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 Para 3 Knife Review

Spyderco is a knife company founded by Sal Glesser. The very first product that Spyderco ever released was the Portable Hand in 1976. This device was spider shaped and actually gave the company their name. It was a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people with small parts. Since then, they have produced many knives and knife sharpeners. Something unique about Spyderco is that they have actually been the company to pioneer many now common aspects on folding knives, such as the pocket clip, serrations, and the opening hole. Over the years, Spyderco has collaborated with about 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors to produce designs that are innovative.

People all over enjoy using their Spyderco knives because of how simple and reliable they are. Another thing that people tend to love about Spyderco knives is that they have fantastic ergonomics and functional aesthetics. These knives benefit people from every category, including private citizens, law enforcement officers, and fire and rescue personnel. Spyderco has recently released a new knife called the Para 3. This is a high quality, versatile knife that will benefit you in many different situations.

This knife was actually designed through the original concept of the Spyderco Paramilitary series, which is one of Spyderco’s most popular knives, but then they never actually produced it. It was just recently that Spyderco decided to produce and launch the knife.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife
Spyderco Para 3 Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Para 3 is ground out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is produced by Crucible, a United States based company. They designed this steel to be used specifically for knives, so you know that you are getting all of the characteristics hat you long for in a knife. Crucible actually designed this steel to be used on high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. To make this steel truly remarkable, Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides, which helps bring extreme hardness to this steel. In normal steels, when you have extreme hardness, you end up lacking toughness. This is because generally the harder the steel is, the more brittle it will be, and thus the more likely to chip or snap. CPM S30V steel is unique because even though it is crazy hard, it actually still remains most of its toughness. This is a balance that you aren’t going to be able to find in many steels. Not only that, but this steel is extremely rust resistant, cutting down on maintenance and hassle for you. This steel also has fantastic edge retention. A few years after Crucible released this steel, they released an upgraded version of it called S35VN. Because they have released a newer steel, S30V steel is less expensive than it used to be. That means that you get the best balance between all of the characteristics you desire in a knife blade and you won’t break the bank. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is a little bit tougher to sharpen. While it is manageable to sharpen without the help of a professional sharpener, beginners probably won’t be able to get a great edge.

The Para 3 has a plain edge with a flat grind. Flat grinds are useful for any general use task. Spyderco has said that the full flat grind will help with “superior balance of strength, point utility, and low-friction cutting performance”. To finish off the blade, Spyderco chose a satin finish. This is actually the most common and typical knife finish. This finish adds a little bit of corrosion resistance to the blade, but if you are looking for a finish that will really prevent corrosion, you should look for a blade that has a mirror or polish finish to it. The satin finish shows off the lines of the knife and cuts down on reflections and glares.  All in all, they have perfected the perfect everyday blade.

The blade on the Para 3 is a leaf blade. This is a signature blade shape of Spyderco. This blade shape gets its name because it resembles a leaf. Spyderco started developing knives with this shape for a few reasons, one is that it set them apart from their competition. But the main reason that they started producing knives with the leaf shaped blade is because it allows room for the Spyderco oversized thumb hole. This thumb hole is what is used to open the knife. This shape of knife has a belly that has a slight curve and then it turns to a harsh point. The belly makes this knife able to slice well. This knife is very similar to a spear point blade, except that it is not a symmetrical blade. The blade can also stab or pierce pretty well. The point on this knife is strong, so you don’t have to worry about the tip of the blade snapping or breaking. This shape of knife blade is excellent for all purpose knives and gives you a great balance between being able to slice and being able to pierce—two of the most important aspects of an everyday knife.


