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Thread: Byrd Cara Cara Rescue

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    Byrd Cara Cara Rescue

    Posted at bladeforums as well:

    About 12 weeks ago Sal Glesser sent me a Byrd Cara Cara Rescue to try out and use on the boat. Since then I have made 2 trips on the tug with it, using it as my only knife, and 2 3 week periods at home, travelling, and vacation back in Massachusetts.

    I had him ship the knife to my Mass address because I was leaving for a trip on the tug and going east when I got leave. My brother recieved it the day before I got to Massachusetts and it was waiting for me when I got into town. Thanks for the opportunity to try this out Sal.

    I was going to write a review of this knife after some use but instead decided to use it as my EDC and do a write up after some long term use at home and at work.

    Here are the specs from the spyderco site:

    length overall 8 3/4" (222mm)
    blade length 4" (100mm)
    blade steel 8CR13MOV
    length closed 4 27/32" (123mm)
    cutting edge 3 3/8" (86mm)
    weight 3.7oz (104g)
    hole diameter 15/32" (12mm)
    blade thickness 1/8" (3mm)
    handle material FRN


    The fit and finish was superb. The knife is screw constructed with FRN handles and steel liners. It is a heftier, more balanced knife than either the Spyderco Rescue or the Atlantic Salt. It has a more solid feel to it. The lockup was secure and the blade tang and lock bar were flush. It is a bit larger than the Rescue and Atlantic. My main interest in this knife though was the serrations. They are shallower and less toothy than the serrations found on newer spyderco knives. They are reminiscent of the serrations on the older models, similar to my Executive or Harpy. The knife was hair shaving sharp out of the box.

    My only problem with the knife was when it was new it was extremely difficult to clip to the pocket or remove when it was carried clipped. The handle texture is very aggressive. Slippage with wet or slimy hands was not a problem. I did find myself having to wrench it out of my pocket at first and this led to the clip screws loosening and the clip itself developing some side to side play. A small phillips screwdriver fixed this. I don't know if the clip has broken in over time or the FRN beneath it is smoother now with use but it is much easier to clip and draw from even the heavy work pants that are part of my work uniform.

    I took the knife cod fishing with my father and brother the first week I had it and used it to cut bait. I cut monofilament line easily, even with the serrated blade, due to their less agressive edge. I like how this knife has about an eight of an inch of plain edge at the tip, making controlled cuts with the sheepsfoot blade much easier than with any of the Spyderco serrated sheepsfoot knives. The teeth on most of those (and all of the one's I've handled) extend to the tip giving the impression that the tip of the blade is broken off.

    After my 3 weeks off I went back to work on the tug and used this knife for everything that a deckhand on a towboat would use a knife for. I did not abuse it. I did some light prying, cut pine shingles for plugging barge leaks, cut small 3/8 and 1/2 inch nylon line, 1 1/4 inch polypropylene and 1 1/4 inch trash lines (leaving line) and 2 inch poly/dacron and poly/nylon lock lines, plastic bottles, and twine that bound the heavy steel wire rigging in coils.

    In my opinion Spyderco's Byrd factory has improved the heat treat of 8CR13MOV. Compared to the Raven I used 3 or 4 years ago, the edge retention of the Cara Cara Rescue is superb. I went 3 weeks of mundane use on leave and over a week of hard use on the tug before I had to sharpen the knife. Even now, I have not had to give it more than 20 or so passes on the white sharpmaker stones to get it hair shaving sharp again. It did strike the steel 1 inch wire rigging and get some dings in the first large serration and the fine tip was bent. They did not sharpen out but are straightening with each successive sharpening. 8CR13MOV appears to deform rather than chip when contacting a hard surface. With my older Byrd, the Raven, the edge would chip. All in all, this newer Byrd seemed to have a much better quality blade than the than the older one.

    It has been wet from seawater, river water, rain and sweat and I have yet to see a spot of rust on the blade, in the hole, or on the liners. I don't do much maintenance to this knife except for wiping it off on my pants after using it.

    I would like to see this serration style on some of Spyderco's models. The shallower, less pointy teeth are smooth cutters, making hanging up in fibrous or stranded material a non issue and leaving a smooth, not frayed or jagged cut. The comet opening hole is not my favorite either. I prefer the more aesthetically pleasing round hole, a. because it is smaller, and b. because my thumb tends to hook in the comet's tail occasionally. If this knife had a round hole it would be the perfect knife for me at work.

    Here are some pix from the first trip I used the knife on. Enjoy.

    Cutting Polypropylene leaving line from a coil for splicing:





    Cutting 2 inch lock line to repair a stranded end with a new eye splice:





    Cutting "Trash" or "Scrap" line to repair a splice:







    A few of my crew mates expressed an interest in getting some Cara Cara Rescues so I told them I would order a few and take them with me on my next hitch on the towboat. After seeing it and using it there may be a few more Spyderco converts on the river.

    Pete

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ChapmanPreferred's Avatar
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    Nice review.
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  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Thanks for the great review. I'm especially glad to hear the review on how the steel handles. You answered all my reservations towards it.

    Let me ask you, do you think the comet hole would be improved if it were reversed, i.e., if the tail pointed towards the handle? It seems to me it would perform more like the classic spyderhole that way.

