Chaparral

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Joshcrutchley1
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Chaparral

Postby Joshcrutchley1 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:25 pm

I recently picked up a Chaparral after hearing so many good things about it. I've read many of Wartsteins posts raving about one of the thinnest Spyderco blades in a folder. The constant talk of the sub 2mm blades performance solidified my decision to buy one. You could also say I've got the bug and want to try all the steels Spyderco has to offer.
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The knife surprisingly feels heavier than it looks. Lock up is great, no blade play whatsoever. The backlock makes a very crisp and satisfying sound. It feels like it could use a lighter lock bar spring but I can definitely live with it. This Chap has the CQI beveled lock bar, possibly to make unlocking more comfortable.
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The blade has even bevels and could shave hair out of the box. It also has a finger choil, something I've grown to love.
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There's a unique metal backspacer that gives the knife a more premium feel. I think more FRN models should come with one.
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The fit and finish is top notch, I hear that's to be expected from Tiachung. The wire clip is deep carry which is nice. That coupled with its thin profile makes it disappear in your pocket. It's currently one of my smallest folding knives measuring 3.6"/91mm closed with a 2.8"/71mm blade. This would have been an average size knife to me a year ago but now it feels a little on the small side.
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I wanted to quickly get an idea of how it was going to perform compared to my other knives. That's why I decided to do a back to back cut test switching between other knives to really get a feel for it. There's things you may not notice if you just use 1 specific knife for the day.

I got ready by prepping some clean cardboard into manageable pieces. Then pulled out my Pm2, Manix 2, and of course the Chap. The Delica or UKPK would be a better comparison, but I don't have those...yet. ;) With it being so much bigger I just assumed the PM2 would dominate. I just cut cardboard until a hotspot would form somewhere on my hand. I'm not measuring anything, just seeing how it feels in moderate use.
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I didn't have to cut much to find out what I was after. The PM2, while just as sharp, needed considerably more force. I have the scales lightly contoured so it takes awhile for hot spots to develop but they do. It might help to break the edges on the inside of the scales.
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The Manix LW on the other hand was a lot harsher. It took about the same force as the PM2 to cut the cardboard. The problem was hot spots from the sharp corners and jimping. Texturing on the FRN is molded deeper than the Chap as well as having sharper corners.
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I like that the Chaparrals FRN is in a different style than the Manix 2 lw. That smoother profile lets you cut longer without hot spots forming. Let's not forget that beautifully thin blade that makes cutting even easier. It glided through the cardboard like it was a sheet of paper. It's like cutting with a fillet knife, just really short. I could just keep going without any hotspots and little fatigue. Even though it's handle is smaller than the others I never felt like my grip was compromised in any way. The blade actually got noticeably warmer from how fast I was able to cut.

I did notice it felt better cutting with the end of the blade. It's thin blade really makes it stand out from the pack. I hope Spyderco brings more thin designs to market.

The Chaparral is definitely a keeper in my book. This knife is already in my edc rotation and once I have more time using it I may update this post. Oh just in case you didn't see my other thread I'll add this. The Chaparral is supposed to showcase all different kinds of scale materials so I 3d printed some for it like my mule. I already remodeled them again to fix the clip cut outs and to make it slightly bigger. I was having issues with parts under .5mm so I made them thicker to sand down after assembly. I just need to print the new model. It's awesome to have an idea in your head and in under an hour its in your hand. That includes time to make the model and print it.
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Doc Dan
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Re: Chaparral

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:00 pm

I bought the Chaparral when it was first released. I jumped on it like a duck on a June Bug. The concept of that thin blade in a knife nearly as small as the Dragonfly, yet much longer in blade, was too good to pass up. I've got two and will likely have more as new versions come out.
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Re: Chaparral

Postby z1r » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:54 pm

Doc Dan wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:00 pm
I bought the Chaparral when it was first released. I jumped on it like a duck on a June Bug. The concept of that thin blade in a knife nearly as small as the Dragonfly, yet much longer in blade, was too good to pass up. I've got two and will likely have more as new versions come out.
My thoughts exactly, the knife is barely larger than a Dragonfly, yet the blade is almost as long as my Native 5. Mine is a CF and I love it but an FRN model is next on my list as more of an EDC knife. I think of my CF version as my "dress" knife.

I instantly fell in love with Dragonflys, and started buying up different versions as I can. But, I like the Chap so much that I can see snatching up various versions as they present.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby TomAiello » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:57 pm

I'm guilty of owning every variant of the Chap. I love it. My EDC chap is the CF version, but I love them all.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby Tgmr05 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:00 pm

I really like the chaparral. It feels great in the hand, and as noticed, has some heft to it. Quite a slicer, yet definitely more capable than just a gentleman’s letter opener. I am looking forward to handling one of the new beveled versions to see how it compares in the next month or so. Looks interesting in photos.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby Wartstein » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:26 pm

Joshcrutchley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:25 pm
I recently picked up a Chaparral after hearing so many good things about it. I've read many of Wartsteins posts raving about one of the thinnest Spyderco blades in a folder. ......

