Spyderco Spin FrameLock Knife Review

Spyderco is based in Golden, Colorado. This knife company produces knives and knife sharpeners. Sal Glesser is the man behind this company, with the very first product being the Portable Hand in 1976. This was a spider-shaped device, with a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people such as jewelers work with small parts. Sal and his wife converted an old bread delivery truck into a motor-home and traveled to different knife shows. As their success grew, they moved from the bread truck to a truck and trailer. They settled in Colorado in 1978. This was the year that they began producing knife sharpeners and three years later, they produced their first folding knife. This was the first knife to feature a round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed and ambidextrous open, which is now Spyderco’s trademark. Spyderco also claims that this was the first knife to feature a pocket clip on the right side of the handle.

They are actually the company that pioneered many features that are now the standard in folding knives, including the pocket lip, serrations, and the opening hole. A large part of Spyderco production is outsourced to foreign contractors in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Italy, and China. Spyderco knives have a reputation for their simplicity, reliability, good ergonomics, and their functional aesthetics. Their knives are popular with many markets—from private citizens to fire and rescue and even to law enforcement officers.

Spyderco has collaborate with 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors for designs and have innovated over 20 different blade materials.

Spyderco Spin Knife
Spyderco Spin Knife

Spyderco is a high quality brand that is going to tackle your needs effortlessly. Spyderco knives are also a good budget choice, because they usually won’t break the bank. That being said, you also don’t have to worry about these knives lacking quality—they are still made with high quality, durable materials. Not only will they be able to assist you with your needs, Spyderco knives are going to look good while doing it.

Spyderco is known for producing limited edition models, which they refer to as sprint runs. These limited runs are usually versions of discontinued models with different blade and handle materials, although some are completely new models. Today, we are going to be going over the Spyderco Spin FrameLock knife with a handle made out of Nishijin Glass Fiber, which does happen to be included in one of their sprint runs.


The Designer:

The main man behind this knife is Eric Glesser. He is known to be the second most important designer at Spyderco and is Sal Glesser’s (head designer) son. He has been working under the instruction of Sal throughout the years and has created many of Spyderco’s most well-known knives such as the Tenacious, Manix 2, and Dodo. Knife designing must run in his blood because he has a fantastic understanding of knife designs and ergonomics. Eric has become a bigger presence in the Spyderco company and we expect to see his phenomenal designs for a while longer.


The Blade:

The blade on the Spin is made out of VG-10 stainless steel. This steel is a cutlery grade stainless steel that is produced in Japan. The G in the name stands for “Gold” because this steel has reached a gold standard. This steel was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but it quickly found its way into sports cutlery and for good reason: this steel holds an edge fairly well and has exceptional ability to withstand rust. VG-10 steel is a high carbon steel, which gives it its durability that it is known and loved for. This steel is very hard and you can achieve a very sharp edge on this knife; unfortunately, it has been prone to chipping.

This knife has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most popular finish on knives in the market today, because it offers you such a traditional look. This finish makes it so that the blade color doesn’t steal the show—it blends in, but in a good way. This finish is very medium in terms of luster—the mirror polish finish is definitely more reflective than this finish and it is not as matte as a stonewashed finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This means that the sandpaper used to sand the steel will continually get finer and finer. The resulting metal shows of the bevels and the fine line in the steel exceptionally. The satin finish is a classic and will never go out of style. This was also the perfect option for the Spyderco Spin because the handle is supposed to steal the show.

This knife features a Wharncliffe style of blade. This blade shape is very similar to the sheepsfoot blade, but should not be confused with each other because they do have very different purposes. The classic Wharncliffe blade basically looks like a drop point blade that has been flipped over, meaning that the straight edge is the sharp edge. However, this Spyderco blade does not sport the traditional Wharncliffe blade, instead, the blade is much more triangular with both edges (the sharpened and unsharpened) being straight. But, when the unsharpened edge gets near the tip, it does curve, so as not to create a pointy tip. This creates a false-point, meaning that you the point itself isn’t’ sharp. This feature of the blade style is one of its perks, but it also is one of the drawbacks to this shape. For starters, this false point means that you are much safer when using this knife: there is no way that you are going to accidently stab yourself or someone else. However, this false point also means that if you are in desperate need of piercing or stabbing something, you are not going to accomplish that. Really, you have to look at what you hope to do with this knife before deciding if the Wharncliffe blade style is going to be a hindrance or a perk. The history of the Wharncliffe blade style does get muddled, with a few different stories claiming to be accurate. But regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe blade shape proves to be a very useful blade. This is also a great everyday blade if you work in an office setting, because the Wharncliffe blade excels at slicing open boxes, envelopes, and other basic everyday uses. On the flip side, this knife is not going to be very good for preparing food because of its lack of belly.

