Spyderco Harrier 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY01BKWC2 Pocket Knife Review
This knife is a second-generation evolution of the original byrd® model. It has a medium-sized design that makes it a practical everyday carry knife. The lightweight structure of the knife equally impresses, and it retails at a budget-friendly price.
The Spyderco Harrier 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe pocket knife is 20% lighter than similar versions with a G-10 handle. This is because the knife has an FRN handle that makes the knife weightless and easy to use.
The utilitarian expression of this knife sees a combination of FRN with 8Cr13MoV stainless steel to create an affordable knife. This steel is highly resistant to corrosion, wear, and abrasion. Its durability will keep the knife in use for a long time.
The knife comes with two choices of either a plain or serrated edge. This choice allows users to choose their ideal knives based on their needs. Both edges give you exceptional cutting power and a range of uses. With a sturdy back lock and stainless steel liners, this knife achieves excellent visuals overall.
The technical specs of the knife are:
Overall Length: 7.64" (194 mm)
Blade Length: 3.38" (86 mm)
Closed Length: 4.32" (110 mm)
Edge Length: 2.98" (76 mm)
Weight: 2.8oz (79g)
The information below seeks to outline the key features of this knife and how it performs as a pocket knife. You will learn about the major and minor features that make this knife a suitable EDC tool overall.
8Cr13MoV sets itself apart as one of the most popular steels globally, and its ongoing popularity has made steady strides into pocket knife manufacture. More companies turn to this durable steel to make strong blades for their pocket knives. And how does it perform? Let's take a quick look.
You may not know it, but 8Cr13MoV is actually a low-end stainless steel option. Crazy right? So why would manufacturers choose low-end steel for making pocket knives? And how did it become so popular?
Well, the chemical composition of the steel made it popular. It has high amounts of carbon and chromium, which stimulates the production of chromium carbides for corrosion resistance. This Chinese-grade knife performs well contrary to its label. And, it’s affordable too.
The steel is made up of the following elements:
- 04% Phosphorus. Small quantities of phosphorus create more robust steel. It makes the blade much stronger.
- 04% Sulfur. This is another good element for manufacturers. Like molybdenum, sulfur increases the machinability of the steel.
- 2% Nickel. This element improves the toughness of the steel, which is important since manganese makes the blade brittle. Nickel makes the steel better at absorbing energy to prevent cracking and chipping.
- 25% Vanadium. Even in small quantities like this, vanadium helps increase the steel's lifespan by improving its hardness. This also increases the steel’s wear resistance.
- 3% Molybdenum. This element takes the steel to the next hardness level and structural strength. It also enhances steel machinability, giving manufacturers an easy time cutting and shaping this steel.
- 8% Carbon. Carbon is the most common element in steel because it is an effective and powerful hardening agent. The carbon content of this steel provides the blade with the necessary hardness to resist wearing and abrasion. The content is not so high that it causes the blade to be susceptible to breaking and chipping.
- 1% Silicon. Small qualities of silicon in stainless steel blades contribute to strength and durability. It further boosts chromium by improving the corrosion resistance of the steel.
- 1% Manganese. This element stimulates hardness while increasing the brittle strength of the steel. Brittleness is not always bad since it makes the steel easier to sharpen.
- 5% Chromium. It first gives the steel excellent corrosion resistance. This element is present in all stainless steel for this purpose. Chromium also prevents wear on the surface, which stimulates better edge retention. It also makes the blade strong and longer-lasting.
With these properties, the steel promises excellent performance in:
- Edge retention. For a budget-friendly steel, this blade surprisingly holds an edge well. It does so well it almost reaches the ranks of mid-range steel.
- Hardness and Toughness. Despite its low quantity of carbon, this steel has a decent hardness, scoring a maximum of 62HRC. Moreover, the blade really shines in toughness, resisting cracking, chipping, and breaking well. This is really important because it makes the knife safer to use.
