Spyderco Knives: An introduction
It’s no secret that Spyderco knives have been producing very good production knives for many years now. So much so that narrowing this review down to 5 picks for their best EDC knives is quite a challenge! Spyderco have been making knives since the late-seventies and have been responsible for many features we take for granted on pocketknives today. Think of things such as the serrated edge blade, the pocket clip and the cut-out hole for opening that feature that many of their knives are famed for.
With a focus of innovative design and quality, Spydercos are very recognisable in their design. From their hole in the blade thumb opening, the unique leaf-shaped blade, the little bug logo has now become synonymous with very good, usable knives.
Spyderco knives are a great buy whether it’s your first EDC knife or something you’re looking to add to your kit. With the amount of options they have on offer it’s quite easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. They have an incredible range of designs, blades and materials to choose from. Therefore, if you’re after a blade for a specific task or a Titanium pocketknife to match your set, Spyderco is a great place to start.
Below are my 5 best Spyderco knives for EDC, I’m sure there’ll be many of you who’d sub out one of these for an alternative! But feel free to comment below which one you’d add to the list. I’ve tried to cater for most EDC needs, those of you who are after a budget EDC knife I have a great option. If a small pocketknife is your thing I’ve an option for that too. There are also some options for a high performance knife for everyday carry too.
So let’s jump in and see which ones I’ve picked…
Spyderco knives: The entry level option
The Spyderco Tenacious
So we’re starting off with a firm EDC favourite and a very good entry-level pocketknife, the Spyderco Tenacious. It may be an oldie, but it’s a goldie – for a first pocketknife this is a great option. With good design, solid quality and nice materials at this price point, the Tenacious is a very good package for your cash.
Everyone’s tastes are different, but overall I like Spyedrco’s products and the Tenacious is really handsome design in my eyes. Nothing too flash, but smart and very functional in its design. The body is made up of skeletonized steel liners to provide a strong yet light framework. The scales are G-10 laminate which is comfortable to use and offers excellent grip in most conditions. The ergonomics of the knife are excellent, it’s comfortable and secure for most (of my) daily cutting tasks.
Spyderco knives tend to have great steel choices for their knives. This is no different, at 3 3/8” in length and made of 8CR13MOV stainless steel. It comes out of the box with a great edge on it and retains it well. The leaf-shaped blade is flat ground from the spine, which offers excellent sharpness and cutting performance. Cut out of the blade is Spyderco’s unique round hole for opening. This offers excellent purchase on the blade with your thumb and makes for easy one-hand opening. On the back of the spine you’ll see jimping, which offers extra grip. This allows you to safely position your thumb for extra cutting power on some tougher tasks.
The Tenacious uses a liner lock to provide safe use – complete with jimped liner for ease of use. There’s a 4-way pocket clip that allows you to carry the knife tip up or tip down. This is a brilliant entry-level knife depending on what your EDC knife needs are.
The overall size of the Tenacious when open is 7-3/4″ (197mm), closed: 4-7/16”(113mm), blade length: 3.39” (86 mm), blade thickness is 1/8″ (3mm) and it weighs in at 4 oz. (115g)
Spyderco Knives: The compact option
The Spyderco Dragonfly VG-10
The Dragonfly is another price point above the Tenacious and although smaller, it offers a huge amount of usability. For me, its one of the best small EDC knives you can buy. Whenever I need to use an EDC knife for work I always lean towards a smaller blade as it serves me well for my tasks. But more importantly it doesn’t get pulses racing or office workers screaming! Which is another reason I’m such a fan of Spyderco knives. This is why I wanted to include the Dragonfly as an excellent small EDC knife option. Hopefully I can convince some of you that high-performance can still be found in little packages.
