Top 10 Best Spyderco Knife For Self Defense 2019

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Every knife enthusiast has come to know about the brand, Spyderco. Who else doesn’t? You might have opened this page in search for the best Spyderco knife, and fortunately, you’ve come to the right place!


Best Spyderco Knives for EDC Reviews

NoModelSteelBlade lenghtPriceRating
1Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife8Cr13MoV7.76"$****
2Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight KnifeVG-107.12"$$****
3Spyderco Matriarch Spyder Edge KnifeVG-108.55"$$*****
4Spyderco Sage Carbon Fiber Plain Edge KnifeCPF-S30V8"$$$*****
5Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Plain Edge KnifeCPM S30V8"$$$*****
6Spyderco RoadieN690Co5.08"$****
7Spyderco Para 3 C223GCPM S30V7.24"$$$*****
8Spyderco Sage 5 Compression Lock C123CFCLCPM S30V7.17" $$$*****
9Spyderco Manix 2 LightweightCPM S30V8.03 "$$*****
10Spyderco C149G Vallotton Sub-Hilt FolderCPM S30V8.7"$$$$$*****

The following folding knives by Spyderco are one of the bests and praised upon by knife collectors and law enforcement alike. I recommend you to look closely at their pros and cons as a way of scrutinizing as to which one will best suit you. So here they are!

1. Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife – Best Spyderco Knife for EDC

First on our list is this folding knife named Tenacious. Its product name supposedly came from its smoothness and fast deploying ability. Its size makes it good for EDC or other heavy duty tasks.

Tenacious is quite large for a folding knife. The closed length is at 4.44 inches and has an overall length of 7.76 inches. It balances on your finger behind the pivot of the knife. And just like most Spyderco knives, Tenacious also has an opening hole found near the handle.

Its blade material is 8Cr13MoV which originated from China. This makes the knife cheaper than most Spyderco knives that use other steel. However, since it has chromium that deflects corrosion and rust, Tenacious is a stainless steel blade.

As with other knives made of stainless steel, Tenacious is also quick to losing its sharp edge faster than higher grade steels. But it’s fairly easy to re-sharpen it.

The tip is shaped to be a drop point which makes the knife good for slicing but not much for stabbing on hard objects. One good thing is its full-flat grind which is common to kitchen knives. This means that aside from EDC, you can use Tenacious on your next hunting trips.

Tenacious is able to be opened using only one hand as it has the liner lock mechanism. It won’t fail on you because it’s safe. You can make use of your other fingers instead of the thumb to open the knife.

It’s proved for this knife to suit all hand sizes because of its carefully-thought ergonomics. The handle has layers of steel with G10 covering. The knife remained to be lightweight at 0.26 lb. Since the steel was milled out and the use of the China-produced steel. Because of G10, there are no chances of this knife slipping from your grip.

A pocket clip is attached to this folding knife which you can either hate or love depending on your preference. The pocket clip keeps good retention without destroying your pants in the process, in case the Spyderco knife rides up or is forcefully pulled from you.


  • Lightweight
  • Reliable
  • Liner lock mechanism
  • Tip-up/Tip-down carry position
  • Plain edge
  • Ambidextrous grip
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Non-slip handle
  • Affordable


  • The edge is good but if you use it in hardcore case, it’s not strong enough.

  • Steel may not be as hard as others spyderco knife, but you can handle almost all tasks with this .

2. Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Knife – Best Spyderco Knife for EDC

The Delica 4 is an upgraded version of the popular knife from the 1990s along with Endura. Both Endura series and Delica series pioneered the folding knives market for its lightweight, one hand opening mechanism, and price buyers can afford. As for Delica 4, aside from being one of the small Spyderco knives, it’s also considered to be a great folding knife for EDC.

The overall length of the knife is 7.125 inches. From that length, the blade is measured at 2.875 inches. The exterior of Delica 4 is impressive as the thumb and finger point are in their right places for ensured comfort for a more natural feeling. The handle is longer than the blade at 4.25 inches, which makes it the reason why it’s comfortable to use.

The steel used for this knife is VG-10 which is under the category of stainless steel. It’s very rust-resistant and sharpens easily. The steel is commonly found in most Japanese cutlery like kitchen knives. Since it contains vanadium, the blade is fairly strong.

Delica 4 uses lock back mechanism just like the older versions. It’s stiff enough so that the knife has no chances of accidentally opening or closing that may result in your injury. Furthermore, the thumb hole is also found immediately at the closed position of the folding knife, which aids to the one-hand operation of the Delica 4.

Like in Matriarch, Delica 4 also use the fiberglass reinforced nylon for its handle for increased traction and non-slip feeling. Inside the handle, the housing of the knife has steel liners which makes the knife stronger while retaining a light weight of 0.16 lb.

Everything’s going great for Delica 4. However, it still has a setback. The pocket clip is one prime example. The clip design is unique because the half down is recessed, which aids for extra security wherever you tip it up or down. The metal used is of lower quality that pressure can cause it to break off from the handle. Another setback is it can come loose from its housing.


