For Spyderco Variety Is King!
Photos: Chuck Pittman, Inc.
It’s always exciting to get the new Spyderco catalog. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “It’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Unlike many modern cutlery manufacturers, Spyderco did not build their company on the back of the tactical folder movement — in fact, they preceded it by around 25 years. Unique right out of the gate, founder Sal Glesser’s folding knife with the hole in the blade caught on quickly and the Police and Military models put them on the map with serious users. Interestingly, many of the benchmark Spyderco models such as the two previously mentioned, and others, such as the Delica and Endura, still remain in the company line-up today, speaking to their timeless design.
Then there’s those spicy designs! The company keeps customers at a high level of excitement and wanting more. The collector base of Spyderco knives is huge and the powers-that-be keep these aficionados hopping with special limited edition “sprint runs” of various models with special twists to them.
The secret to the Spyderco spice can be traced back to the creativity of Sal Glesser himself. Hey, who would have thought to put a hole in the blade in the first place? Under Glesser’s direction Spyderco has incorporated many different blade lock mechanisms into their folding knives, including their Compression and Ball Bearing designs. This, along with an abundance of new looks, has kept Spyderco’s line fresh year after year.
The selection in Spyderco’s lineup is an embarrassment of riches. From affordable every day carry models, to working their way up through mid-range to high end, there is literarily something for everyone in the company’s line-up. The variety of knife styles is equally impressive. While Spyderco is mostly known as a maker of folding knives, there’ve always been fixed-blades in the stable for kitchen, field and fighting.
The Lil Q Ball is exactly what you’d expect from a small-size Spyderco everyday carry — a little workhorse with a dash of spice. The Lil Q Ball is 6.58″ overall with a 2.72″ VG10 stainless steel Wharncliff-style blade. The spice comes in the form of a Ball Bearing Lock designed by Eric Glesser (son of company founder Sal) that has found its way on several Spydie folders over the years. The scales are durable G10 composite and a wire pocket clip on the backside provides discreet tip-up pocket carry.
The Spyderco Para Military series has been a staple in the company’s line since 2003, when the original folder was introduced. A revised Para Military 2 came out 2009, and now a new Para 3 has been released. Another excellent EDC, the Para 3 unfolds to 7.24″ overall, 2.95″ of the total in a feisty premium CPM S30V partially serrated stainless steel spear-point blade. Keeping the blade secure is Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock located on the upper backside of the handle. Grip is superb with textured G10 scales and a 4-position pocket clip is bound to please those who like options in their carry.
For small, upscale EDC’s they don’t get any classier than the Spyderco Lil’ Sub-Hilt. Designed by noted custom knifemaker Butch Vallotton, this 7.42″ overall gem is neo-retro in style with its stainless steel bolster and sub-hilt band melding nicely with smooth, polished G10 scales. The Lil’ Sub-Hilt’s sleek spear-point blade is 3.2″ in length and made of CPM S30V stainless steel and nicks handsomely into place via a Michael Walker style line-lock mechanism. The blade rolls out slick as butter using Vallotton’s trademark smooth action for quick and easy one-handed opening. Once closed the 4.2″ Lil’ Sub-Hilt clips into the pocket by way of a deep black spring steel pocket clip, which can be located for right- or left-hand carry and tip-up or -down position.
The EuroEdge folder, designed by frequent Spyderco designer Ed Schempp, is one of the most unique Spydies ever. Schempp, who has contributed many designs to Spyderco’s Ethnic Series, drew on historical themes to come up with this ultra-modern take on the dagger knife style. At 8.9″ fully extended, the EuroEdge is a lot of knife and for self defense look no farther than the dagger style. The wicked 3.90″ CPM S30V stainless steel blade has two Fuller grooves for added strength. The G10 handle, with its flared guard, is patterned after the Swiss-type dagger and tucked inside is a liner-lock mechanism for securing the blade when deployed. Despite its size, the EuroEdge weighs a modest six ounces so it won’t drag you down. A pocket clip on the backside makes for at-the-ready pocket carry.
Mild To Wild
The Spyderco Magnitude is magnanimous as tactical folders go. Designed by noted custom knifemaker Peter Carey, this is a flipper folder combining tough construction with nice curves. The Magnitude is 8.22″ overall with a dutifully sized, deep ground 4.50″ clip-point blade of CPM S30V stainless steel. The satin finished blade rolls out slick and quick thanks to ball bearing washers in the pivot and can be deployed by using the flipper or Spydie hole. The sumptuous handle is 3D machined black twill-patterned Carbon Fiber featuring scalloped back spacers and a pocket clip located for tip-up carry. Knifemaker Carey’s custom folders are in high demand so tactical folder users will be delighted to get their hands on this upscale factory version.
As you can see by the selection of folders featured here, Spyderco has a flavor for everyone, from mild to wild. Whether it’s a discreet and practical EDC or a distinctive design appealing to your instincts, there’s surely one to please. Now in their 41st year, Spyderco is one of the longest running knife companies in the USA and now you know the secret to their endurance. Give the customer variety and they will beat down your door to get some! Now that’s a recipe for success!