Spyderco Street Beat Review

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vivi
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Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby vivi » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:36 am

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The Spyderco Street Beat is a collaboration with French knife maker Fred Perrin. It is a scaled down version of the 5" blade Spyderco Street Bowie (FB04).

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The Street Beat has been in Spydercos line-up for nearly 15 years, originally releasing in 2007.

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The initial run was known for a distinctive contoured micarta handle and beautiful satin finish blade.

The current lightweight version of the Street Beat began production in 2016. The lightweight features FRN scales, a coated blade, and a few other minor changes.

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The Street Beat is a small knife at 7.18" overall, just a hair longer than a Delica.

It is also very lightweight. The current version weighs about 3oz, or 4.2oz with the sheath as configured from factory. This is less weight than a Military or g10 Manix.

The bowie shaped blade is 3.5" long, 4mm thick, and full flat ground, constructed from VG10.

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The blade features a partial distal taper, beginning where the swedge starts, giving it excellent penetrative abilities.

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The blade shape is suitable for a wide range of applications, such as EDC, hunting, camping and hiking, and defensive carry.

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VG10's performance is well known by this point. It is highly corrosion resistant, very easy to sharpen, holds an edge okay and is pretty tough for stainless.

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My user is reground to about 9 degrees per side and given a 15 degree per side microbevel and it has no issues batoning fatwood. With the factory bevel the Street Beat is a robust little knife.

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Here's a video where I talk a little about the knife and how I sharpen it, then show it cutting various materials:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=qaOt85ONLGQ

Although VG10 is sufficient for day to day use, I would like to see this design run in a more wear resistant steel. After using K390 in the Police, I feel that would be a good candidate.

The spine of the blade has a large patch of aggressive jimping to aid grip. The lightweight version has jimping down the handle as well.

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It works well to secure the thumb when gripped with it on the spine.

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Despite the petite dimensions, the grip is still large enough for any hand size.

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My hands are XL-XXL and I can get a full, secure grip with gloves on.

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The most distinctive feature of the handle is the deep index finger groove.

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The knife is perfectly balanced at the index finger. On either side of the choil are near proportional amounts of blade & handle.

The deep choil streamlines the guard by integrating it into the grip. It provides a sure grip whether stabbing or slicing, keeping the hand from the edge. It works comfortably in every grip.

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The choil is fully exposed while the knife is sheathed, providing an intuitive draw from any carry position.

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In this video about the larger Street Bowie, Fred Perrin talks about the handle design.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=sPWJ2CUZnW4

The handle gives me excellent control. It does a great job of placing my hand right next to the cutting edge, optimizing leverage.

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The handle is on a completely different level than folders. Every edge and corner is fully rounded. Perfectly smooth edges on every side. There's a palm swell in the mid-point and a flare at the end.

Photos don't do it justice. Here are short videos:

Lightweight handle.

Micarta handle.

One thing that makes the Streat Beat so ergonomic for me is the lack of a thumb ramp. This makes manipulating my grip much easier. With the generous jimping I've never had an issue with my thumb slipping.

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One of the biggest differences between runs are the sheaths. I prefer the current sheath to the old style. Retention seems more consistent, and the thumb ramp has a better position.

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By placing the push off for the thumb down so much lower than other Street Beat sheaths, I can get a grip closer to my working grip prior to drawing the knife.

Retention is good, I've never had any issues carrying the knife loose in a pack or horizontal on my belt during a hike.

There are many ways one could carry a knife like this.

Here is how it comes setup from the factory

The G-clip works a lot like their pocket clips. It can clip on to belts and waist bands, worn inside or outside. Horizontal, vertical or 45 angle.

It carries well horizontal on the front of my belt. I like carrying it this way when hiking.

It can be very discreet IWB.

My preferred carry method when carrying the Street Beat day to day is pocket carry. I clip a mini-carabiner to the corner of my pocket.

Here's a video showing how it works

It's a convenient setup. Discreet, and accessing it is very similar to a clipped folder.

Of course you'll have to research your local laws to find out what is permissible in your area.

Having carried the Street Beat about 50% of 2021, I've had plenty of time to reflect on how it stacks up against my favorite folding EDC's.


Pros

+ Fully contoured handle offers superior ergonomics
+ No stripped screws, loc-tite, perfectly adjusted pivots or blade centering to be concerned with
+ Extremely easy to keep clean, and basically rust proof for my uses.
+ Stout and solid feel despite being only 3oz. No play, ever.
+ Proportions that wouldn't be possible in a folder.

Cons

- Less compact than a folder with a similar blade length
- Potentially subject to harsher laws than folders
- Finding an ideal carry method takes more effort than a folder

For those of you that have never used a Street Beat, I hope this review has shed some light on why I've been pushing for a sprint. I feel it's a very well thought out design that can fill a variety of roles, and I believe it would really shine in a higher end steel.


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Danke
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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Danke » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:48 am

Nice! Hoping to see a sprint of this too. Maybe on the sheath a clip like some pistol holsters would work. Or maybe a leather sheath?

