I think my reaction was the same as most other people when they first saw a photo of the Khalsa folder; “What the….?!”. I always considered the design to be ‘too far out there’, and not for me. Last week I had the chance to rummage through some old stock and lo’ and behold there was a Khalsa. Intrigued as I was I handled it. The first thing that struck me was the amazing ergonomics. If you know me by know, you know I like colors, leaf blades, lefty clip options and ergonomics. I was also surprised that the blade was more reminiscent of a leaf shape than the spear-point I thought it was from pics.
So I bought the knife, and over the past week I’ve been carrying it (along with an original R SE I also picked up, but that’s another story). The Khalsa is a surprisingly nice design. The dramatically dropped edge, versus the choils, make the Khalsa one of the best folding kitchen spydies I’ve seen. If the blade were thinner, it would easily be a better kitchen folder than my Military and Chinese Folder.
The huge ramp never got in the way. It functions nicely as an anchor point when peeling fruit. When using this edge-in grip, you can safely curl your index finger around the ramp for controlled cuts. Generally speaking, I don’t like tip-down clips but in this design it’s mandatory. It keeps the ramp from trying to ‘wave’ open the knife in your pocket. I also got to fiddle around a bit with the ramp, to see if it would work like a kinetic opener a la the Gunting. That didn’t work too well, it needs more grip or traction on the spine. The clip does allow for a really low profile carry mode. Something you wouldn’t expect from this outlandish design.
The Khalsa is, by today’s standards a rather crude knife in my opinion. The spacers are really thick, leaving about a mm open space on each side. The rest of the handle is also thicker than what we’d normally encounter in a Spyderco design. I do love the use of Micarta, even in the spacer I think. The lock is tight, no play in any direction but the liner is almost all the way over on the tang. There’s not much travel left in it.
The Jot Singh Khalsa is much more practical than you’d think, a really nice curio to add to your collection if you can find one. I won’t carry mine often, but I’ll proudly display it in my collection and won’t hesitate to carry it whenever I feel like it. Should this design ever get a second chance as a sprint run, I really hope that the Spydercrew tweaks more than just the blade material; thin out the handle a bit, tighten the overall tolerances and I’m looking at my next model for the carry rotation.