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Delica vs Ascent


Gold Member
Oct 14, 1998
I'm pondering getting another smaller folder w/ a the Spyderhole. This would be in a plain edge and a blade I could take w/ me to the airport and wherever.

Which would be better the Delica or the Small Ascent?


I have a Delica98 as my primary carry, since I work where the blade limit is 3". It is "Hell for efffective" as a cutter and has not needed sharpening since I got it in January. It weighs 2 oz. and cost $43 from KnifeCenter. It is the best buy, dollar for dollar, that you will find. If you are worried over reactions, I suggest a plain blade. Indeed, I would suggest a plain blade anyway, but especially if you worry about reactions.

Walk in the Light,
I don't think there's an obvious choice -- handle 'em both, see which fits your hand better. The delica is a classic, with excellent performance. I don't like the large ascent, but I think the small one is excellent. Both fine knives.

I prefer the Delica over the comparably sized 820 Ascent. The Ascent handle design, with the index finger cut-out, works better on the larger 830. On the 820, if you put your index finger in the cut-out, the knife sits way forward in your hand, and all you have to hold onto is the skinny, tapered portion aft. You can choke up, and put your middle finger in the cut-out, but then you have to contend with the wide front portion of the handle under the pivot. For this reason, I like the Spyderco Delica better.


There are enough other diferences that you really should try them both. The Ascent is thicker, both in terms of the handle thickness and blade thickness. I'm tempted to assume it will be a more robust knife than the Delica, but that's just an untested hunch on my part. On a pocket knife, thinness can actually be an advantage in the comfort department, though, so you just have to decide what's important to you. The Ascent has a pivot-end clip for dip down carry. The Delica gives you a butt-mounted clip, but you can switch it from one side to the other for right or left-hand carry (if you get the 98 version).

If I were to get an Ascent, I'd get the middle sized one (830). I like the Delica better than the 820 Ascent.

David Rock
I happen to have both knives you're asking about and find only minor differences between them in terms of carry, comfort, edge retention, etc. Both are light, both use good steel. In fact, I'm tempted to think that the small Ascent is BM's answer to the now classic Delica. I've been alternating the Delica w/ my Ascent for daily carry, simply out of curiosity. The Delica does the same stuff that the Ascent does, and does it w/ the same efficiency, if not more (b/c ATS-55 is supposedly a better steel than 34). Tru, the Ascent's handle is thicker, which to me, makes a more comfy grip (it's reminiscent of the AFCK's grip) but the Delica's handle, though thin in profile, is "taller" than the Ascent's, somewhat compensating for its thinness. The one big difference for me is the clip. Everyone's made a big deal about the reversible clip but I don't find it too impressive. Mainly b/c I carry my knives on the strong side, and that for me means putting the clip on the right side of the handle. However, that means the clip digs into my hand, and when I tried it on the left, it wasn't much better, AND the blade was more awkward to open (I had to flip it around to do so). On the other hand, the Ascent's clip, which places it in tip down carry, makes it easy for me to index, draw, index and open. But the hole on the Spydies bigger, making it easier for those of you w/ bigger hands to open. So all in all, they're just cosmetic differences arising from personal preference. Hell, just get both and sell the one you don't want. Actually, for the money, I'd go w/ the Delica. At $40, it seems like a better deal than the Ascent which goes for $5-10 more and you don't even get to try out a new alloy like on the 98 Delica! That's just my advice to you.
I perfer the Delica myself. The smallest Ascent was just too small for me. But like Joe said handle them both.


I prefer a sub 3" blade myself for inconspicuous carry. Did you know that the Delica '98's blade is actually longer than 3 inches? Hope you don't get in any trouble over less than 1/8 of an inch!

Take care,


There's more than one way to skin a cat!
The Delica '98 would be my choice, but then I'm biased because it's my favorite knife.
One advantage of the Ascent is that it takes up less pocket real estate due to its slimmer profile. If this is not an issue, I think it is a tough call.

Benchmade has the option of BT2 coated blades but only on the partially serrated ones (I think -- this may have changed).

On the other hand, if you want a fully serrated knife, you will have to go with the Delica.

If you do decide to go with the Ascent, I would definitely check out the new flat-ground models.

Let us know what you decide!


Clay Fleischer

"My redneck past is nipping at my heels..." -BF5

[This message has been edited by CD Fleischer (edited 25 May 1999).]
The Delica's a classic, tried and true. But there are drop point (Ascents???) that have clips that you can move all around I think, and BM's have the option of a BT2 coat.

[This message has been edited by Stompy (edited 25 May 1999).]