Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

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Cambertree
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Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Cambertree » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 pm

I thought it might be interesting to start an end of year thread similar to what is done on some other knife forums.

What was your Spyderco Knife of the Year for 2019?

It could be a knife released this year, or it could be a knife from previous years - it just has to be a model which you acquired this year.

Tell us what made it superior to all the other offerings you may have sampled this year.

It would be great to hear a bit about what you use your knives for - if you use 'em at all. Collector safe queens are welcome as well.

The rule is it has to be ONE knife though. Sometimes it can be tough to choose from among a bunch of great contenders, but follow through with your reasoning process and please select ONE to share with us.

Maybe you'll change your mind tomorrow or next week. That's OK, you can post an update if you like, later. Maybe your favourite is just a gnat's whisker in front of another great knife, but that's the one we want to hear about.

By all means, tell us about the close contenders and your decision making process, but at the end of the post, we want to hear about your single favourite Spydie you acquired in 2019.

So let's hear about those gems!

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby VooDooChild » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:17 am

Native Chief
There were several good ones that I acquired this year that are all right at the top for me. But if I had to pick one I think I would go with the Native Chief. Its a new model for this year, I love the native 5 and it is a bigger version, USA made, excellent back lock, good price, great ergos, etc. I really hope this model lives on with different versions and a lightweight platform.

I also must say I think for alot of the above reasons I could be saying the Siren right now, adding in the fact that its a salt series. But they are still not out and Im not sure if they will be before the end of the year.

Like I said there are several other knives that were at the top for me. Native 5 salt, kapara, the lil temperance 3 was a pleasant suprise once it broke in. But based on design and what I like the Chief is taking the top spot for now.

All of my knives are users. Being honest the kapara and chaparral lightweight do get babied and carried less than the others. Im all over the map with my knife task. For me its alot more about having one on me in case I need it than knowing Im going to do alot of cutting. But when something does come up I dont hesitate to reach for whatever Im carrying. In the summer my salts get carried alot and get a decent amount of use. In the winter I just carry whatever I randomly decide on.

So Im thinking Native Chief for now. My only concern with it has been possible tip strength but I havent had any problems so far and if something comes up that might break that tip I should be grabbing a different tool anyways.
Last edited by VooDooChild on Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ric
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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Ric » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:45 am

Para 3 lightweight
My favorite knife now is light weight.
I use it mainly for EDC.

Close contenders are:
Endura FFG lightweight:
Perfect for food prep. Inside of the handle is mainly plastic so easy to clean.

Santoku:
light, good ergos. Aquired only a few days ago, had no chance to use it yet.

Waterway:
Great ergos and sheath. LC200N!!!

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:46 am

Police Lightweight: Spydercos best folder

Street Beat Lightweight: An excellent update to a great design, my favorite small FB.

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Cambertree
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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Cambertree » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:19 am

I've actually slowed down in all my knife acquisitions over the last couple of years, Spydercos included.

I used to tell myself that buying a new knife was to fill a need for a particular type of cutting tool - whether for EDC, or cooking, or work or recreational pursuits like camping and hunting.

Often I justify a new Spydie purchase by telling myself I want to learn about a new steel.

Now that I'm pretty well served on all those fronts and I know what steels and designs I like, I tend to be slower to buy a new Spyderco, these days. If I stop to think about a shiny new Spydie I covet, I often realise I'm just as well off with an existing knife in my collection.

So having said that, the last couple of years were when I finally dipped my toe in the water to check out some fixed blade Spydies. Up to now, most of the fixed blades I've been using are customs or handmade knives.

So although they weren't released in 2019, the Waterway was a definite contender, as was the Caribbean. I also really liked the AEB-L Urban.

The Waterway is a very fine knife in both design and materials. It's obviously made by someone who is actually well versed in frequently using a knife as a tool, unlike some knife models. I like the light, slender, balanced profile, the rustproof LC200N bladesteel, and the grippy handle. I also dig the low profile taco style, foldover boltaron sheath.

Image

This knife is a definite winner, which will certainly find it's way into my deer hunting kit. The only reason it didn't merit more consideration as my Spyderco Knife of the Year in 2019, was I got it rather late in the hunting season, so it will have to wait for next year to really be put through it's paces. I've used it enough in the kitchen and for prepping cuts of Sambar deer meat for the table, to know I really like it. From memory, the edge wasn't too crash hot, but that's fine as I thin out all my knives pretty much straight after I get them anyway. The LC200N steel takes an extremely fine, keen edge.

