Police 4 Observations

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Vivi
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Police 4 Observations

Postby Vivi » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Today I received my first Police 4. In this thread I'll be posting observations, photos, videos and reports on K390 blade steel.

I'll be drawing many comparisons between the Police 3 and Police 4, as someone that has carried the former since they released.

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If someone asked you to pick any Spyderco knife you wanted in exchange for a knife you were trading them, what would you choose?

I went with the new Police.

The Police 4 is a big knife. Nearly 10" open, with almost 4.5" of blade. As someone with big hands, it's a perfect fit. This is my ideal size for a pocket knife.

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Comparing the Police 4 and Police 3, there are some obvious differences. VG10 vs K390, more belly on the P4, and a more rounded handle shape as well.

However, using both knives side by side, it becomes apparent there are many more changes than this.

Immediately the lighter weight of the P4 was noticeable. The P4 weighs half an ounce lighter than the P3, and has a 2mm longer blade as well.

One of the next things I noticed is that the Police 4 feels different to open. Not only is the opening hole larger compared to the Police 3, it's also further from the pivot:

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Laying the knives right on top of one another, you can see the P4's opening hole sits a bit further out, and the peak of the thumb ramp is taller:

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These changes make the Police 4 a tiny bit wider in the pocket, and it gives the knife a wider opening arc. Works well for my large hands.

The jimping on the spine extends further down now, and the thumb ramp is a touch bigger:


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The choil has a different shape. It has less handle supporting it and more blade. More jimping as a result of changing the handle / blade ratio used for the choil:

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No boye dent. I may grind one on later, I like them:

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P4 has a squared off spine, which is better for throwing sparks off a ferro rod, but reduces penetration ability slightly compared to the P3:

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I wasn't sure if I'd like the handle shape better. I'm a big fan of the P3's shape, I've always found it very ergonomic in a variety of grips. I'm happy for report that for my hand I find the P4 more comfortable. Surprisingly it feels more secure as well. I expected the opposite.

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This is my go to grip for tip control with a Police. I use it when I want to cut the tape on a package, etc. I find it's easier to choke up on a big knife like the Police than try to use a small knife for big knife jobs.

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The blade shape I knew I would like. I enjoy the blade shape on both the Police 3 and the Military. The former works better for utility, while the latter does better cutting on a flat surface. Having a little extra belly will be nice when using the P4 with a cutting board:

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K390 is a new steel for me. It's the reason I waited this long to buy a Police 4....I was unsure about how well the steel would work for me as I typically demand a high degree of corrosion resistance from my folders.

Initial impressions are poor to be honest. The knife arrived with dark spots of corrosion straight out of the box. Initial sharpness was also worse than the P3, one of the dullest new Spydercos I've received. I had to strop it a bit for it to be able to shave.

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You can see some light spotting forward of the Spyderco logo.

Neither issues are a big concern to me because I knew I would patina the blade, and it was going to need sharpening eventually.

Overall I'm very happy with this knife. While the Pacific Salt sees more pocket time due to being lighter and rust proof, the Police 3 has always been my favorite folding design from Spyderco. The Police 4 is, in my eyes, an improvement across the board. Aside from having lower corrosion resistance than the P3, and the tiny nitpick of the squared off spine, I think all of the changes made improve upon the Police 3.

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In future posts I'll document the progress of my P4's patina, post my experiences sharpening K390, and share some videos as well. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by Vivi on Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Favorites: Pacific Salt, Police 4, Manix XL DLC, Swick 3, Aqua Salt

Looking forward to: FFG Pacific Salt, FRN Police 4, Swick 5, Native Chief

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Vivi
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Vivi » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:52 pm

This is the Police 4 after a week of EDC. I've been treating it the same as any other knife, not babying it at all. I'm impressed with the corrosion resistance so far.

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The patina has stayed like that over the first month of use.

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I reprofiled my Police 4 on my DMT stones. I was shooting for about 10 degrees per side, but I haven't checked my work to be certain it's at that angle.

It surprised me how thin the bevel looks. Normally when I take my Spydercos this thin the bevel is much wider, which tells me the P4 is thinner behind the factory egde than most of their knives. That's what I intially observed, but it's nice having confirmation.

