Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Impressions: Spyderco Caly3 CF ZDP-189/420J2

So my early birthday present from my fiance came in a few days ago, she got it off Amazon for $105 + free shipping (The price has since gone up to $117 but still with free shipping). As this is my first Spyderco I was wondering what to expect, the local gun shop had a Sage 1 CF and I was thinking the Caly3 would have the same textured carbon fiber, but sadly it does not. That is probably my biggest complaint about the knife (And it's purely a matter of opinion, the carbon on the Caly3 is AWESOME, just sanded smooth). Ok, with that out of the way, I want to address the bad:
 1. Blade upper (420J2 Steel) scratches easily, very soft steel.

ok, that was easy. Seriously, I can't find much to dislike about this knife. The steel is amazing, cuts through anything with ease; paper, cardboard, wood, rubber, plastic... anything. The fit and finish is incredible as well, absolutely no "wiggle" anywhere, the lockup is smooth and strong yet easy to open, and there were no blemishes on the knife until I dropped it on a tile floor (blade got a scratch on it).
Steel: Awesome, cuts through anything with ease. You could probably cut your finger off without needing much force, this knife will not shave hair off, hair jumps off by itself at the mention of it. I love the idea behind the laminated steel, a hard steel up front with a soft steel for support like true Japanese swords are made.

Scales: Beautiful fit and finish, I see no blemishes in it and the weave looks good. the milled edges are smooth yet still show the pattern of the carbon. The knife looks black from a distance but once viewed up close you can tell and it just looks great.
That's my Fiance's hand, not mine.

Clip: This was one part I was really surprised at, the wire clips I am used to are cheap and weak ones so I was not sure if I was going to remove it or not. I am happy to say I like it, the clip is very strong and extremely simple, yet elegant. Very understated.

Fit and Finish: Perfect, no wiggle, everything matches, and there were no blemishes when I received it.

Ergonomics: Awesome, Spyderco has some seriously good ergo's with their designs. The thumb ramp and finger choil work great together for a "slicing grip" and a "stabbing grip" very comfortably knife.

To be honest, I found out about this deal from Every Day Commenttary in his $500 Max Gear Recommendations post. I'm glad I (my fiance) jumped on it as it looks to be getting phased out, and while I have no doubt the next replacement will be a great knife, I like mine. This is a knife I could (and if I don't lose it first, will) pass down to my kids/grandkids or even further.
The only things I would change about this knife are purely personal opinion, the textured carbon fiber scales on the Sage I Carbon Fiber are THE best scales I have ever held, grippy, attractive, and they feel great in the hand, the other would be a Titanium wire clip, and that is honestly just for the wow factor, I'm sure the steel clip has benefits over titanium anyways.

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