The beginning of Spyderco as we know it today began in 1976 when inventor Sal Glesser created his first product when he wasn’t able to find a job. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t actually a knife. He called it the Portable Hand. It was a strange-looking device that allowed people like jewelers and hobbyists to work with small parts because it securely held items in place, leaving both hands free for other purposes. The useful device looked freakish, like something you would find in a sci-fi movie, bearing a striking resemblance to a spider.
With the success of the Portable Hand, Sal Glesser and his wife traveled around to trade shows in a converted bread truck before settling in Golden, Colorado in 1978. At the same time, he went around selling the Portable Hand, he also invented the Tri-angle Sharpmaker. The Sharpmaker, which is still in production today, was successful enough to fund some of the research and development on other projects.
Then, in 1981, Spyderco released the C01 Worker. The C01 Worker was a knife of many firsts: the first Spyderco knife, the first to feature the trademark round hole for ambidextrous and one handed opening, the first folder to use the clothing clip. And more importantly, The C01 Worker completely shifted the ways we interact with knives today.
It takes time, effort, and patience to become a popular knife brand, but what helped Spyderco succeed was the philosophy of making the best knife possible. While Sal and his wife traveled and sold their knife sharpeners across the country, they would talk with countless people about what they needed in a knife. Like a sponge, the two soaked up the information and took it to heart.
The result of that information was the creation of knives that were not only unique and original but highly functional. With the help of custom knife maker Al Mar, Sal was able to make contacts in the US that allowed him to manufacture knives at the quality he desired.
While the Spyderco’s logo is a spider, sometimes it does get confused as a tick. The reason it looks this way is because Sal Glesser was intent on using a spider as the logo, but feel the typical long-legged and pointy spider was too aggressive to put on knives. The solution was this “cute” spider.
Since the first knife, Sal has created over 200 models. Year after year, Spyderco releases a plethora of uniquely designed knife that always put function over form. Because of this, many of Spyderco’s knives have changed the knife industry forever. TO this day, the company is still run by family.
Today we will be discussing the New Spyderco Tasman Salt 2 Hawkbill Folder Knife with an H1 steel blade that has been finished satin. This knife spots an FRN handle with Spyderco’s Bi-Directional Texturing.
The blade on this knife is made out of H-1 steel. This is a nitrogen steel that is extremely corrosion resistant. Nitrogen is used as the iron hardener instead of carbon, which limits the possibility of rusting, so much that it can actually be used in knives that are designed to go in salt water, which is one of the toughest conditions that knives are used in. This steel hasn’t been known to be a great cutter, because it is poor at retaining an edge. This steel will perform just as well as lower end stainless steels such as 440A. The Tasman Salt knife is one of Spyderco’s SALT series, which are used for diving.
This blade has been satin finished, which is the most popular blade finish on the market to date. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of fine sandpaper, which shows off the bevels of the blade as well as the steel’s fine lines. This finish gives you a sleek, traditional look. The blade looks classy, but does not take away from the handle.
The blade itself has been carved into a unique hawkbill style blade. This blade has sometimes been known as the pruner blade, and the origin is lost in times before there really was a cutlery industry. The history traces back to when it began as a harvesting hook for grapes and similar produce. Hawkbill blades also have a long history of being used as a slashing weapon in eastern cultures. The design adapted when electricity began to be sued and the insulation needed to be stripped off the ends. The name of the blade came from the resembles to a hawk’s beak. A hawkbill style blade is simply a blade that has a concave cutting edge and a claw like shape. Hawkbill blades don’t have much of a tip for piercing, but are ideal for cutting and carving, especially long cuts like when installing carpet. The shape of the blade and cutting edge allows the hawkbill to grab material easily and reduces the risk of accidently stabbing yourself if you slip up. The hawkbill blade shape has found resurgence as a defensive tool today with modern tactical and fighting blades. This blade shape is used extensively in gardening tools, because with a regular knife, you will find that the slippery area underneath the bark makes cutting through almost impossible. The hooked end of the Hawkbill acts as a stopping point and makes this job much easier. When using this as a diving knife, you will quickly be able to get yourself unstuck if you happen to become tangled up in some weeds or other muck during your dive.
The blade does sport a plain edge, which is better equipped to take on a variety of different tasks. The plain edge is easier to sharpen, which will come in handy with this specific blade, because the steel does not retain an edge as well as others. The plain edge will also provide you with much cleaner cuts than you would find with a serrated blade. However, a serrated blade would be better suited to saw through some of the thicker or tougher materials that you may encounter.
