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Phil Wilson is an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman who lives in the “Gold Country” of Northern California. He began making knives in 1985 after receiving a copy of David Boye’s Step-by-Step Knifemaking book from his son. Based on the information in that book, the tutelage of a number of veteran knifemakers, and lots of trial and error, Wilson developed his own unique approach to handcrafted custom knives.
Wilson focuses exclusively on fixed-blade knives for general utility and outdoor use and is best known for his exceptional fillet knives. An avid student of metallurgy, he eagerly experiments with new blade steels and personally tests his wares in the field. Wilson’s knives feature thin, flat grinds and distal tapers that produce excellent edge geometry and balance. Based on a painful personal experience he had while filleting fish, all his designs also include finger guards to ensure safety during use.
The South Fork is one of Wilson’s most popular hunter/utility designs. Its thin, trailing-point blade and simple, yet ergonomic handle design make it an excellent “do-everything” cutting tool and a popular choice among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Those fortunate enough to own one of Wilson’s handmade versions swear by them, making it an ideal choice for a production collaboration with Spyderco.
The Spyderco South Fork is a faithful rendition of Wilson’s custom version, boasting all the qualities and features that define the design. Consistent with his penchant for high-performance steels, the blade is ground from state-of-the-art CPM S90V steel. This particle metallurgy steel was originally called CPM-420V and was developed as a wear-resistant steel for use in feed screws in plastic injection molding machines. Its high carbon content and the addition of molybdenum ensure a fine grain size and extreme wear resistance, giving it outstanding cutting performance and edge retention. Like Wilson’s custom knives, Spyderco’s South Fork is meticulously flat ground for superior edge geometry.
The South Fork’s handle features full-tang construction for strength and pinned handle scales made from polished G-10. An integral guard provides ample protection for the user’s hand, while the thoughtfully contoured handle shape allows both excellent control and fatigue-free cutting, even during prolonged use. The handle also includes a lined lanyard hole for users who prefer the additional security of a lanyard on their knives.
To protect the South Fork when not in use and allow it to be conveniently carried, it comes complete with a custom-molded Boltaron® sheath. The sheath’s G-Clip™ fastener supports vertical, horizontal and canted carry on the belt, as well as inside-the-waistband carry. The sheath is also symmetrical, so it can easily be configured for a variety of carry positions to suit the needs of both left and right-handed users.
The Spyderco South Fork is a high-performance hunting and utility knife that faithfully offers the critical qualities of Phil Wilson’s handmade custom version in an affordable, user-friendly package.