This Spyderco sports a plain edge. This enables the Spin to take on a wider variety of tasks and it will provide you with much cleaner cuts than a serrated blade would. Additionally, the plain blade makes sharpening this blade a breeze, and you can get it sharper than you could if it was serrated. Since this knife is going to be more of a general-utility blade, the plain edge was the perfect option for it.


The Handle:

The handle on the spin knife is made out of Blue Nishijin Glass Fiber on one of the handle scales and a traditional stainless steel handle scale on the other side.

Inspired by a centuries-old traditional Japanese weaving style called Nishijin, the highly polished glass fiber scale reveals a complex internal pattern that is strikingly beautiful. The stainless steel handle provides the knife with excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Because it is only one of the handle scales, this should not weigh the knife down too much, instead, it just adds the durability and heftiness that you desire out of your knife. The stainless steel handle scale has a few perks form being strong and durable to just how corrosion resistant it is. However, this scale is going to be more slippery than the Glass Fiber handle scale. The stainless steel handle scale has also been finished with a satin finish, to perfectly match with the sleek blade.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved out. This is definitely a smaller knife, and you can actually attach this to a lanyard and wear it around your neck if you desire. If that is not something that you would want to do, you can easily attach a traditional lanyard and carry it how you normally would.


The Pocket Clip:

The Spin comes with a three-screwed stainless clothing clip that positons the knife tip down in a pocket and also offers a way to money-clip your cash or attach to a necktie. This stainless steel clip is highly polished and the screws keeping it attached to the handle match with the rest of the hardware on this knife. This pocket clip is longer, so it will stay snug in your pocket, perfectly concealed.


The Mechanism:

This knife features Spyderco’s trademark thumb hole to assist you in opening it. This mechanism has been around since the 1980s and although you might find the thumb hole on knives made by different brands, Spyderco is the one that perfected it and then made it wildly popular. Opening a folder that has been equipped with a thumb hole is exactly like using a thumb stud. Because of the very design, it is always going to be ambidextrous. And, many knife enthusiasts actually prefer the hole to the stud because it does not protrude from the blade. To use the hole, you get traction with your thumb through the whole and then manually flip the blade open. It is simple, it’s easy, and there is no way that the hole can malfunction. There is no better opening mechanism.

This knife features Chris Reeve’s Integral Lock Mechanism or the RIL that will lock the blade securely open. This locking mechanism was created by the custom knife maker Chris reeve and is a design modification of the Liner Lock. He altered it so that the knife sues the handle scale as the lock’s liner. With the back portion of the handle doubling as both handle and lock, the need for internal liners is eliminated and the knife can be manufactured incredibly slim, yet still very strong. This is another reason why the stainless steel handle scale is such a benefit—it houses the RIL mechanism that will securely lock the blade open. The stainless steel gives it the sturdiness to work correctly at all times, working to never fail you.


The Specs:

The blade on this bite size knife is 1.812 inches long with a thickness of .093 inches. The overall length of the knife when it is opened is a micro 4.125 inches, sporting a closed length of 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at a measly 1.3 ounces—the perfect size and weight to constantly have on you, preparing you for whatever might come your way.



The Spyderco Spin, designed by Eric Glesser, now comes with the special Blue Nishijin glass fiber handle. This handle is ancient Japanese inspired and provides you with a unique look that you are not going to find anywhere else. The opposite handle scale is stainless steel, to give you the extra weight you need to really get behind your cutting. This knife boasts a Wharncliffe style, VG-10 stainless steel blade that is perfect for serious detail cuts. This steel is low maintenance, resisting rust effortlessly to make your life a little easier. The locking mechanism was designed by Chris Reeve and uses the handle scale as the lock’s liner. The Spin comes with a pocket clip that can be doubled as a money clip. This clip is designed for right-side tip-down carry to ensure both convenience and ease of access. This limited-edition Sprint run puts a new “Spin” on a classic Spyderco design and is sure to be in high demand. Pick up this limited edition Blue Nishijin glass fiber version of the Spin today at BladeOps.



Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 Knife Review and Comparison

Spyderco ParaMilitary 2
Spyderco ParaMilitary 2

Knife owners associate the Spyderco name with innovative products that offer new blade steels, aesthetically advanced handle designs, a primary focus on ergonomics and comfort in use, and lightweight configurations that pack enduring performance. The Para Military 2 family puts the reliable capabilities of Spyderco’s Military Model into a smaller size that offers tactical qualities but can double as an everyday carry. For 2016, Spyderco introduces a refined Para Military 2 lineup of five models, offering finessed feature sets and new blade steel choices. Although Spyderco often produces limited-edition Sprint Runs of Para Military 2 models with special handle-scale colors and blade steels, these five models—the C81GP2 Para Military 2, C81GPBK2 Para Military 2 Black Blade, C81GPDBL2 Para Military 2 CPM S110V, C81GPCMO2 Para Military 2 Camo, and the C81GPCMOBK2 Para Military 2 Camo Black Blade—represent the broadly available year-round production of this knife family.