The AEB-L Urban was a knife I'd been keenly awaiting since Sal announced they would produce it. I have to say kudos to Sal for actually making it a reality, despite what I sensed were some misgivings about AEB-L's edge retention being towards the lower end of the scale.

But for those who remember John Verhoeven, Roman Landes', and Cliff Stamp's advocacy of the steel, it's long been a grade which many have been curious about. It's advantages are outstanding toughness and fine edge stability in thin cross sections - it will take an extremely sharp edge due to the very fine carbide structure. Spyderco's product literature compared it to a stainless 52100 in it's desirable properties.

Image

The Urban was a great platform for this bladesteel, although the run itself had some fit and finish shortcomings compared to previous iterations of the Urban. I honestly didn't find the issues too hard to iron out, and anyway it was the steel that I was interested in.

After being thinned out and fettled a bit, this knife has been in my pocket for a good part of the year. I love this little pocket scalpel, and how wickedly sharp it gets. A few passes on the UF rods when it dulls a little will see it straight back to hair whittling sharp.

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I like plenty of high wear resistance steels, but I really think with many of them, you are just delaying major, lengthy resharpening, and often committing to using a half dull 'working edge' for a long time. With the AEB-L Urban, as long as you can sharpen competently, and spare literally a minute or so every day or two, it's no problem to keep it in the upper echelon of sharpness.

Utimately, I had to consider that the knife wasn't presented as well as the outstanding K390 version was though, from the factory.

So my Spyderco Knife of 2019 is the PE leaf bladed Caribbean.

Obviously this knife has been out for a little while already. I was hesitant to bite the bullet, because of the bright colour scheme, and the handle shape. Being in Australia, I prefer to have a low key knife that doesn't stick out of my pocket and announce it's prescence. It's OK in the eyes of the law here to have a knife on you if you have a 'legitimate reason' for it, but who wants to get into that debate with Mr Plod? I also enjoy designs with a forefinger choil, for the versatility.

In the end it was Evil D, who really persuaded me to go ahead and get this superb knife.

His 'Graphite' RIT dyed and reground SE sheepsfoot Caribbean looked so cool, and reminded me I could easily mod the knife to be more to my liking. It was pointed out that the handle design also brings your forefinger just as close to the cutting edge as it would be while 'choked up' on a knife with a 50/50 finger choil.

I put the order in for a PE leaf bladed model, and a black powder coated deep carry Ti MXG pocket clip, and bought some dark ''Gunmetal' synthetic fabric dye.

When the knife arrived, I was very pleased with the quality - in fact it was nigh on flawless. The action was glassy smooth, all handle corners were radiused, and it was super comfortable to carry and use.

Image

Sometimes, looking at my Spydie collection, you can see distinct 'eras' of Sal's philosophy of design.

The Caribbean is certainly the culmination of years of design experience. The fully nested male/female liners are a new development - the inside is a fully flush smooth surface, and the G10 is machined on the inside to fill the skeletonised liner holes. I suppose this would also add structural strength. I understand there is a kind of pivot stud which runs in a machined raceway in the blade and scales.

All in all, this is a superb knife, and I will probably also acquire a SE version at some point.

Image

The LC200N blade has been completely rust proof in my usage, and I look forward to using it in my humid mini hothouses where I grow my hot chilli peppers this summer.

The knife sharpens easily, and tends to roll rather than chip at the edge apex, when pushed past it's limits. It takes an extremely sharp edge, and actually reminds me of the AEB-L Urban a little bit in that regard. If I could make one minor nitpick, it would be nice to have the steel a little harder and stronger - maybe in the 61-62 HRC range, if that was possible.

I know it would be expensive, but I would absolutely be up for a Vanax SC Caribbean.

Anyway, that's my favourite Spydie of 2019: the superb Caribbean Salt.

Image

Thanks Sal and the Spydiecrew!
Last edited by Cambertree on Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Wartstein » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:35 am

Endela SE!

For one just cause of the serrated blade:
Showed me, how universally great serrations work in almost any task generally, but more specifically the way the serrations in this particular model seem to be done exceptionally well for an univesal EDC knife: Ground in a rather thin stock ffg blade, pretty shallow, and not too aggressive at all. Can´t think of any ask where I really missed my PE knives, and additionally touching up the SE actually is quicker than a PE (though admittedly I have to clean the sharpmaker rods more frequently due to only using the corners).