The handle of this blade is made out of Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN. This is a nylon-based plastic that is reinforced with Glass Fiber and injection molded for use in knife handles. FRN handles are one of the cheapest and toughest handle materials to produce in large scale production knives. Although it is such a cheap material, it makes for a very tough knife handle material and can take some serious abuse. It is quite a bit more flexible than G-10 and other Resin Laminates, which means that it won’t have the rigidity associated with them. But, it makes up for the lack of rigidity in its impact toughness—seriously, this handle is going to be able to take a beating without breaking, chipping, or snapping. Because it is injection molded (one of the reasons that the cost is so low), practically any texture can be created on the surface, which makes it very versatile.
Because you might be using this knife while you are underwater, or in other wet environments, Spyderco has added extreme texture all over the face of the handle. There is almost a grid pattern carved into the face of the handle, which will help keep your grip secure, even in the slipperiest of scenarios.
The handle has comfortable ergonomics, with a shallow, elongated finger grove on the bottom of the handle. This gives you a comfortable hold, but allows your fingers to fit, even if you are in diving gloves. On the spine of the handle, there is a long row of jimping to give you an even more secure hold to add a measure of controllability while slicing with this blade.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this Spyderco knife is a deep carry pocket clip. This clip is made out of titanium and kept in place by three small, silver screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. Titanium offers the best rust resistance of any metal, which makes it perfect for this SALT line knife. The clip is fully reversible which means that you will be able to carry this knife tip up, tip down, and on either r side of the handle for maximum comfort.
This knife has Spyderco’s large hole to help you open it and features Spyderco’s back lock mechanism.
Since around the 1980s, the round thumb hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it makes the knife ambidextrous. And, many knife lovers favor a hole because unlike a stud, the hole doesn’t protrude from the blade, getting in the way every once in a while.
The back lock is a locking system that is positioned on the back of the handle. It sues a rocker arm that pivots in the center. A lug on one end of the arm engages a notch in the blade’s tang to lock the blade open.
The blade on this knife measures in at 2.8 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.25 inches long. The overall length of the knife when it is opened is 7.05 inches long and it weighs in at 2.1 ounces.
Pros of the Tasman SALT:
- H1 steel is virtually rust resistant. You can use this blade in saltwater and it won’t rust.
- The satin finish is very traditional.
- The blade is easily resharpened.
- The satin finish cuts down slightly on wear and corrosion.
- The hawkbill blade shape will easily cut through plants.
- The hawkbill blade shape will reduce accidental piercings.
- The plain edge is better equipped to take on a wider variety of tasks.
- The FRN handle is cheap to produce.
- The handle has plenty of texture to give you a solid grip no matter what environment you are in.
- The pocket clip is four-way reversible—giving you maximum comfort.
- The opening hole is an ambidextrous opening mechanism.
- The knife features Spyderco’s back lock.
- The 2.1-ounce knife weighs enough to give you some heft, but not too much to weigh you down.
- Comes in a variety of colors.
- The hawkbill blade “captures” what it is cutting, which draws it into the cutting edge.
Cons of the Tasman SALT:
- The steel that is chosen does not retain its edge well at all.
- The hawkbill blade shape is great for a few tasks, but not well equipped for everyday uses.
The Tasman Salt 2 is the latest addition to the Spyderco arsenal of knives–taking the highly praised features of the Spyderco Delica 4 model and supercharging it with a nitrogen-based steel that is virtually rustproof. In addition to the steel, the hawkbill blade is ideal for “capturing” what it is cutting–drawing it into the cutting edge. Offered in multiple colors and blade configurations, each model utilizes Spyderco’s patented Bi-Directional Texturing™ that promotes plenty of grip and the stark positive thumb ramp amplifies that even further. The Tasman Salt 2 family utilizes Spyderco’s back lock mechanism–a locking system positioned on the back of the handle that uses a rocker arm that pivots in the center. This model, the C106PBK2, features a black FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) handle, a satin finished hawkbill style blade, Spyderco’s trademark round hole opening feature and the fully reversible 4-way titanium pocket clip allows for a tip up or tip down carry on either side of the handle. This knife will make for your next go-to diving knife, because it doesn’t rust, it is low maintenance, and the Bi-Directional texturing on the handle will give you a solid grip in almost any situation or environment. Pick up this exceptional Spyderco knife today at BladeOps.