Review Byrd Tern BY23GP UK legal knife

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Silent Earth

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Review Byrd Tern BY23GP UK legal knife
© NR 2013
So normally I carry a 2 inch folding blade for convenience EDC especially around the home and office and a 4 inch if I’m venturing further afield. But most of the 2 inch blades are rather stubby by the very design limitations for the knife maker to work with, and 4 inch blades are often really tempting providence if used / deployed or displayed where the authorities are operating.
Recently I have noticed that at times I could really have used a slightly longer more tapered blade length than those on my Blade –Tech Mouse Lite & my Spyderco Meerkat for certain tasks so I thought I would take the opportunity when it presented itself to by a 3 inch folding knife and see how I faired with that. This also gave me the added opportunity to try out a blade designed from scratch to be legal for EDC use in the UK.
I no longer buy knives or multi tools from Hiennie Haynes after an issue with them over one of their promotional offers so I shopped around a bit finally settling on UK Legal Knives of Bingley west Yorks. ( http://www.uk-legal-knives.com/ ) and selected the apparently very popular Byrd Tern 3 inch UK legal folding pocket knife.
For your information Byrd is a subsidiary company of Spyderco producing a more budget or affordable range of blades EG whereas the Spyderco UK penknife C9PBK is £56 the equivalent Byrd Tern tool is £30 for a tool of reasonably similar quality but much lower price.
So what did I get for my £30? Well closed the knife is about 3 ¾ long and the non-locking blade is 2.8 inches long. The blade is made of CR 13 stainless and is 2.5 mm thick which is on par with the meerkat and mouse Lite. Its flat ground probably because it’s cheaper to do than other types of grinding and has an elongated leaf style blade.
It’s also got the added comfort / safety features of finger choil jimping and thumb ramp jimping .
(that’s grippy serrations on the shoulders of the blade for better gripping)
The handle scales are made of synthetic G10 material and both sides can accept the reversible wire pocket clip. Unlike some budget knives the edges of the scales are nicely beveled to be comfortable to grip unlike others I have owned where the edges are at 90 degrees and often quite sharp and uncomfortable. I don’t think owners will need to sand the corners down on the Tern handle.
The only bit I’m not totally comfortable with is the mounting of the wire pocket clip, it looks slightly vulnerable to me but only time will tell. Though in fairness very often I remove pocket clips from many of my knives just to keep them flatter and less conspicuous in my pocket.
Out the box it’s quite compact but very comfortable to hold and twiddle with, the blade is razor sharp so don’t forget it doesn’t lock. As for the lack of locking mechanism Byrd appears to have got round this fairly well by fitting the Tern with a heavy spring that makes closing it require a conscious effort, and the well positioned thumb and finger choil automatically help you prevent you from accidentally closing the blade onto your fingers.
As for EDC duty well I’m delighted to report the Tern weighs in at only 57 grams when compared with the Mouse Lites 49 grams and the Meerkat’s 68 grams so it’s not going to be a belt or pocket dragger.
Both myself and Mrs NR and NR junior all found the size, shape and weight of the Tern to be very acceptable so the tern would be suitable for Ladies EDC duty and teens EDC duty as well. I look forward to seeing how this UK spec legal folder holds up to over the coming months.
Image http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8536218657/
 

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