Spyderco/Bill Moran Drop Point Review (longwinded)

Jan 14, 1999
Right before Thanksgiving I bought a Bill Mornan Featherweight. I really could not come to grips with the upswept point. I wanted a camping/hunting knife, and the point seemed that it would be in the way all the time. I read a couple of reviews, after purchase, and found that users were finding the same thing. I debated taking mine back, so I never cut anything with it, although it was sharper that s***. The handle was comfortable, and the sheath was truly awsome.

So after alot of soul searching I took it back and kicked in an extra $20.00 and got the drop point. I was in love. Besides the point there were some percieved differences. The rubber inserts in the handle were less tacky (a bad thing).

The grip is the same shape as the original,and the same side. The grip seems to fold into the swells of the hand and no matter how you grab the knife it is in your hand rock solid, with muscle and bone reenforcing the grip. While the less tacky rubber inserts are good, I am a little uncomfortable with resting my thumb on the triangular insert on the top of the handle. If I am doing delicate work I may worry about slipping forward, especially while cutting down and forward (hard to describe, but this is a subjective feeling). The worry is very minor in this area. The knife got placed in a defensive mode because of the handle, but the sheath and the actual cutting got it removed from my daily carry. All cops I handed the knife to commented on how solid it felt, and more than one saw the strengh of the pommel in a defensive situation. The sharpness, edgeholding ability, and handle made everyone want one for duty use.

The sheath was not as good as the previous. While it looks huge in relation to the knife the drawback is that it does not come with the tech-lock clip. I loved the Tech-lock on the original and found that I could put it on ANY bely/strap/pocket I wanted to. The smaller one on my drop point is just fine for dress belts, but I can't get it on my LCE, or even my underbelt (1 1/4 inch leather and velcro). It still has multiple mounting options, but without the ability to take a thicker/wider belt it's utility is diminished. I configured it for cross draw for an number of reasons. I could loop it on my belt in front of my left hip and draw to a defensive position without effort. I could fold a seatbelt slightly and have an accessable vehicle mounted knife. For a month I carried it in the crossdraw position clipped to the left shoulderstrap of my body armor. The swell of the grip stuck out a little, but unless you were looking for it you didn't see it. The flat sheath really helped here, and my badge camoflaged it. A larger clip would have made all of these more comfortable and easier to mount.

The blade shape and steel are perfect! For the last 6 weeks I have used this knife in the kitchen. I cut everything. Meat, veggies, fruit. I could not dull the knife in the kitchen. Boning roasts, sliceing, chopping, the knife didn't blink. The slight rearward rake of the knife (just a couple of degrees) worked well. A longer blade would have wasted the that rake, which should be useful for skinning. The point is right where you want it, always (so far). Pissed at how well I had dulled it after a month of cooking I sliced up mesqite sticks, cholla cactus, and prickly pears. Those who have dealt with prickly pears know that the fine hairlike spines are murder. The sticky sap made the knife a magnet for them. So a stabbed it into a xeriscaped flowerbed, driving the blade in to fine gravel and sand. Finally the blade was dulled. It went from super sharp to where it would scrape hair off. You could see the flat points on the edge. TEN strokes on the corners of the white stones on my Sharpmaker 204 (at 40 degrees) got it up to effortless shaving and 5 strokes on the flats of the white stones polished the edge to the point that I think the knife is as sharp as when I took it out of the box. The VG-10 had a frosted or satin finish, not a highly polised one. There are now a few scratches on it, from the gravel, and one small area where fruit juice mildly discolored it (the size of the head of a pin). That is the biggest problem I have had with it.

After dulling the knife I did some test cutting. The blade sailed through light wieght canvas with cardboard and newspaper backing. It cut really well, it stabbed far better than I imagined, burying itself with no effort. Snap cuts were between 6 and 10 inches long. On long, full bellied slashes and stabs the material would bunch up and snag on the choil, stopping the cut short. The stabs were most effected during stab to slash drills, and the problem was most noticeable on full slashes, where it hung up very badly.

Even with these minor shortcomings the blade, if I could get a new Tech-Lock clasp for the sheath, would probably make it back into my daily carry cutlery, on my bodyarmor (the smaller clasp makes my armor straps curl up and are a little uncomfortable, wasting the benefits of those new, thick, neoprene straps).

Hands down, this is the best sheath knife I currently own (and definately the best for the money).


[This message has been edited by lc609 (edited 01-08-2001).]
Pat, when you mean "caught up" do you mean the choil snags or the cutting edge snags?
I meant that the material slips off the edge and onto the choil and gathers between the rearmost corner to the edge and the forward portion of the grip.

Ah, I see. I'm envisioning your cutting motion in the air. I was just wondering if the blade was more parallel to the material is all or were you emphasizing cutting with the tip.
snap cuts were with the last inch of the blade. I wanted to see how much of the blade I could use for a slashing (counter)attack. If you start the slash near or in the last third of the blade and you try to slash deep then the knife pivots a little near you knuckle. The more continuous and long and deep you try to make it the more the tip travels faster than the choil and rather than slipping towards the belly it slips towards your hand. With roasts there is no problem because the meat will tear and part and cut as you wiggle the blade. The cloth, if it slips into the latter third of the blade always seems to bind to the point that it slows the blade and stops the cut. The choil does not provide any sort of bumper like on the Military or Calypso Jr., which would keep the material on the edge (unless you are really deep).

As soon as I can figure out how to post my scans I will...


excellent review. I have the impression, tho, that while many people, particularly hunters, were put off by the original upswept Moran blade, those who bought it--and there were lots--were very happy with it. As I'm in the market for one or the other, I'd like to ask, How about it, Forumites, any consensus as to which blade shape is best?
Mine is the best blade shape, IMO.
<A HREF="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=267001&a=1987900&p=23712916" TARGET=_blank>



BTW, you can order the larger Tek-Lok's directly from Blade-Tech for a fairly small fee. I ordered several a few months ago, along with several of the smaller ones.

A dog at play has the mind of a wise martial arts master, a mind capable of perfect focus. - Marc Christophe


[This message has been edited by rockspyder (edited 01-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by rockspyder (edited 01-09-2001).]
I love my featherweight. The only thing wrong with it is that I now have a BM Nimravious in M2...


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto