FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

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cycleguy
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby cycleguy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:35 am

cycleguy wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:05 am
I'm the exact opposite, but I'm sure others feel as you do. To me, FRN is the real deal when it comes to Spyderco, and the other materials are just knock offs when it comes to Seki models.

I never did take to the Para 3. Its size attracted me but there are others in this size class I like much better.

Pecking order: 1) Delica 4 FRN, 2) Sage/Sage LW (this is a very close 1 & 2).

All you can really do is try them and figure out what works for you.

CG
I'll also add - my Delica feels more like a monolithic slab of FRN than FRN over metal liner; HOWEVER, my Sage LW certainly feels more like a veneer of FRN over metal liner. May have something to do with the different lock methods; regardless, I like the feel of the Delica better. Just seems more solid. I haven't seen any discussion on this so I may be delirious! :)

CG
So many knives - so little funds!!!

Notsurewhy
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Notsurewhy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:36 am

Bah, meant to edit and quoted instead. Disregard.

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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Bill1170 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:21 am

Wartstein wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:00 am
Added to my post above:

Though G10 is not a deal breaker, in my use FRN is clearly superior:

- FRN makes a knife a bit lighter
- FRN handles usually are more countoured/chamfered, while G10 handles tend to be more blocky (of course there are exceptions in both directions)
- Bidirectional FRN is grippier than G10, while (see above) still less of a pocket shredder
- As has been mentioned already: I think linered FRN is by no means "weaker" than linered G10 (maybe in theory the one or the other might be less durable, but that has no practical implications at all)
- UN-linered FRN /FRCP is still more than strong enough (no use and abuse so far could even remotely kill my Pac Salt or Manix 2 LW)
This. While G-10 handles feel strong and good, I find the contoured FRN handles from Seki to be more comfortable in hand. I would happily buy a Caribbean with FRN handles. The bidirectional texturing works very well and nylon just feels good in hand. (Which is odd, because nylon fabrics leave me cold due to their feel.)

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VooDooChild
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby VooDooChild » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:25 am

It works really well for the salt series.
sal wrote:
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steelcity16
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby steelcity16 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:31 am

Come to the dark side...

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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby James Y » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:33 am

I own more Spyderco FRN Seki-made back locks than any other category of knives. Both with and without liners. That says it all. And I do love several of the G10 models and go through periods where I carry and use them more, but I always end up coming back to my favorite Seki FRN models as main users.

Jim

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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby samdasnake » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:49 am

I almost always prefer FRN to any other handle option. Not only is it less expensive but it’s strong and light. My favorite EDC currently is my Goddard LW which is linerless FRN. It’s a big knife but is so light for its size. The Para3 LW probably sees the second most pocket time. I think if you give FRN a really chance you’ll find that it really is a superb handle material. OP - You may want to try a lined FRN first since you seem to prefer that solid feel. A Tenacious LW would be a good one to try as it has full skeletonized liners and the bar to entry is pretty low from a $ standpoint.

SpyderCuse
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby SpyderCuse » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:35 pm

I love both FRN and G10 Spydercos. It usually comes down to the blade shape and color whether I'll buy it or not. I know no matter what I'm getting it's going to be of good quality. I can certainly understand how Albatross said the Para 3 LW felt like a toy to him. I'll never understand the "it feels cheap" crowd(nobody on here). You see it in IG or YouTube comments all the time. You know it isn't cheap and if you held a seki or golden Spydie with FRN in one hand and an actual cheap knife in the other you could absolutely tell the difference.

JuPaul
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby JuPaul » Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:55 pm

I love the seki frn, and I think Taichung frn is pretty great, too. On Golden models I prefer g10. The para3 lightweight is an exception to that rule, but I'd like it even more with seki frn.

There's a time and a place for both g10 and frn, and plenty of room in my collection for each.
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The Mastiff
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby The Mastiff » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:01 pm

Another FRN Seki knife person . I began my Spyderco journey with FRN Enduras and Delicas and then went to steel frame versions. I have stayed with the FRN Enduras and a few Delicas and Police models and have never found any issue with the durability of them. My first Endura ( G2 marking which is Gin 1 steel) is still going strong. I have put them through washer and dryer cycles riding in my pockets a bunch of time and like every other trial they just seem to get smoother opening and fit my hands better. Now I'm old with arthritis I couldn't find a better fit for my hands than an FRN Endura. Someone might get bored of them but I don't see them wearing out very easily.

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Tucson Tom
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Tucson Tom » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:03 pm

I am one of those who has always been snobby and looked down my nose cross-eyed at FRN. I guess I still view a G10 knife as a more premium product that I am proud to own.

But I recently bought the FRN Rex45 Manix and have been carrying it all the time to see if I can wear it out. I'll have to say that it may not have the fancy leather upholstery of the G10 models, but it is definitely a workhorse. So from a point of view of pragmatic utility, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. And yes it is actually FRCP, but what is one plastic versus another among friends?

