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Caribbean at last

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:28 pm
by Bill1170
I received my new Caribbean yesterday, carried it at work today. I have been drawn to this model from inception but exercising restraint. I really wanted to try a FFG SE knife whose edge goes right to the handle. The handle is generously sized for my hands, allowing a comfortable four finger grip with space to spare. It saw little use at work because today’s tasks didn’t call for much knife work. Most days do.

Some things I observed:

The scales are very grippy in hand, and in pants. This is true despite the clip bearing on a smooth center area of the scale; those arc cuts really engage the fabric.

The lock engages and releases easily, emitting a satisfying thunk as it locks. Despite a shot of Nano Oil on each washer, it doesn’t drop shut like my Golden compression locks do. It requires a firm shake to move the unlocked blade even a little, and I hope it breaks in over time.

The knife is finished very well, as I expected based on reports of the Taichung models. This is the first knife I’ve bought from that factory, was not disappointed (aside from lack of “drop shutty” action).

I’ll carry it this weekend and give it some matter to separate.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:16 am
by skeeg11
Looking forward to your review of FFG SE LC200N. Outside of Dave there seems to be a dearth of real world reviews of LC200N FFG SE. Was really hoping Spyderco would move in this direction in a big way. Love the balance of properties in my PE LC200N Spydiechef and Siren but would very much like to see a FFG SE version of the Siren. No flies on the Caribbean, but the Siren really impresses me. The build quality is superb.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:58 am
by SpyderGrill
Love my Caribbean, but it doesnt drop shut unless the pivot is loosened to cause side to side blade play. My detent is kind of weak also.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:40 am
by Sumdumguy
It's about time!

Mine was a bit stiff, but not too bad. Golden Comps do swing better, but I haven't found one that can match the Caribbean's design. It's been a juggernaut.

The grip pattern is my favorite, it's not as hard on pockets.
Grip without the rip!

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:28 am
by Evil D
On the drop shutty ordeal, I sort of cheat here so my input may not help everyone. I polish the tang of pretty much all my knives these days, so that smooths it out drastically. I also use bearing grease in my pivots which at this point I swear by in making a pivot smooth and droppy but also tight and with as little side play as possible. My two Caribbeans are both dialed in to an acceptable amount of "wiggle" in the pivot where you really need to jiggle the blade hard to feel it, and they'll drop closed with a little wrist jiggle to initiate the swing. I prefer it that way, I like to have a bit of control over how my blade closes, I don't mind having to initiate the closing action. Once the blade is in motion it'll close all the way and that's enough for me. To be honest, after almost 2 years of carrying an Autonomy and having to manually close it, I sort of stopped caring about whether my blade swings closed or not. I guess I sorta reverted back to my youth where no knife did that and everything was folded closed against your thigh.

I will agree, detents could be stonger. That seems to be a Taiching issue across the board in the last few years. I even made a thread about it some time ago. Mine have never opened in my pocket, but I can inertia open them if I try hard enough and I'd prefer the detents were strong enough to prevent that. I think it's time I took a serious look at how to adjust the detent hole myself.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:46 am
by curlyhairedboy
After I track down some CQI Caribbeans, working the detents is probably an early mod.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:21 am
by James Y
It’ll be great to read your opinions on your Caribbean after you’ve had it awhile.

I have the PE, and I like mine a lot. However, I’m now wishing I had gotten the SE version. Oh, well.

As far as drop-shutty actions, I‘m probably an oddball, because I prefer my compression locks to NOT be able to free-fall shut. I personally prefer a tiny bit of resistance. Interestingly, my Caribbean is closer to ‘drop-shut’ action than most of my Golden compression locks, except for my DLC-coated, S35VN PM2. And although my Caribbean’s detent holds solid (it won’t come open even with vigorous shaking), the Golden detents feel like they seat ‘deeper’.

Jim

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:42 am
by BornIn1500
Bill1170 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:28 pm
Despite a shot of Nano Oil on each washer, it doesn’t drop shut like my Golden compression locks do. It requires a firm shake to move the unlocked blade even a little, and I hope it breaks in over time.
The Golden models have a pivot bushing, which the Caribbean doesn't have. They made a CQI to the Ikuchi and Kapara to also give them the pivot bushing. The Caribbean won't drop shut like them until it receives the CQI change as well.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:53 pm
by Cambertree
Thanks for your initial thoughts on your Caribbean, Bill1170. I’ll also be interested to see what you think of the knife when you’ve had a chance to use it a bit and sharpen it.

Did you get the leaf or sheepsfoot SE model?

LC200N sharpens up very nicely IMO.

I agree with James, in that I see no utility in a free swinging ‘drop shutty’ blade. My Caribbean has a very smooth action, but it doesn’t drop open or shut freely, and I’m fine with that.

To be honest I’m not entirely sure how a free swinging blade even became seen as a desirable thing - I suppose it might have originated when the Benchmade Axis lock first became popular.

My first free swinging blade, a Manix was an interesting fidget toy for a few days, then I tightened up the blade. No way I want a razor sharp blade swinging free like that.

Yeah, the detent is fairly light, and could probably stand to be CQI’d a little.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:49 pm
by Bill1170
I got the leaf blade. I use the tip a lot to pierce and initiate cuts, and leaf blades work well for me. The weekend took a turn, but tomorrow I plan some yard work, should afford testing opportunities. When I do sharpen it it’ll be on the 204 Sharpmaker.

