When it comes to brand name recognition in the fascinating world of high-quality knives, they don’t come much bigger than Spyderco. You could say that Spyderco pretty much invented the every-day-carry knife concept back in 1981, or at least made it an easier thing to do!
You will instantly recognize a Spyderco by its distinctive shape, design, and performance. If you’re looking for a cutting tool with an impressive pedigree of real-life applications and dedicated research, a Spyderco should be one of the only makes you look at buying in my opinion.
The Spyderco Knives range extends all the way from stand-out collectibles to kitchen essentials. Are you in the market for a tactical survival knife or one with a locking flip? Then you’re in the right place. I’ve managed to bring my list down to the top ten Spyderco knives for a variety of uses.
Table of Contents
- Top 3 – Best Spyderco Knives
- Top 10 Best Spyderco Knives Review in 2020
- Spyderco Para 3 Signature Folding Knife
- Spyderco Police Model Folding Knife
- Spyderco Manix 2 Signature Folding Knife
- Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara 2 Folding Knife
- Spyderco Efficient Value Folding Knife
- Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Folding Knife
- Spyderco Opus Folding Knife
- Spyderco Dragonfly Tattoo Folding Knife
- Spyderco Chicago Folding Knife
- SPYDERCO Endela Folding Knife
- What Features to Look Out for in Some of the Best Rated Spyderco Knives
- What Features Should the Best Pocket or Folding Knives Have?
- What is a Blade Lock?
- How Much Should You Consider Carry Options?
- How Much Should I Spend on My Spyderco Knife?
Top 3 – Best Spyderco Knives
|Spyderco Para 3 Folding Knife||Check Price|
|Spyderco Police Model Knife||Check Price|
|Spyderco Manix 2 Folding Knife||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Spyderco Knives Review in 2020
Hands down one of the best Spyderco pocket knives in production, the Para 3 is not only a beautiful item but a practical cutting tool to add to your backpack. If toting gear around with you is not what you have in mind – the Para 3’s compact size is top of the range pocket-friendly too,
The Para arrives with a super-sharp plain edge grind and open-back, lightweight construction. The knife is also available in camo color as a nod to its military functionality and origins. You won’t struggle to fold the blade or open it either. Whether hunting, fishing, or hiking, you’ll be pleased this is the pocket knife you decided to carry.
- Durability guarantees continual high performance
- CPM S30V
- Superior balance and edge retention
- Easy-use lock in the handle spine
- If you plan on being intensely active (rock climbing, etc.) the pocket clip might not be enough – leave your Spyderco Para in your pack
It’s hard to choose just one from the range of best tactical Spyderco knives, but my top pick is the Police C07PS. This because it is long lasting (reports of Police folding knives over 15 years old – still sharp and tight!) and the dual purpose partial serrated, partial smooth blade. The Police can take on wires and cords that would have most people reaching for their pliers.
Although this model is lightweight and compact enough to be considered a good representative of an EDC, it’s an excellent choice if you plan on using it around the house or garden. As is usual with Spydercos, the thumb hole lets it open easily, and once there, it locks up tight with zero wiggles.
- This knife is truly durable – stays handy from high school to retirement
- Ideal blade configuration
- Holds sharpness
- Good fit and finish
- SS handle might be too thin for larger hands, so watch out for slippage
When you look over to see what the Manix looks like, you’ll be blown away by its ergonomic and aesthetic appeal. This is one gorgeous folding knife with even better performance. Sure, the price is twice or three times that of smaller or thinner models, but the extra wide handle feels so good when you hold it that you’ll fall for this EDC knife beauty hard.
Collectors love the Manix. The high carbon steel blade constructed from Crucible CPM S30V is corrosion and wear resistant. The leaf shape, flat grind with featured thumb serration (jimping) sit comfortably above the Manix’s round hole for one hand deployment.
- Smooth ball bearing lock
- Excellent tactical and outdoor/survival capabilities
- Can take a beating over the years and still performs like clockwork
- Might be too large and heavy for EDC
A great entry level piece of kit. If you are looking for a budget priced, ergonomic, and lightweight pocket size folding knife, the Byrd would suit you perfectly. Not only does the Byrd add good value for money, but the 3.75² steel blade with a full flat grind also happens to be a beautiful slicer. There aren’t that many best budget Spyderco knives on the market.
They are manufactured to the most exacting specifications, and that ends up adding to the final price tag. However, because the Byrd in designed right here in the U.S. and the handle material is composed of injection molded fiberglass reinforced nylon (with stainless steel liners), they have been able to create a good quality pocket size knife at an even better price.
- Well priced
- Texturing makes it hard to lose your grip
- Solid lockup
- Teardrop-shaped hole to help flick it open
- Pocket carry and clip
- Deployment is a bit slow
If you are a shopper who demands plentiful bang for their buck, the Efficient (G-10) is the pocket knife for you. The problem with having a wide range to choose from is that you can get confused when trying to make a selection. Why not try a knife that has superlative sharpness and overall great quality with an accessible price tag?
