Mega-folders: Spyderco, et al?

Oct 3, 1998
Jim March, a fan of the Cold Steel Vaquero Grande and that now-discontinued Al Mar monster slicer, has recently suggested that Spyderco should do a mega-folder, something bigger than the usual maximum of four inches.

Actually, they do. The Catcherman. 4-3/4".

An upswept blade, longer than the Cold Steel Scimitar. Fairly thin stock, since it's for cleaning fish, not kevlar-clad bad guys. Meanwhile, the Vaquero Grande stands out as the pocket knife you want if the weedwhacker is broken.

Any thoughts out there on mega-folders?

I have a couple of reservations. On of them is that, for doing mundane pocket knife chores, I like to be able to bring my finger out near the point for maximum control.

The other one concerns what may be an uniquely Californian phenomenon - a weapon-unfriendly jurisdiction that outlaws the concealed carrying of the most benign little fixed blade, but declares any pocket knife in its folded condition a non-dagger, no matter how huge.

If Californians start carrying mega-folders expressly "for protection" in large enough numbers for the authorities to notice, I suspect that it will not be long before the Legislature decides that the oversize pocket knife exemption was an oversight.

Re: CA legicritters waking up to the potential, Lynn Thompson doesn't seem worried. One of the articles on his site directly discusses the legal implications of CA megafolders.

And on that note, to the tune of...well, you'll figure it out:

o/~My underwear is brown
'Cuz I wuz mugged today
I'd been out for a walk
On a winter's day
You know I need a bigger knife
To chase the muggers away!

To chase the muggers away!

Stopped at a knife shop
And asked the clerk "please,
I need something that can stop
some fool from getting my monies
you know these bastards like to bop
people's heads to their knees!

To chase the muggers away!

He showed me this big thing
it had a long-@ss blade
looked like it should be on a rifle
like as a bayonette made!
If a mugger saw it,
his pants would brown today!

To chase the muggers away!o/~


Jim March
Mega folders can offer mega legal problems if apprehended. (read: expensive at the very least and freedom deprivation at the worst). Would you rather have a 6" dull blade or a very sharp 4". Will a mugger really run away if you show your weapon, or will he shoot you. He probably isn't on his first "mugging". If you're going to take the chance to carry a 6" blade, why not a 12" fixed bowie. Bill Bagwell manages to conceal a large bowie. 12" is much more intimidating that 6". Does a larger size make deployment quicker? Not much good if you can't get to it. If your good, and quick, won't a 3" Delica get you out of trouble just as well as a large blade? And it is easier to explain to the arresting officer. If you're going "inside", Bram's (Rekat) escalator will do what you need with a 2-1/2" blade. Just some comment to stir things up.
I don't know if it makes mega folder status but, the spyderco civillian is pretty big and mean looking. I didn't know about the folder law here in CA. I just carry my little GT auto. Maybe, it needs a big brother.
Ah ha! I see Sal catching the forum bug already. Go ahead and jump on in on conversations like this, you will find that this kind of chat is very addictive.

I am not sure if you are familiar Sal, but Jim is referring to the fact that California has no limit on the size of the folded knife carried. As long as it is folded, and it isn't a Butterfly or a Switchblade, then it is technically legal. The key word is: FOLDED.
Now, the letter of the law does not mean the application of it, so I prefer to stick with something more benign and rely on my skills. I stick with sub-4 inch non-scary looking folders like the Wegner or the Goddard lightweight when I am running.
It all depends on if you want to go by the letter of the law and depend on a good attorney, or try your best, in possible futility, to stay well within any stretch of the law and avoid legal ramifications.

Sal, thanx all the same, I'd like a sharp 6"er. In a thumb-operated folder, that's 100% legal...actually, even larger is legally fine, but we start running into mechanical limits of what a lock can do so I'm not asking for a 9" monster.

Fast access: I regularly carry the Cold Steel Vaquero Grande as a front-pocket companion. If I don't like my surroundings, I can go to a casual-looking "hands in pocket" stance, from there do a *very* rapid deploy. I also have a homebrew shoulder rig based on leather and bungee cord; the pivot end sockets up into a 1" deep pocket, there's a small completely seperate leather pocket at the butt end and the two are connected by 1/4" bungee cord. The whole center of the knife is available for grab, you pull down an inch, swing it out pivot first, snapopen into a point-forward grip. I can draw this from under a jacket in under one second if *surprised*.

Ask to "what will a cop or a jury think", the truth is California's gun laws are fundamentally corrupt. We've got proof of bribery and other forms of bias (including racial) going on in the permit process to conceal handguns; I carry serious cutlery for defense because I can't get a gun permit.

The good news is, there were so many LEO screwups over knife busts a few years back the legislature was *very* specific on what's legal, if the cops don't like it they can commit lewd acts on themselves.

There's 17 million people in this weird state. I'd say that's a market...but if you don't like this idea, do a Muskrat and maximize the potential of the 4" class folder.

