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Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something? 13848

No Life Club Posts: 2,549
Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« on: May 11, 2010, 10:11:22 AM »
Righty, saw that there was some interest in this knife on the forums, figured I'd throw in a few thoughts since I picked up one last week on a lark (and subsequently returned it).
For those that don't know, the Grasshopper is the newest Spyderco in the Bug lineup - SS handled, almost micro-sized knives.  The Honeybee (at 92MM open) and Bug (73MM open) were really too small to do much than dangle from a key chain and look cute, but with the release of the Grasshopper, the Bug lineup has been brought to the size of "useability" (at least to those without monstrous hands).

Specs (from Spyderco):
length overall   5 1/32 in. (128 mm)   blade length   2 5/16 in. (59 mm)   blade steel   
length closed   2 3/4 in. (70 mm)           cutting edge   2 1/16 in. (52 mm)   weight   1.4 oz. (39 g)
hole diameter   9/32 in. (7 mm)           blade thickness   5/64 in.    (2.25 mm)

Now yes, this is still a small knife, but not REALLY small.  The Grasshopper is much closer in size to the Spyderco Dragonfly or Byrd Robin than say, the Ladybug, and has started to move beyond keychain knife to small EDC blade.  Certainly, at 1.4OZ you're going to have some really heavy keys if you have this on your keychain.

Design
Blade:  This is a full flat-ground, classic Spyderco elongated leaf-shaped drop point blade.  In terms of shape, it looks like the flat ground Delica blade with a very slightly upswept tip, and shrunk every so slightly, EXCEPT that the that Spydie hole is nearly half the size (7mm vs. 13mm on the Delica).  While I might be concerned about this in any other situation, the Grasshopper is not meant to be a one-handed opening knife, so it's really not a big issue.
I do like the shape of the blade, it's finished well, it has a decent amount of belly for slicing, and the flat grinding starts at the very top of the blade down.  There's a very small amount of blade at the back that forms part of a finger choil that extends from the handle to provide more finger room.  Both the choil and thumb ramp lack jimping (probably an aesthetic design choice if anything).

Handle:  The handle is a satin finished full SS affair, with the only adornment being a laser-inscribed Spyderco Spyder on the handle.  There's a choil that extends partially on to the blade from the very front of the handle, and it serves to extend the usability and increase the grip.  This is easily a three-finger knife with large hands, maybe a four-finger if you've got smaller hands (and I do).  There's no pocket clip on this model, but there is a lanyard hole.

Lockup:  Well, this is part of Spyderco's SLIPIT line of knives, so there really isn't a true lock to speak of.  The back pressure on the slip joint is quite firm though, I was never really worried about the handle closing on my hand.  This high backspring tension also means that this is definitely not a one-handed opening knife - you can't even really Spydie drop this sucker despite the fairly significant handle weight.  When open there was absolutely no movement at the pivot - even on their cheap knives, Spyderco is one of the few companies to really get this right.

Fit and Finish:  For a very cheap knife, the fit and finish was typically very good.  All sharp edges were chamfered on the handle, the blade was evenly and well ground, the backspring for the slipjoint was even with the back of the knife, and as already mentioned there was no movement in the pivot when the knife was opened.  Not on the level of a Golden Spydie of course, but certainly to a standard higher than one could reasonably expect from a $10-15 knife.  As expected from Spydies, the Grasshopper came with a pretty good edge on it.

In Use
This knife is damn near useless.  I'm not kidding.  Despite the fact that the size is getting "small EDC" level with a 59MM blade, this is not a knife you'd want to be carrying with you on a regular basis.  I'll list the really big issues I had in just a day of carry.

Steel:  Absolute and utter crap (please excuse the language).  Spyderco is using their 3Cr13 steel on this knife, which is a low carbon, high chromium stainless without significant hardening elements.  While this was not a problem with the Honeybee and Bug, the Grasshopper falls firmly in the "small EDC" category with a 59MM blade, and this stuff is useless.  Seriously - I rolled an edge on this knife trying to cut packaging string.  It touched up nicely, but that's really the least of my worries.

Handling:  Another big problem.  With no texturing on a stainless steel handle, no pocket clip, no jimping and chamfered and rounded edges all over, this is one slippery bugger of a knife to handle.  The forward choil and finger indents on the handle helped, but if you've got large hands (or have the tendency to be slightly clumsy, as I do) you'd best be very, very careful.  I tried to be and nearly put this thing through my foot anyways, as despite very bad steel it's still got a point on it.

Lockup:  This is one of the few positives I have about this knife.  It's very solid open, and despite the fact that it's a slip-joint knife, I was never worried about it closing on my fingers.  It does take a little effort to open and close especially with such a small Spydie-hole, but you never feel like the blade is going to do so on it's own.

Conclusion:
Well, that's it, really.  Unless you really can't afford a thin cent more or want it for looks or to complete a collection, don't get this knife.  If you need a slip-joint for UK legal carry I'd advise you either wait until Spyderco fleshes out the SLIPIT line a little more or save up and get the Byrd Wings SLIPIT instead.  Otherwise, I think you'd be better served by something like a Byrd Robin, which is about the same price but has significantly better steel.

(Sorry no pics as I returned this thing before I thought to take any).

Thoughts and comments are always welcome.
No Life Club Posts: 3,242
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 12:30:33 PM »
Good review jekostas  :tu:

It helped concrete my view on whether to buy it :)

Even though it is only £11 I'd rather keep that £11 and put it towards a UKPK :D

             
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 06:26:04 PM »
Great review there mate :tu:

I wasn't particularly tempted before, but I'm really not now, so thanks for that :)

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,550
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 08:40:32 PM »
I recall hearing spyderco planned to use 12c27 in their bug line, but couldn't get it in time for production, and there is plan to switch to it sometime in the future.

I'm waiting for that to happen before getting any.
No Life Club Posts: 2,549
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 09:11:53 PM »
I recall hearing spyderco planned to use 12c27 in their bug line, but couldn't get it in time for production, and there is plan to switch to it sometime in the future.

I'm waiting for that to happen before getting any.

If that's true, the Grasshopper would go from useless to pretty good in one fell swoop.  The handling problems would still exist, but those could probably be alleviated by the judicious use of some grip tape.
No Life Club Posts: 1,571
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 09:19:22 PM »
Nice review jekostas.  I originally had my doubts about the Grasshopper and I'm glad your review confirmed it.

This is called a Swiss Army Knife. Do you know what Switzerland is? Switzerland is a place where they don't like to fight, so they get people to do their fighting for them while they ski and eat chocolate. - Larry David
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Spyderco Grasshopper - Really, really... something?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 08:26:09 PM »
Won't be getting one of those then.  :D

I'm back!!

 

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