The Efficient is up there with the best cheaper Spyderco knives made with their excellent materials and design. The handle scale is close to perfect and the fabrication makes this cutting tool indestructible. When you try this blade out, you’ll think the company made a mistake when they priced it. A true value for money!
- Easy to open and lock
- Black blade
- Stainless steel, broad profile blade
- G-10 black laminated handle
- Fatigue-free cutting and slicing
- Slightly back end heavy
If you’re a camper or hiker, you’ll understand the importance of having easy to carry, lightweight items in your pack. They don’t get more lightweight than the Dragonfly 2. This cutting tool is one of the best lightweight Spyderco knives because it’s durable and ergonomic with uncompromised materials.
Hikers who carry the Dragonfly 2 have mentioned that it’s really easy to find if you decide to put it in your pack instead of carrying it in your pocket. The reason for this is the day-glow yellow FRN molded handle. The Dragonfly’s smooth 2.3² blade comes ready to slice and cut straight out of the box. Definitely one of the top blades for outdoor carry.
- Bi-directional handle texturing for wet and dry use
- Small enough not to need SS liners to assist in a lighter weight
- 50/50 choil
- Sizeable thumb ramp
- Offers a true 4-finger grip in a compact design
- Pocket clip
- Could lose it if you don’t take care outdoors
Also Read: Best Automatic Knives of 2020
Yes, the Opus has the spider icon and their ambidextrous signature opening hole, but is this knife an iconic example of knife maker Ulrich Hennicke’s skill as a designer? Definitely – the Opus is one of the best EDC Spyderco knives! Fabricated from S30V stainless steel with a full flat grind and impressive edge retention, the Opus ensures a satisfyingly low friction cutting experience.
This is in part thanks to its integrated finger choil which extends the usable handle length considerably. When added to the swooping thumb curve, you can choke up close to the blade for finer control. The desirable Spyderco design element – the locking liner – does its work to keep the satin finished blade secure for one-handed closing, and when the knife is in use.
- Easy to open 3.75² super sharp blade
- Textured grip for wet and dry use
- Open back construction for easy cleaning
- 4 x position hourglass clip
- Steel lanyard tube
- Not for the budget conscious buyer
The Dragonfly regularly makes it onto Spyderco knives reviews top ten list, and when you see the Dragonfly Signature, you’ll understand why I’m recommending it as a collector’s item. The design’s success is due largely to the ergonomic handle and perfectly balanced mid-size blade. It also features the practical spine cusp and front finger choil.
Because of this exceptional leveraging point and blade to handle geometry, it enables the Dragonfly to feel as though it’s a much larger knife in the hand – without any fear of over handling your grip. With high performance flat grind and one of a kind Dragonfly motif, this is a knife equally at home on the show or in your pocket.
- FRN handle – glass fiber and polymer mix injection mold
- Full flat grind
- Dragonfly motif
- VG-10 SS
- Handle isn’t stain proof
With carrying restrictions getting tighter in many places, it’s good to know that just because you aren’t allowed to carry blades over 2² in length, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Welcome to the Chicago by Spyderco – it has a high quality, thick metal blade that is not only firmly fixed but also arrives razor sharp.
Besides being one of the best constructed and best designed pocket knives in this class, Chicago can cut steaks as though they were butter and whittle wood as well. For the price, what the Chicago knife does is outstanding.
- Non-threatening appearance
- Won’t break the bank
- Multi-purpose leaf-shaped smooth edge blade
- Non-slip, rigid G-10 handle
- Takes some time practicing to open only using one hand
The Endela Serr is sold to the public with the emphasis being on its lightweight carry ability. The Endura and Delica models are two of the best rated Spyderco designs of all time – both in the popularity and sales categories. The groundbreaking design of the Endura pioneered the concepts of a lightweight, one-handed open, clip and carry knife all over the world.
The Endela’s handle established FRN injection molded as a top material and the texturing embedded in it takes non-slip to the next level. To this day, knife experts hold the Endela to be the ultimate one-size-fits-all pocketknife.
- Handles well in both hot and cold weather
- Lockback mechanism
- Full flat blade grind with a satin finish
- Black textured handle
- Slightly longer length for larger hands
- So many generations of Endela it makes it hard to choose one
What Features to Look Out for in Some of the Best Rated Spyderco Knives
The buyers have spoken, and the general consensus is that there is no such thing as a bad Spyderco knife. Produced in the States and manufactured to the highest specifications, Spyderco has long been considered to be a master of knife design and innovation.
High performance cutting tools with real thought behind their design are the only thing to use as your everyday carry, outdoor, or a pocket knife. Spyderco was the first to feature the signature round hole in the blade for quick, one handed, ambidextrous opening and closing. They were also the first to attach a pocket clip to the handle’s right side.