Sort of like a beat up Toyota Corolla -- you won't turn any heads driving it, but it will get you to where you want to go.

PS - I've got no problem with the FRCP from Golden.

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Bloke
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Bloke » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:45 pm

I wouldn’t buy an FRN Military and I wouldn’t buy a G10 Delica, either.

I think FRN makes for excellent scales. I find it surprisingly strong, durable and forgiving but I wouldn’t commission a flash custom knife with FRN scales. :)
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SpyderCuse
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby SpyderCuse » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:57 pm

I haven't tried the comp lock with FRN yet. I'm waiting for a lightweight lil Native.

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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby bbturbodad » Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:29 pm

mad german wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:20 am
Hi guys,
I picked up a Para 3 lightweight the other day. After getting home and really looking at the knife and playing with it a bit, I had to return it. I just can’t get into the FRN models.

Is there anyone else who feels the same? I love all my Spydies (G10 and CF scales), and really wanted to like the lightweight Para 3, but it seemed like an “imposter” of the “real deal” Para 3.
The Para 3 LW is my least favorite Spyderco. Golden's FRN is my least favorite FRN. I like FRN from the Seki and Taichung factories but I can deal with it on the Native because the knife still feels solid but yes I agree the Para 3 LW feels cheap in my hand.
-Turbo

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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Sumdumguy » Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:57 pm

I prefer balance and feel, over lightness. The P3LW was far too nose heavy. Open your hand and it's rolling out.

FRN with liners are fine, I love the Seki FRN. Not so much the FRCP, it is a bit plasticky.

I would still choose lined G10/Micarta over FRN.

weeping minora
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby weeping minora » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:44 am

Another in favor of the Seki FRN knives here.

I've had one Golden-made Manix 2 LW in "FRN", which, while isn't outright horrid, is my absolute least favorite knife handle material I've ever handled. In use, I'm not 100% convinced that it's as durable as the Japanese FRN variant, even if it were to conceal liners. I'd liken it to Lego (Seki FRN) vs. Big Blocks (Golden FRCP). One is world class and the other falls flat in terms of textural feel, giving that stereotypical response of "cold, blocky, plastic.." that you hear/read from a substantial amount of negative views toward the material, which seems to transcend to those unfamiliar with the FRN coming out of Japan.

The FRN out of the Seki factory is very "organic" feeling, for lack of any better description. It might feel a bit cold to the touch upon initial feel, a touch plasticy, (especially when wet for some reason IMO), but the material really opens up and provides a warm and inviting feel that is most comparable to stabilized woods IME. If I'm honest, I prefer it to G-10 and even any variant of micarta. With the pliability allowing for any texture to be adorned to its surface, I believe it is an elite material that stands at least toe-to-toe with the giants of handle materials.

TLDR/DC; If you're looking to experience a lightweight knife, please do yourself a favor and look past the "plain ol' VG-10" rhetoric and pick up a Seki-produced Spyderco to fully experience the pleasures of FRN, or splurge a bit and pick up an offering with a "better" steel, if that's a hang-up.
On the quest for equilibrium...

Diamondback
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby Diamondback » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:05 am

Very fond of the Seki FRN, not so much the Golden stuff. I had a liner-less Native for about 48 hours, and then immediately sold it. Too "plasticy" for me. Every time I handled the knife it made a hollow "clacking" sound. Might try a LW Sage eventually, but waiting on the XL Stretch, and hoping for a Seki LW Police in some interesting steel I don't currently own.

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curlyhairedboy
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby curlyhairedboy » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:46 am

Seki FRN is an absolute joy. It feels like micarta almost, while other FRN feels closer to G10.
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, DLC Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, Caribbean Sheepsfoot CQI, Tanto PM2, Serrated Shaman
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Fixed Blades: Proficient, Junction, Waterway
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Ouroboros, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native, Calendar Watu
Would like to own again: Currently N/A!
Wishlist: Smallfly 2, CQI SpyderEdge Caribbean Sheepsfoot, Shaman Sprints!

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DMgangl
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby DMgangl » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:39 am

Can't read through the thread right now, but wanted to through my 2 cents in. I don't really pay attention to weight of knifes, as long as its balanced. But I work in a machine shop, and my hands are always covered in some kind of coolant, cutting oil, or grease. In this area I prefer the frn mostly because it won't absorb some oils/grease like my unpolished micarta would.

cycleguy
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Re: FRN/Lightweights: I just can’t get into them

Postby cycleguy » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:49 am

FRN = yesterday's unobtainium!!! Such a material was to die for .... how soon we forget. :rolleyes:

Doesn't mean you have to like it though...

CG
So many knives - so little funds!!!


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