Blade Profile

The blade shape on the Para Military 2 features a modified drop point with a nearly flat spine. Spyderco has made the blade longer on this version of the Para Military 2, lengthening the tip and increasing the amount of cutting edge.


The Trademark Round Hole represents Spyderco’s patented innovation in blade deployment: A round opening machined into the blade shape to accommodate the tip of a thumb or finger as it transitions the knife from closed to open position in a one-handed movement. When the knife is closed, the Trademark Round Hole appears in the portion of the blade that projects beyond the handle. On the Para Military 2, which lacks a flipper tab or other assistive mechanisms, the Trademark Round Hole provides the sole means of deploying the blade. Spyderco has enlarged the Trademark Round Hole on the Para Military 2 to 14 millimeters, enhancing its functionality.


A jimped thumb ramp on the blade spine helps hold the hand in position during tasks that require heavy pressure. A jimped choil that starts on the blade ricasso (the unsharpened portion of the blade at its thickest point) and continues onto the handle also serves as a forefinger grasping location as needed.


Blade Finishes

Spyderco makes the Para Military 2 in five models, but these represent three fundamental versions, based on handle appearance and blade steel. Models C81GP2 and C81GPCMO2 incorporate satin finished blades, the former with black and the latter with green digital camouflage patterned handle scales, both fashioned from G10 continuous-fiber glass laminate. The variations on these two models, designated models C81GPBK2 and C81GPCMOBK2, also feature black and camouflage handle scales respectively, but with Spyderco’s signature Diamond-Like Carbon, or DLC, coating on their blades for a low-contrast black finish. Model C81GPDBL2 incorporates Crucible Industries’ CPM S110V powdered metallurgy steel in a satin finish, and does not come in a corresponding version with a black coated blade.


Spyderco’s DLC coating consists of a mixture of graphitic carbon and a diamond-like material. Applied to blades and other knife parts, this nanocomposite virtually eliminates reflectivity at the same time that it boosts resistance to wear and corrosion, and helps reduce friction. All seven types of commercially available DLC consist of an amorphous material with its crystals arranged in cobblestone patterns made up of randomly alternating lattices, including cubic as well as hexagonal structures like those in a beehive. DLC coatings see wide use in medicine, thanks to their biocompatibility with living tissue, as well as on razor blades and in racing engines. DLC coatings also serve to lengthen the life of food processing equipment and to provide electrical insulation.


Blade Steels

Over the first 40 years of its company history, Spyderco has developed a well-deserved reputation for innovation, always in the service of producing superior quality and finding better solutions to the challenges of knife design. Look no further than the lengthy list of the blade steels it uses to find evidence of its commitment to refining its materials. The Spyderco Para Military 2 family uses two outstandingly progressive steels in its blade fabrications.


Crucible Industries of Solvay, New York, pioneered and patented the process of powdered metallurgy under the trademark Crucible Particle Metallurgy, or CPM. The impetus to invent this process stemmed from the limitations of conventional steel making and the performance drawbacks it introduced into the alloys thus produced.


Simple steel consists of a mixture of carbon and iron. As metallurgy in general and blade science in specific have advanced over centuries, steel makers have developed increasingly sophisticated and complex recipes in which other elements join carbon and iron to enhance specific attributes of the resulting metal. Although it might seem that the easiest way to produce an ideal blade steel would be to add as much as possible of every alloying element that produces desirable characteristics, that simplistic approach won’t create the expected result.


The principal characteristics for which to evaluate a blade steel alloy include hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. Some of these characteristics exist on a continuum with each other, with an increase in one causing a corresponding decrease in the other.


Toughness and hardness compete with each other for supremacy in typical blade steels. Hardness correlates with resistance to dents and impact. Toughness measures the ability to bend instead of breaking, heading off the chips and cracks that can occur in heavy use. Wear resistance indicates a steel’s ability to avoid the damage caused when it encounters rough surfaces and materials that can adhere to it. Corrosion resistance designates the ability to withstand exposure to the forces that cause oxidation, including humidity, moisture, salt, and other chemicals. Edge retention indicates the ability to stay sharp despite blade use. As corrosion resistance rises, edge retention drops.


Obviously, all these qualities offer desirable contributions toward knife performance. Because some of them represent trade-offs with one another, however, steel makers and knife makers must compromise to find a workable balance in their products.


Identifying the desired mixture of elements and the proportions thereof forms the first step in producing a blade steel. The acts of conventional steel production involve melting these ingredients together prior to pouring the mixture into the ingot molds that create the first rough form in which steel can be sold and machined.


