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Thread: In a true emergency, could one "stake their life" on a Byrd Knife?

  1. #21
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    I consider the Byrds to generally be every bit as reliable and safe as their counterparts. Some models, like the early Crow I had, feel a bit lightly built but I've never seen that liner lock not perform exactly as it should, and I love those aluminum handles. They may not hold an edge for as long, and sometimes there will not be certain design features or handle materials you can find in a but when it comes to operation and performance (cutting performance on a good edge that is), they really hold up well. If you love spydies and want to try a new blade shape or general design that also has a similar byrd model, the byrd is an inexpensive way to get into the type of knife and gives you a knife you won't cry if you ding up. Top notch stuff, and often miles ahead of other Chinese made knives by other makers, owing to the design, engineering and careful selection of manufacturers, IMO.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

  2. #22
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    To me it's just like anything else in the world when you have choices between good, better and best.

    Someone might ask if they would count on a pair of WalMart shoes to walk a few miles if they broke
    down and had no other choice. Sure, they would do just fine, but a better more comfortable pair
    is the better choice.

    Unless you have an endless stream of money, you make choices on the quality of everything that
    you buy.

  3. #23
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    If tomorrow morning I woke up, in a forest, with just my Meadowlark2 in my pocket, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

  4. #24
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    I'll second the meadowlark 2!! I would say 4 out of 5 days that I leave for work I reach for the meadowlark over my delica. Do not get me wrong I like my delica but am drawn to the byrd. Would not think twice about walking out into a $&@! storm with a byrd in hand.

  5. #25
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    I think that our byrd brand models are every bit as good as any knife made in China and better than most. Our standards are a PITA for makers, but they tolerate us.

    sal

  6. #26
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    double post

    sal
    Last edited by sal; 12-27-2013 at 01:04 PM.

  7. #27
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    I only have one Byrd model and it is the Wings! This is easily the best value knife I've purchased! Built like a tank, with fit and finish going well beyond the price tag! Going to take a longer look at Spyderco Byrd knives as gifts to family/friends to introduce them to Spyderco knives!

  8. #28
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Officer Gigglez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderEdgeForever View Post
    The Byrd knives are very good for the economical price range and has Spyderco quality all over it. Honest question to those who know: In an emergency, say where you had to cut yourself out of a seatbelt in a submerged vehicle, or where you had to escape a burning building, or where you were lost in the woods and it became your sole survival knife, would you say the Byrd knife steel and construction would be dependable, like one of the pricier Spyderco knives?

    Short answer is yes. But the Spyderco line is better, and if you stay within the budget line, e.g. Resilience, tenacious, persistence, ambitious... you can still get the same hallmark quality for a tad bit more than you would for a Byrd. That being said, Byrd's are just fine too. I'd feel confident carrying one.
    Spyderco Knives (in order of obtainment):
    -Tenacious G-10, Combo edge
    -Tasman Salt, PE
    -Persistence Limited Edition Blue G-10, PE
    -Pacific Salt, Black, PE
    -Delica 4, Grey FRN, Emerson Wave, PE
    -Karahawk collector's club #015, Custom Scales, Emerson Wave, PE
    -DiAlex Junior, G10, PE
    -Byrd SS Crossbill, PE, Custom Engraved

  9. #29
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    I guess it all depends on what is exactly meant by "stake their life" do they mean fight off an attacker or do they mean as a survival blade if they get lost in the woods? I have owned a couple Byrds and while they are solid and well constructed the blade steel is inferior and blunts, rolls and dents rather easy(relatively speaking). Having said that I think it would easily fight off an attacker but I would not try to use one as a survival blade .

  10. #30
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    Some SD folks might consider a byrd ideal in that it is inexpensive, gets scary sharp easily, and still functions in a congruent fashion to models.

    You don't go to war with only a knife. If you had to resort to using one, the molecular structure of the steel doesn't matter so much. And most people would not need to use a knife repeatedly in such a manner.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

  11. #31
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    I haven't been around for a while but was looking for another knife since my cara cara rescue is pretty worn out. Naturally I came back to the Spyderco forums to see what the latest offerings were and found this thread.

