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Thread: Some heavy left-handed Military content!

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User spoonrobot's Avatar
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    Some heavy left-handed Military content!

    Part of the reason I own any Spyderco knives at all is because of their general ambidexterity. When I first entered into the hobby about 5 years ago the vast majority of folding knives where set-up exclusively for right-handed users. Thumbstuds, lock mechanisms and pocket clips were mounted on the wrong side, requiring some interesting workarounds. My first few knives were liner-locks and I adapted to this by carrying the knife on my right side; I would draw and open the knife right handed and then transfer the knife to my left hand to make the cut. After finishing the cut I would transfer back to my right hand to close the knife and return the knife to my pocket. This worked fine in casual use but once I got a job and found it necessary to use my knife in less than ideal conditions I found it to be clumsy, slow and somewhat dangerous. Dropped knives and nicked fingertips became the norm for a short time before I gave in and bought one of those ugly knives with the hole in the blade that looked like it could be adapted to my use; a Pacific Salt.

    The first time I reversed the clip and slid the knife onto the lip of my left pocket I knew this was right way and began the slow liquidation of all those improperly designed liner-locks. Learning to effectively close the lockback with a fast rotation of the knife, pressure of the thumb to depress the lockbar and a quick flick of the wrist to get the blade closing was a joy. My knife use became a high-speed blur, I was able to work more efficiently and much safer than before.

    Fast forward a few years and 4-way clips, ambidextrous thumbstuds and non-handed locks are common. The left-handed user now has access to much greater variety in design and is seldom forced to settle for right-handed only knives.

    I’ll admit that I have owned a regular Military in the past. It stayed in my possession for mere days before I sold it off. Although it was well made I could not adapt to it, the clip and lock were just too hostile. Fumbling with it I found myself remembering all those times I had dropped my right-handed knife trying in vain to make it work for me.

    Picking up this left-handed Military I feel I finally understand the design. How it’s based around being light, strong and easy to use with gloves. It’s no longer a model that doesn’t interest me. I went back and reread the section on the knife in the Spyderco Story and have spent a few hours reading reviews and studying the design on-line. It feels like I’ve joined a small subculture that I couldn’t get into before.

    So, an enormous thank you to the crew at Spyderco for producing this model!



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I’ve included a write-up that I plan to post elsewhere. It gives a detailed look at what constitutes a good folding knife.

    So you need a pocket knife? You may ask, what details should I look for? That is, what makes a good one, a good one?

    We’ll take the Spyderco Military as our example of a “good knife.”



    Let’s begin with the blade. It’s four inches long and features a full-flat grind; the blade is one continuous angle from the spine to where the edge begins. The cross-section would be like a long, skinny triangle. There are different grinds for different purposes but for general use the full flat is a very good choice. It allows generous cutting ability with reasonable durability and strength. The steel used is S30V, it’s a premium stainless steel that provides good sharpness and edge life.


    In addition to the grind the blade also has a distal taper; it gets thinner as you move from near the pivot at the rear, to the tip at the front. Why? Several reasons, among them balance considerations, piercing ability and the ability to accomplish fine detail work with the tip.


    Fine detail work with a nine inch knife?!

    Sure, a knife should be able to perform many tasks. Details of the blade are one way to judge the ability of a knife, as are those of the handle. The blade and the handle of the Military blend into one another. A solid grip can be accomplished by using just the handle.

    Which is composed of a material called G10. It’s a woven fiber-glass epoxy impregnated material that has very useful characteristics. If you touch it you’ll notice that it feels slightly abrasive, this makes it an excellent for when hands are sweaty and allows a solid grip under many different circumstances.

    If you take a peek between the handles you’ll see the nested liners. The G10 is actually milled out in these areas and steel liners are inserted, allowing the knife to stay fairly thin while still maintaining respectable rigidity.


    Why the little hump in the rear of the handle? Looks like the knife could be a lot shorter without it.

    Remember that this knife was designed to be used with gloves on. The length allows a full, secure grip even when using thick work gloves. Say you were using the knife and it became wedged or stuck, that hump also gives purchase to better help you get it out and back into action.

    So you can use the handle, but you can also move the hand up onto the short section of blade behind the edge for more control. This depression is referred to as a choil. It’s definition is a little fuzzy but you can generally expect to see it as a round depression suitable for choked up gripping.


    Those little lines are to give your finger security and make sure it doesn’t slide around.


