Spyderco FB05 Temperance Revisited

April 25, 2020

I recently found some old video from a few years ago, of my Spyderco FB05 Temperance. This is truly a classic Spyderco fixed blade design. I edited the clips together and decided to dig out my Temperance for another round of carry and use during this lockdown.

Looking back on the design, I think the Temperance was part of the so-called ‘tactical kitchen knife genre’ that arose in the late 90s and early 2000s. Internet-famous knife aficionado Joe Talmadge coined the term when he collaborated with knife designer Trace Rinaldi on the TTKK, or Talmadge Tactical Kitchen Knife. I can’t recall, nor seem to find, any detailed explanation on the design philosophy right now. But what I remember is that the compact TTKK was designed for fine cutting and slicing, with a comparatively thin edge supported by a wide full flat grind. The handle was both comfortable in use, but also secure and grippy enough for ‘tactical’ use. A multi-carry kydex sheath rounds out the package for this very sharp and practical fixed blade design. The FB05 seems to follow that design philosophy to a T (emperance?).

Spyderco’s early fixed blades stood out in the market at the time, by offering very practical compact or mid-size designs with relatively thin edges. The FB05 is no exception. This knife really doesn’t differ too much from my kitchen knives, the blade is a bit thicker, but not much. The cutting performance is amazing, definitely on par with my finest Spyderco kitchen knives.

The handle is another story in itself. It is a true 3D-design FRN handle, with divots to facilitate grip changes and a butt cap provides a very secure ‘shelf’ for your thumb. Even after all these years, I think it’s an amazing design. It’s hotspot free and extremely secure for a locked-in grip, but also able to freely change grips. You’d imagine this was some sort of huge computer designed project, right? Wrong. From talking to Sal Glesser about his design, I learned he carved this design from wood. Amazing. I can barely plan out an article from scratch in my mind! I can’t imagine being able to create such a handle design simply by whittling it out of a piece of wood.

Temperance 2
The Temperance 2 is a great design in itself, but it’s bigger and heavier than this classic. And the 2 also doesn’t feature a handle with those (in)famous ‘grip change divots’. Some people might wonder about the handle, and how far the tang goes in the FB05. I understand the tang extends about halfway into the handle. This also contribute to its lack of weight. What I gather from Spyderco, is that they’ve never seen any actual customer problems with this type of tang. Still, customers seem to prefer a more robust ‘appearance’ in a fixed blade. I figure this explains the full tang design for the Temperance 2.

If you’re looking for a compact lightweight fixed blade that is a wonderful cutter and slicer, and not just a steel axe to split wood with, the Temperance is a great design. It’s a true classic and I don’t think we’ll see something like this again.

Read my first review of the FB05 Temperance, or visit SpydieWiki to learn more about the design, background and variations of the Temperance fixed blade. If you like to learn more about the original TTKK design, I suggest checking out this excellent review on zknives.com.

Spyderco 2017 Production Sample – Lil’ Temperance 3

March 11, 2017

One of my favorite Spyderco knives from the time I really started to get into the brand was the Lil’ Temperance. So I was excited to see an updated concept model float by at the various Amsterdam Meets over the past 10 years. Finally, the Lil’ Temperance 3 has made it to production. As a purist I regret to see that the new Lil’ Temp does not sport that 3D handle anymore. However, I now can get a proper left-handed version. The grip and feel is very close to the original. Even if it comes in basic black, this is on the top of my wish list!

Overall Length:  18,3 cm / 7.19  inches
Blade Length: 7,4 cm / 2.90 inches
Blade Thickness: 4 mm / 0.15 inches
Weight: 113 grams / 4 ounces

More practice with the new lightbox

February 11, 2015

I was happy with my results so far, but I wanted to get more practice with the new portable lightbox and set-up for the Amsterdam Meet pictures. It helped to work out some kinks and what to look out for when shooting the photos.















Review: Temperance PE, SE, Black & Drone

April 4, 2006

This is my absolute favorite fixed blade to date. The blade is short enough for a folder enthusias to master quickly. The blade cuts like a razor and looks like a benign kitchen knife. The handle is great for MBC in all basic grips, especially the fashionable pikal grip.

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Sal explained to me that this pikal grip was specifically intended for the Temperance, in case you had to use it when attacked by a wild animal, like a cougar. This animal lover would like to think that staying on the trails and stop infringing on wildlife’s habitat with ever expanding suburbs would be a better solution to that particular problem, but for MBC it’s great. The thumb groove in the handle’s butt is a very functional and innovative feature for a reverse edge out grip.

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The sheath is good, retention excellent, souple release and no rattle. I believe the current sheath design features a retention screw to allow for a slightly tighter fit, which I prefer. At least, that’s the version that came with my drone. In practice, I found the relatively short blade to blend perfectly with my MBC skills with folders. I love it so much that I got all variations that I could lay my hands on. Function-wise, I would like to see the edge dropped a bit, so that it is more functional as a kitchen and camp knife, so you can bring more edge to a surface. But it’s perfectly functional as is. I would love to see a Temperance FB with a 7 inch blade and of thicker stock, to go head-to-head with such popular combat knives like the Becker CU7 and the Chris Reeve Green Beret knife.

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