on one side and none on the other. I didn't think much about it since people sometimes run down competing products or try to promote their own favorites. I wonder if you could persuade Spyderco to send you a couple without having to send in your knife.

To me it's a very valuable privilege to be able to choose from Spyderco's huge variety of interesting, highly functional, creative, and innovative designs, made in many countries, often with the top materials available in each country. It must be a huge undertaking to oversee all these operations and manage every little detail, often probably, remotely from the US. IMO dealing with an occasional idiosyncrasy is a small price to pay for all this variety.

Oh yeah, one minor thing about the blade length. I agree that it's probably best to have as long a blade as possible for the length of the handle if you're only going to have one knife with you. But I think for functional or working knives the handle and blade size should be determined more by the job to be done or maybe the hand size. For example, you mention using the Delica as a paring knife. I've found that most paring knives have blades that are too long and can sometimes result in nicking the hand holding the fruit, etc.... of course I would never nick myself... (...you talkin' to me?.. you talkin' to me??... you talkin' to me???... oops, sorry, I was just remembering another thread :) )


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