Usually, I like every new spydie that joins my collection, but some really stand out. The Squeak belongs to that latter category. The Squeak is not ‘just’ a smaller FRN slipit; or ‘just’ a slipit variant of such Little Big Knives like the Dragonfly or Kopa. After working with it for a few months, I’m convinced that the Squeak is more like the Caly III than a Dragonfly.
I got the Squeak mainly because of one of my friends who was ecstatic about it. The price was more than reasonable, so I figured “let’s see what the fuss is about.” That was back in August. At the very least this little pocketknife would be a nice companion while traveling through Germany (which has laws against folders that lock open and can be opened with one hand).
The first thing I liked about the little folder was the ergos. The Squeak really fits my hands well. That’s a good thing because it means I want to work with it and carry it a lot. Closer inspection reveals why this little black folder fits my hand so well. The Squeak must have been designed off the Caly III or UKPK pattern that Spyderco has developed over the years – my favorite pattern of utility folder.
Caly III/UKPK roots
When I put my G10 UKPK or FRN UKPK under the Squeak and line them up, the two ‘cockpits’ overlap exactly. The Spydercrew found an ergonomic sweet spot with the size and location of the pivot area, the opening hole and the choil on the UKPK/Caly III/Calypso jr. pattern. This cockpit is transferred to the Squeak. You could say that the Squeak is basically an FRN UKPK with the tip and butt of the handle lopped off.
Thankfully the Spydercrew didn’t just cut off a piece of handle, they designed it to be comfortable to use with a three finger hold. The blade is another example of thinking a little further then just ‘making it shorter’. The tip isn’t the sharpest in my collection but it’s still very useful for my cutting tasks.
The FRN texture really does feel like the sharp G10 that all of the US made Spydies come with. One downside is that the grip only applies to ‘horizontal friction’. If you were to thrust the Squeak in a tree for example, you would definitely feel the resistance of the G10-like pattern. Cutting down, and sliding ‘vertically’ on the handle surface, it’s pretty slick. Still, the overall pattern of the Squeak, the shape of the handle and the hump in the blade, make for a very controllable little pocketknife.
The backspring is noticeably stiffer than my other FRN UKPK slipits. However, The Squeak doesn’t feature the forked spring that was announced for all new slipits back in March at the Amsterdam Meet. The spring in this subcompact slipit is easily on par with my G10 slipits.
The N690 steel blade performed well. It resisted rust from lemons and vinegar and water very well. Edgeholding was just fine in my book; it didn’t need much sharpening after the first month of use. It seemed a bit like VG-10 when I sharpened it on my Sharpmaker. The little 2 inch blade is not the greatest all-round utility or MBC folder. What it does do quite well, maybe even better than a lot of its bigger brothers, is taking care of many of life’s daily little nuisances. Opening a package, seeing how bad the phone bill is this time, making sure your daughter looks great in the dress that grandma made – by cutting off that loose string, digging in that bag of chips etc… Basically, with a Squeak in your pocket you can say ‘yes’, 99% of the time someone asks: “Does anyone have a knife or scissors?”
The little Squeak carries as easy as pocket lint. It’s virtually weightless. And the slipit action makes it fast to bring into action and fast to fold and put away again. I had no qualms about using the knife in public, cutting with a slipit usually means you’re done before anyone notices you just pulled a fast-opening one-hand ‘tactical’ folder.
I wouldn’t mind this little folder being a bit thinner overall. The overall package is just as thick as a regular UKPK. Since this is intended to be a smaller folder than its 3 inch brethren, I wouldn’t mind seeing it a little thinner. Cosmetically, it would ‘fit’ the stubby little design better in my book.
Fit and finish
The fit and finish were a nice surprise. The Italians that Spyderco found for this project really know how to make a knife. The fit and finish were flawless, absolutely on par with the Kopa series – if there was an FRN version. The grinds are even, the spine on the handle mates seamlessly with the FRN scales, the wireclip can be screwed down tight without any hint of the usual (for wireclips) side-to-side play. I like it a lot.
If it wasn’t clear already, I love this knife. The Squeak is pretty much a perfect folder for travel or other vacation trips where you’re not sure what the knife laws are. Brighter colors could be nice, but the black color makes for a low-profile carry knife. Make on in H-1 and it would be perfect for travel. Perhaps the Squeak is the Co-Pilot for the 21st century?