Classic Spyderco Spotlight: C42 Viele

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Mr Blonde
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Classic Spyderco Spotlight: C42 Viele

Postby Mr Blonde » Mon May 13, 2013 1:09 pm

Back in DecemberI aimed my classic spydie spotlight on the C48 Tim Wegner. This time, I’d like to shine the ‘light’ on my C42 Viele. It’s been in my collection since 2004. To me it’s been a great stylish gentleman’s folder, with surprisingly good EDC features for a lefty like myself. The Viele never was a ‘must have’ knife for me; the opening hole was too small, the false bolster didn’t appeal to me and the entire knife just didn’t seem very lefty friendly at all. Actually handling, carrying and using the Viele, definitely changed my perspective.

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I ended up with the Viele because the deal I got was just too good to pass up on; the knife was a gift. I always thought the knife ‘looked’ great but I didn’t think it would be a good user. I did clip the knife on and started carrying it and I was pleasantly surprised. This is one of those spydies in my collection that kind of got relegated to safe queen status. I just kept getting new spydies to try out and carry that made kind of forget about the Viele. Apart from the fact that the Viele lacked true left-handed ‘controls’ (lock, clip), I don’t remember having any significant complaints against the C42.
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Eccentric pivot pin

Postby Mr Blonde » Mon May 13, 2013 1:10 pm

Inspection of my long neglected Viele revealed that the liner had traveled almost to the opposite end of the tang. Luckily, my C42 is the upgraded model that features an eccentric pivot pin. IIRC, the eccentric pivot pin was designed by the Spydercrew to tune the fit of the lock in final assembly. Back then, production tolerances were tight but not close enough to guarantee perfect lock-up in every knife. A side-effect is that the end-line user, i.e. me, can tweak the lock after it’s worn. You can move the entire blade a little closer to the liner to improve lockup. It’s also possible to move the blade away from the lock, if you want to.

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I took off the clip to reveal the pivot pin which I unscrewed about ¾ before I pushed it through to the bolster-side of the handle. Turning the pivot assembly two slight turns in the right direction, and pushing it back in the handle, was all that was needed to start the liner right at the start of the tang again. This process took me about 10 minutes. The Viele also needed a bit of sharpening to be shaving sharp again.
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Use

Postby Mr Blonde » Mon May 13, 2013 1:11 pm

I carried the knife all week and used it for all sorts of mundane tasks. The C42 is a ‘straight’ design; the blade doesn’t angle ergonomically in your grip, like a Delica or Military for example. The thick rounded micarta scales improve the ergos significantly. It’s one of those knives you could work for hours and you’d hardly get a hotspot in your hand.

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Des Horn

Postby Mr Blonde » Mon May 13, 2013 1:12 pm

The Viele’s closest current spydie is the Des Horn folder. The Viele’s blade and grind is a bit thicker, and the production tolerances aren’t as tight as on the Des Horn. Still, in daily use the C42 holds its own. The Viele with its tiny belly, turned out to be a nicer paring knife in the kitchen than the Des Horn. The modern folder from Taichung is the better mail opener; that narrow wharncliffe tip makes it easier to find the sweet spot for opening envelopes and packages. The Des Horn is also lighter to carry. One major advantage of the Viele is the fact that a righty and lefty can open the knife as easily as they can operate a Bic lighter. The sharp thumb serrations stick out a few millimeters from the handle, when the knife is folded. Push against those serrations, in the opposite direction of the wheel on a Bic lighter, and the blade flies open. With a little practice this becomes instinctual and controlled.

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Overall

Postby Mr Blonde » Mon May 13, 2013 1:12 pm

For those looking for a stylish narrow ‘straight’ gentleman’s folder from Spyderco, the C42 is definitely a nice choice. Considering the design’s age and reputation it’s actually a quite refined choice. From a functional point of view, however, the Des Horn is the better choice. The Des Horn is lighter, has better blade steel, better edge geometry and is definitely easier to find. However, the old Viele does have a certain panache that can’t be beat if you’re a knifeknut.
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Postby gbelleh » Mon May 13, 2013 1:46 pm

