THE THIN LINE

Knives Illustrated - - News -

Spyderco’s Junc­tion has sur­pris­ing com­fort in a very nar­row pack­age made for se­ri­ous use in the out­doors. BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

The old adage holds true, nev- er judge a book by its cover. In the not too dis­tant past, I was for­tu­nate enough to be able to make a trip out to my home­s­tate of Colorado, while there I took ad­van­tage of an in­vite to the Spyderco head­quar­ters in the nearby town of Golden. Dur­ing my visit I was in­tro­duced to the Junc­tion. Con­sid­er­ing that it is in­tended to be a bushcraft­ing knife, at first glance of its ex­tremely nar­row pro­file, I was du­bi­ous about how com­fort­able it would be for any kind of ex­tended use in the field. For­tu­nately, I re­cently re­ceived one in the mail and got to find out first­hand if my con­cerns were well founded or not.

First Im­pres­sions

Straight out of the box, I was im­me­di­ately drawn to the clean lines and no-frills func­tional look of the Junc­tion. How­ever, although I felt that the 0.375-inch-wide han­dle would make it ex­tremely com­fort­able to carry, I couldn’t help shake the nag­ging feel­ing that it was go­ing to be un­com­fort­able dur­ing use. For the first few days af­ter re­ceiv­ing it, I spent a fairly con­sid­er­able amount of time hold­ing it and squeez­ing it tightly in my hand to try and iden­tify any trou­bling spots in the grip. To my sur­prise, it was com­fort­able no mat­ter how tightly I gripped it—dur­ing this process, my con­cerns were slowly al­le­vi­ated. The more I gripped it, the more I re­ally started to take a se­ri­ous look at the de­tails.

With an over­all length of 8.45 inches, the Junc­tion sports a 4.15-inch, PSF27 stain­less steel blade that is the per­fect size for bushcraft­ing ap­pli­ca­tions. Just for­ward of the 4.3-inch han­dle is a small choil that is just enough to give ex­cel­lent con­trol with­out be­ing over-

“…THE EDGE RE­TEN­TION AND GE­OM­E­TRY GAVE ME A VERY NICE FEATHER STICK THAT WOULD BE PER­FECT FOR FIRE PREP.”

bear­ing. Just above the choil is the iconic Spyderco Trade­mark Round Hole, but in this in­stance, it is very small and un­der­stated, giv­ing it an over­all classy look.

The G-10 han­dle scales have a smooth fin­ish, but due to the nar­row grip, I didn’t no­tice any loss of con­trol or slid­ing around in my hand. The han­dle it­self has two nicely placed holes that are per­fect for lash­ing the Junc­tion to a stick or at­tach­ing para­cord for re­ten­tion while in use. The Junc­tion comes with a very solid pan­cake-style Bol- taron sheath with a G-clip at­tach­ment and well-placed grom­mets for turn­ing your G-clip ver­ti­cally, hor­i­zon­tally or di­ag­o­nally—or you can af­fix an­other type of at­tach­ment of your choos­ing. At the tip of the sheath is a small drain

hole, in the event that wa­ter gets in your sheath, which I find to be a very nice touch.

Through the Paces

As I have men­tioned a cou­ple of times in this ar­ti­cle, I had my con­cerns about the nar­row pro­file of the grip, mea­sur­ing in at un­der ½-inch. So I started out my test­ing by fo­cus­ing on some carv­ing chores that would give me some time with the knife in hand.

I be­gan whit­tling a small try stick with a few dif­fer­ent types of notches and carv­ings, front and back, on a piece of maple. I was very sur­prised to find that dur­ing the few hours I spent carv­ing this try stick and some other sim­ple whit­tling chores (to make sure that I had enough time with it in hand), it was quite com­fort­able and I didn’t de­velop any hotspots or fa­tigue worth not­ing.

I squared off the sec­ond half of my try stick and pro­ceeded to shave very fine, feath­ery curls into it. Even af­ter all the whit­tling I did with the Junc­tion, the edge re­ten­tion and ge­om­e­try gave me a very nice feather stick that would be per­fect for fire prep.