K390 feels very hard when reprofiling. It has much less "grab" as I drag it across my XX course DMT. It feels slicker while grinding and takes a while to reset the bevel. I don't think I own any steels that take close to as long to grind. I used to use ZDP189 and going from memory I'd say K390 took a bit longer to grind than that.

I polished the bevel on my DMT fine, which I often do with carbon steels to reduce the chances of corrosion forming near the edge.

Then I gave it a free hand microbevel on my medium sharpmaker rods. My buddy is borrowing my 302M at the moment so he can learn how to sharpen. If you look at the photo above, the sharpmaker makes a good "bench stone" if you lay the rods flat as shown. I get slightly sharper edges using it this way as opposed to how its designed.

Finished by stropping once per side, which I do more to verify there's no burr than to polish the edge. Heavily loaded leather strops will readily show you a burr, because the side of the edge with the burr will scrape off buffing compound and it will stick to the edge.

No burr. It whittles individual hairs from my girlfriends brush, while being toothy enough that when I run my fingernail down the length of the edge it does not feel completely smooth.

Very aggressive cutting action now. First thing I tested it on was a baguette. Slices right through it :D

Here's a better look at the edge

Prepped some pizza toppings with it next. Push cuts thin strips of onion with ease.

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Next I carried it on a hike and used it to build a fire:

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After using the Police to carve points on some sticks to roast sausages, making fatwood shavings & scrapings, and a few other misc tasks since I reprofiled it....I've yet to detect any loss in sharpness.

The more I use it, the more K390 is impressing me. It's an interesting mix of qualities.
Last edited by Vivi on Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Favorites: Pacific Salt, Police 4, Manix XL DLC, Swick 3, Aqua Salt

Looking forward to: FFG Pacific Salt, FRN Police 4, Swick 5, Native Chief

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Vivi
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Vivi » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 pm

Here's a video of me testing out the edge further:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xw4u6LMt14

Since reprofiling the knife, the P4 has been in my pocket nearly every day. It has been used for a lot of utility cutting, camp chores and food prep. The edge has never dipped below shaving sharp since applying the thinner edge. When I touched it up on my medium bench stone I only gave it about three strokes per side at 15 degrees, forming a microbevel.

Based on my impressions over the first couple of months of ownership, it seems K390 shows some of the best edge holding I've observed in a pocket knife, while being very easy to sharpen. I'm enjoying using this steel much more than stuff like S90V, S110V, etc.
Last edited by Vivi on Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Favorites: Pacific Salt, Police 4, Manix XL DLC, Swick 3, Aqua Salt

Looking forward to: FFG Pacific Salt, FRN Police 4, Swick 5, Native Chief

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby murphjd25 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:15 pm

Love it! Thanks Vivi, glad you got one!
Josh

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby tps3443 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:57 pm

Man; what is it about the Spyderco blades that just look so good! I love that flat grind, and the grain of the metal. Beautiful!
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby crazywednesday » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:16 pm

Great comparison post. I never had a P3 to know any difference. I picked up a P4 on the used market for a song. The P4 makes me question why I even need a Millie.
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:08 pm

Thanks Vivi, for rubbing salt into the wound! Hahaha! This is the knife I really want more than any others. However, the exchange rate has been so poor I cannot justify the expense.

Thanks for your impressions. While my hands may not be as big as yours, they are pretty big (2 XL gloves +). I like the photos of the knife in your hand. That helps me see what it would be like in mine.
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby knivesandbooks » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:12 pm

Never would have thought you'd get one of these.
I like mine. I need to do a little work on the edge; I think it came a bit thicker than usual. I'll be interested to hear how yours will sharpen, assuming you do one of your 5 degrees per side jobs.
--Alec

Current Rotation: Advocate, Slysz Bowie, Spydiechef, hap40 Delica, Police 4, Manix 2 52100

Different day, different steel

Want: G10 UKPK, Rex 45 Native, Dyad.

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby tps3443 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:31 pm

I didn’t realize the police 4 was so large! My goodness, this is a fighting knife. I’m starting to think this would be my next knife.
Spyderco Military S110V+ Spyderco PM2 S110V
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Tucson Tom » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:44 pm

Thanks Vivi for the in depth review. This doggone knife tempts me, then drops off my radar, then some review like this gets it back on again. The huge knife along with K390 certainly get my interest up. But I am expecting the Rex45 military to show up any day and grab my October knife money.

