Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: Can Spyderco outdo the Crossbill: a semi review

  1. #1

    Can Spyderco outdo the Crossbill: a semi review


    ADVERTISEMENT
    I know there are a number (silently growing) of byrd fans out there, and I also know there are some out there who have been taken by the Crossbill. No surprise there, as the minions have been calling for not just one, but a small line (or at least two) of new hawksbill knives from the great Sypderco factory. Now, I am sure that many people have discounted this Spydercousin. After all; the blade isn’t VG-10, or S30V; and it’s made in China; and of course, it has no hole in the blade, or bug on the clip. Essentially, it isn’t a Spyderco. I strongly suspect that, if it had these ingredients, it would be a shoe in for one of, if not the most popular current selling Spyderco.


    PROS:

    Ergonomics. If you haven’t handles this design, you need to. The Crossbill shares the same handle with the Pelican, and the Flight. The double-choil, combined with the downward sloping back of the handle, mold the grip into one’s hand, giving a surprisingly secure grip for a stainless steel knife. What else would you expect from a Spyderco design?



    Weight:
    Just plain solid. The online Spyderco catalogue lists the Crossbill at 5.6 oz, while the SS Endura lists at 5.5 oz. The Police registers 5.6 oz. The sheer mass can provide extra inertia for slashing cuts, or impact strikes.

    Handle:
    The pommel hangs out from the hand when open, providing an impact point for non-lethal strikes. The other end, when closed provides an even nastier one. And have I mentioned ergonomics?

    Stainless steel handle has its following. It has a solid, heavy feel, and looks good.




    Blade:
    There has been a calling for a three to four inch hawksbill available in PE, SE, and CE, with a “more relaxed” curve. The Crossbill, well “fits the bill” on all but the fully serrated blade, and the point is so narrow, and so sharp, that 224477 appropriately labeled the knife the “poor man’s Civilian”.

    People who try the comet shaped hole find it works well.

    Lock:
    Heavy duty. Some have even speculated if it would pass MBC muster.


    CONS:

    Handle.
    It’s stainless steel. A large majority will probably want G-10, but I prefer FRN. It keeps price down, and is easier on the pocket, as well as the pocket book. While the SS handle provides excellent balance to the knife, there are times when a lighter knife is more desirable.

    Blade:
    It needs jimmping. More and more people are asking for this treatment. It provides a more secure thumb placement, as well as other possibilities.



    Could be thicker. There is a minority calling for a MBC hawksbill, and a 4mm blade on a Crossbill clone might just make it into that category. However, most will agree that a lack of MBC rating doesn’t degrade the capabilities of non-MBC rated knives like the Endura.

    Steel:
    H1, VG-10, S30V? Take your pick. The mariners want a rust proof knife. I don’t know whether or not the Crossbill is suited to marine application but, it would offer a larger alternative to the Tasman. As for VG-10 vs. S30V? You decide. I like VG-10 so much that I haven’t even tried my S30V yet. I still don’t know which one is better.

    One More Thing:
    It needs a round, 12-14mm hole, and a bug on the clip.

    Bottom Line:
    It isn’t a Spyderco.

    For the ones who have been calling for a new hawksbill, all the above “Cons” need to be addressed. Personally, I’d be happy if all they did was add a FRN version. I could even get by without my VG-10 since the “8ect.” steel is impressive in its own right in the edge retention area. If they came out with FRN, I’d probably have to buy two more. Green FRN, or better yet, Grey with a black blade would be great.



    Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

  2. #2
    Hi Ghostrider,

    Thanx for the comments and suggestions and kind words. Appreciate.

    The byrd brand is a "cost effective" alternative to our Spyderco line.

    The Flight, Crossbill and Pelican are Eric's designs. Response has been good.

    The future will bring more designs (Robin & Finch due this summer) with FRN versions and interesting "novelty" designs also in the works. At this time, none of the models MSRP over $30.

    I have two Meadowlark concept models being tested this weekend. A G-10 and an aluminum/steel version.

    The steel, 8Cr13MoV is proving to be quite effective.

