The Schrade SMEDB California Issue is often referred to as a large version of the Schrade SCALY a very popular small folding knife that can be easily converted in to a “California Legal” automatic knife.
Model Name / Nomenclature
It took a little digging around before this really clicked for me but I am fairly certain that SCALY stands for Schrade California Legal, Yellow. SMEDB simply stands for Schrade Medium Black. SMEDY indicates that the handle scales are yellow.
Dimensions, Blade Steel and Specifications
The SMEDB has a 2.5 inch drop point blade with a 3.5 inch handle. At a mere 2.3 ounces, this is a nice every day carry (EDC) option. The knife is made of 440C, a go too steel for Schrade with good durability and edge retention. The SMEDB is a sized knife with a 440C drop point blade with a plain edge and a either a mirror polished finish or a black teflon coating depending on if you get the SMEDY or SMEDB. Schrade does a good job of putting an edge on this blade from the factory however I hit it with a few laps on my fine ceramic stone and a leather strop to get it hair popping sharp. It holds an edge very well.
The handle is made out of T6061 aluminum with a black or yellow delrin inserts. The handle is thick and slightly bowed giving it a nice feel in the hand. The pillar style construction of the handle makes it very easy to clean and I like the look of it a lot. A large aluminum push button is a prominent feature on the handle. You have to push the button to release the blade.
Ok so a lot of buzz around this knife is that it is an automatic. Well, its often advertised as an automatic, but when it gets to your door it probably won’t be an automatic. That’s due to the various legalities surrounding automatic knives in the US (assuming you are buying this in the States). Generally speaking, you will have to buy a spring for this knife to convert it into an automatic. Depending on where you live that could make the knife illegal so do some research before making the decision. The nice thing is, if you want to make this knife an automatic it is an extremely easy conversion. You can buy a coil spring on ebay (some online merchants carry them too) open up the knife, and the spring drops right in – everything is pre-drilled and ready to go.
An important feature of this knife (especially if you decide to do an auto conversion) is the safety on top of the handle. It’s a solid sliding lock safety that will keep the knife closed and prevent it from accidentally deploying. If you read my Schrade SCALY review you would know that this safety is a feature we may see disappearing from non-Benchmade automatic knives due to an ongoing lawsuit. If you are interested in this knife, I would buy it now rather than later so you get one with this important safety feature.
In addition to the safety lock being in danger of disappearing it appears that the entire knife might be going the way of the dinosaur as well. I’ve heard rumors that Schrade is discontinuing these knives. If this is a knife you are interested in, get it while the getting is good.