  • Reliable
  • Lightweight
  • One-hand opening
  • Compact
  • Lock back mechanism
  • Supreme cutting performance
  • Tip-up/Tip-down carry position
  • Good for heavy duty tasks


  • Clip can come loose or broken if you use in hardcore issue.

3. Spyderco Matriarch Spyder Edge Knife – Best Spyderco Knife for Self-Defense

Another entry to the Spyderco knives review is this karambit knife that goes by the name Matriarch. It’s one of the popular go-to’s because of its unique cutting edge. The Matriarch is a folding knife that packs quite a punch that you must see.

A karambit knife is small but lethal. For this Matriarch, its cutting performance is something that you can depend on to some cutting and slashing work, which makes it good for close quarters combat. In other words, this is a knife for self-defense, and it would be virtually impossible for someone to disarm you without them being injured first. As a karambit knife that has a pistol-like handle, be it left-handed or right-handed, you can grip it any way you like.

Its overall length is 8.39 inches with its blade unfolded and 3.55 inches if it’s closed. This 5-inch knife is pretty lightweight at 0.22 lb. So, you can conceal it in your breast pocket or your jeans pocket.

The Matriarch is a folding knife that uses the lock back mechanism. In that sense, your safety and security are at ease because the lock will only disengage when you’re about to close the knife. That is realized when your hand is out of the way. Related to the opening mechanism, the spine part of the blade close to the handle has a hole, enough for your thumb to stick in to assist in unfolding the knife.

Unlike most knives that have plain edges, Matriarch has a serrated edge running from the tip down to the handle. Serrated edges, in use for self-defense, create a lot of damage as the uneven cuttings hit more veins and more flesh.

Being made of stainless steel for its blade, the Matriarch needs more maintenance because it dulls quite easily. Since it has a fully serrated edge, you need a special sharpening equipment to get you by. Another thing to consider is its usage. Being a knife made for self-defense, you don’t want the edge to be dulled quickly because of everyday use. This precaution must be duly exercised so that the lock won’t fail on you when you need it the most.

Other features of this knife are a four-position clip and Spyderco’s Bi-Directional-Textured™ fiberglass-reinforced-nylon handle. This polymer material is one of the cheapest and toughest handle materials for the production of most knives. Its main advantage other than the previous specified is its ability to take serial abuse. It’s also more flexible than other handle materials like G10.


  • Lightweight
  • Razor sharp
  • Easy to conceal
  • Tip-up/Tip-down carry position
  • Serrated edge
  • Lock back mechanism
  • Supreme cutting performance
  • Reverse or forward grip


  • If you use too much or use to sharpen too hard things, it may be dulled

4. Spyderco Sage Carbon Fiber Plain Edge Knife – Best Spyderco Knife for EDC

The carbon fiber in Spyderco Sage Carbon Fiber is the handle material. Other versions use G10 instead. This is a folding knife perfectly of everyday tasks and is continuously praised for its cutting ability. You will find that upon opening, the Sage is crazy sharp right out of the box.

Sage’s overall length is the same as Delica 4 at 7.125 inches. But its blade length is longer at 3 inches. This makes the closed length at 4.188 inches smaller so you can insert the folding knife to any pocket thus concealing it from prying eyes.

The blade material used is CPM S30V steel, a type of steel considered to belong to the stainless steel category. The blade is then wear and corrosion resistant. With the even distribution of the vanadium component, the hardness and rigidity are more pronounced in this blade. Furthermore, this is considered to be of premium grade, and that’s why Spyderco Sage has a whopping price of over 100 US dollars!

The blade material is the highest grade of stainless steel. Other than being rust-resistant, it holds its edge incredibly well, so there would be less sharpening. The sharpness of Sage has always been admired, so this makes Sage be a very excellent go-to knife towards many applications.

Sage utilizes the liner lock mechanism which brings a great look and easy deployment system. Opening and closing the knife is impressively smooth and offers enough stiff resistance so as to avoid accidental cutting and other inconveniences.

The handle material is carbon fiber. It has a unique texture which is twill-woven. The handle fits both left-handed and right-handed grip and adds to the functionality of Sage. The ridges are quite deep and have a non-slip design.

The Sage, other than the ridiculously high selling price, has another small drawback. It can be hard to clean when it gets dirty. You may need special tools to break the knife apart.

Like most Spyderco knives, Sage comes with an anodized metal clip for left-hand or right-hand carry.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • For everyday tasks
  • One-hand opening
  • Liner lock mechanism
  • Non-slip handle
  • Retains its sharpness
  • Supreme cutting ability
  • Tip-up/Tip-down carry position


  • Requires special tools when cleaning
  • Very high price but the quality will make you surprise.

5. Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Plain Edge Knife – Best Spyderco Knife for Self-Defense

Now, this is a knife favored by people in the military and law enforcement alike, which leads to the meaning of its given name. Paramilitary 2 is a knife for tactical use and very useful when it comes to self-defense. It’s not limited to that purpose alone, as this knife can be for EDC and fairs well as a mid-size folding knife.

Paramilitary 2 is the second longest among the Spyderco knives listed in this article (first is Matriarch). It has an overall length of 8.29 inches, while the closed length is 4.81 inches. It has a premium full-flat grind for a more EDC feel, as that grind design means that it’s for all purposes.