Plus: It almost has the perfect handle for me personally. I already like the Endura handle, but the Endelas is just a tad shorter, eliminating the for me unnecessary bit of extra length of the Enduras, a bit more hand filling and neutral, and very slim in the pocket. No choil takes away grip area on the actual handle, and the Ricasso is still a perfect spot to choke up on it.

Only, but for my preferences rather severe downside: Too little cutting edge, while the handle length would offer space for a lot more. When closed, there is a gap of 9mm (0.354") and the blade and edge could be longer by that amount: blade 3,745" (9,5 cm), edge 3,353"(8,5cm).
Or make the blade at least 3.5" (and so still meeting the restrictions in certain areas) instead of just 3.41.

/ Very close contender: Pac Salt SE!
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Cambertree » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:52 am

Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful selections guys.

I particularly like that most of your choices so far are knives I either passed up for whatever reason, or didn't really even consider when they came out. Reading your posts has given me another angle to consider them from.

VoodooChild: Yeah, I only passed on the Chief because I felt that the Police 4 G10 and my Lefty Millie already fill that slot pretty well, but your post has me considering it again.

Ric: Nice choice. Another knife I'll have to take a closer look at. My Maxamet Para 3 is very nice, but the ultra LW version is also super cool. Nice to see a kitchen knife get a shout out as a close contender too!

Vivi: Wow, I knew you liked the P4 LW, but that's high praise indeed, coming from you! Thanks for your great reviews on the Streetbeat too. I'd passed on it for being a little too thick in the blade for my taste, but you've done a great job thinning yours out into a creditable cutting machine.

Wartstein: Thanks for the thoughtful post. I was wondering what you might choose, but I wouldn't have guessed the SE Endela. I particularly like what appears to be some extra belly on this model compared to the Delica and Endura.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Wartstein » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:21 am

Cambertree wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:52 am
......
Wartstein: Thanks for the thoughtful post. I was wondering what you might choose, but I wouldn't have guessed the SE Endela. I particularly like what appears to be some extra belly on this model compared to the Delica and Endura.
Well, I am a bit surprised myself... ;)
But it´s just a fact that the Endela SE gets carried more often than each of my other folders (mostly for the amazing SE FFG blade) since I got it, and that despite having a too short cutting edge for my liking.
If there was an ffg Endura SE ("regular", not the already existing Wharnie) or maybe even better a Pac Salt ffg SE though, one of those would clearly trump the Endela SE (or, as said, if the Endela SE had a blade as long as the handle length allows, it would be near perfection).

I am pretty sure that I got my HAP 40 Stretch 1 in 2018 already, if it had been in 2019, that knife coul perhaps "beat" the Endela SE as a "knife of the year"

/ May I ask one quick question about your waterway?: Are you ever concerned about the tip snapping of? It looks really fine and a bit fragile, and that´s the only thing I could think of that could keep me from getting a waterway. As a matter of fact I consider selling my Enzo Trapper ffg and get a Waterway instead....
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Cambertree » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:45 am

Wartstein wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:21 am
Well, I am a bit surprised myself... ;)
But it´s just a fact that the Endela SE gets carried more often than each of my other folders (mostly for the amazing SE FFG blade) since I got it, and that despite having a too short cutting edge for my liking.
If there was an ffg Endura SE ("regular", not the already existing Wharnie) or maybe even better a Pac Salt ffg SE though, one of those would clearly trump the Endela SE (or, as said, if the Endela SE had a blade as long as the handle length allows, it would be near perfection).

I am pretty sure that I got my HAP 40 Stretch 1 in 2018 already, if it had been in 2019, that knife coul perhaps "beat" the Endela SE as a "knife of the year"

/ May I ask one quick question about your waterway?: Are you ever concerned about the tip snapping of? It looks really fine and a bit fragile, and that´s the only thing I could think of that could keep me from getting a waterway. As a matter of fact I consider selling my Enzo Trapper ffg and get a Waterway instead....
I must admit I hadn't looked too closely at the Endela, as I have a couple of modded Enduras and Delicas that suit me fine already, but now your choice of the SE Endela completely makes sense. It hadn't sunk in that the blade, as well as having that bellied edge, is FFG SE! That makes a lot of difference in my books. I do love my Pac Salt and UKPK SE blades, but I'd definitely prefer FFG SE. Wow, that thing must be an absolute slicin' machine!

