In the folding knife world, there’s probably no brand that is as recognizable as Spyderco. Their leaf-style blades and aggressive styling make them noticeable from across the room. Founded in 1976 in Golden, Colorado by Sal Glesser, the first item the company produced was known as the Portable Hand. It was a steel device meant to fit in your palm, and it looked vaguely arachnoid, hence the name Spyderco. As time went on, Glesser’s ingenuity proved more adept at making knives than tools, with unique one-handed opening, combination and serrated edges, and tireless reliability, the company broke into and subsequently took over a huge portion of the folding knife market.
The Spyderco of today still has the same dedication to quality that they always have, and they haven’t let their size stop them from paying attention to detail. They are beloved by anyone who likes knives, from the amateur to the old pro, and it’s due to their bombproof locking mechanism, reasonable pricing, and premium materials. While we believe you can’t go wrong with a Spyderco, if you want to do knives right, then one of the 8 best Spyderco knives ensures you get the top of the heap.
Pro: Easy to sharpen
Con: Linerlock system
Everyman: Probably one of the most adored folding pocket knives in the world, the Tenacious can be found on the hip of anyone who desires quality craftsmanship at a reasonable price. Capable of going tip to tip against more expensive knives thanks to its 8CR13MOV blade steel and G-10 handle, it comes with a .76 blade-to-handle ratio, which is respectable, though the heavier handle shifts the weight a little and can feel awkward to some. It’s quick and hearty, but not quite as deadly slender as most of Spyderco’s lineup, making this a working knife.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2
Pro: Ergonomic for repeated use without fatigue
Con: Can get lost in bags or large pockets
Float Like a Butterfly: It’s easy to discount the Dragonfly 2 as another undersized folding knife that doesn’t give you the grip necessary to really accomplish much, but that’s a window shopping mistake you shouldn’t make. The VG10 stainless blade is light and begs to be used. A hair under 5.5 inches all told, it virtually disappears into your pocket, but can handle heavy work when it comes out thanks to the resiliency of the craftsmanship. With a delicate curve, few small knives feel quite as good in your hand, whatever your size.
Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight
Pro: High wear resistance
Con: Can end up with play in the blade
EDC Dream: The Delica 4 is most commonly the choice of the everyday carry crowd, mostly because it is made to be utilitarian, pulled out again and again for everything from cutting bales on a farm to fast fights on the mean streets of Chicago. Jimping on the spine along with the FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) handle with bi-directional texture lets you use it from any angle for any purpose without it slipping out of your grip. It’s just 2.5 ounces with screwed-together construction that is about as stiff as it gets outside of a full tang fixed blade.
Spyderco Manix 2
Pro: Ball bearing lock
Con: Takes up a lot of pocket space
Thick Cut: The Manix 2 bears the same basic dimensions as the Tenacious in terms of length, but it is nearly a full ounce heavier. This is thanks in part to the hollow saber grind and the full liners. It also uses CPM S30V steel, which is a stainless steel that can hold a very fine edge and fight off corrosion with the best of them. On the handle you’ll find very heavy texturing to accommodate the weightier knife and give you better traction when using it. A huge paracord-level lanyard hole makes it perfect for camping as much as EDC.
Spyderco Sage Carbon
Pro: 3” blade is perfect for EDC
Con: Only offers tip-up carry
Stealth Module: Using a black pocket clip against the carbon fiber exterior, the Sage has a decidedly understated look. Instead of flash, the Sage focuses on precision with a CPF-S30V steel blade that is flat ground for exact cutting in any circumstances. Though it uses a dreaded linerlock, it has proven not to move in the slightest, even after years of constant carry, so there’s no travel or play to worry about. Since the handle is technically G-10 with carbon fiber atop it, you can debate whether or not it’s a true carbon fiber knife.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Pro: Loads of jimping for easy handling
Con: Thumb hole edges tend to bite into skin
Black Operator: Don’t take our word for it, ask the police, military, and security personnel who use this on a daily basis. Employing a 4-way clip for carrying in whatever way suits your situation, thin enough that it won’t get in the way of your other gear, and sporting a huge 14mm thumb hole for deployment while wearing gloves, this is the knife you want on your belt, in your pocket, or tucked away in your boot when you’ve run out of ammo and the bastards are still coming.
Pro: Titanium scales
Con: Large and heavy for EDC
Flip-Flopper: Using a flipper opening mechanism inspired by Kit Carson, this is a fast, deadly knife that’s hard not to love once you’ve flicked it out a couple of times. The fully flat-ground blade gives a nice cutting surface that is held perfectly through the CTS XHP steel construction. Each end of the ricasso carries jimping for easy grip and more exact handling, even with bloody or oily hands. There’s a touch of sticker shock for what looks like a pretty mundane blade, but when it comes out of your pocket like silver lightning, you’ll be glad of the extra money you spent.
Pro: Pivot is smooth right out of the box
Con: You’ll get hotspots using it extensively
The Immovable Object: One of the best standard knives that Spyderco makes, there is no doubt that this is a hard-working knife intended for dealing with the toughest of situations. Using a Reeve Integral Lock, getting this knife to budge once it’s deployed is a joke; which is good because the Carpenter CPM S30V stainless steel will hold a razor’s edge that can sever fingers. The body is tight and slim with a reversible clip that’s tastefully black, allows for tip-up carry, and lets the knife sit deep, even if you’re rocking some skinny jeans.