Spyderco C113 Caly 3 Revisited

July 1, 2020

I recently dusted off my trusty Caly 3 the other day and clipped it to my waistband. I admit it’s been a while since I carried this knife. You know how it goes. A new knife arrives and you just have to try it out, then another comes in and the cycle repeats itself. I try to make it a point to deliberately pick up some of the older knives this year and give them another round of EDC. That is what I did with the Caly 3 and -spoiler alert- this design can still go toe-to-toe with the latest and greatest knives.

If you’re looking for a detailed review, check out my article from 2007. I just felt like putting down a few thoughts after revisiting my G10 & VG-10 Caly 3 after a week of carry and use.

VG-10
Spyderco has really been expanding their steel selection lately, and the afi market seemed to have embraced high-performance steels lately. And that’s great. I just know that it’s not necessarily for me. I prefer stainless steels, there, I said it. I am the SpyderCollector after all. I love using and carrying my folding knives, but I also like to collect them. And my inner-collector likes to be able to enjoy his knives looking nice. I don’t mind the patina on a cladded blade, but not so much on the entire blade. I don’t mind sharpening my knives either. And with VG-10 I get all the performance I need in the suburbs, and then some. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with ZDP189, S90V, S110V, HAP40, REX45, Maxamet etc…, and I’m very much looking forward to the new SPY27 steel, but VG-10 does everything I need to do. And it’s easy to bring it back looking like new.

Perfection
After a week’s worth of carry and use, I’m simply left with the impression that the Calypso/Caly 3 pattern might just be the perfect modern pocket knife for the suburbs. It’s lightweight, extremely sharp, very practical, sized just right for practical use and it doesn’t seem to scare non-knife people as much. With that full flat grind, even when the edge is dull, the blade is so thin you can still make a good cut. The lock is ambidextrous and the clip is removable, so I get to have a great left-handed knife.    I just can’t find any objective faults with this knife. Personally, I consider the Stretch 2 to be my favorite Spyderco utility folder. Now, if there would ever come a Caly 4, I wouldn’t mind if it had that same drop point pattern blade.

Check out the specs and history of the C113 Caly 3 at Spydiewiki.com.


Personal Classic: Calypso Jr. PE FRN

June 12, 2001

Last week I received the Calypso Jr. Lightweight folder I ordered. It is made by Spyderco, and is one of the three FRN folders that are particularly lefty friendly. I have seen the ads in the magazines that claim that the Delica, Native an Calypso Jr. are the right knife for left-handed people. I own the Delica and Native as well, these have proven to be outstanding performers for their price and material make-up. I mention materials, because these are ‘simple’ FRN or zytel handled knives. The FRN makes the knife lightweight, comfortable to use, and affordable. My only major complaint with these particular factory folders, is that they lack the personality that comes with a custom folder, or perhaps even with the use of more exotic materials. You see, I have the highest regards for Spyderco’s FRN folders for lefty’s like myself.

Click for a full size image in a new window

Sharp
I was attracted to the Calypso Jr., because it looked like a high performance slicer and cutter, with its full flat grind and thin blade. It looked to me, like the ultimate utility folder for a knifeknut. Now that I have the knife, I must say that this is true. The Calypso is extraordinarily sharp. It’s thin edge and full flat grind make it an impressive cutter indeed. The knife also sports a fine point that is very controllable because of the handle design. Spyderco’s literature claim that the handle of the Calypso was designed to make it feel like an extension of the hand. I feel that they have succeeded. The lightweight and ergonomic design make the knife literally flow in the hand whilst cutting.

Boye dent
This is also my first experience with the Boye dent in the lockback’s locking bar. The lock seems stiffer than in the Delicas and Native I own. The lock does operate smooth, but the rigidity with which it releases inspires more confidence in the lock’s reliability to me, than with my Delica or Native for example. I am not sure if the Boye dent in the locking bar is the sole reason for the added stiffness to the lock, but I remain positive about this addition to the knife.

Click for a full size image in a new window

Limits
However, the knife does not appear to be as rugged as the Native for example. The blade appears much thinner, because of the excellent edge geometry for slicing and detailed cutting. Furthermore, the clip was rather difficult to remove and refit for left-handed carry. The first screw came off very easy, but the other two didn’t. Not even a hair dryer could loosen up the screws, in the event lok-tite was used to secure the screws. I had to exert a lot of force on the tiny screws to loosen them. The screw-threads were not

stripped or anything, but I did strip the screw-heads themselves. Maybe it needed more heating up before trying to unscrew them. I find this very remarkable. A knife that is designed and marketed as lefty friendly, should have an easily removable pocket clip. The Delica and Native’s clip screws are of a different design, but they can be easily removed and reassembled. No problem though. As I write this, Spyderco’s excellent customer service have sent me replacement screws for the Calypso Jr. How can you not appreciate that?

Gent´s folder
BTW, the clip features a golden ‘bug’, which adds to the overall appearance of the knife. The Calypso Jr. is a high performing lefty friendly pocket knife, that can pass for a gentleman’s folder. Because of its sharpness and edge geometry, it should satisfy anyone looking for an affordable high performing folder for everyday cutting jobs. It does not appear to be rugged enough to take to the jungle for a survival trek. The Calypso, by design and appearance, should feel right at home in an urban environment. Not considering the price difference, the Calypso Jr. offers slicing performance that leaves my Sebenza worried ;-).

Click for a full size image in a new window

Overall
If you’re looking for that affordable yet ‘ultimate’ medium sized utility folder for everyday tasks, the Calypso Jr. lightweight should please you. My only complaint and plea to Spyderco, please put some of these excellent characteristics in a more up-market model. Like a left-handed Chinese folder? I realize that the left-handed market is small, but I sure would like something like a lefty friendly Chinese Folder. Excellent cutting performance in a fancy package. Your current models for the left-handed are much appreciated, now I want more!!!!