Very nice review. I've always wanted one of those, but haven't come across the right opportunity yet. I love the blade shape. I'd like to see a sprint with the original grind, but maybe nice dark burgundy G-10 or similar.
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Postby bh49 » Mon May 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Wouter, thank you for review and pictures. It is great as always.
Mr Blonde wrote:Inspection of my long neglected Viele revealed that the liner had traveled almost to the opposite end of the tang.
I am surprised by this. I always thought that this was an issue with original AUS8 models. I used to have two of them PE and SE, both on them had this condition. My VG10 has early lock engagement.
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Postby tonydahose » Mon May 13, 2013 5:17 pm

I still think this is one of the classiest knives Spyderco has ever made. Nice pics Wouter.
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Postby O,just,O » Mon May 13, 2013 9:21 pm

bh49 wrote:I am surprised by this. I always thought that this was an issue with original AUS8 models. I used to have two of them PE and SE, both on them had this condition. My VG10 has early lock engagement.
I just had a look at my Vieles & the SE AUS8 has the lock bar all the way over & the PE VG10 is about perfect. Must look into the pivot adjusting thing. Is that a feature on the AUS8 early model or only on the VG10 ? The early one has a blade stop pin head showing on the bolster & scale & the later has it hidden. The early one seems to have a much smaller pivot pin.
Thanks for shining the light on this model Wouter it is a very classy knife. I never really use mine, they are just nice toys.
O.

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Postby CAMAROMAN » Mon May 13, 2013 11:16 pm

I have the serated version.(Aus-8) Are they rarer? Saw it in a case with lots of "other knives" at a gun/knife show. The price was right so I am glad I purchased one. They are very classy!
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Postby BAL » Tue May 14, 2013 4:16 am

Awesome review Wouter, love the spotlight reviews.

You know, the Viele is one of those knives that really doesn't fit what I am looking
for in a knife, but yet, every time I see one, I think that I need to hunt one up. I
love the sleekness of the overall package and the blade has some nice lines on it.
The symbol sets it off.

Tony is on point though, a very classy knife.

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Postby Pomelly » Tue May 14, 2013 4:35 am

Very nice review and pictures as always MrBlonde, always much appreciated!
I have only Viele 2, the smaller version, I have not found the first, but I really love this knife: a perfect gentleman folder!

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Postby bh49 » Tue May 14, 2013 5:13 am

CAMAROMAN wrote:I have the serated version.(Aus-8) Are they rarer?
I cannot tell you for sure, but I read few times on Forum that VG10 variant is more rare. Also just watching e-bay you can see AUS8 quite often and VG10 quite seldom. But again I have no idea of how many in AUS8 were made or in VG10 or ratio.
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Postby 1965ford » Tue May 14, 2013 6:48 am

My knife want list is starting to get to dictionary size, looks like it is time to start volume 2.

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Postby Detdaddy » Tue May 14, 2013 7:48 am

Beautiful pictures as always. I've always liked the looks of the Viele. And it's always nice to read about a retired classic.
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Postby DeathBySnooSnoo » Tue May 14, 2013 10:15 am

I've always liked the design. Love the blade shape..I'd like to see more similar blades from Spyderco!
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Postby GronK » Tue May 14, 2013 10:39 am

O,just,O wrote: Must look into the pivot adjusting thing. Is that a feature on the AUS8 early model or only on the VG10 ?
The AUS8 versions were all pinned construction with no adjustment of the pivot. I split a short piece of teflon tubing and clipped it on the stop pin to tighten mine up. Not elegant but no longer loose.
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Postby Blerv » Tue May 14, 2013 10:50 am

Held one at a knife store before I "got it" :( . Pretty hard to find these days I reckon. Certainly classy!

Thanks Wouter. Great review as always.
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Postby NoFair » Tue May 14, 2013 11:40 am

It is a wonderful design and my favorite larger "dressy" knife. Great pics and review.

I have one in AUS8, but looking for a back up in VG-10, so this isn't helping :( :p

A sprint with antique ivory micarta and damasteel blade would be perfection :D

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Postby Mr Blonde » Tue May 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Thanks for checking it out guys. I love the suggestion for a sprint run of the Viele, something with burgundy micarta could be nice. However, I'd also be open to a run with a SFSW onlay.
I also noted a mix up with a double post of the pic with the blade close-up, should have been a pic of the knife's clipside. I fixed that in post #3.
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