The Lil’ Temperance is another phenomenal knife from the innovative genius of Golden. Once again, the Spyderco Design team has shown their talent in the evolution of the folding knife as a true industry leader. As one of Spyderco’s premier dealers, selling their sharpeners and knives since 1979, it has been my privilege to evaluate a Lil’ Temperance (drop point model) prototype for the past ten months. This ‘pocket piranha’ has far exceeded my initial expectations. I have carried larger ClipIts (both the Mariner and Police Models) in the past as my general carry knife, but my current daily favorite (for the past three years and soon to be retired) is the C52BMP Calypso Jr. with a C39GRN Dyad Jr. serving as back up. My Military or Civilian models are only carried when I go out at night for that ‘just in case’ situation.
Initially, I thought the Lil’ Temperance was a bit over sized, but it proved to be easy to tote along with the other two. Both the Calypso Jr. and Dyad Jr. were moved to my jeans’ watch pocket with the Lil’ Temperance riding securely below in the main pocket. The new three hole pocket clip seems to hug the side of my leg better than traditional Spyderco clips and was less prone to get caught on seatbelts or jackets and not scratch furniture or car doors. Ergonomics have been a continual learning curve for Spyderco’s ‘in house’ designs with the re-design of the Dragonfly and Delica/Endura models, introduction of Pegasus/ Navigator (now Meerkat), Native, and Calypso/ Calypso Jr. models. SDT’s (Spyderco Design Team) mastery of the subject is exemplified in the Lil’ Temperance. It is as comfortable to hold and use in a variety of positions as its little cousin the Calypso Jr. The ability to ‘choke up’ on the handle gives one a more secure and controlled grip. This allows for a compact knife that will work as well, if not better, than a larger one. This subtle, yet important improvement follows Sal’s credo, NON AMPLIUS QUAM NECESSARIUS; NON MINUS QUAM PERFECTUS. (“No more than necessary; no less than perfect.”)
This is the first CPM440V blade that I have used extensively. After re-beveling the edge to an inclusive 30° angle (15° per side) it has held an amazing edge, exceeding all other steels to date. Although I cannot attest to the Lil’ Temperance’s ability as an MBC knife, as I am not a Riddler, I have used this knife for the everyday mundane tasks of opening mail, shipping cartons, cutting plastic box straps and rope, dispatching weeds and branches in the garden, and slicing 14oz. N.Y. Strip steaks with surgical precision. It has performed admirably without exception.
After all of my praise, is this the perfect knife? Only until I use Spyderco’s next creation, perhaps! There are a few changes I would make, but they are only minor. I think the clip would benefit from tumble (stone wash) polishing to remove the sharp edges (I buffed the prototype’s clip on a Scotch-Brite™ belt). I would also like to see the G10 handle color changed to a Denim blue to better camouflage its appearance for everyday carry. And lastly, that production be increased so that my customers will not have to wait any longer to own their own Lil’ Temperance and stop trying to buy this one!