Friday, September 4, 2009

"You one ugly muthf***er..."

Arnold's famous words from 'Predator' ring true with Spyderco's newest beast!!!
Spyderco's "Ethnic" series of knives seemed to start several years back with Ed Schempp's Persian (which I own and love) and continued with a folding kriss design from Schempp and several others. Here's the lowdown from the great Sal Glesser's Spyderco marketing team:
"Chokwe people live in the Zambia/Democratic Republic of Congo region of Central Africa. Primarily agricultural, they are gatherers, fishermen and hunters. Highly positioned in their society are blacksmiths who craft fixed blade knives for daily use in feeding, harvesting and protecting their communities. Our Chokwe folder is patterned off a historic fixed-blade, keeping true to the triangular shaped blade and coffin-shaped handle."

Other than being incredibly ugly, it's made with quality materials:
* Overall Length: 8.5" (216 mm)
* Blade Length: 3.75" (95 mm)
* Cutting Edge: 3.375" (86 mm)
* Handle Length: 4.75" (121 mm)
* Steel: CPM-S30V
* Weight: 3.7oz (104g)
* Clip: Right
* Tip Carry: Up
* Made in Taiwan

I would hope that with an MSRP of $220 USD that the framelock side of the knife would be titanium, but I can't find any info on that yet, it just says "Full length internal liners reinforce the Reeve Integral Linerlock (R.I.L.).", not bothering to state whether it's steel or aluminum or titanium. Based on the fact it's made in Taiwan (WTF?), I'm guessing aluminum, as a full framelock like that made from steel would create a hellishly heavy knife in the pocket. I would have hoped for Japanese manufacture (especially @ this price!), as by and large, everything I've ever owned from Spyderco out of their Japanese factory has been close to flawless.

The following is from an outstanding Spyderco site based out of the Netherlands. These guys have fantastic pix and info, and a really nice site, so be sure to check them out. The address is clearly printed there right on the photo, and I'm too lazy to post a link right now. But really, a great site for the Spyderco enthusiast!

So you guys know I'm a Spyderco fan, in general, I'm not hating on this knife, I think it's bold, but very ugly. I have to give props to Sal and his spyders for branching out and constantly innovating, the man, and his company are owed a HUGE debt by the entire industry for what they have done since the 1970's, the company is nearly as old as I am, and I'll be 32 in a couple weeks.

So, performance wise I'm sure the Chokwe is beyond competent, maybe even outstanding, but for me, I'll pass until I see something that grabs my eye at the right price, but you can find any number of Spyderco knives in my pocket, @ least one day of the week, every week. Lately it's been my trusty ol' Police model with G10 handles, or a combo-edged Ladybug in my shirt pocket.


CTone said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I actually like the looks; and I like the mostly straight edge for ease of sharpening.

Come to think of it, I have a knife that came from somewhere in Africa that looks identical to the one in the picture. I think it may have been from Zaire, but it could have been Zambia. It was given to me as a gift from an uncle who lived there.

I'll have to post a picture of it this weekend.

Aaron said...

For real! I'm warming to the blade shape, That coffin-shaped handle just doesn't look very comfortable. I'm still interested in getting some hands-on time with one of these. And I'd love to see your African knife, one of my favorites in my collection is a bone handled knife from Egypt that a friend brought me. I took one side of the blade to a grinder and it took a wicked edge, probably forged from old car springs or something.

CTone said...

As promised, here is the knife that I have - - the handle is a bit different, but it's pretty close. I'll have to track down its history.

Aaron said...

very cool, I like the cutouts and the rounded handle, I can totally dig that, Spyderco's interpretation of the design still just strikes me as odd, but I am stoked on their baby Wayne Goddard in crimson micarta

thanks for the pic amigo!!

Aaron said...

hey ctone!! do you mind if I post your pic f your African knife and give a link to your blog?? you can hit me up at

Anonymous said...

Titanium handle with G10 scales. That's why it's expensive.