Once I had my feather stick, I looked to the 90-de­gree an­gle of the spine to throw some solid sparks from my ferro rod, which it did with­out any is­sue at all. One point of no­tice re­gard­ing this prac­tice, although it is com­mon to use the spine of a knife for ferro rod strik­ing, make sure to prac­tice ex­treme cau­tion when do­ing so. When hands are cold, wet, sweaty, etc., bad things can hap­pen.

Be­liev­ing that a knife is only as good as the tools it can help make in the field, and want­ing to see how it per­formed work­ing in tight spa­ces, I pro­ceeded to make a field ex­pe­di­ent, two prong, frog/fish­ing gig. I found a green piece of maple, about 1-inch in di­am­e­ter, and ba­toned the Junc­tion down about seven inches to split the stock. Then, I whit­tled the sides off un­til the tip was about ¼-inch thick. I then wedged a small twig down into the split to hold it apart and wrapped the shaft just un­der the twig with para­cord to keep it from fur­ther while hold­ing the twig in place. Fi­nally, I nar­rowed the prongs by whit­tling away the ex­cess wood from the in­side, open­ing it up for more sep­a­ra­tion and carved a small barb on each prong. The Junc­tion per­formed re­ally well in such a tight space. Fi­nally, as I do af­ter all of my tests, I did the rope press cut test. I took some of my ½-inch climb­ing rope, placed it on a log and pressed the Junc­tion straight down onto the rope to see if it would cut through with­out need­ing to slice the rope. I was able to press the Junc­split­ting

tion through the rope eas­ily for four clean cuts. I am sure I could have kept go­ing, but that rope is ex­pen­sive.

No Reser­va­tions

I am al­ways ex­cited to find out that I have a pack­age com­ing from Spyderco, be­cause they never let me down with the high level of qual­ity in all of their prod­ucts, and when the Junc­tion showed up I was just happy to see Spyderco on the pack­age. When I opened it up, I was re­minded of how I felt at the fac­tory when I first saw one

“THE MORE I GRIPPED IT, THE MORE I RE­ALLY STARTED TO TAKE A SE­RI­OUS LOOK AT THE DE­TAILS.”

and was again con­cerned about how nar­row it was, al­most not giv­ing it a sec­ond thought.

I am so glad that I did, be­cause I al­most for­got a good rule of thumb: just be­cause a knife doesn’t look com­fort­able, doesn’t mean that it isn’t. In the same vein, just be­cause a knife looks com­fort­able, doesn’t mean that it is. The Spyderco Junc­tion re­minded me that you have to let a knife live on its own mer­its and not on how you think it will per­form at first glance.

I would have no reser­va­tions about rec­om­mend­ing the Spyderco Junc­tion to any­one look­ing for a solid bushcraft­ing knife that is light and slen­der enough to fit al­most any­where in your gear.

As noted, don’t judge a book by its cover. KI Blade Length: 4.15 inches Over­all Length: 8.45 inches Blade Thick­ness: 0.102 inch Blade Ma­te­rial: PSF27 Weight: 4.1 ounces Han­dle Ma­te­rial: G-10 Han­dle Thick­ness: 0.375 inch Sheath: Boltaron MSRP: $309.95

Above: I was able to get some very fine, feath­ery curls for my feath­er­stick.

Right: The han­dle on the Junc­tion is a de- cep­tively com­fort­able 0.375-inch.

Right: I was able to carve a few dif­fer­ent notches on a try stick and some other whit­tling with­out any dis­com­fort. AC­TUAL SIZE 1:1

The Junc­tion worked great get­ting into the tight spot for carv­ing out the barbs on the prongs of my frog/ fish­ing gig.

Above: The 90-de­gree spine was per­fect for strik­ing a ferro rod.

The Spyderco Junc­tion is a very sleek, com­fort­able de­sign.

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