Help me choose my first Spydie

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

For my first Spydie ever. (light weight for hunting)

Stretch 2 ZDP-189
13
50%
Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet
6
23%
Other
7
27%
 
Total votes: 26

azdonw
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Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby azdonw » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:26 pm

Long tire lurker but hopefully a new Spyderco owner soon. I'm looking for an elk (and other animal) skinner/dresser that won't need sharpening midway through. I have 2 old Gerber folders and a fixed blade Remington, all in ATS-34, so you know the time frame of my last knife purchases :) . They've been okay, but I've never made it through an entire elk without needing to sharpen or bring in a second knife. I got the urge for a new super steel, and I'm think'n Spydie! As I would be toting it along with my other hunting gear, weight is highly important. Blade shape for the skinning part is also important, but probably not as important. I do have a diamond sharpener and recently ordered a new one.
I'm looking at:
a) Stretch 2 ZDP-189
better shape for skinning
longer blade
easier to clean?
more stain resistant,
less expensive but...
heavier
shorter lasting edge
not the sexiest, newest super steel

b) Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet.
lighter weight,
longer lasting edge,
newest, sexy super steel! but...
not the best skinning shape
mechanism might be harder to clean after processing game
much more expensive
blood, etc. will stain
may rust if can't dry fast enough (live in a desert, so not as big issue)

I'm open to other suggestions, too. Mule, anyone?

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sal
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby sal » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi Azdonw,

Welcome to our forum.

sal

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Sharp Guy
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Sharp Guy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:10 pm

Welcome azdonw!

Both knives are great choices. For what you want to use the for I think the Stretch is the clear choice IMO. Yes, the Stretch is a little heavier than the M2 LW but not by much (3.4 oz vs 3.0 oz). Regardless it's pretty light for a hunting knife.
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knivesandbooks
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby knivesandbooks » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:53 pm

Not a fixed blade? The Sprig is pretty cool...

Consider s110v military for a folder.
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Cheddarnut
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Cheddarnut » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:02 pm

Why not just hunt smaller animals and save your money?

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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby ZMW » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:26 pm

Stretch for sure, I love that knife! But you might look at a fixed blade, south fork on the secondary market, or the sprig. Zdp takes more time to sharpen, so be patient.

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Tucson Tom
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Tucson Tom » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:48 am

You could go the Mule route -- especially with the recent (and still available) A11 steel -- identical to 10V. This might really be nice. I am not a hunter though, so I can't share experiences there. With scales from "halpern titanium" you would be in business with a very nice small fixed blade with essentially the same leaf shape as the Manix. With bolt on scales though, water will get in under the scales and rust (and A11 is not "stainless"). If you are diilent to disassemble and clean after getting blood all over it, it might be great. A11 does have incredible edge retention.

It seems like hunters like small fixed blades. Something with handles glued on would avoid sneaky rusting. The Manix 2 LW you mention is a great knife, but only you can decide if it is appropriate for hunting. Others may advise. S110V is another steel to keep on your radar. Very rust resistant and great edge retention -- and available in quite a few standard production models, but no fixed blades come to mind, maybe other will comment.

azdonw
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby azdonw » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:23 am

knivesandbooks wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:53 pm
Not a fixed blade? The Sprig is pretty cool...

Consider s110v military for a folder.
Sprig looks interesting, but I wish it were s110v and a little less bulky/heavy.
Maybe a s110v Manix 2 LW?

azdonw
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby azdonw » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:00 am

Tucson Tom wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:48 am
You could go the Mule route -- especially with the recent (and still available) A11 steel -- identical to 10V. This might really be nice. I am not a hunter though, so I can't share experiences there. With scales from "halpern titanium" you would be in business with a very nice small fixed blade with essentially the same leaf shape as the Manix. With bolt on scales though, water will get in under the scales and rust (and A11 is not "stainless"). If you are diilent to disassemble and clean after getting blood all over it, it might be great. A11 does have incredible edge retention.