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby rgrad80 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:55 pm

Tucson Tom wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:44 pm
Thanks Vivi for the in depth review. This doggone knife tempts me, then drops off my radar, then some review like this gets it back on again. The huge knife along with K390 certainly get my interest up. But I am expecting the Rex45 military to show up any day and grab my October knife money.
+1
I’m a big fan of the larger blades, but I also always seem to come up with another knife to buy instead of the Police 4. The FRN handle Police 4 is on the short list if/when it comes around.

Awesome review. The picture of the knife on the rock is great.
Days without buying a Spyderco: 20

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:44 am

This is the comparison I’ve been looking/waiting for.

Thanks for posting!

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby The Meat man » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:41 am

Great review. I'll be following this thread with considerable interest.
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby abbazaba » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:21 am

Mine wasn't particularly sharp out of the box either. But it was easy to get sharp and the length of time it stays shaving sharp has been the best I have experienced, especially after I put my own back bevels on it.

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby sal » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:51 am

Hi Vivi,

Thanx much for the great review and pics.

sal

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby wrdwrght » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:49 am

Nice to have this comparison, Vivi. I only have the Police4. How does the vertical blade-play compare?
Marc

JUST ARRIVED: Rex45 Military sprint; VG10 Calypso sprint; Kapara; PE Caribbean leaf. ON RADAR: PE LC200N Pacific Salt; WaterWay; Maxamet PM2. IN DREAMS: 10V Military; 3V or 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; C27 serrated Jess Horn.

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby VashHash » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 am

Anyone have a ulize to compare this to? I have one and that's the only reason I haven't bought a P4 yet. It's so tempting with FFG K390 though

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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby The Meat man » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:52 pm

wrdwrght wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:49 am
How does the vertical blade-play compare?

As someone who intensely dislikes any amount of vertical blade play, I am also interested in this. What's it like on the Police 4?
- Connor

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalm 111:10 & Proverbs 9:10)

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Vivi
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Vivi » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:38 pm

knivesandbooks wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:12 pm
Never would have thought you'd get one of these.
I like mine. I need to do a little work on the edge; I think it came a bit thicker than usual. I'll be interested to hear how yours will sharpen, assuming you do one of your 5 degrees per side jobs.
Mine feels thinner behind the edge than any of my P3's came. I don't have calipers to be certain, but cutting cardboard and apples I feel less resistance than expected from the factory edge.

https://streamable.com/l9ua6
abbazaba wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:21 am
Mine wasn't particularly sharp out of the box either. But it was easy to get sharp and the length of time it stays shaving sharp has been the best I have experienced, especially after I put my own back bevels on it.
Mine has been cutting very well despite being a bit duller than my P3. The geometry is very good on the P4. I plan to touch it up freehand on my fine spyderco bench stone this weekend. Eventually I'm going to take it to about 8-10 dps then give it a 15 dps microbevel. If VG10 can handle that I'd imagine K390 will.
sal wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:51 am
Hi Vivi,

Thanx much for the great review and pics.

sal
Thanks for the great design, Sal!
Favorites: Pacific Salt, Police 4, Manix XL DLC, Swick 3, Aqua Salt

Looking forward to: FFG Pacific Salt, FRN Police 4, Swick 5, Native Chief

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Vivi
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Re: Police 4 Observations

Postby Vivi » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:44 pm

VashHash wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:04 am
Anyone have a ulize to compare this to? I have one and that's the only reason I haven't bought a P4 yet. It's so tempting with FFG K390 though
The P4 is a little less than half an inch longer, the blade is just under 4.5" Slightly different ergonomics, both are very comfortable and built very similar to one another. Big, thin lockbacks. P4 is a bit lighter. I went with the Police series over the Ulize for the FFG and easier to sharpen blade shape.
wrdwrght wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:49 am
Nice to have this comparison, Vivi. I only have the Police4. How does the vertical blade-play compare?
https://streamable.com/ds8y8 (Turn your audio up)

There is more vertical play in all my P3's compared to my P4. If I put a lot of weight on the P4 I can feel a tiny bit of wiggle, but it feels free of play during use. The P3 always had a noticeable click for me. Lock up has been flawless though.
Favorites: Pacific Salt, Police 4, Manix XL DLC, Swick 3, Aqua Salt

Looking forward to: FFG Pacific Salt, FRN Police 4, Swick 5, Native Chief


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