Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

Are you interested in Copper, Bronze, Brass (etc) scales for Spyderco knives?

I'm most interested in copper scales!
25
34%
I'm most interested in bronze scales!
5
7%
I'm most interested in brass scales!
1
1%
I'm interested in any of these red/yellow/orange metals and other hybrid alloys (alumabronze)!
21
28%
I would like these metals but ONLY if they don't patina.
3
4%
I don't like any of these metals. Period.
19
26%
 
Total votes: 74

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Blerv
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Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Blerv » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:55 am

I nagged about this years ago and understand Spyderco is working on the processing tech to make it happen. Eventually a phosphor bronze Chaparral, or something :). I don't recall anyone doing a formal poll so figured it would be good information to have.

Personally, I adore the way these metals age over time. Many people force patinas on carbon blades so they are probably in the same boat! I expect for people who love the look but hate the aging a polished scale can be sealed with an industrial epoxy. They already do this for jewelry but it's treated for lighter-duty.

Pros:
* Copper and it's alloys are naturally antimicrobial. Even e.coli and salmonella quickly dies when in contact with them.
* Patina over time makes scratches interesting instead of disheartening
* I assume it's easier to work with than some hardwoods that can crack
* Your hands can smell like pennies! :D

Cons:
* They can be difficult to work with
* Not everyone likes heavy temperature sensitive knives
* They are about as slick as SS scales
* Your hands can smell like pennies :(

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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby timlara » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:05 pm

I agree with your pros and cons, Blerv. I voted copper because I like the look of it (my favorite EDC pen is made of copper) and I like that you can either let it patina or wipe it down with lemon juice once in a while to bring the shine back if you like.

I also voted copper because I think it's easier to machine than bronze, which is pretty tough material, and I personally like the shade of copper better than brass.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:14 pm

Yes to all of them but especially copper. Copper bolsters and wood would be great. My only issue with copper is weight. Maybe with a carbon steel?
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby farnorthdan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:25 pm

+1 for Cu, I have many EDC Cu items, love the way it patina's and am one for a little heft in my pocket. A factory :spyder: with some Cu scales would awesome, really hope we see something one day. Still undecided on which model exactly though.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Blerv » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:35 pm

@timlara I hear copper is difficult to machine but usually when doing threads. Still, people in China make flashlights with it and as you mentioned makers in the USA are doing pens all the time.

@bearfacedkiller The weight is certainly a factor; it's pretty similar to SS. Not traditionally "heavy" but certainly compared to Ti and and Al. I only have one knife with copper parts. The scales are thin and the liners are titanium but it has other embellishments that add to the weight. I recall it's like 3.6oz with about a 2.5" blade.

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I'd rather not smell like pennies

Postby The Deacon » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:53 pm

I'm not a huge fan of metal scales, except as a vehicle for engraving, and for that I prefer metals that don't make my hands smell funky. Not honestly sure how phosphor bronze would fare in that regard, but copper and brass would be no-goes for me.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Mushroom » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:58 pm

Voted copper as well, for many of the reasons mentioned. I've been buying a bunch of different copper EDC things as I find them. I don't mind the weight either. Would love to see something copper from Spyderco.

I've drawn some ideas that I thought might work for an ethnic series knife using copper scales, but still need to make it in solidworks.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby EDC Honeybee » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:59 pm

I love copper. I bought some copper sheets to make custom scales. So far I have only used it on a Gerber Dime multi-tool and a Boker Urban trapper. I does smell, it does patina, but that is my favorite. I would really love untreated copper scales on a carbon steel like superblue. After a couple weeks of use it looks and feels like an old friend and is completely unique, showing your carry habits and cutting habits.

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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Xplorer » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:19 pm

I love the look of copper but I voted for none of them. The reason is they are all beyond heavy if used as a complete scale. I like some heft to my knives and the look of copper is my favorite. But even using copper liners makes a handle too heavy unless I skeletanize the liners...and even then they are noticeably hefty. I just completed a set of scales for farnorthdan that I plan to ship tomorrow....finally! They are lined with copper and have a copper band running through them and copper corby bolts. Even though I lightened the liners as much as I could this is still the heaviest handle I've done so far. The copper has also given me a list of production problems along the way...making this seem like a never-ending project...thank you for your patience Dan :) . Complete scales my not have the same complexities as I have been dealing with but nonetheless it's worth considering that soft metals are not necessarily easier to work with. But, Spyderco's production concerns are not my concern... the weight of full copper scales on most knives would just simply be more than I want to carry. Although...if the knife is small enough...maybe a copper D'fly or Manbug would be a fun copper trinket to keep in my pocket..hmmm maybe I'm re-considering my vote with a little size caveat... :confused: :p
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby paladin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:23 pm

Good poll...

