This is a collage of the Spyderco Salt I, with photos and description of this knife.
After having bought the Spyderco Resilience and played with a number of Spyderco knives at a retail shop, I find Spyderco knives to be very well-made knives and wouldn’t mind owning another.
- Overall: 7.0 in (17.8 cm)
- Weight: 2.0 oz (57 g)
- Blade Length: 3.0 in (7.6 cm)
- Thickness: 2.5 mm
- Hole Diameter: 14 mm
- Material: H1 Stainproof Steel
- Finish: Satin
- Grind: Hollow
- Style: Modified Sheepfoot
- Edge: Partially Serrated
- Lock mechanism: Lockback
- Material: Black FRN Resin
- Handle Length: 4.0 in (10.2 cm)
With that, I bought the Spyderco Salt I with partially serrated edge when that opportunity presented itself.
I had other reasons for buying this: One, I was collecting various types of blade steels, and this H1 is certainly a special one I didn’t yet own. Two, I was looking for an adequate dive folding knife, and again, this H1 steel was most suitable for that purpose. We’ll come to that in a bit.
The Spyderco Salt I is based on the knife manufacturer’s top selling and highly popular model Delica, which was released in the early 1990s. With reference to some photographs below, the following modifications were made to allow the Salt I to better serve its raison d’être:
- The Salt I blade has a more rounded tip following a sheep-foot design compared to the Delica, which makes it more suitable when used around inflatable boats. A rounded tip is also less tactical in nature, making it safer for use by anglers in fishing and other similar safe outdoor activities.
- A longer serrated edge is provided, which is usually more effective at cutting ropes and wet materials found in marine environment.
- The round hole for thumb-blade deployment is slightly larger at 14 mm, making it easily usable with wet or gloved hands.
- The lockback bar is designed with David Boye’s locking lever dent, to prevent the accidental release of the lock when the knife handle is gripped too tightly.
- All steel components of the knife from the lock bar to the pins and clip have been treated to make them impervious to corrosion.
- Most importantly, the blade is made of H1 steel, making it suitable for seawater applications.
What sets the Salt series apart from other Spyderco folding knives is in the use of H1 steel for the blade. H1 steel is produced by the Japanese foundry Myodo Metals and is a precipitation-processed alloy that is rolled hard without heat treatment.
H1 steel consists of 0.1% nitrogen which replaces the carbon in the usual heat-treated steel. However, unlike carbon, nitrogen does not react with chlorine in water to form rust, making H1 steel virtually corrosion- and rust-proof.
It is softer by comparison to carbon steel, and has commendable edge retention characteristics, though slightly lower than that of premium carbon-based steels.
Exposing the Spyderco Salt I to the Elements
I brought the Spyderco Salt I out to sea in a recent diving trip in June 2015, and took the opportunity to test out the H1 steel in saltwater.
I brought the knife out during brief snorkelling trips, as well as to depths of up to 23 m below the surface during dive sessions.
Normally I would rinse my knives upon having access to fresh water after dives, but in this case, I deliberately left the knife unrinsed for the 3 days out. I’m glad to report that the knife remains rust-free, and the only part which showed any signs of corrosion, if can be considered, is the black-enameled numerical 1 in H1 on the blade surface. Maybe it’s the primer coat. I don’t know why this is so, but wiping the rust off removes the black finish as well, leaving behind a stained steel-coloured number 1.
The blade and all other metal parts of the Spyderco Salt I, including the pivot and handle screws, lockbar lever and pocket clip, remained free from corrosion.
Other Features of the Spyderco Salt I
The Spyderco Salt I is fitted with Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) scales with Volcano Grip texturing on both sides of the handle, which provides good traction even with wet or gloved hands.
A black titanium pocket clip blends with the black of the scales, making it almost obscure. The pocket clip may be mounted on either side of the handle, but in a tip-up configuration only.
The clip is mounted on the handle with a screw (that appears to be FRN too). This polymeric screw has a hole through its centre that goes all the way through the pommel end of the knife, serving as a passage for a lanyard.
The Spyderco Salt I retails for a little under US$120.00, but at the right online sources, this knife can be purchased at a good discount.