Collected by many and used by even more, the Cricket offers something for everyone. I never seriously considered one, because its blade shape looked to be too difficult to sharpen and it just didn’t look very useful. Ever since I had a Dodo, this viewpoint changed and when I needed a good little clipless tactical folder, the Cricket filled the bill.
Spot the clip
As many of you know, at the office, knives are usually a no-no. Shiny clips draw undue attention. I love showing off my knives to non-knife people, don’t get me wrong, but on my terms. That means that I generally only show the usefulness of a knife, if there is something to be cut and never just for show. A shiny clip can put this initiative with the inquisitive and often judgmental mind of a co-worker. Usually, hiding clips and parts of a knife handle is no problem; my belt usually does the trick. In the extreme heat of summer I needed a knife that carried very comfortably in a back pocket and was suitable for emergency use. Before the Cricket had this very accessible linerlock, but with an integral lock, this knife is just what I was looking for.
The Spyderco Story (Kenneth T. Delavigne, Paladin Press, 2000) describes the Cricket as a diminutive version of the Civilian, something that just kept roaming in the back of my head. With a little modification the SS Cricket becomes a very dandy alternative for a real tactical folder. The Cricket’s blade is touted as being ideal for opening cardboard boxes, and that’s true. With the Cricket’s integral lock I didn’t even experience any blade play while cutting heavy cardboard boxes at work (computer boxes). According to the Spyderco Story (p. 95): “Sal had two concepts in mind when designing this knife. The first was a small river rock-the flat oval rocks we love to skip on the surface of water. Second was the Oriental yin-yang shape…”. With the thinner SS handle, I must say that the Cricket carries even more unobtrusive than my trusty SS Kiwi. Sal absolutely got it right when designing this knife as a river rock/pebble. In addition, the Cricket looks very ‘funny’ and ‘cute’ to ‘outsiders’ ;-), even with its fully serrated reverse-S blade. That blade cuts like crazy, it is a bit thinner than my Dodo and the VG-10 blade sharpens up nice and smooth.
Taking off the clip
Now I hate tip-down folders with smaller than 3-inch blades, so the first course of action was to take off this clip. Besides, the whole point of this knife was not to show any clips. The opening mechanics of this folder are extremely good. The wide handle, blade and full sized opening hole all combine to offer the user good purchase on the knife when retrieving and opening the knife. In the hand, the handle is a bit short though. That is why I added a lanyard of thick paracord. This gives me a similar ‘tail’ to the handle as on my Dodo. Of course, this paracord will never become the pressure point instrument that the Yojimbo and Dodo are, but I do get a full grip on the knife that’s relatively slip/slide free. Grip is always an issue with SS handled knives.
The handle scales, and with it the locking bar, are thin but just like my Spydercard it feels surprisingly strong. There was one issue however. The stop pin, comprising of two screws and a spacer (I think), was a bit loose. When the blade was half-opened, it rattled a little. All the different parts were almost welded together; I could not tighten or unscrew it. It turned out that the whole unit just needed to be turned a bit. All seems well now.
My personally modified Cricket is a great pocket carry piece, and I am very happy with it as a little ‘covert’ emergency folder. Sort of a keychain La Griffe.