Now for the "bad" points:
1. The steel is 8Cr13MoV, not S30V or 440V as on the Spyderco Guntings.
2. My knife did not come out of the box "Spyderco sharp" as have all of my live blade Guntings. This knife would not shave hair.
3. The blade is slightly off center. Because the blade is large and relatively heavy for a folding knife blade, if I open the blade quickly using the hole/opener and hold the knife in my right hand in a forward grip, my blade will contact and rub on the "left" liner. If I hold the knife in my left hand and open it in the same manner, the blade will not contact the "right" liner.
4. The "proud liners," similar to the very aggressive checkering patterns I have found on some "duty" firearms, can be a literal pain in extended use. The jimping on the liners allows a very secure grip, but the liners can rub and irritate your hand.
Of course, to answer these concerns:
1. This blade is primarily designed as a self defense tool. If you have to worry about edge retention in a self defense situation, then you are hanging out in the wrong crowd and are having to cut far too many evildoers
. I have found this steel to work pretty well in normal everyday cutting tasks as well as in more strenuous cutting/self defense tests.
2. A couple of minutes on the Sharpmaker and this blade easily shaved hair. I still prefer to have my knives "shaving sharp" out of the box, but, in reality, this is not a big deal, as long as the steel is properly heat treated and the blade will take an edge and hold it for a reasonable time. This knife satisfies that criteria.
3. The blade may scrape in that one type of opening, but it does not keep the knife from deploying. The blade does not scrape the liner in many of the other methods that I have used to open the blade.
4. The proud liners, just like really aggressive checkering, will help to anchor this knife in your hand when the grip, or your hand, may be covered in blood, mud, etc. This is a good thing in a combat environment.
The bottom line is that this blade can and should perform well in a stressful self defense situation. It does not exhibit the "build quality" of the various Spyderco Guntings that I own. However, it has some features not found on the Guntings, and some of these features can be very useful "when bad things happen to good people." The price on this blade is more than the normal LLC, as it is a bigger knife. However, the price is still significantly less than the price of a Gunting (unless you get an absolutely screaming deal on eBay or are buying a beat to crap Gunting). Considering the design changes and the price, I think the LLC is a worthy follow up to the Gunting. If you did not manage to get a Gunting when they were made by Spyderco, I highly recommend that you pick up an LLC. If you want a huge self defense oriented folder, the LLC Magnum may be the knife for you. The LLC is a tank-tough folder, and, in any configuration, large or small, it should make an admirable user in the self defense folding knife genre.
As usual, excuse the photographs. I snapped a few quick photographs to go along with the review, and, as I have said before, as a photographer I make a great martial artist
Below, you can see the LLC compared to my 440V plain edge Gunting and next to an architect's scale. The LLC is about 10 inches in overall length, when open.