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Byrd by Spyderco First Impressions

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by ugaarguy, Feb 28, 2013.

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  1. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 19, 2006
    Background: Ever since owning an AUS-8 blade / polished micarta handle Calypso Jr. in the late 90s, I've really liked a particular sub group of Spyderco's designs. Those being the designs where the base of the blade forms a finger choil with front bottom of the handle when open, and the same front bottom of the handle portion forms an uninterrupted or minimally interrupted surface with the hump behind the opening hole on top of the blade when closed. Further, their full flat grind leaf shaped or semi-leaf shaped blades in this sub group are very aesthetically pleasing to me. Hence; I own a Chaparral, received an "R" model with Nishijin glass fiber scales sprint run as a very generous gift from a friend, and I purchased one of the late 2012 sprint run burgundy handle MeerKat sprint run knives this week (more on that one in another thread). I'm also waiting for the Para Military 2 to become available again.

    All of that to say that I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Spyderco is offering my favorite design sub set in several of their Byrd knives. I'd read great things about the Byrd knives, and they always seemed well built when I'd handled examples previously. Spyderco's Tenacious and similar Chinese made value line knives, which are an evolution of the Byrd line's success, are getting great reviews as well. The 8Cr13MoV steel used in the Byrds and Spyderco value line knives is also a near exact copy of AUS-8 in composition.

    So, I ordered a Cara Cara 2 with G10 handle to hold me over until the PM2 becomes available again. I also added the G10 handle Robin 2, and Meadowlark 2 to the order. They arrived today, and I'm pretty impressed. The G10 scales, steel liners, lock bar, and skeletonized steel back spacer are all fit together and finished nicely. The blades open quite smoothly, and lock up tight and centered. There is no wobble, and no side to side play when the blades are locked open. The blade grinds are also pretty well centered, and all three were hair popping sharp out of their boxes.

    I could feel a little grit in them, and decided to take them apart and clean them. As I expected they were filthy inside from a covering of fine metal powder. After a wipe down of each part I examined the guts more closely since I had them apart. Critical surfaces like the blade pivots were actually quite clean. Non critical surfaces, like the sides of the liners, had plenty of tool marks left on them. Surprisingly, the liners were skeletonized, and there were bronze colored washers (phosphor bronze I'm assuming) on the pivots. Cleaned up and reassembled they were a bit smoother, but the grit removal was most noticeable.

    As far as nits to pick, I only have a single big one. That is that the jimping on the blades isn't very clean, and nowhere near as sharp as on my Chaparral or R. The lanyard holes don't have metal liners like those found on the R or PM2, but those knives also sell for 4 to 5 times the price of these Byrds. They open and close pretty smoothly, but they don't compare to the smoothness of the R, Chaparral, or MeerKat. Again, I'm comparing them to knives that cost 4 times as much though.

    Overall, these three Byrds have given me a quite favorable first impression, and so far they're holding their own against some much higher end Spyderco folders. The $25 to $32 price point is all the more impressive after getting a little more in depth with them. I'll be updating this with usage testing in the near future.
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Thank you.

    Looking forward to the testing. :)
  3. mole

    mole Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    I completely agree about the blade shape you describe. I carried a meadowlark for about a year and a half before moving on. Very good knives for the money.

  4. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Jan 19, 2012
    I have one of the Cara Cara 2s. I do not always carry it, but, it is almost always in the console of my car. Really nice for the price.
  5. Blackhawk30

    Blackhawk30 Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I just bought the Meadowlark2 and the CaraCara2 from a knife dealer at the Fredericksburg gun show this past weekend.I got the frn versions.Pretty nice knives.I think the dealer has PM2's.:cool:
  6. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Aug 20, 2012
    I bought a Byrd (forgot the model) in Kyrgyzstan merely because it was an interesting knife that I hadn't found in the US. Rather sturdy for such a slim profile knife.
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