Spyder Classics: The Merlin

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Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:14 pm

With Spyderco being the king of serrated blades I think it goes without even saying that they are also the king of Hawkbill blades as well. And the Merlin is one of those Hawkbill models that you rarely hear about anymore but it was a very handy small to mid sized Hawkbill which I really liked. You might say that it was an FRN version of the Harpy but that isn't quite fair because the Harpy had some significant differences over the Merlin model.

Some collectors/fans to this day might even say that the TASMAN is basically the "Merlin" model with H-1 steel>> and actually that might be fair to say. The Merlin in my humble opinion truly got overlooked and I would welcome it back if they ever wanted to offer it up as a very economic version of the Harpy. I would love to try it in newer/better blade steels too.

The Merlin like most other models of that time period was available in SE & PE both. You never saw the Merlin in very many of the older catalogs which always perplexed me. But they were easy to find at Knife & Gun Shows. I know there are a few of you out there that still have a Merlin model.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Catamount123 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:13 pm

I would love to see an updated version of the Merlin (Delica 4 handle makes sense), as long as both PE and SE are available. K390 or Cruwear would be my steel preference. I'm pretty sure the Tasman Salt 2 will be coming out in FFG LC200N, so that will help tide me over until we see a new Merlin ;)
I don't get people who only carry one knife :confused: ;)

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Evil D » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:07 pm

I keep hoping that the wave of LC200N/FFG Salt models will someday include a FFG Tasman and Spyderhawk because that's gonna rock my socks off.
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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby dsvirsky » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:42 pm

I have an SE Merlin in AUS 8; old school with the integral FRN clip. Picked it up at a gun show, many years ago. AUS 8 is another steel that works really well in Spyderedge.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:44 pm

Catamount123 wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:13 pm
I would love to see an updated version of the Merlin (Delica 4 handle makes sense), as long as both PE and SE are available. K390 or Cruwear would be my steel preference. I'm pretty sure the Tasman Salt 2 will be coming out in FFG LC200N, so that will help tide me over until we see a new Merlin ;)
That would be a "home run over the center field wall" if they did just what you said :cool: As much as I've liked the Harpy model over the years I've got to admit that the Merlin is one FRN model I've always loved. And to make a Merlin with one of the Supersteels would be a "dream come true".

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:49 pm

dsvirsky wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:42 pm
I have an SE Merlin in AUS 8; old school with the integral FRN clip. Picked it up at a gun show, many years ago. AUS 8 is another steel that works really well in Spyderedge.
So they did indeed make the "MERLIN" in AUS-8 :) I'm glad you've confirmed that because I wasn't exactly sure when I spoke to another guy yesterday. The Merlin models I've had over the years>>> probably at least 6 of them were all either ATS-55 or the one I have in VG-10. Now I'm beginning to believe that the AUS-8 versions are as rare as the VG-10 versions are. Because I've never encountered one at all. Thank you so much for confirming that.

And even with all the blade steels we now have available I would never turn my nose up at a serrated Merlin in AUS-8. Because AUS-8 is still a steel I like very much in SE. And I do agree with you on the Spyderedge observation because AUS-8 is still a steel I use quite frequently in SE. I still have a full SE version of The Catcherman in AUS-8 and you couldn't buy it from me at any price,. Yeah I like it that well :cool:
Last edited by JD Spydo on Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Reject » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:51 pm

Image
How much can a Koala bear?

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:55 pm

Reject wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:51 pm
Image
Well "REJECT" Ol' buddy I had a gut feeling that you would show up to this party :D And Show UP you did for sure in grand fashion I might add :cool:

I hadn't seen one of the Carbon Fiber Harpy models in quite some time. I might have known you would have a couple of them stashed away :D

So tell me Ol' buddy how do you rate the MERLIN among all the Spyderco Hawkbills???

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Reject » Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:17 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:55 pm

So tell me Ol' buddy how do you rate the MERLIN among all the Spyderco Hawkbills???

To be honest; :o I have never really had a use for a hawkbill knife in my daily cutting tasks.
Admittedly; some times a hawkbill would handy to have for some jobs.

:( So not much experience with them.

If I were to pick one to chuck in the pocket and carry every day; :) I would pick the Tasman Salt SE.
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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:26 pm

Reject wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:17 pm
JD Spydo wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:55 pm

So tell me Ol' buddy how do you rate the MERLIN among all the Spyderco Hawkbills???

To be honest; :o I have never really had a use for a hawkbill knife in my daily cutting tasks.
Admittedly; some times a hawkbill would handy to have for some jobs.

:( So not much experience with them.

