Spyderco brought the Calypso Jr. out of retirement. Check out my thoughts on this well done Super Blue sprint.

Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue
Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue

Table of Contents:

Why did I buy the Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue Sprint?

This is always a good question to ask yourself. Why do I want *this* knife. Most of us don’t have unlimited budgets, so asking this pertinent question helps curate our knife collection in a useful or intentional way.

I have wanted to pick up one of the Sprint Run Spyderco’s for a while now. Usually I haven’t been able to preorder or jump on a sprint when it came in or I didn’t exactly like the colors chosen (I’m looking at you ugly orange HAP40 wharncliffe Delica). This time I was on the Spyderco forum and came across the thread on these Super Blue Caly Jr’s. People were posting up when retailers were getting them in.

I really wanted this specific sprint because of how unique it was. Super Blue steel has a really great track record of being a great EDC steel and I didn’t have any in my collection. The Calypso Jr. itself hasn’t been in production since 2007. I thought the fact that it had been out of production for some time was great from a uniqueness perspective. Also the handle treatment is completely distinct to the Super Blue series with its grey handle with hint of blue and pearl and fish scale texture pattern. The size was also right on point with what I want in an EDC knife. It also had the ergonomics that I prefer with a front finger choil and thumbrest on top (although I wish the thumbrest had some jimping).

Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue
Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue

What is a Sprint Run knife?

A sprint run is a limited production run from a company that usually features unique elements like blade steel choice, handle colors or materials, and other unique features not usually seen in a large production knife model run. Spyderco offers numerous sprint runs and dealer exclusives throughout the year. These knives become highly collectible and sought after due to their uniqueness and limited quantity produced. Once the initial sprint run is sold it is often never made again, increasing its value and rarity.

daylight photo shows the true grey color better than my studio shots
daylight photo shows the true grey color better than my studio shots

Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue Background:

From Spyderco:

Produced in various forms from 1997-2007, the Calypso Jr. is a true Spyderco classic and a highly coveted collector’s item. This incredible resurrection of that design showcases a high-performance Super Blue tool steel blade. The pinnacle of Hitachi’s three premium-grade high-carbon steels, Aogami Super Blue combines the same superior quality iron sand used to craft legendary Japanese swords with high-tech alloys to create a steel capable of extreme sharpness and edge retention. Like the previous members of Spyderco’s Super Blue family, this knife features the distinctive gray handle color that is signature of this elite group.

What is special about Aogomi Super Blue blade steel?

The Aogami Super Blue steel used in these knives is created exclusively by Hitachi Metals. Their big claim to fame with this knife steel is they are using iron-sand that is only found in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan. This special sand has been used in Japanese cutlery for centuries including their famous fighting swords. The “blue” designation comes from the color of the paper that the raw steel is wrapped in. Super Blue steel is the most premium blue steel made. It has beefed up wear resistance due to its very high carbon makeup as well as additional Tungsten and Vanadium. Additional chromium is added to elevate hardness, improve edge holding, and add corrosion resistance. Super Blue steel is often used in premium kitchen cutlery due to its high performance cutting a variety of materials.

Super Blue stamp
Super Blue stamp

Is Aogomi Super Blue steel stainless?

Super Blue steel is not a stainless steel so you will have to be conscience of corrosion. One of the nice things about Super Blue steel is that it will develop a unique blue/grey patina over time. This can be forced by cutting foods with acid or other tricks or allowed to happen gradually over time. I purchased a Tuf Cloth for some of my other knives and treated the blade on my Super Blue knife as well. I find that Tuf Cloth works well at protecting non-stainless blades.

What is Aogomi Super Blue blade steel’s composition?

From ZKnives 

  • C – 1.4-1.5
  • Cr – 0.3-0.5
  • W – 2-2.5
  • V – 0.3-0.5
  • Mn – 0.2-0.3
  • Si – 0.1-0.2
  • P – 0.025
  • S – 0.004

If you’re not familiar with these elements and what their characteristics provide to blade steel, I’d suggest reading this page on ZKnives.

Spyderco Calypso Jr. Super Blue Specifications:

closed view
closed view
  • Overall Length: 6.75″
  • Blade Length: 2.75″
  • Cutting Edge: 2.375″
  • Blade Width: 1.00″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.11″
  • Blade Material: Blue Steel
  • Blade Style: Leaf Shaped
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Satin
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.00″
  • Handle Width: 1.00″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.39″
  • Handle Material: FRN
  • Color: Gray
  • Frame/Liner: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 1.90 oz.

How does Aogomi Super Blue blade steel perform?

Super Blue steel is really a sweetheart to use and work with each day. Super Blue is easy to sharpen. It can take a very sharp angle with a thin edge. The makeup of Super Blue lends itself to a steep angle for sharpening because the steel has such great edge stability.

Edge retention is really pretty decent. Not crazy great like your true high-end super steels but it does perform admirably well against its competitors. Ankerson from BladeForums put some Super Blue to the test and it performed really well in comparison to some top tier blade steels.

BladeForums – Edge Retention – cutting manila rope 

  • ZDP-189 (65)
  • CPM-154 (62)
  • ELMAX (60)
  • CTS-XHP (Military) (60+)
  • Super Blue (61.5)

As mentioned earlier, when you do dull the blade is it very quick to get a scary sharp edge back on the blade. The addition of a sharpening choil to the blade was also a nice touch which helps when sharpening.

handle detail - love this texture

What do I think about the Calypso Jr. Super Blue blade shape and design?

