Spyderco K11 Cook’s Knife Review

October 1, 2016

Kitchen knives are not the most popular designs for most knifeknuts. That’s understandable, as most people don’t EDC kitchen knives and these knives don’t have any cool locking mechanisms, wave features or flippers etc. And the one time that you do help out in the kitchen, that folder in your pocket is just fine right? Well, if you’ve passed on the kitchen knives because you’d rather buy yet another new tactical folder, then you’re really missing out. You see, Spyderco puts the same performance and design refinement in their kitchen knives, as they do in their more familiar folding knives. The K11 Cook’s Knife is no exception. In terms of performance and style, I’d compare the K11 to such folders like the Spyderco Kopa and the Lum Chinese Folder.


I’ll confess that in the past, I wasn’t too keen myself to invest my hard earned money in kitchen knives when I could also get cool new folder! However, I received a set of Spyderco kitchen knives as a wedding gift and that really opened my eyes. I’ve been eyeing every new Spyderco Kitchen Knife release since. That isn’t to say I don’t also test out new folders in the kitchen, to see how they perform, but they’re no match for a dedicated kitchen knife like the K11.


I first encountered the K11 as one of the prototypes presented at this year’s Amsterdam Meet. The story I remember accompanying this knife, was that it was designed by a Japanese maker who just left a large Japanese knife manufacturer to become an independent knifemaker. A familiar route that can certainly end very well. After all, people like Al Mar and Pete Kershaw were employees of Gerber before starting their own company.



The K11 Cook’s Knife is long and slender, a lot like the Spyderco K04. I’m sure that, empirically speaking, both knives will cut ’just as well’. Well, a Ferrari and an Audi are both motor vehicles that both perform ‘just as well’ to get you from A to B. However, I think we’d all agree that the Ferrari would be a much more exiting ride. The K11 certainly is the Ferrari in my kitchen knife collection.



The knife handles very light. Still, the K11’s handle is much wider and more hand filling than you’d expect from pictures. The shape of the handle is kind of non-descript, it seems to fit all hands in my household very well. The handle is also very adaptable to a wide variety of grips. Its smooth texture did worry me about the risk of slipping off the handle and cutting myself. This hasn’t happened yet though.


The blade features a very slender profile and thin edge. It came extremely sharp from the box! The first time I used the Cook’s Knife, I didn’t seem to feel any resistance whatsoever when I cut a tomato. It really felt like cutting through air. I’ve never had this experience before with a knife straight from the box. I can’t offer much information about edge holding, as I religiously use my kitchen knives on cutting boards and I wash them by hand. I only sharpen them once a year to keep the edges how I like them. The rotation between the various designs also prevents me from really testing any knife to its limits.


The K11 is just perfect for a stylish all-round kitchen knife. If you’re considering trying out the Spyderco kitchen knives, I’d recommend trying this one. The design is very versatile and will work well for almost any kitchen cutting chore. At the same time, the K11 offers a first class experience. This is the kind of knife that performs great, but it will also give you a sense of pride and joy of ownership. A lot like that Kopa or Lum Chinese folder you like to carry.




9/11: Fifteen Years Later

September 11, 2016


Started an Instagram account

July 2, 2016

On most of my spare down-time moment, I’m often found messing around with my EDC du jour. It’d be easy to take a picture or two, but they  never turn out good enough to create an entire blog post around. Twitter helps, but it’s not optimal to share images. Enter instagram, which the rest of the world has embraced many years ago. I started an account there as well, to complement this page. You can find and follow me on instagram @thatspydercollector.

#spyderco slysz bowie & ti lum chinese folder today #spydercollector #knifestagram #usn #edc #clipit

A photo posted by thatspydercollector (@thatspydercollector) on

Spyderco Lil’ LionSpy Review

June 7, 2016

A few years ago, I received the LionSpy as a gift and this was a great way for me to discover this Lionsteel/Spyderco collaboration that the online knife community was raving about at the time. I’ll cut straight to it, the LionSpy will never be one of my EDC favorites, but I certainly appreciate the gift and it will remain a cherished part of my collection. Everything I didn’t like about the LionSpy, however, seems to be corrected in the Lil’ LionSpy! And the Lil’ LionSpy certainly is one of my EDC favorites!


The main features I didn’t like about The LionSpy, as a carry folder, are its: weight, smooth surface, pocket clip and high upswept tip. To me, the LionSpy is too heavy for comfortable EDC. The knife’s handle is finished too smoothly for my taste, as I sometimes have difficulty getting a proper grip on the knife that has resulted in a cut finger or two. Furthermore, the clip is too pointy for me. It pinched my hand and tended to rip up jacket and vest liners when the knife was carried IWB.


On the plus side, I do like the rotolock feature. It’s easily accessible and it works. I also appreciate the G-10 and titanium hybrid handle. The workmanship to meld these two different materials in one solid handle, is superb. I also liked the Elmax blade. It doesn’t stain in my uses and it keeps a good edge, and I’m still able to sharpen it again with little difficulty. The extremely rounded profile of the tip and the thickness of the blade don’t result in a very sharp tip though. However, I’m confident the blade and tip are really strong. Still, The LionSpy is not quite as good for slicing out an article or coupon from newspaper print as, let’s say, my Military. More importantly, my LionSpy is a treasured gift so that in itself makes it a really nice addition to my collection!


