Another pleasant surprise was the Caly 3.5 prototype, a Caly 3 with a 3,5 inch blade. I realize 0.5 inch is not a huge difference compared to the Caly 3, but the heft and feel of the knife is definitely different. For me, a 3,5 inch blade is just right for all my cutting chores. The materials and country of origin are the same as with the Caly 3. I liked it, kind of a more slender Stretch 2, but with a ‘bigger’ (wider) blade. This one is going on my wish list.
Bob Lum Chinese Folder Carbon Fiber
Sal had been dropping hints on the forums about a carbon fiber Chinese Folder, and the prototype did not disappoint. This is a wild CF pattern but the surface is glossy and shiny, which doesn’t really come across in these pics.
Sal had an interesting story to share about this carbon fiber. It is unknown how this CF is made, but it is suspected that it was made with a special rotary weaving machine at Toyota. IIRC, Toyota started out making sowing machines, and they also made industrial versions to weave laminates for their cars. A youtube clip was release some time back that showed such a rotary weaver at work, making a carbon fiber weave, but it was pulled shortly after by Toyota. It is a proprietary method.
Bob Lum Large Chinese Folder
For someone like me, who is obsessed with Chinese Folders, this was quite a change. It’s big! At least for a Chinese Folder. The blade length was about 4,5 inches. Both the handle and linerlock have been beefed up to support this blade. The clip can be mounted on all 4 positions. The main purpose of this design must have been a folding camp knife. It did feel a bit clunky in the hand, the balance wasn’t quite what I would like. Perhaps the liner will become skeletonized to create a slightly blade-heavy folder. I’m kind of curious to see what the outdoor crowd will think of this knife.
From the Lums it’s a small step to the successor of the Super Hawk, the Super Leaf. Now this knife may look a bit clunky and boxy, but the grip and balance is just right. This was one sweet handling folder. Don’t change a thing, I’ll take it as is. It’s kind of like an improved original large Manix. The edges on the handle are nice and rounded. The construction looked pretty good; thick blade, compression lock, thick liners and thick G10 slabs. It looked like a tough folder, but it was a lightweight in the hand.
I kind of hope that a serrated version will be made. It is possible. The Super Leaf was made because of customer requests when they saw the Super Hawk, which in turn was made because of customer requests on the forums…
Sage 3 – Blackie Collins
I absolutely did not expect to like this knife so much as I did. The same went for many of the attendees I talked to about this knife. This is one sweet handling, slick opening/closing folder. The Bolt Action Lock is very smooth and positive, no blade play in any direction. Furthermore, it’s completely ambi. I was operating the lock with two fingers, like a bolt lock, but a fellow spyderknut showed me that it works just as well when you operate only one of the knobs. You don’t even ‘force’ the action to the opposite side of the handle, when you operate the lock one-handed in this fashion.
The knife was originally designed by Sal, who was going for a mix between a Native and a Caly 3. It is a very practical design, and since this is the first true ambi lock it’s going high on my wish list. I really recommend this Sage.
UKPK Slipit FRN
The goal of this line of FRN UKPK slipits is more or less to put quality spydies in the hands of people all over the world who will actually use it. Oddly enough, there aren’t many people who use their e.g. Howard Viele Phoenix knives as hard as they should ;). This FRN slipit really reminded me of the original Delica 2. It’s very –very- lightweight, very pointy and an edge that’s ground thin and sharp. The stonewash finish is similar to the Manix 2 and the surface finish on the FRN handle comes close to actual G10. This is definitely a working folder.
I love the burgundy drop point version, that I found in my goodie bag. The action is not as tight as on my G10 UKPKs, so that is something to take into account when considering this folder. The UKPK slipit FRN is easier to open…and to close. The choil prevents any cuts, but personally I’d like to see the action a wee bit tighter. I’ll experiment with some tightening of the pivot in the next few days. The smooth action makes playing around with this knife a very addictive though.
UKPK Slipit Titanium
Yeah! Let’s get some NASA-type action on these UKPKs! The titanium is thicker and heftier than I expected. The opening and closing action is just right for me, not too easy and not too tight. The ti handle makes the UKPK feel like a ‘serious’ knife. The knife seemed a bit thicker than the regular G10 versions.
UKPK Slipit Carbon Fiber
A more ‘classy’ interpretation of the UKPK was this CF version. The CF is more shiny than the CF we’ve seen on the ZDP Caly 3 or the Native 4, but it’s still not as shiny as my sprint run Delica 3. The dimensions and feel seemed exactly the same as my G10 UKPKs. I need more paper for my wish list!
To be continued… (I’ll probably need 2 or 3 more days to finish all uploads)