The 3.44-inch blade material used is CPM S30V, similar to Spyderco Sage. It’s of premium grade, by all means, the highest among stainless steel grades. It retains its sharpness for a long time before needing some sharpening. It also resists corrosion and rust fairly well aside from its rigidity and durability. The blade material largely contributes to the price of Paramilitary 2, making it the most expensive Spyderco knife in this list.

The locking mechanism for Paramilitary 2 is different from others. Instead, it has a compression lock mechanism. This type of lock is adamant, and there’s no way that accidental closing can happen. The knife disengages from its housing with a pinch at the joint. The deployment is fast and smooth, perfect when used for tactical reasons.

Ergonomics is on point for this folding knife. G10 is the handle material for Paramilitary 2. Aside from black, you can also opt for the camouflage design. G10 is tougher than what it looks. Since it has fiberglass in it, the handle is then unyielding and durable to withstand shock and other inconveniences. It is also impervious from slipping.

Paramilitary 2 is an excellent folding knife in all aspects with its obvious drawback being the very expensive price tag.This may be a case to case basis, but with the lock mechanism, it can be very stiff to the point of exerting extra effort to open the blade.

Aside from the secure pocket clip, Paramilitary 2 has a lanyard hole so it can be worn around the neck.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • One-hand opening
  • Liner lock mechanism
  • Non-slip handle
  • Retains its sharpness
  • Supreme cutting ability
  • For tactical use
  • For everyday tasks
  • Tip-up/Tip-down carry position


  • Although this product had been sold thousand items, but in some case, lock may be extra stiff. But you have 100% guarantee from manufacturer in 1 year.
  •  High price.

6. Spyderco Roadie

Originally, i buy a pocket knife just only idea that it will help me cutting chores i do not expect. But now i do not only use them for simple purposes, i have become interested in collecting knives. Looking at it honestly, for all knives i owned, they can accomplish the task well of being EDC. You may do not expect many things from a small knife like this, but for me, it can do everything i asked for a whole month. But i only regret that it can not bring to me new experience

The Roadie is made from Maniago, Italy and it’s length approximately 5” and weight is not over one pound. It performs like a straight edge, but the brand has designed the slight curve in order to do some types of jobs like cutting zip ties, besides that it is also equipped small blade to open packages or letter. However, if you want to find a pocket knife to prepare food, Roadie is not really a perfect choice to cope with these things like that.

Roadie is manufactured from N690Co steel that is one of the great materials. It is quite easy to be cleaned and sharpened after using for a long while. Moreover unlike some basic knives are made from 8Cr13MoV or 420HC that go dull really quickly. It can be kept sharp for a long time. It makes me remember S35VN that can last for a long time. However, it does have the best  corrosion resistance compared to others knives.

Roadie’s handle includes two pieces of FRN, smooth and slim contour. Although its handle is just about a finger, it is fairly easy to deal, I hardly fell inconvenient when holding it. The remarkable feature half and half finger choil. The only disadvantage that it can be twisted to your keys if you put them in your pocket together. Despite it’s a slipjoint, it has changed a lot; I do not feel lyrical or expressive at all with this knife’s lockup or deployment but this does not impact on its function. Don’t let the size deceive you, it’s bigger than it looks, it can do everything necessary in your daily life from cutting small chores to self-defense. So I highly recommend that you should own one, Its benefits will surprise you

7. Spyderco Para 3 C223G

Almost collectors agreed that the PM2 is a good knife, but it will be better if Spyderco manufactures a smaller version. Manufactures of Spyderco heard this rumour and figure out this issue.  A year later they released Para 3 as the perfect version of PM2. So we have a lot to discuss about it. Let’s take a look

The blade length of Para 3 is around 3’’ and weigh about 3.37 oz, it is manufactured in Golden, CO. It’s not like a few knives just for collectable aim, it is overqualified for using. It can satisfy all types cutting that you want, such as straight edge or pointed tip. But it is difficult to deal with a long cut.

Spyderco is well known for delivering many tools with low-priced, but they do not ever forget to focus on the quality of products. blade stock of Para 3   is quite thick, but it is still one of the top slicers. Some people argued that it’s just better than Spyderco’s S30V, but others give it much praise. For me after using it and having a littlele bit knowledge about  Spyderco’s others as well. I can make sure that it’s very good. it might not make you immediately impressed just after the first or second day of use, but its edge can be used and keep clean for a long time. There is one thing that I have learned during using Para 3 that steel can sharpens properly by time, if you are patient and keep calm.

Though Para 3 is the version of PM2, they are not totally the same; The Para 3’s handle is smaller and has a more curved spine than PM2’s. In my opinion, it rarely finds a knife that can shine many excellent features like PM2, maybe this is also the reason make it become popular in the knife world. However,  the forward finger the forward finger is two outstanding feature of Para 3.

the forward choil is an excellent element. Its aim is to direct smaller blade, so you can perform every task without any matter. In addition, even when I have to use a lot of strength during the cut, I do feel nothing at all thank to cured handle.

I think the worst downside of Para 3 that it is not an entirely new design. If you ask me to give you a recommendation about Para3, I will say it not bring a magic to you immediately, but you will be surprised after a while of use.