If the act of combining the elements of a steel in a furnace created a homogenous mixture that remained thoroughly blended as it cooled in a mold, the advanced science of Crucible Particle Metallurgy might not have been necessary. Unfortunately, the blend of elements starts to separate as it loses heat, and the individual components become segregated from one another. As a result, the consistency and performance of the resulting metal varies within a single production batch as well as from one batch to another.


Ingenuity overcomes obstacles. Crucible Industries invented Crucible Particle Metallurgy to overcome the segregation of elemental steel and retain the homogeneous makeup of the metal past the point of production. In the CPM process, the elemental recipe of a steel melts and mixes in a furnace, but instead of pouring from a ladle into ingot molds, it mists through a small nozzle into a highly pressurized blast of inert gas. The alloy immediately turns into tiny droplets that cool virtually instantaneously, forming powdered particles. Because of the immediacy with which this powder cools and forms, the molten steel doesn’t have time to lose its homogeneity. As a result, every tiny spherical particle becomes an individual ingot that contains the fully mixed, balanced original recipe of the alloy.


Powder can’t make blades, however. The output of the particle-making step loads into a pressurized canister for further processing, called sintering. At a temperature just below the melting point of the alloy, the combination of heat and pressure alters the molecular structure of the steel even as it turns it into a larger solid form. These molecular alterations transform the steel into a structure called austenite, in which carbon enters iron molecules. The next step quenches the steel in liquid, air, or oil, causing a rapid temperature drop that produces a second molecular alteration into martensitic steel, in which the carbon becomes a permanent part of the iron. Martensitic steel requires low-temperature heat treatment to overcome its brittleness. This step raises toughness as it reduces hardness and strength by a slight amount. The resulting powdered metallurgy steel demonstrates edge retention and wear resistance beyond anything that conventional steel making can produce.


Spyderco has selected two of Crucible Industries’ powdered metallurgy products for the blades of its Para Military 2 models. Models C81GP2, C81GPBK2, C81GPCMO2, and C81GPCMOBK2 use CPM S30V, while Model C81GPDBL2 uses CPM S110V.


CPM S30V incorporates 1.45% carbon, 14.00% chromium, 2.00% molybdenum, and 4.00% vanadium. This high-carbon steel displays high toughness, hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Carbon increases hardness and wear resistance at the expense of reduced toughness and greater brittleness. The level of chromium content designates CPM S30V as a stainless steel, and contributes to tensile strength and hardness. Molybdenum boosts edge retention as well as high-temperature strength and corrosion resistance. Vanadium produces fine-grained steel with high levels of wear resistance and edge retention. This alloy balances many of the most desirable performance attributes in a single blade steel.


CPM S110V includes 2.90% carbon, 15.25% chromium, 2.50% cobalt, 3.00% niobium, 0.40% manganese, 2.25% molybdenum, 0.60% silicon, 0.20% tungsten, and 9.10% vanadium. The addition of niobium boosts CPM S110V’s wear resistance and edge retention. Silicon helps strengthen the steel and remove oxygen from it during production to limit pitting damage. Tungsten heightens wear resistance. The extreme amount of vanadium points to equivalently extreme levels of wear resistance and edge retention. As a result, this premium alloy requires intense skill to machine and sharpen.


Handle Materials

Spyderco chose textured G10 laminate for the handle scales on all its Para Military 2 models. What differs among these models isn’t the material, but rather the color in which it’s rendered.


Most commonly, G10 appears in solid black, which Spyderco uses on Para Military 2 models C81GP2 and C81GPBK2. Spyderco uses dark blue G10 on those of its knives that feature Crucible Industries’ CPM S110V powdered metallurgy steel blades, so the handle scales on Para Military 2 model C81GPDBL2 appear in that color as a corresponding signal of its blade alloy. On Para Military 2 Camo models C81GPCMO2 and C81GPCMOBK2, Spyderco uses the U.S. Army’s green digital camouflage pattern.


G10 originated as a highly water-resistant, electrically non-conductive material used in the production of circuit boards. In combination, the ingredients that make up G10 create a rigid, lightweight, hard, strong product with low moisture absorption and a high resistance to chemicals. This sturdy material consists of a laminate made from layers of fiberglass fabric soaked in an epoxy resin binder, and formed in a mold under heat and pressure. G10’s performance properties remain stable even in harsh environments. The textured surface on these handle scales stems from the molding process that produces G10 parts.


To support the Compression Lock mechanism that holds open the blades on Spyderco’s Para Military 2 models, the company uses nested split stainless steel liners formed into a leaf-shaped spring. The rounded end of the lock bar engages into a notched area in the hidden portion of the blade tang, as well as with the stop pin at the spine of the blade.