    We'll see where it goes, but the potential is there to be able to provide very nice pieces to the ELUs as very affordable prices.

    sal

  3. #3
    Thank You, Mr. Glesser,

    For providing us with such a great knife, and for the feedback, and info. I did see the new models listed on the “Byrd Knife Sell Sheet” on the web site, as well as the black versions of the Cara Cara, and Meadowlark. That Finch should make a great keychain knife. I’m sure many people will be happy to hear about the G-10 Meadowlark concept. I'd probably buy one myself, since I thought about putting G-10 on a Meadowlark myself a few months back.

    Also, a thanks to Eric for the design. It fits my hand like a broken in glove.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 07-23-2005 at 11:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    191
    My Crossbill has arrived several days ago. I found it made on common Chinese quality level. But one thing I really like - it hasn't vertical blade play at all, better than any backlook I have.

  5. #5
    Nice pic i.g.!

    Great idea to throw it up with a PE Merlin. Thanks for putting it in my thread, as it should give people who haven't the opportunity to handle one, a better idea of what they are like. Your right about blade play. I EDC my Cara Cara, and no signs yet. Also, The pivot washers give it a silky smooth action once broken in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North California
    Posts
    1,962

    Oh man...

    ANother Spyderco I desire .
    Merlin looks nice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Opinions expressed by mongo-man do not necessarily reflect those of the poster himself
    Posts
    1,198
    With all respect, i would like to disagree on the "Chinese manufacturing quality". Either the Chinese have updated their QC drastically lately, or i have always bought the lemons from Chinese manufacturers. I have a hawkbill and say it's about 90 % of the Spyderco quality. I really like the hawkbill, because finally you can have the quality you need in a real user. My Spydies are used as well, but if i need to choose i rather have my hawkbill scratched then my Civi or Matriarch

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo-man
    With all respect, i would like to disagree on the "Chinese manufacturing quality". Either the Chinese have updated their QC drastically lately, or i have always bought the lemons from Chinese manufacturers. I have a hawkbill and say it's about 90 % of the Spyderco quality. I really like the hawkbill, because finally you can have the quality you need in a real user. My Spydies are used as well, but if i need to choose i rather have my hawkbill scratched then my Civi or Matriarch
    Mongo-man,
    Are talking about the "Crossbill" when you say "hawkbill"?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    176
    AFAIK, byrds QC is by spyderco...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 224477
    AFAIK, byrds QC is by spyderco...
    Here's what Mr. Glesser had to say about it.

    Yes, it is a cost effective alternative to Spyderco models, and yes they are made in China, but Eric and I designed them. We control the quality, materials, we break 'em, we check 'em.

    IMO, I don't think you will find more "bang for the buck" anywhere.

    sal
    http://spyderco.com/forums/showthrea...6&page=3&pp=15

    People have said that, as to fit and finish, they are 80-90% of a SS Spyderco. Someone even said they were about the same as the SS Jester.

    I'm not suggesting that the byrd's are as good as the Spyderco's. I really don't know since I haven't used a SS Spyderco. However, I have yet to hear a negative report on them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    176
    ghostrider,

    I start to think that we both should be named the "Official Byrd Promoting Team". We started the "crossbill mania" on spyderco forum.
    Sal, Joyce, what do you think?

    Btw. I have to make some new review to catch your level. You lead now with byrd reviews....


    J.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    West of the Rockies
    Posts
    4,123
    Ghostrider thanks for the review, I didn't think I'd be interested in the Byrd knives but after reading this thread I'm going to have to get a crossbill to see for myself
    Tim Musselman

  13. #13
    lol, J.
    Quote Originally Posted by 224477
    ghostrider,

    I start to think that we both should be named the "Official Byrd Promoting Team".
    What is in a name anyway? Besides, with all the converts, we've got company. Still, you may well have a valid point. We could easily write more reviews on the Crossbill, as time tends to have an effect on opinions. If we write reviews on other byrd's, we'll just have to get more byrds. I'm looking out for 440c stamped ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by 224477
    We started the "crossbill mania" on spyderco forum.
    He he he. Okay, okay, I'll accept that we might have had something to do with it.
    Btw. I have to make some new review to catch your level. You lead now with byrd reviews....
    Did you read my Meadowlark review? I wrote it shortly after I joined the forum.