8. Spyderco Sage 5 Compression Lock C123CFCL

Sage 5 is one of the Sage series, a special product line is created to fulfill expectation for a smaller compression lock knife for years, and it quickly captured the attention of knife enthusiasts.

Sage 5 is made from Taiwan, overall length is 7.17″and weighing 3.1 ounces, this is a reasonable size for a pocket knife. Moreover, it is a little lighter and thinner in comparison to the Sage 1 which weighs 3.2 ounces.  Sage 5 is like other knives in Sage series, leaf-shaped blade. This knife can work on cardboard well, even with food prep.

Sage 5 is produced from CPM S30V blade steel. This is also a good kind of steel, but I think it will be greater if they use S35V. S35VN is harder. I have handled a few sage knives from  CPM S30V, so I have a little understanding about it, the blade can be sharpened easily and retain its sharpness for a long time.

We can realize the sage 5’s oneness that is the handle. It is relatively same with sage 1, but there is a significant point to concern. The sage 5 is nested stainless steel liners, that’s why it’s not as heavy as sage 1. In addition, this design also has 50/50 choil and thumb ramp, so it helps decrease pressure even when holding tightly.

Like other sages, Sage 5 also has a thumb hole in order to open blade. I appreciate this feature, but I start to have trouble when I trying to fold it; it is really difficult to close blade by one hand. Compared to Para 2, I find this aspect to be worse. But I have a solution for you, I may modify the pivot and the blade will move easily.

As I said that sage 5 will be a perfect knife if it is made by S35VN steel and loosened the pivot. However, if you are a Spyderco fans, you have to buy one.

9. Spyderco Manix 2 Lightweight

Blade Show is the largest event in the world about cutlery, this show is sponsored by Blade magazine. And the 2010 Blade Show award for Most Innovative American Design belonged to Spyderco Manix 2 Lightweight. But how good this knife is, come with me to check it.

The Spyderco Manix 2LW is made in the USA, have the overall length of over 8”, and weight is not over 2.9 oz; There is no arguing about this size. Carpenter’s BD1 is the Spyderco’s choice for this lightweight knife version. In my experience, the quality of this steel is equivalent to 440c which is excellent quality. it is hard to sharpen the BD1 as desired. But there is an attribute that makes it stand out, it is corrosion resistance.

For the blade steel, Spyderco performs the blade shape extraordinarily well. The leaf-shaped blade is the highlight of the product. If do not mention sharpening issues, the blade works very well. furthermore, thanks to the smokey mirror, the blade knives are easy to clean and without leaving fingerprints.

Spyderco chooses fiberglass reinforced copolymer to make the Manix 2 Lightweight ‘s handle. Some people say this material lowers the value of this knife. However, It does not matter to me, I like it’s blue handle, so it’s easy for me to see it from the mess in my backpack. I find that Manix 2LW is a functional design, with 50/50 finger choil, I may have extra power for push cut. And the bi-directional grip pattern is very efficient at holding firmly, even with my sweaty hands.

If you are looking to buy a cheap knife instead of Paramilitary 2, i think it is one of the best options available. Maybe, you are finding a bigger EDC for outside activities, i sure that the Manix 2 Lightweight will fulfill all of your need.

10.Spyderco C149G Vallotton Sub-Hilt Folder

Butch Vallotton is well known for his innovative way of converting manual knives into automatic knives. Butch and  Spyderco incorporate for a few years and the Spyderco Vallotton Sub-Hilt Folder model C149G is known as a result of their collaboration. This product marks a big turning point for the development of the Spyderco because it yields results beyond expectation

The C149G weighs up to 6.2 ounces, blade length is 3.75 inches and the handle is 5 inches long. Also, the blade has a hollow grind on the cutting edge and convex grind at the tip. It is made of Crucible Steel Company’s CPM S30V stainless which is considered as one of the finest types of steel used in the manufacture of cutlery.

The handle is adorned with polished black G10 handle scales, along with the combination of fitted stainless steel bolsters improves the aesthetics of the custom folder. I do not feel uncomfortable holding this knife in my hand, there is some jimping on the back portion of The thumb hole. When the blade is opened, thumb ramp is also doubled.

You will not realize that this knife originated in Taiwan if you do not see the stamp on the blade, and it is full of standards as a handmade custom folder. In addition,  It’s not only just the result of a combination of two the greatest knifemakers in American history but the mix of the characteristics of international blade culture, from the Italian thick stock folder-style to Japanese blade design. And C149G is what Vallotton and Spyderco have achieved after the end of this project.

How to Choose Spyderco Knives – A Buying Guide

knives to complete their gear. That’s because the knives have their own distinct feel that makes them different in a good away from most branded knives. But these knives are not limited to tactical use. They are also very handy as EDC or everyday carry.

Largely a folding knife manufacturer, there are times that Spyderco produces fixed blade knives. Through different blade materials and handle materials, they are capable of producing an EDC or tactical knife that can resist wear and tear.

Possibly the best trademark to tell if the folding knife is Spyderco at first glance is the opening hole or the thumb hole. It’s not only there for design aesthetics, but it’s a safety feature for the opening mechanism of the folding knives. Some knives need two hands to open a folding knife, but through Spyderco’s technology, it’s always a single-handed operation.