    I'm the guy who used the Cara Cara rescue on the boat. I carried it for a year while I worked on a towboat moving barges on the inland waterways, and then when I bought my lobster boat. I lost it overboard, but Sal and co. were nice enough to send me a new one which, I have to say, I didn't treat all that well. I think I've had it and carried it pretty consistently for about two and a half years. I put it aside for a few months when it got too dull and I got too lazy to try and re-sharpen it. It sat on my dresser for the last 2 months while I used the red handled vic paring knives that are scattered around the boat and workshop.

    Until a few months ago this had been my go-to and work knife for around the last 2 years, maybe a little longer. I've cut, sawed, dug, pried, scraped and chopped with it. I've thrown it onto my helm or onto my deck after cutting something in emergencies, I've taken it diving to get rope out of my propeller, I've used it scuba diving while finding and repairing moorings for the city and left it for days before cleaning it.

    I've sharpened it with a chainsaw file in a pinch and used it to open paint cans when I didn't feel like looking for a screwdriver.

    Would I trust it or any Byrd in an emergency? Yes. I've seen what they can handle, and so, instead of buying another knife when I'm in the middle of a $6000 engine rebuild, I'm going to sharpen the old Cara Cara Rescue up and stick it in my pocket.

  12. #32
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Part of my own testing regime is to cut up HEAVY belting...like car safety belts, but thicker, much thicker...and polyprop rope as well...
    My PE Meadowlark does just fine...

  13. #33
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Strong-Dog's Avatar
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    Probably as well as they could stake their life on any folding knife. Which I wouldn't recommend, BTW.
    Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers"
    program?

    A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
    -Letterman

  14. #34
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pete1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strong-Dog View Post
    Probably as well as they could stake their life on any folding knife. Which I wouldn't recommend, BTW.
    why not? I do it every day, pretty much. Folding knives with modern construction and materials are not fragile toys made of glass. I've had 7 knives break in the past year. 5 of them were victorinox serrated paring knives (fixed blades) that are on every commercial fishing boat by the dozen. The other 2 were a Queen slipjoint who's backspring abruptly snapped and a Kershaw Blackout that the liner lock failed on. Every other folding knife I have used, even the inexpensive chinese lines of several major brands, have all stood up to rigorous hard use.

    Most people who own and carry folding knives tend to use them far beyond what a knife should be used for, and they don't think about lock strength or how thin the point is. Having all of my money tied up in my boat has actually given me the opportunity to see what a folding knife can actually take, because I don't have the disposable income to spend on a new knife every couple of weeks. I am stuck with the one in my pocket and so that is the one that gets used. I've seen what Byrd knives can and can't handle. "Tactical" is a marketing ploy. I spent the greater part of this past summer using that slip joint Queen Mountain Man. I didn't lose any fingers or any of the other internet fallacies that have become "fact" online.

    I subject a folding knife to things that go way past normal usage, and that is partly because I am not able to access "the right tool for the job." The only really broken spyderco I have seen in all my time on this forum was David Lowry's Salt I and it was run over by a Bobcat. Even then, the FRN gave way before the blade snapped OR the pivot pin sheared off. It takes a LOT to destroy a folding pocket knife, much more than the casual knife user will ever encounter.

    All of the Byrd knives I have owned have taken everything I have been able to dish out to them, and except for an all stainless Pelican, have held up considerably well. The Pelican rusted closed after a few days of being used on the lobster boat.

  15. #35
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    A knife's ability to withstand pressure against the edge is far higher than against the lock. If you cut things with the sharp end instead of the spine, I would trust my life to even a less quality tool (assuming its sharp).
    Blake

  16. #36
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Strong-Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete1977 View Post
    why not? I do it every day, pretty much. Folding knives with modern construction and materials are not fragile toys made of glass. I've had 7 knives break in the past year. 5 of them were victorinox serrated paring knives (fixed blades) that are on every commercial fishing boat by the dozen. The other 2 were a Queen slipjoint who's backspring abruptly snapped and a Kershaw Blackout that the liner lock failed on. Every other folding knife I have used, even the inexpensive chinese lines of several major brands, have all stood up to rigorous hard use.