The Handle:

The Para 3 is very slim knife and to keep it that way, it features a lightweight, open backed construction style. The knife features stainless steel liners with textured G-10 scales. G-10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. G-10 is made by taking layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaking them in a resin. This material is compressed and baked under pressure. G-10 is very similar to carbon fiber, but it can be made for a much more inexpensive cost. This material is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong. G-10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. To give texture, G-10 has checkering or different patterns etched into the material. Because the Para 3 has a less obvious texture if you were looking at it, but it is definitely obvious when you hold it. This handle gives you a solid, comfortable grip. The G-10 handle makes it great for an everyday knife or a tactical knife because the material is rugged, yet still very lightweight. This handle is black with a lanyard hole carved into the bottom. There are some fantastic benefits to using a lanyard with your knife. A lanyard helps to secure your knife against loss, adds better visibility to your knife in case you lose it in the wild or the dark, and adds a little bit of your own personal style to your knife. The butt of the handle has a slight flare to it as well as integrated jimping which helps add extra control to any cutting job that you have.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife--Back
Spyderco Para 3 Knife–Back

The Pocket Clip:

This knife comes with a great pocket clip. This clip is silver with the Spyderco logo etched onto it. The clip is kept in place with three screws. This is a reversible pocket clip, so you can carry it left or right handedly. This pocket clip is ambidextrous friendly. The pocket clip is a tip up or tip down carry. The four-way positional pocket clip is truly exceptional.


The Mechanism:

This knife features Spdyerco’s patented Compression Locking system. Spyderco explains how this system works, “by using a leaf-like spring from a split liner in the handle to wedge laterally between a ramp on the blade tang and the stop pin (or anvil pin).” This locking system provides high lock strength and ease of use. This is a manual knife, so you open and close it using the oversized Spyderco hole. However, the Compression Locking system actually allows you to safely close the blade with only one hand. With this locking system, your hand never actually has to come close to the cutting edge of the blade while you are closing it.


The Specs:

The overall length of this knife is 7.24 inches long, with a closed length of 4.29 inches long. The blade on the Para 3 is 2.95 inches, so on the smaller side of blade lengths. The edge length is 2.62 inches long. The thickness of the Para’s blade is 0.145 inches. This knife weighs 3.4 ounces.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife
Spyderco Para 3 Knife

The Pros of the Para 3:

  • The steel on this knife is extremely hard and tough.
  • The steel maintains its edge very well and can get a fine edge.
  • The steel is pretty resistant to corrosion, so maintenance time has been cut down.
  • This knife has a full flat grind which is the perfect grind for everyday tasks.
  • The satin finish helps cut down on reflections and glares.
  • The leaf shaped blade is great for every day uses.
  • The leaf blade shape gives you a great balance between stabbing and slicing.
  • The leaf blade shape has a strong tip, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
  • This is a slim knife that fits excellently in your hand.
  • G-10 is tough, hard, and durable, yet still lightweight.
  • G-10 is pretty inexpensive, so you get a lot of bang for its buck.
  • The texturing on the G-10 scales provide you with a very solid grip.
  • The handle comes with a lanyard hole drilled into it.
  • The pocket clip is durable and reversible in four different directions.
  • The Compression Locking System is strong and easy to use.
  • This is the perfect everyday knife; it can really handle anything.


The Cons of the Para 3:

  • S30V steel is a little tricky to sharpen, this task is going to be a little more difficult for a beginner sharpener.
  • This is a manual folder, so it is not going to open quickly like an automatic knife.



Spyderco is an excellent knife company that has changed folding knives as we know them. They are the company that revolutionized adding a pocket clip to a folding knife, adding serrations to a folding knife, and adding their opening hole to the top of the blade. Spyderco keeps their knives simple yet functional. Every aesthetic option that they add serves a function. The knife company loves the simplicity of Spyderco’s knives while they still function just as well as other company’s knives.

To create another masterpiece, Spyderco based this design off of the beloved Paramilitary series that they have previously produced. They started the blade with a superior stainless steel: CPM S30V. This steel is known for having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Not only that, but it has great corrosion resistance. The shape of the blade is Spyderco’s leaf blade shape, which is a unique, lesser known blade shape. It has similar qualities to a spear point, because it has a belly and a great tip. But it also has very similar qualities as a clip point. Really all you need to know about the leaf blade shape is that it is versatile and the perfect shape for your everyday tasks. The handle is made out of the durable and lightweight G-10. This handle fits in your hand perfectly while also giving you fantastic grip. The butt of the handle is flared to add control to your grip and gives you more security in your cutting. The pocket clip is one of the best—with four way reversible abilities. And last but not least, the Compression Locking system seals the deal at providing you with a masterpiece. This locking system allows you to close the blade with only one hand, all while keeping your fingers out of position from the cutting edge of the blade.

