How would you rate the quality on your Caly 3/3.5 CF ZDP?

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How was the QC on your CF ZDP Caly?

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Random Dan
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How would you rate the quality on your Caly 3/3.5 CF ZDP?

Postby Random Dan » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:42 pm

So I'm considering getting rid of my Para2 and replacing it with something I will carry more often. Since my most carried blade is my BM 940 Osbourne I figured I'd take a look at the similar size/proportion Caly 3.5. I dislike pocket-eating G10 so I think I'd go with the CF ZDP variant. In my research however it seems that quite a few people have received specimens with somewhat lacking QC like having gaps between liners and scales, gritty opening, asymmetrical lamination lines, etc. Now I know the people who have complaints tend to be more vocal, so I thought I'd start a poll to get an overall idea of how often these issues happen. Please drop a comment to explain what issues, if any you had as well. Thanks!
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Postby racer88 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:50 pm

The Caly 3 CF / ZDP was my first Spydie that sent me down the path of addiction. No issues. It was perfection, and now I've got about 50 Spydies.



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Postby Blerv » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:13 pm

Mine was gritty but very nice otherwise. A bit of oil and a bunch of use made it very smooth.
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Postby xceptnl » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:19 pm

I voted Excellent! My Caly 3.5 CF was as perfect as I could have expected. I have received and sold 3 Caly 3s in CF, some came in New and gritty (short term maintenance issue) while other came in second hand and were silky smooth. IMO, the Caly line should come with a little card that explains the suggested break in procedure. That being said, it is my favorite Spyderco family. I love all of the Calys and would recommend them to anyone looking for a gents folder, edc knife or supreme slicer. VG-10, ZDP, or Superblue.... they all rock and are worth every penny.


P.S. I find the imperfect, organic nature of the lamination line to be more of a fingerprint that is specific to each knife and therefore unique.

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Postby gbelleh » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:42 pm

My CF ZDP Caly 3 and 3.5 are among the smoothest, nicest Spydies in my collection. All of the 5 Caly family knives I have are excellent. No grit or F&F issues at all.

If you're concerned, try finding a dealer who will inspect it for any issues before shipping.
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Postby bh49 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:08 am

I have only Caly3 in CF/ZDP189 flavor. The only issue is uneven laminated lines, which is common for the knives with laminated blades. Some blades have laminated lines more even, some less. It is more noticeable on polished blades, much less on stonewashed. I really do not like it and Caly3 was the last knife, which I bought with polished laminated blade.
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Postby akaAK » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:49 am

Grittyness can be dealt with realtively easily. If you find one with symetrical lamination lines I would be very surprised, something like that doesn't bother me as it doesn't effect the function of the knife.

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Postby RanCoWeAla » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:58 am

I absolutely love my Caly 3.5. It's simply the most perfect Spyderco knife made. I think it has almost the same blade length as the Manix 2 but without all the bulk but what makes it even more perfect is the low sise wire clip. You can't even tell for sure that it's a knife. Of all the Caly family I like the 3 and 3.5 best. The Calypso is just too big and the Calypso Junior has the pocket clip mounted for tip down carry which is all wrong. I like you had two PM2's and got rid of both plus two Military's before trying the Caly 3.5 which is by far my favorite Spyderco.

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Postby Mako109 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:55 am

I have four CF/ZDP Calys (2 x 3.5 and 2 x 3). All were gritty out of the box, but that was easily remedied with a wash and a couple of drops of TufGlide. All have asymmetrical lamination lines, but that doesn't bother me. Two had aberrant and noticeable scratch marks on the blade which irritates the hell out of me. Tried polishing it out with metal polish, but they're too deep. Other than that the Caly 3.5 is still my most carried and most used of all my Spydercos, and I have many.

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Postby BatCountry9 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:32 am

Mine started off a little gritty, too, but it's fine now. Definitely best F/F of any of my Japan-made Spydies.

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Postby Anachro12 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:44 am

I have the caly3 CF and I really like the fit and finish of all the parts. The one thing I don't like is that the ZDP-189 takes on a yellowish color and is not super resistant to corrosion.