Choosing the best Spyderco knife for self-defense or the best Spyderco knife for EDC depend on a lot of biases such as your personal preference or your desired price range. Other factors are listed below:

1. Type

There are five styles of knives that you need to choose from to narrow down your choices. These are the following:

  • Large knife. This is for heavy duty tasks as the blade starts from 4 inches and up.
  • Mid-sized EDC. A knife for EDC so you can use it anywhere. The blade is between 3 and 4 inches.
  • Small EDC. Still a knife for EDC, but the blade length is between 2.5 and 3 inches.
  • Tactical knife. A knife specially designed of self-defense
  • Fixed blade. Either for EDC or tactical use, this kind of knife has a full tang, which makes it more reliable.

2. Blade Material

Any knife is either made of carbon steel or stainless steel. Each of them has their own pros and cons. For carbon steel, it’s unyielding and can retain its sharpness for a long tie. There would be less need for maintenance as you don’t have to sharpen it often. The setback to it, however, is that it’s prone to rust. For stainless steel, it’s rust-resistant but needs maintenance because its sharpness dulls faster than the carbon steel.

3. Design

This factor goes for both folding and fixed blade knife. The orientation of the blade depends on the purpose it was made. As such, the cutting edge and the point will vary from knife to knife. For the point or the tip, it should be robust enough to withstand from easy breaking when it hits the wall or something hard.

There are different blade points, and their purpose varies on the shape. The common ones are drop point, spear point, needle point, etc. Drop point is probably the most common knife tip not only for tactical but also for EDC. Its shape is convex, and the spine is a slope down to its tip. It is good for controlled cuts and can withstand impact. But, it’s second to clip point blades when it comes to piercing.

Clip point blade has its spine near the tip appear to be straight or convex. The tip is good for making controlled cuts and easy for piercing or stabbing. This is because the tip is thinner and sharper than in drop point blades.

Spear point blades are symmetrical in shape. The tip is located at the center and more common in throwing knives. It’s easier to stab and pierce with spear point blades, and more durable than the clip point. However, it’s not as good as other blades for slicing and cutting.

Needle point blades are double-edged and able to cut on both sides. Like spear point blades, the tip is located at the center. This type of point is obviously for self-defense because of the thrusting and stabbing capabilities.

3. Blade Edge

The sharp edge of the knife can either be plain or serrated. The plain edge is found in almost all knives that you see in the market. The serrated edge is a new addition to the bunch, and some Spyderco knives have their edges fully serrated. You can choose either of them or have both of them in a single knife. It’s your choice. But first, know the pros and cons of plain edges and serrated edges.

Plain-edged blades are traditional and serve a lot of purposes for different applications. The cutting edge slices things neatly but a little different for the things made of plastic. Instead of slicing, the blade may slip.

Serrated edges have their blades toothed or similar to a saw for its cutting edge. This kind of blade is good for cutting through textured materials in which a plain edge blade may slip. Its obvious setback is its inability to cut cleanly, and sharpening may require special equipment.

4. Lock Mechanism

As most Spyderco knives are under the folding knife category, you will need to consider the locking mechanism and think which of which are easier on your end. Without a lock mechanism, you can injure your hand. There are three common types of lock used on folding knives, and they are listed below.

The lock back mechanism is the system wherein the spine is locked into the notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife when not in use, switch your grip and use two hands to push down the part of the spine so that the lock is disengaged. It’s a reliable system and safe for your hands when the knife accidentally closes.

Next is the liner lock mechanism. This is common to folding knives today and distinguished from the side spring bar that is placed on the side where the edge of the blade is. It is good for one-hand operations because you don’t have to switch your grip. Using your index finger, push the spine down slightly and move away your thumb before the knife folds back to its housing. The setback, however, is that it could disengage due to daily use.

The last one is the frame lock mechanism. It is similar to liner lock with the difference being the spring bar. For frame lock, the knife has a separate metal liner often found at the interior of the handle. Thus, the frame of the knife acts as a lock. Folding back the knife is the same as how you unfolded it.

5. Handle Material

Spyderco uses different kinds of handle material for ensured comfort and other ergonomics use. But their most commonly used material is the Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon or FRN and G10. Seemingly, these two are composite materials that are far superior from the typical polymer materials we see. They also have knives that use metallic components for their handles.

Interesting facts about Spyderco kife

History of Spyderco

Spyderco was founded 39 years ago and currently based in Golden, Colorado. They pioneered some features like pocket clips, opening holes, and serrated edges, now commonly found in some knives today. These were possible as Spyderco prioritized on quality and innovative designs ever since.

Although they originated from the USA, most of their knives are outsourced overseas like in Italy, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Spyderco continues to experiment with combinations of handle materials and blade materials. As such, Spyderco has their own ‘sprint runs’, which is short for limited edition knives.