- Wear resistance. This steel has a martensitic structure that makes it highly resistant to wear. The presence of carbon, chromium, and vanadium greatly aids this. Vanadium and chromium carbides enhance this ability during tempering.
- Corrosion resistance. Any steel with a minimum of 10% chromium is stainless. The high chromium amount in this steel greatly increases its corrosion resistance. The high corrosion resistance has made this blade fly out of Chinese kitchens and into pocket knives globally.
- Sharpening. And finally, with low carbon and manganese, this knife is easy to sharpen using standard sharpening tools.
FRN or fiberglass reinforced nylon is a thermoplastic material that is under the synthetic knife handle family. DuPont often makes this material and is sometimes referred to as Zytel. Many manufacturers turn to this material because it promises strength, durability, and weightless use.
FRN is made by randomly arranging nylon fibers mixed with glass fiber, then injection-molded into a desirable shape. It comes in a variety of colors, and its manufacturing process is what gives it many advantages.
- Manufacturing FRN is easy and cost-effective. Therefore, this reduces the knife's price, making it an affordable option for anyone on a budget.
- This material is also highly resistant to multiple factors. The random arrangement of nylon fibers makes it strong and resistant to stress in all directions. This problem faces carbon fiber handles which break when stressed in the opposite direction. However, FRN handles it well. Since it is impervious, the handle is also resistant to corrosion. Finally, it is resistant to abrasion and chemical damage.
- Nylon is light, and even when weaved together, it creates a lightweight knife handle material. Therefore, this handle does not make the knife feel bulky. It is why many manufacturers choose this for pocket knives.
- Easy Maintenance. And finally, this handle material does not require maintenance. It requires easy wiping or washing with soap and water to keep it clean.
But like every other material, FRN is not perfect. It has one major shortcoming.
- Cheap Feel and Look. The only disadvantage of FRN is the cheap look and feel. This material’s lightness and appearance almost resemble plastic. Therefore, even though it comes in multiple colors, the material does not look or feel good. Therefore, people after classy great looking pocket knives avoid this material.
The Little Details
While the major features of the knife determine durability, the small features determine comfort and ease of use. One of the minor features we love is the choice of a plain or serrated edge. This knife comes with options for both. Plain and serrated edges are different, but they offer individual strengths. Choosing between the two is a matter of preference and needs.
The plain edge impresses with downward pressure cutting. It will give you more control, and you will not need a lot of effort. On the other hand, serrated edges shine at cutting synthetic materials such as ropes because the small edges hook onto the materials to prevent slipping.
A plain edge is easier to sharpen since it is a long and continuous line. Most times, you will only need standard sharpening tools and little effort. Serrated edges consequently hold an edge for longer. The small edges make it hard to dull the knife.
A plain edge will give you a wider range of uses. On the other hand, serrated edges offer excellent functionality in survival and outdoor situations. While plain knives give you clean cuts, serrated edges will cut through materials with a soft interior but hard exterior without damaging them.
Therefore, the choice between the two depends on what you want the knife to do. Either option is good.
Another feature that we like is the 4-position pocket clip. It gives you four orientations to carry the knife. For starters, it allows you to attach the knife on either side, favoring your dominant hand. This inclusiveness is ideal for a wider range of users.
The pocket clip also lets you choose between tip-up or tip-down carry. It may seem like nothing, but this function plays a role in opening mechanisms. You can select whether to open the knife in a position that feels most natural to you. Again this inclusiveness makes all the difference.
And finally, a Wharncliffe blade with a straight spine and an edge that curves towards the point gives the knife a range of uses. The point allows you to pierce easily, while the edge provides you better control for carving and chopping.
You will find tasks indoors and outside that require these functions. Therefore, having a Wharncliffe blade will come in handy.
Overall, we believe this is a durable and practical EDC knife for pros and newbies. Moreover, it is a suitable option for people on a budget. Be sure to give it a thought the next time you need a reliable knife urgently.