Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 Review
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Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 Review
I have been asked a couple of times already why I never seem to carry slip joints. I do have a few,at the same time, they don’t make up a large part of my collection. It’sbecause the knives I happen to like unexpectedly happen to have locking mechanisms, it’s not because I have anything against slip joints. One of the very few slip joints I do own, I am familiar that the Spyderco Urban, is perhaps the least traditional slip jointto be imagined ever, however since I don’t have any traditional patterns from Case or Great Eastern Cutlery yet, this should do as my first slipjoint review. That being said, I assume that the Spyderco Urban, is a fascinating addition to the Spyderco line up, by being such a modern take on a traditional style.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Size
The main thing to note other than its lack of a lock is its tiny size. At 89 mm (3.5 inches) long when closed, this is absolutely one of Spyderco’s little big knives:to a great degree like the Dragonfly 2 or the Balance in that regard.
Initially, Elise bought the Urban with the purpose of EDC-ing it herself, but for reasons I’ll get into later, she gave it over to me soon after unpacking it. I’m happy to have tried it out, even though this knife is far away from perfect, as it’s a genuinely designed slipjoint, which boosted me to get over my fear of losing my digits with non-locking knives.
The Spyderco Urban has a truly perfect 65 mm (2.6 inch) full flat grind Warncliff blade. As I find the blade especially appropriate for everyday tasks like cutting up boxes I have always loved Warncliffs for smaller EDCs.
The scales on the Spyderco Urban are clearly blaze orange G-10. This truly is a hate or love colour (which I happen to love), so I won’t remark much on it except to say that when you can’t remember where you have placed your knife such a loud colour does come in handy. It’s particularly useful if you are on a hiking or picnic, as though you drop your knife in the grass, it likely won’t remain missing for long.
As noted in that review, the wire clip is indistinguishable to the one on the Sage 2, and the clip functions perfectly. Without drawing attention to the knife,the wire clip hugs your pocket nicely, anyway with those 3 mm of bright orange G-10 jabbing out of the pocket, I wouldn’t suggest carrying the knife this way if you arereally trying to be discreet.
This knife is linerless and extremely pocketable. It literally vanishes in your pocket if you aren’t utilizing the clip.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Slip Joints
For those who are new to slip joints, basically think about a lock back (similar to the Buck 110), but rather than there being a notch for the lock to drop into, the slip joint simply leans against the tang of blade, applying enough pressure to keep it open.
The Spyderco Urban is a truly standard slip joint with regard to the “lock” design; although, the pressure on the knife is extremely strong. Yes, it’s true that the blade doesn’t lock open, but I promise you that the knife will in no way close suddenly by itself.
I have always sustained that in terms of fit and finish, Taiwanese Spydercos hasone of the best fit and finish, which is followed by USA Spydercos, and at last Japanese/Chinese made Spydercos.
However, what I’m saying right now is not that USA and Chinese/Japanese knives in particular have lower fit and finish than Taiwanese knives: not at all. After owning over 100 Spydercos, all I’m saying is that, I have found that there is some adjustment between high fit and finish and which producer Spyderco chooses for a knife. There are obviously exceptions to these rules. For instance, some Japanese Spydercos, like the Spyderco Balance, have perfect fit and finish, although others, similar to this Urban have quite a bit glaring imperfections.
I believe this is important to note, I purchased this knife online without seeing it in person just like many of you. I may not have bought it, if I had seen the Urban in person first. I would go to the extent saying that both my Spyderco Resilience and my Spyderco Tenacious blow this knife out of the water in terms of finish. And I genuinely should not bring the recently reviewed Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K into the picture, since that knife is well above the standard in terms of quality, and it’s like the Urban was finished by a drunk plumber, by comparing to the CQC-6K.
The steel slip joint/backspacer is inconveniently rough on the inside. I’m not kidding: I have seen gas stations knives with lesser grind marks. You can spot them near the tip, at the bottom. In the pictures, it’s not as evident as in the flesh, but I assure you, it’s impossible to imagine just how awful it really is.
Obviously, you may not really care how the knife looks like from the inside, but for me, I just don’t see how this kind of fit and finish is okay, with the $100+ price tag on this knife.
