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Spyderco Military: One Year In Review

Posted by Bugout Bill 
Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 07, 2014 11:54AM
video: [www.youtube.com]

In my opinion, one of the best folders made by Spyderco, due to it's high ergonomics and versatile design, but is generally outclassed in terms of raw cutting ability by the Gayle Bradley, at least with its stock geometry. I still carry it frequently and it continues to serve me well.

Some additional things not covered in the video:

Ergonomics

-Very comfortable knife with high ergonomic security, even when wet or wearing gloves.

-Although the choil is very functional, it could be a bit deeper.

-With the removal of the backspacer, the hand has a tendency to fill into the back of the handle, which may be uncomfortable for some.

Cutting Ability

-Better than most tactical folders, but comparable to a stock Tenacious.

-Next to no chopping ability due to weight, but the length of the handle does allow for easy clearing of light brush and grasses.

General Comments

-Well liked by all who handled it, mostly due to its comfort.

-No issues with corrosion, knife was regularly exposed to water and mud and put away wet.

-Fine tip and low toughness steel may make it unsuitable for "hard use" applications.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 07, 2014 09:33PM
Cliff keeps mentioning lock issues, but I can't find specifics. What is the problem with the lock?

I don't know, I like the knife but on paper it seems lacking. It's big but you can't chop or pry with it. Looks like a good picnic knife I suppose, but the handle is canted downward and will probably get in the way for food prep. Lock issues would keep me away from wanting to use it for defense. I'm sure it would scare some people if you deploy it in front of them.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 07, 2014 09:56PM
Chum: The most common lock issue I have seen was the lock releasing under white knuckling or having almost 90% lockup. My particular example has had no problems with either, and I feel that both issues would have emerged by now.

In regards to food prep, a normal sabre grip (what you natural fall into with this knife) will keep the handle and your knuckles off a cutting board or plate.

As a defensive knife, it isn't meant for stabbing. The grip shape and blade angle lend themselves very well to slashing, something that won't put nearly as much stress on the lock, not to mention that the long blade and handle give a bit more reach. If the user has some rudimentary knowledge in how to use a knife defensively, I would see no reason why this knife would meet their needs.

However, it is a utility tool first and foremost, and is really designed as big only to get maximum user comfort and utility while wearing gloves, although it is one of the nicer folding knives for light brush and grass clearing.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 07, 2014 11:57PM
I carried one of the early models in 440V when I was a LEO. I agree with your comments, large but thin handle made the knife comfortable in use and easy to carry, the blade mass and big hole made it very fast opening. I would have preferred tip up carry, but that is personal preference. The blade shape makes it a good slicer, especially for a tactical knife. Paired with a multi-tool, I think it is a great knife for military and law enforcement, and what I would buy again if recalled to duty. But,I do think the price point is high for the average public servant and the tip a bit fine for the more heavy handed ones. Thanks for the review Bill.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 08, 2014 12:56AM
Really liked reading your thoughts on the Military.

I have used mine for more than a year now and it remains one of my favorites. It has become an incredibly smooth folder. Think it is due to the amount of use opening and closing while I was working on rigs.

Some pictures from my side:







Chum

I have also experienced no issues with the lock.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 09, 2014 04:39PM
That edge sure looks like it is ready to cut. I could never keep an angle that even free hand. Query- do you prefer sharpening a really wide edge bevel and leaving the primary grind stock over planing down the primary grind and only using a small edge bevel?
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 09, 2014 05:25PM
Chad: Planing down the primary on the Military would not be a pleasant process without a belt sander.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 12:11AM
Quote
Bugout Bill
Chad: Planing down the primary on the Military would not be a pleasant process without a belt sander.

I would agree with that. If it gets to a point where I feel like thinning out the primary I will send it to a local maker that I trust. I am contimplating it as of late.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 05:50AM
To consider, it would take approximately 30 minutes of grinding on a decent stone to true-flat that military. If you spent 5 minutes per day, every other day, it would be done in less than 2 weeks.

Not saying you should not have it reground, your money/time, your decision - just making a note that it isn't as intensive a project as it may seem.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 05:56AM
What would you call a decent stone for a project like that
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 06:55AM
S30V and under don't require SPS-II, any low grit decent stone, 200 or less. The garden stone I recently described would chew through that with trivial effort.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 07:29AM
Cliff: Why would it take such little effort compared to regrinding another knife? Less material to remove?

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 08:07AM
It isn't, any knife can be reground in about that time, give or take the steel grindability. I do that on a regular basis. It doesn't even take me into the second act of a decent b-movie.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 08:13AM
Cliff: Is this only on an FFG blade?

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 08:50AM
It would be much faster it it was hollow. It is problematic if you are not experienced with a convex grind with a heavy secondary as you have to work the right places. That is one of Wako's main problems, he doesn't approach it in a sensible manner and takes literally hours to do it because he is doing a lot of unnecessary work.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 10:37AM
Cliff: I'm afraid I don't quite follow.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 11:02AM
In what part.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 11:07AM
How exactly would one thin out a heavy secondary on a convex using a flat stone?

