The Spyderco C64 Meerkat: a boomerang Spydie

December 19, 2021

The Spyderco C64 Meerkat was originally produced from 2002 until 2004. A respectable run for a Spyderco design, but it’s nowhere near as impressive as such mainstays as the Delica, Military or Paramilitary 2. There have been, however, 4 revivals of this wonderful little big knife. One of these, is this version with a burnt-orange FRN handle and HAP40/SUS410 blade. If you’d ask me, I wouldn’t say that the Meerkat is one of my ‘favorites’, but somehow it does seem to find its way into my pocket regularly.

Let’s start with my main ‘objections’ to the Meerkat: it’s thick and it’s a tip-down carry only. That means it’s slightly more uncomfortable to carry and a little more awkward for me to deploy. But that’s about it. Features of the C64 I do like, are the lefty clip mounting option, the ergonomic 3D sculpted handle, the blade width and excellent edge geometry.

Phantom Lock

Operating the Meerkat left-handed is not easy. The phantom lock is definitely biased for right-handers. However, there’s no mechanism that cannot be learned by opening and closing it constantly when watching TV, right? My wife and kids are not always happy with this ‘training’, as the click clacking tends to ruin certain moments in movies, or so I’ve been told. 😉

Blade

On paper, the C64 is a rather small folder. In reality, the Meerkat’s blade is short – not small. The blade’s width gives the knife very impressive cutting ability. The edge is really thin, and the HAP40 makes it a very smooth cutter. So much so, that I’m not afraid to admit that I cut myself a few times. Playing with that phantom lock might have something to with it as well.

Handle

The handle features these divots all over the handle that might look a bit odd at first. Once you grip the knife, you immediately know what these ‘holes’ are for. That provide a positive full handed grip on a pretty short knife.

Lil’ Big Knife

The Meerkat is one of the earlier ‘lil’ big knife’ designs from Spyderco. It came from the ‘Experimental’ and Navigator designs. In regular production, the Meerkat lasted two years. This is a respectable production time, but not too long. I think it’s funny to see no less than 4 sprints of the C64 since its original production ended in 2003. And like that production history, the Meerkat also keeps on finding its way back in my carry rotation. In that respect it’s really the ‘boomerang design’ of my Spyderco collection. It just keeps coming back.

See more details of the Spyderco C64 Meerkat on Spydiewiki.com, or check out my previous articles, such as: an earlier review, my Meerkat countertop display, photos of the prototype of the knife featured in this article, or my impressions of the burgundy and blue sprint run Meerkats.


Spyderco 2016 Production Sample – Ed Schempp Rock Salt

March 15, 2016

The Rock Salt is back, for a sprint run. To me, this is a familiar design and I like the bright orange scales. I can imagine this sprint run would make for a cool knife option in a bugout bag or survival kit, with its rustproof steel and bright orange handle.

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Specifications
Overall Length: 31,1 cm / 12.24 inches
Blade Length: 17,1 cm / 6.73 inches
Blade Thickness: 3 mm / 0.11 inches
Weight: 258 grams / 9.1 ounces


Spyderco Sprint Run Titanium Pingo Photoshoot

August 27, 2015

I don’t need to carry and use Slipit, as I still enjoy a modicum of sane legislation when it comes to carrying and using a pocket knife in public. Still, I really admire what Spyderco has accomplished with their Slipit line. They are great knives, even if you can still carry locking folders. This new sprint run Pingo with an Elmax blade, titanium handle and anodized bug logo is a nice change of pace from the existing Spyderco Slipit line.

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The Pingo was specifically designed for Danish knife users, and it apparently was named after their crown prince. The lightweight Pingo folders proved to be great EDC pieces during my vacation in Denmark last year. I still like to carry one at home sometimes, when I’m looking to carry a truly lightweight folder that’s also extremely non-knife-people-friendly.

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This sprint run with an Elmax blade and anodized titanium handle is a dandy little jewel of a knife. The fit & finish rival that of the older spydies made by Moki. The sprint run Pingo is definitely a very finely finished piece. The Spyderco Slipit line, so far, have been all business like EDC folders, using G-10 and FRN as handle materials. The UKPK did come in a Ti handle, but with a dull finish unlike this shiny sprint run Pingo. The sprint run Squeak and regular production PITS designs also feature shiny and more flashy titanium handles. It definitely adds a touch of ‘class’ to the Slipit line, if you’re into that.

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The anodizing of the bug doesn’t cross and wrap around the spacer which is a pity. I suspect this was done because the anodizing wouldn’t stick or line up properly to the backspring/spacer. This part does move a bit when opening and closing the knife.