    D

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by frogfish
    Ghostrider thanks for the review, I didn't think I'd be interested in the Byrd knives but after reading this thread I'm going to have to get a crossbill to see for myself
    frogfish,
    Thank you so much.

    Have you been to Spyderco forum? This review, combined with 224477's has generated a lot of "chatter" over there, including another review by another forumite. Strongly recomend you check it out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    176
    ghostrider:

    No, I have to check out that meadowlark review. At this moment I plan to wait for the "secret" byrds which are at this moment in works, especially the FRN ones. I havent seen any of them yet. Btw. I got 440C stamped on my Cara Cara, I guess that one will once happen collectors item. Like Sal said, the early byrds...
    see ya at home (spyderco forums)
    J.

  16. #16
    I purchased 2 Crossbills a couple weeks after they came out to use as work knives in electrical distribution construction. These are good knives but aren't spyderco quality. If you expect that you'll be dissapointed. If I didn't know it was made in china, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that it was. After a little over a week and not much use the lock stopped working on one of them so it was retired. Having to pack and ship back a knife and include 5.00 return shipping on a knife that was around 20 bucks just isn't worth the hassle, I consider that basically no warrantee. It would be cheaper for me to call and pay full price for another, once my time and effort is factored in. So I paid twice for one knife.

    The knife that didn't break has been a good knife and I use it pretty hard cutting zip ties , rope, stripping thick plastic insulation off of copper wire (it bites into copper every day). I work in atlanta georgia and I pretty much end up with my clothes saturated with sweat most days and the Crossbill has handled that wet salty environment in my pocket very well with little rust. I drop the knife frequently but haven't had any problems with it. The blade hasn't chipped even though it eats copper and it holds an edge well and isn't too hard to get sharp again (the tip requires more attention though) and it hasn't developed any play. It is frequently exposed to dirt and it's obvious when it needs a cleaning but once clean it is still pretty smooth to open. The clip has shown itself to be a little flimsy and I've bent it back once so far.

    From my perspective it is a good value but I'm not of the opinion that it represents a departure from what I could already get in terms of quality for the money. The main benefits of Byrd are that the influence behind them has a good idea of what people can use and want in a knife.

    I would most likely buy another Byrd knife but I'd likely badger the seller to give the unit a good 'once over' before shipping to avoid a repeat of the lock failure on the crossbill.
    Last edited by juremablanco; 08-06-2005 at 10:23 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by juremablanco
    After a little over a week and not much use the lock stopped working on one of them so it was retired. Having to pack and ship back a knife and include 5.00 return shipping on a knife that was around 20 bucks just isn't worth the hassle, I consider that basically no warrantee. It would be cheaper for me to call and pay full price for another, once my time and effort is factored in. So I paid twice for one knife.

    I think one of the first question that is asked in such an occurrence is “did you do anything to clean the knife”, as that can, and often does take care of the problem. Most say to just soak it in hot, soapy water, and then blow out with something like “Dust Off”. However, since you seem to be aware of dirt, and grit getting in the knife, I’ll assume you did something along that line.

    Assuming that you did try something along that line, I would still urge you to at least contact Spyderco to tell them of the problem. They’re still watching the byrd line closely, but they can’t fix a problem if they aren’t aware of it. I am under the impression that they haven’t heard of any problems with the Crossbill. That makes it even more important for you to alert them of this issue. The reason the Harrier was discontinued was because of quality issues. Chances are, if you contact W & R via email, they’ll tell you to send it in, and won’t charge you return shipping. I can’t speak for them, but you should at least let them look at it. You could be doing future Crossbill owners a service by alerting Spyderco to a potential problem.

