Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spyderco Endura4 Flat Ground FRN

While I was out taking delivery on my Mega Arms AR lower receiver, I stopped by the local sporting goods store to take a look at a few things that I'm putting on the horizon.  I wanted to see the CRKT M-16 knife in person, and I knew it would be under the glass, and I knew I would be able to fondle it.  Nice knife.  I definitely want one.

While I was talking blades to the guy behind the counter, we got to talking about different blade steels, and I told him how much I like VG-10 stainless.  He said, "Well, then I have a knife you might really like" and he pulled out the Sypderco Endura4 Flat Ground FRN, call number C10F.  Phew!  What a mouthful that is to say!

Since he handed me a blue one, as pictured above, I first thought it was sort of silly looking, but then I picked it up and flicked the blade open.  WOW!!!  What a smooth operating, fast, and lightweight knife!  At 3.4 ounces, this thing feels like next to nothing in my hand, yet the ergonomics were perfect.  The scales provided just enough traction for my hands without being too abrasive.  I slipped it in my pocket and if not for the fact that I was talking blades with the other guy, I would have forgotten it was there.  Well, let's be honest here.  I carry my Leatherman Wingman in that same spot and I pretty much forget it's there until I need it as well.  But to be able to carry something so lightweight and strong without even thinking about it... win win win!

I like the shape of this blade.  The flat grind makes for a very simple and sexy blade design that isn't as busy as other blade designs can get.  They had a similar one with a combination edge with serrations, and I didn't care much for it.  I never use serrations on my knives.  The way I see it, if I need to saw on something, I'm going to get a saw.  Or I'll break out the saw on my Leatherman Wave.  That's the one major gripe I have about the Wingman - the combination blade.

The VG-10 steel is nice and strong.  I've learned through experience with my Fallkniven A1 that it is very durable and easy to take care of, but you have to be careful because it can chip out on you if you are really working it.  Of course that was while batoning wood with my survival knife.  There will be no wood batoning with the Spyderco.  The blade was crazy sharp at the store, and I like how easy the steel takes an edge while sharpening.  The rust resistance, in my experience in the oh-so wet Pacific Northwest is better than any carbon steel I've seen and better than most stainless steels.  All in all, it's a good steel for this area.

Determined to find an OD green handle, I found this grey one online at and said to myself that this is the one for me.  If you notice, the handle features three little holes on both sides.  Those holes allow you to mount the pocket clip on either side so you can carry tip up, tip down, and they are repeated on the other side to accommodate lefties.  You south paws, Spyderco thought of you.  As for clip orientation, I really don't care either way.  My regular utility knife is carried so that the blade points down while in my pocket.  I'm used to it.  But I like carrying with the blade pointed up better.  For presentation, it's one less movement to get the blade deployed when it needs to be.  Like I said though, it doesn't bother me either way.  It's just a bonus to have options.

Overall, I like it.  I really didn't have anything bad to say about it at the store while handling it.  Believe me, I can say a lot of bad things about stuff I like.  I have a laundry list of gripes about the AR15, but I still rock it because I like it.  I have a list of gripes about my Leatherman Wingman, my wave, my Needs Work knife, and even this nice watch I'm wearing, but that doesn't mean I won't work with them.  It simply means, to me, that if I could talk to the designers of any of these products and say, "This is what I want, this is what I don't want..." they would have probably made the Spyderco Endura4 that you see above because this is pretty much what I want without having to take the compromise.

Time to start saving my pennies again.


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