You might've seen my review of Spyderco's original Rescue
and noticed how much I loved it. Well, I enjoyed that knife so much and y'all commented so enthusiastically about your own various Rescues that I decided to try out the updated second version of it, and I love this one even more. It's kicked the Native 5 out of my pocket, which is pretty awesome. Here's a photo of my new favorite knife, along with some similar rescue-style knives displayed below it, and an Endura for size comparison:
(in order from top: my new favorite Spyderco which is a Rescue after its first round of CQI, the original Rescue with the integral plastic molded clip, a Byrd Cara Cara 2 Rescue, and an Endura)
Measuring generations of the Spyderco Rescue is always kind of confusing, because the company made some really large CQI changes without changing the serial number of the knife. Those top two knives have the same serial number, and just about everything is different between them. FRN pattern, clip, blade shape, blade steel...
(same knives, presentation side)
I'll call those top two, in order, "version 2" and "the original". The original looks like an FRN Mariner, and the version 2 looks like an early edition of the Atlantic Salt. There was also a "version 3", which included a subtly different finger choil, a lower hollow grind, a fraction of an inch more cutting edge, and a cutout on the spine of the blade to rest your thumb on while choking up on the knife. This dude's website is a pretty good resource to learn more about the different versions and look at pictures: http://paulberetta.com/sheepsfoots.htm
The Rescue version 2 is slightly shorter than an Endura and a lot lighter, due to the linerless handle. It was released in 1997, as far as I can tell, and has the characteristic pinned construction, barrel clip, and volcano-patterned FRN of that era's Spydies, as well as ATS-55 blade steel.
The ergonomic shape and rounded corners of the handle make this knife possibly the most comfortable in-hand Spydie I own, and ensure that the knife is locked solidly into your grip, even without jimping. Fit and finish are great; either the edges of the FRN on the back of the handle meet up absolutely perfectly, or it was made all in one piece, I can't tell which. It does feel slightly more flimsy than my Native LW, which is probably because the Native has complicated molding and ridges on the inside of the handle for strength and lightness and the Rescue version 2 is all flat and smooth on the inside. Also the Rescue version 2 is significantly slimmer than the Native. There were a couple rough spots on the inside of the handle near the edge which I guess were left from the molding process, which were easily eliminated with a file.
The blade is a nice sheepsfoot shape, and the serrations go all the way to the tip, instead of stopping short of it like the modern Spydies tend to do. The size of the Spydiehole is comparable to the one on the Endura. It has a hollow grind instead of my preferred flat grind, but at least the hollow grind is higher than that on the original Rescue. The blade is taller than the blade on the original Rescue though, and I like that less -- one of the things I enjoyed about the original was how long and light the blade was, and this one is definitely built more for sturdiness, which is fine but I might grind the spine down a little to get that feeling back and to further reduce weight. The serrations are very pointy which makes them snag on things easier, in comparison to the Cara Cara 2 Rescue which has a smoother wavy serration pattern rather than the pointy pattern used for the Rescue version 2. Snagging has not been an issue yet though, because this thing came sharp enough to push cut paper, and I haven't got it dull enough yet to snag on anything instead of just slicing though like a demon. It's bitten me several times so far (the hazards of getting a beautiful new knife and not wanting to put it down or stop playing with it) and sometimes I didn't even notice til I saw the blood, so, yeah -- it's sharp. JD Spydo described this model as "heving a crocodile in your pocket", and that's an apt way of putting it. Action is a bit stiff, which is to be expected with a new lockback that hasn't been broken in.
Overall, I love it. It's my new EDC, it's awesome, it's perfect. I'm really glad that I spent the extra cash to get the new-in-box one instead of the used one. Will maybe check out version 3 of this knife when I replenish my knife fund, or another color of this one -- it apparently comes in orange -- or a plainedge version of it. Thanks very much to JD Spydo and Peter1960 who talked about and posted photos of their version 2 Rescues in the other thread, because that was what pushed me over into trying this knife, and oh man I am glad I did.