Handle Designs

Regardless of which model of Para Military 2 you choose, the handle incorporates a forefinger groove that forms half of the 50/50 choil on the knife. The butt of the handle culminates in a subtle quillon shape that helps keep the hand from sliding off the knife, and supports the fingers when they grasp in a reversed grip. The Para Military 2 displays Spyderco’s emphasis on ergonomics in every aspect of knife design, especially in terms of handle shapes and their influence on grip positions. For 2016, Spyderco thinned down the heel of the handle to enhance the feel of the Para Military 2 in the hand.


Including the pivot, the entire knife assembly fastens together with three Torx screws, two of the same smaller size along with the larger pivot. Para Military 2 models C81GPBK2 and C81GPCMOBK2, which feature black blades, use Torx screws with a matching black finish. Spyderco has enlarged the lanyard hole on the Para Military 2 to incorporate a wider range of materials. Like the Torx screws, the lanyard tube also appears in black on Para Military 2 models with black blades.


Because the pocket clip on the Para Military 2 offers ambidextrous attachment and both tip-up and tip-down carry positions, the handle scales on all five models incorporate mounting screw holes at both ends and on both left- and right-hand scales.


Blade Deployment and Locking Mechanism

The Spyderco Compression Lock system uses an ingenious implementation of a locking-liner design to provide secure retention of an open blade. The leaf-like shape formed by a split stainless steel liner engages into a notch in the hidden blade tang, locking into the blade itself as well as onto the stop pin located just below the spine inside the handle. This design represents a patented Spyderco invention that users praise for its strong hold as well as the ease with which they can disengage it as and when necessary. All five models in the Para Military 2 family use this innovative lock design. The Para Military 2 family also uses a new system for its bushing pivot, smoothing out the opening action and yielding tighter tolerances in manufacture.


Pocket Clips

Spyderco pioneered the implementation of pocket clips from other types of products into the realm of knife designs. The Para Military 2 family offers Spyderco’s most flexible pocket clip: A four-position clip that provides ambidextrous tip-up or tip-down carry depending on its attachment point. On those Para Military 2 models with black blades, the pockets clips and their attachment screws also feature a black finish. For 2016, Spyderco has reduced the handle thickness at the end of these knives, increasing the depth at which the Para Military 2 knives position themselves in a pocket.


Knife Dimensions and Weights

All five of the models within the Spyderco Para Military 2 family offer closely comparable dimensional and weight specifications. In fact, the sole difference among them comes in the weight of model C81GPDBL2, the Para Military 2 CPM S110V, which weighs 3.8 ounces, or one-tenth of an ounce less than the other four models.


Other than that slight differentiation, all five models measure 8.281 inches overall, with a closed length of 4.812 inches. Their blades measure 3.438 inches long, with a thickness of 0.141 inches and an edge length of 3.078 inches. Handle length equals overall length at 8.281 inches, while handle thickness comes in at 0.46 inches.


Other Observations

The Spyderco Para Military 2 family offers enduring popularity based on its performance, reliability, flexibility, and attractive design. Although the 2016 roundup of Para Military 2 models offers refinements that some may see as subtleties rather than big leaps forward, the net effect of the entire suite of improvements continues to make a great paramilitary knife design even better.


  Para Military 2 Para Military 2 Black Blade Para Military 2 CPM S110V Para Military 2 Camo Para Military 2 Camo Black Blade
Model number C81GP2 C81GPBK2 C81GPDBL2 C81GPCMO2 C81GPCMOBK2
Weight 3.9 oz. 3.9 oz. 3.8 oz. 3.9 oz. 3.9 oz.
Overall length 8.281″ 8.281″ 8.281″ 8.281″ 8.281″
Closed length 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″
Blade style Modified drop-point Modified drop-point Modified drop-point Modified drop-point Modified drop-point
Blade length 3.438″ 3.438″ 3.438″ 3.438″ 3.438″
Blade thickness 0.141″ 0.141″ 0.141″ 0.141″ 0.141″
Edge PlainEdge™ blade PlainEdge™ blade PlainEdge™ blade PlainEdge™ blade PlainEdge™ blade
Edge length 3.078″ 3.078″ 3.078″ 3.078″ 3.078″
Steel Crucible Industries CPM S30V Crucible Industries CPM S30V Crucible Industries CPM S110V Crucible Industries CPM S30V Crucible Industries CPM S30V
Grind Full-Flat Full-Flat Full-Flat Full-Flat Full-Flat
Lock type Compression Compression Compression Compression Compression
Handle length 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″ 4.812″
Handle thickness 0.46″ 0.46″ 0.46″ 0.46″ 0.46″
Handle material G10 G10 G10 G10 G10
Handle color Black Black Dark blue Green, digital camouflage pattern Green, digital camouflage pattern
Clip Ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up) Ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up) Ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up) Ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up) Ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up)
Best use Tactical Tactical Tactical Tactical Tactical
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices $204.95 $224.95 $249.95 $204.95 $224.95


Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary Model

Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary
Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary

When a company sets out to create a special-edition product to celebrate a milestone anniversary in its progress from startup to success, the result typically aims for the combination of special high-grade materials, either in an all-new design or in a command-performance version of a time-tested, popular offering. As Spyderco’s 40th year in business arrives, the company has done just that in creating the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, based on the enduring Native family and dressed up in premium materials.


