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10 Best Spyderco Knife for Self-Defense, Hunting, and EDC

Best Spyderco Knife

When you hear the brand name “Spyderco,” what’s the first thing that comes into your mind?

Maybe it’s quality, or maybe it’s also about practicality and everyday use. Some of you may think that it is the premium choice for any type of knife.

Regardless of your reason, it can be hard to choose a Spyderco knife because all of them are good and can serve multiple purposes.

To save you time and trouble, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the best Spyderco knives on the market.

Best Folding Knife
Tenacious
Best Overall
Manix 2
Best Tactical Knife
Paramilitary 2

The 10 Best Spyderco Knives – Full Knife Reviews

In this section, we will give you a detailed review of each Spyderco knife and why we think they are the best for that specific purpose.

All of these have been tested and proven to serve their purposes. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 picks.

1. Manix 2

BEST OVERALL

Manix 2

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Fiberglass
  • Blade Edge & Material Flat, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length 8.0 inches, 3.4 inch
  • Item Dimensions & Weight 7″ x 2.5″ x 1″, 5.0 oz
  • Other Notable Specs Lightweight, resistant, durable

There must be a reason why the Manix 2 was awarded the Most Innovative American Design in the 2010 Blade Show. Let us tell you why this Spyderco knife is the best of the best.

This mid-size knife is intended for everyday tasks, which is why it has been dubbed the best EDC knife in the community.

Using a caged ball bearing lock, the blade is secure while remaining ambidextrous and easy to manipulate. This makes it all the safer and not prone to vertical blade play or lint build-up.

With the development of the CPM SPY27 or the alloy created by Spyderco, there is no doubt that this knife’s exceptional power and cutting performance is unrivaled.

With a blade ground with flat bevels, this knife is a low friction knife with a functional design with a 50/50 finger choil. If you have sweaty hands and want to grip better, this is for you.

When it comes to the build quality, the G10 handle of the original Manix became linerless fiberglass reinforced co-polymer (FRCP), which is more lightweight than the former.

This may be a downside for you since you might think that it lowers the quality of the knife, but believe us, the Manix 2 is one of the best Spyderco knives because of its versatility and power.

Who Is It For?

  • The Manix 2 is a Spyderco EDC knife, so it is versatile for anyone looking for a practical knife for day-to-day use such as cooking.
  • It is also suitable for ambidextrous people. Those with sweaty or shaky hands will benefit from the bi-directional grip pattern.

2. Tenacious

BEST FOLDING KNIFE

Tenacious

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Fiberglass reinforced nylon
  • Blade Edge & Material Plain, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length 7.8 inch, 3.4 inch
  • Item Dimensions & Weight 6.46″ x 2.52″ x 1.02″
  • Other Notable Specs Lightweight, pocket clip

For a folding knife, the Tenacious has strong performance with exceptional ergonomics. Within the knife community, the Tenacious is a game-changer with amazing value for money.

The blade material called 8Cr13MoV originates from China, making the Spyderco Tenacious more affordable than other Spyderco knives. But, don’t let the price fool you.

With a full flat ground drop point shape, the Tenacious is super easy to use, coupled with an ergonomic design of a textured spine, making the Tenacious perfect for everyday tasks.

Not to mention that its fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) reduces the knife’s weight by almost 12%, making the Tenacious the best carry-on knife out of all the Spyderco knives.

The pocket clip seals the deal for the best folding knife. That’s because the pocket clip secures the knife high up in your pocket, so you don’t have to fumble around when you’re looking for it.

Despite being more affordable, the Tenacious also contains chromium, which maintains the sharpness of the blade and protects it from both corrosion and rust.

The full flat grind of the Spyderco Tenacious makes it the best for common kitchen use, but not the best folding knife for stabbing hard objects.

Who Is It For?

  • If you continuously use a knife for work and for creating intricate designs, such as a chef, you’d surely benefit from the Spyderco Tenacious.
  • Out of all the EDC knives, the Tenacious is also suitable for those who love going outdoors, especially with its liner lock mechanism.

3. Paramilitary 2

BEST TACTICAL KNIFE

Paramilitary 2

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Fiberglass
  • Blade Edge & Material Plain edge, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length 8.3 inch, 3.4 inch
  • Item Dimensions & Weight – 6.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs Pocket clip, military folding

One of the best things about the Paramilitary 2 is its compression lock, which is almost the same as the concept of the locking liner. This makes the PM2 perfect as a tactical knife.