Best of all, do both

Jim March
I`m gonna side with the big folder crowd. I often carry a CS Lg.Vaquero and I`ve found it`s very useful. It cuts open boxes and such as well as a small knife but offers big knife cutting ability for such things as cutting up watermelon etc. Not that I do that every day but I can if I want. For self defence I rely on a gun so the size of the knife I carry is rather academic,however if I did ever have to use a folder for that purpose you can bet I`d rather have my Vaquero than ANY sub 4" folder. Many states have no blade length limit(like mine) so legality isn`t an issue. Also a 6oz. big folder is much easier to carry than a 20oz. mega bowie and much easier to conceal not to mention much more legal in most states. It will be an advantage in a self defence situation over a 3" blade. The larger blade is easier and faster to deploy under stress with a flick of the wrist and a loud "SNAP" than a smaller blade where one must remain coordinated enough under stress to deploy it with the thumb stud or hole. Further,if peoples reactions to my Vaquero when I whip it out and snap it open are any indication there`s a good chance a BG would run away at first sight of it. Sure a 3" blade can do the job but a monster folder will do it better. IMO there is a point of diminishing returns though around 6". Personally I`m happy with 5",the blade`s big and the grip is still reasonably sized. At 6" the grip is oversized for both hand and pocket but still usable,any bigger seems silly to me. I`d really like to see BM make the Axis and Pinnacle in 5"! OTOH,I carry my Vaquero much less now in favor of a StiffKISS in SOB carry because it`s faster,easier to carry and scares the sheeple less. In other words take my advice,I`m not using it.
I have been carrying a VG in my front pocket as my main knife since mid November, and I think tht there is some real merit to the Mega-Folder school of thought. I have used it for cutting brush, opening boxes, cleaning under my fingernails, and stirring my coffee, and it works well, and the more I use it, the less cumbersome it feels. I find myself using it in my kitchen for veggies, and wacking up frozen hamburger too.

I do have a few reserations about the whole design, I like the shape, but I really do hate the @#$%^#! microserrations. The handle feels okay, but the pins seem too small for a knife of this size, and I think I would prefer a g-10 or micarta handle with 1/16" SS liners, and a variation of Mr. March's linerbar lock, or something stronger than the ol' toggle lock.

I would like another knife in the Mega-Folder catagory, perhaps two, A nice drop point, or just something a little less radical than the VG, and a folding Outsider (3/16" ats34, steel slabs for handles, aiming for about 16-18 oz. in the pocket...why not? an empty 1911 weighs 32 oz.) for those trips to the "bad" parts of town. I think it can be done. Heck, it should be done.

Off in search of Knirvana....yek

I was also irritated by the CS serrations. Two weeks ago I took my VG to the belt sander and removed the serrations. I was very careful to not overheat the blade while grinding. The resulting knife still takes a razor edge and unless you very close at the base of the blade you would never know it used to be serrated. I like the knife much more now and I am going to grind my one remaining serrated CS.
Do we need another mega folder ? I think we might need not one, but many different folders in the 5-6 inch category, so that
anyone who wants it can pick one that fits his needs and taste. There are so many different folders in the 3-4 inch group,
yet only a handful of bigger ones. Their usefulness may be limited, but I would buy one regardless, and I think many others would do it, too.
Side note : The first Volkswagen New Beetles are showing up in Germany, and people stop and stare. The VW Golf (Rabbit) does
everything as well or better than the Beetle for less money, yet the waiting list for the Beetle is very long. It seems people are not
completely rational when shopping for cars, and it's the same thing about knives. (I know, I bought a KA BAR Warthog and love it!)

Spyderco, being such an innovative company, could maybe test the waters with a limited production run. I bet they'd be surprised
by the customer interest. Here's what I would wish for in a Spyderco mega folder :

-Blade length would be 5 inches.
-It would be a (front) lockback design, to make the knife completely ambidextrous (I'm a lefty) and keep all those who don't trust the liner lock happy.
-The handle would be stainless steel or aluminum with Kraton inserts on both sides. It would feature a pronounced groove for
the index finger.
-The blade would be a stretched version of the Jess Horn c38,
with a large Spyderhole to open it. I would prefer a plain edge, or a Combo-Edge with about 1.5 inches of serrations.
-The knife would not have a pocket clip, it would be carried in a quick-draw kydex sheath designed to be worn horizontally
on the belt. This sheath would also be designed for left- and right-handed use.
Three reasons for this carry system :
1. An AFCK is the largest knife I can comfortably carry in a jeans pocket.
Anything longer will be difficult (I wonder why CS is switching from sheaths to clips on their new VQs)
2. A folder carried via pocket clip in a jeans will gradually ruin it.
3. If there is no clip, the handle can be oval instead of flat on one side.

-The whole package would retail for about 150 dollars (Wishful thinking ?)

I wonder how many of these 'California Assault Folders' You'd have to sell to make the whole project profitable. Does anyone know how many Vaqueros and Gunsite Tantos have been sold ?

Take care,
Tobse !

How about the XLG Voyagers? No one ever seems to mention them. The clip point had a 5" bowie style blade in a Lg.vaquero grip,lots of belly and it`s available plain edge (yipee!). Only prob is I can`t see paying what they`re asking for a zytel,no liners,non adjustable pivot,plastic pocket clipped,AUS8 folder. Now if someone would make a knife with similar lines with a strong lock,G10 scales over titanium liners with an ATS34 or better yet 440V/420V/BG42 blade and a good moveable stainless pocket clip,THAT would be something. Sign me up for the first production run! Marcus