Personal Classic: Li’l Temp PE Leaf Point

It turned out a bit long, but I hope you’ll like it anyway. Since the beginning I was thrilled with Spyderco’s MBC line, because I knew it would be responsible, complete en technically perfect. However, until recently most models were rather overtly self defense weapons (Gunting & Chinook). This might not be a problem for most Americans or people in other cultures, whose laws are more liberal in carrying weapons. In my country (the Netherlands), it is forbidden to carry a weapon, period. The courts interpretation of the weapon carry, would be that ‘you were just looking for trouble’. So that leaves me with only carrying tools, like my Surefire D2, Mini Maglite AAA, and a trusty pocket knife.

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The Temperance is perfect for my purposes. It is strong and sharp enough for any kind of emergency and I can honestly explain it as a modern technologically advanced pocket knife. I got this knife from Toolshop (, but don’t count on him having any huge stockpiles of Temperances laying around. I think I just got lucky in receiving the Temperance so fast as I did. Apart from trying to make everybody green with envy, the following is mostly intended to share some impressions and review of this knife, I did not conduct any hardcore cutting and breaking tests. Perhaps when the trainer
comes out.

Well y’all know what it’s made of, so I won’t bother you with that. The full flat grind is ingeniously ‘hidden’. There are no visible grind lines on the blade when open, I first thought that the pictures were all of prototypes or something. The full stock thickness of the blade only starts under the handle scale, when opened. This leaves the user with the maximum amount of cutting edge in a 3 inch package, so to speak. The flat grind exudes both strength and sharpness.

The blade is very thick, but I’m used to my Native and Delicas in this size folder. Unlike the Military the tip on the Temperance doesn’t seem to be fragile or anything. The overall blade design is very reminiscent of my Military, but the Temperance features a more upswept shape and perhaps a stronger tip. Note, I did not put my Temperance in a vise and started my version of an ABS test, these are my personal subjective impressions from handling the knife. The XL opening hole is a dream and the Temperance is very very fast on the draw, no doubt the placement and size of the opening hole has something to do with that. The blade’s design, with what I would call a “hidden full flat grind”, contributes to its ‘calm’ and unassuming appearance. My Native’s blade design with its many grind lines, would appear much more ‘aggressive’ to a knon knife person. The Temperance’s blade not only looks much more peaceful because of its length, but also because of its lack of lines or design on the blade itself. I hope you can understand what I mean, English is not my native language. So far, I’ve only used my Temperance in the kitchen, and it slices fruit and vegetables with the best, like my Military.

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Feels like putty, truly feels like it was custom designed for me. I started knife collecting in the late 80s early 90s. Back then my Al Mar fixed blades stood out from the SOGs and Cold Steels because of their handles. The Al Mar fixed blades all had big hand filling handles, really something you felt you could get a good solid grip on. The handle of the Temperance is like that.

Compared to a Delica or Native it feels much bigger, but not too big. After handling the Temperance I feel that a Native could ‘disappear’ in my hand, but the Temperance becomes a part of it. The Temperance fills the hand without being too big that you would worry about holding it securely. The G10 scales are nice and thick, and feature double nested liners. No flexing handle for the Temperance!! The grip on a Temperance is totally pinch free for me. The clip is flat and does not pinch the hand at all with a tight grip. The indexing holes are a welcome addition, but I still have to gain more confidence with this knife to spin it around wildly, which is no part of my MBC skills and training anyway. The handle also appears secure on both top and bottom side. When holding the Temperance in a standard forward grip, there are protuberances before both your thumb and forefinger. The thumb, when resting on the knife’s spine can be used for indexing the blade without it being stuck there in a thrust, like could be the case with the hump of a Delica for example.

The Temperance’s upper guard fits flush with the blade’s tiny hump. This means that there is a lot of room for your thumb. Perhaps this feature was meant to test the convenience of the cobra hood? The knife’s butt tends to rest in the palm of your hand. What all this means is the following: When thrusting the knife in a hard object (e.g. watch or belt buckle), it seems that the knife can rest on a small ‘guard’ in front of your index finger and the knife’s butt is supported with the palm of your hand. The thumb is free to move forward in such a hard contact without compromising your grip or thumb. Mind you, this is a subjective impression, I do not have the heart to jam my brand new Temperance into a brick wall, but I would do it if you promised me a new knife afterwards. I am not afraid that I would lose a finger or two in the process. The color is a nice dark green, which is slightly ‘duller’ on the deeper polished parts of the handle (the area that holds the three indexing holes). The rough and higher parts of the handle feature a nice rough texture, perhaps an even rougher texture than on my Wegner. I like that.

The Temperance is smooth. The opening action feels as smooth as a linerlock. The whole design and operation make the Temperance the fastest tip up spydie I have handled. This is my first experience with a compression lock and I could adapt to it fast enough. Within minutes I could open and close the Temperance one-handed. Reverse grip opening also feel very secure, hardly surprising if you consider that this knife just has a lot of handle to hang onto. And if that isn’t enough you can hang onto the clip with its 3 indexing holes. These holes are roughly chamfered, like every Spydie hole, so your finger does not move out of there if you don’t want it to. The compression locking lever’s serrations do not interfere with my grip, i.e. no chafing in a tight grip or grip change. Until now, the detent on the compression lock was very tight, the blade hasn’t come out yet when I didn’t want it to. Inertia opening is not very easy with a brand new Temperance, unlike with my Military which also has more blade to swing out.

One of the first things I did with my Temperance is to change the clip from tip down to tip up. This leaves the pivot washer and area exposed through no less than 4 screw holes. Perhaps I can get my Tuff Glide in there more precisely now, but could it also attract unwanted dirt in this area? I don’t know, and long term carry will have to determine if these 4 little holes are big enough to attract lint and dirt in this seemingly critical area of the folder. Also the blade had some tiny side to side play out of the box. This was largely remedied with a twist of my torx key in the pivot pin.

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The Temperance is a very unique and unusual knife, it feels totally different in the hand than any of my other Spydies (Military, Wegner, Native, Delica). Like the Native, the Temperance has a mega grip, totally secure, but even more evolved and refined. The look of this knife is very custom like, it sure stands out from anything the shops may have in the window in terms of factory pieces. The knife looks big to the uninitiated, but when you let them hold it in their hand and let them measure the blade, they agreed that it wasn’t too big or aggressive looking. That is what I like most about this knife, its looks and name are not overtly weapon, but for the knowledgeable the Temperance handles like one. Which is perfect for people who live in jurisdictions that frown upon carrying weapons for self defense. What I would want improved in this knife? A plug for the exposed clip holes, like Chris Reeve offers for the Sebenza, and a Trainer. I am curious to put this knife to the max, so a Trainer would help. The Temperance (Leaf blade, plain) is now part of my EDC, replacing my Native as a three inch bladed right hand tactical folder. If a Spyderco Custom Shop would ever be realized, I would ask for different colors and a left handed version to match. Perhaps food for thought for a new forum knife? Different color G10 and/or a bug inlay? 😉


2 Responses to Personal Classic: Li’l Temp PE Leaf Point

  1. […] then, I thought the ‘rhino’ Lil’ Temp just seemed a bit too much. I went with the leaf blade and have been happy ever since. The Lil’ Temp is an awesome working knife, and its colored and 3D […]

  2. […] This is a superb folder, period. I feel it’s not so much a ‘mini-native’, but more like a ‘mini-lil’ temperance’. I’m pretty sure this backlock variation won’t last long, since the market usually prefers a […]

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