It seems like hunters like small fixed blades. Something with handles glued on would avoid sneaky rusting. The Manix 2 LW you mention is a great knife, but only you can decide if it is appropriate for hunting. Others may advise. S110V is another steel to keep on your radar. Very rust resistant and great edge retention -- and available in quite a few standard production models, but no fixed blades come to mind, maybe other will comment.
Tom, thanks for that input (a fellow Arizonan, here), I didn't know those mules were available. I'll have to research them. A11 sounds like non-stainless S110V. I am also considering the Manix 2 LW in S110V. A fixed blade would probably be better in use, but they are more bulky to haul around (sheath and all).

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Bloke
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Bloke » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:19 am

Hi azdonw, welcome to the forum. :)

I had the same idea as you when I first joined the forum. I wanted a “super steel” folder to replace the fixed blade Dexter Russell’s I hunted with and the ZDP-189 was my then obvious choice.

One of the brothers here pointed out something I’d overlooked. That being you probably don’t want a folder when you’re elbow deep in a carcass. It would likely take longer to clean the knife than to dress an Elk.

Anyhow, I bought the Stretch and it’s a gem but I won’t dress game with it.

They’re discontinued now but if you can get your hands on a Southfork (S90V) you won’t have to sharpen it halfway through dressing anything.

The Sprig is something you may like to look at too but it’s not the best skinner but that said if you coupled it with the Stretch to use only for skinning I reckon you’d have a pretty good combo.
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Eli Chaps
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Eli Chaps » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:23 am

I gave my son in law a VG10 Stretch 2 and he's dressed a number of deer with it. I admit it freaked me out a little cuz that was always fixed blade territory for me and I thought the knife would be ruined in no time from blood and hair and cleaning but he just hoses it down and it keeps right on going. Sort of like how he cuts carpet and such stuff with his Endura and never gives it a second thought. Certainly makes me ponder the ignoranance is bliss thing.

ZDP189 is an amazing steel for sure but I find it is just too difficult for me to get a keen edge. Others have no problems but it is so far my one nemesis steel. I concur though that it would serve you well if you can sharpen it.

Not sure I'd go with Maxamet as I think corrosion would be an issue.

The Cutlery Shoppe exclusive Manix 2 LW in S90V and bright orange scales is fantastic: https://cutleryshoppe.com/spyderco-c101 ... exclusive/. I own one an dlove it. They probably won't be around forever either. Often exclusives are limited run options.

I absolutely love the ergo's of the M2LW. It is equally comfortable using or not using the finger choil and it just has a great feel. The FRN can be a little rough on the hand if you really squeeze the handle but it's not a big deal and only really matters if you're really hard working the knife. If I cut branches and stuff without a glove, after a while it can get a little bothersome but I don't think there'd be any issue cleaning an animal. And the FRN offers a lot of grip. The only thing I'd give some though to is hair and goop getting into the exposed lock. It's a very simple mechanism so I would think it would be easy to rinse/clean if it did happen but might something to think about.

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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby KnickKnackCity » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:39 am

Not sure if you have the capacity for a two blades but I am bringing out my Bill Moran Upswept (FB01P) for skinning, then following up with a South Fork (designed specifically for big game) for quartering/boning this season. I am anticipating the VG10 being able to get off an entire hide without the need for mid-sharpening if only used for that task. Unfortunately the South Fork is hard to find at a decent price, but I think the Stretch would be a great substitute.

*edit* Sorry just reread the first post. The nice thing about the FB01 is you can carry on your belt or attach to the outside your gear via MOLLE Adapter Plate (MOL1 in stock at Country Knives) so it wont take up space in your pack.
If you stick with one knife, go with the Stretch.

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Evil D
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Evil D » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:11 am

ZDP is most likely going to stain when used around blood..just pointing that out since being more corrosion resistant was one of your pros for the Stretch.

It's been so long since I skinned anything, the common steels today are better than anything I used back then. I believe the old Impala was VG10 and I remember people saying it handled skinning really well. It also depends on what you're skinning.


I kinda feel like the Rhino would be pretty decent at skinning but maybe not for quartering. I have no idea how XHP would hold up but I'd say at least as good as VG10 if not better.

