Review: Dodo SE Black & Blue

This extinct bird from Mauritius is my office tactical. Even though the blade size is not entirely similar to such MBC players like the Chinook or Temperance, it is effective. More importantly, the handle is what makes this little MBC folder (not rated!) so cool. It’s akin to that firearms analogy: “it’s better to hit ’em with a .22 between the eyes, than the .45 you left in the car”. This folder will do anything and go anywhere, and it looks good doing it. I don’t think anyone could consider the Dodo to be too uncomfortable or “illegal” to carry around.

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Grip
The Dodo is the closest thing Spyderco made to a folding La Griffe/S.P.O.T. The deep choil, combined with the tail make the Dodo as much part of the skeletal structure of the hand/wrist as is possible in a folder, at least in the current line-up. Perhaps it doesn’t point as well and in line with the bones in the fore-arm, but retention is very good. The G10 surface is even a little too rough, it requires a bit of pocket carry to polish out the rough edges. After that, it still sticks to your palm though.

Lock
There have been reports of lock failure, but these seem to be limited to the first production run. I got one of those myself (I think), and I drove that folder into the ground, well not really. You see, I dropped it once and a tiny chip from the fine tip broke off. Being the knifeknut, that I am, it became annoying. On the other hand, it opened the door for abuse! By that time I had acquired a new one, which BTW had some modifications on the tang to better engage the ball lock, and my challenge was to see how far I could take my first Dodo to its breaking point. Normally, I save my tactical folders sharp for when they are needed for rescue/emergency applications, save for training.

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Testing
I made several media to test ballistic cutting: cardboard covered in jeans and T-shirt, rolled carpet etc.. The knife was resharpened on a Sharpmaker in between trials, and as mentioned, the tip was not as sharp as it is from the box. I couldn’t repair the tip with my sharpmaker. I think it requires a special technique to sharpen the tip on a reverse S blade like the Cricket, Civilian and the Dodo. I for one, do not master this technique. The results were outstanding, but surely subjective. First of all the lock held, and speed draw & cut exercises (hey I have a small Iaido background) worked very well. I never felt that the lock buckled or did not engage properly. And this version does not include the tang modifications my newer Dodo has. Second, this thing gets SHARP, it sliced carpet very well, way above my expectations. Plus, I never felt the amount of drag of the serrations and the tip that I expected and experienced with my personal Delica SE vs. PE test. I think the handle design cushioned both impact and drag that probably did occur.

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Looks
In addition, the Dodo’s looks are as PC as they come. The clip design on the tail-end of the handle, is probably the most concealable on the Spyderco line-up, and if it is noticed it looks like you’re carrying a type of Bic ballpoint in your point. Due to my incapability of re-sharpening the tip, I am not sure if I’ll ever get the PE or a Cricket for utility use. However, the Dodo is a faithfull smaller rendition of my favorite Tac-folder to date, the Li’l Temperance. You truly get similar handling and cutting capabilities, even though it’s a radically different design. I recommend the Dodo and I will probably get the black version to better conceal in darker clothes…..and well…just because ;-).

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One Response to Review: Dodo SE Black & Blue

  1. […] loved the Dodo when it came out around 2004 IIRC. I carried my black and blue versions almost religiously for quite some time (my collection wasn’t that big back then).  So when a […]

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