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Seanski's Avatar
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    thanks for the review. it's always nice to see knives in action no matter where. this was a great matchup!

    sean
    Use your blades in the kitchen, it's great bonding time!

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jujigatame's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the review and pics. This one is on my list to try.
    ~ Nate

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ghostrider's Avatar
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    Great review. Keep us posted on the resistance to rust. I seem to remember that being an issue with the Raven you tested. I've also noticed that my byrds don't seem to have a problem with pitting that I've had with VG-10 or AUS-8, so I find your results interesting.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by phaust View Post
    Thanks for the great review. I'm especially glad to hear the review on how the steel handles. You answered all my reservations towards it.

    Let me ask you, do you think the comet hole would be improved if it were reversed, i.e., if the tail pointed towards the handle? It seems to me it would perform more like the classic spyderhole that way.
    No way the comet should be turned around/reversed. If it were that way, the tail of the comet would pinch the thumb during opening. I've actually come to like the comet since it allows my thumb to get a deeper purchase in the opening hole for a more positive opening.
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  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    I find that 8CR13MOV, at least in the CCR, is superior as a working steel than many others. It holds it's edge for a good amount of time while cutting hard and sometimes abrasive media, deforms rather than chips, is easily touched up or resharpened, and is extremely rust resistant.

    I got the chance to handle a VG-10 79mm Rescue and an ATS-55 93mm Rescue while I was on this trip and my first impression was that the Byrd was a superior knife to either of them. It has full steel liners, better serrations, better balance and a more solid feel. I have a Meadowlark Rescue that Sal sent as well. I may pick up a Rescue and Rescue Jr and test them side by side.

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    Well it has been the greater part of a year that I have carried and used the Cara Cara Rescue almost exclusively. Part of that is because I bought a lobster boat and have not been able to afford any more knives. The CCR gets a workout on the boat though. The lockup is still rock-solid and the knife still opens smoothly, even after exposure to sea water and all manner of sand and grime. I have not been very religious in cleaning the knife and rust spots showed up on the clip and blade after salt water exposure. They were gone after cutting more rope. I have only recently started sharpening the knife on the grey sharpmaker stones. For most of the year the edge only needed touch-ups on the fine stones. The sand-impregnated rope on my lobster gear took its toll though. Even so, 40 swipes on the grey stones and 40 on the white got it razor sharp again.

    I have scraped and pried heavy duty staples with this knife, used it to trim hardened epoxied dynel sheets when fiberglassing my deck, cut fuel and exhaust hose and generally used this knife in a manner inconsistent with normal knife usage. The clip developed some play yesterday while I was cutting lines to splice. Most likely the screws backed off but I haven't gotten around to tighten it yet.

    All in all this is a workhorse of a knife and it still performs above my expectations for a 30 dollar knife. The serrations still cut superbly even when dull and cut like a super plain edge when sharp. I have grown used to the comet hole after all this time although my preference is still for a round hole.

    The FRN pattern is extremely secure, even with wet and slime-covered hands.

    Sal had sent a Meadowlark Rescue along with the Cara Cara Rescue and I have been letting my girlfriend carry it on the boat but she prefers the serrated first generation Delica she used to carry. I will have to see if I still have it and dig it out. She does not like the sheepsfoot blade. She says it is not comfortable to carry clipped to her pocket with the wider blade profile. Girls' jeans were not meant for knife carry though I don't think but I want her to have a good sharp knife for emergencies on the boat.

    I don't know when I will be able to afford another knife so I have a feeling this CCR is going to get worked to death lobstering. Disposable funds are non-existant right now but I have a feeling that this is all the knife I am going to need. It has met and surpassed all of my expectations and every challenge I have thrown at it.

    Thanks Sal and Co.

    Pete

  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User araneae's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update and long term review!
    So many knives, so few pockets...
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  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ChapmanPreferred's Avatar
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    Any chance we could see a picture of the knife?
    SFO Alumni/Authorized Spyderco Dealer (Startup)
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  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    I am between apartments and cameras right now. I will try to take a few when I get a chance and post them here.

  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    What a terrific review! Thanks much.

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    Final update:

    Lost the Cara Cara Rescue overboard setting back a trawl of lobster traps. I finally found something the knife could not take- operator error...

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ryanandty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete1977 View Post
    Final update:

    Lost the Cara Cara Rescue overboard setting back a trawl of lobster traps. I finally found something the knife could not take- operator error...
    Dude! No bueno!! That would bum me out big time for about ten minutes, then I'd get another It was this excellent review that turned me on to the Byrd rescue knives.

    Great work.
    Salty!

    Big fan of the Byrd SE's!

  15. #15
    Spyderco Forum Registered User ChapmanPreferred's Avatar
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    Are you going to replace the byrd Cara Cara Rescue SE? Just curious.
    SFO Alumni/Authorized Spyderco Dealer (Startup)
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  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Donut's Avatar
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    That's terrible. Did you ever order more for the other people who wanted some?

    I have one and I used to keep it in my car's door until I got my assist. I never really gave it the respect it deserves. I noticed the shallow serrations, I just never thought they were superior.
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