(I'm not very well versed in sharpening convex knives other than microbeveling)

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 11:39AM
Bill,

-cut off the apex by cutting into a stone so it strongly reflects light
-decide on the apex angle required, grind at that angle as a flat grind until it apexes
-as required blend the transition point of the apex into the main bevel

If you are not using a tru-flat stone, set step two at least 1-2 dps below the required end point. That is to say if you want the final edge angle to be 10 dps, grind at 8 dps. Any stone which will wear will develop enough of a hollow to make that extra 2 dps.

This has to be judged based on the stone and the users ability to keep the stone flat in use, however no one is going to be able to get it less than 1-2 dps even on very hard waterstones as they all will wear unevenly to that extent no matter how fancy you will be on patterns on the stone to distribute wear.

The third step people this is difficult but it is extremely simple. Just rotate the blade back slightly, decreasing the edge angle so that it is inbetween the apex angle and the primary angle. Grind on the stone and watch the transition point disappear.

What Wako does is the process in reverse which makes no sense because you can't tell when you have ground the primary enough to allow the removal of the transition point because you have not formed it yet.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 12:59PM
Cliff: Ok, makes sense.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
April 10, 2014 06:52PM
As Cliff and others have pointed out in numerous past posts, while there may be some time in planing down the primary grind, you should should also factor in the much faster sharpening time and ease if sharpening small edge bevels. There is just much less metal to remove touching up the edge. Of course, I imagine with a wide edge bevel, you could add a microbevel for the same benefit.

Also, I understand that some people (me) mangle the finish on their regrinds. Others with far more talent can improve the appearance of the blade.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 22, 2014 03:34PM
A brief update:

I am back to my summer job, so the Military is back in it's natural habitat. For the two days I have been working, the Military has seen use in cutting thin plastic and straw matting, suffering occasional impacts and abrasions with concrete and steel, as well as being used to at landscaping duties. So far, it has held up very well. A few things have once again become evident, like its utter lack of chopping ability, but the thin tip and exceptional ergos with gloves make it easy to pair apart a thick weed.

The knife currently has a slightly convex edge at between 12-15 degrees per side and was sharpened to a 1200 grit DMT finish, before being stropped lightly on chromium oxide impregnated cardboard. Over the course these two days worth of work, the edge sustained two very small chips, as well as extensive blunting near the tip from weeding a few plants. As the entire edge was not dull, the blunted portion was touched up with a 600 grit DMT pocket hone after cleaning. Using a roughly 20 degree microbevel, the blunted portion was then sharpened after 5 strokes per side on the stone, followed by 15 light strokes to apex. It was then stropped lightly on my pant leg using 5 passes per side, followed by 5 alternating strokes. This process was actually quite impressive, and I look forward to using it in the future.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 05:04AM
Quote
Bugout Bill

... the thin tip and exceptional ergos with gloves make it easy to pair apart a thick weed.

I have long favored the Military for similar reasons.

--

Given how harsh some of that work is, I would be curious how a steel such as BD1 would work.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 07:01AM
Cliff: I am unfamiliar with BD1, other than the fact that it is a lower carbide steel that spyderco uses. I have used 154CM for similar work with good results, albeit it was run with heavy edge angles and moderate hardness.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 10:21AM
Yes, the reason I was asking is that Old Spice used a high carbide steel blade for similar work (ZDP-189) and did not find significant improvement. The issue is one of damage when doing that kind of work so I would be curious how common his perspective holds.
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 10:50AM
Cliff: It is unfortunate that I haven't done any of this work with a low carbide stainless steel blade. I have done this same work with a Glock Field Knife in some sort of carbon steel. The only real advantages I can see over that is corrosion resistance and less chipping, although the Military just barely had cutting ability at the end of work.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2014 10:51AM by Bugout Bill.
cKc
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 02:21PM
Quote
Bugout Bill
Cliff: It is unfortunate that I haven't done any of this work with a low carbide stainless steel blade..

you need to get hold of a 14c28n or AEBL knife to try on similar work.

I'm not sure if any of mine are in passaround, or available. I've sent a few specimens to Cliff, but they could be too short for that kind of work.

one of the Mule Patterns in AEBL would be a very good comparison to the military, except for being a fixed blade

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[data.gearbastion.com]
KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 23, 2014 02:40PM
Kyley: I do actually have a Kershaw Butterfly knife in 14C28N. I might need to carry it more.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
cKc
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 24, 2014 08:23PM
From what I have heard their heat treat is not indicitave of what you should expect from the steel

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[data.gearbastion.com]
KnivesAndStuff (YoutTube)
Re: Spyderco Military: One Year In Review
May 24, 2014 08:31PM
Quote
cKc
From what I have heard their heat treat is not indicitave of what you should expect from the steel

I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case, Kai has a reputation for running their steels softer than some other makers (among other things). Still, they seem to be the only production company using it, and I haven't seen any real reports of disappointing performance from their 14C28N, unlike elmax, 13C28, or SGPS.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
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