The dragonfly may not seem as pretty as some of the other options here on aesthetics alone. In fact its real beauty lies when it’s within your hand… The ergonomics are excellent! This is something Syderco knives do very well and the Dragonfly is a great demonstration of this. The G10 scales provide a comfortable and secure surface and is a great handle material. The overall shape sits really well in palm and holds in place under hard use. Up front the choil’s cutaway shape and jimping allows superb grip on the index finger and thumb. The liner of the knife is steel which adds to the rigidity of the knife, making it stiffer and adding some weight to make it feel more solid in the hand. I really like the foliage green scales too, better than the black ones. The overall clean design and low profile looks are a big winner for me
Due to the compact design of the dragonfly the blade isn’t very intimidating to look at. The same thing can’t be said about the performance of this thing, as its incredible for such a small knife. The blade is VG-10 stainless steel, as given away in the name. For those that don’t know, this steel is very much at the premium end of production knives. The blade is razor sharp out of the box and provides the dragonfly with massive cutting performance for its size. VG-10 came from Japan where it was originally used in high-end chef knives that many Japanese knife makers are famed for. Over the years it’s been used for top of the range tactical, hunting and pocketknives.
This should give you an idea of the sharpness and quality of the blade! The Dragonfly’s blade is Spyderco’s unique leaf-shape and with a full flat grind to give great strength and sharpness. The blade uses the cut out hole to great effect for easy blade deployment
Safety is provided using a back lock and has a very sturdy wire clip for deep pocket concealment. The clip only allows the knife to be carried tip up, but can be swapped either side of the scales so you can carry it left or right pocket.
Dimensions for the Dragonfly VG-10 are: overall length: 5.25″ (140 mm), blade length: 2.25″ (57 mm), closed length: 3.1875” (81 mm) and it weighs in at: 2 oz. (56 g)
Spyderco Knives: The old favourite
The Spyderco Endura 4 Flat Ground Lightweight
Now time for a classic! Spyderco’s original Endura first appeared in the 1980’s as a lightweight, clip-carry folding knife. Now in it’s 4th edition is still regarded as a great go to option for an EDC pocket knife and is still one of the best selling Spyderco knives out there.
The word ‘Lightweight’ in the name derives from the FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon) handles it uses. These come in a range of cool colours such as blue, green, purple, brown and grey. Also regarded as lightweight due to the fact its an inch longer than the Tenacious, yet it actually weighs less! This is thanks to the skeletonized liners and the FRN handles. The handles also have a brilliant texturing pattern that bites into the hand very well.
The Spyderco Endura 4 comes with 3 blade type options, but for this review I’m keeping it as a plain edge. You’ll be pleased to know that this model packs a VG-10 stainless steel blade like the Dragonfly above. Where the Endura 4 gains an advantage over the Dragonfly is blade size. The Endura packs a much larger VG-10 blade of 3 3/4″ (96 mm). The additional size gives you more cutting potential and a greater variety of uses over the Dragonfly. This is certainly a added plus when you need more cutting power in your EDC knife. The combination of a larger blade, light weight and gripping power, is a great skill set. This makes the Endura is a fantastic option for those who need a pocketknife with outdoor tasks in mind.
The FRN grips also offer excellent flexibility in carry options too! The Endura has an hour-glass shaped pocket clip that can be attached tip up or down on both the left and right side of the knife. It’s an endearing characteristic that shows the flexibility this knife offers and why after all this time it’s still an EDC favourite
It measures overall: 8 3/4″ (222 mm), length closed: 5″ (127 mm), blade length: 3.80″ (97mm), blade thickness: 1/8″ (3 mm) and weighs: 3.6 oz. (103 g)
Spyderco Knives: The premium option
The Spyderco Sage S30V Carbon Fiber
Seen as Spyderco’s 30-year celebration to knife crafting, the plan Spyderco had was offer an ongoing series of Sage Folders. These were designed to cover many of the different locking devices and mechanisms that we see on various folding knives. This model in particular celebrates the contribution of knife maker Michael Walker. You may recognise him as the guy who introduced the LinerLock and ball bearing detent method of locking open a folding knife.