This compression lock keeps the user safe from the cutting path when they are closing the knife, making the Paramilitary 2 a very effective folding knife, as well.

When it comes to ergonomics, the PM2 has a rearward grip with a 50/50 choil, which ups the level of the ergonomics design of the plain edge blade.

Have we mentioned that the knife design is a full flat ground that enables knife enthusiasts to maximize slicing performance? The PM2 is one of the 4. clip point blades of Spyderco.

Aside from that, Spyderco Para Military 2 has a G-10 handle which becomes narrow at the end, effectively removing the awkward angles when it is in a closed position.

The Paramilitary 2 is an excellent pocket knife, but it can also be worn around the neck since it has a lanyard hole. It is also super durable and resists corrosion and rust well.

However, this great knife can be likened to a fixed blade, which requires knife users to exert extra effort to open the blade.

Who Is It For?

  • The Paramilitary 2 is best for those who are trying to learn self-defense. Out of all the tactical knives, this knife keeps the user safe with its compression lock.
  • It can also be dubbed a hard-use knife, making it the perfect knife for the military and the police. Truly, the PM2 is one of the best tactical knives you’ll ever come across.

4. Delica 4

Delica 4

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material FRN
  • Blade Edge & Material Plain edge, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length 7.1 inch, 2.8 inch
  • Item Dimensions & Weight 6.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs Folding knife, lightweight

If you are looking for a classic Spyderco shape, the Delica and its larger counterpart “Endura” have had that since around 1990.

Knife enthusiasts would appreciate all the CQI improvements on this classic knife, as it now utilizes FRN scales and skeletonized stainless steel liners for strength.

This bi-directional texturing improves the ergonomics of the Delica, and the traditional Lockback design prevents accidental release when you are gripping the handle.

Noticed the thumb hole at the closed position of the folding knife? The purpose of that thumb hole is to aid a person who is using the Delica with only one hand.

The Spyderco Delica has VG-10 as its standard material, which is highly resistant to corrosion. It is also available in a saber ground and a full flat ground.

Did you know that the VG-10 steel is commonly found in Japanese cutlery kitchen knives? The Delica 4 is rust-resistant and easy to sharpen.

When it comes to durability, the alloy used to create the Spyderco Delica 4 has traces of vanadium, which makes the knife strong and long-lasting.

Who Is It For

  • The Delica is one of the best pocket knives in Spyderco’s lineup. With its plain edge and secure grip, anyone who wants to keep a pocket knife for their own reason would benefit from this.
  • It can also be used by those who use knives for intricate cuisine work, such as those working in Japanese restaurants.

5. Native 5

Native

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Fiberglass
  • Blade Edge & Material Leaf blade, alloy steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 6.9 inches, 3.0 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight 10″ x 10″ x 10″
  • Other Notable Specs – Non-slip; locking

Have you ever wondered where the name of this leaf-shaped blade came from? Spyderco named this knife “Native” because it is entirely produced in the country, which is rare for a knife.

The Native 5 is actually created to be a less expensive version of the Delica, but with its dependable features, it has come to create and establish an identity of its own.

The latest version of the Native 5 has a full flat grind and a four-way carry clip. Not to mention that it also has a non-slip checked texture of its G-10 handle for long-term carry.

This high-quality knife features a back lock mechanism, which is known for its high strength. At only 6.9 inches, this smaller knife has stainless steel liners and provides bang for your buck.

What makes the Native 5 different is it is made of full-forward finger choil, which allows a solid choked-up grip. Like other Spyderco knives, this one can be used for heavy-duty tasks.

Undeniably, the Spyderco Native 5 is one of the best mid-range knives in the knife industry, which is capable of both everyday tasks and tasks requiring special features.

Dubbed as a “Walmart Best Seller,” as a production knife, the Native 5 won’t hurt your pocket, but will still provide you with the highest quality pocket knives can have.

Who Is It For

  • For those who want to ensure that their purchase is completely local, this leaf-shaped blade is completely made in the country.
  • If you are looking for a knife with precision and control, the Spyderco Native 5 might just be what you are looking for.

6. Dragonfly 2

Dragonfly 2

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material – Fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN)
  • Blade Edge & Material – Flat grind, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 5.6 inches, 2.3 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight – 4″ x 2″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs – Folding; very compact

The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is one of the mid-size knives produced by the knife company. With the VG-10 blade, it is no wonder that the full flat grind offers superior quality to the rest.