Throughout its four decades, Spyderco has relished its reputation for ignoring tradition when it stands in the way of innovation. The head of the company enjoys the doubting comments of those who don’t quite understand his company’s focus on researching the best (and often the most interesting) ways to solve technical problems, meeting needs that customers don’t necessarily realize they have, giving quality control obsessive attention, and always looking for the best blend of performance, reliability, and enduring materials. That focus has enabled Spyderco to invent and engineer features that stand today as normative expectations of what a folding knife is and does, including the pocket clip and the serrated cutting edge. The company’s history includes numerous collaborations with custom designers and expert users, and the introduction of more than a dozen blade steels. From launch to 40th anniversary, Spyderco epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit, beginning with founder Sal Glesser and wife Gail Glesser traveling the knife show route in a converted bread truck.


Given that history, you won’t be surprised at the attention to detail and the carefully considered specifications that make this Spyderco anniversary knife much more than a commemorative issue. The Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus emerges from Spyderco’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Golden, Colorado, as a limited edition (Sprint Run, in Spyderco’s vernacular) that’s certain to find a home in many prized collections.

Blade Profile

Among Spyderco’s offerings, the Native series forms a signature family of knives that feature designs refined over the course of multiple generations of products. Building a premium commemorative edition of the company’s practical, affordable Native tools recognizes the importance of the Native series within the Spyderco product line, at the same time that it adds materials that elevate the anniversary edition to the level of hard-working art.


Spyderco pioneered the leaf-shaped blade as a slightly asymmetrical version of the spear-point profile. You won’t find a swage on the spine of this design, but you will find the signature Spyderco Trademark Round Hole in the blade itself to make it an ambidextrous knife you can open with just one hand. The leaf shape doesn’t include the ample belly curve you’d find on a drop-point profile to increase the area of the cutting edge.


Instead of a traditional forefinger groove on the bottom edge of the handle, Spyderco uses a jimped choil that removes a curved area from the blade between the cutting edge and the handle. The shape of the choil blends seamlessly into the corresponding curve of the handle’s front quillon. A second set of jimping grooves appears on the spine of the blade just in front of the handle.


For this momentous special edition knife, Spyderco adds its 40th anniversary logo to the left side of the blade, laser engraved next to the company logo. The company name and the name of the blade steel appear on two lines of type, parallel to the ends of the handle and located between the sets of jimping grooves on the spine and cutting edge of the blade.


Spyderco offers the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus with a full flat grind on a single-edged blade. This edge style lightens blade weight and reduces the tendency for a blade to drag through the material it cuts. Spyderco also refers to this unserrated blade grind as a smooth edge.

Blade Finish

No coating for this Spyderco knife: Black-finished blades may offer tactical advantages in terms of their ability to make knives virtually disappear in the dark, but when a product features a steel as beautiful as the Damasteel DS93X Thor pattern used for this anniversary knife, covering up the intricate whorls and swirls of its pattern with a coating would constitute a waste of a premium material.

Blade Steel

With names such as Björkman’s Twist, Odins Eye, Vinland, and Thor, the products of Sweden’s Damasteel sound like places and people in an epic saga. In choosing Damasteel’s DS93X Thor for the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, Spyderco incorporated Damasteel’s 20th anniversary pattern into its own celebratory product.


Damascus steel consists of a combination of two or more steels. In the crucible steel of ancient Persia, secret recipes produced smelted results that used poor grades of steel by modern standards. The process of repeated twisting, folding, and forging, and the many-layered results it produced, aimed to overcome the weakness that could beset long-bladed weapons in which the grain of the metal needed to align along the long dimension to reduce the chance of breakage across the blade. In modern production, Damascus steel often is produced by welding the two steels together in a seven-layer sandwich, and then forging and folding the result over and over again until it consists of more than 100 layers. The combination typically matches up a high- and a low-carbon steel, marrying high-carbon’s strength and eventual bright color with low-carbon’s softness and dark appearance.


Headquartered in Söderfors, Sweden, Damasteel operates in a village with nearly 350 years of steel-making tradition. The proprietary Damasteel process dates to 1992 and brings the ancient art of Damascus steelmaking into the very modern day. Instead of being smelted, heat treated, and formed, Damasteel uses gas atomization to produce a powdered result. As molten steel flows through a small nozzle under high pressure from an inert gas, the steel piles up in tiny particles, each one a miniature ingot representing a thorough mixture of its component elements. Next, the powder loads into a canister for processing under heat and pressure, which densifies it into a capsule approximately 30% smaller than the material that enters the forming container. This capsule moves on for forging and rolling into the proper dimensions for the final patterning process.