This knife has been designed for quite a while now, but only just made it into production and sales. I would recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a versatile everyday knife–you can get yours here.

Spyderco BaliYo Pens

Spyderco BaliYo
Spyderco BaliYo Pen

In 1976, Sal and Gail Glesser began traveling across the United States, selling Spyderco’s early products out of a converted bread truck. The company took its name from two inspirations: The look of one of its earliest inventions, a hobbyists’ helper device called the Portable Hand, and the automotive categorization applied to certain high-performance sports cars. The rounded configuration of the company’s arachnid logo reflected Sal Glesser’s desire to make its identity friendly rather than aggressive. His drive to perfect every product Spyderco offered testified to his commitment to excellence.


In the years since Spyderco’s founders drove from one knife show to another to promote first their Tri-angle Sharpmaker knife sharpener and, later, their knives, the company grew from kitchen-table sized to become a multimillion-dollar enterprise, headquartered in Golden, Colorado. Many of Spyderco’s design exclusives and innovations first showed up on the C01 Worker, a knife that the company introduced in 1981. These firsts included the Spyderco Trademark Round Hole™, the assistive feature that enables users to open knife blades one handed and ambidextrously, and the pocket clip that Spyderco translated from other types of products to become a fixture of knife design. Throughout its history and into the present, Spyderco has focused its brand on introducing new functional features, new blade steels, new handle scale designs, and an unrelenting focus on using the best materials to make the best products.


Second-generation knife maker Eric Glesser carries his father’s dedication to ergonomics and functionality into a new millennium. Along with designs such as the Kit-Carson-inspired Domino flipper, the Signature Series Manix family, and the Tenacious folder, he also transformed his love of knives into something completely different, in the form of the Spyderco BaliYo butterfly knife pen.


Butterfly or balisong knives knives date back more than 1,000 years, although the restrictions on their use make them rarities in many parts of the world today. Eric Glesser always has loved them, but these fascinating blades labor under the stigma of illegality in a lengthy list of countries, states, and municipalities. Even in the Philippines, in which butterfly knives originated, only those who can demonstrate a professional need for these unique knives can carry them. Some jurisdictions ban them outright under the same statutory language that regulates automatic, switchblade, gravity, or flick knives; some allow them as collectables but not for sale or purchase; and some ban their use as concealed weapons.


With the Spyderco BaliYo pen, the flipping, fanning, and other manipulations that characterize the butterfly knife become a legal pastime that anyone over the age of 5 can enjoy.


The Butterfly Knife

Call it a click-clack for the sound it makes as it opens and closes during a flipping maneuver, a fan knife for the way it pivots, or use the traditional Filipino terms Batangas knife or balisong: This enduring pocket-sized blade style conceals itself within its two folding handles. Depending on the construction method, a butterfly knife either conceals its blade within a sandwich of layers of material, or hides it inside a milled or cast channel or groove, with half of the blade inside one and half inside the other of two handles. Regardless of whether it uses the sandwich or the channel method of construction, a butterfly knife incorporates specific and distinctive parts and features.


The bite handle of a butterfly knife covers the cutting edge, and typically incorporates the latch that secures the blade in its closed position. The safe handle covers the unsharpened edge. Pivot joint pins allow handles and blade to rotate, while a tang pin keeps the blade from contacting the handle in the closed position, protecting the cutting edge from dulling contact. The user can open the knife with one hand, and can perform fast-opening maneuvers that approach the wizardry of sleight of hand.


Given the suspicion that greets many automatic, switchblade, or gravity knives because of their association with self defense and their use as weapons, butterfly knives have become less common, even among collectors. Whereas once they entered the United States by the hundreds of thousands as Asian and European imports, they now lack the legal status to be sold and carried in the U.S. and many other countries. Even the U.S. manufacturers, including Spyderco, who craft knives of this type do so virtually only for an overseas market.


