I carry a knife primarily (whether it is a folder or fixed blade as I carry both based on the perceived need and the activity I am participating in) as a cutting tool first and as a weapon second. My experience has shown me I am much more likely to cut items instead of people, but I also realize that things happen in life we have little control over and situations can turn in seconds, making my carry knife a weapon of circumstance/opportunity. I have trained in using the knife as a weapon and practice semi-regularly. When I select a knife, I keep these realities in mind. Reality is an important word, as too many people seem to live in fantasy when selecting personal gear. Yes, anything can happen but is it probable?

As I opened a recent box from Spyderco and removed the Ed Schempp designed Schempp Tuff folder, I could not help but think about my real world of work and play. Visualizing how the Schempp Tuff would fit into my lifestyle was an interesting exercise and doing so made me realize this could be a very useful tool. The Schempp Tuff is one knife that truly lives up to its name. Its robust CPM-3V carbon steel blade is mated to a handle featuring a G-10 scale and stainless liner on one side with a solid titanium scale on the other. An oversized pivot and a Chris Reeve Integral Lock with a hardened steel insert ensure superior strength and increased service life, while its dimpled texture and four-position clip provide exceptional grip and ease of carry no matter what the end use might be. The brainchild of renowned custom knife maker and design consultant Ed Schempp, it reflects his deep understanding of what it takes to make a tool that is both highly functional and practically indestructible, two qualities every knife owner looks for when paying hard earned money for a blade.

Design Features

The first thing you will notice about the Tuff folder as you remove it from the box is it is a big, beefy knife. The blade is thick (0.157 inches) and has a paddle-style design that gives the knife a forward center of gravity. What I mean by this is when the knife is in your hand you can’t help notice the weight of the blade forward of the hand, it is almost hatchet-like in feel. The Schemmp Tuff can obviously chop, if necessary. The blade is 3.75-inches long with a cutting edge of 3.62 inches. A groove is cut the length of the blade to reduce weight and add strength while a thumb ramp at the rear of the classic Spyder hole with jimping helps hold the thumb in place when using a Sabre grip. I know I know… jimping is controversial with some liking it and some not. They are like forward cocking serrations on a semi-autopistol, if you don’t like them just ignore them, though some have difficulty doing so. The grip panels, both the G-10 and titanium sides, have a series of indentations cut in place to not only help reduce weight but to enhance the grip surface. The knife weights 6.3 ounces and has a suggested retail price of $399.95.

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