Ancient or modern, the process of forging and layering Damascus steel produces dramatic patterns of light and dark metal across the billets that result from it. Many of Damasteel’s patterns carry trademarks denoting their uniqueness. The patterns stem from planned fabrication sequences that create a predictably exotic appearance in the steel. Unlike textures that only exist on the surface of a steel, Damasteel patterns run all the way through the metal. The patterns snap to life after the steel undergoes chemical processes, including etching with various acid mixtures that yield specific shades of light, dark, or bright gray on the two alloys combined in the forged metal. These etching solutions consist of hydrochloric or sulfuric acids and other chemicals.


Martensitic steels demonstrate a specialized tetragonal crystal structure. Damasteel’s martensitic stainless Damascus steel combines two powder-based Swedish alloys that result from cutting-edge metallurgy. RWL 34, the bright high-carbon steel, features 1.05% carbon, 14.00% chromium, 0.50% manganese, 4.00% molybdenum, 0.50% silicon, and 0.20% vanadium. It takes its name from the initials of the knife maker Bob Loveless. PMC 27, the dark low-carbon steel, incorporates 0.60% carbon, which technically classifies it as a medium-carbon steel, along with 13.00% chromium, and 0.50% manganese. Both of these component alloys represent variations on a classic 420-type steel, although PMC 27 contains more carbon than standard 420 steels do. The alloys used in Damasteel’s martensitic products feature the hardness and corrosion resistance necessary for an effective blade steel. In general, hardness comes from the carbon, chromium, and silicon, and manganese content; toughness from vanadium; corrosion resistance from chromium and molybdenum; wear resistance from carbon and manganese; and edge retention from molybdenum.


Among the basic performance parameters that characterize knife steels, hardness measures a material’s ability to resist impact. The Rockwell Hardness Scales quantify this property, with the C scale used to characterize knife steels. Toughness, which exists on a continuum with hardness, represents a steel’s damage resistance and its capacity to bend rather than break. Wear resistance defines a steel’s ability to withstand the twin forces of abrasion and adhesion. Abrasion results when a steel comes in contact with a rough substance; adhesion, when the steel picks up material dislodged from another surface. Corrosion resistance quantifies a steel’s lack of oxidation when it encounters environmental elements such as moisture and salt. Finally, edge retention provides a subjective measure of a steel’s continued sharpness despite use.

Handle Materials

Carbon fiber composites provide light weight, rigidity, and a high strength-to-weight ratio, characteristics that offer obvious benefits in knife handle fabrication. The carbon filaments come from precursor polymers, which are spun into yarns about the diameter of a human hair, heat treated to remove impurities, and formed into unidirectional or woven sheets. These sheets can be layered at 60-degree angles or combined with a backing material. With the application of a thermoset or thermoplastic resin, the desired “sandwich” of carbon fiber is molded and formed under heat and pressure. Short-run parts can be produced in a vacuum mold or fashioned from carbon fiber that’s impregnated with resin before being shaped. For quick production of large batches of parts, carbon fiber can be produced under compression in a highly precise mold. Some complex parts require the use of a filament winder to position the carbon fiber around a core shape.


The Spyderco model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus uses handle scales milled from carbon fiber. If Spyderco had attempted to mold in the knife’s distinctive sunburst surface texture, the result would show softer lines than the crisp precision that results from machining the carbon fiber instead.

Handle Design

This is no quietly plain knife handle. On Spyderco’s model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, CNC-machined carbon fiber handle scales feature a sunburst pattern milled into the surface of the material. The rays of the sunburst fan out from a point located in the middle of the area occupied by the knife’s back lock. The pattern combines aesthetic appeal with the grip assistance of a texture permanently built into precisely milled parts. The shape of the handle also enhances your grip, with a quillon at the front of the handle belly to protect the user from the injuries that can result if fingers accidentally slide onto the cutting surface of the blade during a hard strike or forceful move. The jimped choil in the blade edge and the point of the quillon form a continuous semi-circular curve that leads into the shape of the handle belly. The butt of the knife culminates in a rounded point that echoes the curves of the rest of the handle. The back lock on the spine of the handle curves into the scales in a shape that parallels the finger-grooved belly.


Four Torx screws, including the blade pivot, secure the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus together. A lanyard hole, centered in the width of the handle, appears near the butt of the knife, adjacent to sets of attachment holes that accommodate alternative positions for the knife’s four pocket clip attachment.

