Pros: Blade Sharpness, Pocket Clip, Weight, Blade Material, None
Cons: Handle Feel, Lock Ease of Use, Ease of Opening
Great blade; mediocre handle and build
I saw the sale price on this knife and decided to take a flyer. Looking at the brand and specs I thought I would be getting an absolute steal buying it at $90. I don't think it quite lives up to those expectations, but it is a pretty good knife and I think it is worth it at the sale price. Here are my first impressions (again, I just got it so grain of salt and all that):The Good:Really interesting overall design. If you took a "standard" flipper and shrunk everything (blade, handle, liner lock, flipper, etc.) down just slightly you would have this knife. It's very functional but overall it definitely feels smaller and more lightly built than what I'm used to in a flipper (mostly ZTs, so maybe that explains it). The blade geometry, grind, and edge on this knife are all 10/10 for me. This is definitely a razor, but a slicer-only and not a hard-use working knife - but that is what I was looking for so no knock there. It's low weight and, for a Spyderco, it rides fairly low in the pocket. I like Spyderco's wire clip and it is a good fit for the overall size and weight of this knife. The S35VN is the right choice of steel on this one too - durable but easy enough to sharpen up well too. Overall a very handy, small-ish, edc flipper with a GREAT blade.The Bad: Very heavy and gritty pivot (hopefully it will break in). Deployment is notably choppy. For a flipper, that's a significant flaw in my book. The other very noticeable flaw is the poor handle finish. It's great material and the orange is actually quite attractive in person, but there tons of squared edges that could have easily been rounded and there is a sharp point at the butt end that is completely inexplicable. Lastly, the liner-lock is impossible. I don't think this knife will ever be safe close one-handed...it's no picnic 2-handed right now either (again, hopefully it breaks in some).Bottom Line: This really is a good small knife. Good - not great. At the $89.95 closeout price, I am happy with the purchase. The blade is great all the way around and I really like the shrunken down ascetic to the knife - it's unique and functional. That said, the knife's execution definitely does not justify the original price - which was surprising to me with it being a Spyderco. The handle ergonomics, finish, and build quality are just not up to their normal level. But at the sale price it's worth it overall to me and I would still recommend it to someone looking for a smaller edc and who wants it to be a flipper. FWIW, my ordinary light and small-ish edc is a Benchmade 531. I actually think I like the blade geo of this knife a little more but, overall, I don't see this making its way into my pocket as often.