    You’ll see them called “jimping” and they’re up top behind the Spyderhole as well.
    Last edited by spoonrobot; 10-11-2009 at 01:53 AM. Reason: late night typos!

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User spoonrobot's Avatar
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    The rest of the piece:

    The choil also keeps you from smacking your thumb while closing the blade quickly.


    The Military has a liner-lock, a thin leaf spring holds the knife open and when this is pressed to the side allows the blade to close. It has it’s own jimping to allow closing under those less than ideal conditions we talked about earlier.



    That liner doesn’t look very thick, how do I know it’s safe?

    In checking a liner-lock you always want to look for movement of the lockbar when applying pressure to the blade. Very carefully grip the back of the blade, keep the fingers out of the way of the edge, should it close, and try to wiggle the blade. You shouldn’t be able to do get very much movement of the blade and no movement of the lockbar. Spyderco uses a radiused lockface on the end of the knife that allows for secure engagement and accepts wear of the contact surfaces without loss of security.



    That’s a pretty ugly pocket clip

    Well, that’s been said before. It may not be appealing to your eye but it is perfectly functional. Short enough to give good purchase on the pocket but long enough to allow easy insertion and withdrawl.



    Whoa! If I put it in my pocket a huge chunk sticks out.



    We keep going back to wearing gloves, this is another one of those times. The knife sticks out enough to be easy to grasp and remove with gloves on. A quick rotation and the thumb comes to rest on the Spyderhole, ready for action.



    So here we are, the Spyderco Military. A knife designed around a specific purpose that shares many of the features one should look for in any good pocket knife. You’re the only one that can evaluate what you want and need from a pocket knife so look at the designs that interest you with a critical eye and awareness of the purpose and you’ll not go wrong with your choice.
    I've got some more microscope pictures of the edge to post a little later.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    Very nice write-up and photos! I'm on the fence about this one. As a lefty I love this offering, but I prefer a slightly shorter blade for my daily cutting chores and I'd hate to see this one 'just taking up empty space' in my collection.

    Wouter

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  4. #4
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    Nice write up, spoonrobot! Those photos are top notch.

    The Military is such a fantastic knife design it's hard to describe it in words (or even pictures!). I keep marveling over the balance that the Military strikes between simplicity and completeness. It's an uncompromising design that is as solid as a granite and yet remains light as the proverbial feather.

    Thanks again Sal for letting us lefties play too

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sequimite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blonde View Post
    Very nice write-up and photos! I'm on the fence about this one. As a lefty I love this offering, but I prefer a slightly shorter blade for my daily cutting chores and I'd hate to see this one 'just taking up empty space' in my collection.

    Wouter
    Ha! Try making a PBJ with your short girlyman knife. Peanut butter and jam all over your fingers and knife handle?? I THOUGHT SO!!!!!
    Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
    - William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Manix Guy 2's Avatar
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    Hey Spoon

    Nice review and pics. I will be getting mine in sometime this week and could not be happier that Sal and Co. finally came across with this lefty . I have campaigned for this model for years , a sort of unmade Holy Grail becomes a reality . Glad to have been part of the process for this knife come into production , without all the comments from lefty Forum members I doubt if this knife would have made it into production . Hats off to all the lefties ! Regards MG2

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    I WANT ONE! or cut an apple with a girly knife... my buck 110 is even seeming a little small when it comes to that. maybe my benchmade 710 would work...the delica is just too small for stuff like that.

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Eddie's Avatar
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    A Delica4 for small tasks, a Tenacious for medium tasks, and a Military for big tasks! great review! You balanced it with good content and some nice pictures
    Last edited by Eddie; 09-12-2010 at 08:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User spinynorman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequimite View Post
    Ha! Try making a PBJ with your short girlyman knife. Peanut butter and jam all over your fingers and knife handle?? I THOUGHT SO!!!!!
    Whenever I get the hairy eyeball from someone after seeing me use my LH Millie, which most nkp's think is "too big", I usually calm them down by saying that it's like a folding kitchen knife for my lunch, that's just the right size for slicing an apple, cheese, bread, or cutting my sandwich in half. Works like a charm.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User chuck_roxas45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinynorman View Post
    Whenever I get the hairy eyeball from someone after seeing me use my LH Millie, which most nkp's think is "too big", I usually calm them down by saying that it's like a folding kitchen knife for my lunch, that's just the right size for slicing an apple, cheese, bread, or cutting my sandwich in half. Works like a charm.

    Doug
    On that note, why not just say it's a folding kitchen knife?
    I always heard that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but then you catch even more flies with poop



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