Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

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Maximumsmoochy
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Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Maximumsmoochy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:42 pm

First post on these forums, I wanted to share my early experience with the Brouwer, delivered last week.

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I've had my eye on the Brouwer for a few months based on the specs (<3" blade, weight, thinner stock than the Native series) and aesthetics (slim looking carry, subtle blade shape, humpless design, green instead of ho-hum black). Never had a chance to handle one, but I saw all the reviews etc. and remained enamoured. Finally bucked up some $ and pulled the trigger.

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First impression is - the Brouwer feels "soft". The lock-up is relatively quiet, the motion is smooth and subtle, and the blade deploys best with a deliberate full thumb sweep. You have to keep your middle and ring finger off the lock-bar when opening or you will have a bad time, so the light grip while opening contributes to the delicate feels.

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The Brouwer compares well to the Lil' Native and Native 5 LW, both of which I have owned and enjoyed. The primary drawback with Lil' is the tankishly thick stock relative to the blade length that makes deep cuts a chore. The Native 5 has better ratio, but the grip is so specific, it locks you in on the choil. The distal taper on both L'N and N5 introduce cutting depth sensitivity. The Brouwer stock is slightly thinner, and the blade is the same thickness almost all the way to the tip, so I find cutting through thick cardboard easier anywhere along the cutting edge, without so much bias towards the tip.

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Holding the Brouwer is a pleasure, open or closed. The asymmetric scales are texturally interesting to my fingers, making up for the less-fidgety deployment and lock mechanism. The Brouwer carries slim and compact in the pocket (relative to N5 for example), and the mass feels solid and reassuring. In use, the forward choil is smooth and comfortable, and I can choke up or back without losing any grip. The handle is lower volume than the N5 or PM2, so my hand can really wrap all the way around and make the knife feel at home in my palm.

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Piss and moan all you want about the clip, the spoon fits perfectly in the hollow of my hand. Shallow carry leaves plenty of butt-end to grab from my pocket top. It doesn't need to be _that_ shallow, but I don't feel the urge to replace the stock clip.

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This is my first titanium frame-lock and it doesn't have the same SNAP or SNICK of back, frame or compression locks. I'm sure it's adequate, but not quite so beefy and reassuring as other lock types. Likewise the internal stop pins running in a groove don't appear as burly as a frame-mounted stop pin. Again, I'm sure it's fine, it just makes the knife feel more subdued in comparison to more plain-spoken designs.

The Spyderco literature says this is designed "as a serious, everyday-carry cutting tool" and "substantial enough for challenging cutting chores". This knife makes me think of a luxury SUV. It is beautifully made, smooth riding, hefty and comfortable. It claims to have the chops get down and dirty, but I am unlikely to press it into "hard-use". I'll keep it in my pocket as (sub)urban pocket jewelry and enjoy the design and craftsmanship of such a well-made piece whenever I have the opportunity to cut my kids' apples or reduce cardboard to strips.
Past: Dragonfly, Air, Rhino, Lil' Native, Brouwer, Native 5, Stretch 2, PM2, Smock
Present: Caly Jr. SB, Para3 Maxamet, Mantra 2, Kapara, GB2, Military
Future: Straight-spine Stretch, waiting for the LC200N Para3 LW, Lil' Native in S110V when the make it

The Meat man
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby The Meat man » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:39 am

Nice review! I don't hear a whole lot about this model.

BTW welcome to the forum. :)
- Connor

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

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p_atrick
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby p_atrick » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:11 am

It really is a nice knife. I have a Casey Lynch clip on mine and it is great. There are no hot spots, and the milled circle in the clip makes for easy extraction. I tried a Lynch clip on a PM2 but didn't like it at all. I thought for sure that the spoon clip would go back on the Brouwer, but that has yet to happen. I wish the stock were a bit thinner, and I dislike the sharp ridge (specifically the point) of the plunge line up near the Spydie hole. That right there is my biggest issue with the knife. The lack of gimping on the forward choil feels weird (first knife like this). It doesn't feel insecure at all, and I have yet to feel like I would lose my grip while cutting. I'm sure I'll get used to it soon enough. I don't think this model is getting enough love because of all the negative reactions to the clip.

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DSH007
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby DSH007 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:24 am

I'm carrying my Brouwer today. Fantastic knife. I've found it to be especially sturdy for its size.. to your luxury suv analogy, I'd add.. similar off-road capability to more overbuilt vehicles with a fraction of the overall footprint.. if the PM2 is a Hummer, the Brouwer is a G-Wagen.. haha, regardless, most drivers don't ever seem to leave the pavement..

