Classic Spyderco Spotlight: C48 Tim Wegner

After photographing my new Caly 3 damascus/cf sprint with my vintage Calypso Jr. knives, I decided to carry those old spydies to see what they were like today. This is in turn, inspired me to take a new look at some other vintage spydies in my collection. How would they stack up to today’s spydies? Last weekend, I dusted off my old large C48 Tim Wegner.

wegner_spyderco

I think I got this knife back in 2001 or so. The Wegner was quite popular on the forums back then and the custom versions made by Phil Boguszewski were selling really well. I even read that this Wegner design was the ‘official’ tactical folder of the Gunsite institute. I was still into ‘tactical folders’ back then. Needless to say, I was sold and had to have one.

The Wegner didn’t turn out to be one of my favorite folders and I never carried it much. The handle design didn’t work for me, I disliked the knife’s weight and the opening hole was too small for me. I did like the curved blade and handle design. I even got the Ocelot later on which solved most of my ‘problems’ with the C48.

After cleaning and oiling the large Wegner, I found that the knife still works great. The action is smooth and lock-up is still excellent. The Wegner rode in my pocket all weekend and did all the cutting chores I could find.

wegner_spyderco_blade

The C48’s curved hollow ground blade is a great slicer for most small kitchen chores. It cut up onions, peppers, meat and potatoes like a champ. I could even get a little ‘rocking’ action with that curved blade. The Wegner’s blade is pretty thick all the way to the tip. Especially when you compare it to a full flat ground slicer like the Military, but in practical use this didn’t bother me. The hollow grind is very well done. The thick blade and tip inspired enough confidence to subject the blade to some twisting and turning when I had to ‘dismantle’ thick plastic packaging materials. It didn’t affect lockup or cause blade play. After three days of cutting paper, envelopes, fruit, meat, veggies, cardboard, plastic packaging etc… the knife got a little dull. There was still a good working edge, but the Wegner definitely couldn’t shave anymore. Sharpening was easy on the 40 degree setting of the Sharpmaker; one advantage of a ‘medium performance’ steel like ATS-34 (years ago ATS-34 was considered a high performance stainless though).

wegner_spyderco_clip

I found that the weight of the large Wegner didn’t bother me as much this time. In the years since the Wegner came out, I must have gotten used to carrying heavier spydies like the Chinook, Manix, PPT and the Lionspy. The texture of the G10 is really smooth. Back then, Spyderco didn’t use that extra glass-filled G10 they use now. It almost seems as smooth as non-patterned FRN.

wegner_spyderco_spine

The small opening hole still bothered me a bit, especially for a folder in this size. I had a few instances where I wanted to draw and open the knife and ‘misfired’. The grip still doesn’t quite match with my hand. I have the same problem with the Endura, that knife too doesn’t ‘click’ with my hand. I still don’t quite understand the full steel spacer. It adds lots of weight and I don’t quite get the functional need for this spacer in an otherwise refined design.

wegner_spyderco_halfopen

I realize that a future sprint run is extremely unlikely, as Wegner/Bladetech has launched its own line of production knives. The large “C48 design” is still prominent in their catalog. I love what they did with the design. To refine the C48, I too would suggest an ambidextrous lock, 4-way clip option and less weight. Oh wait; did I just describe a Stretch 2? The Stretch is very similar to the Wegner, but with better ergos, less weight and you can even get one in ZDP-189. The blade and tip won’t be as thick as on the Wegner though. I definitely recommend getting at least one folder with a sturdy tip in your ‘arsenal’. Spyderco makes some excellent folders in this category; the Techno and Lionspy come to mind. Those blades are probably even sturdier than the blade on the C48, while offering the same or better cutting performance.

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3 Responses to Classic Spyderco Spotlight: C48 Tim Wegner

  1. Graeme (DBSS) says:

    The Wegner is a Spyderco that I have always wanted. I never got to handle one back when they came out. But I liked the looks and design of the knife…including the steel backspacer and I love a hollow grind on a knife. It is interesting to read your feelings on it.
    I still hope to get one some day, though they seem pretty rare on the boards or ebay.

  2. Greg says:

    I reluctantly just sold my c48 wegner due to some financial difficulties. I’ll say this:

    The knife was way ahead of its time as far as design goes Excellent handle design and ergos Jimping was something not many were doing at the time and the jimping on this model is nice. It had a nice size moderately thick blade that was super sharp. One of the original “tactical” folders. It is high quality, and I absolutely love the handle design. It fit in my hand very well.

    ATS-34 was a high quality steel, but it does not stack up to s30v, zdp189 etc

    It is a nice piece to collect, and as stated was very ahead of its time. So are old computers. Compare them to high quality modern knives and it soon becomes clear that the C48 is more of a historical piece than a true tactical folder. It fell short of being an A+ tactical folder. It is also too big and bulky to be an EDC piece. Overall, these are the reasons why I allowed myself to sell it. Will I miss it? Yes. Do I think it is a very innovative and high quality piece? Yes. Sadly, due to the state of the economy and my own personal finances I cant allow myself to keep and collect knives that don’t wow me in every category.

    C48 Tim Wegner, you will be missed. I hope your next owner loves and cherishes you as I did.

  3. […] in December I aimed my classic spydie spotlight on the C48 Tim Wegner. This time, I’d like to shine the […]

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