These Spyderco classics get a facelift!
By Dexter Ewing, KnifeCenter Product Reviewer
| The Endura, Delica, and Rescue models have long been cornerstones of the Spyderco line. So many people have purchased these lightweight knives for one thing - honest to goodness work! That's what these knives are designed for. The lightweight nature makes them very comfortable to tote around on a daily basis, the clip makes it easy to have by your side, and the opening holes provide ease of blade manipulation. These three knives rank at the top of many people's lists for tough knives that do not cost a fortune. In this evaluation the focus will be on the improvements that were made to update these Spyderco classics, and how these new versions are a "cut" above the previous designs.
ENDURA SP10 and DELICA SP11
These two received a facelift in the sense that the handles were slightly redesigned to fit the user's hand better and to promote a more secure grip. Spyderco flared the butt ends of the handles, to give the user a bit more to grab on to when in a tight grip. This sort of "locks" the knife in the grip. Another noticeable feature is the more pronounced Volcano Grip- traction pattern and the same pattern appears on both sides of the handle. I like this new texture - makes the knife stick to the hand better, but at the same time, it maybe too aggressive on your pants if you clip and unclip the knife a lot. It has the possibility of working like fine grit sandpaper, but I guess that is the trade off if people desire a thermoplastic handled knife to be quite "grippy".
The main reason for placing texturing on both sides of the handle is because of the reversible pocket clip. I applaud Spyderco for adding steel clips to these knives, and finally getting rid of those molded in clips of the older models. The newer clip can be switched from either side to accommodate both lefts handed AND right handed users! This is a definite plus here in my book! The specially designed lanyard hole screw firmly secures the clip to the handle. The clip is easy to switch - all you need is a coin (preferably a quarter, for its bigger diameter). On top of all this, the user can easily replace the clip, should it get deformed to the point where it is deemed irreparable. All the user has to do is obtain a new one from Spyderco and perform the switch themselves.
In the blade department, Spyderco is phasing in ATS-55 for its core knives, which includes these four knives. This steel is the first steel used for knives that was specifically engineered for knives, and not adapted for use with knives like other steels are (not that there is any problems with that!) ATS-55 behaves very much like ATS-34 but is easier to resharpen and costs a bit less too. So: high performance at a very reasonable price point.
In essence, Spyderco has taken two great knives and made them even better by tweaking the handle and switching to a higher performance blade steel. The new generation of the Endura and Delica models is sure to sell just as good, or maybe even better than the previous versions have, and possibly turn more people on to the world of Spyderco.
The Rescue model also went the way of the Endura and Delica models in the sense that the blade steel was upgraded to ATS-55, a pronounced handle texturing (as well as texturing on both sides), reversible steel pocket clip, and a more ergonomic handle shape. Also, they also did away with the teardrop shaped vent too. Speaking of the handle: part of it and the blade together form a comfortable finger choil when the knife is opened. This promotes a more secure grip for precise cuts. The Rescue -98's handle is a vast improvement over the original Rescue's handle. The user's hand feels more secure and more in control because of the finger choil. Simply, the handle's shape is more conducive (than the previous Rescue version) to the user's grip because of the added curves here and there. Also worthy of note, Spyderco also increased the width of the sheepsfoot blade. This is done to beef up the blade to increase lateral strength. Spyderco did good again in updating this classic!
STANDARD SP05G, SP05GS
This is your basic Spyderco model. Stripped, no frills at all. The Standard model is just one lean folder of a relatively compact size - suitable for daily carry to tackle all sorts of utility tasks. For years, this knife has been offered with a stainless steel handle. For '98, Spyderco has updated this model to have not only the ATS-55 blade steel, but is now is offered with textured G-10 scales. Prior to examining the Standard for the first time, I was not sure if I would like this design, as I am more used to bigger knives like the Endura and Military models. But from the first time I wrapped my hand around the Standard's handle, I instantly took to this knife. The curved shaped fits the grip to a tee. The relatively short modified clip point blade is just long enough to handle small and big tasks alike, and the serrated model exaggerates this fact by giving this Spyder more "bite". The handle is constructed with two G-10 slabs, firmly riveted together along with a stainless steel handle spacer. A steel lanyard tube rounds out the overall appearance. One thing that I noticed immediately was the use of a full stainless steel liner on this knife. I thought to myself "why would they use a metal liner in a lockback knife?" Upon examining the handle closer, I think I have found the answer. The metal liner has the threaded holes for the clip's screws. Reason: Without the metal liner, the G-10 material would just strip out if the clip's screws were to be driven in. Thus, the metal liner provides a secure clip anchor and no doubt boosts the handle's lateral rigidity. Another improvement to the SP05, is an adjustable pivot. This way, the action of each knife can be dialed in prior to leaving the factory. This also makes the Standard's action to be quite slick for a lockback knife, making it very easy to open and close the blade. But the way the clip is attached blocks all access to the hex head screw. This is also good in the sense that the clip prevents any movement of the pivot screw so the pivot will not loosen over time and hard use. The Standard is a comfortable sized folder, good for general cutting tasks around the home or the office.
After many years of manufacturing and marketing these 4 classic working folders, Spyderco felt that it was time for an update in these designs. Their appearances probably got a little "stale". And so, out with the old and in with the new. After having an opportunity to examine and "road test" these new updated versions, I honestly can say that Spyderco is right on the money. Spyderco still retains the relatively low price tag for these models, but improves on the performance and appearance of these knives by doing those little changes here and there. Who said that little things can't make a difference?
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