Monday, July 11, 2011

Spyderco Delica 4

The very first quality folder I purchased was a first generation Spyderco Delica. I think it was 'round -96 or something. It's the one with fixed pocket clip, AUS-8 blade, full serrations etc. I put that little thing trough a lot; no surprise I broke the tip off (and reprofiled it with a diamond file). The handle is all scratched, and the blade has been sharpened numerous times... still that little knife cuts like no other.

Among friends (from top to bottom):
1. Byrd Raven, 2. Crickett, 3. 4th gen. FFG, 4. 4th gen combo edge,
 5. orginal Clipit Delica, and 6. the Harpy

A couple of years back I bought a Delica 4 with a partially serrated edge. During these 4 generations, the Delica has transformed from a featherweight blade into a sturdier knife. Almost too sturdy, one might say. The fit and finish of this knife are amazing, it feels like there's a ball bearing in the knife joint. The black paintet pocket clip shows scratches, and loosens up from time to time, but it works great, and is reversible to all four corners of the knife.

Brand new vs. 2 years of use

A year ago I upgraded into a full flat grind Delica which in my opinion kinda takes the Delica back to the roots due to the noticable lighter weight. Though the knife is almost identical to the previous Gen 4, there were some differencies with the quality. Something that maybe only a knife nut would notice, but this newer Delica lacks the smoothes and finesse of the previous Spydies Ive owned, and the "Spydie hole" in the blade has sharped edges. The blade lock's thumb stud is sharper too, and harder to push. None of these issues are a "deal braker", but I do hope Spyderco is not about to lower their previosly near perfect quality control.

Other than these minor issues, the knife is great. After a year of use, the clip has loosen up a couple of times, and its scratched up, but the blade looks like new. Spyderco really knows how to make their VG10 into one of the finest pocket blade steels there is. The full flat grind is in my opinion the way the Delica is meant to be made; it cuts amazingly well. Sure, the thin blade is more brittle than a thicker one, but the clue is in the name: the knife is supposed to be used delica(tely), not as a prying bar. This in mind, I'm not sure if the skeletonized metal liners are actually needed in the handle; the blade would snap long before even a plain FRN (Fiberglass reinforced nylon) handle would brake.

Worth of mentioning: the bright color of the handle is a big plus for me. Sure, the foliage green is cool and tactical and all that, but for a user-knife, I really want the knife to rather be visible than cool.

In conclusion: an excellent, fast and lighweight knife for a reasonable price.

1 comment:

  1. Hey... great "over the years" short overview. I totally agree with you, except the need of metal liners. On a FFG Delica 4, if the main (axis) torx screw is not tight enough, the blade will play a litlle bit side to side; if it is to tight, the blade will not open/close so smooth...
    That's why I think the metal liners should be stronger. Ok... Delica, Delica... but not so "delica"... :D
    (I'm Alex from Europe, Romania, Bucharest)