With regard to the Waterway's tip, yes it is very pointy and acute, and I've ground mine even thinner and pointier.

No, I don't really worry about it snapping. The way LC200N behaves in my experience so far, I think it would bend if pushed beyond it's limits, in a similar way to H1, although it's probably not quite as tough as H1.

The other reason I'm not so worried about it, is by now I have enough knives, that I select them for particular purposes like tools in a toolbox. I use the reground Waterway like a kitchen utility knife, and a boning knife, and this winter, I'll give it a good test on dressing out Sambar deer.

Although Vivi has demonstrated the stock Waterway will stand up just fine to reasonable batoning and bushcraft type tasks, I won't really be pushing the limits of my reground Waterway in that direction.

If it had to be my knife in a 'one knife' scenario, I'm pretty sure it would still acquit itself just fine - I would just exercise a bit of care in use, and not strike the tip when batoning kindling.

The knife I actually have used for years and have complete faith in for all those type of bushcraft scenarios happens to also be an Enzo Trapper - but one in O1 with a Scandi grind.

I should also add that my initial habit is to regrind a knife to the point where it starts to fail slightly, either from chipping or rolling, then I go a little more obtuse from there, so I know I have a perfectly customised edge for my use. I haven't pushed the Waterway to either chip or roll yet, so the tip might actally be too thin, and I just don't know it.

My advice would be that the Waterway is an excellent knife, well worth getting, but I would hang onto that Trapper for the rougher type stuff.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Evil D » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:29 am

Hands down it has to be the Caribbean. I love my Cruwear Shaman but it's such a limited piece that not many can experience it. The Caribbean is about as perfect as an EDC folder can get (or has gotten so far).
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby benben » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:42 am

I said when I bought it earlier this year that I was years late to the party.......the SE Pacific Salt is my 2019 knife of the year! I should have listened! :rolleyes:

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby standy99 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:54 am

Gayle Bradley Junction

Used the most this year and enjoying the steel and weight for just about everything from dressing water buffaloes and filleting large Barramundi to making peanut butter sandwiches
Im a vegetarian as technically cows are made of grass and water.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby geronm042 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:58 am

It was a quiet year for me.

I think the Caribbean is kind of an achievement in everyway and I adore it. It is my spydercoest Spyderco. But I want to select a knife I carry a lot more and almost everyday so I will pick the Endela SE too !

Amazing ergo, ffg se done well, perfect construction that feels more sturdy that full frn salt, back lock and perfect size.

My linerless smooth g10 native 5 cruwear would be pretty close but it just arrived and that would not be fair for my endela :-D

The year is not over and my incoming endura Hap40 might give my endela a hard time.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Cambertree » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:41 am

No surprise there, with the Caribbean, Evil D. If anyone missed it the first time around, I recommend you check out D's LC200N Torture Test Gauntlet of Death thread -

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85045&hilit=Lc200n+torture+test ;) :cool:

Benben: Better late than never, bro. And I'm sure you won't be the last to be pleasantly surprised by the mighty Pacific Salt SE!

Standy99: Yeah that Junction's grown on me since I got it in late 2018. At first I didn't much like the thin slabsided handles, but it certainly is a great performer with nice thin blade stock. And you've made me hungry three different ways in just two sentences! ;) :p

Geronm042: Another vote for a model that barely raised a blip on my radar when it first came out. And over the Caribbean too! I can see I'm definitely gonna have to check the SE Endela out!

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby prndltech » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:16 am

For me: the SE Tasman 2. Ida never thought it would be practical. Been carrying it for weeks... love it!
- Shannon

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby p_atrick » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:07 am

Another vote for the P4 LW. This was easily the largest knife I have owned. I was a bit worried that it would be too big, too unwieldy. It didn't take long before I could use and operate the knife with ease. The things that really stand out are the ergonomics and how "small" it feels. Ergos were the whole reason I got the knife. The Endura never really fit my hand all that well, and I am a sucker for a the 50-50 choil. I mainly use a saber grip or choke up. Both are very comfortable. The handle is spacious enough that I could see that gloves (even winter gloves) would not change how the knife feels in hand. As much as I like the 50-50 choil, I often find myself using the saber grip. This is not something I consciously decide to do, my hand just goes there. It is a tremendously comfortable knife. I am also impressed with its dimensions. It is so thin and light. It doesn't really feel like a big knife even though it has quite a long blade. This knife checks a lot of boxes for me, and opened my eyes to the fact that larger knives are not always bulky, heavy, and take over a pocket.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby TkoK83Spy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:35 am

