Review: ACE Clyde

The personal pocket pal by Giant Mouse, who’s always there to help with daily duties.

The Clyde is really featherlight, barely noticeable in a pocket, but can it really get the job done? Here’s a full story…

Let’s start with the basic specs:
A 3-inch blade made of Elmax steel, saber grind and an overall line clearly influenced by the Scandinavian puukko shape. It’s slim, slick and very pointy – a little bit upswept, which gives it some character.

A canvas micarta handle – if you’ve read some of my reviews you know that I’ve always been a canvas micarta junkie! So this is a big YES for me. The orange aircraft aluminum spacer (with integrated lanyard hole) and thumbstud both stay out nicely. Add a discreet wire pocket clip to that mix and you’ve got a picture of a very capable daily carry folder.

It’s a slim, thin knife, which easily slips into a pocket and almost disappears there – it’s actually a mere 2.50 oz. It’s so light it could be worn in a shirt pocket too!

The opening is smooth and with full control thanks to the bronze washers. The locking action is positive, a steel linerlock works great and it’s more than enough for any EDC rated work. And not just at home or office, but also in outdoors.

I’ve had Clyde in my pocket for couple of weeks this Summer in the Bieszczady Mountains area (a wild place in Central Europe) and used it countless times for cutting stuff, gear repair, cleaning mushrooms, barbecuing, and even occasional whittling and I’ve never felt it was too delicate.

No chopping or heavy work though. Guys, it’s still a 3 inch lightweight folding knife so common sense is recommended when using it – it’s not in the same strength class as the GiantMouse GM5 beast, of course.

To me the canvas micarta Clyde is an outdoor-rated EDC folder. Despite the lack of guard it’s still secure to hold – that sandblasted surface won’t slip easily even when wet.

It really cuts well and it’s made of Elmax so it stays sharp for an incredibly long time. It works especially well when paired with a bigger blade – combine it with a 5 inch fixed blade or a small hatchet and you’ve got a great outdoor combo.

But even just with the Clyde you can take some finger-thick sticks, split them in half, make 2-3 feathersticks (easy job with the sharp Elmax) and set a fire – no problem with that. The spine on the Clyde is nicely rounded so you won’t strike a firesteel with it but hey, just use one with a supplied striker (Light-My-Fire makes excellent one in pocket size called the Scout).

Or use matches, or a BIC lighter, or a Zippo… take a look at that pic, I could fit both the Clyde and all 3 firestarting devices in my front jeans pocket. You don’t always need to go primitive to start a fire – a BIC lighter works too, I promise!

I didn’t rush the review. I could have, but I took my standard way and really tested it for more than a month in total in many scenarios as you can see. Sun, rain, forest, mountains, you name it. I actually didn’t have any other folders for review during that time, just two fixed blades – a perfect combination with the Clyde.

So after that test period I can easily recommend the GM Clyde if you’re looking for a small, pocket-friendly EDC blade. Especially in Europe, where more and more countries ban big blades, a knife like the Clyde could be not just a great office carry, but also a very capable weekender or ultralight option for trail runners, who enjoy quality ultralight gear and can’t imagine going into wilderness without a good knife.

But that’s not all – if you prefer a more classy look there is also a black G10 version with some red accents. Small enough to be carried in most places and doesn’t scare people off. For pure city cruising that might be your ultimate version of a gentleman’s Clyde. Or with that black & red color scheme kind of tacti-elegant if you will. Anyway, just a cool variant.

Enjoy your Clyde! And don’t worry if it’s now sold out in your favorite store – it belongs to the ACE line so you can expect restocks and it’s not a limited run knife.

By Piotr Ma

Senior Contributor & Edge Specialist, more posts.