Spyderco Delica FFG Review
Written by Paloart
Edited by Anthony aka D1omedes
Let me write a few words about this little folding knife.
The Spyderco Delica is a baseline model of the Spyderco company and serves as a basic workhorse knife along with its bigger sister, the Endura, since 1990.
Since 1990, many things have changed about the Delica – today´s version has nested ss liners, whereas the older Delica models were linerless and super lightweight. Its FRN handles provide perfect grip for all weather situations and very good durability. This knife should be a perfect hard-use knife due to it´s solid construction.
The enlarged 13mm hole is perfect for one hand operation – even with gloves on. Although I would personally prefer a smaller opening hole for both aesthetic reasons and after finding that I could easily open a Ladybug with gloves on. In my opinion, an opening hole around 11 or 12 milimeters would be better looking and still very functional. What I did not like about the knife from the beginning was the blade length to handle ratio. In the closed position you can see at least 4 milimeters are missing. I would prefer a slight improvement of the handle design to fit better with the blade. I think one of the main purposes of folding knife is to have as much blade as possible in the smallest package possible. An example of perfect handle blade ratio is my old belowed Michael Walker FRN model.
A few more words on the handle of the Delica.
I find that the molded grip is very secure. I would add a little bulk to the handle in order for it to feel more comfortable during workhorse duties. With extended use I noticed many hotspots and that the Delica was not that comfy in operation. I´m real world user of my knives: cutting and whittling wood, cutting cardboards, food preparation etc. I believe 1mm of extra thickness on each side of the handle would improve the ergonomics of the knife.
The hourglass clip is very comfortable and helps improve grip. Truth to be told, I felt less hotspots with the clip mounted than without the clip. The four clip mounting positions are something I like to see on my knives as I sometimes lend them to other people. My left- handed girlfriend is enjoying her Delica on a daily basis and uses it as her EDC. She has commented that the Delica excels at both food prep and outdoor activities.
Lockup was solid from the start. The backlock mechanism is something I like about this knife as it is reliable and fully ambidextrous. What I would really like to see is an improvement on the lock to prevent both vertical and horizontal bladeplay after extended use. I encountered no safety issues but it feels bad when using knife and feeling parts moving while in hand. I took time in adjusting the main pivot and other screws but this did not resolve the bladeplay. I think that the softer hardening of the lock bar is the main problem as it wears really quickly (mine at least shows awfull amount of wear). An improvement would be an easy manufacturing process as friend of mine, who is knifemaker, has made a few new locking bars for Spyderco models. After a little modification, the backlock performed with absolute authority and developed no bladeplay at all after few years of use.
In my opinion, the most important part of a knife is its blade. The blade on the Delica has a beautiful design and excellent geometry. The VG10 steel blade is very good, in my experience. The modified drop point design reminds me of a celtic Sax in a modern folder. VG10’s edge-holding ability is excellent – even with thin grind and pointy needle tip, the blade is very durable. The initial sharpness of the knife out of the box was really great as the low sharpening angle provided excellent cutting ability. The Delica is truly a pocket lightsaber.
The knife performed very well for skinning small game (ie. Rabbits). The Delica also handled food processing easily; cutting meat, vegetables (especially ripe tomatoes are real piece of cake). After one week of hard use in the woods, the blade‘s was destroyed – totally dulled. After only 10 minutes with a carborundum stone, ceramic stone and stropping on a leather belt the knife was shaving sharp again. My experience affirms the benefits of VG10: it holds an edge very well, can be easily sharpened, takes a good polished edge and initial shaving sharpness has far longer longevity compared to CPM S30V on my ex Military. The Delica’s needle tip provided effortless penetration through different materials and even survived my light prying in wood to get out arrow tips lodged very deep.
After I convexed the edge, edge-holding ability and sharpness improved a lot.
I found that the action on the Delica was somewhat sluggish. I loosened the pivot screw but it did not help – it actually created more blade play. I found that one side of the blade‘s tang showed more wear than what I felt was acceptable. After disassembling the knife, I discovered only one phosphor bronze washer. On the other side of the tang a washer was missing. I guess I got unlucky and have one that slipped past quality control. After making a new washer from a cola can (yes you read that right, cola can is smoothest material for washers :-D) the knife is operating very smoothly!
Great knife even though it had some flaws from beginning, today it is one of my favorite EDC knives.
Definitely my Delica will see same amount of pocket time as it did untill now.
Ps: I would love to thank to Anthony for editing this whole mess for me and making it readable "Thank you so much Sir!"