The Persian is the Spydie that Jim Bowie would carry. Now hold on, before you all start yelling that Jim Bowie surely would choose a Chinook before a Persian. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Bowie, but I do believe he was a gentleman. And old times’ gentlemen carried high quality knives that befitted their standing, which is where the Persian comes in. In Spyderco’s current line-up, I feel it is the ultimate gentleman’s tactical.
Many have touted the Persian’s tactical qualities, and as a hobby MBC player, I wholeheartedly agree. The grip perfectly locks your hand in what I believe to be a more traditional saber grip, like on an actual saber, with a dropped point. When I held this knife for the first time, I was kind of looking for a glove to smack someone in the face with and challenge him to a duel at dawn! That is what this knife feels to me when held in the saber grip. So it should go well with a tux 😉 !
The tip is Delica thin, so I don’t see much hardcore utility use there. Utility All kidding aside, it is a fine utility folder for those who think an Endura is too mundane. The Persian’s sexy curves make for a very good cutter on plates and cutting boards. The edge and point are very sharp, Yojimbo sharp, which has a similarly delicate tip. Those same curves definitely lighten the load when carrying this ‘hefty’ folder IWB. It also makes for a very quick draw, even when the action is a bit stiff at first. Although for me this knife is intended as a suit-and-tie knife, which means it will be carried not so much, and used even less, I still gave it a workout to see how it holds up.
Despite the hollow grind, I felt no appreciable resistance when cutting through veggies and meat. There was a little more sticking when cutting cardboard, but less than my Manix which has a full flat grind but a noticeably fatter blade. Despite the larger blade than usual -for me- I found that the curvy handle design definitely helped to control the point, which I found very controllable during precise cutting. When gripping the knife edge-in-point-forward, for peeling fruit, the knife was still very controllable despite the smooth handle surface. I am sure that, again, this was due to those handy curves. Since the edge is closer to the cutting target than straight knives, you don’t have to exert as much pressure.
The VG-10 blade sharpens up nicely too. I even learned a new trick when sharpening this blade. Instead of applying downward force, which you shouldn’t be doing too much anyway, apply a hint of sideways pressure towards the stone and let the knife almost fall down. This is a very light action, and at first you are not even feeling like you are sharpening. But I tried it because I wanted to maintain that curve and delicate tip. It works great for me. Since there is less pressure on the blade, not slipping tips off the stones becomes easier and I think I am removing the fewest steel as is possible with the Sharpmaker. Most importantly my knives get just as sharp as before, if not sharper. Choil Spyderco’s famous integral choil is there, but I don’t think you’re supposed to use it much, like in the Native series.
The transition from the thickness of bolster to the blade is too much, and your fingers are quite unprotected. In a pinch you can certainly use the choil to choke up on the blade. However, don’t buy this knife, if that’s your preferred grip, a Military works much better in this grip.
The clip appeared a bit delicate at first, considering the relative heavy handle, but it looks glued in place, so it holds up nice and tight. The clip is nice and rounded, so as not to pinch your hand or pockets. And I love that gold bug, which in my case is protected -and hidden- beneath my belt.
It’s not typical Spyderco all function and no play. This knife has plenty of looks that have been put to good use. The Persian is also a bit heavier, at least in my hands, than say a Military, Stretch or Endura. I even consider it heavier than my Manix, but this is one has different weight distribution, it’s more compact. I wanted a bigger knife for fancy-dress occasions, and I could have gotten a Santa Fe Delica or Endura, but this one is definitely cheaper. And this grip and blade length make it suitable for limited Save and Serve functions too….and some MBC fencing role-play.