Spyderco Redefines Ugly as Beautiful

The Spyderco Delica 4 in brown fiberglass reinforced nylon scales.

It is the hands that tell the tale. They go naturally to the knife and around the handle. The thumb falls naturally onto the large hole drilled into the top of the blade and a quick flick and snap of the wrist shoots the blade from the handle and it locks into place with a satisfying "clack!". Or, the thumb rotates smoothly around bringing the blade with it until it locks open. Watching a movie, or reading a book, often the hand seeks the knife and idly, almost subconsciously opens and closes it, opens and closes, grooving the movements into the brain and muscle memory.

When the knife is open, the handle shape and material seems to be made for secure holding and manipulation. The curves and dips fit the hand naturally and orient the blade for work.

The blade is a real anomaly for a pocket or folding knife. It's pretty much ugly if you don't understand why it is shaped and made the way it is. I never did, until I got one. I was always attracted first by blade shape in a knife. I like the Wharncliffe and the traditional drop point hunting blade shapes. Of course I've been interested in the tanto and Ken Onion's sweeping curved blade shapes too. But the Spyderco? With the hump and hole in the top, the almost leaf-shape and the flat grind? What's that all about?

Well, now I'm coming to know and appreciate what that is about.

The leaf shape with a slight but useful belly is a great cutting and slicing shape. The point is in line with the midline of the entire knife, so thrust cuts are right on, and sharpening isn't unnecessarily difficult. The flat grind is what you need for clean, sharp slicing which is where most EDC knife tasks will be anyway. And, that hump. It keeps the 13mm or so hole in the top of the blade accessible for opening the blade with one hand when necessary.

With the blade open and locked and the knife in your hand, it fits like it is supposed to – comfortable, secure and shaped for different cutting grips.

And, a feature I'm growing to appreciate is the quality of the VG-10 steel in the Spyderco blade. It came very sharp and remains paper-slicing sharp even after a few weeks of regular use. I don't like a high maintenance blade.

So, I'm satisfied with my new everyday carry knife, the Spyderco Delica4. I've been so happy with it, that I've ordered a smaller version, the Dragonfly 2 for those times I want a smaller carry knife but with the same features and advantages of the Delica. I know that I'm in the honeymoon period with the Delica now, so I'll check back in from time to time and report on how the marriage is going. With both the Delica and the Dragonfly.