Review: Pride PE Maple Leaf

The Pride doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention on the forums, which could imply that the knife is not very interesting. This is certainly not the case! I know, it doesn’t lock; it’s small and looks unappealing. The size and locking mechanism were design parameters if you will, the knife is supposed to be that way. It’s looks however, are a different story.

When looking for information on the Pride on the Internet I noticed the knife wasn’t very good looking, even for a ‘designed-in-the-dark-spyderco’, on most digital pictures the knife looks cheap. All angles on the blade and handle are rounded, and the handle material looks cheap. Most pictures would make you believe the knife to be riveted together. However, once you hold it in your hand, the knife is -much- better looking. I didn’t buy my Pride for looks, but for it’s intended design: a PC-EDC travel folder. Although, Once I got my grubby mitts on the knife, this little folder surprised me.

The handle is comprised of rough textured aluminum. The inlay looks classy and solid, probably won’t come off unintentionally. The handle is not riveted, but constructed using Philips-head screws, the clip covers the pivot, but maybe it is adjustable? The handle also features, quite unexpectedly, double steel liners! The navigator pattern is, as most of you will know, very ergonomic and offers a secure grip.

The clip is another surprise. I usually have a hell of a time getting a good grip for drawing a sub-compact-tip-down spydie. Usually, there is insufficient room for a pinch-grip from the waistband or pocket. The Pride is refined in this area. The wire-like clip design + position of the clip screws + rough texture/pivot pin on the opposite side = excellent grip for presenting and opening this micro-machine…left-handed! I am left-handed after all. Another pleasant surprise.

The Pride is even more carry-friendly than the previous Navigator pattern. Every angle on the blade and handle is rounded, probably to give the knife a softer look than the Navigator. This helps tremendously to make the knife carryfriendly, a complete bevel-package so to speak. Especially useful when carried IWB.

The slip joint “lock” is hard to unlock, so to speak. Opening the knife, therefore, is not smooth at all, compared to locking Spydies. It does get a little better after a few opening and closing cycles helped by a drop of Tuff-glide, but you can’t have everything with a slip-joint. For my money, I accept rough opening if I get a stiff unlocking mechanism. Overall, the large opening hole helps to soften up the opening action of the Pride. Bottom line: Opening is smooth, but not when compared to…say a Delica. But in return, your fingers get a little more protection.

OK so far, the Pride looks right, carries right and draws right, but how does it cut. Easy, like any other Spyderco in this format, the edge does seem a bit thinner than on the last Navigator model (blue almite, slotted handle) and the grind also seems a bit higher, but I feel no noticeable cutting advantage. It cuts everything a knife of this size should cut, and more.

I attacked a big heavy, taped up cardboard box with knife. Several times, I pierce the side of the box and proceeded to cut out a square. Doing this, you can feel the torque and strain that’s put on the blade. The Pride, probably due to its thin edge, rough slip-joint “lock” and deep choil, did not fail me in any way. The blade did not want to close and cut through the box quite well. Daily use should be much easier on the little knife, where fruit, strings, envelopes and articles would be the most prevalent cutting media.

I did run into one problem when using the Pride for the first couple of days. After each cutting chore, my fingers kept looking for the unlocking bar. It’s a strange sensation to feel your fingers doing something as uncontrollable (at first) like that, while you’re always concentrated on the fact that you’re using a sharp instrument. No cuts to date though. I am trained on Victorinox Swiss Army knives, but be careful nonetheless. I can imagine it could be dangerous if you’re rotating Navigators, Meerkats and Prides! The AUS8 steel is a breeze to sharpen, especially considering Spyderco’s thin edge. Another plus, despite the clip location the Pride is very -very- lefty friendly. The handle is thick enough for opening sans aid of gripping the clip.

The non-locking feature plus the flag of the country you’re traveling in/to should make it a breeze to fly through customs and security personnel. ” Hey, I love your country so much, I bought this diminutive non-locking folder with your flag on it to celebrate my enjoyable holidays” . TIP: don’t say this when you’re carrying a Civilian for back-up ;), but the Pride should be an excellent ultra-sheeple friendly public use knife, even if you’re not traveling, while you carry your larger folder discreetly for emergency uses.

Most importantly, the knife looks and feels a lot better than you’d think from most on-line pictures. Would I want to change anything? Sure, I would like to get one with a Dutch flag! These Prides could make great ” trading cards”. I am ‘proud’ to put this one in its new -bug logo- travel pouch, in my suitcase.

PS guess where I am going to….;-) eyh?


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