The Meaning Behind The Name And The Logo Of Spyderco

There are two things that cause Sal Glesser, the founder of the brand, to come up with the unique name “Spyderco” along with the spider logo. First, Sal noticed that a lot of high-end vehicles of the time happened to have “Spyder” in their name.  Second, the first product that Sal created is not a knife, it’s actually a device called the Portable Hand. Consisting of alligator clips, angles and ball joints, Portable Hand permit people like jeweler and craftsman to work around faily small parts without much difficulty. Incidentally, Portable Hand happens to bear a striking resemblance to spider with its freakish look.

So in the end, the name and the logo of Spyderco indicate top-notch performance as well as established traditions.

A Leading Brand In The Industry With Multiple Revolutionary Innovations

Introduce in 1981, Spyderco C01 Worker is the first folding knife of the brand and it’s also the first to possesses a round hole opener. Thanks to the hole, people could deploy the blade with only one hand and the feature itself makes the knife suitable for ambidextrous operations too. In addition to that, the SpyderEdge of Spyderco is the first product available on the folding knife market to be equipped with a serrated blade. The presence of the never-before-seen technologies in SpyderEdge means it receives critical acclaim from users and experts alike.  

Moreover, Spyderco is the first to offer pocket clips for folding knives which is a groundbreaking feature at the time.

To keep the descriptions of their product reasonably relevant, Syperdo provides law enforcement officer, military personnel,… with the OpFocus option. In case you don’t know anything about it, OpFocus is short for Operational Focus. Overall, the term is coined by Spyderco in order to describe specific views of their knives from the user end. Through feedback from individual customers, federal agencies and branches of service, Spyderco ensure that tactical knife users could secure blades well tailored for their demands.  Remember that OpFocus knives are already available examples that receive customized descriptions for different perspectives.

Nowadays, collaborations between custom knife makers and manufacturers are not uncommon. Nonetheless, not many people know that Spyderco is among the first brands in the industry to set things in motion. The collaboration between Bob Terzuola and Spyderco that lead to the birth of the C15 knife model pioneers the concept. As a result, Spyderco is widely considered to be the spearhead of the collaboration movement which forever changes the face of modern day knife manufacturing.  There are numerous production knives with custom designs currently but in the beginning, everything starts with Bob Terzuola – Spyderco collaborations.

Fixed Blade Vs Folding Blade: Best Style For Self Defense

Some people say that they prefer a folding blade knife that they could conceal in their pocket without much difficulty. Others claim in critical moments, the simplicity and robustness of fixed blade knives outperform everything. So let’s assess the characteristics of each style of knife in order to decide what you should choose here.

  • Fixed Blade

Before people come up with mechanisms to fold the blade, fixed blade knives dominate the knife markets and remain prominent up till this very day. The most obvious advantage of a fixed blade is that as a solid piece of steel, it’s extremely reliable. No matter what happens, you could always depend on your fixed blade knife to pull you through safe and sound. That being said, fixed blades are not exactly convenient to carry around without attracting attention. As a result, many experts agree that a fixed blade mostly shines in the hand of hunters and hardcore outdoorsmen. There are excellent small fixed blade knives on the market that you could use though.

  • Folding Blade

Compared to fixed blade knives, folding blade knives are more portable as you could fold the blade into the handle. Because of that, a lot of people prefer to carry folding blade knives in urban environments where portability is essential. Nonetheless, in term of structural integrity, a folding blade is not as good as a fixed blade though both styles have several high-quality examples. Since folding blade knives feature various moving components in their construction, mechanical failures would be constant concerns for the user. Moreover, certain areas and regions expressly forbid the use of knives with a folding blade.

Types Of Knives Offered By Spyderco: An In-Depth Analysis

While shopping for Spyderco knives, it’s utmost importance to take into account the surrounding environment along with tactical considerations. Fortunately, Spyderco can readily offer you a variety of models base on your own situation. Take a good look at the available types in order to decide what work best for your self-defense knife.

  • EDC

Stand for everyday carry, EDC knives come in very handy whenever you are looking for sharp and reliable cutting tools.  As the design of most EDC knives places heavy emphasis on versatility and flexibility, these knives don’t excel at any particular tasks at all. That being said, if you have no specific needs and requirements in mind, a Spyderco EDC knife is an excellent choice for self-defense. It’s surely far from exceptional but it should suffice in most of the case. Chaparral, Delica and Dragonfly are a couple of solid examples from Spyderco that you must keep an eye out for.  

  • Recreational

When it comes to hunting and fishing, a quality recreational knife is highly-sought after. Often used to process captured games, hunting knives have to be sturdy, sharp and stable. While a solid folding knife could work, it’s strongly recommended that you look for a fixed model if you genuinely want a recreational knife. You don’t have to worry about the blade suddenly closing on you and the control is much more forgiving. In any case, thoroughly inspect and exam the characteristics of the knife just to make sure it fits your demand. Regarding recreational knives, Spyderco got several commendable models for you including Caribbean, Chinook and Native.

  • Marine

In the case you live in a region with salty airs or you must go into the sea often, you need a marine orientated knife. A traditional self-defense knife would likely experience corrosion problems in such situations which is quite annoying to solve properly. So why don’t you save yourself the trouble and proceed to get an example specifically designed to tackle salty environments in the first place? Spyderco utilizes H1 steel for their marine knives such as Assist Salt, Saver Salt and Snap-It Salt which keep the blade in good shape. Glance over the Salt series if you are searching for a rustproof self-defense knife.

