Michigan Republican Arlan Meekhof (courtesy detroitnews.com)
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Want to brush up on your knife history? Then learn a little more about Spyderco.

Knife owners can be a loyal bunch, and often stick with what they know best. There’s a lot to absorb, but some choose not to soak all that info up, and remain loyal.

For those who do care to find out more about the iconic and revolutionary knife companies of our time, here’s a list of four things you almost certainly didn’t know about Spyderco. If you did, you also likely know how great their knives are, but for now, a little education.

Or as Spyderco puts it, an Edge-u-cation. Everyone loves a good pun, right?

Hands full

Here’s a big first in the list of Spyderco accomplishments: they were the groundbreakers when it came to creating a one-hand opening mechanism. Known as the Spyderco Round Hole Opener®, the now-copied design allows for total control without the need of both hands.

The revolutionary Round Hole Opener feature was granted a U.S. utility patent in 1981, and literally redefined the form of the modern folding knife. In fact, it’s Spyderco’s registered trademark, something exclusive to them and their knives. It all stemmed from a smart idea to address a real need. Enough with the thumb studs, disks, and other one-hand-opening attachments. The hole offers a larger surface area for greater reliability.

Best of all, it doesn’t interfere with the cutting action of the blade.

Set the mark with SpyderEdge

As the first to serrate a folding knife, Spyderco set the bar high with its first big development. The SpyderEdge brought never-before seen technology to the world of serrated edge knives.

Even though that was back in the 1980s, it didn’t take long for competitors to follow suit. It’s important to know, however, that no one had bothered to figure out the best way to do it, and Spyderco put themselves on the map with the SpyderEdge.

A clip before clips were cool

Spyderco also just so happened to be the first to offer a pocket clip on a folding knife, and therefore changing the way folders were seen in the big scheme of things. If you could bring them with you so easily, there was little reason not to let a Spyderco knife become your new everyday carry.

Now commonplace, the trailblazers of this big idea were on to something.

An eye for the pros

Sure, knife companies want to market to the masses, but they should also understand that if they’re creating professional-grade products, they’re going to have professionals using them.

That’s where Spyderco’s idea for OpFocus® began, and it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Law enforcement, first responders, survivalists, and defense-minded people can and should be viewed as an important, yet different, customer sector.

“OpFocus,” which is short for “Operational Focus,” is a term that Spyderco coined to accurately describe a view of their products from the perspective of the tactical knife user. It’s not a different product line; it’s the same products presented in a context that is relevant to the needs, interests, and frame of reference of serious end users.

So there are just a few things, significant nonetheless, that Spyderco can lay claim to. You didn’t know those things, did you? If not, there’s more to learn, and plenty more to drool over, at Spyderco.com.

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  1. I had one of their early “rescue ” models back in the day – some serrated type with a blunt point. Good knife but I prefer having the better control a plain blade gives me. These days my EDC is a Gerber Applegate/Fairbairn Combat Folder – because a big knife will do the same job as a small one but not vice-versa. 🤠

    • Them gawd dam adds,,,,,,,,,, on bet I skinned and quartered a deer with swiss army pen knife, but I know what your saying………. I think them guys just Tom Sawyer’d me..

    • I had one a few years back. It might be the nicest knife I’ve ever owned. Lost it after a couple years. (I do good to keep a knife more than 8-10 months.) I prefer cold steel knives for ‘serious’ work, but my edc has been the gerber that has the big hole in it for many years. Cheap to replace, tough, and familiar.

    • “Still carrying my original Endura. Tried the Delica but kept losing them.”

      Yeah, I’ve lost my share of the Harpy model of theirs. 3 of them so far, over 25+ years.


      But they sold me and lots of others on the concept of a clipped-in the-pocket single-hand opened knife.

      Thank you for that, Spyderco. A nearly effortless extension of my own hand, with a very powerful tool…

  2. They’ve made good knives for quite some time. I’ve carried one on and off for years.

    Not to insult SpyCo but I also really like Benchmade knives as well.