Spyderco knives have blade material to suit their implementation. Each of the top Spyderco knives on this list is manufactured from metals in the right thickness and strength for their balance and functionality. You need to consider for what purpose you are buying your knife.
Is it for backpacking, camping, outdoor activities, or EDC? Do you want a folding knife or fixed? Do you want a knife that will flash in the sunlight or be camouflaged? All of the answers to these questions will give you a better idea of what kind of knife you’re looking for. You’ll be presented with several options when shopping for a Spyderco, and all of them are Stainless Steel (SS).
Stainless Steel Types:
- VG 10
- CPM S30V
Flagship Spyderco knives made in the U.S. and Taiwan are constructed with CPM S30V steel. Master Spyderco knife craftsmen in Japan, Italy, and China are contracted to use other SS types.
N.B. Never buy a knife where the producer has not specified the type of stainless steel used. This means it’s in all likelihood a weaker amalgam mix.
It’s not misleading to say that a knife handle is as important as the blade. What knife handle material are you looking for?:
- Stainless steel
- FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)
You will see most Spyderco knives come with FRN handles. This is because they can be textured to give the user a better grip, especially when withdrawing the cutting tool out of a pocket. In addition to better wielding, an FRN handle is lightweight, strong, and durable.
Aluminum and SS handles also look wicked on a high quality knife. They don’t stain or break and are super-strong. However, your grip might be compromised on a very hot day, and it will flash if you plan on using your knife in survival or covert scenarios.
Also Read: Best Swiss Army Knife Reviews in 2020
What Features Should the Best Pocket or Folding Knives Have?
When it comes to best folding and pocketknife features, Spyderco definitely has that covered. Tense clips so that the knife doesn’t fall out of your pocket and signature ambidextrous round holes are two such features.
Blade Length and Knife Length
When a knife expert talks about blade and handle length, balance and ratio are crucial. It’s not as simple as seeing a knife you like and buying it. You have to consider what carry options it offers you. If you want a pocket knife to be there for you in an emergency, lightweight knives will have FRN handles and shorter, thinner blades.
If you plan on using your knife at work – say as an electrician or handyman – then easy access and a utility tool that can handle wires and plastics will be your priority. Likewise, if the knife is for self-defense, you want either a short, leaf shape blade or a longer one with a wider reach.
Fixed Blade or Folding Blade?
Although Spyderco made its name with high quality folding pocket knives, this might not always be the best choice for you. Fortunately, Spyderco makes a variety of folding and fixed blade designs. If you need a blade that comes out and is ready to go, consider getting a fixed Spyderco knife with sheath. The sheath should ideally be as long lasting as the knife.
Folders have a myriad of practical applications. This is why they are the preferred blade of choice for most people. You can stow it more easily without worrying about the possibility of cutting yourself. They take up less space in a pack or toolbox, and they are easier to find in your desired size if you live in a carrying restriction zone.
A pocket knife needs both a point and a cutting edge. If you plan on using your knife for a lot of digging and probing, you’ll need a robust point with a strong blade. Many collectible knives have a delicate point that is part of the aesthetics, however, these have very few practical applications.
It’s generally considered that anything more than just a few inches of a blade’s cutting edge is overkill. It will make the knife too heavy for EDC or fit in your pocket.
Serrated/Partially Serrated: Cut through materials more easily; because they are used for different functions, they don’t need to be sharpened so much (just the point needs honing every now and again).
Smooth Edge: Great for whittling; doesn’t get caught on materials when in use; gives you the satisfaction of honing your knife to a microscopic sharpness.
What is a Blade Lock?
There is a school of thought in the knife community that believes blade locks make the user lazy and unable to use any other kind of knife. If you value your palms, fingers, and fingertips, you would never use a knife without a blade lock.
Are you prepared to take the chance that every time you use your blade, you’ll be taking extreme care not to make the blade retract unexpectedly? Serious injuries can occur without a really stout locking mechanism on your knife. This is a product feature that Spyderco takes very seriously.
How Much Should You Consider Carry Options?
Pick an accessible and durable pocket knife to carry around with you, and you’ll be surprised how often you are called upon to unclip it for use. Spyderco invented the natty little handle clip that keeps a folding knife securely fixed to a back pocket or even small front shirt pockets. Other places you can consider hooking it is the inside of your pants or on your belt.
Many Spyderco knife carriers have developed muscle memory when it comes to withdrawing the knife for instant use. After your purchase, take some time to remove your knife using one hand to expose the blade, and fold the blade back multiple times.
How Much Should I Spend on My Spyderco Knife?
Spyderco is an instantly recognizable name brand and makes knives of the highest quality and design. However, the company has made sure to produce a pocket knife suitable for every pocket! Because a top Spyderco knife will last you a lifetime, spread the cost of the knife over many years and suddenly the price seems more accessible.
Remember that the meanest looking knife isn’t worth anything if it breaks after a few years or even worse when you’re using it. This is why the name you will hear on most genuine knife collectors’ lips is Spyderco.