Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Spyderco Ladybug [Pocket Knife]

Like probably many guys, I almost didn't buy this pocket knife just based on the name alone. Ladybug. It doesn't exactly scream MANLY. But make no mistake, this is a dude's pocket knife, no matter how much my wife teases me otherwise. What I am looking for is the ultimate compact, high quality locking pocket knife.

I don't own a farm or work in a warehouse. I'm a computer programmer who works at home. For times when I need to get serious work done, there's some decent sized folders in my collection. But most of the time a big knife is overkill, and just weighs me down.

Just around the house, on any given day I might be breaking down boxes (we order a lot of stuff over the Internet), opening mail, or sometimes even using it in the kitchen.I want something that disappears in my pocket until I need it.



Spyderco Ladybug

Price: About $30

Spyderco is an American cutlery company which is well regarded for their high quality and distinctive designs. Every knife they make (?) has the distinctive hole in the blade. Different Spyderco models are made in different countries, but even their most budget Chinese models are superb. Higher end models like the Para Military 2 and the Manix are made in Golden, Colorado. The ladybug model is made in Japan using VG-10 steel.

I bought mine from Amazon, using their Prime service, which is awesome.

Official Specs


  • Fiberglass-reinforced Nylon (FRN) Handle
  • Hollow ground VG-10 blade
  • Jimping on the spine 
  • Weight: .6 ounces
  • Length closed: 2.4 inches
  • Blade length: 1.9 inches
  • Made in Seki, Japan

First Impressions


From the moment I took it out of the box and folded it open, I knew it was going to live up to my expectations. The lockback is precise, and has a great feel to it. The edge on it was decent, but not anything resembling "scary sharp." A few drags across the wet stone gave it the edge I was looking for. Also, it's hard to describe how tiny this thing is.

Fit And Finish


Hey, this is a Spyderco. For the most part, any talk about fit and finish is just a formality. But I'm a nit picker, and there's a couple things I think this knife can improve on. First, the tip of the blade is centered when the knife is closed, but looking at it really close up, it appears that the tip is asymmetrical. Not a deal breaker. Second, the handle isn't as rigid in the center as I would've liked. Again, not a deal breaker.

Other than a couple tiny nit picks, the fit and finish on this knife are superb, and live up to the Spyderco name. The "foliage green" color of mine is more like a grey-green, which is fine. The VG-10 blade is a thing of beauty, and there isn't a single scratch or nick on mine.

One Hander!


I probably have average size hands, so I was surprised to find out that I could open this knife one handed. Previous versions of the Ladybug had a smaller spidey hole than this one, and couldn't be opened one handed by most people.

Usability


This is a very usable pocket knife. I have no doubts it is going to stand up to abuse over time. The shape of the handle and the jimping on the back of the blade give the knife a solid feel. The good design lets it cut like a larger knife. At .6 ounces, I don't even notice it in my pocket, which is going to be a mixed blessing.

Conclusions


Somehow I doubt that I am going to suddenly stop buying pocket knives. Like AAA flashlights, the pocket knife form factor is one that seems ideally suited to my mostly sheltered lifestyle. For 99 out of 100 tasks, this knife is going to take care of business. For the 1 time out of 100, well, I probably won't be far from a bigger knife. I can bust out the Cold Steel Tanto GI and go medieval on my cardboard.

And maybe I'm shallow or insecure, but seriously, they need to do something about the name. This isn't a foreign company making a cultural faux pas. This is a company located in Golden, Colorado. If there's anything that will stop me from carrying this knife, it won't be a defect in the workmanship. No, it'll most likely  be the wife saying "soooo, how's the laaaaaady bug hmmm?"

Ultimately though, they can call it what they want, because this Ladybug is worthy of a dude's pocket knife collection. Ever since I lost my hard to find and favorite Cutco pocket knife, I have vowed to find a replacement that is similar quality but also easy to come by. And Amazon doesn't get any easier to come by. So far, this looks to be that knife.

Gallery

















































1 comment:

  1. "Dude's pocket knife". Funny. There's no such thing. BTW, my ladybug is pink. So there.

    ReplyDelete