    It is also possible you got a “lemon”. It happens on occasion, but shouldn’t reflect on the whole line. From what I’ve read on various forums, most people haven’t had problems with this model, but are very happy. The only negative (before your post) that I’ve heard is that it doesn’t come Spydersharp, but then, how many knives costing more actually do. Based on what you posted, it sounds like your other Crossbill has performed very well. It would be interesting to hear what the cause of the lock failure is.

    I sold my Meadowlark to a guy who works in the masonry field. Due to his career choice, all kinds of dirt, grit, and mortar get in the knife. I’ll sharpen the knife for him on occasion, and have had to give the pivot a thorough quenching to get all the mortar out just so the action will work smoothly again. The only thing wrong is that some blade play has developed, but that showed up during the break in period. Other than that, the knife has held up very well.

  18. #18

    Crossbill was a lemon

    Yeah the Crossbill was a lemon. It was very clean when it failed being very new.

    But , to be fair, of course there are problems with these knives but the warrantee is designed to be a hassle to deal with so that the knives don't get sent back. I'm not dissing spyderco's customer service. It is excellent and the people I've dealt with in Colorado over the phone and here in atlanta at Blade were some of the best I've dealt with in connection with ANY product. I've no doubt that if I cared enough to make it an issue they'd bend over backwards for me but these are cheap knives. They are of chinese quality. They aren't so complex that the failure is anything novel.

    My only real point is that these are worth the price, not more, not less. These are 20 dollar chinese knives. I look at them as knockoffs of spyderco by spyderco. At least the profits from these knives will go to support the company and enhance its offerings rather than undermine it.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by juremablanco
    But , to be fair, of course there are problems with these knives but the warrantee is designed to be a hassle to deal with so that the knives don't get sent back. I'm not dissing spyderco's customer service. It is excellent and the people I've dealt with in Colorado over the phone and here in atlanta at Blade were some of the best I've dealt with in connection with ANY product. I've no doubt that if I cared enough to make it an issue they'd bend over backwards for me but these are cheap knives. They are of chinese quality. They aren't so complex that the failure is anything novel.
    I don’t think it’s fair to say:
    “the warranty is designed to be a hassle to deal with so that the knives don’t get sent back”
    especially when you say you don’t even want to try. Granted, some people are less likely to spent $5-$7 shipping to send in a $20 knife, but that doesn’t make it a hassle. About the only difference between the byrd warranty, and the Spyderco warranty is the duration of, IIRC. Spyderco will send things like screws and such (if applicable) instead of making you send the knife in like other companies. As far as problems go, like Sal said, the response to the byrd line seems to be good, AFIK.

    Quote Originally Posted by juremablanco
    My only real point is that these are worth the price, not more, not less. These are 20 dollar chinese knives. I look at them as knockoffs of spyderco by spyderco. At least the profits from these knives will go to support the company and enhance its offerings rather than undermine it.
    As for not being better than a $20 knife: I’ve seen knives with a higher $ that aren’t as good as the byrd's. So yes, when compared with other brands, they are better than a $20 knife, however, if they charged anywhere between $30-$40 for a byrd, we all know we could buy a Delcia for about that much, maybe a little more.

    Again, like Sal said. They control the design, quality, and materials. They break ‘em, and check ‘em.

  20. #20
    Hey Ghost,

    Just wanted you to know that I cleaned up my worker Crossbill today for the umpteenth time. Now, keep in mind that this knife cuts into #2 copper wire (and I mean it literally cuts into the copper) that's coated in thick plastic insulation several times a day when used to strip the wire for switches on powerlines. That basically means alot of force against the blade in a variety of positions. Lockup is still a hundred percent and no blade play. After 5 minutes on the sharpmaker the blade was again shave sharp.

    But, I absolutely do think that the warranty is designed not to be used, at least by a good percentage of buyers who might have problems. Like rebates, the reason rebates are so popular with manufacturers is that they KNOW that a certain percentage of people won't send them in or will send them in incomplete or will send them in late. That's money in the pocket of the manufacturer.

    Oh, I do agree that there certainly are alot of knives priced much higher than the Crossbill that aren't nearly as well made or durable.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •