I got a chance to visit the Spyderco Factory Outlet earlier this week and had a great time. Aside from getting to talk to some of the crew, I had plenty of time to mill around the showroom and ogle all the new releases. Living outside the states and not having access to any brick and mortar stores, I always enjoy my annual pilgrimages to Blade show and the SFO where I can get my hands on some of the knives I've seen in the catalogs. What I find myself interested in when I leave is often different than what I expected based purely on internet photos.
This year was no exception. I put fingerprints all over all the new designs and found much to like but my favorite was one that I would never have guessed that I would be interested in. What was the one that got me excited enough to want to drop some money? None other than the McNees Mcbee. I'm as surprised as anyone.
I am a user, not a collector. I typically gravitate towards larger knives and I always look for functionality over aesthetics. So why the McBee? Well, because it kind of ticked all those boxes for me...just in a very small package. First of all, let me be clear that this knife is tiny. Like really tiny. My first thought when I picked it up was that it would probably be difficult to open one handed as some other small knives like the ladybug are for me. To my surprise though, I was able to open it very quickly and comfortably. I suspect the wider handle is what made it more functional in this regard than the ladybug but whatever the reason, I found the knife very easy to open and close with one hand.
Once open, I got a full (two finger) grip on it and was wholly unimpressed. Before putting the knife back in the cabinet I decided to play around with my grip and shifted to a middle and ring finger grip with my index finger on the spine and BAM, I understood the design. During the middle of all my oohing and ahhing at this epiphany, the young man working the floor laughed and told me to watch the Nick Shabazz video. I actually just watched it and had to laugh. If you want to see my thoughts on the knife, just watch that video and you will see my EXACT reaction to the McBee...minus the yankee accent.
The other things that made this knife special were that it seemed like it would be so functional in such a tiny package. I love my dog tag folder and this knife seems like much the same but with far more functional grip options. Sure, it's not going to slice apples like a Millie but that "Razor blade with a handle" design should make for an insane boxcutter and it should also prove very capable for cuts against a flat surface. I also loved that they were able to incorporate a functional pocket clip on such a small knife. This will be great for a regular pocket, a watch pocket or even IWB.
Anyway, like I said in the opening, I often get surprised by which new knives impress me once I get my hands on them and this year was no different. The McBee was not a knife I expected to like at all yet it was the one that I wanted to buy and take home with me. Unfortunately, the knife was not available yet (I'm lucky I even got to look at a prototype) and I will have to wait until my next trip. That said, the McBee is definitely now at the top of my Spyderco "wants" list.