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Spyderco Positron

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by samuraistuart, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. samuraistuart

    samuraistuart KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2006

    I don't think I have ever done a knife "review" before, but wanted to give out a little info on the Spyderco Positron. The picture above is an online stock photo.

    When the Positron with the orange g10 scales came out not long ago, I immediately liked the looks of it, and knew someday I would probably break down and buy one. That day came, and I am happy with the decision to pull the trigger! As you may know, the knife is a collaboration with Brad Southard. There is an older Positron model with carbon fiber scales and S30V steel. The new model has blaze orange g10 and S35VN steel (which is also another first for me). Made in Taichung Taiwan.

    Upon opening the box, the first thing I noticed was that the orange g10 scales were polished. To me, that polish looked gaudy, so I used 220 grit Rynowet and sanded it down for a duller finish, and I think the knife looks much better. With the polish, the orange g10 looked ugly to my eye, and was not representative of the pictures online at all. After the sanding, it looks great. Took all of 2 minutes.

    The blade action is smooth. Seems like I read somewhere that stated the flipper was best used as a push button motion (straight in) instead of a light switch (push down along the spine). In order to open the Positron I received requires a definite, somewhat strong "light switch" motion. Pushing straight in does nothing. The blade locks up solidly, and there is absolutely zero blade play. However, closing the knife is a different story, and has been discussed by many as to one of the knife's main drawbacks. The lock bar is hard to get to, as there is no cut out in the g10 handle. To close it with one hand, it's difficult to get enough of your thumb onto the lock bar to move it out of battery. Doable, but difficult. This is a relatively easy fix, however, and I am debating on leaving it as is or cutting a small amount of the g10 in order to allow more purchase for my thumb on the lock bar. Once the lock bar has been moved out of place and you begin to close the blade, the detent ball is very strong and pronounced, as you have to use your other hand to overcome the detent. As far as being critical of this knife, that is my only main problem. This should be addressed by Spyderco, and would be a minimal addition in production to remove some g10 to allow more room for your finger, and using a smaller ball (or lap it or something) for a smooth closing.

    The back spacer, also orange g10, is not completely flush with the handle scales. The spacer on my knife stands more proud than the knife pictured above. Not a real issue at all, and I think they meant for it to stand proud, as there is some jimping on the back spacer. To make it flush would be an easy modification as well, but would "erase" the jimping.

    The factory edge was sharp, but it is a factory edge, and I knew it could be improved upon. I set my sharpening guide for 20° (per side), and the scratch pattern was hitting on the edge shoulder, indicating that the factory edge was greater than 20°, probably 22.5° (just a guess), with a factory microbevel added on top of that. Starting with the DiaSharp coarse plate, I lowered the edge angle to about 20° per side, and progressed up to the EEF DiaSharp. I do not have a ton of experience with PM steel, but it really felt like the finer the finish, the less sharp. Not like carbon steel or even AEB-L that seems to take a screaming sharp edge the finer you go, this S35VN "seemed" to actually get duller. After a few attempts to get a fine finish using the EEF diamond, Fine ceramic, and UF ceramic, I went back to the 600 mesh diamond plate and then stropped on leather charged with green compound. I left it there, and it is very sharp, very satisfactory. I do not mean to imply that this is an error by Spyderco by any means, just an initial observation sharpening S35VN, that may be completely unfounded. I plan on using 4k and 8k water stones in the future, just to see what happens.

    Overall I am very pleased with the knife. I like the looks of it, the blade shape, the blade steel, the smooth action (during opening). The only cons were 1. hard to close with one hand because of the lock bar being hard to get to and the detent ball being very strong 2. back spacer is not flush 3. the orange g10 looked hideous with the polish. All 3 cons can be quickly alleviated (maybe not the detent ball...and other models may be smoother/easier?). I am glad I bought it, and glad to have my first Spyderco knife!
  2. vilePossum


    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks for taking your time and sharing your experience with us. The positron has always been interesting to me, but it just never made it high enough on my spyderco wish list to actually purchase it.
    It would be great if the would offer the s35vn in the black handles as well, but then again, for my use s30v is plenty enough.

    Gesendet von meinem SM-T813 mit Tapatalk
  3. tuckerone1


    Jun 15, 2014
    Thanks much for your review. GREAT JOB!!!
  4. NonDairy

    NonDairy Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    Does the black g10 version also have the silly polished scales?
  5. samuraistuart

    samuraistuart KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2006
    I don't think there is a black G10 version. There may be, but I think the only 2 available are blaze orange G10/S35VN (the latest one), and the black carbon fiber/S30V (earlier model).
  6. SAKsRCool

    SAKsRCool Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    I smoothed out the ends of the handle as they were sharp on my original one. Also had a hard time using my thumb to release the lock - started using my index finger as it's smaller and fits fine. When the knife is in your normal cutting grip, reach in there with your index and release the lock push down a bit with your thumb. The flipper end will stop on your index finger. Then flip the knife over to complete the close with your thumb.

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