In light of the diminished popularity that results from the challenged legal status of butterfly knives, those who love them, including Eric Glesser, must look for other ways of enjoying the unique features they offer beyond their fundamental nature as cutting tools. To rekindle the love of butterfly knives in a form that everyone can enjoy, Eric Glesser designed and Spyderco began marketing the BaliYo pen, first introduced in 2008.


Spyderco BaliYo: The Pen That’s Also a Skill Toy

The Spyderco BaliYo pen offers a completely legal outlet for the butterfly knife user’s dazzling dexterity and speed, and the clever rotational, flipping, and hand-to-hand transfer maneuvers that typify the advanced implementation of these knives. In fact, the Spyderco BaliYo makes it possible to perform tricks that would expose a butterfly knife user, and anyone in the vicinity, to the dangers posed by a flying razor-sharp blade. With a little practice and some helpful hints from Spyderco, you can turn the BaliYo into a source of unending entertainment that also fosters hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. At the same time, the Spyderco BaliYo also serves as a high-quality writing instrument. Rather than carrying a banned knife that you risk losing to confiscation as an illegal weapon, you can amaze your friends and family with the skill you gain after you master some basic moves and move on to advanced tricks that swing, flip, and launch the Spyderco BaliYo, as well as transfer it from hand to hand.


Spyderco fabricates the BaliYo in three parts, each fabricated from customized injection-molded polymer with stainless steel pivot screws. The two parallel arms that flank the center stem move around it in the same way that butterfly knife handles rotate around their blade. Each arm ends in an opening that incorporates a built-in weight ring, and carries a removable wire clip to help secure the Spyderco BaliYo in your pocket. A third weight ring runs around the center stem just past the twist-open mechanism that reveals the pen. The arms pivot more than 180 degrees, and the brass weight rings balance the handles dynamically so you can flip, swing, and twirl the Spyderco BaliYo to the amazement of friends and family.


Since introducing the BaliYo in 2008, Spyderco has strengthened the product, adding durability to the polymer formulation and improving the steel pocket clips. The symmetry, weight balance and ratios, and sturdy design of the Spyderco BaliYo make it a lasting source of battery-free enjoyment, fun, and skilled play. At the same time, it also functions as a high-quality writing instrument. To replace the Spyderco BaliYo ink cartridge, twist clockwise on the ring below the pen point and pull out the tip after you unscrew it. Twist out the cartridge counterclockwise, and close the pen back up after you insert a new refill.


Spyderco BaliYo Tricks

The easiest and most basic Spyderco BaliYo trick consists of a move called The Drop. Positioning the closed Spyderco BaliYo with its weight rings pointing up, you pinch the ring at the end of the arm farthest away from your fingers, and allow the BaliYo to drop open. To complete the trick, hold your hand palm up, swing the open handle back up, and catch it to close the BaliYo.


The Single Flip, Double Flip, Thumb Roll, Out to In Grip Switch, and Open Thumb Roll round out the introductory series of tricks that Spyderco demonstrates with instructional videos on its BaliYo website. Like many feats of manual dexterity, these tricks make best sense when you see them performed onscreen by an expert rather than simply read descriptions of their steps.


Heavy Duty Spyderco BaliYo Models

The Spyderco BaliYo product line separates into two categories, including the heavy duty models that introduced the action pen to Spyderco customers. The initial Spyderco BaliYo offering features a white center stem with red and blue arms. Manufactured in the United States, it includes a blue Fisher Space Pen ink cartridge that can write upside down, under water, and on surfaces that include grease or oil. The Fisher refills cost $5.95 directly from Spyderco.


