Spyderco Brend/Pirela Mamba Review

December 11, 2016

The Mamba is simply awesome. Period. It is not, however, a good EDC. At least in my book it isn’t. I think this feeling applies to many Mamba owners. I think we’ll see plenty of Mamba fan-pictures online, but I doubt I’ll ever see (m)any pics of that sweet curvy black blade all scratched up from use.  

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco

As is the case with many new Spyderco knives, the Mamba was love at first sight for me. I knew right away this knife would be too big for comfortable everyday carry. And that blade would not excel in any of my daily cutting tasks. And yet, it’s a great design; a beautiful knife that just screams ‘hell yeah!’  And in my book, sometimes, that’s fine. Not every knife in my collection has to be a purely functional folder.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_blade_3

Blade
The Mamba’s blade is all sweeps and curves, and the flipper adds a lot of ‘panache’ as well as a functional guard. The coating is applied very evenly and it’s a kind of see-through burnished black color. I think this makes for an interesting visual effect when you study the coating from different angles.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_blade_1

The major downside of the blade is well-known and plenty discussed in YouTube comments and forum threads, that awful dull heel. Because of the deep plunge grinds, the hollow grinds don’t come immediately together for an edge at the heel of the blade. This results in about a centimeter of non-sharpened blade. And that’s a shame from a user’s point-of-view.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_halfopen_2

It doesn’t really matter to me, as I appreciate those sweet grind lines a lot more than the edge. Don’t get me wrong though, this knife came very sharp from the box. I cut myself a handful of times when my fingers didn’t move out of the way fast enough, when I closed the blade.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_blade_2

Lock
The action is extremely smooth. The liners are so thick, I feel it’s really more of Reeve-style integral lock than a linerlock. The lock’s ball detent is very positive, but once you move past it, the blade absolutely flies open. The Mamba is perhaps the fastest opening knife in my collection. The lock is massive and the lock-up is solid. I can’t detect play in any direction when the knife is locked. The detent is perhaps a bit too strong, but considering the size and mass of the blade, that’s probably a good thing.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_lock

Handle
The Mamba’s handle was mainly designed by Joel Pirela and it looks stellar. It feels even better. The handle is very comfortable and ergonomic……for edge-out grips. Your hand locks into the handle like a glove, but it’s not a versatile handle that you could easily use for peeling apples, potatoes etc.… For actual utility work that requires an edge-in grip, I think you’d better reach for a different knife. The Mamba is hard to control for these types of detailed cutting chores.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_inhand_1

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_handle_1

The carbon fiber looks superb, and I love the details and facets in the handle. The Mamba features stellar fit & finish work. On the downside, the handle is -to me- simply too big, thick and angular to comfortably carry in my pocket or waistband. This is one of those knives in my collection that just won’t be seeing any serious pocket time.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_spine

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_handle_2

Clip
The Mamba features a custom clip that is more ‘Spyderco’ than the rest of the design. It mimics the familiar hourglass shape clip we see on almost all spydies these days, but the three-screw attachment is different from what we’ve seen so far from Golden, Colorado. The clip works well though, the tension is fine. I appreciate the black bug on the shiny spring steel, it fits the design very well.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_clip

Overall
When it comes down to it, I strongly feel that getting a Mamba is not a pragmatic and practical decision-making process to fulfill a particular cutting need. If you’re even a casual knifeknut, you’ll likely to be drawn to those spectacular features of this audacious design. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve enjoyed many an evening enjoying a movie, nursing a Talisker in my left hand and the Brend/Pirela Mamba in my right hand. As the famous YouTuber would say: ‘life is good’.

brend-pirela_mamba_spyderco_halfopen_1

Advertisements

Video: Spyderco Booth at IWA 2016

April 10, 2016

A short video impression of the Spyderco Booth at the 2016 IWA Show in Nuremberg Germany. I included some close-up footage, which starts at 1:41 , of some of my favorite new designs this year. These include the Nirvana, Mamba and Native 5 40th Anniversary prototypes.


Video: Spyderco 2016 Production Prototype – Brend/Pirela Mamba

March 18, 2016

Click here for a more detailed look at the Spyderco Brend/Pirela Mamba production prototype.

Last February, Spyderco organized the 12th annual ‘Amsterdam Meet’ in, you guessed it, Amsterdam the Netherlands. During the meet, Spyderco’s Eric Glesser presented many new concept models, prototypes and production samples that Spyderco is working on. Around 80 knifeknuts attended meet and they were asked for feedback and opinions on the new designs.

This year, we used a live videolink to a big screen, so the entire audience could get a closer look at the various details of the knife during Eric’s presentation. This clip is taken from that videolink. I hope you understand that this was not a purpose-made video presentation, but rather a taped portion of a live presentation. Nevertheless this video offers a nice first look at a new Spyderco design and its backstory.


Spyderco 2016 Production Prototype – Brend/Pirela Mamba

March 9, 2016

The Brend/Pirela Mamba was unveiled last year, and Spyderco hopes to ship the first production run very soon. I gathered that an actual production run is in the works right now. The Mamba felt a lot lighter in the hand than I remembered. The blade deployed very well, using either the thumb hole or the flipper. Like I probably mentioned last year, the Mamba is a very impressive fistful of folder that I can’t wait to add to my collection!

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_blade_1

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_blade_2

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_inhand_1

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_clip

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_inhand_2

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_tip_1

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_insidehandle

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_pivot

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_closed

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_jimping

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_centering

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_tip_1

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_lock

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_profile

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_hook

spyderco_amsterdammeet2016_productionprototype_mamba_clipside

Specifications
Overall Length: 24 cm / 9.44 inches
Blade Length: 10 cm / 3.93 inches
Blade Thickness: 4,5 mm / 0.17 inches
Weight: 183 grams / 6.45 ounces