A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

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Abyss_Fish
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A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:42 am

This is about to get long winded, but you should expect that from me at this point ;)

About a year ago (Give or take a few days) I received my Spydiechef in the mail. I had been a Benchmade guy for a year or so at that point, but I had been screwed by their warranty for the last time. I was fed up. I went over to Knife_Swap and sold every pointy thing I owned. With the money I gained I went to BladeHQ and searched for what I was looking for, something lighthearted, and somewhat rust resistant, since I had problems with that. The spydiechef fit the bill perfectly, and the newest cqi had just released. It was clearly the one.

It wasn't my first experience with spyderco, I had won a black combo edge delica in a raffle, but I promptly sold it as it was a tad too murdery. But this was my first true premium spyderco. And oh man was it premium. Right out of the box it cut through time, locked up like a bank vault, and flicked open with authority.

Now at this point It's become my most used knife. Without a doubt. Aaaand also my most moded knife... Started with some Bronzed Ti screws, then as the lockbar began to deform I got it carbidized, I then tweaked out the clip and messaged Casey Lynch about his wire clip replacement in the works, a few months later I helped prototype said clip.

So, how's it held up? well... The lockup had gotten worse as time has gone on. Up and down play got worse and worse until I got the lockbar carbidized. It didn't fix it, but it did stop the continuing development of the play. The action, has improved! It drops closed and opens hydraulically like a sebenza, couldn't ask for a better action. The ergos are wonderful as well, the soft contours of the Ti make holding the knife in any grip feel great. I also appreciate details like the cuts just ahead of the pivot screw to allow for a traditional kitchen knife pinch grip. All that combined with it's slimness and lightweight-itude, makes it disappear in the pocket. And the Ti itself has held up very well too. Very few if any noticeable scratches on the handle, most are on the blade, SPEAKING OF THE BLADE. The blade, is fine... By kitchen knife standards? it's ungodly levels of thick. I've used it three or four times at my gf's house for prepping dinner when I didn't feel like dragging my knife roll over, and it cuts, fine... The lc200n obviously holds up very well. But almost every other spyderco I've owned has cut better. Even the Native, which is about the same thickness bte, cuts better due to it's pointier tip. To put it simply, the spydiechef is a spectacular knife with an uncharacteristically chunky blade. Although there's something to be said for simplicity. It's extremely easy to wash and maintain the Spydiechef as it consists of what like, three bits of metal and some screws? That's about it.

It's also worth noting that this model has convinced me of Sal's opinion on sharpening choils, material constantly gets stuck between the blade and the handle.

And so it's come to this. I feel I cannot sell it. I never will. It's too important to me in my knife use history. But it's come to the point where either I get the blade reground to make the knife cut better, and a new stop pin fitted to fix the up and down play, or it continues to sit in my wall roll. I do love it's action and lock, and it's general simplicity. But I just feel bad taking a lower performance blade when I could be using something that cuts through time like the Watu, or refuses to fail like the Native.

tl;dr, The spydiechef is pretty good, it carries well and is comfortable to hold. But the blade (for a kitchen work oriented knife at least) is overly thick, and the lack of lockbar insert makes it's longevity questionable. Making it a good concept, and probably a good light duty knife. But maybe not a good "your only edc knife".

Again I do really like this knife but I don't think our relationship is working out. She's too flakey and blunt.

These are of course my thoughts only. I'd love to hear all of your experiences or questions for me. As always have a good week, and always look both ways when crossing the street.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Fireman
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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Fireman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:13 pm

Image

I have been using this knife made from Cronidur 30 AKA LC200N for over 10 years. The steel is awesome for a chef knife. I can see that as a pure kitchen knife the Spidychef may not be as thin behind the edge to slice better but i agree with you about a regrind on the blade to be a more purpose driven knife.

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:31 pm

Fireman wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:13 pm
Image

I have been using this knife made from Cronidur 30 AKA LC200N for over 10 years. The steel is awesome for a chef knife. I can see that as a pure kitchen knife the Spidychef may not be as thin behind the edge to slice better but i agree with you about a regrind on the blade to be a more purpose driven knife.
Ooh I’m always trying to track down one of those. I’m always a little concerned about Henckels’s qc though. Plus Sg2 has treated me well in the rest of my kitchen knives, cladding is a wonderful thing :)

Also, I’m not even particularly concerned about the spydiechef’s actual food prep performance. Using it as such is more of a novelty imo. But it’s still the worst cutter in my collection, beside my weird russian bali, but that’s a whole other can o’ worms.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Fireman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:40 pm

