Yeah, don't buy one! Why spend that kind of money on a knife with no liners, a giant hole, and exotic steel. Buy a BM AFCK (all serrated) or a Genesis instead. Stick with ATS-34 and common designs, and save some cash.
Also, the CRKT company has some nice knives. For a lighter carry knife with awesome cutting power, the Cold Steel Voyagers are fantastic. If you must buy Spyderco, go for the Endura or Endura II.
I too, must ask if EK is joking. While I appreciate the Delica and Endura, they are not the knife that the Military is. The Military is the flagship of Spyderco. It is a common design. I would say there are alot os Militarys out there. I have a military in ATS-34 and one in 440-V. The 440 is superior to ATS-34.
CRK&T make good knives, for the money, and so does cold steel. But for a working folder the Military is hard to beat.
"I don't care if you think it's your right. I say: Sorry, it's 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison."- Rosie O'Donnell
"I don't care if you think it's your right. I say: Sorry, it's 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to make stupid comments, and if you do make stupid comments I think you should go to prison."- Dennis R. Bible
I have a 440V Military, it's one of the two folders I actually use daily, the other is a Large Sebenza. It doesn't need two liners because the G-10 is thicker and stiffer then most; this makes it very light for its size. The giant hole is a plus because it makes opening very easy, especially with gloved hands, good to have here in the Northeast. The 440V blade is incredibly sharp, and stays that way long after ATS-34 has dulled. Mine even sharpened up easily with two passes on a ceramic stone to a hair popping edge, which surprised me after other people said that the 440V would be hard to sharpen.
The Military is my first Spyderco, I'm so happy with it that it has changed my whole perception of Spyderco.
I'm not quite as starry-eyed about the Military as most folks, but I will say some things in its favor:
The blade geometry is fantastic, pure functionality. The long flat grind means it has very little resistance as its pulled through thicker materials and allows it to be in fairly thick stock for a folder yet have a nice, thin edge and surprisingly slim tip.
The 440V steel is not some risky "exotic" - it has proved itself with this design for years and is being adopted in other Spydercos and by other companies like Kershaw. Furthermore, it is well established with custom makers. Don't be fooled - ATS-34 is a good steel but was also a fad because it could take such a high Rc hardness and remain usable. Frankly, when ATS-34 is hardened as much as Benchmade does theirs, I'd rather have something more sharpenable and less brittle like GIN-1. Particle steels, on the other hand, are a genuine revolution in technology, allowing carbon contents 2-3x anything before them - and outstanding performance at more "usual" Rc levels in the mid to high 50's.
The liner design on the Military doesn't inspire confidence, I agree, but it is quite solid and if Spyderco says it will take force than knives like the AFCK, I will believe them. I do feel that they made an error in buyer perception by going with the unsupported G-10 (and perception is just as important as actual merit when selling a knife), but when you get the knife in your hands and play with it for a while, it becomes apparent how solid the design is.
The big hole...well, I don't care for it. But it's not a big deal, and if you ever had gloves on you'd sure be happy to have it.
Overall, my gripes with the Military are only that I feel it could have fit another 1/4" of blade into that handle and the fit and finish on the one I received, while much improved over past examples, wasn't on par with Spyderco's Japanese-built models (though it was roughly comparable with a Benchmade). I own a number of large folders, including an AFCK which is like an old friend at this point, but the Military is the knife I intend to carry when I know I will be using my knife for serious cutting chores.
Well, I LIKE the Military, because it performs, it's about oh, Endura to the 10th power. And so, $ wise, I think it's a pretty good deal. BTW, ekaagan, it's hard to evaluate a knife unless you actually use it. Buy one, if you don't like it, I guaranty someone here will gladly buy it from you in the for sale forum, so, give it a try and tell us what you think, eh ?
Heh, I wonder too if ekaagan isn't yanking our chains.
Like Corduroy, I like the Military as well, and am not surprised it has such big fans. But I also have some similar comments. The handle is monstrous. For me, it's just way too big to consider as an everyday carry knife. What's worse, inside that huge handle is a blade that could've been much bigger. Lastly, the thin but high handle feels a bit odd in my hands -- completely subjective I realize.