Most EDC knives require a lot of effort when using them, right? Well, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is the exception. The knife design enables it to do more with less.

With full finger choil, you will have a more secure grip when slicing and piercing. The four-finger grip will allow you to use the knife without hotspots or cramping.

And if that isn’t enough, it also has a front-finger choil and a spine cusp, enabling it to balance ergonomics and high performance.

They say that the best knives in the folding knife market are those that have a smooth opening. Well, look no more; the Dragonfly 2 has exactly that.

The positioning of the round hole makes it comfortable for the user to open the knife smoothly. Add that to the function-oriented design, and you’ll have the best self-defense knife created.

However, the only downside we can think of is that the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is fully produced in Japan. If you are looking for something local, this one is not it.

Who Is It For

  • Because of its size and outstanding utility, the Dragonfly 2 can also be considered a tactical blade, especially for those who want to protect themselves.
  • This “Little Big Knife” is perfect for the ladies, as its size would fit smaller hands.

7. Matriarch Spyder Edge Knife

Matriarch Spyder Edge Knife

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material – FRN
  • Blade Edge & Material Serrated edge, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 8.39 inches, 3.57 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight – 6″ x 1″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs – Folding knife, lock back mechanism

With its unique look, it’s easy to set apart the Matriarch knife than the other knives. Well, the uniqueness does not stop there. Let us tell you all the other features of this one.

The serrated edges of the Spyderco Matriarch have made it a karambit knife, which means that it can be pretty lethal and is created to be a slicing knife.

Featuring a pistol-like handle and four-position pocket clip, this knife has unmatched versatility and enables high-speed deployment. It’s also ambidextrous.

The recent improvement to the Matriarch is the Emerson Opener, and this has made the deployment of the knife much faster. Don’t worry, though, as it has a back lock mechanism.

This means that the lock will only disengage when you are about to close the knife. This will secure you from the sharp serrated edges of the knife.

However, there are certain things you have to consider when choosing the Matriarch. You need to maintain the knife more often since it is made of stainless steel.

The serrated knife will also need to be sharpened by special sharpening equipment, as frequent use can dull the blade steel fast.

Who Is It For

  • This karambit knife is really designed for combat purposes, as it is different from a knife with a straight edge commonly found in production knives.
  • This knife is best for those who want to protect themselves, are in the military, or do other jobs that require special physical protection.

8. Sage 5

Sage

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material – FRN
  • Blade Edge & Material – Leaf-shaped, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 7.1 inches, 3.0 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight – 7″ x 2.5″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs Lightweight, folding

The Spyderco Safe is part of the family of the Sage Series, which envisioned the first folding knife with innovative lock mechanisms.

To give you some trivia, the Sage Series uses different lock mechanisms for each knife, proving that a Spyderco knife can handle day-to-day activities regardless of the lock mechanism.

The blade material of the Sage 5 is CPM S30V steel, which is part of the stainless blade steels of the Series. The rigidity and durability of this blade are more pronounced due to more vanadium.

There is a reason why this pocket knife is much more expensive than the rest of the Spyderco knives, and that’s because the blade material is in the premium range. Let us tell you why.

Aside from being resistant to rust, the edge retention of the Sage 5 is superior, meaning you won’t have to frequently sharpen the knife regardless of how many times you use it.

Not to mention that it utilizes a liner lock mechanism, which creates a great deployment and aesthetic. The liner lock also prevents accidental cutting with its stiff resistance.

With its deep ridges and non-slip feature, the overall functionality of the Sage 5 makes it a candidate for one of the best Spyderco pocket knives for everyday tasks.

Who Is It For

  • The Spyderco Sage series is best for those looking for great value for their money. Situated at a premium price point, the Sage’s features are one of a kind.
  • Because of its edge retention, it is best for those who do not have the time to frequently sharpen their knives or who use knives frequently.

9. Chaparral

Chaparral

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Carbon fiber
  • Blade Edge & Material Plain edge, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 6.4 inches, 2.8 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight – 6.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs Foldable

Spyderco knives are known for their quality, right? And that’s because the blade steel usually comes in the form of carbon steel. Chapparal is not an exception.

While being small inside your pocket, the Spyderco Chaparral has a serviceable blade made of a full-flat ground drop point and PlainEdge technology, which is best for cutting.

The CTS XHP stainless steel blade will exceed your expectations, as the superior steel of the same blade is supremely slim but has superior slicing performance.