The balance is not truly neutral but it matters not, as the Spyderco Urban just weighs 57 grams (2 oz.) altogether, and has a general length of 154 mm (6 inches). In real world use, therefore, as a result of the balance being off neutral I have never seen any fatigue.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Blade
The 3 mm (0.125 inch) thick VG-10 blade is finely ground with an incredible tapered tip. The Urban is rather used as a slicer and is 100% not recommended for hard use. Meddling with this tip is really not recommended either, as it would take very little lateral pressure for the blade to snap. However, as this knife was never designed to be utilized as a pry bar and that is not a bad thing.
The Spyderco Urban additionally has the ideal amount of jimping on the choil of the blade and on the thumb ramp. When it comes to jimping I find that Spyderco quite often hits the mark, they normally get it to be perfectly functional without it being extreme. Great job here.
Spyderco’s Urban features a two-stop detent (shut and 90 degree). It’s an incredible feature for me, which is why the Urban joined my collection but poor Elise simply couldn’t make it work out for her. Despite the fact that she is extremely fond of the feel and look of this one, she said that even with practice it’s just too hard for her to close.
I feel that the knife opens somewhat smoothly, yet it’s difficult to gauge, as the slip joint tension is really very impressive. Honestly, I like it, yet your tastes may vary. If at all possible, I would suggest testing it out prior to purchasing it.
The back end of the slip joint/back space on my Spyderco Urban was so poorly ground that there is a clearly visible angle. Absolutely disappointing. However, besides this specific part, from the blade to the scales, everything else is very nicely put together.
Centering is somewhat off center, not a major issue but in this price range I would have expected better for a knife.
Of course, to speak of there is no lock, yet I dare say that it’s highly unlikely the Urban will ever fold on you incidentally (in the first place not when my wife can hardly get it open). It does have a generous choil, that being said, just in case.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Grip
Saber grip requires your fingers being on the choil because of the relatively short handle. However, it is pretty comfortable for a light EDC knife. Be considered that it does not have a lanyard hole, so you are out of luck if you want to extend the grip.
If the knife has a lock choking up fully on the blade would be great. Seeing as this is a slip joint I would suggest against it, as your thumb will presumably add too much pressure, taking a chance with an accidental disengagement of the slip joint.
In theory reverse grip is comfortable, yet again this is a non-locking light EDC knife. I would suggest against stabbing anything with it.
Pinch grip is truly comfortable. I have used this grip quite on the knife quite a lot of times, perfect for trimming the fat off of tenderloins. No problem with the slip joint disengaging in this grip.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Lock
Strikingly, I thought my main concern with the Spyderco Urban would be with its absence of a lock, before utilizing this knife. I found out that I really didn’t miss the lock in everyday use, when I finally had it. What really deceived me about this knife was the piss poor finish on the backspacer and the slipjoint. It really does distress me as this is not a cheap knife and I know I have already harped on about it. However, I have many knives that cost less than $40, I know that nothing is perfect, and many of which Spyderco has made (for example the Ambitious and the Tenacious), that could never leave the factory like this. The Urban is two slabs of G-10, a steel slipjoint and a small VG-10 blade. It isn’t so difficult to understand. At $100+, I am very sure to expect a level of finish above a $40 Spyderco’s range.
The Urban is very much like the Spyderco Balance, and is very expensive for what you get, in my opinion. But unlike the Balance, the Urban doesn’t have perfect fit and finish nor does it have any truly unique/eccentric design. I would save my money for something else, even though Spyderco’s Urban functions well, in my opinion. This absolutely isn’t worth the price, not for me.
Spyderco Urban Safety Orange G-10 – Conclusion
I make it a point never to shill, as I hope you know by now. On behalf of knife companies, I’m not here to sell knives, I’m just here to impart my impressions of a knife with my readers. Which implies that even though I do hand pick the knives by myself (and I never anticipate to disliking a knife I own), still at times I end up being disappointed, which means my reviews may sound overly critical when I focus on the issues I see with a knife. This generally happens when I feel the knife has “failed” its fixed purpose, or failed to be of a great value at its price point.
The Spyderco Urban is simply one of those knives for me. In the $100+ price range its low quality finish just doesn’t scream value.