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Titanium has always been touted as a high-tech, strong and light material. Mind you, this is a relative term. This titanium folder is significantly heavier than its FRN counterparts. This is why I really like my fluted Ti Military. With the Military, you get to enjoy the anodized titanium handle at a –to me- similar weight and feel as the G-10 original.

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The knife shipped with a tiny piece of plastic stuck under the clip. That way, the handle doesn’t get scratched before you switch the clip for left-handed carry. Spyderco also added this piece of plastic under the clip of the titanium PITS folder and, reportedly, also on the titanium Squeak sprint run. A nice touch that this lefty certainly appreciates!

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For me, this is a suit and tie type folder; a gent’s knife. I’ll be carrying it at more formal occasions, so it won’t see as much pocket time as e.g. my Stretch folders. I’m sure I won’t stretch the limits of the Elmax blade, but I certainly enjoyed adding this knife to my collection and I’m looking forward to its occasional carry and use.


Spyderco 2014 Production Sample – Paramilitary 2 – Composite Sprint

March 10, 2014

Although this very special Paramilitary 2 sprint was already shipping, Eric and Sal brought it along with them to the Amsterdam Meet.

IIRC, the most important reason to try and make this CPM 154/S90v composite blade was ‘to see if it could be done’. I remember Eric explaining that this blade has no real practical benefits over a regular S90V blade. However, it was a very complicated process to successfully combine these two steels in this composite blade. Hopefully, the knowledge gained during this process for this Paramilitary 2 Sprint, will lead to other related innovations that will prove practical. There will be more knives by Spyderco with this type of composite blade, but not in a Paramilitary 2 frame.

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Spyderco 2013 Prototype Video – Jot Singh Khalsa Sprint Run

January 20, 2013

The Jot Singh Khalsa returns for a sprint run. I definitely noticed the difference in production quality of this sample, compared to my micarta original. The grinds look cleaner and the fit & finish is way better. As a lefty, I really appreciate the added clip mounting option.  I realize this design looks unusual, but it’s a very functional EDC and with these upgrades it should be an even better user.


Spyderco 2013 Prototype Video – Wayne Goddard Sprint Run

January 20, 2013

I visited the SHOT show this year, and on day 1 I got the flu. I did manage to visit the show and meet up with the spydercrew. They helped me shoot a few videos of some upcoming knives that I can share with you guys. I just hope I didn’t infect anybody.

Compared to the annual IWA show in Germany, which I have visited regularly over the past few years, SHOT is so much bigger. It is truly a ‘gathering of the tribes’. I noticed visitors all over Las Vegas with their desert camo packs (with morale patches) and pocket clips. I just wish I felt better so I could have seen more of the show and the town. Thanks again to Eric and everyone else manning the booth for their hospitality, support and vitamins!

The two prototype cases at the Spyderco booth were stacked full with concept models and prototypes. I seemed to notice more ‘red tags’ (concept models) than ‘grey tags’ (production prototypes). There were many cool new knives and ideas for new knives. Among them were colorful handle variations for the Native and some cool ideas for the Paramilitary 2. I’m sure I’ll get a better and closer look (and photos) at everything at the Amsterdam Meet.  I also had a great time meeting Gayle Bradley and Phil Wilson, and it was very nice to see Ed Schempp again.

Here’s the first video I shot of Eric Glesser presenting the upcoming Wayne Goddard sprint run.

I noticed that Eric calls the handle color grey, to me it looked more like green. It seemed a little darker than the foliage green we know from the Delica and Endura editions. The ‘new’ hourglass pocket clip makes the knife a little easier on the hand when gripping the knife, compared to the previous Goddard FRN Sprints. The FFG blade didn’t seem too thin at all, which I kind of suspected after seeing it in the catalog. I’ll definitely try to add this model to my collection of Goddard sprints.


Spyderco Caly 3 Damascus & Carbon Fiber Sprint Run

November 5, 2012

As a long time fan of the Caly/Calypso Jr./UKPK design, I simply ‘had’ to get this Caly 3 sprint run. I am definitely not disappointed. Contrary to the earlier Damascus Delica sprints, this one could be an actual user.

The Damascus blade looks excellent, I love the dark wavy lines. It also doesn’t hurt that this is a stainless VG-10 damascus, so it´s good to go for EDC in my book. The fit and finish are excellent: the action is smooth, good self-close on the blade, excellent tight lock-up and the bolster is seamlessly mated to the carbon fiber handle. The blade is centered too on my sample, if that’s something you care about.

