I want pics!
This is a discussion on Knife Review: Spyderco Swick 2 within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It’s been a while since I got off of my lazy butt and did one of these reviews, but this little knife was just interesting ...
It’s been a while since I got off of my lazy butt and did one of these reviews, but this little knife was just interesting enough for me to shake the dust off of the ol’ writing cap and let you guys know how I felt about it.
The new Spyderco Swick 2 (I think that II would look cooler, but hey, they don’t have me doing their marketing) is a direct descendant of the original Spyderco Swick which was just a bit smaller in the blade and had a Wharncliffe blade shape. A solid piece of skeletonized 1/8 inch thick S30V with the usual Spyderco quality in fit and finish (this means it’s good, for you wisenheimers out there) that starts as a 2-3/8 inch long leaf shaped blade that any Spyderco fan is familiar with. The blade then melds into a finger hole that is right about 29/32 of an inch wide with a nicely jimped thumb ramp on top and another jimped finger rest area below it in case you want some extra control for precision cutting (I’m assuming here). This assembly then curves down into a very ergonomic straight-backed handle with three finger grooves that rounds into a point by the pinky. There is no sheath as the original model apparently had enough people complain about it that Spyderco just threw up their hands and said, “Take care of it yourselves!”
As you probably remember, I think that the handle is the most important part of the knife. If the handle sucks, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the knife is, right? You won't carry or use the damn thing. The “handle” of the Swick 2 is just a skeletonized finger hole, thumb ramp, finger rest, and straight-backed angled handle with finger groves cut-out of solid 1/8 inch S30V like the rest of the knife. Nothing fancy here, but Spyderco made a great move, in my opinion, in that they added two holes in the handle for easy aftermarket scale mounting if you wish to go that route.
When you hold the knife with your index finger through the hole and your thumb on top of the thumb ramp you align the blade with the bones in your hand and forearm all the way up to your elbow for a very secure grip with plenty of power to work the edge with. There is a ton of power to be had here for slashing and the straight blade and pistol-grip handle type makes for very effective and powerful thrusting capability. Retention is king, and the slim blade and handle shape allows for easy grasping of objects while the knife stays on your finger with the blade up and out of the way.
One other thing about this grip design is that if you’re neck deep in it and have to grab it with a reverse grip with your off-hand, the handle shape is far superior ergonomically in this grip than the older Perrin La Griffe design where such an attempt is mostly a cold, cruel joke if you were to attempt to use the blade defensively. Progress marches on…
The knife came out of the box shaving sharp, like every other Spyderco knife I have held when new. It is made, as mentioned before, of the fantastically tough S30V high-end cutlery steel and will do anything I can imagine a knife of this size should be used for. The new leaf-shape blade is Full-Flat Ground and there is a rather sharp-looking spine relief cut for looks more than to lighten an already featherweight knife. The slight curve of the belly of the blade moves the cutting potential from the tip, like the original Wharncliffe Swick, to the entire length of the blade for both pushing and pulling cuts. You get bit less tip penetration on cuts which is handled by the longer overall blade length and spine relief, but the increased versatility strikes me as an excellent trade-off.
As mentioned before, the Swick 2 doesn’t come with a sheath so I went hunting for one on my own…
A few weeks ago George (mercop) Mathis had mentioned that he had found a new kydex guy who does great stuff so I went to the website for Invictus Kydex to get in touch with the owner and operator to see what he could do for me. Matt (Unloved) Ciambrello is a member of this forum and we have had a few conversations on the board over the last year and a half or so which made the first e-mail easy. We swapped back and forth several times as I explored some options with him and I found him incredibly easy to communicate with, even with the usual issues of e-mail discourse.
The thing that really made the whole experience stand out for me was when I mentioned that my kydex sheath for my now-sold Swick would sometimes pinch my upper thigh when I had to sit or drive for long periods. I asked about the potential for him to change his already-excellent VersaCarry sheath design to include matching G-Clip holes on the top and bottom of the sheath body for potential comfort adjustments and fine-tuning for carry and deployment. The next e-mail said that he thought it was a great idea and that he had already scrapped the first sheath for my Swick 2 and had another one already done and ready to go for me…and I hadn’t even agreed to buy a sheath yet!
To be frank, customer service (not to mention pre-customer service) like that is a lost art in the business world of today and to have a kydex maker of such skill and professionalism all but falling over himself to make what equates to some random’s order perfect is pretty darn near flabbergasting. Needless to say, I immediately made the choice to have him make me a new Street Beat sheath as well. Momma didn’t raise no dummy (except when it comes to figuring out the rubber spacers, eh Matt?)
To call the quality of Matt’s sheaths “excellent” does them a disservice. The edges are melted perfectly without any gaps, the hardware mounting is perfectly centered, and the fit of the knife to the sheath is flawless. His hardware selection includes both the “traditional” Torx-head screws (I call them "Piss me off screws") and the conventional Philips-head screws, the later of which I selected for ease of use. Each VersaCarry sheath has an array of holes around it’s perimeter for other mounting and deployment options like the often-raved about Modern Combatives Systems MercHarness.
The Straight Skinny
As evidenced by the fact that I’m bothering writing this review, I like the Spyderco Swick 2 quite a bit. It has excellent ergonomics, is made of top-notch steel, has great fit and finish, and only runs about $53 shipped. The fact that it combines excellent retention, great physical dynamics potential, and a fantastic rescue potential with the ability to keep the knife in your hand while grabbing things will keep this little badboy EDC on my belt for some time to come.
Thanks for your time and pics are coming!
Last edited by psychophipps; June 5th, 2010 at 06:04 PM. Reason: corrections and editting
I want pics!
Sorry it took so long for the pics, guys. Had a pretty long and tiring last couple of days. Sorry for the pic quality, but I R teh suxor with cameras.
Spyderco Swick 2 with my horrible cord wrapping. I'm a knot retard. At least I admit it, right?
Showing the whole "Mechanical Advantage" thingy. Note how everything from the blade tip to the elbow lines up perfectly.
In my hand, ready to roll.
Reverse grip for emergencies.
On my belt in the awesome new Invictus Kydex sheath.
Wider angle on my belt because I'm all sexy and stuff...oh yeah, and to show off my great new Invictus Kydex sheath again as well.
Thanks for your time!
Last edited by psychophipps; June 9th, 2010 at 10:54 AM.
I also got to handle the Kydex trainers that Matt makes for the Swick, they are awesome as well.- George