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Southern Grind Spider Monkey

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Slowbyker, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Slowbyker


    Mar 12, 2018
    Southern Grind Spider Monkey serial number 2023.

    Like most people, I studied reviews on the Southern Grind Spider Monkey carefully before pulling the trigger. With one exception, the criticisms that others have shared about this knife don't line up with my experience, so I thought it might be worthwhile to offer my first review on this forum.

    Fit and finish on my example, (serial number 2023) are excellent. All pieces fit together perfectly, no gaps where there shouldn't be, no grind marks where there shouldn't be, no rough edges.

    The blade grind is excellent with the only slightest asymmetry on the secondary bevel. This requires close inspection to notice and is well into nit-picking territory.

    Detent is firm, allowing for quick deployment from the thumb studs. Lockup is early but solid with no blade play in any direction. I don't experience anything I'd call lock stick. The blade will drop freely when the lock bar is released.

    When slowly opening or closing the knife, there was some grittiness. This was apparently introduced by the detent ball sliding across the blade stock. I lived with this for about a week since it didn't bother me much. One evening I had some time to kill so I found some Hoppes gun oil and placed a drop on the pivot. I should have done that sooner. It was transformative. The action is glass smooth now. I've made no adjustments or alterations to the knife otherwise as none are needed- something I can't say about any other knife I own.

    Ergos a great for my medium glove wearing hands. The pocket clip doesn't bother me while the knife is in hand.

    Speaking of that pocket clip, It's very tight and requires deliberate effort to clip it to my jeans pocket. Once there, it's not going anywhere tough. I'd rather a pocket clip be too tight than too loose. Still, I find that I carry this one in the bottom of my pocket most of the time. Its small enough to go unnoticed there.

    My one gripe is with the thumb studs. If you fidget with your knives, like I do, and spend more of your time riding a desk than riding tractors, you may find your thumb gets worn after a while. After a good week of flippipng, it doesn't seem to bother me anymore. Either my thumb has gotten used to it, or the improvement in action post-oiling has cured the issue.

    Much has been said about the value proposition of the Southern Grind Spider Monkey. $219.95 isn't cheap, but when you put it into context against what else is out there, it seems easier to swallow. Take the Benchmade Foray, for example. At $191.25 you're getting a different high end steel in the same size blade, steel liners vs. the Spider Monkey's titanium liners, fairly flat G10 scales vs. the Spider Monkey's intricately finished carbon fiber and 3.58 ounces vs. the Spider Monkey's 3.2. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

    What other compelling options are out there in a 3.25 blade near that price point? Chime in in the comments. I'd like to know what you think.
  2. Slowbyker


    Mar 12, 2018
  3. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    I love mine and agree with most of your thoughts. Interestingly, it actually made me sell my BM Foray. Very similar knife but the Spider Monkey is just better all around. And the Foray is a great knife.

    Mine came perfect. The action is smooth and fluid and the fit and finish is spot on. I really like the details in the CF scales. They provide a nice bit of grip.

    The pocket is probably the only slight negative for me. Looks great and I love the shortness of it but it is pretty tight. Takes a little effort to clip it into your pocket. It also tends to hang on for dear life. But, that's just a very minor gripe on my part.
  4. Slowbyker


    Mar 12, 2018
    For this purchase, the Spider Monkey was competing against Benchmade’s Foray and Saibu for my money. When I got the Saibu in hand, I wasn’t crazy about the ergos. Still smitten with the looks though. I passed on the Foray in part because I don’t trust my sharpening skills on that subtle recurve though I have a strong preference for the axis lock. Now if Southern Grind could liscence the axis lock and put it in the Spider Monkey, I think I’d have found the perfect knife. As it is, I’m still digging the Spider Monkey.
  5. GJJGrappler


    May 19, 2006
    Love my Spider Monkey. Blade is sharp as hell, I like the ergos, and love the look of it.
  6. Kels73

    Kels73 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    Thanks for the review. This knife has been on my radar for a while.
  7. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Spotted one in a store counter display the other day and wasn't impressed by the looks -- seemed kind of gimmicky to me, but YMMV.
  8. The Burgh

    The Burgh Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    Had two positive experiences after buying the SM. First, the visual appeal of the marketing pictures were more than confirmed when I got it in hand. (Yep, the sculpted carbon fiber radiates.) Second, the usage performance was above my expectations.
  9. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    The looks might not be for every person out there but I can assure you the build, F&F, function and usability are all top notch. It's a great knife. Kicked my ZT 0450 right out of my collection.
  10. ericlosh


    Oct 9, 2013
    i have one and im not thrilled about the proprietary screws and a pocket clip this tight kinda makes a pocket clip useless. Been slowly bending it with some pliers. Im not interested in fighting with my tools and its a chore getting the knife back in my pocket when im done, i dont like just tossing it in the pocket

    i like the tanto grind, the ergos, i like being able to wave it open. the weight and feel is great.
  11. Slowbyker


    Mar 12, 2018
    Have you tried a Benchmade clip on it? I’ve heard speculation that they fit but no confirmation.
  12. ericlosh


    Oct 9, 2013
    i did, but i got the wrong one. The scale has a little pocket milled out that the clip has to fit in so the bm clip has to be one with a smaller foot print to fit in that spot.

    I like the clip the spider monkey came with just not the tension so ive been slowly bending it out with some pliers.

    I was trying to adjust the pivot and tightened it too much, didnt think i had gone so tight but i did. I ended up breaking my t8 bits trying to loosen the pivot back and stripping the pivot itself. I was supposed to call the monday and forgot till it was late evening and i forgot again today, so im going to hopefully do that first thing when i wake up.

    So we will see how getting that fixed goes, ill have them check out the action when i send it as it became gritty. i suspect it just needs a clean and lube but i couldnt do that thanks to the proprietary screws. Ive heard the pocket clip screws fit so i may ask them if they can do that
  13. jmgruber

    jmgruber Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 27, 2018
  14. ericlosh


    Oct 9, 2013
    its at southern grind, i just sent it in like a week ago finally.
  15. KayJay


    Sep 12, 2018
    It fits same with the Emerson clips.
  16. ericlosh


    Oct 9, 2013
    new blade for $65 knife still warrantied.

    An included note i wrote detailing that the problem occurred after adjusting the pivot was the reason for the charge. One of their guys, Chris, called me with an update. He was unable to retrieve the note and prevent a charge to me. So call and talk with him first if it matters to you. He also offered a discount on a future knife to me or a friend......I may call him back cause those copper and damascus models look real pretty....just to see. Might make saving for it more reasonable

    Personally I'm not upset for having to pay a fee. The problem, though a first for me, happened as i was fooling with it.

    Over all the service has been excellent. They are very easy to get ahold of and they really take time to understand and take care of your problems.
  17. ericlosh


    Oct 9, 2013
    my spider monkey is on its way back to me now
    jmgruber likes this.
  18. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    Thanks for updating your thread.
    I like my SM quite a bit.
    Like others, i’m not terribly thrilled about the pocket clip. It hasn’t bothered me enough to change it out, though I may at some point.
  19. Slowbyker


    Mar 12, 2018
    A recent development with my Spider Monkey- On three occasions I’ve reached into my pocket to grab the knife and found it partially open. Luckily, no resulting wounds. I’m not going to push my luck anymore and have taken it out of the rotation until I figure out why this is happening.
  20. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    Do you not carry it with the spine of the blade against the pocket seam?

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