It is a grail knife for me. A micarta enveloped handle and LC200N with awesome ergonomics. I would get one if I were you. This is a newer version with a wood handle. Buy it now!

https://www.amazon.com/ZWILLING-J-Henck ... B003H2344C

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:11 pm

Fireman wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:40 pm
It is a grail knife for me. A micarta enveloped handle and LC200N with awesome ergonomics. I would get one if I were you. This is a newer version with a wood handle. Buy it now!

https://www.amazon.com/ZWILLING-J-Henck ... B003H2344C
I have my eye on a takamura hana atm... but this is always in the back of my mind! Is the line just a chef knife or is there a pairing knife or petty knife as well? Because I’d snatch up an lc200n petty in an instant.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:31 pm

Is your edge still at the factory angle or have you tried reprofiling it?
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Fireman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:03 pm

vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:31 pm
Is your edge still at the factory angle or have you tried reprofiling it?
I still have the factory angle and only polish it with a fine stone which is a few thousand grit

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby VooDooChild » Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:07 pm

Was your lockup at 100%? Otherwise how did you have up and down play on a properly designed framelock?

I also have not heard of other peoples lockbar continuously wearing down like that.

Im wondering if something was not right on yours.
sal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:14 pm
... "The edge is a ghost"...

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:13 pm

vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:31 pm
Is your edge still at the factory angle or have you tried reprofiling it?
20dps semi mirror on a kme.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:24 pm

VooDooChild wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:07 pm
Was your lockup at 100%? Otherwise how did you have up and down play on a properly designed framelock?

I also have not heard of other peoples lockbar continuously wearing down like that.

Im wondering if something was not right on yours.
It’s possible something was wrong. It’s about a 75% lockup. Obviously the carbizing has smoothed out the lock face but I can’t see any flex or movement whatsoever in the lockbar when I move the blade up and down. I should’ve taken photos of the lock face before I sent it out, it was visibly deformed. And it didn’t come with any blade play. If it was a factory issue my only guess was some sort of treatment problem on the bar.

Also keep in mind this was my only edc knife for about 4 months. In which I was moving. So it was opened and used to cut multiple times a day. Play started developing maybe 2 and a half months into ownership. And increased multiplicatively until about 6 months ago when I sent the lock side out to get carbidized.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Enactive » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:52 pm

My SpydieChef is coming up on two years old. It is a first CQI (ceramic ball, gray hardware) and i have carried and used it more than probably any of my other Spydies-- i would say at least 25% of days in the past couple years. I have had absolutely no problems with my lock, nor anything else. I realize that my sample is one, but you should not have had any problems with the lock from the use you describe.

On the thick grind, LC200n is pretty grindable. Even with just brown SharpMaker stones, thinning the edge to 15DPS isn't too hard. I thinned mine out freehand on synthetic Japanese waterstone before i got my SM. I agree that it should come thinner ground from the factory, but it really is sold to be used as an general purpose knife, not a kitchen knife (though many, like you and me, mostly use it in the kitchen/ picnic-- on food).

I liked mine so much when i got it (and they were hard to find for a while in that time frame) that i bought a spare. It is the only knife that i have a backup and i have long considered getting one of them professionally reground to .010 inch BTE instead of the factory ~.023-.026 BTE or whatever it is.

Yeah, something(s) were wrong/ went wrong with that lock. It seems odd that a framelock develop lock rock if the lockbar (or detent ball) is not bottoming out on the opposite scale? Anyhow, from all that i have read on here and BF about the Chef as well as my own use, your sample is out of the ordinary. Both of mine have early lock up and the user has not changed lockup after many openings and closings.

I think it is a darn cool knife and unique on the market. :cool: :spyder: It should be ground thinner from the factory, but it is still awesome. I generally have a strong preference for lockbacks and i don't usually prefer metal handles, but the Chef is the total package for me (for one of my major use areas). If you look up some of my old posts you can probably find me waxing poetic about the Chef or at least busting out some purple prose about it. :rolleyes: :eek: :p

Not sure i have any advice for you, other than replace it if/when you can afford it or it makes sense. Maybe practice thinning the edge on your old damaged one?
Last edited by Enactive on Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:02 pm

Abyss_Fish wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:13 pm
vivi wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:31 pm
Is your edge still at the factory angle or have you tried reprofiling it?
20dps semi mirror on a kme.
That's about twice as thick as I sharpen my kitchen knives, so the performance isn't unexpected. I've reground a lot of Spyderco folders with similar specs to that angle and they work much better on food prep. Obviously a 3-4mm stock blade won't ever outcut one 2mm or thinner but dropping the edge angle helps.