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Postby rodloos » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:14 pm

My SB Caly was a bit gritty until I added a bit of oil to the pivot, fixed it right up.

Both of my CF Caly's (a 3 and a 3.5) have been great, smooth opening, no problems with the fit and finish. With the CF Caly3, when I cycled it open/closed a bunch of times in a row until it started getting warm, it wasn't gritty but seemed to not be quite as smooth. I added oil to that one too and have not had any issues since.

Just yesterday I received my first bottle of nano-oil, and I really like it so far - I've been adding it to the pivots of a lot of my knives. Any knife that even has a hint of stiffness or rubbing or grit will definitely get the treatment :) .
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Postby twinboysdad » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:47 pm

the regular VG10 Caly 3.5 has a G10 that WILL NOT shred your pockets due to being not as grippy and due to the low ride wire clip. I wear mine daily with slacks or khakis and believe me, if it screwed up pockets I would not carry it. You wanna talk pocket shredders...try "the #1 hard use knife in the world", those will destroy some pants quickly

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Postby IG-88 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:13 pm

I vote excellent!

I have 7 Caly's (Caly 3: VG-10, ZDP, SB & VG-10 Damascus, Caly 3.5: VG-10, ZDP, SB) All came new in the box except the Caly 3 VG-10. None of the knives came gritty. They where all smooth out off the box from the Caly 3 ZDP I bought back in 2006 to the most recent Caly 3.5 CF (bought it 2 months ago). The Caly is made by Moki and they are known for there outstanding fit and finish. The only problem I had was with the Caly 3 Damascus, which had blade play when it arrived. Seen the bolsters are pinned I could not adjust the pivot and had to send it in. Otherwise every knife is spot on. I have all 7 besides me and just checked and they are all nicely centered!

On the ZDP 3 and 3.5 the lamination lines are not symetrical when you compare sides. But isn't that inherent to the material. I think its impossible to weld those sheets of steel together and keep them perfectly straight internally and as mentioneed before, it gives the blade its own fingerprint. I must say that I'm not able to see both sides at once and so it doesn't bother me :D
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Postby coachnj » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:08 pm

The only thing I give a 9 out of 10 would be the cf scales. I like the sage 1 better. Not that they are bad but I just prefer the other cf better. Plenty of forums on this topic though...
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Postby jnichols2 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:50 am

coachnj wrote:The only thing I give a 9 out of 10 would be the cf scales. I like the sage 1 better. Not that they are bad but I just prefer the other cf better. Plenty of forums on this topic though...

I still rate the Caly scales a 10.

The Sage 1 scales only look better on the Sage 1, they aren't right for the Caly's personality.
Of course, the Caly scales would not work well on the Sage 1 either.


I rated my ZDP Caly 3.5 as Excellent.

About a year ago, there was an extensive thread on blemishes and imperfections of the Caly.
I couldn't find any of those issues on mine with a magnifying glass.

Some people won't carry it, because they are afraid to scratch it.
I carry mine, and it holds up good.
Ladybug, Delica x 2, Endura x 2, Military Black, Manix 2 XL, Civilian, Harpy, Caly 3.5 CF ZDP-189, Sage 1

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Postby Scottie3000 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:43 am

The only Caly I've been disappointed with was the 3.5 superblue because of play at lockup. All the others have been great.
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Postby Shakyamuni » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:48 pm

Had a SB Caly 3.5 and sold it (can't handle the upkeep of a non-stainless blade). Had a CF Caly 3.5 and sold it (There was a gap between the scale and the liner and I didn't like the smoothness of the CF).

My first "real" spydie was a VG-10 Black G-10 Caly 3.5, and after trying more than 50 Spydercos, I recently brought it out again and realize that it is just about as perfect as you can get.

No pocket shredding problems here with the G-10 version.
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Postby TSchloz » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:42 pm

I just received a Caly 3.5 ZDP, and I would have to say the fit & finish is excellent.


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