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Spyderco Kiwi 3

Posted by Bugout Bill 
Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 10:57AM
This is a fairly popular and affordable gentleman's knife from Spyderco, available for about $25 from most retailers.



Some Specs:

length overall 5.625 " (143 mm)
blade length 2.438 " (62 mm)
blade steel 8Cr13MoV

This is the third gen of the knife, with previous versions featuring a back lock design, VG-10 steel, and a variety of handle materials. The current model is considerably simpler, having stainless handles and a slip joint mechanism.

Ergonomics:

One of the positive aspects of the Kiwi is it's very high ergonomic security for a slip joint, with a finger choil serving to ensure that the lock remains open under use. At the same time, the design functionally limits you to a sabre or pinch grip.





The outsides of the handles are rounded, while the insides are unfortunately a bit sharp, as is the spine of the blade. This leads to some irritation in the choil area during extended or heavy use.

General Commentary on Use:

A lot of people enjoy wharncliff blades for utility, this knife is no exception. For a lot of low stress, pedestrian tasks like opening food packages and boxes, the acute tip serves this knife well. Additionally, the tip can also allow the knife to perform strongly at piercing tasks, like splinter removal or lancing skin ailments, as well as doing things like removing lint from a phone speaker. The blade is hollow ground, but somewhat thick stock for a pocket knife. However, many of the aformentioned gentlemanly tasks are more dependent on pure sharpness than cutting performance. Regardless, the grind was flattened on a Norton India Coarse and a convex bevel applied with 200, 400, and 600 grit SiC paper and cardboard.

While this did improve cutting performance, the small wharncliffe blade can prove to be a limitation when doing light food prep or carving work.



For cutting bread, care and multiple cuts are needed for a slice, something that can lead to uneven pieces. On onions, the reground edge offers adequate cutting performance,



For meats and cheeses, a longer blade and more acute stock would have been welcome, but the Kiwi can still prove useful.



For those who care, the sandwich consisted of salami, Cabot Farms white cheddar, onion, and a splash of malt vinegar. It was delicious as well.

Other Comments:

Due to it's high ergonomic security, even under dynamic cutting, the Kiwi has been praised by some youtube commentators as a being one of the few sub-3 inch, non-locking knives suitable for self-defense. While the wharncliff blade can readily slash, you are still limited by an extremely short blade. From testing done on some milk jugs, the end results of an encounter would be ugly, but not necessarily incapacitating or lethal. Individuals like James Keating have discussed the value of these sorts of knives for inflicting bloody "honor wounds", the value of something like the Kiwi in stopping a dedicated attacker is questionable.

Conclusions:

The Kiwi is a nice, non-threatening little pocket knife that is generally legal anywhere. Many non-knife people tend to appreciate the aesthetics as cute or interesting. While useful for a lot of daily tasks, I prefer a bit more belly and length in pocket knives due to their additional utility in food prep and heavier work.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 11:09AM
Nice review and nice little knife Bill. Congratz.

Seems like a good knife to pair up with a small fixed blade that you could do some prying with. The Kiwi 3 would give you quick, easy access, cutting and the fixed blade can be busted out when heavier work needs to be done.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 11:16AM
Chum: Thanks.

I generally pair the Kiwi with my Spyderco SE Delica as my "minimal knife loadout", that gives a pretty wide variety of capability.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 12:50PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have been close to ordering a Kiwi a few times, but haven't actually handled one. The only wharncliff blade I have currently is a Centofante 4. Only had it out a few times so far, so I don't really have a strong opinion either way on the blade shape yet.

Do you have an idea of where the edge geometry is on that Kiwi after flattening?

-Nate
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 01:18PM
Nate: 13 thou behind the edge.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 02:52PM
Thanks, was just curious.

The Cento 4 I have is at 0.017" with the factory grind, which is thinner than most of the Spyders I have.

-Nate
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 05:33PM
Nice write up. Would you prefer frn or other lighter handle material? Ever use the Spydie Air?
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 21, 2015 05:37PM
Chad: Never used the Air, always been interested, but never handled one. The proud liners kind of turn me off of it.

I really don't mind the weight or choice of handle material, other than the fact that it doesn't really have a whole lot of aesthetic flair.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
June 23, 2015 05:02PM
Yep, the proud liners were a deal killer for me too.
Re: Spyderco Kiwi 3
July 21, 2015 12:11AM
Uhg. I am so tired of having to be worried about what non-knife people think, or if the sheeple get scared. As long as it's legal(don't get me started on the stupidity of knife laws), and you are being a responsible adult, why should we have to put up others ignorance? In the early '90's, my EDC and work knife, and I dealt with the public, was a 4" Mirror polished Benchmade Balisong. Nobody said a thing. Now if I use a SAK SD/Classic to clean my nails, people give me weird looks, and ask me why I feel that I 'need' to carry it. Why do we put up with this nonsense?!?
Nice review, awesome knife.
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