Pacific Salt 2 Observations
Introduced over a decade ago, the Pacific Salt was a flagship model of the Spyderco Salt line. Based on the Endura 3, the Pacific Salt 1 was a huge success.
The Pacific Salt 2 adopts many of the changes introduced by the Endura 4, while having a couple unique features of its own.
Throughout its ~13 year run, the Pacific Salt went through many revisions. The clip was more squared off and jimping was coarser on early versions:
From left to right, a gen 2, late run gen 1, and early run gen 1.
Interestingly the Pacific Salt 1 adopted some of the characteristics of gen 2 before it ceased production. Made December 2019, this one sports blacked out hardware and Sal's logo:
The blades are essentially identical. Very little has changed between the two generations. Here is an image comparing a brand new Pacific Salt 1 vs 2, both serrated:
The Pacific Salt 2 (top) seems to have a slightly smaller kick.
I've been maintaining the knife with a fine sharpmaker rod, and sometimes I'll follow up with Venev 7 micron diamond paste on a custom strop.
Here's a video
showing my typical touch-up process: https://streamable.com/7lpkll
The edge has held up well, just like my experience with the first gen.
I'll sometimes use it to cut through small branches like this on running trails. No rolling at the edge.
The ergonomic differences are what intrigued me the most.
I had previous experience with the Endura 4, and didn't remember the handle working very well for me. When Spyderco stopped making Pacific Salt 1's I stocked up, thinking the 2 wouldn't work for me.
Thankfully I was willing to give the handle design another shot, and I'm glad I did. I've come to appreciate the versatility of the design. It's ergonomic in a wide variety of grips with its neutral shape and subtle finger grooves.
Here's a video
where I discuss the ergonomics and overall differences between the two generations: https://streamable.com/dpy4uh
The texturing is much better on the second generation. Carrying the Police LW I knew I'd like it better than the volcano style texturing.
The jimping on the spine is a welcome addition as well.
The subtle changes to the finger grooves gives the handle more versatility. By making the guard more abrupt and widening the first finger groove, I get a comfortable grip choked up or gripped further back. This grip doesn't work for me on the Pacific 1.
The clip has gone through a few changes. Instead of the Endura 3 tip up only clip held by a single large screw, we have an Endura 4 style four way clip mounted with three small torx screws. The handle has metal inserts embedded for the screws to grab on to.
The clip is also a good deal smaller. This plays a role in improving ergonomics. I feel it less while using the knife. I still find it carries just as well.
Taking each Pacific Salt a part is a slightly different process depending on which generation you're working with.
The first generation only has two screws holding the knife together at the pivot and lock bar. One scale, a blade, lock bar, lock spring and the clip.
The second generation has the pivot and lock bar screws, and three additional screws holding the rear end together. Handle is two piece construction and the clip uses three torx screws instead of one large barrell bolt. There's a few more pieces to keep track of but its still very easy to break it down for a deep clean.
There is some fascinating engineering going on with the handle.
There are four sets of embedded screw anchors for the clip. There are also embedded anchors for the three body screws situated behind the lock release. Both scales have three anchors embedded that the screws thread into, and the two handle scales sandwich the lock spring in place. That's a total of 18 embedded steel anchors, 9 per scale.
I'm glad I gave the Pacific Salt 2 a try. It improves on the first generation in numerous ways. Superior ergonomics, a more versatile clip and grippier texturing have kept this knife in my pocket and the Pacific Salt 1 in my knife drawer.