The Sage is a very pretty knife, to these ayes anyway. It’s quite understated in style and nicely proportioned overall. Steel liners give it a bit of weight and rigidity, these are sandwiched between beautiful twill-woven carbon fiber handles which look fantastic in the hand. The carbon fiber feels very nice to touch and comfortable to use. With the jimping on the choil, its more than up to task for most EDC uses.
The S30V in the title denotes the steel used in the blade, again this is a step up from VG-10. Both give a razor-sharp edge but the S30V holds its edge better, but is harder to sharpen. Produced in the US by Crucible, CPM S30V is regarded dollar for dollar one of the best knife blade steels you can get. The blade is a very useable 3” and is flat ground to the spine for optimal strength and cutting performance. A large circular cut-out makes the blade easy to open.
The knife locks out with a liner lock and overall is a very ergonomic and wonderfully finished piece. It comes with a very cool gloss black wire clip that can be attached left or right side, but is tip up carry only.
Sizes are: Overall length 7.125″ (181 mm), blade length: 3″ (76 mm), closed length 4.188″ (106 mm), weight 3.2oz (91g)
Spyderco Knives: The High-performance option
The Spyderco ParaMilitary2 G-10
This is the second generation of Spyderco’s mega popular ParaMilitary knife. This is a premium level folder, but one that still offers great value considering the quality and performance on offer. I’ve named this one as the ‘High performance’ option, but in truth all of these knives would fit that bill. It really just depends on what daily use and expectations you have of your EDC knife. The ParaMilitary 2 takes all the best bits from above to which makes it like a Spyderco knives ‘greatest hits’.
The ParaMilitary 2 looks fantastic, it looks high-performance and a touch bad-ass, especially in the camo design. The blade shape also plays its part in the overall look too. Its longer than the Sage and has a flat spine which gives it a more aggressive profile. The G10 handles provide great grip and comfort and as well as the camo, are available in black. The blade is available in satin, as pictured, or with a black finish too. The use of a new Bushing Pivot System give the ParaMilitary 2 a real smooth and fluid deployment. I haven’t been able to test it side-by-side with a Mk1 but it opens incredibly well. Safety is provided by a compression lock.
This has a real ‘performance’ look and feel to it, but it’s arguably the best all-rounder here too. At half an inch longer than the sage and deeper that the Endura 4, it makes sharp work of the vast majority of EDC tasks. The blade is forged from CPM S30V and as with the Sage, this is a real premium steel. Offering an excellent balance of edge retention, hardness and corrosion resistance, out of the box this thing is extremely sharp! Combined with the usability of the blade’s shape and size, this give you lots of options. The blade is flat ground from the spine for optimum strength and sharpness. It has a large cut-out hole for opening. Jimping is present on the choil and thumb ramp to give excellent grip options for cutting.
The ParaMilitary 2 also offers a gloss black clip that can be mounted either side, top or bottom. The mounts on the ParaMilitary are higher than the Endura 4, which offers better concealment.
The sizes are: Overall Length 8.281 ” (210 mm), Blade Length: 3.438 ” (87 mm), Closed Length 4.812 ” (122 mm), Weight 3.9 oz. (111 g)
Spyderco knives for EDC: summary
So these are my choices for an EDC knife options from Spyderco. I think all of these would make a great addition to your collection. When it come to Spyderco knives, there are plenty of options for a great EDC pocketknife. To summarise, for a budget pocketknife the Tenacious is a great option, for a compact knife the Dragonfly is great. For something lightweight you want to use outdoors the Endura 4 would be my choice, for something smart to add to your EDC collection the Sage is very nice. Finally for a high performance pocketknife that looks bad-ass and works extremely well, the ParaMilitary 2 is the knife to go for.
Do you already own one of these or thinking of buying one? Are there Spydercos you’d include in this list? If so, let me know in the comments below…