I know I can be a superficial kind of knifeknut. I can easily be attracted to knives with mere gizmos and cosmetic features, as opposed to pure performance designs. The Titan Stealth prototype I handled at the Amsterdam Meet was one of those new designs that instantly pressed the ‘want’ button in my brain, which is located slightly behind the knife shop detector. The production version certainly did not disappoint. Apart from its striking looks, this Chaparral is a really nice user too. I suppose those of you that own the carbon fiber Chaparral already know that.
The facets on the titanium handle are very shallow. They’re actually not that noticeable when using or carrying the knife. I have to pay attention to notice them; the surface remains very smooth to the touch. The Titan Stealth Chaparral feels very much like a regular stainless steel handled spydie.
Fit and finish
Fit and finish on my sample are superb, I can’t detect any flaw in this respect. In the close-up pics you’ll notice ridges or lines in the facets. I don’t really notice those ridges when handling or using the knife. It’s definitely not a feature that helps add traction to the handle’s surface, for example. In that regard it’s very much like regular SS handled Spyderco folding knives. The high level of F&F extends to the inside of the knife too. I was surprised to find only very clean and highly polished surfaces inside the handle. The inside of a folder’s handle is usually not that nicely finished.
One thing I really like about this titanium spydie is that it’s a real lightweight. The Ti Military and Ti UKPK are great knives, but they are definitely heavier than I would have expected for a Ti knife. The Chaparral is, in my opinion, a true lightweight. The knife is as light as you’d imagine a small titanium handled folder to be.
One of the first things I, as a lefty, look at when handling a new knife is how easy it is to change the clip for left-handed carry. The Titan Stealth scored a lot of points in this respect. A few turns with the right sized torx driver released the screw holding down the wireclip. Fitting the clip to the ‘right’ side of the handle was as easy as screwing down the proper screw. I have experienced a lot more trouble with many wireclips on UKPK models, to the point of having to disassemble the entire knife (the backspring on the UKPK is the culprit, it exerts a lot of pressure on the clip screws).
Most Spyderco wireclip assemblies consist of three parts, a clip and two screws that screw into each other to tighten the clip onto the handle. The wireclip assembly on the titanium Chaparral is made up of four parts: a clip, two identical short screws and a threaded bushing. The threaded bushing was loctited tightly into place and didn’t (need to) come loose.
The two screws did seem a bit short to me. They’re definitely shorter than the clip screws on a Delica, Endura or Stretch etc… Theoretically, I can imagine these shorter screws would be more prone to loosening and falling out. Time will tell if this is a real world concern or just an imaginary risk.
This is my first Chaparral. I wasn’t attracted to the carbon fiber premiere of this model. I have a very nice Michael Walker Sprint Run that fits my inventory for a ‘small user in Carbon Fiber’ really well. I didn’t feel the first Chaparral could improve on that design for me. The titanium handle design attracted me to this edition of the Chaparral design, and the Chaparral has proven to be a really fine user. The Chaparral looks, feels and cuts very much like my leaf blade Urban. The Titan Stealth does seem to be a little thinner than my Urban. The 2 mm thick blade also seems to slice a bit better.
One of my minor gripes with the otherwise excellent Taichung made knives is the jimping. I think the maker uses a grinding wheel to cut the jimping in the blade’s spine. I prefer laser-cut sharp jimping on the spine of a blade, like on the Delica 4. I will admit that the jimping on my sample of the Chaparral 2 is sharper than on my PPT and Sage knives. However, the jimping still isn’t as sharp as I prefer. I could definitely do without the jimping inside the choil for 90 per cent of my cutting chores. It does come in handy when using the knife edge-up though.
This is my first Spyderco that uses CTS-XHP steel. For the past two weeks or so, it hasn’t needed sharpening, but I touched it up anyway on the white stones of my Sharpmaker. It seems to sharpen easy enough, and it has also proven to be pretty stain/rustproof. I used the Ti Chaparral as an EDC pocketknife and paring knife in the kitchen. The thin full flat ground blade is a great performer. Envelopes, packages, cardboard boxes, apples, carrots, meat and cucumbers proved to be no challenge for the Chaparral. The blade is a bit short and not really suitable for food prep. I used the Chaparral in the kitchen mainly to get more use out of the knife for this review over the past few weeks.
I noticed that the blade doesn’t seem to have the infamous vertical bladeplay in Spyderco lockbacks or midlocks. I broke down a few cardboard boxes, a chore that typically reveals this bladeplay in my spydies. I didn’t notice any play with the Titan Stealth. It could still reveal itself later on in use. I’ve only had this knife for about two weeks.
The Chaparral Titan Stealth works for me both as a gent’s knife in a suit and a cool EDC in jeans etc… Non-knife people also took a liking to its looks, the titanium facets look ‘cool’ and ‘pretty’ to them (and me too BTW). It definitely took a minute or so longer than usual to get my knife back from them. If it wasn’t obvious by now, I really like this small folder. Its size, design and F&F make it a folder I really want to use a lot. My Michael Walker definitely has some competition in the ‘cool small folding slicer’ category of my collection.