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Sumdumguy » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:00 am

Mmm... Street Beat....

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p_atrick
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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby p_atrick » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:18 am

Great review. The worst part about a well-executed review is that I often end up thinking, "Maybe I need one of those."

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Wartstein » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:41 am

Thanks, Vivi, great and very useful review as always, but this one is particularly comprehensive like in covering every aspect! :)

The Street beat seems to be the Spyderco that could really replace and fill the role of my White River Backpacker.

Your vid showed something I was not sure about: The tang seems to be exposed over almost all the length of the handle spine in the LW, and even to be a real full tang in the Micarta version. This is something I want in that kind of knife in my particular use: For batoning.
I am really not a fan of batoning of larger pieces of wood (here an axe is certainly the better tool), but for making kindling out of smaller branches or for splitting off small chunks from a larger piece of wood, batoning with a small fixed blade is great (and on a lightweight hike this is what one will carry anyway, and not an axe) - a full tang at the top of the handle is not a necessity for light batoning, but sure good to have here. /

One question: If you could design your perfect version of the Street Beat (or for the sprint in a "better" steel): Would you want it ot have a bit thinner stock for the things you use it for? Like 3.5 or 3.0 mm instead of the 4.0 mm? I think I would prefer this.
Last edited by Wartstein on Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby ladybug93 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:52 am

vivi, you sure have a way of taking a knife i'm not interested in at all and making me want two. my wife is not a fan of yours.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby zuludelta » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:55 am

Great review! The Street Beat LW & Street Bowie are two of my favourite fixed-blades (regardless of manufacturer). They make for great outdoor utility knives, and I frequently carry one or the other in place of a folder when hiking.

One thing I really like about the deep index finger groove on both designs is that it largely obviates the need for a dedicated guard, making for a more streamlined package compared to more traditional designs—a very important detail when one is considering a fixed-blade for pocket carry.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby u.w. » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:34 am

Excellent review vivi!
Thank you for taking the time, and sharing.

u.w.

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vivi
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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby vivi » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:02 pm

Danke wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:48 am
Nice! Hoping to see a sprint of this too. Maybe on the sheath a clip like some pistol holsters would work. Or maybe a leather sheath?
I've experimented with the g clip and the izulas clip plate for pocket carry. My little paracord and carabiner setup has some advantages though.

It lets me partially pull the sheath out of my pocket when I draw the knife, so re-sheathing is easier.

It lets the sheathed knife move around with my body better.

It lets the knife ride lower in my pocket, so it carries more discreetly and securely.
ladybug93 wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:52 am
vivi, you sure have a way of taking a knife i'm not interested in at all and making me want two. my wife is not a fan of yours.
p_atrick wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:18 am
Great review. The worst part about a well-executed review is that I often end up thinking, "Maybe I need one of those."
Haha, thanks guys. I suppose that's the mark of a good review :D
Wartstein wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:41 am
Thanks, Vivi, great and very useful review as always, but this one is particularly comprehensive like in covering every aspect! :)

The Street beat seems to be the Spyderco that could really replace and fill the role of my White River Backpacker.

Your vid showed something I was not sure about: The tang seems to be exposed over almost all the length of the handle spine in the LW, and even to be a real full tang in the Micarta version. This is something I want in that kind of knife in my particular use: For batoning.
I am really not a fan of batoning of larger pieces of wood (here an axe is certainly the better tool), but for making kindling out of smaller branches or for splitting off small chunks from a larger piece of wood, batoning with a small fixed blade is great (and on a lightweight hike this is what one will carry anyway, and not an axe) - a full tang at the top of the handle is not a necessity for light batoning, but sure good to have here. /

One question: If you could design your perfect version of the Street Beat (or for the sprint in a "better" steel): Would you want it ot have a bit thinner stock for the things you use it for? Like 3.5 or 3.0 mm instead of the 4.0 mm? I think I would prefer this.
When I get home I'll upload an image from my PC I know you'll like. The Street Beat and Stretch 2 have nearly identical cutting edge profiles, you'll see in the photo.

Both versions are plenty robust enough for batoning kindling. I don't really baton larger pieces of wood either these days, never find a need.

If I had full creative control over a sprint?

1 - 3mm thick blade
2 - K390 steel with satin finish
3 - taco style sheath
4 - Dark green micarta scales with a rougher texture than the original run (Regarding color, consider the Hossom fixed blades, that's about what I want)
Last edited by vivi on Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Enactive » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:02 pm

p_atrick wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:18 am
Great review. The worst part about a well-executed review is that I often end up thinking, "Maybe I need one of those."
This.

I have talked myself out of one multiple times... Including the micarta/ satin model- which i much prefer - when it was still available NIB at a decent price.

If it gets reissued with micarta and K390 not sure i will be able to resist.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby TenGrainBread » Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:38 pm

Nice review.