    • Spyderco really got the EDC knife ball rolling with their combination of the clip and the easy-open hole.

      But *lots* of others (like Benchmade) have now added their own flavor to the concept, and we are the winners overall…

      • One of SpyCo’s real innovations was to start making a ton of folders with options for tip carry configurations.

        I’ve never really understood why but people LOVE that option.

  3. I have 4 or 5 Spyderco knives currently. I will say that their zytel-handled small knives are over-priced.

    $30 for a Ladybug – Dang.

    I carried an Endura (original with plastic clip) for about 10 years until I got a Benchmade AFCK.

    Now AFCKs run about 170 when the make them so I have a Tenacious and Resilience (I think).

    Good knives – just too many produced for collector value.

  4. I leave an Endura in my center console. I didn’t like the serrations, so I reground the blade.
    Pretty good knife.
    It’s one I’ll use for prying or scraping gaskets.
    The thing takes a beating.

  5. I’ve never owned a Spyderco, their blade designs just don’t flip my skirt up and I personally hate serrated blades, unless it’s a bread knife. Benchmade is my go-to for quality blades, I love their designs and their build quality is exceptional. Just bought my 4th Benchmade last week.

  6. I’ve never owned a Spyderco, and I am not going to pay Benchmade prices for things I can easily lose, like leaving it and walking away, or forgetting to put it in my luggage before entering the security zone at the airport (I lost a Buck that way, and got lucky with another.)

    I am on my second Kershaw. I am a huge fan of the SpeedSafe mechanism for one handed opening. The blades are very thin, very sharp, but very fragile compared to a Buck. I cracked the edge of my first Kershaw–I paid $10 and they sent me a new one. My second cost $25, with a solid steel handle.

  7. Spydie is good at what they do. If you need a precision cutting device, I’m all for them. They don’t take well to obscure uses like prying. My Benchmade’s have lasted forever and continually take a massive thrashing daily. I really do like Spyderco, but Benchmade is definitely my go-to Company.

  8. Wow, lots of chatter for a paid spot on TTAG.

    While I’m here, the Spyderco Bushcraft is my fave. Followed by my Rescue, then my Police, then my Endura, then the SzaboHawk.

  9. The second generation Delica is still the best– the one with the wide plastic clip. The one that won’t scratch your paint getting in the car!

    Bought a lifetime supply of them when they switched to the metal clips (late 90s? I forget.).

    They ought to bring that design back, just with the Wave.

  10. My father gave me a Spyderco knife when I was 16, still have it to day. It is a heavy thing, but works beautifully. I dont carry it anymore seeing as it is my most expensive knife and I thought I lost it one time and got upset. I keep wanting to get some more… but they are so expensive… meanwhile I just bought another pistol…. maybe I am lying to myself…

    • So many people are perfectly willing to pay $600-800 for a pistol but scoff at $100 for a very good knife. It’s a lot easier to lose than a gun but I’ve been carrying a $300 Benchmade daily for years, it’s just in my hand or in my sheath at all times. Don’t put it down, put it away.

  11. Count me in as a huge Spyderco fan, and I’ll gladly help them for free by commenting on their ad.

    My grandfather bought me a stainless, combo edge police model for Christmas over a decade ago. He always asked me what I wanted such a large knife for (blade is about 5 inches) and I always told him it was for opening boxes. He bought me a curved blade Salt serrated edge model a couple years before he died and it’s been my every day carry since then. I’ve given small Sydercos as gifts to good friends and I’ll always be a huge fan. They’re solid and worth every penny.

  12. The Delica and Endura with the Emerson wave are the best “Emersons” without having to pay the price of an Emerson. While I love the Combat Commander I have, I tend to carry a $65 Spyderco Delica wave as it’s faster to draw than any automatic knife available, holds a great edge and are nigh indestructible.

  13. My first Spyderco was plastic clip Delica. My wife carries it today. Then I started carrying Military. When my knife got too rough for EDC, it started second life as my work tool. I work in construction and the knife gets lots of heavy use. So far I’m on my third Military.


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