The Chinook blade also looks like it'll skin pretty well but it's more expensive than your other options.
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azdonw
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby azdonw » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:21 pm

Thanks to all for your help. I bought the A11 Mule Team after reading that the Mule Team program will be on hold or cancelled soon. I have been eyeing those for years, but they usually sell out in a day or two. I really wanted a S110V one, but those went VERY fast, and were too expensive on the used market. I'm pretty sure I can keep it from rusting, and I can live a patina...adds character. In fact, I may try to give a patina at the get go (although I read that it doesn't take a patina as well as other non-stainless steels).
I plan on building my own micarta scales and kydex sheeth.

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Tucson Tom
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Tucson Tom » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:16 am

azdonw wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:21 pm
Thanks to all for your help. I bought the A11 Mule Team after reading that the Mule Team program will be on hold or cancelled soon. I have been eyeing those for years, but they usually sell out in a day or two. I really wanted a S110V one, but those went VERY fast, and were too expensive on the used market. I'm pretty sure I can keep it from rusting, and I can live a patina...adds character. In fact, I may try to give a patina at the get go (although I read that it doesn't take a patina as well as other non-stainless steels).
I plan on building my own micarta scales and kydex sheeth.
Well, congratulations! I hope I didn't steer you wrong. I was using my PM A11 mule in the kitchen for months and never noticed a bit of rust or staining (but I rinsed and dryed it reasonably promptly). But then someone mentioned water getting pulled behind the scales by capillary action, so I rushed to pull my scales off and sure enough, quite a bit of rust under the scales where it couldn't be seen. Nothing a little work with a wire brush cannot tame, then someday I am going to make some handles of my own and epoxy them on -- I even have the slabs of Micarta, but that is one of many projects that is on hold. Meanwhile I have switched to using the LC200N Mule for kitchen duty and the A11 blade is laying on the workbench.

At one time there was a great thread with a bunch of great pictures of what people had done making their own knifes from Mule team blades. I am sure it is still around, but a lot of the pictures vanished with the photobucket disaster -- maybe we should start that thread up again now that everyone has abandoned photobucket. The thread is called "Show your Mule" and if I can manage the forum the link should follow:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=31531

Pretty amazing what some people have done -- I aim to try my hand as well, one of these days. There are still plenty of photos in the thread and some really spectacular work. I figure to try making my own bolt on handles first to gain confidence in shaping the handles properly, then move on to making permanent knives with handles epoxied on and pinned. I may try to think of some source for cheap "sacrificial" blades to experiment with first.

And another good forum thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=58053

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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Surfingringo » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:16 am

I don’t think the Manix has enough belly for skinning and dressing large game. (For that matter, neither does the Sprig). If I were choosing a Spyderco folder for that work it would be the Stretch. If I wanted a fixed blade it would be the Southfork.

azdonw
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby azdonw » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:46 am

Tom,
Those links have some great ideas for scales. I do plan on epoxying and pinning mine. Never done it before, but I'm brave!

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Kels73
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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Kels73 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:05 pm

I'd opt for a fixed blade, but between your two options, I recommend the Stretch. The blade shape is better for cleaning and skinning, and the weight difference is negligible.

Bear in mind that blood is extremely corrosive because of its high acidity. ZDP-189 is not as stainless as some stainless steels are, so you'll want to avoid putting the knife away bloody...though that's good advice for most any steel.

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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Eli Chaps » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:40 am

Surfingringo wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:16 am
I don’t think the Manix has enough belly for skinning and dressing large game. (For that matter, neither does the Sprig). If I were choosing a Spyderco folder for that work it would be the Stretch. If I wanted a fixed blade it would be the Southfork.
That's a good point Lance. No pun intended. :) I studied my M2LW after your comment and would agree.

Back in my deer hunting days, we gutted, dragged, and then hung the deer for a couple days before further processing. When we broke them down it was with a different knife/knives than whatever we carried out in the field just for field dressing part. But I understand quartering an elk for packing out is altogether different. Didn't think that one through hard enough.

I bought my SIL a Victorinox butcher's kit with roll. He has a good steel he put in the kit and I gave him a compound-loaded old belt to put in there as well. He loves it. Little touch ups as he breaks down the animal and he's good to go. Of course, that's in his garage. :)

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Re: Help me choose my first Spydie

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:41 am

Quartering up an elk really requires a good fixed blade. It could be done with a folder like the Stretch in a different steel than ZDP-189 (which I think might be too brittle or chip prone for this application, though I am not certain of this).
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