Monday, April 18, 2016

Spyderco Spydercard

the open Spydercard
It's a funny looking knife, but it inspired the designers of other wallet hide-out knives.
I recently came across a Spydercard( C01).  They were very popular and people still collect them partially because of their scarcity, partially for the story associated with the knife designer.

First the knife. 

The Spydercard is the size of a credit card and 0.2 inch thick.  That’s about the thickness of 4 credit cards.  Designed to slip into your pocket or wallet, this 3.4 inch long knife opens to exposé a 2.4 in cutting edge.  The handle lock, like that used on the Square Head, secures the blade in the open position as well as the closed position. 

The AUS6 steel it is made from, was at the time, an entry level steel.  To keep costs down and provide reasonable performance, many knife manufacturers used AUS6.  This steel is comparable to 440A with a little extra kick.  The kick is vanadium.  This element forms tiny particles of vanadium carbide at the steel’s grain boundaries increasing hardness and edge retention.  The 14% chromium not only forms carbides but also forms an important transparent thin film of chromium oxide that protects the steel from oxidation or staining better known as rust.

Spydercard’s most popular blade configuration, as I remember it when I sold them, was the partially serrated.  On a small blade, especially with a hard-to-hold handle, increased cutting performance is critical.  This isn’t the sort of knife you pack for hiking the northwest Cascades, but you might pack it if you thought you might have to cut something to escape.

Wallet size knife
That's my wallet, a little over stuffed for my taste, but I could lose a few cards and squeeze that knife in.

The Designer
I wasn’t able to find much about the designer, Eduard Bradichansky.  He is described as a Russian Jew who immigrated to Israel, I assume, to escape the repressive Russian government.  He has been described as a gunsmith and jeweler who later worked with Spyderco designing what became known as the Spydercard and the Shabaria (C59).  He was apparently killed in a Hamas attack so brutal that identification was made based on dental records and the presence of Spydercard and Shabaria prototypes.  Sounds mysterious doesn’t it?

Well, I’m not going to ask Spyderco what really happened and wasn’t it just too convenient he had the prototypes on him.  I’m not into conspiracies.  I’ve always found that any conspiracy involving more than two people breaks down over time.

Look at those serrations!
A little better look at the Spydercard's serrations

You know what they say, two can keep a secret especially if one of them is dead.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Thanks For sharing this Superb article.