With a back lock mechanism and a tip-up clip, the knife has commendable deployment while sitting deep inside your pocket.

Called the “gentleman’s knife,” the Spyderco Chaparral has a modern look with its carbon fiber or G10 laminated handle, coupled with a non-skid jimping.

What sets this knife apart from the others is its half-and-half choil, which makes for a conservative but well-thought-out EDC and general use knife.

Compared to the others, however, the deployment of the Chaparral is a bit slower, but this drawback is generally acceptable in the knife community.

Who Is It For

  • The Spyderco Chaparral is for those looking for an affordable general use knife.
  • If you are new to the realm of knife and knife companies, this one is for you.

10. Vallotton Sub-Hilt Folder

Vallotton Sub-Hilt Folder

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Product Features:

  • Handle Material Fiberglass
  • Blade Edge & Material Plain Edge, stainless steel
  • Overall Length & Blade Length – 6 inches, 3.7 inches
  • Item Dimensions & Weight 6″ x 1″ x 1″
  • Other Notable Specs Locking blade, foldable

The unique visuals of the Vallotton catch the eye, don’t you think? That’s because this knife is a combination of different cultures, as well as the product of collaboration.

FUN FACT: Spyderco released this knife as a collaboration with Butch Vallotton. The former is known for his innovation in converting manual knives into automatic ones.

The Vallotton has a hollow grind on the cutting edge and a convex grind at the tip, with the option for the bevel to extend to the full width of the blade or only a portion of its width.

Not only that, but with its G-10 handle, the safety of the knife increases with its non-slip handle, which is resistant to most temperature and chemical changes.

The PlainEdge blade is also perfect for cutlery, especially since its blade shape and design are derived from Japanese culture.

Have we even mentioned that it is also comfortable to use for most hands? It has jimping on the back portion of the thumb hole, and the ramp is also doubled when the ramp is opened.

The CPM S30V steel liners are one of the best in the industry, so you are assured of the superior quality and durability of the Vallotton.

Who Is It For

  • The Vallotton is for those looking for a bang for their buck. Sitting in the premium end of the spectrum, this is for those willing to spend more to get more.
  • The Vallotton is good for collectors finding unique-looking knives. The cultural value of the Vallotton is a plus, too!

Why Should You Buy Spyderco Knives?

Starting from its humble beginnings in Golden, Colorado, founders Sal and Gail Glesser built Spyderco with the goal of producing reliable and high-performance cutting tools.

In the knife industry, Spyderco is known to be a leader and innovator of the first foldable knife in 1981. This paved the way for the creation of knives with smooth deployment.

What’s so good about Spyderco knives is that they showcase technologies that make everything easier and more convenient for the users.

That’s why even a big knife from Spyderco would feel great when you’re holding it and can withstand a tremendous amount of wear-and-tear.

Aside from the superior quality of their products, they also ensure that their products are safe-to-use, especially if you are buying a tactical knife or one with a serrated edge.

An example of this is the Operational Focus option which is provided for individuals working as law enforcement officers, military personnel, and other fields with physical combat training.

This provides their users with trustworthy knives regardless of their unique purposes. Spyderco knives are carefully crafted to suit the palate of their users, ensuring their safety.

Is Spyderco a Good Knife Brand?

Absolutely! Custom knife makers and manufacturers have started coming together and producing special knives for specific purposes. This is initiated by Spyderco.

Knives from Spyderco are game-changing, with the quality of their blades retained in various types of knives.

The consistency of the build quality of these knives remains unrivaled.

For starters, the materials Spyderco uses are mostly carbon fiber, carbon steel, FRN, and titanium.

With meticulous craftsmanship and top-of-the-line materials, it’s not hard to see why there is so much hype surrounding Spyderco knives.

What to Consider When Buying Spyderco Knives

#1 Type of Knife

There are two knife styles: The fixed blade and the folding blade. Let’s discuss each in detail.

A fixed blade knife is extremely reliable, and they have dominated the knife market for a reason. These are the knives you usually see in kitchens and other situations.

Fixed blades are mostly used by those who need stability for their knives. They are generally more durable, and the blade runs the entire length of the handle.

You will be able to cut much stiffer materials using a fixed blade knife, but it is sometimes at the cost of its size. You can’t exactly carry it around without attracting attention, right?

This is where folding knives come into the picture. They are more portable, and they don’t attract the same attention as you can easily slip them inside your pockets.

