Tuesday, November 9, 2010


EDITED TO ADD: the sale is now over. These are still great knives at fair prices, but not the screaming steal they were when I posted this.

I like knives. I like firearms and other tools too, but there is no other tool that will get as much daily usage in the kitchen or around the house as a good knife. Spyderco really pioneered the practical one-handed folder, giving convenience, strength, speed and safety to pocketknives. Since 1990, Spyderco's two best-selling knives have been the Endura and the Delica. The Endura is starting to get into big knife territory, with about a 4" blade, but the Delica is in a "sweet spot". It has just under a 3" blade, and it's like the baby bear's porridge, big enough to use well and to handle just about any daily task you might encounter, but small and light enough to carry easily and be convenient. When I was training with Bud Malmstrom at the Bujinkan Atlanta Dojo, every now and then, the instructor would call "Spyderco check!" and everyone would draw their folder. The Delica was most often what emerged from pockets and waistbands.

I talked to Sal Glesser, the head of Spyderco, at the 2007 BLADE Show, and he showed me the Delica 4. The Delica 4 has "screw construction", which means it can be easily dissasembled with just a screwdriver. The steel pocket clip can be moved for tip-up or tip-down carry on the right or left side. Skeletonized steel liners add additional strength while keeping the Delica 4 nice and light, and the Delica comes with excellent VG-10 steel. All of this, in a knife that usually sells for around $50. I looked at Sal in amazement. This knife should sell for over $100. He grinned at me. "Yep."

If you think I like this knife, you'd be correct. Spyderco is known for innovation, quality, and strong ethics. And they're just plain friendly folks. While I was in Afghanistan, I had some conversation over the net with Sal about a knife (what became the Spyderco Jumpmaster), and Sal suggested I apply for the monthly drawing they had to send a Spyderco Native to a deployed soldier. I applied- and next month, I had a Native from Spyderco, with a nice letter from Mrs. Glesser.

(Now, I know I didn't win that drawing. Some other soldier did, and got his own Native- but I sure as hell did put that knife through the ringer during several fire missions on top of a mountain, cutting into old "tootsie roll" mortar round carriers. No company is better than its people, and Spyderco is damn good people.)

If you've gotten the idea that I like Spyderco in general, and the Delica in particular, you'd be right. VG-10 is a great, stain resistant steel. Spyderco also offers a "super-super steel", ZDP 189, on a few knives. ZDP 189 can take an extremely hard temper, resulting in a blade that is capable of incredible sharpness, yet still resists chipping. The Delica is available in a ZDP version, and there are just a few left at an incredible price- the same as the extremely affordable regular Delica- on Amazon. I suggest you get one while they last.


Old NFO said...

They are good ones, no question! Since I'm on the road, thanks for your service JR!

J.R.Shirley said...

and yours, as well. Be safe, and let me know when you're back in town.

JPG said...

Special thanks to both - - ONFO and JRS - - for your service to our country.

BTW, John - - I like the new format of your blog much bettefr than the old.


charlotte g said...

Not appropos of this, but congratulations on your promotion. I will be cussing if it leads to your return to Afghanistan.

BUT, whatever your viewpoint, I do pray for blessings in your quarter, and wish you well, always.

Oh-and I really like the new format.

Corey Nelson said...

John, ebay has them for 60.00 still (poor fish outdoors). I got one for myself and my GF. Something tells me you may already know this :-)

This is a really good knife for someone who uses it lightly (heavily too of course), but literally I doubt hers will ever need to be sharpened.