Spyderco Modernizes Traditional English Jack Knives with Its Top-Shelf SwayBack

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Lauded for their simplicity, ruggedness, and ample utility, English Jack knives were utilized as standard issue items for British troops for over a century, first introduced in the 1800s before eventually being carried by practically every Brit military personnel in WW2. While English Jack knives have since fallen out of favor, there’s still quite a bit of merit to the 19th-century design. Recognizing this, Polish knifemaker Marcin Slysz set out to deliver a thoroughly modern take on the age-old English folders, ultimately giving way to Spyderco’s SwayBack Knife.

Spanning 8.04″ when open, the Spyderco SwayBack features a set of 4.51″ machined titanium scales with a titanium Reeve Integral Lock. The titanium framelock setup has been paired with a 3.53″ (0.14″ thick), flat-ground Wharncliffe blade with a stone-washed finish that’s crafted from top-shelf CTS-XHP — a proprietary powder metallurgy blade steel produced by Carpenter Technology that’s highly resistant to corrosion and rated at up to 64 HRC on the Rockwell scale. Deployed via a thumb hole opener on the blade, this premium-material take on an English Jack knife also comes equipped with a polished stainless steel ambidextrous tip-up pocket clip. What’s more, the extensive use of titanium also allows the Slysz-designed blade to tip the scales at less than 4oz, and, just like the 19th-century knives carried by British soldiers on their belts via a lanyard, the SwayBack features a lanyard hole at the bottom of the scales for carrying in the same style.

Despite originally carrying an MSRP of $390 upon its release in 2020, the Spyderco SwayBack Knife is currently being offered on BladeHQ with a more than 35% discount for only $273. And, with its ultra-hardwearing construction and decidedly elegant design, this is a knife that’s made to be passed down to future generations after receiving a lifetime of use — not unlike a great many of the standard-issue English Jack knives that inspired it.

Purchase: $273

Photo: BladeHQ