Delica vs Elementum

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Runt1122, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. Runt1122


    Feb 20, 2019
    Who has experience with these two knives? Which did you prefer for an edc?
  2. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I've owned a brass Elementum and a couple of Delicas. If I were choosing fresh, I'd probably pick an S35VN Elementum over a VG-10 Delica, largely because I prefer flippers to back locks.

    Both are excellent knives with first-rate fit and finish.
  3. Workingsloth777

    Workingsloth777 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2019
    I think I prefer the elementum.... the delicas design (though very functional) has just never really spoke to me
    Chronovore likes this.
  4. I’ve got a micarta/S35VN Elementum, and it’s an absurdly good knife for $80. The S35VN versions have thinner blade stock than the D2 ones, so their cutting geometry is a little better. The Delica is a classic for a reason, but it’s showing its age, particularly the VG10 steel, which is hard to justify at a price higher than the upgraded Elementum. The Delica has a slightly thinner blade than the skinny Elementum (0.01” difference) and a full-flat grind rather than high-flat, so it would be expected to slice a little better. Personally, I prefer the liner lock to the backlock, and the much better steel outweighs the blade geometry for me.
    Chronovore and Dadpool like this.
  5. el gigantor

    el gigantor Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 5, 2015
    The Delica's great reputation is well deserved, but the Elementum's quality-to-price ratio is insane! CIVIVI for the win in this case..
  6. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    Delica wins.
    Civivi is a lower build and class imo.
    S35vn is only on the exclusive, Delica has many different steels In exclusive offerings.

    Currently a cv20 is still available .
    Delica all the way.
    Lee D likes this.
  7. el gigantor

    el gigantor Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 5, 2015
    I'm not trying to start an argument, but do you have any hands-on experience with a CIVIVI? I was skeptical too, but I picked up an Asticus on sale and it blew me away! I've never read anything negative about the fit and finish and quality control of any CIVIVI model, and I've witnessed first-hand several QC issues with brand new Spyderco knives.....and I'm a HUGE Spydie fan!
    Billy The Hungry likes this.
  8. Cscotttsss

    Cscotttsss Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 3, 2015
    I've never owned or handled an Elementum so my opinion doesn't count but the Delica is a classic and no way you can go wrong IMO.
    Skar likes this.
  9. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    Yes I do have a civivi.
    Yes it's a knife and it works, yet compared to spyderco it's not the same.

    I find the delica is blade genius:)
    353 and DMG like this.
  10. el gigantor

    el gigantor Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 5, 2015
    Fair enough! Thank you for not taking my question personally too!
    Billy The Hungry and Skar like this.
  11. Mingecutter

    Mingecutter Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    I've owned multiples of both. More of the Delicas over the years, as it's an icon and superb EDC cutter.

    However, I prefer the Elementum in S35VN and micarta. Can't go wrong either way, although I do feel the Elementum offers a much better value due to the s35vn blade steel. Pick whichever handle material and lock type you like best. Good luck!
  12. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I'd take the Delica all day every day over any Civivi. Light, slim, great ergonomics. And the steel argument? Well, given that I've got pretty much every sprint run that came out, I've got my choice, so I'm covered there. The Delica is an amazing EDC knife, I carry my ZDP189 Delica often.
    craytab, JupiterPaladin, 353 and 2 others like this.
  13. kingston73

    kingston73 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2013
    Both are good, but I don’t think they are very comparable. I guess they are the same basic size but flipper vs thumb hole, lock back vs liner lock. Both have lots of options, D2 or s35vn for elementum and delica has k390, vg10, hap40...others?
  14. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    M390, ZDP189, CRUWEAR, VTOKU, Superblue, Supergold, 20CV, and one or two others I'm forgetting.
  15. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    I had to google to find out which manufacturer makes that knife. Until it has a fame comparable to Delica, I'll pick Delica all day every day.
    Skar likes this.
  16. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    I don't have any experience with the Elementum, but I choose the Delica. By the numbers, the Elementum should be the better knife, but there are some benefits to the Delica's design.

    The Elementum is a really good looking and well built knife. I have other bearing flippers that I really like, and based on the reviews I've watched I have a feeling I would really enjoy the Elementum if I could ever bring myself to buy one. I don't have enough experience with CIVIVI as a brand to know if their heat treatment is consistently good or not, so I won't comment on that.

    The Delica is an incredibly ergonomic knife, it has a simple manual action with an extremely strong lock, no bearings to gum up in a dirty environment, and a nice thin blade with a full flat grind for cutting efficiency. I'm more interested in a humble, quiet reliability than a quick, flashy opening. VG-10 may not be the best at edge retention, but it's not too fussy to maintain either. Outside of sprint runs, most if not all of the Japanese made Spydercos have been offered in ZDP-189.

    Both are under $100, so you could eventually end up with both if you are so inclined.
  17. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Having multiple Spydercos and having owned even more, this is a difficult one as I also own a Civivi McKenna.

    I've never been a fan of back locks. Spyderco is the exception. I had a Dragonfly 2 in ZDP-189, and loved it until it disappeared in one of my many moves.

    Personally, based on where its produced, Japan vs China, I'll take the Delica. Get a more exotic steel though, its worth it.

    Hmm, this may convince me to finally replace my Dragonfly 2.
  18. Spyderco has discontinued the ZDP versions, and new ones are getting hard to find. K390 is the new "high edge retention" option for regular production. Street price for the K390 version is $115.
    That's a 30% premium over the upgraded Elementum and approaching 2.5 times what the base Elementum costs, which makes it a comparison of knives in very different price brackets.
  19. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    The Delica is awesome. Nobody should discount Spyderco's VG-10, as it is amazing stuff. Gets insanely sharp very quickly and easily.

    The full flat grind makes it a slicer that is hard to beat. Lots of configurations for handle and steel in this one.

    But man, that Elementum in green micarta and S35VN for 80-ish bucks? Hard not to grab one just to see what it's all about!
  20. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    I think they are two knives that fill similar niches but do so differently. If fidget factor is worth something to you i.e fun to flick open and closed, then you are going to want to look at the Elementum. The elementum tends to win out as well when it comes to handle material. As far as I know, the Delica is only available in FRN which can be polarizing and sometimes pakawood though those are much harder to find.

    On the plus side for the Delica, you are getting a slighly longer blade, and a stronger lock with the backlock if that matters to you for a small edc knife. That and you can get sprint runs in better if that is a priority for you.

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