  • Survival

You are a serious outdoor adventurer which cares a lot about dependability along with reliability? Then it’s a good idea for you to ensure that your self-defense knife is also a survival model. Again, folding knives are less than ideal and so you should only pay attention to knives with a fixed blade. Try to keep the blade size suitable, not too big and also not too small. If it’s too small, the knife is simple to carry is but it would not be able to handle heavy tasks like chopping woods. If it’s too big, the knife could split wood with relative ease but you are going to have a hard time carrying it around. Street Beat, Sustain and Zoomer are quality options for you.

  • Tactical  

For duty-bound personnel and tactical oriented users, there is nothing better than having a tactical knife for self-defense. In the tactical category, knives with a fixed blade and knives with a folding blade would often work equally well. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what kind of knife you need as different people have different purposes.  Keep in mind that tactical knives are designed for specific tasks so the way you intend to use the knife would be the decisive factor. In term of models, Karahawk, Para Military and Police are some of the best tactical knives Spyder could offer nowadays.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spyderco

What is the meaning of the number on the blade/handle of certain Spyderco knives?

While shopping for Spyderco goods, you would come across several knives that have a number on their blade or handle.  Numbered Spyderco knives are inherently special examples that often fall into several categories including Collector’s Club, First Production Run, Limited Editions and Forum Models. Needless to say, these types of Spyderco knives are mostly produced in relatively limited numbers and tend to receive a lot of attention from collectors. Considering the collectible value of the numbered knives, it’s not wrong to throw some money if you want to own a rare Spyderco example.

Is it safe to use a “notched” knife from Spyderco?

Similar to other manufacturers on the market, the production standards of Spyderco knives occasionally fluctuate and the results are products of less than ideal quality. Instead of throwing the “imperfection” knives away, Spyderco decides to sell them at highly affordable prices which is a widespread  practice in the knife industry. In order to help people distinguish these examples from first line products, Spyderco deliberately creates a notch on the blade hence the name “notched” knives. Generally speaking, it’s safe to use a notched knife from Spyderco, especially if you are currently short on money. However, warranty coverage is unavailable.   

Why do people say that I should stay away from knives with the phrase “BRK”?

If you like Spyderco Native and want to use one from the series for self-defense, stay away from anything that got “BRK” on them. BRK Native knives are not products of Spyderco, they come from Blue Ridge Knives which is a large knife distributor. To assemble BRK Native, BRK purchases handles from Spyderco and then get everything else from Camillus including the blades that Camillus originally made for Spyderco. So it goes without saying that the quality of BRK Native is not comparable with the level of Spyderco Native. Therefore, don’t let the Spyderco marks on the blade and handle of BRK Native fool you into buying it.

Would Spyderco agree to re-sharpen my knife for me?

All Spyderco knives have to go through a comprehensive testing phase before reaching customer hands so they are well sharpened. Once you feel that you are no longer able to make clean cuts with your Spyderco knife, you could send it back for re-sharpening.  For most of the case, it’s only cost you $5.00 or so to get it shipped back which is reasonable. Remember that it would not cover missing/damaged parts and any other warranty specific fixes. Spyderco is available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Friday. Just to be safe, visit    Spyderco website to figure out the best time to call and convey your personal demands.

What exactly is the extent of Spyderco lifetime warranty coverage?

At first, a lifetime warranty seems promising but it’s vague without in-depth details.  The following is a short overview of what Spyderco is willing to do through its lifetime repairs and replacements service.

  • People at Spyderco truly take great price in their craftsmanship along with attention to detail. That is why if you detect flaws and faults on your Spyderco knife, the brand would proceed to repair or replace it free of charge.  
  • When a Spyderco knife suffers damages that are not covered by warranty, the brand could give you a repair quote.  For most of the time, the cost offered by Spyderco is cheaper than the cost you get from local knife smiths.
  • The lifetime warranty of Spyderco only covers original, unmodified knives. As a result, any alterations to the product joints, screws, clasps and so on automatically void the warranty, no exception. So if you absolutely have to replace certain components, use the exact type of part. Even better, you should reach out to Spyderco and purchase proper replacements to avoid troubles.
  • Products that got stolen or lost would not be replaced by Spyderco, the warranty simply doesn’t cover these issues. Hence, if you call Spyderco and then say something like “Hey, I can’t find my knife so…”, they are not going to do anything.
  • Customers that service Spyderco knives by themselves have to ensure that they have the skills and tools to do so. When it comes to warranty claims, Spyderco technicians obviously take a very close look at the upkeep of the knife. If they judge that the cause behind the malfunction is improper maintenance, Spyderco could refuse to uphold their warranty commitments.

Steels Found On Spyderco Knives: A Thorough Guide For Beginner

After 40 years of continuous operation, Spyderco and various collaborators of the brand have experimented with more than 30 kinds of steel.  For whatever you are willing to spend on your personal self-defense knife, Spyderco would always offer you the right steel in the right blade.  As a result, it’s advised that you take a look at the characteristics of different steels used by Spyderco to get the best deal. Here is a short explanation about common materials found on the blade of Spyderco knives.


