I took this series of pictures a while ago as a review of the SB Stretch, but I never got around to doing a write-up.
I figured that I should do write this review now, while several dealers still have them in stock.
In case you somehow don't know about the Stretch or about Super Blue steel, here is the description per Spyderco:
"The Stretch is a purpose-designed folding hunting knife that is also ideal for a broad range of everyday chores.
This unique limited-edition version combines the proven design and ergonomics of this popular knife with the exceptional cutting performance of Super Blue steel. Produced by Hitachi Metals Ltd. of Japan, Aogami Super Blue steel combines the same high quality iron sand used in legendary Japanese swords with high-tech alloys to create a steel capable of extreme sharpness and edge retention. The blade of the Stretch Super Blue features a Super Blue core sandwiched between layers of 420J1 stainless steel.
Full flat ground for exceptional edge geometry, this knife is available in limited quantities and is sure to be one of the most coveted Stretch variants ever produced."
Per Eric (or was it Sal?) Glesser, "the Stretch is a pretty tough Hombre."
I decided to set out to test the limits of this special Spyder.
Here is what it looked like when new:
The knife came sharp, but the edge was much improved by stropping.
The handle uses a blue/gray color of FRN with the usual bi-directional texturing. The back spacer is also FRN.
The Stretch uses a back lock (0.115 inch thickness) to hold the blade open. It has a Boye dent to prevent accidental closing.
The clip is the standard "spoon" style and has a black coating. The knife has holes for 4 clip mounting options. It comes tip up on the right.
Overall blade length: 3.53 inches
Sharpened length: 3.29 inches
Width at plunge line: 1.15 inches
Thickness of the spine at the plunge line: 0.12 inches
Thickness behind the edge: 0.028 inches
Other knife measurements:
Handle thickness: 0.44 inches
Widest point when folded: 1.63 inches
Length of handle: 4.57 inches
Total weight: ~3.25 ounces
Before the test began, I sharpened it on a 203 Sharpmaker, going all the way to UF rods. I then stropped the blade on green compound. It was easily my sharpest knife at the time.
First: Bushcraft-type wood work.
I batoned some small piece of Russian olive, an invasive tree that grows in CO. The Stretch handled this with no problems whatsoever.
(And yes, I know, batoning is bad for folding knives, but yes, I did it anyway. :rolleyes
Next, I tried it out on smaller wood--making feather sticks and carving points. As would be expected, the FFG excelled at this.
Abusive tip-tests are next.
The Stretch has a fairly thin tip, but these tests proved that it is not fragile. I decided to drill a hole in a piece of pine. I stabbed it into the stump, and twisted until the tip had carved a hole about an inch deep and 3/4 of an inch wide.
(This would be useful for making a bow-drill for fire starting. Wrong type of wood, but that doesn't matter for this test.)
max 10 pics/post; cont. below