I've been carrying mine every day since I got it a few months ago. I have found that it pretty much "disappears" in terms of feeling the knife on me when wearing IWB front right with a paracord connecting sheath to belt or belt loop.

During the winter I've been carrying it in the inner chest pocket of my jacket, which is a little less accessible than in waistband but more convenient because I can just leave it in there all winter and always have it on me.

I like it so much that I recently bought a couple other Perrin knives, including this custom Bowie I bought direct from Fred. It has pretty similar dimensions to the Spyderco Street Bowie but thinner blade stock and Fred's style of contoured scales. It's made from 1075, differentially heat-treated with a faint hamon line. Should be a pretty ideal camp knife for the upcoming summer, although I'll be using the Street Beat if cyclotouring.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby R100 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:49 pm

Thanks for a great review Vivi - it's so rare to read one that gets to the heart of the way I would actually use the knife being reviewed. I guess that's the difference between the reviewer being a user as opposed to a collector.

I am getting keener and keener for a Street Beat and this comment of yours describes my perfect version:

"If I had full creative control over a sprint?

1 - 3mm thick blade
2 - K390 steel with satin finish
3 - taco style sheath
4 - Dark green micarta scales with a rougher texture than the original run (Regarding color, consider the Hossom fixed blades, that's about what I want)"


Fingers crossed for the sprint!

Dan

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Wartstein
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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Wartstein » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:03 am

vivi wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:02 pm
Danke wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:48 am
p_atrick wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:18 am
Wartstein wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:41 am

Vivi:
When I get home I'll upload an image from my PC I know you'll like. The Street Beat and Stretch 2 have nearly identical cutting edge profiles, you'll see in the photo.

Both versions are plenty robust enough for batoning kindling. I don't really baton larger pieces of wood either these days, never find a need.

If I had full creative control over a sprint?

1 - 3mm thick blade
2 - K390 steel with satin finish
3 - taco style sheath
4 - Dark green micarta scales with a rougher texture than the original run (Regarding color, consider the Hossom fixed blades, that's about what I want)

[/quote]

Wartstein:

So you mean the particular "edge profile" of the Stretch I keep bragging about? ;) (Long totally straight section and then a good amount of belly (as opposed to continous curve in the edge?) ) - I really like that. Works better for me especially on wood.

/ Yes, batoning larger pieces of wood with a knife is rarely necessary for me too. But batoning smalls pieces with a smaller knife for making kindling especially when the (outside of the) wood is wet is very useful imho.
Last edited by Wartstein on Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Wartstein » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:03 am

Double post
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: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Holland » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:10 am

Awesome review, thanks for sharing and adding the pics!
-Spencer

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Junction | Gayle Bradley 2 | Mantra 1 | Chaparral 1 | Dragonfly 2

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vivi
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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby vivi » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:15 pm

TenGrainBread wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:38 pm
Nice review.

I've been carrying mine every day since I got it a few months ago. I have found that it pretty much "disappears" in terms of feeling the knife on me when wearing IWB front right with a paracord connecting sheath to belt or belt loop.

During the winter I've been carrying it in the inner chest pocket of my jacket, which is a little less accessible than in waistband but more convenient because I can just leave it in there all winter and always have it on me.

I like it so much that I recently bought a couple other Perrin knives, including this custom Bowie I bought direct from Fred. It has pretty similar dimensions to the Spyderco Street Bowie but thinner blade stock and Fred's style of contoured scales. It's made from 1075, differentially heat-treated with a faint hamon line. Should be a pretty ideal camp knife for the upcoming summer, although I'll be using the Street Beat if cyclotouring.

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That Perrin is gorgeous. I hope have one of his someday too.

Wartstein, here's that comparison with the Stretch 2's blade shape:

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Pig Iron » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:43 pm

Arrgh now I have to get one. Eh I mean thank you for a good review.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby Wartstein » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:28 pm

vivi wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:15 pm
TenGrainBread wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:38 pm
Wartstein, here's that comparison with the Stretch 2's blade shape:

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:eek: Thanks!

That´s almost exactly the Stretch edge geometry... did not realize that, makes the Street beat even more appealing to me...
(btw: I did not know that you have a straight spine Stretch... you actually never carry it? Too short blade for you? The ergos should be to your liking...)

I know from another thread that you have adapted your technique to more continuous curved edges when whittling wood, but don´t you feel at all that this works better with a Stretch / Street Beat like edge? Like in that the edge does not slip as easy of the wood and (like with a wharnie) can transfer more power?
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: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby ladybug93 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:13 pm

i wonder why these are so much cheaper than the enuff. same 4mm vg10 stock, but a longer blade and coated. this thread reminded me that i've been waiting for the enuff (or "more than enuff" that's been mentioned), but i may just have to get a street beat instead.

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Re: Spyderco Street Beat Review

Postby kerrcobra » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:20 pm

Oh man - anytime I see the Street Beat mentioned I have to check it out, and I'm not disappointed here. This was an excellent review, and I hope we get that k390 SB sometime soon. Here's a pic of one of my Street Beats:

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