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Sosakonline Archive

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Spartan Lite, a personal experience

Thoughts and musings on SAKs from our own Chris D, aka Bodhi.

    I was among those people who looked down on a SAK, until about a year ago, when upon my wife suggestion, I let go of my balisongs to get better understanding of my own psychology of why I like knives, to get rid of that need of 'being macho'. So, after a while being 'knife less', I started thinking what is the best knife I can have for EDC and will be useful enough. The thought drifted to SAK, especially Victorinox (Wenger is not very well known here) for the quality and also because the price is reasonable down here. Normally, those branded Tactical Knives (SOG, Benchmade, etc. to name a few) is sold as 'luxury item' and priced 2 - 4 times the Online Shopping price. However, the SAK is considered daily tools, and as such, the price down here is very much comparable to US.

    Now, back to my story, I'd like to have a decent blade with some additional toos, but at reasonable cost. I ended up with a Spartan Red Ruby. Shortly after, I found there is such thing as Spartan Lite, while at the same time, my wife needs a knife too, so I passed her the regular Spartan Red Ruby and obtained my Spartan Lite (she doesn't like the bulk of Spartan Lite). I like LED lights as it lasted a long time on small batteries due to the minimum power consumption of it, got some key ring models, busted some Taiwan made cheap LEDs and one Princeton Tac (the battery chemicals got into the circuit). Do anyone knows how to store them with battery inserted for a long time, used only in emergency? This problem with Princeton Tac was the battery, but I am now wondering if there is any better way to do it ..

    Having used it (the Spartan Lite, not the LED flashlight) for more than six months now, I found that the large blade is big enough for daily use, slicing apples, cakes, etc. I sharpened both blades to thinner edge (but using free hand, I am not sure the resulting angle). The small blade is very useful in precise controlled cutting, such as removing label from my son's T-Shirt, where I like to cut off the thread instead of the label itself, to ensure clean removal. Those tactical blades I have with 3.5" or bigger will not win here, as it is too long, I might ended up cutting the shirt itself. The flat screwdriver is solid prybar for opening some cans, the can opener is great for staple removal. Size (it belongs to 91 mm family, 3 layers) and pocket carry is also no problem, although some of you might think it's a bit thick, compared to the compact 1 layer Waiter or 2 layers Scientist! However, I need more tools (real Philips, corkscrew for mini screwdriver, small blade and reamer) so I think 3 layers is ok for my EDC. So far I don't feel it bulky or getting in the way.

    However, the best two tools are of course the Philips screwdriver and LED. One day the network printer in the office has paper jam that requires opening up. Also fixing some computer mouse, the long Philips works well, because there's no way the can opener can fit in (the screws are located in a drilled hole, quite deep). The LED is useful for searching my son's LEGO when he dropped it at restaurants, searching spring of my ballpoint that fell off .. etc.

    One day, accidentally, I found the red ruby scale has the slot for straight pin, exactly next to the corkscrew as the norm for 'plus' model. However, it doesn't have the slot for pen, how strange. I asked on a forum if other member has the same, but the answer was no. I checked my wife's standard ruby Spartan, it also has the pin slot! So I fitted some pins from the sewing kit into it, not the standard SAK pin, as it's not available down here. Has anyone got the same thing? How about blue / sapphire scale?

    After a while, I got a white cellidor scale for replacement. During fixing it up, I used a maroon colored eyeglass cloth, but the color rubbed into the cellidor and making it pinkish. I ended up rubbing the whole scale and now I have a pinkish 'marbled' color cellidor scale, due to the uneven coloring. The color will not rub off by hand, but using a pencil eraser I can remove that, but I decided to leave it there as I like the unusual scale color. I also added the pin slot and pen slot using the reamer and small blade .. voila! I have a pink marbled Spartan Lite plus!

    I also found this Spartan Lite the same configuration as the old Alpineer (see the gallery), with the LED replacing the magnifying glass.

    It's amazing what a small knife like that can do, I have used all the implements (even the corkscrew for untying knots) and found them satisfying and can be relied upon.

Chris.