SPYDERCO - Bill Moran Featherweight review

Nov 25, 1999
SPYDERCO - Bill Moran Featherweight review, part 1 of 2.

While ago we have discussed "Can the small fixed blade really replace a folder?" but nobody mentioned this knife, really small and really lightweight. So I decided to fill this gap and to share my impressions on SPYDRCO - Bill Moran collaboration.
This knife has some editions, I have the most latest one with satin-finished blade and Kydex (or maybe Concealex? I really don't know the difference) multi-carry sheath.

When I saw this knife first time I was somewhat surprised with its unusual shape and a bit exotic overall look. But when I took it first time into my hand I understood exactly what Bill Moran had in his mind designing this knife. Non-typically looking handle made of glass reinforced polymer fits my hand very comfortably in both saber (for precise slicking) and hammer (for heavy cutting) grip. It allows also quite comfortable grip in edge-up position what is not last thing for hunters when gutting. I never use knife in reversed grip but I must note this knife is very comfortable to handle in this position also.

Rubber inlays on both sides of handle and under the thumb provide very secure grip in wet or sweaty hand, these inlays is some kind of replacement for non-skid pattern on plastic handle.

Flat ground satin-finished VG-10 blade has long continuous curve and is excellent for precise slicking. I'm not hunter but I consulted this matter with my friend, expert hunter and he assumed this knife would be very useful for skinning. I'm also poor cook, so helping my wife in kitchen I always have the simplest job only, for ex. to slick the bread or vegetables for salad. In these cases I'm always using my Featherweight and it serves me nicely.
The edge was really razor sharp out of the factory box. Almost each brand-named knife can shave the hair on forearm - exceptions are rare. But with this knife I could shave my face, maybe not too comfortable but still.

In the latest edition Bill Moran Featherweight comes with nicely molded Kydex (Concealex?) sheath equipped with Tek-Lok multi-position belt fastener.

To be continued.

SPYDERCO - Bill Moran Featherweight review, part 2 of 2.

This fastener allows precise adjustment for belt wideness from 30 to 50 millimeters. I have found this future very important because when I'm placing the sheath for vertical carry it really retains this position and doesn't shift on the belt or change attaching angle.

Seven holes in the fastener's frame and eight ones around the sheath allow to place the sheath in multiple positions with relation to the fastener. As very useful I found cross-draw position, especially when sitting in the car.

The sheath is symmetric in relation to blade plane, so the fastener can be attached to each side. This makes carry system truly ambidextrous.
Instruction attached to the package shows how to place this sheath also in horizontal position along the belt, small of back and upside-down ones. I'm sure each user only minimally forcing his or her imagination could to think up at least some positions more depending on real needs. For example, I found neck carry position with removed fastener very comfortable and useful, especially at home when I don't need to conceal the knife. However this position could be quite acceptable for concealed carry also, of course under a bit heavier clothing than T-shirt.

I'm going to work up the paddle (something like on Böker - Bud Nealy Specialist's MCS) to carry this knife on jacket inside pocket's upper edge in upside-down position.

Well, can this small and light fixed blade replace a folder? Yes indeed! You can place it according your needs in different carry positions and whole package with sheath weights 170 grams only. I know plenty of folders in this weight range, SPYDERCO - Tim Wegner collaboration for example. However fixed blade is by far faster, stronger and no concerns about lock reliability! Really it is very nice alternative for outdoorsmen, hunters, fishermen or simply for sandwich making at a picnic

It can serve also for urban concealed carry, of course if local law regulations allow. However for use in the defensive weapon role I would prefer clip- or drop-point blade.
Probably the version with drop-point blade will be available in future; maybe Sal Glesser could comment this matter?

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland
I am thinking about buying a Spydie-Moran, the info comes handy. Thank you for your good review.

"Peace is not without conflict; it is the ability to cope with conflict" - Leo Giron
Nice review Sergiusz. And by the looks of your forearms, the blade is as sharp as you noted. While I don't own one, I have handled them and they are as you say; light and sharp. I prefer the old leather cross-draw sheath to the new Kydex one however. While the handle is indeed light and comfortable, the fact that it is a synthetic material is the only thing that has kept me from purchasing one.
As always, an excellent review. My brother-in-law is an avid hunter. I got him a Moran for christmas last year. He said it is one of the best hunting knives he has ever used. It really holds an edge. He completely cleaned four deer before it needed sharpening. His only complaint was that the knife was so sharp it would cut through the heavy rubber gloves he wears when gutting a deer. How many of us complain about a knife that is too sharp? Anyway, I also have one and love it. I can hardly wait for the drop point to arrive.

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