Today I received my first Police 4. In this thread I'll be posting observations, photos, videos and reports on K390 blade steel.
I'll be drawing many comparisons between the Police 3 and Police 4, as someone that has carried the former since they released.
If someone asked you to pick any Spyderco knife you wanted in exchange for a knife you were trading them, what would you choose?
I went with the new Police.
The Police 4 is a big knife. Nearly 10" open, with almost 4.5" of blade. As someone with big hands, it's a perfect fit. This is my ideal size for a pocket knife.
Comparing the Police 4 and Police 3, there are some obvious differences. VG10 vs K390, more belly on the P4, and a more rounded handle shape as well.
However, using both knives side by side, it becomes apparent there are many more changes than this.
Immediately the lighter weight of the P4 was noticeable. The P4 weighs half an ounce lighter than the P3, and has a 2mm longer blade as well.
One of the next things I noticed is that the Police 4 feels different to open. Not only is the opening hole larger compared to the Police 3, it's also further from the pivot:
Laying the knives right on top of one another, you can see the P4's opening hole sits a bit further out, and the peak of the thumb ramp is taller:
These changes make the Police 4 a tiny bit wider in the pocket, and it gives the knife a wider opening arc. Works well for my large hands.
The jimping on the spine extends further down now, and the thumb ramp is a touch bigger:
The choil has a different shape. It has less handle supporting it and more blade. More jimping as a result of changing the handle / blade ratio used for the choil:
No boye dent. I may grind one on later, I like them:
P4 has a squared off spine, which is better for throwing sparks off a ferro rod, but reduces penetration ability slightly compared to the P3:
I wasn't sure if I'd like the handle shape better. I'm a big fan of the P3's shape, I've always found it very ergonomic in a variety of grips. I'm happy for report that for my hand I find the P4 more comfortable. Surprisingly it feels more secure as well. I expected the opposite.
This is my go to grip for tip control with a Police. I use it when I want to cut the tape on a package, etc. I find it's easier to choke up on a big knife like the Police than try to use a small knife for big knife jobs.
The blade shape I knew I would like. I enjoy the blade shape on both the Police 3 and the Military. The former works better for utility, while the latter does better cutting on a flat surface. Having a little extra belly will be nice when using the P4 with a cutting board:
K390 is a new steel for me. It's the reason I waited this long to buy a Police 4....I was unsure about how well the steel would work for me as I typically demand a high degree of corrosion resistance from my folders.
Initial impressions are poor to be honest. The knife arrived with dark spots of corrosion straight out of the box. Initial sharpness was also worse than the P3, one of the dullest new Spydercos I've received. I had to strop it a bit for it to be able to shave.
You can see some light spotting forward of the Spyderco logo.
Neither issues are a big concern to me because I knew I would patina the blade, and it was going to need sharpening eventually.
Overall I'm very happy with this knife. While the Pacific Salt sees more pocket time due to being lighter and rust proof, the Police 3 has always been my favorite folding design from Spyderco. The Police 4 is, in my eyes, an improvement across the board. Aside from having lower corrosion resistance than the P3, and the tiny nitpick of the squared off spine, I think all of the changes made improve upon the Police 3.
In future posts I'll document the progress of my P4's patina, post my experiences sharpening K390, and share some videos as well. Thanks for reading!
October 2019 Update: Liners corroded pretty bad. Worse than the blade in fact. Full story here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=84857