From top: Tasman Salt, Salt 1, Atlantic Salt, Pacific Salt, Mariner Saltall photographs by the author

From top: Tasman Salt, Salt 1, Atlantic Salt, Pacific Salt, Mariner Salt

A good knife for boating has to hold up well in the marine environment. The blade has to be rustproof and hold a sharp edge. The Salt series of knives by Spyderco have been some of my favorites. I’ve collected a handful of them in the past nine years and they’ve held up well. The folders have remained easy to open and the blades have held their edges well and have been unaffected by salt water. (Some of the knives shown here are no longer in production or are available with a serrated edge only. Check Spyderco for the models currently available.) With just one exception, the Salt knives are made with H-1 steel. According to Spyderco, it’s not a true steel, but an exotic steel: It uses nitrogen instead of carbon in the alloy. Carbon reacts with the chloride in salt water to cause rust; nitrogen doesn’t.
From top: Tasman Salt, Salt 1, Atlantic Salt, Pacific Salt, Mariner Salt

After five years of exposure to salt water, the Caspian 2 had spots of rust, not from the H-1 steel but from iron-bearing grit picked up from the environment.

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