Choose a fixed blade knife if you are doing everyday tasks such as cooking, but foldable knives are much better for tactical purposes and combat training.

#2 Blade Material

There are two blade materials you can choose from, which are carbon steel and stainless:

  • A knife made from carbon steel needs less maintenance and has amazing edge retention. The downside to it, however, is it is prone to rust.
  • On the other hand, a knife that is stainless is rust-resistant. However, it needs to be sharpened more since it does not have the same retention that its rival has.

#3 Knife Design

Before anything else, let us tell you that the orientation of the blade hugely depends on the purpose. The usual blade points are drop point, clip point, spear point, and needlepoint.

  • Drop point blades have a convex shape, enabling the knife to perform controlled cuts. This one is best for tactical and EDC purposes.
  • If you are looking for a knife with exceptional piercing abilities, the clip point blade fits the bill. The clip point blade is the best for piercing or stabbing purposes because the spine is near the tip. It is also sharper and thinner than the tip of other blades.
  • The next one is the spear point blade, and the tip of this one is located in the center. This is what you commonly see in throwing knives. Stabbing and piercing are also the specialties of spear point blades, but they are not as reliable in slicing and cutting as other blades.
  • Looking for a self-defense knife? Make sure it has needlepoint blades. This one is double-edged, which means it can cut on both sides. It has both thrusting and stabbing capabilities.

#4 Blade Edge

The two blade edges are a plain edge blade and a serrated edge.

The more traditional and widely-used blade edge is the plain one, which is best for slicing things neatly.

You may have seen a serrated edge in one of our top 10 knives above, and it’s easily distinguished from a plain edge one because of its toothed edge.

This one is best for cutting through textured materials, but the downside is that it does not cut cleanly and requires special equipment for its sharpening.

#5 Lock Mechanism

The three types of mechanisms for the knife locks are lock back, liner, and frame lock:

  • You can see a lock-back mechanism where the spine is locked into the notch that you can find in the back of the blade. It provides a secure system for accidental closing of the knife.
  • Another is the liner lock mechanism, which is what you can usually find in folding knives. This one specializes in one-handed operation, which is useful for tactical purposes.
  • The frame lock mechanism involves a separate metal liner, and this knife will need you to put back the knife the same way that you unfold it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spyderco or Benchmade Better?

Both Spyderco and Benchmade create very high-quality knives and have different knives available for different purposes.

In terms of features, the two are always vying for the top spot. The only difference between them is where they source their materials and production.

Benchmade knives are completely made in the USA, which might be an advantage if you are strict about where your knives are coming from.

On the other hand, Spyderco’s are sourced in Taiwan and China, which explains why some of their knives are more affordable.

What Knives Do Navy SEALs Use?

Most Navy SEALS use everyday carry knives, with their personal preferences varying from Spyderco and other high-quality brands.

What Is the Rarest Spyderco Knife?

This is a tough question to answer, but we think that the 1st generation version of the SE Endura is one of the rarest knives released by Spyderco.

How Much Is Spyderco Worth?

We can’t exactly say, but what we know is that the annual revenues of Spyderco range from $10-$50 million.

Summary of Top Picks

For a refresher, here’s a quick breakdown of what we believe are the best Spyderco knives you can get your hands on.

Best Overall – Manix 2

This beast can double as both an everyday and tactical blade. It has exceptional power and cutting performance.

Not to mention that it doesn’t compromise its functions for its weight. This CPM SPY27-infused blade is lightweight, with unrivaled versatility and quality.

Best Folding Knife – Tenacious

This is the best carry-on blade out there, and the chromium component of this blade makes it resistant to both corrosion and rust.

With an exceptionally ergonomic design and textured spine, the Tenacious is really a hard blade to beat.

Best Tactical Knife – Paramilitary 2

With its compression lock mechanism, the Spyderco Para Military 2 is a tough blade to rival.

With its rearward grip and choil, this keeps you from accidental cuts.

Final Words

We hope you have learned a thing or two about these popular Spyderco knives. These blades are well-received and loved worldwide because of their quality and consistency.

But, when it comes to choosing the best Spyderco knives for you, remember to prioritize YOUR preferences and skills above everything else.

In these knife reviews, there is no one right answer for what is most suitable for you.

 

CHANGELOG:

May 12, 2022 - Made major updates to products and content
April 12, 2022 - Made minor revisions to content
October 4, 2021 - Added new product link options
September 10, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title

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