Of course if you use it for tough utility tasks you might need to keep it thicker.
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:26 pm

Well, update. I’ve made a decision. I love this knife with all my heart. Truly. And I have so many memories with it. But I can’t let a knife sit around in my spyderpack collecting dust while everything else outperforms it.

So this is it. In a few months it will be my birthday, and Oz Machine Company’s books will open around the same time. At that time I’ll sell the chef and commission a Roosevelt from Oz to fill the spydiechef shaped hole in my pocket. I must keep moving forward in performance. I must do some cqi on my collection so to speak.

I’ll keep an eye out for other Spydie framelocks in the future, and I’ll never stop impulse buying lc200n. But I know I’ll never reach for my spydiechef when my watu or native is in the same room.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Sonorum » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:00 am

Before you get your new knife, I strongly urge you to change the angle of the primary bevel. 20 dps is ungodly thick. Back it down to at least around 17 dps, it makes a great difference. LC200n is pretty tough so it can handle thinner edges fairly well.
/ David

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:25 pm

Sonorum wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:00 am
Before you get your new knife, I strongly urge you to change the angle of the primary bevel. 20 dps is ungodly thick. Back it down to at least around 17 dps, it makes a great difference. LC200n is pretty tough so it can handle thinner edges fairly well.
I’ll definitely experiment with different angles between now and when Oz’s books re-open. But I’m definitely selling it. The Roosevelt fills too similar a role and does too many things better.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Fireman » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:54 pm

A certain manufacturer is now doing 14DPS with S90V. That is a good angle for food prep imho. LC200N is a tough steel and 17DPS is a good all around use angle for a good steel like LC200N but on a non hard use knife like the Spydiechef I would use 14DPS.

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby GarageBoy » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:20 pm

How much will thinning out the edge bevel improve the cutting performance vs actually thinning down the primary grind?

What's the stock thickness behind the edge? Is the kapara better?

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby The Meat man » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:33 pm

Abyss_Fish wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Well, update. I’ve made a decision. I love this knife with all my heart. Truly. And I have so many memories with it. But I can’t let a knife sit around in my spyderpack collecting dust while everything else outperforms it.

So this is it. In a few months it will be my birthday, and Oz Machine Company’s books will open around the same time. At that time I’ll sell the chef and commission a Roosevelt from Oz to fill the spydiechef shaped hole in my pocket. I must keep moving forward in performance. I must do some cqi on my collection so to speak.

I’ll keep an eye out for other Spydie framelocks in the future, and I’ll never stop impulse buying lc200n. But I know I’ll never reach for my spydiechef when my watu or native is in the same room.
Had to look that knife up. Wow. Looks super nice! I hope that you post some photos and thoughts if and when you get one!
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Abyss_Fish » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:15 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:33 pm
Abyss_Fish wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Well, update. I’ve made a decision. I love this knife with all my heart. Truly. And I have so many memories with it. But I can’t let a knife sit around in my spyderpack collecting dust while everything else outperforms it.

So this is it. In a few months it will be my birthday, and Oz Machine Company’s books will open around the same time. At that time I’ll sell the chef and commission a Roosevelt from Oz to fill the spydiechef shaped hole in my pocket. I must keep moving forward in performance. I must do some cqi on my collection so to speak.

I’ll keep an eye out for other Spydie framelocks in the future, and I’ll never stop impulse buying lc200n. But I know I’ll never reach for my spydiechef when my watu or native is in the same room.
Had to look that knife up. Wow. Looks super nice! I hope that you post some photos and thoughts if and when you get one!
I absolutely will. It’s super interesting.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: A (sorta) chef's 1 year review of the spydiechef.

Postby Sonorum » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:59 pm

GarageBoy wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:20 pm
How much will thinning out the edge bevel improve the cutting performance vs actually thinning down the primary grind?

What's the stock thickness behind the edge? Is the kapara better?
A good question that I haven't seen anybody do a specific test for.

A thin blade stock and thin primary grind improves cutting performance in that it passes through material better but so does thinning out the edge bevel. If the main grind is thick, a thinned out edge makes a huge difference. I had a Kizer which was way above 20 dps and that was dreadful to cut with until I took it down to 17 dps. The blade is still chunky and the edge bevel is wide but the performance is very different.

Maybe a question is, if the behind-the-edge thickness is really thin, how big a difference is there between 20 and 17 dps?

I took a PM2 down to 12 dps and it held up fine and seemed to slice a hole lot better. Looks funky though.
/ David


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