C08 Harpy

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The C08 Harpy features a hawkbill blade and was first introduced in 1987. In 1993 the same blade was combined with an FRN handle and then named C21 Merlin. The C21 Merlin was discontinued in 1996, but reappeared in 1999 with an updated FRN handle, now named C08BK Harpy. Harpy variations with G-10 and CF handles also exist.

Appearance in catalogs

The C08 Harpy appeared in the following annual Spyderco product catalogs (older, newer):

  • C08 Stainless Steel: 1990, 1991-1992?, 1993, 1994, 1995-1996?, 1997, 1998, and then all Spyderco catalogs since 2000
  • C08BK: 2000-2003 Spyderco catalogs
  • C08CF: 2005 Sprint runs flyer
  • C08G: 1998-1999 Spyderco catalogs
  • C21: 1993-1994 Spyderco catalogs

Designer

Sal Glesser [1]

History, mentionings from the forums etc.

  • Comments by "The Deacon" on the Harpy history.

Information from the Spyderco catalog on the web

"Like the claw of the Harpy eagle the C08 is shaped for controlled pulling cuts. The hawkbill blade shape originated in the marine/fishing industry where severing rope, line, webbing and netting is done at arm's length quickly and efficiently. The curving arc holds what you're cutting against the sharpened edge keeping it from slipping off the tip. Custom knifemaker David Boye developed the dent in the locking lever, which insures the blade remains securely locked open when gripping the handle with force. Cut out of the handle is a drying vent allowing air to circulate around the blade when closed wet. Metal clip is positioned for tip down carry."[2]

Variations

All Harpy variations are made in Seki City, Japan, and have a Back Lock locking mechanism and a hawkbill shaped blade.

SKU Handle Edge Steel From/To MSRP Note Number made Grind Clip Clip positions Collectors club
C08S Stainless Steel SE AUS-6 1987-1990 ? early: right-angle edges on scales, later: beveled edges N/A Hollow Metal RH, TD
C08 Stainless Steel PE SE GIN-1/G-2 1991-1992?, 1993-1995? 91.95$ (1994) integral lockspring and backspacer, early: no steel marking, later: G-2 marking N/A Hollow Metal LH+RH, TD
C08 Stainless Steel PE? SE GIN-1/G-2 1996?-1998 ? separate lockspring, early: G-2 steel marking, later: GIN-1 marking; left hand version? N/A Hollow Metal RH, TD
C08 Stainless Steel PE?? SE ATS-55 1999?, 2000-2001 ? since 2001: incl. Boye dent; left hand version? N/A Hollow Metal RH, TD
C08 Stainless Steel PE SE VG-10 2002-: SE, 2002: PE 100.95$ (2004), 129.95$ (2009) Japanese market packaging only? N/A Hollow Metal RH, TD
C21S Black FRN SE GIN-1/G-2, AUS-8? 1993-1994 54.95$ (1994) Merlin; with/without steel markings? N/A Hollow Integral FRN ?
C08BK Black FRN PE SE ATS-55 2000-2001: SE, 2001: PE ? Merlin; since 2001: incl. Boye dent N/A Hollow Barrel bolt LH/RH, TU
C08SBK Black FRN SE VG-10 2002-2003 ? Merlin N/A Hollow Barrel bolt LH/RH, TU
C08PBK Black FRN PE VG-10 ? 6930Yen (2009) Merlin; listed in the 2002 Spyderco catalog, but likely was/is only available as a Japan exclusive[3] N/A Hollow Barrel bolt LH/RH, TU
C08GS Black G-10 SE ATS-55 1997-1999 ? N/A Hollow Metal RH, TD
C08CFS Black CF SE VG-10 2005 184.95$ (2005) Sprint ? Hollow Chrome J- clip RH, TU? Variant
C08CFP Black CF PE VG-10 2005 184.95$ (2005) Sprint ? Hollow Chrome J- clip RH, TU? Variant

Most collectible variation

The first generation version and the CF PE version seems to be the variants most wanted by collectors.

Questions regarding collecting the C08

  • A Merlin with VG-10 blade and PE is listed and shown in the 2002 Spyderco catalog. Was this variant ever sold outside Japan?
  • There are open questions marked with '?' above and below. Any answers?

Technical information

Measurements (mm and grams) of the C08 Harpy and C21 Merlin:

Variations Length overall Length closed Length blade Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
C08 Harpy SS 165mm 98mm 70mm 65mm 12mm 3mm 109g
C21 Merlin ? ? ? ? ? 3mm ?
C08BK (Merlin) 164mm 99mm 73mm 62mm 12mm 2.5mm 71g
C21CF 165mm ? 70mm 65mm ? ? ?

Measurements (inches and ounces) of the C08 Harpy and C21 Merlin:

Variations Length overall Length closed Length blade Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
C08 Harpy SS 6 1/2" 3 7/8" 2 3/4" 2 9/16" 15/32" 1/8" 3.9oz
C21 Merlin 6 3/4" ? 2 7/8" 2 1/2" ? 1/8" 1.75oz
C08BK (Merlin) 6 7/16" 3 7/8" 2 7/8" 2 7/16" 15/32" 3/32" 2.5oz
C21CF 6 1/2" ? 2 3/4" 2 9/16" ? ? ?

References

  1. Sal Glesser's original comment can be found on Spyderco-Forums [1]
  2. The C08 Harpy in Spyderco's online catalog
  3. The "C08BK PE Merlin/Harpy FRN/VG-10: Does it actually exist?" thread on the Spyderco forums

Pictures

C08CFP Harpy
C08CFS Harpy
C08CF Harpy, clip side

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