Southern Grind Spider Monkey GLOW Series Black PVD Carbon Fiber Folding Knife Review

One of the bonuses working with Going Gear again comes in the fact that they are knife nuts.  See their newest video for more proof of that.  What’s better for me is that they’ve sent me a cool knife to handle, too.  This is the (long name warning) Southern Grind Spider Monkey.  It’s part of the GLOW series, and the blade is black PVD.  The scales are Carbon Fiber.  And they glow!  Just a lot going on in this knife… read on for more – but mostly carry on because there are a bunch of photos!!


Official Specs

Here is a link to the official product page on Going Gear.  That’s an affiliate/tracking link!  I’ll make a little bit if you end up buying through that link.  It won’t cost you any extra!

Versions

There are quite a few versions of the Spider Monkey.  Here’s the easiest way to see them. (referral link right there).

Scale options:  Carbon fiber, glow carbon fiber (seen here), copper.
Blade shape options: Tanto (seen here), Drop point, Serrated Drop point.
Blade coating options:  Black PVD (seen here), Satin, Tumbled Satin.

I think that’s all the options.  I have to say, I bet the copper satin drop point is incredible.


Short Review

I would be a fan of this knife even if it didn’t have carbon fiber scales, and even if that carbon fiber didn’t have glow.  I like the scale shape, and for once I even am ok with a tanto blade shape.  I wish the knife *flicked* open more easily, but that’ll probably come with much more use.  The downside of it not flicking open out of the box is that with the proprietary screws, it’s not really user serviceable.

Long Review

Package and manual

There isn’t a manual with the knife.

What’s Included

  • Southern Grind Spider Monkey knife
  • Assembly/Inspection card
  • Knife care guide

Official Knife Details

Size

Officially:

Overall Length: 7.4375″
Handle Length: 4.1875″
Blade Thickness: .130″

Weight: 3.2oz

Official measure of the blade isn’t given.  I’ll measure it in two parts, since it’s a tanto blade.
Belly: 59.52mm
Tip: 23.48mm

For a combined length (an “as the bird flies” measurement) of 80.61mm

Look

There it is.  It’s a very fetching knife, if you’re into carbon fiber.  I happen to be very into carbon fiber, so I love the look.  In most of the photos seen here, a very slight green tint can be seen in the carbon fiber… that’s the glow material.  It’s not actually seen as glowing but the glow material is green.

Below see how centered the tip is when closed.  And also note the copper washers on the pivot.  As I said above, this is not really a user serviceable knife, since the screws are proprietary.  Two exceptions – but more on that later.

There’s some branding on here, of course.  Twice here – the logo, and the Spider Monkey seen on the pivot.

A closer shot of the green in the scales.  I believe what’s glowing isn’t a laid-down layer of glow material, but a glow epoxy, which was likely used to hold the carbon fiber together (as with all carbon fiber).  This is neither bad nor good, but that’s why it looks like it does.

GITD

Deserves its own section, right?  Here’s the Glow In The Dark (GITD) in action:

BUT!  Big but.  But, this isn’t really normal glow…. I had to force this one, shining a flashlight on the knife for a minute, and took the photo in pitch black.  In daily use, I don’t think I noticed it glowing once. 🙁  Sitting on the desk after dark, I never noticed it glowing once.  This is quite disappointing, and if there’s no price difference I’d likely buy the non-GITD version in order to get the drop point.

Open / Close / Lock

I already said that I wish the knife flicked open easier.  I really wish that.  It’s not all that fidgetable since it doesn’t flick open.  And I’ve said that the knife doesn’t really have any serviceable parts, because all the screws are proprietary.  Well there are two exceptions, and we can talk about one now.  It’s the pivot screw.  If you’re a tweaker, then you could use a Torx driver to adjust the pivot screw.  I will try that, to see if I can get it just a shade looser for flicking open.  It’s really hidden away in that hole – it doesn’t really present itself as adjustable.  But there it is.

The opposite side of the pivot screw has the Spider Monkey branding.

This is a fantastic looking knife!!

Just peaking out in the photo at right is the liner lock.  There are jimps on the liner lock to aid in grip, something I haven’t seen before.  Needed or not, they’re there.

The lock is (again) a liner lock, and the product material says that the liners are titanium.  64AL4V, to be exact.  I have no way to confirm or deny this, but I can say that the lockup is very good, and releasing the lock is easy, too.

The swing of the blade doesn’t have any “middle” positions.  Basically it’s opened or closed, with a tiny divot just about 5 degrees from open.  Also there’s a thunk when the choil hits the spacers, but overall it’s a pretty quite close.

Build and Feel

I have hinted at it already, but the Southern Grind Spyder Monkey is a great knife to hold.  I love the carbon fiber, and not just because I love carbon fiber.  This finish – whatever it is – … basically matte finish CF, is perfectly grippy for a knife, without extra knurling or features.  There are some extra features on the scales, but they’re only on the end, and don’t get in the way.

Also noteworthy is the jimping at the back of the spine, and onto the scales.  This ties the two parts together very well when open, and gives great thumb grip for being forceful.

The only thing that’d really make this knife feel better in hand to me is simply personal preference.  Despite the “tantoness” of the blade being very minimal, I’d still rather have a drop point or some other blade shape.  Fortunately that’s available.  Even in coated (PVD, like this one) and uncoated (stonewash, maybe?).  But not in the GLOW scales, it seems.

Steel / Cut / Oats

The steel, as lasered onto the blade, is S35VN.  S35VN steel is good for “wear resistance and edge chipping.  The result is formidable edge retention.” [see here.]  It’s good knife steel.

Fairly thick blade, too, at 0.130″.

The blade is PVD coated black, and has a conventional flat grind.

Again I manage to cut things better with something like a drop point blade, but this one is just fine.

Retention

The Spider Monkey has a three hole pocket clip and can not be moved to any other spot on the knife.  

That’ll be a drawback for a lot of people.  The carry is tip-down, and favors a right-handed person.

The clip also features a length that I have always wanted to see in a production item.  It’s a very short clip (around an inch of carry area).

Below, see a profile of the clip.  The mouth is plenty big with a steep angle.  It grabs pockets just fine.  The clip is not deep carry but still provides a good balance.

I am 94.25% sure this is the standard Benchmade hole pattern, but I can’t find my only Benchmade to compare (an Aphid).  So if you wanted a deep carry for this knife, it’s attainable.

It’s also possible to throw a lanyard on here, through this hole just “under” (blade side) the clip.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Carbon fiber
  • Glow in the dark!!
  • I love the short clip!
  • Standard hole pattern on clip
  • Adjustable pivot

What I don’t like

  • I love other blade shapes more than the Tanto.
  • The GITD is just not active enough….
  • Proprietary screws

Notes

  • This knife was provided by Going Gear for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this knife, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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