I have to say the DLC/ 4V Shaman. Not just because it was a fancy, instant sell out, exclusive model...but because it really checks all the boxes and is just a bad a$$ knife! Red/Black has always been a favorite combo of colors for me, for anything. I love the solid, robust feeling of this knife in hand. It's a bit heavy, but that's fine with me. This knife is a great knife for me working in a warehouse. I cut a ton of cardboard, rope, plastic banding straps, various types of tape every week. This knife just blasts right through. I find myself looking for things to cut that I don't even need to cut, because I want to see what it's capable of. I'm never worried that this knife won't perform. 4V is such a great steel, I haven't had the need to reprofile it. A couple quick touch ups on the brown rods and a couple passes on my strop, good to go!

Close to making the cut include the Crucarta Shaman, for many of the same reasons. I definitely prefer the Micarta scales over smooth G10 on the 4V model, but being a hard use knife I prefer the DLC over Satin as it seems to be more scratch resistant. I don't really mind scratches on my knives, but that first one always stings a little.

Smock...such a different design for a Spyderco knife. Not the best ergos, but it works fine for my hand especially while wearing gloves. I'm not much of a fidgeter, but when carrying this knife it gets played with more than my other knives when not in use. I love that it's so sleek and slim in the pocket, it's very unique look and new to the game button compression lock.

G10 Manix 2 models... I bought 3 of these this year, granted I put Micarta and CF scales on two of them. Before these I had the LW BD1 model. It was more of a beater/camping knife that I ended up gifting to my brother in law for his camp. I really prefer the liners and solid feel of the G10 models. 52100/20CV/Cruwear...no complaints with any of these steels. May be a shocker, I think I actually prefer the 20CV to Cruwear in this model. For some reason I can take that to the next level of sharpness where it just sticks to my finger skin.

HH UKPK...not a hard use knife, but so slim and lightweight. THE most comfortable knife I've ever held in my hand. It was made for me! I'll buy any new variation that comes out in the future.
Currently have 18 :spyder:'s in 11 different steels. Constantly adding and purging!

-Rick

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Mushroom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:21 am

The One Eyed Jack! The level of detail in insane and the fit and finish is just as impressive. I like to think of it as Spyderco custom. :D I knew I needed it in my collection and am elated that it finally is.

Also, the McBee deserves an honorable mention. I knew I would like it, but didn't know I'd like it as much as I do. It's managed to kick the Ti Squarehead out of my pocket since I got it
- Nick

:spyder:

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby Igi964 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:38 am

Bow River for me. More than two years of waiting and we get a homerun. Phil Wilson design ,compact size, great ergo, very slicy blade, leather sheat for 32$. Best buy from Spyderco for years.
Honorable mention. Delica Wharncliffe blade in Salt ultralight handles. Doesn't leave my pocket since february. EDC perfection.

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Re: Tell us about your Spyderco Knife of the Year 2019

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:54 am

Cambertree wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:52 am
Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful selections guys.

I particularly like that most of your choices so far are knives I either passed up for whatever reason, or didn't really even consider when they came out. Reading your posts has given me another angle to consider them from.

VoodooChild: Yeah, I only passed on the Chief because I felt that the Police 4 G10 and my Lefty Millie already fill that slot pretty well, but your post has me considering it again.

Ric: Nice choice. Another knife I'll have to take a closer look at. My Maxamet Para 3 is very nice, but the ultra LW version is also super cool. Nice to see a kitchen knife get a shout out as a close contender too!

Vivi: Wow, I knew you liked the P4 LW, but that's high praise indeed, coming from you! Thanks for your great reviews on the Streetbeat too. I'd passed on it for being a little too thick in the blade for my taste, but you've done a great job thinning yours out into a creditable cutting machine.

Wartstein: Thanks for the thoughtful post. I was wondering what you might choose, but I wouldn't have guessed the SE Endela. I particularly like what appears to be some extra belly on this model compared to the Delica and Endura.
I expected to want to carry my Police 4 (g10) more often over the winter, but I found myself reaching for the LW version so often I stuck the G10 version in my back-ups drawer.

Right now I only have two Spyderco folders in my EDC drawer, a Pacific SE and the Police LW.


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