MEAN STREET TACTICALS | Folding Fighter Knives

Parisian trio—Perrin, Perotti, and Thiel—designs the ultimate back alley folding fighter.

presented by

The folding PPT (center) flanked by the original Spyderco Perrin (left) and the Perrin Street beat. All three are master designs from a man who knows what the knife is supposed to do.

The folding PPT (center) flanked by the original Spyderco Perrin (left) and the Perrin Street beat. All three are master designs from a man who knows what the knife is supposed to do.

The new Fred Perrin PPT from Spyderco arrived several days ago in the middle of a very busy day. Anxious to see it, I opened the package, applied a little pressure to the Spyder Hole, and the blade flew out of the handle. “Oh,” I said to myself, “I didn’t know that this was an assisted opener.” I then put the knife aside to get on with the day’s work. The next day I picked it up again and noticed the open spine. While it’s possible to make an assisted opener without a leaf spring, it’s also unusual. Again, I applied a little pressure to the hole and again, the blade flew out of the handle. Curious now, I closed the knife and very slowly opened the knife. Turns out that it’s not an assisted opener after all! Even more curious, I again applied a little pressure to the Spyder Hole and the blade once again flew out of the handle.

So the first thing to say about the new Spyderco/Perrin collaboration is that it opens very easily and very surely. Not only that, but the lockup is without any side-to-side play. In the 16 years that I’ve been writing for Tactical Knives, there have been only a few folders that opened this effortlessly and had no play at full opening. All the more impressive since this is a knife with washer, not race, construction. Spyderco turns out extremely high quality knives, and the PPT is the latest testament to that fact.

The PPT has a distinguished pedigree, too. Fred Perrin has been a world-vetted Tae Kwon Do and stick-fighting champion, a French army commando, professional writer, martial arts instructor and one of France’s most recognized professional knife makers. He regularly instructs high-end police and military units, and his approach to weapons and fighting is both highly skilled and ruthlessly efficient at the same time.

Blade Designs for the Pros
People don’t realize that Paris is one of the most dangerous cities in the world—especially the ghettos (called “suburbs” there)—and this is the environment that Fred deals with. His earlier collaborations with Spyderco—the 5-inch “Perrin” and the 3.5-inch “Street Beat”, both unusual, narrow Bowie designs, were hailed by experts that understood their design as major achievements. (As to the many not-so-expert commentators on the knives, the phrase “like a hog lookin’ at a wrist watch” comes to mind.) On this knife, its name, PPT, refers to the folder’s three designers: Fred Perrin, Philippe Perotti and Sacha Thiel, giving this latest folder the benefit of the insights of an expert tactician and a world-class knife maker, in addition to Fred’s own contributions.

The PPT features a 3-5/32-inch blade of CPM-S30V that’s flat ground from the 1/8-inch spine. The cutting edge is 2-11/16 inches long and the shape is a modified Wharncliffe. The lock is a cross between Michael Walker’s LinerLock and Chris Reeve’s Integral Lock. It functions as a frame-lock but a black G-10 scale overlaying the lock makes it appear closer to a LinerLock. The black G-10 handle scales are milled with corrugated creases which do an extremely good job of providing high traction to the grip, yet aren’t painful to clamp down on. A left/right deep-carry pocket clip and a knotted lanyard round out the knife.