Spyderco Mantra Titanium by Phillip Hayes

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Spyderco Mantra Titanium by Phillip Hayes: The quest for an (almost) perfect everyday carry knife

Choosing a folding knife for everyday carry (EDC) can be a daunting task as we are spoiled for choice. For the last three years, my own choice has been the assisted-opening Kershaw Cryo (Magnum January 2015), with frame lock, and the axis-lock Enlan Harrier, which were branded for Magnum’s 40th birthday. Both serve me well. Personally, I prefer a frame or back-lock to any other locking mechanism, and the Kershaws fitted this bill perfectly, while the assisted-opening made for very easy one-handed use.

However, during recent months, I have had the daily opportunity to handle a selection of Spyderco knives. I was suit- ably impressed with the Endura, Para Military 2, smaller Native 5 and the more affordable Tenacious. But, I soon realised – with some surprise – that the smallest of the batch, the Delica, with its light fibreglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle and flat-ground leaf-shaped blade and back-lock, was the one I would automatically pick after starting to rotate the knives for daily carry. The weight (or lack thereof), ergonomics, handling and easy one-handed opening with the Spyder-hole made it an almost perfect choice. The 73mm blade of the Delica is small, but more than adequate for handling any task I could throw at it.

Then I was lucky enough to visit a Spyderco showroom and was introduced to the Spyderco Mantra. The Mantra is a flipper with titanium frame and a frame-lock. It looks almost exactly like the Delica but is 14g heavier and has a slightly larger and thicker blade made of CPM-M4 tool steel. Although the frame-lock is made from titanium, the lock mechanism has a hardened stainless steel insert that provides steel-on-steel contact between the lock and blade tang. This insert has jimping to ensure a slightly better grip when pressing down on the lock to close the blade, and provides for a better grip with the index finger when holding the smooth titanium handles in your hand. The lock works well as the steel insert completely moves in behind the blade.

Read the full article in the July 2017 issue of Magnum.

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