I had one little problem with the knife. It was tough to change the clip for the ‘right’  left-handed carry position. It was tough to get the screw assembly out of the handle. The tolerances are so close, that I had trouble pushing out the bolt-part of the clip assembly. Once it was out and fitted for left-handed carry, I noticed the clip didn’t entirely want to touch the handle. It took me a bit of bending and fitting, before I managed to fit the clip for my preferred carry position for the Caly 3. Ideally, you’d want a clip change to be a ‘drop-in’ affair and not a session of bending and fitting. Still, I got the coolest left-handed Damascus/CF spydie on the block now ;).

Overall, this edition of the Caly 3 is a nice tribute to the designer, Sal Glesser, and the wonderful craftsmen in Japan who made this knife. It’s been great to see this knife evolve from the original Calypso Jr. with stainless steel or micarta handle.

The stainless steel Calypso Jr. was a great start, although it never saw much pocket time. I always felt this folder was too heavy for its size.

The micarta Calypso Jr. is a great lightweight folder. Still, too bad about the right-hand-only-tip-down clip and the fact that I only managed to score one with a serrated edge. The FRN Calypso Jr. was a wonderful revelation for this lefty, well over ten years ago.

The Caly 3 and UKPK models are wonderful evolutions of the Calypso Jr.; getting rid of that sharp cusp on the blade’s spine and adding better blade steels and handle materials. Together with the Delica, the Caly 3/UKPK model is my favorite 3-inch Spyderco utility folder. This damascus & carbon fiber sprint run is an awesome edition for us afi’s. It’s a great pocket knife with plenty of bragging rights. I’m sure this one won’t get any cheaper in the next few years.


Spyderco 2012 Prototype – Lum Tanto FB Sprint

March 6, 2012

Finally my chance to capture the one that got away! I have very few regrets in my knife collection, but not getting a Lum Tanto FB when I could many years ago, is definitely one of them. This one looks more interesting to me too, a nice burgundy handle. I’m not sure about the handle material, was it called something like paperstone micarta?


Spyderco 2012 Prototype – Dodo Orange G10 Sprint Run

March 5, 2012

The Dodo lives again, at least long enough for a sprint run in orange G10. It was Eric’s first design he made for Spyderco back in ’98.

It features a ‘naked’ ball bearing lock and a single spacer that houses the lock. I love the fact that there are no liners in this knife. Eric was proud to explain that this sprint run was not ‘just the same knife with a color change’. Apparently, the Dodo has been completely re-engineered for this sprint run. This edition uses a blind stop pin and features refinements on the blade’s tang and the ramps for the ball bearing. This sprint Dodo is made to closer tolerances than the first one. The spine of the blade is no longer bead blasted but machined to a nice polish. According to Eric, comparing the first Dodo to this sprint run is good example of the progress the factory in Golden has made over the years.

I have used and carried a Dodo a lot when they first came out, and I still occasionally clip on my blue Dodo. This new sprint run seemed to feel more tightly constructed than the old version, if that makes sense. But I didn’t have my old Dodo to compare the two properly.

Eric did announce a new sprint after this Orange G10. Right now the idea is to make another sprint run with a carbon fiber handle and a ceramic ball. Remember this idea is still long way from production – there was not even a concept model of this proposed idea for a sprint run.


Spyderco Sprint Run Orange Manix 2

January 23, 2011

If you’d like to start collecting each and every variation of the Spyderco Manix 2, then you’re in for a challenge. In its short lifespan of about a year or so, I think about ten variations have been made! Early on I decided that I wasn’t going to try to collect them all, but if I could get my hands on a nice edition, I’d go for it. I succeeded.

I missed out on the blue sprint run Manix 2 and regretted it ever since. Especially because I got my pre-order in on time but too few knives were delivered to that particular dealer. The Cutlery Shoppe sprint run Manix 2 provided me with a second chance. I always wanted to add a large ‘serious’ bright orange folder to my stable of Spydies, but the orange Military was never quite ‘it’ for me, so I jumped at the opportunity to get this orange Manix 2.

This sprint run Manix 2 features quite a few changes from the regular production model: bright (and I do mean bright) orange G10 handle, full flat ground S30V steel blade and fully skeletonized liners. It feels much lighter than my stock SE Manix 2.

Fit and finish are superb on my sample, definitely no complaints there. The action is just right. It´s amazing how they nailed just the right kind of resistance for opening, while maintaining a smooth as glass opening/closing action. It’s smooth, but only if you ´want´ it to open or close. I just got this knife and I look forward to putting this knife through its paces.