The drop shut action is a convenience when stowing the knife one-handed after use. It’s not a requirement.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:57 am
by Molle Ninja
Has a CQI version been announced? These are out of stock everywhere, and between the weak detent, perhaps a different pivot, and reports of blades hitting lanyard tubes it would seem a good candidate.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:07 am
by anycal
BornIn1500 wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:42 am
Bill1170 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:28 pm
Despite a shot of Nano Oil on each washer, it doesn’t drop shut like my Golden compression locks do. It requires a firm shake to move the unlocked blade even a little, and I hope it breaks in over time.
The Golden models have a pivot bushing, which the Caribbean doesn't have. They made a CQI to the Ikuchi and Kapara to also give them the pivot bushing. The Caribbean won't drop shut like them until it receives the CQI change as well.


Which models would those be? I am not aware of any...

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:00 am
by Evil D
Molle Ninja wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:57 am
Has a CQI version been announced? These are out of stock everywhere, and between the weak detent, perhaps a different pivot, and reports of blades hitting lanyard tubes it would seem a good candidate.


Most of the time when I read about complaints I try to keep the attitude of "just because it hasn't happened to me doesn't mean it isn't happening to someone", but I've gotta call BS on the blade hitting the lanyard tube. There may be some lemons squeezing through quality control, but look at how much space is between the edge and the tube...there's no way tolerances vary that much. I'd definitely have to see this one to believe it, and if such a knife does exist it needs to be sent back to Spyderco ASAP.

Image

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:14 am
by bearfacedkiller
I want a Caribbean but I have stopped buying Taichung folders with ball detents. I don’t like a sloppy detent. I might get a Caribbean and try to mod the detent. Or I might just get a Siren and enjoy a backlock from Golden instead.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:14 pm
by BornIn1500
anycal wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:07 am

Which models would those be? I am not aware of any...
The PM2, Para 3, and I think the Shaman, which I assumed were the US comp locks he was referrencing dropping shut. Now that I think about it, it may be called a pivot "collar". But either way, that's what differentiates their fall shut action from the foreign comp locks without it, like the Lil Temp and the Caribbean.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:39 pm
by Evil D
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:14 am
I want a Caribbean but I have stopped buying Taichung folders with ball detents. I don’t like a sloppy detent. I might get a Caribbean and try to mod the detent. Or I might just get a Siren and enjoy a backlock from Golden instead.

I wouldn't call it sloppy but it could certainly be stronger. I think most ball detents need to be stronger.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:55 pm
by Sumdumguy
Evil D wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:39 pm
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:14 am
I want a Caribbean but I have stopped buying Taichung folders with ball detents. I don’t like a sloppy detent. I might get a Caribbean and try to mod the detent. Or I might just get a Siren and enjoy a backlock from Golden instead.

I wouldn't call it sloppy but it could certainly be stronger. I think most ball detents need to be stronger.
I've never had a sloppy detent on any compression lock.
Weak, yes. But, no slop.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:14 pm
by anycal
BornIn1500 wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:14 pm
anycal wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:07 am

Which models would those be? I am not aware of any...
The PM2, Para 3, and I think the Shaman, which I assumed were the US comp locks he was referrencing dropping shut. Now that I think about it, it may be called a pivot "collar". But either way, that's what differentiates their fall shut action from the foreign comp locks without it, like the Lil Temp and the Caribbean.
Yes, those are US comp locks, but none of them have the pivot collar/bushing.

Different things can be responsible for the dropping shut action when it comes to comp locks. Spyderco has CQIed some of their Taichung models with pivot collar- Inkuchi and Kapara; there could be others. And based on what some members here said, it does help with the action.

But no collars on Golden comp locks.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:44 pm
by bearfacedkiller
Sumdumguy wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:55 pm
Evil D wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:39 pm
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:14 am
I want a Caribbean but I have stopped buying Taichung folders with ball detents. I don’t like a sloppy detent. I might get a Caribbean and try to mod the detent. Or I might just get a Siren and enjoy a backlock from Golden instead.

I wouldn't call it sloppy but it could certainly be stronger. I think most ball detents need to be stronger.
I've never had a sloppy detent on any compression lock.
Weak, yes. But, no slop.
Sorry guys, I meant a weak detent. My life is busy lately and I do everything in a hurry. Oops.

Re: Caribbean at last

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:42 pm
by Bill1170
Today I used the Caribbean to cut a bunch of heavy triple ply corrugated cardboard to fit the recycle bin. Wow! I’m very impressed by the performance. Low included angle, FFG, and serrations are a killer combination. The effort to make those cuts was lower than expected. The serrations “track” in the cut, requiring less force to keep the blade from slipping out and exiting the cardboard.

I also cut off a bad end from some insulated flexible ducting and again was impressed by how easy this was. Plain edges struggle cutting unsupported fiberglass; the mighty Spyderedge just sliced it effortlessly. Amazing! I cut some polyethylene film in a circle from a roll of Romex and it was snaggy in the cut. I suspect that will improve after sharpening on the SM rounds the points a little.

Overall I am very pleased that I went with the serrated. I was on the fence and Evil D pushed me over to the SE side. Thank you, David!