I've been surprised by its seemingly lukewarm reception on the forum. A handful of people do seem to love them, but quite a few others seem indifferent towards them, for one reason or another.. steel, cost, lock, etc. The biggest complaint that I had initially, which I seem to share with many others, was the placement of the pocket clip. From a design standpoint, I get this.. as you say above, it does fit perfectly in the palm.. but it just makes the knife ride so d@mn high in the pocket.. Fortunately, this is easily remedied by an MXG Gear clip, which I have put on my knife. Other than the factory clip, I really do like the Brouwer a lot. It's one of those knives whose charm lies in the sum of its parts.. yes, it's small.. no, the lock is not my favorite.. sure the steel isn't as "fancy".. but add it all together and the Brouwer is a highly functional, sturdy, compact, and extremely well designed all-around edc knife with superior fit and finish.. just as Jerry Brouwer intended it to be. That may or my not appeal to everybody.. it certainly does to me. I suppose that's part of the beauty of Spyderco.. there is something for everyone.

Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts and welcome to the forum! I hope you continue to enjoy your Brouwer!

Rick
Rick H.

..well, that escalated quickly..

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby soulspy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:31 am

I love mine. I put an MXG deep carry clip and there's still enough room to grab it while its clipped in the pocket.

My only complaint has been the strange angle at which the lockbar is bent. It almost has a compound bend to it, like it is bent at both sides of the milled out area. It has not created any issues, but I have wondered if anyone else's looks that way?

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby TkoK83Spy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:34 am

Seems to be another one of those knives where people were pumped for its release. They got it, posted some pics of it in various settings and then it's never been heard of again. I honestly forgot all about this model until you created this thread. Very nice review, it was a good read and nice to actually hear about this knife for a change.
Currently have 18 :spyder: 's in 14 different steels.

-Rick

Joey
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Joey » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:12 am

It’s definitely refreshing to get some detailed feedback, that’s for sure! Thanks for the review post, and welcome to the forum. I’m also relatively new here, and have found this forum to be excellent.
Thanks to your post I just got one ordered. I’m particularly excited for the matching scale thickness between the two scales, despite having different materials.
I’ve had this knife in my mind since it came out, but the color has been a deterrent for me. I have a couple of other RIL Spyderco knives from Taichung, and they seem to all have a solid, but discreet lockup that I enjoy. A loud deployment is great, but variety is better.

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Maximumsmoochy
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Maximumsmoochy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:34 pm

Thanks for the welcome and the comments. Yes, I wanted to comment on the Brouwer because it has been either forgotten, dismissed or maligned by a lot of the knife intelligentsia, and that's a shame.
soulspy wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:31 am
My only complaint has been the strange angle at which the lockbar is bent. It almost has a compound bend to it, like it is bent at both sides of the milled out area. It has not created any issues, but I have wondered if anyone else's looks that way?
soulspy, yes, I have the same bendy angle on the lockbar when the blade is closed, and the steel insert almost touches the stock of the blade around the detent ball. No issues for me either, just one of those things I guess...
Past: Dragonfly, Air, Rhino, Lil' Native, Brouwer, Native 5, Stretch 2, PM2, Smock
Present: Caly Jr. SB, Para3 Maxamet, Mantra 2, Kapara, GB2, Military
Future: Straight-spine Stretch, waiting for the LC200N Para3 LW, Lil' Native in S110V when the make it

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby wrdwrght » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:42 pm

Thanks for the frank review. The Brouwer is now on my radar. But I do want to hear more about its detent.
Marc <— a mere data-point

INBOUND: 83mm “Mini” Manix. ON RADAR: Maxamet PM2; Lil’ Native slipjoint; Siren. IN DREAMS: V4E Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; C27 serrated Jess Horn; Vanax Massad Ayoob (SE) sprint; LC200N Breeden Captain (recurve SE) sprint.

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Maximumsmoochy
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Maximumsmoochy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:56 pm

wrdwrght wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:42 pm
Thanks for the frank review. The Brouwer is now on my radar. But I do want to hear more about its detent.
Just checked this. Detent is a little light, if you put a lot of wrist oomph in you can waggle the blade open without touching it. It confirms the overall plush impression.
Past: Dragonfly, Air, Rhino, Lil' Native, Brouwer, Native 5, Stretch 2, PM2, Smock
Present: Caly Jr. SB, Para3 Maxamet, Mantra 2, Kapara, GB2, Military
Future: Straight-spine Stretch, waiting for the LC200N Para3 LW, Lil' Native in S110V when the make it

zhyla
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby zhyla » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:30 pm

The everydaycommentary.com review for this went up this week. The gist is that the lanyard tube and clip mar a really good design and that the price point is absurd. Not having handled one of these yet I would tend to agree. But I know that clip hot spots are very personal and some people will be just fine with this.

