Spyderco's Knives: Generations of Proven Fixed and Folders



Spyderco keeps it fresh with new hits and old favorites.

You can always tell a successful cutlery manufacturer by the way they keep their new knives exciting and their old standards hopping. Spyderco manages to do both with extreme effectiveness ever since they released their first folding knife with their trademark hole-in-the-blade over 40 years ago. Many of their early models such as the Police, Endura and Delica are still mainstays in the Spyderco line-up, but annually the company launches a host of new models with creative, envelope-pushing designs to delight their customers.

“Spyderco is experiencing a rapid mid-life growth spurt, as is much of the knife industry.” Spyderco Public and Media Relations guru Joyce Laituri tells Handgunner. “Business has been good for the cutlery industry these past two years. Our product line is evolving, growing with new designs, steels and materials we’ve not used before.” We’ve assembled some of the company’s newer fare here as well as some of their fresh, updated older models that still remain popular among the company’s ravenous flock.

Police 4 Lightweight Blue

New And New Again

One of Spyderco’s new breed of tactical folders is the Brian Lai-designed Amalgam. At 8.90″ overall and 5.10″ closed, this is a handful of knife. Weight-wise, however, the Amalgam is a very manageable 4.3 oz., thanks to its Carbon Fiber/G10 laminate frame. The Amalgam’s 3.40″ flat ground Drop Point blade is served up with premium CPM-S30V stainless from Crucible Industries, the leader in proprietary blade steels. The user has the choice of deploying the blade by way of a rapid-fire flipper or the standard Spydie-hole (both ambidextrous) with the aid of ball-bearing washers in the pivot. The blade locks up via Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock, conveniently located on the top rear spine of the handle, and there’s a 4-position pocket clip offering up multiple carry options. Whether you carry the Amalgam for self-defense or daily chores, the gang’s all here to make your trek through life a safe, well-equipped one.

The Spyderco Police is the longest-running model in the company’s line. Introduced in 1981, the Police model preceded the modern-day tactical folder wave (which took root at the beginning of the first Gulf War) by nearly a decade and lives on today in its fourth generation. The Police 4 Lightweight Blue folder is one of the latest iterations. This is a big ’un — 9.9″ unfurled with a blade length of 4.38″. The blade is of Bohler K390 high carbon tool steel that, when deployed, snicks into place via a lock-back mechanism. The model featured here has a plain-edge blade, but a serrated version is also available — as well as stainless steel options. At 4.2 oz., the Police 4 Lightweight Blue is indeed light for its size. As is common with Spyderco, there is a four-position pocket clip and, when adding the Spydie-hole to the equation, makes it totally ambidextrous.

Spyderco’s Endura is another stalwart that has “endured” through four generations since its release in the 1980s. The Endura 4 Lightweight Thin Blue Line folder is part of a new series of knives dedicated to first responders with a portion of sales going to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. These knives are connoted by the motto To Serve and Protect etched on the blade, attractive blue anodized liners, and a blue spacer on the spine. The Endura 4 is a nice-sized EDC at 8.78″ overall with a closed length of 4.98″. The blade is a plain-edge Drop Point of VG-10 stainless steel, 3.80″ in length. The handle is black FRN with a lock-back mechanism and, in true Spyderco fashion, there’s a pocket clip positional at all four corners. If the Police 4 is a tad lengthy for you, the Endura 4 series is around a half-inch shorter.

Endura 3 Lightweight Thin Blue Line

Bigs And Littles

Spyderco has always kept a bevy of smaller calves and colts in the stable and the Manbug Wharncliffe carries on this tradition in spades. A scant 4.39″ overall, the Manbug donates 1.91″ to the cutting cause with a wicked, flat-edged VG-10 stainless Wharncliffe blade. A cousin to the Sheepsfoot style, both are known for excelling at utilitarian chores. The flat-ground blade has a satin finish mated to a 2.50″ black FRN handle and there’s a lock-back mechanism on the rear spine. There is no pocket clip, rather the Manbug Wharncliffe is a hideaway knife meant for loose carry in the pants pocket or concealed elsewhere such as in a jacket or formal coat pocket. Could it be used for self-defense in a pinch? Don’t tempt it.

Prefer a fixed blade? The Spyderco Salt Series is a group of knives with H-1 steel, a proprietary steel developed by Spyderco for use in locations or applications that are cruel by nature. H-1 steel replaces Carbon with Nitrogen, which makes it impervious to rust or corrosion. The Spyderco Aqua Salt Black is a 9.33″ tactical fixed-blade geared for a surreptitious blend of combat and utility. The Aqua Salt Black’s blade is 4.78″ of black TiCN coated VG-10 Steel (available in plain edge or fully serrated) mated to a black FRN handle featuring a nice palm swell for superb grip. Included with the knife is a black polymer sheath with a G-Clip attachment that allows belt or waistband carry. When you’re not facing off with bad guys the Aqua Salt Black can perform a multitude of field chores with gusto.

Endura 3 Lightweight Thin Blue Line

Down The Road

I asked Joyce to look into her crystal ball and tell us what we might expect to see from Spyderco in the future. “In the trending lane, we’re seeing a greater interest from customers in new blade steels.” Laituri hints, “Knife consumers are savvy when it comes to materials and we’ll not be disappointing in this area. We also have numerous never-before-seen designs and variant offerings of some of our best sellers.” Stay tuned, we’ll be here for it.

For more info: Spyderco.com

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