This is a thread for my observations on the new Police 4 Lightweight model.
For my thread on the G10 Police 4, see here: viewtopic.php?t=81418
There are a few differences that immediately jumped out at me, aside from the obvious scale & blade steel differences.
The FRN Police is the thickest Police I have handled. Here it is next to my P4 G10:
This change alone makes this Police even more comfortable in my grip. I don't think it's going to feel thick enough while carrying it that I'll mind it in the pocket.
Combined with the additional contouring inherit in Spydercos FRN knives, this is hands down the most ergonomic iteration of the Police to date in my opinion. Look at those beautiful curves:
There is some additional texturing on the spine for added traction:
The index choil has a new shape. There is a bit of a drop off from the handle to the blade, giving it a different feel in hand. I don't find it any better or worse than the other Police models, just different.
Here is the balance point, right under the screw for the lock bar:
Another thing I noticed is the factory edge appears to be ground at a thinner angle than my previous Police models. Unfortunately I don't have any factory edged ones to compare to right now, but the bevel came wider than expected.
The trim 4oz weight makes this Police feel lighter and more nimble in the hand than the previous versions. I can tell it will be more comfortable to use for extended tasks.
The fit and finish on mine is flawless as far as I can tell. Superior to my Police 3 and 4 in G10. On both of those I can find little flaws, like the backspacer being ground at a crooked angle:
Or the lock release standing proud of the liners:
On my FRN Police I cannot find a single flaw in the craftsmanship. It is incredibly smooth, zero side to side play, and has an authoritative self close.
One interesting thing another member pointed out to me, is the lock spring is reinforced with a steel bar that is sandwiched between the liners.
This should make taking down the knife easier than an FRN Endura, where the backspring tension can deform the FRN backspacer enough to make putting the knife back together tricky at times.
One thing that I'm sure was influenced by this design difference between the G10 and FRN versions is the drastically different patterns of skeletonizing on the liners:
Police 4 G10 liners
Police 4 FRN liners
One design choice that strikes me as questionable is the location of the smooth clip contact area in the middle of the scale. When the clip is set for tip up carry, it half contacts the smooth patch, and partially contacts bi-directional texturing. This causes the knife to grab on to the pocket on a draw. I like it to be honest, it makes the knife less likely to accidentally slide out of my pocket but not particularly difficult to draw. I can see how others would not like this though.
One issue I had with the G10 Police 4 is the pivot would loosen up after opening and closing it a handful of times. I was hoping the FRN model would not suffer from the same issue, but it does.
Generous side to side play developed as the pivot loosened itself from normal operation
When I opened it the first time it was perfectly smooth, and the first time I closed it the blade did not drop shut. After about 15 open and close cycles the blade was free swinging when I pressed the lock release, and after maybe 50 open and close cycles the pivot was so loose the blade was rubbing against the handle. I'm going to loc-tite it later tonight to rectify this issue.
I put together a little video that shows some of the history leading up to this model. Sorry the video isn't very good....I wanted to go out to a state park and include cutting up some stuff, but I was too busy today.
Safe to say Sal did it again. The Police 3 was my favorite Spyderco folding design when it came out. Same with the Police 4. Now the lightweight version takes the crown.
If Sal ever turns this model into a Salt, that's the last folder I'll ever buy. I'd also like to see this offered in a full SE option.