I have been a Spyderco fanboy for a long time, ever since my Dad gave me a Delica as a high school graduation present. It represented such a huge step up in terms of performance that I could hardly go back to using my Swiss Army Knife Tinker. Over the years I have come to love their refined designs and easy to carry blades. The DFII ZDP-189 is probably my favorite blade I own, even with quite a few knives that are twice or even three times its price. The superior steel...you have read this already. It is great. But the Dragonfly design did more than evict all other knives from my EDC pocket--it demonstrated the power of a good choil.
Given their high minded design ideas and massive product line, the history of Spyderco is full of amazingly unique designs. There is something for everyone, massive knives, tiny knives, all kinds of knives. Perusing the history of the company's many knives on SpydercoSource.com is like looking through an encyclopedia of dinosaurs with their hundreds of species all with amazing evolutionary adaptations (therizinosaurus anyone?). Some designs are a bit...um...weird. Then others are really amazing.
One of those amazing designs that I have been fancying is the Spyderco Lava, designed by Chad Los Banos. I have fallen in love with the Spyderco choils which led me to a knife that is almost ALL choil--the Lava. Here is a picture:
It has not one, but TWO choils. It is a really, really extreme design. The handle is probably twice the size of the cutting edge, the knife is "off line" from the handle, and there are curves and swoops everywhere. But it has been out of production for a while, so I would occasionally scan eBay and the like, with no luck.
Then about a week ago someone contacted me with a Lava to sell. I send the funds and this past Monday I got the knife. It is surprisingly large and heavy, but just as I imagined it melts into your hand. I have to do some more work with it as such an extreme and unusual design is hard to evaluate quickly, but I am pleased that one of the knives on my grail list has been checked off.
Here are a few others (in order of lusty desire) from the Spyderco back catalog:
1. ATR Ti
2. Caly 3 in ZDP-189
3. Caly Jr. with Micarta Handles
4. Wayne Goddard Jr.
Well I could go on and on. That is a pretty good list to go from. One down, a bazillion to go. Lava review soon.