Anyway, awesome knife, but for me it's not quite a slam-dunk. Every other part of the knife -- blade shape, blade grind, big hole, CPM steel -- *is* a slam dunk!
I love my Military (I'm getting another one so I can retire the one I already have).
From a parachute rigger's perspective, it's a great all-around knife. Great daily carry,
slim in my pocket no matter what my position was. I love the edge retention and design. I can use it to cut thread thats thicker and stronger than bowstrings, and the tip can get in to slim areas that other knifes couldn't(the tips usally broke- lots of BMs failed at this.
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!
I'll answer your question first since it was the most reasonable. It's not a question of which steel is better--I don't remember where I said ATS-34 was better than CPM-440V. My issue is that steels are a flavor of the month kind of thing with knife manufacturers. With ATS-34 such a popular AND proven steel without the higher cost of these next-generation materials, why stray? I'll answer that, because it sets one manufacturer apart from another. Hey, in one respect that's good since how else does one advance technologically. But, what really frightens me is the skyrocketing prices of all the new knifes. What do you gain from a blade with CPM-440V, especially in a folder? Are you gonna pry with it, hammer with it, carry it into extreme weather or subject it to harsh chemicals? ATS-34 is used by a majority of manufacturers because it is a great steel from blank to blade and it isn't overly expensive. Anyone care to provide a list of manufacturers that currently use CPM-440V in production knives....
Why does Spyderco insist on using every steel know to man in their knives? Spyderco frequently pushes the envelope with new, and unique steels, but at a much higher cost.
Buy one. I never had an appreciation for Spyderco until I won the plain edge Military here on the forums. At that time, I was an ex-Benchmade fan turned Microholic. My CPM440V Military is, without question, the sharpest out of the box knife I have ever seen, far surpasing Brend polished Microtechs costing 10 times as much. The Military exudes quality. Before I got it, my daily carry was an M2 AFCK. I thought it was tits...my Military impressed me so much I sold the M2 AFCK and now carry the Military daily. The way it feels and cuts is tremendous. Like Brian said, if you don't want it, someone here will buy it.
ekaagan - I disagree with many things you have said but want to answer your question, "What do you gain from a blade with CPM-440V, especially in a folder?" You gain sharpness lasting 10X longer than ATS-34 and lose the brittleness of ATS-34 for very little price difference. To me, sharpness that lasts one of the number one things I look for in a knife. If you are afraid of advances in technology, maybe you should go find a Model T to drive.
Seems like I'm taking a LOT of heat for what I said about the Military. Geez, you'd think I criticized Mom or something. You all have made good points about "your" knife, but I am at heart a traditionalist. Until more manufacturers start using CPM steels and radical designs I choose not to go there. Someone said that ATS-34 was brittle, but that's the main reason the industry hasn't fully accepted CPM-440V, you've got it backwards.
Special word for Chief...I never said I was afraid of technological advances, I merely said that I was unwilling to pay the high price for it. I don't drive a Model T, but I wasn't the first guy to spend cash on a VCR the first year they came out either. Remember the cliche: "The high price of fashion", believe me, that's pretty much what new steel is.
[This message has been edited by ekaagan (edited 22 May 1999).]
Thanks for your special word. Compare the price of the AFCK ($80) to the Military ($109), not that much difference is there? ATS34 is brittle my friend, I have a Benchmade Emerson that has seen hard use and is almost serrated it is chipped so bad. There is a reason everyone chimed in...You came across with an attitude and everyone saw it.
OK Chief, your chance to shine: who's got the Military for $109? If there was no "attitude" in these forums it wouldn't be as full of opinions and it wouldn't be as fun. Most (not all) chimed in because Spyderco is a forum favorite, they love Sal, and took what I said personally.
Titan - thank you for the link to "SPYDERCO MILITARY, WHATS THE TALK ABOUT". Poor Rage
I'm sorry I said ANYTHING bad about the Military.
[This message has been edited by ekaagan (edited 22 May 1999).]