Improvements over the LionSpy
With the LionSpy’s experience in the back of my mind, I wasn’t terribly enthused when I first saw the Lil’ LionSpy. That is, until I picked it up. The smaller folder shares that strong and stylish hard-use folder concept with its big brother. However, the Lil’ LionSpy is lighter, has a better clip and is easier to control. The Lil’ LionSpy is, to me, on par with such ferocious folders like the Lil’ Temperance and the original Mini Manix. Only, it’s more refined. The blade’s tip is a tiny bit tipped downwards, creating a more useable tip, compared to the larger LionSpy. Also, the pocket clip is a close copy of the Spyderco hourglass design, which makes it a top notch clip right away. The Lil’ LionSpy is just plain easy to clip on, and very ergonomic to work with. The jimping on the blade and the pattern on the G-10/titanium handle are a bit sharper compared to the LionSpy. This, together with the smaller size and weight, make the Lil’ LionSpy so much easier to control for me.



The smaller handle of the Lil’ LionSpy fits my hand just right. It shouldn’t be any smaller or else I couldn’t get a proper four finger grip. The roto-lock is still easy to access and operate for me. The wheel turns easily on my sample. And the lock-up, with or without the roto-lock, is very solid.



The knife doesn’t cut as smoothly as such dedicated slicing designs like my Caly Jr. or Nilakka. Still, the Lil’ LionSpy is no slouch. For my suburban EDC tasks, it’s an impressive cutter. Apart from performing all the mundane mail & package opening, food prep etc.…, the knife seems to beg for tougher chores. I did some mild to medium prying with the knife and the knife wasn’t affected in any way.


The greatest downside –to me- of the LionSpy design is that rounded smooth G10 and titanium handle surface. The upside of this feature is that it makes for very comfortable IWB carry. This is the same reason I still keep a few full SS handle knives in my carry rotation, they’re easy to carry as the smooth handle surface lets your clothing slip by while you move. This can be a bit challenging if you’re carrying a knife with a rubbery handle or very sharp G10. Another advantage of those vintage Spydies with SS handles, is that they are wonderfully thin. I can carry a Spyderco Police all day and not notice it’s there. Back to the Lil’ LionSpy; it carries very nicely and it’s good and easy to draw.



I don’t read much about the Lil’ LionSpy and that’s a shame. Perhaps many knifeknuts are put off by the LionSpy, which wasn’t very popular in the end, I think. Please reconsider the Lil’ LionSpy as it’s a very nice folder. As part of Spyderco’s Little Big Knife line, the Lil’ LionSpy is definitely up there with designs like the Lil’ Temperance and Mini Manix. I feel it’s a modern interpretation of that type of folding knife design. The Lil’ LionSpy differs from these two venerable designs in that it feels a lighter, smoother and more refined.



Rare Variation of the Spyderco Lum Chinese Folder

May 14, 2016

The Lum Chinese Folder is one of those designs in the Spyderco line-up that I’m really excited about. I appreciate its rare combination of amazing looks and incredible functional utility. I managed to collect most, if not all, of the variations of the Chinese Folder. So you can imaging I am very happy to come across this rare variant of the Chinese Folder!


This particular knife started its life as part of the Sprint Run Chinese Folder with a blue almite handle, and then it was laser engraved at the factory with this bug-in-the-web pattern. This engraving service, and in particular this design, was advertised by Spyderco in one of its catalogs in the early 2000s. However, I’ve never seen such a Chinese Folder ‘in the wild’.


The knife itself was in excellent condition. It looked like it was only used for opening mail or boxes until the edge lost its factory-edge. A quick touch-up on my Sharpmaker got the edge back to its proverbial hair-popping sharpness. I also brushed out the lint in the handle and applied a few drops of oil in the pivot to make this unique Chinese Folder 100% functional again.


The handle has no damage at all from use or carry, I couldn’t find any scuffs or scratches anywhere. I’m very happy to add this unique variant to my collection of Spyderco Lum Chinese Folders.









Have you seen a similar Chinese folder in the wild, or in your collection?

Spyderco 2016 Prototypes Overview

April 20, 2016

I’ve collected all the 2016 Spyderco Prototypes in the overview below. Click on the prototype name of thumbnail image to check out all the photos and videos. I’ve also added this overview to the Prototypes page.

ATR, Brend/Pirela Mamba, Cara Cara 2 Ti
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_ATR_closed_2 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_tip_2 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_caracara2titanium_pivot

Dragonfly HAP40, Lil’ Lum, Ouroboros
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_dragonflyhap40_blade_2 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_lillum_halfopen spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_ouroboros_clipside

Robin 2 Ti, Reinhold Rhino, Rubicon G10/CF
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_robin2titanium_grooves spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_reinholdrino_clippoint_1 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_rubicong10cf_pivot

Ladybug HAP40, Pattada, Nirvana
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_ladybughap40_closed_1 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_pattada_clipside spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_nirvana_handlespine

Lil’ Nilakka, Native 5 40th Anniversary, Magnitude
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_lilnilakka_tip spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_native5040thanniversary_blade_2 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_magnitude_clipside

TAC 1s, Sage 5, Jumpmaster 2
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_tac1s spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_sage5_clip spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_jumpmaster2

Meadowlark 2 Ti, Terada Kitchen Knife, Rock Salt Sprint
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_meadowlark2titanium_pivot spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_conceptmodel_teradakitchenknife_blade_1 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_rocksalt_handle

Snap-It Salt, Sustain, Packer
spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_snapit_closed_2 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_sustain_blade_1 spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionsample_packer


Video: Spyderco Booth at IWA 2016

April 10, 2016

A short video impression of the Spyderco Booth at the 2016 IWA Show in Nuremberg Germany. I included some close-up footage, which starts at 1:41 , of some of my favorite new designs this year. These include the Nirvana, Mamba and Native 5 40th Anniversary prototypes.