Lock Mechanism

To hold a blade safely and securely in an open position, Spyderco uses 12 different systems in its knives, including nine locking and three non-locking mechanisms. The back lock located on the handle spine of the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents a refinement of a design that Spyderco introduced many years ago, and that the company uses on its entire Native family. This lock uses a rocker arm with a center pivot hole and a lug on the front end. The lug engages with a notch in the tang of the knife blade near the pivot screw. In profile, the lock silhouette might remind you of the shape of a long pipe wrench.


The manual operation nature of a back lock knife like the Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus means that it can’t match the virtually instant blade deployment of an automatic design. To open the knife, position the pad of your thumb in the Spyderco Trademark Round Hole and slide the blade away from the handle. Wait for a click that indicates the back lock has engaged.

Pocket Clip

The stainless steel pocket clip on the Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents the company’s most-implemented clip style. Attached with three Torx screws, this clip features an ambidextrous, reversible design that accommodates tip-up or tip-down carry positions. The knife handle incorporates two sets of attachment holes on each scale, one set at each end. This four-position flexible clip style characterizes the entire Spyderco Native family.

Knife Dimensions and Weight

Spyderco’s model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus measures 6.95 inches long overall and 3.97 inches long closed. Its blade measures 2.98 inches long and 0.122 inches thick, with a cutting edge that measures 2.48 inches. The knife weighs 2.7 ounces.

Other Considerations

If you enjoy adding limited-edition knives to your collection, either to use and admire every day or to retain in as-new condition as appreciable assets, the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents a must have. Its premium materials, thoughtful design features, ambidextrous clip attachment, and collectable nature give it a special significance, especially for those who appreciate Spyderco knives. The knife includes a padded zipper pouch for storage.


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  Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus
Model number C41CF40TH
Weight 2.7 oz.
Overall length 6.95″
Closed length 3.97″
Blade length 2.98″
Cutting edge length 2.48″
Blade thickness 0.122″
Edge Plain
Edge length 2.48″
Steel DS93X THOR
Grind Full-Flat
Lock type Back lock
Handle Fluted carbon fiber
Clip 4-position ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up/tip-down)
Origin USA

Spyderco Khalsa is here!

Spyderco Khalsa
Spyderco Khalsa

The Spyderco Khalsa (C40GP) has once again been re-released back into the ranks of quality Spyderco folding knives! Knife maker Jot Singh Khalsa and Spyderco first introduced the knife back in 2000 however things didn’t quite pan out but now it has been reformulated and re-released in a limited quantity sprint-run that would be sure to offer a one-of-a-kind uniqueness to any knife collection. Right out of the gate, you can see the large “hump” that appears on the blade which can easily be used as a thumb ramp and even doubles as a finger guard. Surprisingly, the design of the knife offers the user many different grip options from traditional usage to finer tasks.

This knife features a reversible pocket clip for tip-down carry and offers very smooth action with its very unique spider hole. The lockup on the Khalsa is rock solid, as any Spyderco knife would be, and can be easily operated with one hand–liner lock and all.

To purchase this exquisite peace of beauty and craftsmanship, click here.


Aogami Super Blue Steel and the Spyderco Endura4

Spyderco Sprint Run Endura4
Spyderco Endura4 with Aogami Super Blue Flat Ground blade.

On Friday, we received our shipment of the Sprint Run of Spyderco Endura4 knives with Aogami Super Blue steel blades.  I had a passing knowledge of Aogami but nothing in-depth–so I figured I would research it and get some information.  Aogami Super Blue blade steel is manufactured by one of Japan’s leading steel manufacturers.  Hitachi Metals Ltd. makes the steel.  To produce it, Hitachi combines a higher percentage of carbon, chromium and tungsten than they use in their Aogami Blue #1 steel.  If fact, it has 1.4% to 1.5% carbon, .3% to .5% chromium and 2.0% to 2.5% Tungsten.  They also mix in .3% to .5% molybdenum as well as .5% vanadium.  This special, rich combination of chemicals combine to give knife lovers one of the most amazing steels available.  Aogami Super Blue is capable of extreme sharpness.  It also has a high hardness level and gives great cutting performance as well as edge retention.  This durable blade steel is in huge demand.  Aogami is not stainless steel and requires diligent care to maintain it corrosion free–just like any other carbon steel.

In this latest iteration of the Endura4, Spyderco matched up a core of Aogami Super Blue sandwiched betweeen layers of 420J1 stainless steel.  Combine this full flat ground blade with grey FRN handle scales and you have a terrific sprint run knife.

SPECIFICATIONS OF the ENDURA 4 with Aogami Super Blue Steel:

length overall 8.78″ (223 mm)
blade length 3.80″ (97 mm)
blade steel Laminated Super Blue / 420J1
length closed 4.98″ (126 mm)
cutting edge 3.44″ (87 mm)
weight 3.3 oz (94 g)
blade thickness 0.118″ (3 mm)
handle material FRN