Hard to believe this is better than a Chaparral (which costs half as much and is of similar size).

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby wrdwrght » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 pm

Everydaycommentary’s review does give me pause. Although the lanyard hole and clip do seem oddly chosen, I really, really like the blade shape. Moreover, I’m fine with S30V, and do get the OpSec discount. But I think I’ll just cool my jets for a while and see what other observations are made.
Marc <— a mere data-point

INBOUND: 83mm “Mini” Manix. ON RADAR: Maxamet PM2; Lil’ Native slipjoint; Siren. IN DREAMS: V4E Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; C27 serrated Jess Horn; Vanax Massad Ayoob (SE) sprint; LC200N Breeden Captain (recurve SE) sprint.

zhyla
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby zhyla » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:24 am

wrdwrght wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 pm
Everydaycommentary’s review does give me pause. Although the lanyard hole and clip do seem oddly chosen, I really, really like the blade shape. Moreover, I’m fine with S30V, and do get the OpSec discount. But I think I’ll just cool my jets for a while and see what other observations are made.
I think a lot of the attention this knife is getting is due to the blade shape. Spyderco doesn’t usually do clip points. And it’s a nice small package. I feel like that’s probably not enough to make it a winner.

This might be a hit but my money is on deep clearance discounts in a year. It’s an unlucky combination of expensive, small, flawed, and S30V — just like the Positron was.

BornIn1500
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby BornIn1500 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:50 am

zhyla wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:24 am
I think a lot of the attention this knife is getting is due to the blade shape. Spyderco doesn’t usually do clip points.
But the Brouwer isn't a clip point. It's a drop point.

zhyla
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby zhyla » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:35 am

BornIn1500 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:50 am
zhyla wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:24 am
I think a lot of the attention this knife is getting is due to the blade shape. Spyderco doesn’t usually do clip points.
But the Brouwer isn't a clip point. It's a drop point.
Yeah sorry I always get those backwards.

Joey
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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Joey » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:04 pm

I just got mine in the mail today, and had to give this thread a bump.

I think a big reason why this knife hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is simply because there isn’t anything unexpected going on. It’s a simple design, with a simple blade shape. A lot to like about it, however nothing really stands out, either.
So far so good! I think this will be one of my go-to edc’s thanks to the size. I am especially enjoying the symmetry on the scales, despite the material differences. It’s a nice change coming from other G10/Ti combo knives.

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby atv223 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:33 pm

I have one and love it. It's the knife I find myself carrying more then anything else. It's got very clean lines, doesn't take up a lot of room in the pocket and is just elegant. I did change out the factory clip with Lynch offset Para3 which is a perfect match.

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Joey » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 am

That’s a very good point, nothing messy going on. Choked up it fits well, and the handle choil/light weight factor helps it disappear into my hand. The blade shape does allow for the thin profile, and it’s extremely welcoming because 90% of my other Spydercos have a big ol belly (something I like in a knife, but variety is good) in the handle.
Good call on the deep carry. Mine came used with one attached, but I changed it out in favor of the polished Taichung stock clip because I didn’t like the particular style of clip. I don’t mind a little knife sticking out, and the public doesn’t seem to ever mind either, in my experience.

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby rabbitanarchy14 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:09 am

i love the look and design. awesome. my issue and the reason i dont have one is the crazy price, i can get a sage 5 for 150 a para 3 for 120, they have the same steel and at least matching scales, how can i spend more for the same s30v. and it would have been nicer with 2 green g10 handle scales and a liner lock, for 130. that is what it is worth to me 120-130. if they ever actually went on sale i might pick one up.
In-Possession - Para 3 S35VN, Para 3 G10 M390 Red, Dice XHP, Lil Native S30V BL, Manix 2 M390 BR, MKM Voxnaes Isonzo N690Co, Benchmade 555HGBlu, Ontario Rat 2 Gr G10
On-Deck - Manix 2 Cruwear, Sage 5, Brouwer, Cat BD1N, Lil Native compression 20CV/M390
Loved Steels - Cruwear, M390 Family, S35VN, BD1N, XHP, S30V, N690Co

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Re: Early days thoughts on the Brouwer

Postby Marulaghost » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:56 am

I like the idea of a liner lock brouwer probably about as much as a brouwer with a different blade steel (52100 and/ or cruwear)
I'll probably get a regular brouwer soon though anyway


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