In the years following the butterfly knife pen’s 2008 introduction, Spyderco has added new color themes to the heavy duty lineup of BaliYo pens. Model YUS101 features pink arms and an orange center stem. For 2016, Spyderco has introduced three new colors. The red and black model YUS110 BaliYo sports a black center stem. The green and blue model YUS111 BaliYo has green arms. The glow in the dark model YUS112 looks off white in the daytime, but after exposure to the sun or indoor brightness, it emanates a slightly green glow when you switch off the lights.


At 4.25 inches long and 0.41 inches in diameter, the heavy duty Spyderco BaliYo models weigh in at 0.85 ounces and feature a twist-to-open pen mechanism. A one-year warranty covers the product, and Spyderco also makes replacement clips available if you misplace yours. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the heavy duty Spyderco BaliYo models is $34.95.


If you bought a Spyderco BaliYo in 2008, the product incorporated an instructional DVD, which no longer is included. Instead, Spyderco posts its learning videos online on a website dedicated exclusively to BaliYo.


Lightweight Spyderco BaliYo Models

Along with the U.S.-made heavy duty Spyderco BaliYo models, Spyderco also sells two lightweight versions of the product at introductory prices. The company first offered these models in 2009, approximately one year after the heavy duty red, white, and blue BaliYo became a hit.


Made in China, lightweight Spyderco BaliYo models come with bodies fabricated entirely in one color. The black model YCN100 and the grey model YCN101 offer the same endless amusement and dexterity building as their U.S.-made product counterparts. Along with differences in materials and place of manufacture, the lightweight Spyderco BaliYos also use a more nearly generic ink cartridge, which writes in blue like the Fisher Space Pen cartridges of the heavy duty Spyderco BaliYo lineup but lacks its advanced output characteristics. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the pen is $9.95.


The lightweight Spyderco BaliYo pens use a generic blue ink cartridge that’s available as a refill part directly from Spyderco. The shape of the cartridge differs from the profile of the Fisher Space Pen refill used in the heavy duty Spyderco BaliYo pens. The refills cost $0.99 when ordered directly from Spyderco.


Heavy Duty Spyderco BaliYo Refills From Fisher Space Pen

Invented by American pen manufacturer Paul C. Fisher, the Fisher Space Pen and its specialized refill cartridges gained fame as an anti-gravity pen in the 1960s. Protected under U.S. Patent # 3,285,228, this innovative writing instrument uses a hermetically sealed, pressurized ink refill that enables it to write in zero gravity, at angles at which traditional pens lose their ability to emit ink, and in environments otherwise hostile to writing instruments, including under water, in high or low temperatures, on plastics and laminated materials, and on wet, oily, or greasy surfaces.


Contrary to popular belief, the Fisher Space Pen did not result from an abandoned NASA development program. Although the U.S. space agency did field an ill-fated attempt to create an ink-based writing instrument that could function properly in zero gravity, only to abandon the effort in favor of a return to the humble pencil, the large amount of expenditure that the program engendered did not roll over into the privately funded research that yielded the Fisher Space Pen. Fisher reportedly invested $1 million of his company’s money into the development effort that yielded the Fisher Space Pen.


When Paul Fisher approached NASA in 1965 and offered the Fisher Space Pen as a solution to the agency’s flight mission recordkeeping needs, he did so without any prompting from NASA or any other government agency. Like every product and part that must pass advanced military specification testing to gain acceptance in mission critical applications, the Space Pen went through its paces before NASA declared it flight capable in 1967, beginning with Apollo missions. Two years later, Russian cosmonauts also began carrying Fisher Space Pens into orbit on Soyuz flights.


Although the decidedly low-tech pencil provided one answer to the need for a space-friendly writing instrument, both wooden and mechanical pencils also presented dangers to astronauts and down sides to their use maintaining in-flight records. First, the graphite dust from pencil leads can damage equipment in a gravity free environment, as can broken pieces of leads and even eraser crumbs. Second, wooden pencils pose a fire threat. Third, both graphite-lead and grease pencils produce impermanent results that smear. Finally, obtaining flight-worthy pencils had proven to be an expensive proposition. The contract NASA signed with Houston-based Tycam Engineering Manufacturing for mechanical pencils in 1965 yielded 34 units at a per-piece cost of $128.89. By contrast, the agency’s initial order for Fisher Space Pens cost $6 per unit.