    Most people who own and carry folding knives tend to use them far beyond what a knife should be used for, and they don't think about lock strength or how thin the point is. Having all of my money tied up in my boat has actually given me the opportunity to see what a folding knife can actually take, because I don't have the disposable income to spend on a new knife every couple of weeks. I am stuck with the one in my pocket and so that is the one that gets used. I've seen what Byrd knives can and can't handle. "Tactical" is a marketing ploy. I spent the greater part of this past summer using that slip joint Queen Mountain Man. I didn't lose any fingers or any of the other internet fallacies that have become "fact" online.

    I subject a folding knife to things that go way past normal usage, and that is partly because I am not able to access "the right tool for the job." The only really broken spyderco I have seen in all my time on this forum was David Lowry's Salt I and it was run over by a Bobcat. Even then, the FRN gave way before the blade snapped OR the pivot pin sheared off. It takes a LOT to destroy a folding pocket knife, much more than the casual knife user will ever encounter.

    All of the Byrd knives I have owned have taken everything I have been able to dish out to them, and except for an all stainless Pelican, have held up considerably well. The Pelican rusted closed after a few days of being used on the lobster boat.
    The OP was talking about situations such as escaping a burning building, being lost in the woods with nothing but a folder, etc. Extreme survival situations, where your knife would get used not just for slicing. I would take a fixed blade with me 10 times out of 10 if there was any chance I'd have to use it to chop, pry, dig, smash, stab, etc.

    There's no way if I was trapped in a burning building or in the middle of the woods with only a Byrd knife to help me, I would feel like I could trust my life on it. Now, this is in no way my philosophy about knives. I carry good cutters, that's it. He wasn't talking specifically about tactical use, but extremely rare survival situations. If I had to baton a log with a Byrd (or any folder) to make a shelter that my life depended on, would I feel secure? Nope
    Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers"
    program?

    A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
    -Letterman

  17. #37
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    If you are walking into burning buildings or planning to be in the woods on a regular basis, you can probably get away with carrying fixed blades. One can build a fire, btw, without batoning a knife through logs. A sharp edged rock makes a far better splitting wedge, and the knife should be plenty for most sticks. If you don't have the strength to push a knife between the grains, you're probably using the wrong tool to split that particular piece of wood with 99% of folding knives.

    I wouldn't think twice about hammering a Byrd, particularly SS or G10 models, point-first into a structural weak spot on a stick-built home if it were on fire and said action was the safest way I could think of. I don't expect to demolish masonry walls with folders, though. But I always have a pretty good idea whether I'm going to be in the woods or in a heavily-built structure where fire is somehow a plausible danger.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

  18. #38
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    Sal,

    Having wanted to ask this: is the Byrd 8Cr steel treated the same as Tenacious family's in term of hardness and wear resistance?

    Saw some guys in YT showing the Tenacious is more abrasive resistant than an Enlan. It showed that same steel treated to different standard really different.
    Last edited by anagarika; 05-10-2014 at 09:20 AM.

  19. #39
    Spyderco Forum Registered User A.P.F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anagarika View Post
    Sal,

    Having wanted to ask this: is the Byrd 8Cr steel treated the same as Tenacious family's in term of hardness and wear resistance?

    Saw some guys in YT showing the Tenacious is more abrasive resistant than an Enlan. It showed that same steel treated to different standard really different.
    I am just bumping this post as I am curious too.
    Regards, Al

    The "soul" of hi-tech materials like G-10, H1, ZDP, Titanium, carbon fiber, etc is found in the performance. That appreciation of the "spirit" comes out in time, after use. It's saying, you can depend on me! I'm there for you no matter what! - Sal Glesser

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    I think that our byrd brand models are every bit as good as any knife made in China and better than most. Our standards are a PITA for makers, but they tolerate us.

    sal
    I didn't look at this closely. In a way, it has answered the question. Emphasis by me, I read again and it sounds like the HT would be the same (more or less), with the Spyderco brand (Tenacious family) being finished better. I might be wrong though
    Last edited by anagarika; 07-25-2014 at 04:12 AM.

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