  • Carbon: 0.70 – 0.80%
  • Chromium: 13.00 – 14.00%
  • Molybdenum: 0.10 – 0.30%
  • Vanadium: 0.10 – 0.25%
  • Nickel: 0.20%

A steel of Chinese origin, 8Cr13MoV is an excellent choice for knife users who want something of good quality. While 8Cr13MoV is not as good as high-end steels, it’s nonetheless sufficient for most budget-minded consumers. The rather high Chromium content in the Changjiang steel means that 8Cr13MoV possesses commendable resistances against corrosion and wear. Thanks to the presence of a good amount of Carbon, 8Cr13MoV is reasonably strong and hold the edge well. Once the blade edge finally get dulled, it should take a few moments in order to regain the original sharpness  


  • Carbon: 0.95 – 1.05%
  • Chromium: 14.50 – 15.50%
  • Molybdenum: 0.90 – 1.20%
  • Vanadium: 0.10 – 0.30%
  • Cobalt: 1.30 – 1.50%

Come from Takefu (Japan), VG-10 is considered by multiple experienced users and experts to be a high-end blade steel. Since it’s a stainless steel, you don’t really have to worry too much about stain while using a Spyderco knife made from VG-10. With high amounts of Carbon and Chromium, the Takefu steel is fairly hard and its corrosion resistance is superb. As it also got some Vanadium, edge retention and overall stability of VG-10 blade receive many praises from knife users. The hardness of VG-10 steel often varies between 60 and 62 HRC, it’s not exceptional but it would be good enough.  


  • Carbon: 1.45 – 1.46%
  • Chromium: 14.00 %
  • Molybdenum: 2.00%
  • Wolfram: 0.10 – 0.40%
  • Vanadium: 4.00%

Developed and marketed by Crucible, CPM-S30V is a fine American made powder steel which with carefully balanced attributes. As with other brands in the industry, Spyderco uses the Crucible steel for its high-end knives which speak a lot about its field performance. The innovative introduction of Wolfram (also known as Tungsten) into the mix allows CPM-S30V to achieve admirable hardness. Originally, CPM-S30V is a very expensive material but as other advanced steel hit the market, the Crucible steel has steadily become more affordable. When it comes to the matter of cost-effectiveness, few materials are capable of clearly outperforming Crucible CPM-S30V.


  • Carbon: 1.05%
  • Chromium: 13.50 – 14.00 %
  • Molybdenum: 4.00%    
  • Wolfram: 0.00 – 0.40%     
  • Vanadium: 0.00 – 0.40%

Also from Crucible, 154CM is actually designed for jet engine application before Bob Loveless, a reputable knife maker, consider using it as a blade steel. Given the fact that 154CM used to be an aviation class material, the Crucible is one of the best options for knife blade in the industry. Overall, 154CM is tough, hard and resist corrosion very well. In addition to that, a 154CM blade could hold its edge for a pretty long time and re-sharpening is a walk in the park. Excluding Crucible, there are several manufacturers that make steels with somewhat similar characteristics to 154CM like Damasteel (RWL-34), Hitachi (ATS34),…


  • Carbon: 2.30%
  • Chromium: 14.00 %
  • Molybdenum: 1.00%    
  • Wolfram: 0.40%         
  • Vanadium: 8.75 – 9.00%

Featuring extreme hardness and element resistances, CPM S90V is another respectable steel from Crucible. With lots of Chromium and Vanadium, the Crucible steel would have no trouble tackling harsh conditions and unforgiving weathers. In most of the case, a CPM S90V blade could retain its razor-sharp edge for an extended period of time with relative ease. On the downside, it requires a lot of patience for you to re-sharpen the edge if it gets dulled. Furthermore, knives that utilize CPM S90V are very expensive so your shopping budget is once again the decisive factor.

Final Thoughts About Spyderco Knives

With four decades of experience, Spyderco managed to attract and build a loyal customer base which is not a big surprise. Generally speaking, the brand is in the lead when it comes to innovation so Spyderco knives have just what it take to please their users. Whenever Spyderco employees conclude that particular features and designs would offer improvements to the performance of their product, they incorporate them as soon as possible. Thanks to that, Spyderco is the name to be remembered if you need to look for a self-defense knife. Consumer around the globe rarely, if ever, feel disappointed after they purchase a Spyderco product.

In addition to that, Spyderco carefully takes note of feedbacks and complaints from users in order to make necessary changes. As a result, Spyderco knives receive refinements from time to time and some of the brand knives have been in production for more than 20 years. Through offers of limited edition model, Spyderco makes sure that collectors, as well as enthusiasts, remain interested in the brand knives as time passed by. Finally, since Spyderco is quite willing to collaborate, the brand is able to introduce unique knives that suit Spyderco traditions. That means you never got the feeling that Spyderco is running out of new ideas.    

Therefore, if you are in need of a solid self-defense knife, Spyderco always got something in store for you.


Through our guide and the Spyderco knives review above, you are now ready to buy the best Spyderco knife found above or explore the different knives of the same manufacturer. There are a lot to choose from and taking note of the factors to look for; you will then find the knife that suits your needs best.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.