The blade on the Calypso Jr. is a typical Spyderco flat ground design. It cuts effortlessly through everything. If you like your knives slicey, this one is for you. The blade thickness is 2.89mm which is a little thicker than a Delica 4 at 2.32mm. I feel it has the right amount of blade length for an everyday carry knife at 2.75” of blade with 2.375” of cutting length. Comparatively a Delica 4 has a 2.875” blade with 2.56” of cutting length.

The shape of the blade is very traditional Spyderco. I love the shape. I think it works well for many situations. The sweep is gentle with enough belly for most tasks. Draw cuts work well as do chopping cuts. The tip on the blade is also nicely pointed for piercing when needed.

top down view
top down view

Along the spine of the blade the swedge adds a nice touch of style. As you travel back along the spine there is a nicely sculpted thumbrest. I would have liked the thumbrest to have had some jimping, however.

It was nice to see that this blade steel is not cladded like other Super Blue models. They have been known to scratch easily. I have not found that to be the case with this knife. Another nifty note about this sprint run is that it is the only Calypso Jr. with Sal’s mark on the blade (Sal Glesser is the founder of Spyderco).

Thoughts on various features of the Calypso Jr. Super Blue knife:

Deployment

The deployment on my knife is nice and smooth. I can’t Spydie flick this knife with my middle finger but can easily flick it open with my thumb. This knife is a true one handed knife. I can easily open the knife fast with a flick or normal opening motion and then push the lockback and drop the blade with ease.

requisite Fall foliage photo
requisite Fall foliage photo

Lockup

Lockup on the Calypso Jr. is very solid thanks to the simple lockback design. There is no bladeplay in any direction once deployed. The lockback is not super stiff, so putting the blade away is easy to manage with one hand. Spyderco did employ the Boye Dent on the lockback to help prevent accidental lock disengagement.

One gripe here is when deployed there is a little gap at the blade and lockbar. This has been an issue with this whole sprint run across almost everyones’ knives.

lockbar gap found on most of this sprint run
lockbar gap found on most of this sprint run

Pocket Clip/ Carryability

The pocket clip on this sprint Calypso Jr. is really nice. It has the right amount of tension and is set high on the knife for a deep carry. I like the extra attention they have given the clip with a stonewashed finish and Spyderco logo.

pocket clip detail
pocket clip detail

My only really gripe about this knife stems from the clip/carry options. It is tip down carry only. When this knife was designed tip down carry was more of the norm. I would be ok with this if it weren’t for how the knife blade is shaped or how the handle is designed.

When set up to be worn in the right pocket the thumbrest ramp part of the blade juts out into the pocket so when you put your hand in your pocket to grab your phone or keys your hand drags against the knife blade uncomfortably.

I also tried to run the knife set up for left pocket carry both in the left and right pocket to see if that would be better. It was not much better because now your hand scrapes across the corner of the handle that is now facing outward. The inside edges of the handle scales are a bit sharp. This may seem a little picky but when you’re used to all of your other knifes allowing for smooth entry to your pocket it takes some time to get used to.

I have now pulled the pocket clip and added a lanyard. I run this knife in my coin pocket for jeans and khakis or my put it in my Skinth notebook sheath.

Handles

The handle design of the Calypso Jr. is really well done. The ergonomic design of the handle fits in my hand quite well for a secure grip. I really like the contours of the handle with the front index finger choil. The handle design gives the knife a great controlled feeling when being used.

handle detail
handle detail

The fish scale pattern is my favorite design of all of Spyderco’s textured FRN offerings. The scaled texture provides great traction for your fingers when in use due to all the little scalloped grooves. The traction offered by the texture is superior to a lot of designs I’ve handled and used.

The FRN material used as well as being a linerless design makes this knife very lightweight. The knife itself is also very thin. Spyderco did not make the handle scales overly thick. The total thickness is 10.32mm, basically the width of 3 pieces of 550 paracord laid side by side. It slips in the pocket very easily and isn’t noticed, which I enjoy.

thickness view
width view

I really like the unique grey color for the handles. My photos definitely turned out a bit more blue than how they are in reality. My pocket dump photos do a better job of portraying the true grey color. They do have a slight blue tint and pearl shimmer to them in sunlight.

much better color representation in this photo
much better color representation in this photo

Ergonomics

As you can see in these photos and my description above, the Calypso Jr. fits my hand well. I really love the ergonomics on this knife. It feels very nice and secure in hand. It is very easy to use in any situation needed.

Fit and Finish

The fit and finish on this knife is pretty good. My handles were perfect except for the sharpness discussed previously on the inside of handle scales near the pivot. Bladeplay is non-existent. Deployment is smooth as glass and easily flickable. The blade finish is perfect. However, my blade is not centered perfectly. The little gap in the lockback is mildly annoying. I would have liked to have seen this knife with a Torx construction instead of being pinned. This would have been especially helpful for being able to take the knife apart given the blade steel being more prone to corrosion.

top view
top view

Where can I buy a Spyderco Calpyso Jr. Super Blue knife?

This sprint run has been sold by a myriad of shops online. I won’t try to name them all. It is very hard to tell who will get them in stock again. Refer to the thread linked on Spyderco’s forum for the most up to date shops who have them.

Let us know your thoughts