I voted "None. Period"

Titanium seems to warm up to body temperature pretty quickly, it's durable enough, so it's a nice metal for handles, IMHO.

Aluminum is ok with me too for some applications.

Outside of those metals, my personal interest level drops precipitously.

I wouldn't choose something as dense as bronze, copper, or brass as a knife handle. Anything ca. 7g or more / cc has potential to be a pocket anchor.

That green gunk that brass forms is just plain nasty.

I have a bronze lanyard bead...it's ok, but nothing great.

Gimme Micarta, or other resin based handle for usage any day. Woods & bone for looks.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby wrdwrght » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:31 pm

I didn't vote because I don't want to sway things.

While I love the looks of these metals and have them throughout my home, I probably won't have them as scales on my knives owing chiefly to slipperiness.

That said, choils and finger-grooves, thumb-ramps, jimping, and frame-lock cuts do variously give me satisfactory purchase on my titanium-handled UKPK, Sage2, Techno, and SpydieChef.

So, Spyderco might tempt me, but I do have doubts.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Water Bug » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:07 pm

I voted, "None Of Them." If the scales on a knife handle are going to be made of metal, I currently prefer titanium or aluminum. The only other metal I like on knife handles are on those single-piece knives where the entire knife is made from one piece of steel, such as Chris Reeve Knives' one-piece fixed blade knives made of A2 tool steel.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby murphjd25 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:38 pm

I voted copper because I like copper. My only suggestion is maybe some kind of coating over it? I handle thousands of feet of copper refrigeration piping a year and it sure as hell turns your hands green fast lol
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Jazz » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:27 pm

I don't like heavy knives. Not sure why these are such a fad these days. They LOOK good, but that's it.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby gdwtvb » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:33 pm

At one time Titanium seemed to be all the rage, they even made a laptop out of it. I am a great fan of titanium handled knives, I think the last five or six Spyderco knives I've bought have been Ti. Ti is a great option for scales; Strong, reasonably light weight, extremely corrosion resistant, and as far as metals go it has very low thermal conductivity (That means it doesn't feel as cold or hot as other metals would in the same environment.)

All of the above options with the possible exception of "alumabronze" are vastly inferior handle materials than titanium from a perspective of performance. (Don't know anything about "alumabronze"). They would all be weaker (both in strength and scratch resistance), heavier, less corrosion resistant (Much less in most circumstances), and have more thermal conductivity. That said, I do understand that many people regularly overlook performance flaws in favor of something they find visually appealing.

I would be more in favor of brass/copper/bronze inset into a traditional handle. Imagine a Spyderco Chubby with inset bronze coins. Better yet, what about a brass spyderco logo inset into the scales of the 2017 Spyderco Native forum knife?

While there may be a small market for a bronze/copper/brass handled knife, I don't think it will be a particularly big user among the general knife public. Maybe a collectors piece, but I think most users would loose their enthusiasm very quickly.

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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Evil D » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:40 pm

I really like the idea of copper, at least copper bolsters, but it would ultimately depend on the model they came on more than anything.
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby yablanowitz » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:46 pm

I voted Not Interested. I live too far from water to have any need for another boat anchor. Let me know when you find a metal with the thermal conductivity of Styrofoam, the strength of titanium and the weight of carbon fiber. Then I'll be interested.

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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby PayneTrain » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:02 pm

I'm down. Love me some metal handles, and I didn't realize stainless steel and titanium were getting boring until just now. More metals please!
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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Cujobob » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:28 pm

I got into pens for a bit and tried out numerous materials (as well as with flashlights). Copper does age nicely but it is extremely soft and the scent on your hands is rather annoying. The other choices mentioned have their own issues, too. Personally, the variations of titanium which can be anodized are more intriguing. There are people with copper scales on Spyderco knives and their reviews are not always favorable. I don't recommend it.

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Re: Spyderco knives: Copper, Brass and Bronze scales?

Postby Able Dog » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:30 am

I like copper and brass, but wouldn't want it to be the entire frame/scale.

They serve better as accents in my opinion, too many trade offs compared to other scale materials.

A copper or brass bolster, pivot collar, or backspacer would look great on certain knives. I also wonder what producing them on a large scale would be like. Brad Southard made some aftermarket hardware for his performance series out of copper and brass, and they proved to actually be a pain in the butt to machine. Even though they are soft materials, something about the feed and cut rate makes them tricky.
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