I got this one mainly for its looks, but it has proven to be quite a handy little fixed blade. Although the Kumo was designed –also- as a tactical fixed blade, I find the overall size and thin narrow design quite useful as an EDC for around the house.
The Kumo is as thin and sharp (edge and point) as any Spydie folder. The edge geometry and tip sharpness compare favorably to the Calypso jr.. And surprisingly enough, it works just as nicely as a Calypso jr. too.
The handle wrap is gorgeous but also immensely grippy. The texture out of the box, to me, was even a bit too rough. After carrying it around for a while and using it, the initial roughness smoothed out and now the Kumo is easier on the hands. This tacky handle was used on purpose to add grip-security to this tactical blade, so that conventional guards wouldn’t be necessary. R.J. Martin explained this on the Spyderco Forum. I think the Kumo is much like the customs from Bud Nealy, which knives also don’t use much in the way of guards or finger cutouts.
The many deep dips and peaks in the handle wrapping are more effective for twirling and grip changes than any divots I have used in knife handles. A careful piercing test in a stack of cardboard proved to me that the handle was tacky enough to forego a traditional guard or deep finger cutout. The ‘skull crusher’ is not an accessory I particularly need or like, but it came in handy when crushing some walnuts. And the pommel’s point is a little rounded, so ‘capping the thumb’ is definitely an option. Still, I’m a bit leery of the lack of guard and finger cutout. Those features are something I’m so used to, it’s hard to neglect that. But in my testing the wrapping proved adequate.
R.J. Martin even hinted that the Kumo was a good performer in the kitchen and that gunk could be easily cleaned out of the handle wrapping. I did use it in the kitchen but I was careful to keep that wrapping clean. No particular reason, but I wanted to prevent ‘messing up’ this nice knife. The Kumo is quite the performer in the kitchen, though it’s too straight of a design for prolonged slicing and dicing on a cutting board. The edge is straight and doesn’t protrude below the knuckles of your hand, so you have to put the tip on the board to slice and dice. The grinds used in the Kumo supposedly make the tip stronger than it looks though. The blade doesn’t flex, but it still looks, well, thin. The Kumo is too nice for me to test it to the point of breaking.
Overall, it’s a looker that works much better than expected as a (plain) utility knife around the house. I prefer folders for actual carry, but if I would carry a fixed blade the Kumo is thin and short enough. I expect the Kumo is one of those “didn’t know I had it on me ‘till I needed it” type of knives.