If I were to pick one to chuck in the pocket and carry every day; :) I would pick the Tasman Salt SE.
That would be a great choice for a companion folder>> but don't dismiss the idea of an ATS-55 or VG-10 Merlin. I sort of wish they would have never discontinued the Merlin. I think it would have been an inexpensive version of the HARPY model and would have sold well had they kept it around.

But the H-1 TASMAN is a nice mid-sized Hawkbill and you can't go wrong with that model at all.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Dodge » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:33 am

I got a Merlin and a few other hawkbills....
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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:50 pm

Dodge wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:33 am
I got a Merlin and a few other hawkbills....
that's impressive!! But the Merlin is getting more rare. Especially the ones made with something other than ATS-55 blade steel.

The Merlin is one of the few of the FRN handled Spyders that I truly liked a lot. But it's also time to start seeing some of these Hawkbills with G-10 handles IMO.

We are way overdue for another G-10 Harpy>> Also a Spyderhawk with a G-10 handle would be great as well. :cool:

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Dodge » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:59 am

JD Spydo wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:50 pm
Dodge wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:33 am
I got a Merlin and a few other hawkbills....
that's impressive!! But the Merlin is getting more rare. Especially the ones made with something other than ATS-55 blade steel.

The Merlin is one of the few of the FRN handled Spyders that I truly liked a lot. But it's also time to start seeing some of these Hawkbills with G-10 handles IMO.

We are way overdue for another G-10 Harpy>> Also a Spyderhawk with a G-10 handle would be great as well. :cool:
Wasn’t the Merlin used in the Hannibal movie?

I second the Spyderhawk in G10 but only if it’s full serrated!
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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:22 pm

Dodge wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:59 am
JD Spydo wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:50 pm
Dodge wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:33 am
I got a Merlin and a few other hawkbills....
that's impressive!! But the Merlin is getting more rare. Especially the ones made with something other than ATS-55 blade steel.

The Merlin is one of the few of the FRN handled Spyders that I truly liked a lot. But it's also time to start seeing some of these Hawkbills with G-10 handles IMO.

We are way overdue for another G-10 Harpy>> Also a Spyderhawk with a G-10 handle would be great as well. :cool:
Wasn’t the Merlin used in the Hannibal movie?

I second the Spyderhawk in G10 but only if it’s full serrated!
I'm not 100% sure which model was used in those "Hannibal Lecter" movies. Because the guy we used to have here on the Forum who went by the Forum name "Dr. Hannibal Lecter M.D." ( Kurt from West Virginia) told me quite a long time ago that it was a "HARPY" that was used in that one movie. I'm just taking his word for it because he was ( still is) even more of a Hawkbill enthusiast than I am. But Kurt was obsessed with all the times that Spyderco knives would show up in movies and on special TV shows. But that's not the only movie or TV show where a Harpy model was displayed >> or any other Spyderco Hawkbill for that matter.

A case could be made that the MERLIN was never discontinued but rather took on a new name i.e. The TASMAN. And the only reason they changed the name is because they were first introducing H-1 steel in a "non-corrosion" format. It was probably a marketing decision I'm sure.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby defenestrate » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:10 pm

My second Spydie was an ATS-55 Merlin with the barrel bolted clip.

I just won an auction for an early, integrated clip AUS-8 Merlin. I read somewhere that these earlier runs were just a bit thicker than the later ones. In any case, looking forward to having another hawkbill around. It's SE as most of mine are (I have a couple of cheap PE Hawkbills and the Crossbill and Superhawk in PE).

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby cody6268 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:55 pm

I'm a big fan of the Harpy, just not its size and weight. I've been thinking about the Tasman Salt, but I like the exact closed size of the Merlin/Harpy. From what I'm seeing, I do have the chance of finding a Merlin at prices similar to the $50 I paid for my Harpy.

I found a somewhat affordable Harpy used, and I'm a big fan of its cutting power. When it comes to cutting brush, vines, and cordage, there's nothing better than a fully serrated hawkbill.

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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby Evil D » Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:23 pm

How about instead of another Merlin/Harpy variant we do an Endura sized equivalent with the smooth no finger groove handle like the Harpy has and we call it the Griffin (to go along with the Harpy mythology thing)?
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Re: Spyder Classics: The Merlin

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:20 am

Evil D wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:23 pm
How about instead of another Merlin/Harpy variant we do an Endura sized equivalent with the smooth no finger groove handle like the Harpy has and we call it the Griffin (to go along with the Harpy mythology thing)?
I could go for that. But I doubt if Spyderco would go for a G-10 handle on a completely new Hawkbill model.

It still baffles me as to why the original G-10 Harpy from the ATS-55 era was a flop at the box office ( sales). Because I doubt if it would be disappointing in a second run. It's one of the most highly sought after collector pieces from the ATS-55 era.

But the Merlin seemed to sell pretty well during that same time period which I always found curious.


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