Always glad when my "raving about the Chap" contributes perhaps a tiny bit to that people decide to try this knife and especially its superior thin blade. :)
And of course even more glad that you like the knife, and especially have the same positive experience concerning the performance of the thin blade!

If you like, you could also use it "hard", in order to see that a 2mm blade is not only a great slicer, but also strong enough for any folder task, especially on a leaf shape (profile makes the tip a bit stronger).
"Problem" might just be, that then you´d not see much reason anymore for thicker to even rather fat bladed folders, especially in the smaller sizes ;) - Or you might even join the quest for a Chap XL: Just imagine the performance of this blade in a longer size... :rolleyes:

On "it could use a lighter lock bar spring": If you want that, just do this mod (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=80687#p1253309). But it will break in anyway!

As you mention the finger choil: For me this is a necessity on the Chap in order to give it a full four finger grip. It has the (small) handle size where a finger choil really makes sense (like on the DFly)
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: Chaparral

Postby Wartstein » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:44 pm

Doc Dan wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:00 pm
I bought the Chaparral when it was first released. I jumped on it like a duck on a June Bug. The concept of that thin blade in a knife nearly as small as the Dragonfly, yet much longer in blade, was too good to pass up. I've got two and will likely have more as new versions come out.

Yep, one of the great things about the Chap is the a good amount of edge one gets. Closed really not much longer than a DFly, but actually a lot more cutting edge.

And the DFly even has a 25 % thicker blade. If great slicing is the goal, this can make a difference already (relatively seen, for illustration: If for example the 3.7 mm thick blade of a PM2 was made thicker by 25%, this would mean a 4,63 mm stock)
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: Chaparral

Postby kobold » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am

The Chap is a champ. Champarral! :) Thanks to the spring shift mod I can flick the blade open any way I want. Also polished the washers and removed the pocket clip. I think it is better to carry a small pocket knife at the bottom of the pocket, there is less chance losing it.

How big the XL version would be ideally? Bigger than the Sage? Like a Manix?
Military: S90V, S110V, Fluted Ti. PM2 & Para 3: Maxamet. Native 5: Rex45, LC200N SE, S35VN SE, Spy27, Fluted Ti. Native Chief: S90V, Rex45.
Chaparral: Raffir Noble, Birdseye Maple. Tasman Salt 2 SE, Caribbean Sheepfoot SE., SpydieChef, Swayback, Manix2 S110V, GB2, Sage 1 Maxamet.
Incoming: Native 5 fluted CF
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Re: Chaparral

Postby Wartstein » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:37 am

kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am
...

How big the XL version would be ideally? Bigger than the Sage? Like a Manix?

For me at least PM2 Endela size...

I started several threads on this topic, here a poll asking who'd be interested (over two years old already though)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82492
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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sal
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Re: Chaparral

Postby sal » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:05 am

Hi Josh,

Nice review.

Thanx much.

sal

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Re: Chaparral

Postby kobold » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 am

Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:37 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am
...

How big the XL version would be ideally? Bigger than the Sage? Like a Manix?

For me at least PM2 Endela size...

I started several threads on this topic, here a poll asking who'd be interested (over two years old already though)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82492

Did you try the Centofante yet? Or you want a choil?

BTW I voted for a thicker handle variant.
Military: S90V, S110V, Fluted Ti. PM2 & Para 3: Maxamet. Native 5: Rex45, LC200N SE, S35VN SE, Spy27, Fluted Ti. Native Chief: S90V, Rex45.
Chaparral: Raffir Noble, Birdseye Maple. Tasman Salt 2 SE, Caribbean Sheepfoot SE., SpydieChef, Swayback, Manix2 S110V, GB2, Sage 1 Maxamet.
Incoming: Native 5 fluted CF
spy_kobold on reddit.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby Wartstein » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am

kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:37 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am
...

How big the XL version would be ideally? Bigger than the Sage? Like a Manix?

For me at least PM2 Endela size...

I started several threads on this topic, here a poll asking who'd be interested (over two years old already though)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82492

Did you try the Centofante yet? Or you want a choil?

BTW I voted for a thicker handle variant.

I had a Centofante... :)

No, not necessarily a choil, what I would want is 2mm in ffg like the Chap has, not sabre/hollow like the Centofante.
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: Chaparral

Postby kobold » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:49 am

Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:37 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:18 am
...

How big the XL version would be ideally? Bigger than the Sage? Like a Manix?

For me at least PM2 Endela size...

I started several threads on this topic, here a poll asking who'd be interested (over two years old already though)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82492

Did you try the Centofante yet? Or you want a choil?

BTW I voted for a thicker handle variant.

I had a Centofante... :)

No, not necessarily a choil, what I would want is 2mm in ffg like the Chap has, not sabre/hollow like the Centofante.