The Fisher Space Pen ink refill uses a nitrogen gas pressurized tungsten carbide shell with precision made parts that form a leak-proof seal. The thixotropic ink stays in a nearly solid state, roughly the consistency of rubber cement, until the ball point mechanism liquefies it in a shearing motion across the writing surface. A float slides inside the refill as the ink level drops in use, separating the writing reservoir from the pressurization medium. The refill operates normally at altitudes up to 12,500 feet, in zero gravity, and in temperatures ranging from -50 degrees F to 400 degrees F. Because of its pressurized design and specialized ink, a Fisher Space pen cartridge lasts approximately three times longer than a traditional unpressurized ball point pen ink supply.


Today, you can buy a Fisher Space Pen directly from the company, along with refills that accommodate various brands and models of pens offered by third parties. Paul Fisher set up a separate corporation, established in Boulder City, Nevada, solely to support this unique family of writing instruments. When Fisher died in 2006 at the age of 93, the company stayed in the family as he passed control to his son, Cary Fisher.


Other Considerations

Whether you choose a heavy duty or a lightweight model, the Spyderco BaliYo action pen can provide years of fun for adults and children alike. If you’ve always been a fan of butterfly knives but can’t carry them legally where you live, now you can rekindle your love of the dexterous tricks for which these fascinating implements are famed—and share that love with family and friends. The sturdy construction and reasonable price of the Spyderco BaliYo makes it an easy choice for birthday and holiday gifts as well.

Spyderco BaliYo
Spyderco BaliYo Pen

My Paramilitary 2 is a Pocket Sized Light Saber, by Z.M.

Pocket Sized Light Saber
Pocket Sized Light Saber, My Spyderco Paramilitary 2

I don’t have an excessive amount of knives, maybe 20-30 in all. Out of the collection, there are about 5-10 that I would say are “in rotation.” I put sarcastic quotation marks there, because one knife has not left my pocket for about a year. I will carry the Spyderco Paramilitary 2, and a SOG Twitch II. I might slip a Benchmade 915 Triage in my pocket before I walk out the door and realize that the Triage is in my back pocket and the Para 2 is in the front pocket. The same happens with most of my blades. I can’t seem to find a knife that is more suited for my EDC (Every Day Carry) than the Paramilitary 2.
I even tried not to buy The Para 2. I have seen a lot of reviews of the Para 2 on YouTube, and I mean a lot. Nutnfancy, cutlerylover, TheApostleP, the list goes on, and they gave the Paramilitary 2 high marks and recommended buying one. But I kept saying to myself, “Self the Paramilitary 2 has been around for years, there has got to be something better, Right?.” Than one sunny Tennessee Saturday I had the opportunity to fondle a Paramilitary, not the Para 2 but the first one. If I had the cash in hand I would be writing about the original Paramilitary. It is that awesome before the refinements of the Para 2, and it was a combo blade (partly serrated) which I am not a big fan of personally in the EDC role. I ordered one as soon as I had the enough cash in the Zack fund (where I save for buying sharp and pointy things).
When I opened the simple but iconic Black, Red, Silver, and Gold Spyderco box and removed the new addition to my knife collection and noticed something I had missed when I first handled the Para 1. It wasn’t the Cheshire cat smile that had taken control of my face. The Knife felt great in any hand position, but it was more than comfort. The balance is so spot on that knife feels like it is part of your hand. Not like Freddy Krueger or Wolverine, but like using the right tool for the job. The G-10 (Camo on my Para 2) is grippy but not so rough that is sands your pocket apart after a month. The Para 2 is my first compression lock and almost instantly became my favorite locking mechanism. It is everything I like about a liner/frame lock married to everything I like about the Benchmade Axis Lock.
The blade shape seems to be right for just about anything. The full flat grind slices through normal day to day tasks like a pocket sized light saber deconstruction object on a molecular level. That is to say the CMP S30V blade came sharp out of the box and into the phonebook paper that had suddenly created something that looked like the start of a paper mache project. The fine tip had me a little concerned about snapping it off, but I avoid using it like a screwdriver or pry bar and stick with the using it as a knife and it has held up great. I think it would make a capable self-defiance blade fast in hand great penetration and cutting.
The Paramilitary 2 may not be the perfect knife for every person or even every task, but it is so close to perfect for me that I can’t seem to get it out of the EDC rotation.

My Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Knife, by J.D.

Spyderco Dragonfly 2
Spyderco Dragonfly 2

I’m not much of a writer, but I have so much love for the amazing Spyderco Dragonfly 2. I thought I’d give this a go. Well, I’m kind of new to knives and such. Just started my collection right after last Christmas, and instantly got addicted. I mostly bought budget folders, my price range was 0-25 dollars. I thought paying more was crazy, until I saw a review on the dragonfly2. I ordered one before the review video ended, I was so impressed. I waited a few days, eagerly. It finally came, I grabbed the package and rushed in my house. This was my first REAL folder, my first Spyderco as well. Seeing that Spyderco box lit my eyes up. I opened it up and saw those bright orange FRN scales with a sweet VG10 blade. Just went crazy with it, I flipped it open for hours that day. It’s been the greatest tool i’ve ever owned. I’ve never handled any blade steel better than 8Cr13MoV or AUS8, VG10 is incredible so far. I don’t have to worry about any rusting, because of it’s amazing corrosion resistance. I haven’t sharpened it yet, and it’s still going strong. I’m actually thinking about getting an expensive sharpener for this blade, I’m currently just using a water stone. I feel like this blade deserves better. I’ve done so much with this little blade, opening simple mail to food prep. I’ve even done some yard work with it, nothing too heavy though. The lightness on this blade constantly has me patting my pockets to make sure it’s on me. Once you put it in your pockets, it feels lighter than your wallet. It doesn’t weigh you down at all, perfect for people who don’t wear heavy duty pants and such. If you work in an office, this blade is meant for you. The blade shape is people friendly, the lightness is perfect for slacks, great for opening letters/cutting cardboard, looks sleek and it’ll get you some compliments, guaranteed. The orange FRN handle scales has an amazing grip with the combination of the jimping on the finger choils, I can’t even imagine how great the ergonomics would be with G10 scales. I’ve dropped this blade plenty of times, without those orange FRN handles I’d be still looking for it. It’s has a very tight and useable wire pocket clip. Once you clip it on a pocket, it’s not going anywhere. The wire clip also compliments the appearance very well. I’ve gotten so many compliments from random strangers whenever I take it out of my pocket, to do simple tasks. It created some friendships, and gave me a reason to actually speak to people. I’m kind of a shy guy, having a reason to talk to people really helps with that. Many people use it as their backup blade, I just carry it as my main blade. It fulfills all the needs I can ask for from a blade. It’s just an overall great tool and I’m planning on buying more in the near future.

Passion for Blades, by T.M.

Passion for Knives
Passion for Knives

Hey guys. Just wanted to give you guys a quick story on what knives in general mean to me, and what these knives in particular have done for me. I’m a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as an infantryman. The knives I brought with me where the Spyderco Tenacious combi edge as a multi use tool, and the CRKT Hissatsu as my back up “tatical” fixed blade. The Tenacious was my go to knife for everything from cutting open MRE’s,cutting zip cuffs,cutting 550 cord and also for important things like cutting seat belts of humvee drivers and cutting ACU’s to get to wounds of injured soldiers. Though I never had to use my fix blade thankfully, I know the knife would’ve performed if need be. I still carry the Tenacious to this day and the knife just wont let me down for anything I can reasonably use it for…..I have one other knife that EDC in my civilian life for self-defense purposes. Its Cold Steel’s Talwar XL. Though I’ve never had to use it either, it has actually stopped fights from happening just from the people getting a look at the beast lol. So that’s even better than having to actually use it to defend yourself in my book…That’s just a few reasons why I have a passion for blades and never leave home without one. Take care guys and gals