Spyderco Robin 2 Lightweight Wharncliffe BY10BKWC2 Pocket Knife Review
The Robin 2 Lightweight from Spyderco is another budget-friendly knife that proves the company has a range of customers in mind. This knife is an alternative to the Dragonfly 2. It shares multiple design properties but is tailored for users on a budget.
The cutting ability of this knife improves thanks to the blade. It has a Wharncliffe blade made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This is a budget-friendly steel with high corrosion resistance and decent hardness.
The blade comes in serrated and plain edges giving users the convenience of choice. You will find a high-quality FRN handle with stainless steel liners and a back lock mechanism at the end of the blade. It also has a 4-position pocket clip.
The technical aspects of the knife are:
Overall Length: 5.65" (144 mm)
Blade Length: 2.35" (60mm)
Closed Length: 3.30" (84mm)
Edge Length: 1.92" (49mm)
Weight: 2.0oz (57g)
As you can see, this knife is small and lightweight. It will therefore test well with minimalists and everyday carriers. The design is simple and practical enough to meet multiple needs.
But is it the best pocket knife for you? Only a detailed review covering the key features outlining strengths and weaknesses can determine that. But first, let’s outline some of the features that make a good pocket knife.
Qualities Of A Good Pocket Knife
What makes a good pocket knife? We think that a good EDC pocket knife should have the following qualities:
- High-Quality Steel. The blade of your knife often determines if you made a good purchase or a bad one. You want a blade made from high-quality stainless steel. It should be hard, easy to sharpen, with excellent corrosion resistance. Moreover, it should be less susceptible to breaking, plus water and wear-resistant. Good quality steel will serve you better and for longer.
- Grippy And Firm Handle. Next, you should look at the knife handle because you will need a new one if you cannot use it comfortably. A good handle has a firm and grippy material. This will allow you to use the knife comfortably. You can apply pressure, hold it with slippery hands, and cut comfortably. Therefore, always go for knife handle materials that give you excellent grip. Slipperiness is never ideal.
- Suitable Blade Size. A good blade size will help you accomplish a broader range of tasks. You should always select the blade size according to your needs. For example, if your routine involves simple tasks, you could benefit from a smaller blade. A large blade is better for self-defense and multiple outdoor activities.
- Functional Blade Shape. There are different types of blade shapes, and each has its ideal uses. Therefore, selecting a blade shape is again entirely up to your needs. You will meet with names like a drop point, tanto point, sheepsfoot, Wharncliffe, and more. Learn about their uses to help you choose a good knife.
- Good Locking Mechanism. If you are a beginner, you need a locking mechanism that will put your fingers at less risk. Again, there are different types of locking mechanisms. The differences tailor to personal needs. Read up on these to determine the best one for you.
- Single-Handed Opening. A single-handed opening is quite crucial in pocket knives. Assisted opening knives should always allow you to open the knife with one hand for convenience.
- Easy Carrying. And finally, the pocket clip positions and overall weight contribute to the ease of carrying. A lighter knife is always better because it does not weigh the pocket down. In addition, it offers more discretion. Moreover, multiple clip positions give users dominant preference.
So how does the Robin™ 2 Lightweight perform as a pocket knife? Let’s take a closer look at the key features of the knife.
The Robin 2 Lightweight has 8Cr13MoV steel. This is low-end steel that manufacturers favor for affordable pocket knives. The steel is also popular in Chinese knives, where it originated from. Its chemical composition features:
- 8% Carbon for the strength and hardness of the steel. It also improves the blade’s corrosion resistance.
- 2% Nickel to enhance corrosion resistance and oxidation in extreme temperatures.
- 5% Chromium to prevent corrosion. It also enhances brittle resistance.
- 1% Silicon for hardness and strength.
- 25% Vanadium to give the blade a refined structure for superior toughness.
- 3% Molybdenum for better tensile strength and hardenability.
- 05% Sulfur to increase the machinability of the blade.
- 1% Manganese to decrease brittleness.
- 04% Phosphorus improves corrosion resistance and machinability.
This means that the blade is easy to sharpen and keeps an edge well. It also means that the knife is highly resistant to corrosion.
The Robin 2 Lightweight has a fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle. FRN is a high-strength plastic material favored in making affordable knife handles. It comes in multiple textures and colors boasting advantages such as:
- Making FRN is a simple process that uses readily available materials. Therefore, this material is inexpensive to produce, lowering its price. It is an affordable sub for carbon fiber and G-10.
- Durability. It promises to last a long time since it is practically indestructible. This is thanks to the nylon strand random arrangement. The weave pattern makes it strong in all directions. Therefore, it can handle stress from all directions without breaking or tearing.
- Resistance. FRN is resistant to all the common threats of knife handles. It is resistant to water, corrosion, chemicals, and wear. The strand arrangement makes it this resistant.
But, FRN does not have the best grip compared to other materials. It tends to slip, especially if your hands are wet. Additionally, FRN does not sell well among users concerned with visuals due to its cheap plastic-like feel.
The blade shape of the Robin 2 Lightweight is a Wharncliffe. This is a blade with a straight edge leading to a curved spine that extends from the handle to the tip. Its shape is similar to the sheepsfoot blade.
The inverted regular blade is short, thick, and sturdy and so it offers excellent cutting power all through the blade. This is a huge benefit because it means that the point is not prone to breaking, like other blade shapes.
This blade is ideal for cutting and curving so you can enjoy the practical uses indoors and outside. The shape minimizes the chances of an accident, so it is perfect for everyday uses and new carriers for safety.
However, if you are looking for a blade that can chop or skin, this shape is not ideal for your needs.
The back lock or Lockback became popular in the 20th century. It is a derivative of the non-locking slip joint. Its function is dependent on a notch in the spine of the blade and a pivoting rocker arm.
When you open the knife, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. Therefore, you need to push the exposed part of the spine to close the knife.
The main benefit of this type of lock is its reliable strength. It also gives you excellent safety since you are less likely to disengage the lock and have it close on you by accident.
However, it is not easy to close a Lockback with one hand, especially if you are a beginner. Often, you would need to switch grip, and this could make you cut yourself if you are not careful.
Ease Of Carrying
The knife's overall weight is 2 ounces, which is on the lighter side of pocket knives. Additionally, the closed length of the knife is 3.3 inches which is small. These two elements make carrying the knife much easier.
Smaller knives fit more discreetly in the pocket. This is ideal for people who do not want to draw attention. It is also ideal if you carry the knife for protection. The weight makes carrying the knife easy too. Light knives are easier to carry and therefore make practical EDC tools.
Even if you do not need the knife, you won't mind carrying it because it is light. It can fit in pockets and bags, barely noticeable in weight.
Similarly, the knife has a pocket clip with 4-position carry. This is a minor design element but serves a broader population. You can carry the knife on your dominant side for easier use. In addition, you can carry it tip-up or tip-down depending on how you want to pull out the knife. It ensures you are always prepared for action or at least have the option.
Is this a functional everyday knife? Yes. It checks all the boxes for a practical everyday knife, including easy carrying and a slim profile. In addition, the blade will give you years of use as long as you do not strain it. Everyday activities are not as demanding, so it should work fine.
Selecting the straight or serrated edge is entirely up to you. Both have their advantages. However, we recommend a straight edge for someone with a broader range of needs. Serrated edges are ideal if you already have a plain edge blade.
Overall, the Robin 2 Lightweight lives up to expectations and will make a lot of everyday carriers happy.