Spyderco Meadowlark 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY04BKWC2 Pocket Knife Review
This beautiful iconic knife shares a design with the superior Spyderco Delica®4 Lightweight. It is compact, lightweight, and made for people who love simple designs. This pocket-friendly cutting tool is one of the best in the market, featuring a good blade and handle.
The latest design of this knife sees a plain edge Wharncliffe blade that offers excellent cutting power. Its steel is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. The blade is paired with a lightweight FRN handle to further make the knife affordable.
The technical specs of the knife are:
Overall Length: 6.88" (175 mm)
Blade Length: 2.96" (75 mm)
Closed Length: 3.95" (100 mm)
Edge Length: 2.58" (66 mm)
Weight: 2.3oz (65g)
With FRN and 8Cr13MoV steel, the Spyderco Meadowlark 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY04BKWC2 Pocket knife is one of the most budget-friendly pocket knives. Unfortunately, the price tag could push some to think that it is a short-term purchase that will not perform well.
Before you make that judgment, take a closer look at some of the features of the knife. This deep-dive review seeks to outline the shortcomings and strengths of the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight. Then, you can make your judgments about this knife.
The Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight has a blade made of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a low-end stainless steel found in Chinese kitchen knives. It is also the perfect blade material for cost-friendly pocket knives.
This steel has an impressive chemical composition high in chromium—the chromium content scores at 14.5%, giving the steel excellent corrosion resistance. If you want true stainless steel, it needs at least 10% chromium to prevent rusting.
Chromium also prevents surface wear, stimulating better edge retention, plus blade strength. Therefore, the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight’s blade holds an edge almost as well as mid-range steels. It is also highly resistant to rust which is why many manufacturers go for this low-end steel.
The 8Cr13MoV steel has 0.8% Carbon, a necessary hardening agent in steel. A high amount of carbon often improves steel's hardness but also makes the blade brittle. The blade will withstand wear and abrasion but can chip and crack easily. Luckily, this steel has low carbon content, so it only makes the blade harder. It has a decent maximum of 62 HRC
8Cr13MoV steel has 0.25% vanadium which may seem minor but has impactful effects on the steel. This amount helps to increase the steel’s wear resistance. It also improves longevity. Longevity should be the ultimate goal of a blade. It ensures that your investment does not go to waste.
Silicon and Manganese also make an appearance in equal amounts of 1%. Silicon contributes to the overall strength of the blade. This improves durability and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, Manganese increases hardness by making the blade more brittle. Brittleness, in this case, is suitable because it makes the blade easier to sharpen using standard tools.
The steel also has 0.2% Nickel, which improves the toughness of 8Cr13MoV. The brittleness brought by manganese needs countering to ensure that the blade does not chip or crack when you use it. Nickel makes the blade better at absorbing energy on impact.
And finally, the small amounts of Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Molybdenum improve the structural strength and machinability of the blade. Machinability is the ease of cutting and shaping the blade. This quality is for manufacturers.
With this chemical composition, it is safe to say that the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight will serve you well in edge retention, wear and resistance, and sharpening. The blade is also tough and promises long-lasting use.
The Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight has a beautiful full flat plain edge Wharncliffe blade. This blade’s characteristics make it ideal for multiple uses.
Surprisingly, even knife enthusiasts sometimes mistake the Wharncliffe blade for a Sheepsfoot blade.
The main difference between the two blades lies in the curve. The sheepsfoot blade has a straight edge and spine, which curves down to meet it at the point. Meanwhile, the Wharncliffe blade has a straight edge with a curved spine, but the curve extends gradually from the handle to the tip.
The shape of the sheepsfoot blade is ideal for slicing and reduces the risk of accidental piercing with the tip. The name comes from its primary use of trimming sheep hooves.
Meanwhile, the Wharncliffe blade, such as the one on the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight, is also ideal for slicing. The curve also gives it an advantage for razor blade tasks.
You can use this blade for carving wood and cutting various things. The tip prevents accidental penetration into the hand when in use. This blade shape is actually recommended for newbies and clumsy people for safety.
It is also important to mention the pain edge blade of the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight. A plain edge blade has one continuous sharp edge. It is a traditional shape for pocket and kitchen knives. Many manufacturers prefer them because they have a variety of uses.
This blade edge is suitable for a wide variety of uses. It allows you to achieve smoother and cleaner cuts. It can cut through most materials and is ideal for applying downward pressure. It is also suitable for shaving.
Therefore, it is ideal for cutting vegetables, fruit, and even fabrics. A straight edge is also suitable for sharpening. Sharpening a straight edge is more effortless than sharpening a serrated edge.
The handle of the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight is FRN or fiberglass reinforced nylon. It is a synthetic thermoplastic often made by DuPont. This material is lightweight, durable, and strong.
The first positive feature of the FRN handle is affordability. The manufacturing process of this material is simple and affordable. This makes the knife a pretty cheap option for knife users on a budget.
FRN handles are made with nylon strands arranged randomly and then injection-molded into a desirable shape. The random arrangement of the nylon strands makes FRN handles durable and robust. You can stress them in various directions, and they will not break apart.
This is a familiar problem users face with carbon fiber handles. The pattern of carbon fiber faces one direction. This makes it strong in that direction. However, it breaks apart if you stress it in the opposite direction. Therefore, the right angle of blow in the opposite direction will damage carbon fiber.
Nylon is waterproof, so this handle is resistant to water damage. Additionally, it is resistant to corrosion, so users do not have to worry about oxidation damage. Moreover, since nylon is lightweight, the knife handle feels weightless.
And finally, users can enjoy easy maintenance as this material does not require any special treatment for care.
What We Love About The Knife
The first thing we love about this knife is its lightweight nature. This knife weighs less than 3 ounces. This is an ideal weight for a minimalist pocket knife. It fits in the pocket discreetly. It is also a practical EDC knife for beginners because of its weightless feel.
We also love the wide range of uses the knife gives its users. It is ideal for cutting and carving. You can use it as a substitute kitchen knife in emergencies. Additionally, it lets you cut envelopes and packages.
The shape of the blade also makes this knife safer for users who favor a sharp point. This point can help you with a wide range of activities, including unscrewing, piercing, and making small punctures.
The Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight comes with a 4-position clip, and this little convenience will earn it more users. The 4-position carrying clip first favors your dominant hand. Lefties get representation too.
Secondly, the pocket clip allows tip-up or tip-down carry. The choice between these positions is ideally up to you. You get to carry the knife in a way that puts it in a natural and comfortable position when you take it out.
And finally, the simple design is a win for us. Sometimes less is more than enough, and this knife proves that with the thoughtful combination of materials that give users a sleek, affordable knife for EDC use.
Where Other Knives Shine Bright
The shortcomings of this knife are more about personal desires than functionality. One example is the FRN handle. If you have never seen or held FRN, then you should know that it has a cheap plastic-like feel.
This, unfortunately, does not fly with some knife users, but we don't blame them. You would want a sophisticated-looking knife that feels heavy and solid in your hand. Sadly, you may not get this with the Meadowlark™ 2 Lightweight.
Another element that users focus on is weight. This knife is lightweight and almost feels like you are holding nothing. This is ideal for carrying, but some users find the feeling of a weightless knife in hand unsettling.
People prefer something solid and weighted for smoother and controlled cuts. Therefore, if you are used to weighted knives, it will take a little getting used to when using this one. If this is an absolute deal-breaker for you, you should consider heavier knives from Spyderco.
Overall, we believe that this affordable knife is worth your attention. It may surprise you in function, and though it does not have the makings of a primary knife, it is an excellent substitute.