Interesting. I like hollow grinds, because the behind the edge thickness stays thin even after many sharpenings and because the blade should go through material with less friction than a FFG.
Am I missing something?
Military: S90V, S110V, Fluted Ti. PM2 & Para 3: Maxamet. Native 5: Rex45, LC200N SE, S35VN SE, Spy27, Fluted Ti. Native Chief: S90V, Rex45.
Chaparral: Raffir Noble, Birdseye Maple. Tasman Salt 2 SE, Caribbean Sheepfoot SE., SpydieChef, Swayback, Manix2 S110V, GB2, Sage 1 Maxamet.
Incoming: Native 5 fluted CF
spy_kobold on reddit.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby Wartstein » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:02 am

kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:49 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:37 am
I had a Centofante... :)

No, not necessarily a choil, what I would want is 2mm in ffg like the Chap has, not sabre/hollow like the Centofante.


Interesting. I like hollow grinds, because the behind the edge thickness stays thin even after many sharpenings and because the blade should go through material with less friction than a FFG.
Am I missing something?

All true as long as we are talking about matter with not much diameter gets cut (cordage...)
/ For thicker stuff, or even cardboard, imho thin ffg works better than thin sabre hollow,. With the latter, at some point the shoulders where the primary grind transitions to the rectangular upper part of the blade will hit the material and "stop" the cut.

Ffg imho is more universally good, and I guess there is a reason it is Spydercos most used grind (sabre hollow would be even a bit advantagous in production I've heard once. Could be wrong on this though).
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: Chaparral

Postby kobold » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:12 am

Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:02 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:49 am
Wartstein wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am
kobold wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:13 am
I had a Centofante... :)

No, not necessarily a choil, what I would want is 2mm in ffg like the Chap has, not sabre/hollow like the Centofante.





Interesting. I like hollow grinds, because the behind the edge thickness stays thin even after many sharpenings and because the blade should go through material with less friction than a FFG.
Am I missing something?

All true as long as we are talking about matter with not much diameter gets cut (cordage...)
/ For thicker stuff, or even cardboard, imho thin ffg works better than thin sabre hollow,. With the latter, at some point the shoulders where the primary grind transitions to the rectangular upper part of the blade will hit the material and "stop" the cut.

Ffg imho is more universally good, and I guess there is a reason it is Spydercos most used grind (sabre hollow would be even a bit advantagous in production I've heard once. Could be wrong on this though).
I might try to compare HHG vs FFG using cardboard if I can find two matching knives. I think convex grind is also a great performer. While a FFG makes contact with the material all along from the edge to the spine, convex contacts at only at a single point.
Military: S90V, S110V, Fluted Ti. PM2 & Para 3: Maxamet. Native 5: Rex45, LC200N SE, S35VN SE, Spy27, Fluted Ti. Native Chief: S90V, Rex45.
Chaparral: Raffir Noble, Birdseye Maple. Tasman Salt 2 SE, Caribbean Sheepfoot SE., SpydieChef, Swayback, Manix2 S110V, GB2, Sage 1 Maxamet.
Incoming: Native 5 fluted CF
spy_kobold on reddit.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby 8-fingers » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:32 am

TomAiello wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:57 pm
I'm guilty of owning every variant of the Chap. I love it. My EDC chap is the CF version, but I love them all.
Same here! The maple Chap has found some pocket time recently thou. I think I received a great sample!

.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby rhaug » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:33 am

Thanks for the write-up, you summarize very well why the Chap is a great pocket knife.

It's all the pocket knife I'll ever need, probably, only thing I'd want is to change the LW-scales for some Micarta, but that seems to be hard to come by. Any hints much appreciated, the usual suspects (like CuScaDi and G10it) can't do it.
On deck: FRN Chaparral

Moved on: Techno 2, SpydieChef

Excited to get: UKPK Heinnie Haynes edition, Lil'Kapara (bring it on! :D )

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Re: Chaparral

Postby wrdwrght » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:51 am

I need to stop reading good reviews, like yours, Josh.

I didn’t know about the beveled lock bar. That (along with the new and appealing FRN pattern) is reason enough for me to pursue this variant.

Until the other day, when I found a reasonably-priced stepped-titanium variant, I had contented myself with just the laminated CF one, both in XHP and in my early-adopted S30V. They’ve been that satisfying.

Now that I’m going fancier, I think I must balance it with the workingman’s model so I don’t forget where I come from. :D
Last edited by wrdwrght on Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chaparral

Postby Joshcrutchley1 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:01 am

rhaug wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:33 am
Thanks for the write-up, you summarize very well why the Chap is a great pocket knife.

It's all the pocket knife I'll ever need, probably, only thing I'd want is to change the LW-scales for some Micarta, but that seems to be hard to come by. Any hints much appreciated, the usual suspects (like CuScaDi and G10it) can't do it.
It's an easy design if I knew someone with a CNC I would make some myself. There's nothing complex to deal with using g10.

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Re: Chaparral

Postby Abyss_Fish » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:12 am

Joshcrutchley1 wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:25 pm
There's a unique metal backspacer that gives the knife a more premium feel. I think more FRN models should come with one.
Image
this this this
Patiently waiting for the smallfly 2.

Current spydie collection: Watu, Rhino, Kapara sprint 20cv, Siren, Waterway, Ladybug k390, Caribbean
Current favorite steels: sg2/R2, lc200n/Z-FiNit, s90v, 3v Runner ups: 20cv/m390/204p, cts-xhp


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