Spyderco Cara Cara 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY03BKWC2 Pocket Knife Review
When you look at the Spyderco Cara Cara™ 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY03BKWC2 pocket knife, you can tell it was designed for functionality and outdoors. It is an alternative to the Spyderco Endura®4 Lightweight that impresses.
This version has a Wharncliffe blade style made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a beautiful edge that provides scalpel-like precision. It gives the user extreme cutting power.
The handle is textured black FRN reinforced with skeletonized stainless steel liners. It houses a sturdy back lock mechanism plus a convenient four-position pocket clip. The technical specs of the knife are:
Overall Length: 8.60" (218 mm)
Blade Length: 3.83" (97 mm)
Closed Length: 4.83" (123 mm)
Edge Length: 3.31" (84 mm)
Weight: 3.2oz (91g)
Blade Thickness: 0.110" (2.8 mm)
This knife is an alternative for one of the best-selling products from the company. Therefore, we cannot help but ask if it will meet the same standards as its superior or fall short, giving users a less than ideal option.
The information below will help deep dive into the technical and mechanical properties of the knife. It will cover all the little details that make this knife unique and functional. It will also outline the best uses for this knife. And finally, we will guide you to the answer to whether this knife will suit your needs.
The knife's steel should be the primary focus when purchasing a knife. This is because the blade does most of the work. You would not want to end up with an edge that dulls in a few weeks.
Additionally, bad blades are prone to cracking and breaking, which is not only a waste of money but also dangerous. A piece could end up in your eye or cut a part of your body mid-use. Therefore, always go for a premium blade.
The Cara Cara 2 has a blade made from 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel is also present in other Spyderco knives, such as the Persistence C136BK. You can find this Chinese-made steel in pocket knives globally.
The steel has 0.8% carbon which is typical for pocket knives. This gives the steel excellent hardness, making the blade less prone to abrasion and wear. It also has 14.5% chromium for corrosion resistance and toughness. The nickel content is only 0.2%, but it will improve corrosion resistance in extreme temperatures. It also enhances the toughness of the steel, making the blade less prone to chipping.
This steel also has 0.3% molybdenum which increases the hardenability of the blade. It also increases tensile strength to give the blade a range of uses. You will also find phosphorus in 0.04%, which further improves the blade’s resistance to corrosion.
This steel also has 1% silicon which uniquely improves the strength and hardness of the blade. Vanadium also makes an appearance of 0.025% for refined texture, strength, and wear resistance. And finally, the steel has sulfur which is uncommon because it makes steel brittle. However, the small amounts do not affect the blade and instead improve its machinability.
The Wharncliffe blade is often confused with a sheepsfoot and lambsfoot blade. While the three are similar, the Wharncliffe has a curved spine that gradually tapers to a point. It, therefore, has a pretty sharp point ideal for piercing.
A Wharncliffe blade will give you a range of uses. It is best kept for carving and cutting tasks. It can also handle some piercing and precise cutting tasks. Combined with the serrated edge, this blade proves worthy of outdoor adventure.
It will make pulling cuts easy and precise slicing simpler. You will barely need any effort to accomplish fishing and camping tasks which is the best quality of an outdoor knife.
Knife handles have a considerable impact on the knife's weight, grip, and even functionality. That is why you must be keen on the handle material before purchasing a knife. The Cara Cara 2 has an FRN handle or fiberglass reinforced nylon.
FRN handles are manufactured from nylon-based plastics, reinforced with fiberglass then molded into a shape.
This handle has multiple advantages, including:
- This material is relatively easy to make. And so, it is an affordable knife handle. FRN handles are similar to carbon fiber and G-10 only that they beat both in price. Therefore, you can select it as an ideal substitute if you have a limited budget.
- Resistance to bending. You can stress FRN handles in every direction; they will not break or bend. This is thanks to the pattern of the nylon strands, which are arranged randomly. It makes the materials strong in all directions, unlike carbon fiber which breaks when stressed in the opposite direction.
- FRN can be texturized to enhance grip. This makes it ideal for use with wet or slippery hands. You will enjoy the natural feel of the material in your hands as well.
- FRN is very lightweight, which you want in a knife handle. A light handle means a light knife that will not weigh you down. It makes the tool a practical EDC.
- FRN requires very little maintenance. All you need is to clean it by wiping it down with a damp cloth. It is not prone to staining or fading.
- And finally, FRN is highly resistant. It does not sustain water damage. Plus, it is highly resistant to chemicals and corrosion.
The handle is not free from shortcomings starting with its visuals. Unfortunately, FRN looks and feels cheap, and this is the impression you will get despite its high functionality. If this is a deal breaker for you, you might not like the Cara Cara 2. Additionally, compared to G-10 and Micarta, FRN is less grippy.
It is important to note that the handle of this knife has finger ridges which is a small but essential detail. A straight or smooth handle does not give you control, and you could even hurt yourself trying to apply pressure. Therefore, the ridges of the knife will provide you with a better and safer user experience.
Knives are the same for many people as long as they can cut through different materials. However, as a knife enthusiast, you know there is a clear difference between a knife with a serrated edge and a plain edge.
The Cara Cara 2 sports a serrated edge that may look unconventional but certainly makes up for in functionality. A serrated knife has concave indentions on the edge, creating tiny sharp edges. This edge is ideal for multiple uses.
The benefits of this serrated edge include:
Good for slicing. This knife’s serrated edge gives you the power to slice with minimal effort. A serrated edge is similar to a saw. Saws are ideal for back and forth movements, which is slicing. Therefore, this pocket knife will allow you to slice through things faster and easier than a plain edge knife. This function is handy during camping trips when you have to cut up meat or fish and vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers.
Can cut through textured materials. The serrated edge of a blade is ideal for cutting through textured material. You can comfortably use this knife to cut through fabric, rope, and nylon. These materials make plain edge knives slip instead of cut. However, the serrated edges hook the fabric and make cuts. The blade is also ideal for cutting material with a hard exterior but soft interior, such as tomatoes. These tend to squish under the pressure of a plain edge knife.
Minimum cutting effort. Sometimes, plain edge knives force you to apply more pressure just to cut. However, serrated edges only require minimal pressure to cut through most materials. For example, you will have to apply more pressure to cut a nylon rope with a plain edge than you would with this knife. Moreover, it prevents the risk of crushing or damaging the material since you won't need to apply a lot of pressure.
Retains an edge. Serrated edges do not lose their edge quickly. The saw-like edge remains sharp longer than a plain edge knife. This is perhaps due to the little sharp edges that make the serrated effect. Therefore, this knife will serve you a long time before it needs sharpening.
Easy to identify. Another slight but helpful advantage of a serrated knife is easy identification. Many people purchase pocket knives with a plain edge. Therefore, a serrated edge will often stand out. The chances are that nobody will confuse your knife for theirs unless you buy the same product.
We can say for sure that the Cara Cara 2 has a wide range of uses thanks to its stylish and thoughtful design. The blade steel and its edge give it an advantage in outdoor activities. The lightweight nature of the knife makes it a practical EDC knife too.
The range is always good in a pocket knife; it ensures that most, if not all, of your needs, are taken care of. So is this you? A person with different types of needs spread across the woods and your home? If it is, then you will come to love the Cara Cara 2.