Spyderco Titanium Fluted Military Mini-Review

April 3, 2011

Hard work is its own reward, but sometimes it’s hardly work and the reward can be amazing. I got this wonderful Military with fluted titanium handles recently and it is an amazing piece.

 

The fluted pattern on the handle transforms this otherwise large ‘working’ folder into an elegant gentleman’s knife. However, the  ‘fluting’ of the titanium handle does more. The first titanium Military was a solid piece, a tad heavier than most expect from a titanium handled folder. I’m sure this is because the handle on the Military is much bigger than most other production folders. The fluting removes a lot of the weight. To me, the fluted Ti Millie handles like a regular g10 Millie.

 

I showed the knife to a few non-knife people and they all agreed that it was a ‘pretty’ knife. At least that’s one thing we agreed on when it comes to knives.

 

The lock on my version doesn’t feature the steel inset in the locking bar. It’s not an issue on this specimen, the lock is perfect and it hasn’t travelled since I got it. It probably went through a hundred or more opening/closing cycles over the past two weeks.

 

The blued anodizing is done by hand and has held up fine so far. The knife has seen about two weeks’ worth of pocket time and has been washed and rinsed thoroughly after some kitchen chores, the bluing hasn’t faded yet – but it’s still early. I did give the knife its first sharpening session yesterday. Not that it really needed it, but the edge wasn’t quite how I want it – so out came the Sharpmaker.

 

And this is what makes this knife extra special to me; it was a gift from the Spydercrew for my work on the report of the new prototypes since the Amsterdam Meet. To which I can only reply: “You’re more than welcome, and thank you! Wow, seriously?! What a gorgeous Military!”  Generally, I don’t like to show off, but for this one I make an exception. I think you’ll understand.

 

If you like the Military design, this is the knife for you. The venerable design has been proven thoroughly over the years. The titanium handle adds a more durability and lock strength, while the fluted design and bluing add sophistication and class. Moreover, the fluting process also results in a rounded or ‘ 3D’ handle, it’s more comfortable to grip than the flat G10 slabs. Best of all, the weight and feel in the hand is close to the lightweight G10 version.  This is a special knife and it will be produced in small numbers. IIRC, about 50 pieces a month.

PS The inspiration to use a mirror as a background for these pictures came from fellow-spyderknut Whynot on the Spyderco Forums, check out his amazing picture-thread.

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Review: Military PE CPM D2 & Foliage Green G10

November 11, 2007

I didn’t plan on getting the D2 Millie when it was announced, because I do not consider myself a steel junkie. Yet, when I saw the first pics and positive commentaries I caved. I must admit that the green G10 handle was what appealed to me most. Now, however, It’s the steel that I like best.

The Military is an old friend for me. It’s the model that really started my obsession with Spyderco and I’ve carried it for a long time around 2000. Soon, smaller high-end models came out that were better suited to urban EDC, like the Lum Chinese Folder and Li’l Temp. Today, my main obsession is with 3-inch bladed spydies. This Foliage Green Military was supposed to be ‘just for fun’, to try it out.

The minute I picked the knife up, it was like an old friend coming home. Even with the smaller and larger improvements since 2000, the knife still has that great slick feel to it. Initially, the liner was really stiff. It was tough to unlock the liner. This lasted for about a week, then the D2 Millie’s action became smoother. Now it’s almost as slick to open and close as my original Military.

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Handle
The foliage green G10 is very light in shade, it seems lighter than the foliage green in the Delica 4. I like the color a lot, it’s both subtle and different from anything else I’ve seen on knives. The jimping in the spine and in the choil proved to be a welcome surprise. I was a little worried that the jimping (any jimping actually) in the choil would be too aggressive for my office-honed fingers ;-). I’m happy to report that this is not the case, the fine jimping is ‘just right’. The handle seems a bit thicker compared to my 2000 model, but it handles just as nicely.

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Blade
Onto the D2 blade. As was pointed out by my fellow forumites, the blade came out of the box lightly oiled (with a little card explaining why) and quite sharp. It was sharper than my ZDP Spydies out of the box, I didn’t know that was possible 😉 . Even more surprising was the fact that this wonderfully sharp edge stayed sharp. The first couple of weeks were relatively boring for the CPM D2 blade: mail, fruit, occasional mail, kitchen duty etc… The edge still wasn’t noticeably dulled and it still shaved hair without scraping. My ZDP blades would normally need a slight touch up after this workout for a few weeks, to shave hair without resistance.

I upped the ante for the Millie’s blade by attacking our paper-pile; what better way to ‘do green’ than with a ‘green spydie’?! Spending an hour breaking down boxes into compact bundles involved both cutting, hacking and prying with the blade. The lock held wonderfully, no accidental closure, probably due to the slightly smaller lock well (compared to my 2000 model) and the blasted liner ‘sticking’ more to the tang. I also didn’t experience any tip breakage (the pics were taken this morning). Finally, the blade wouldn’t shave hair any more. It was still very sharp, a fine working edge.

I decided to sharpen the blade, fearing that it would be really tough if it got much duller. I’m happy to report that the factory bevels matched my Sharpmaker’s 30 degrees setting really well. So it was easy to give the Millie a fresh edge. I’m trying a mirror polished edge right now that I like quite a bit.

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Suggestions for improvement
First, I wish the Military would get some left-handed clip options. Right now I carry it SOB, which works pretty well for me (I do understand the risk of falling on my back and onto the handle), but it’s not the same as a dedicated clip option. Second, the liner lock is still a solid technology for a utility folder (keeps everything nicely lightweight too), but a more lefty-friendly lock would be appreciated. I would like to suggest the new caged bal lock for the Millie. Third, I don’t really like the blasted coating on the liner. It makes for a rougher surface and perhaps contributed to the lock sticking to the tang at the beginning. Why was liner blasted?

Overall
The D2 Millie is a great knife. The best folding kitchen and camp knife you could ask for. This updated version is still a lightweight knife that performs. Additionally, I think this knife is slowly getting me interested in the steel side of things. I wouldn’t call myself a steel junkie just yet, but I am getting more interested in the Mule Project.