I've been doing some basic reviews of EDC knives for some of my customers, I thought some of you might find them useful. More to come!
I ordered a few of these as a cheap alternative for customers who didnít want to spend too much on their pocket knife but still wanted a good quality tool. Spydercoís Tenacious and Persistence seemed like a good alternative to their Byrd line and, in all honesty, I thought theyíd be easier to sell since they carried the Spyderco name.
When I got them I was very happy with the fit and finish and overall quality of the knives. The size and blade shape of the Tenacious was very appealing, I love flat ground blades. The handle was also quite comfortable, with grippy G-10 scales and the option to mount the clip in four different positions (left or right side, tip up or tip down).
I wasnít crazy about the China stamp, though. Itís a stupid preconception of mine, Iíve come to associate ďMade in ChinaĒ and ďMade in TaiwanĒ with low quality products, and thatís no longer the case when it comes to knives. Lots of reputable companies are having their knives made over there, itís the QC that matters. As long as thereís a good company standing behind the product, youíll get a good knife no matter where itís made. The Tenacious is helping me learn this valuable lesson: country of origin means squat. You might have personal reasons to avoid Chinese products or prefer products made in a certain country, thatís up to each individual.
Anyway, back to the knife itself. I decided to keep a Tenacious and was surprised by how much I actually carried it. Iíve got a few good knives to choose from for EDC, I switch around very often. Any knife that manages to stay in my pocket for more than two weeks in a row has to be good. The Tenacious held its place in my pocket against much more expensive knives.
As I said above, I love the blade size and shape. Itís 3 3/8Ē long, which is plenty for my daily needs, with a full flat ground leaf shaped blade (itís a drop point with Spydercoís ďhumpĒ). The flat grind was a big part of why I kept this knife, Spyderco usually offers it in their more expensive folders like the Military or Caly 3, itís a fantastic grind that makes the Tenacious a great slicer. 8CR13MOV is a decent steel, itís 0.8 carbon content allows it to hold an edge for a reasonable amount of time, and itís easy to sharpen. Itís a bit better than AUS8, a time proven performer. While itís not up to super steels like ZDP-189 it is a good quality stainless steel, very adequate for this sort of knife and miles away from the 420 series crap used on other entry level folders. So far, all Iíve needed to keep it razor sharp has been a leather strop with some buffing compound.
The handle is great. Comfortable, with good texture and strong. G-10 slabs over skeletonised steel liners, with a subtle but effective finger guard. It doesnít get any better than that. The handle is drilled to allow the clip to be placed in four different positions, allowing you to choose what works best (a big plus for south paws!).
The clip works well, I would prefer a black clip but that can be fixed in a few seconds. Something some of you might not like is that the textured G-10 scales can cause some wear to pant pockets, I actually like having a bit extra retention. I guess you could sand the area under the clip and make it smoother if it really bothers you.
Everything is held together by torx screws, so it can easily be taken apart and the pivot tension can be adjusted. Opening the blade with the Spyderhole is easy, and the addition of sulphur bronze washers makes it smoother. Knives at this price point are usually pinned instead of screwed together and donít include features as the sulphur bronze washers, big thumbs up to the folks in Golden for including both.
It uses a liner lock, mine locks up like a vault with no blade play in any direction. This type of lock allows for an open handle design that makes cleaning the knife easy.
Weight is around 4 ounces, quite pocket friendly.
Iíve been using this knife for most of my daily cutting needs, both in the city and at my familyís ranch. I havenít done any sort of extreme testing, just regular stuff like cutting rope, leather, food (lots of food!) and whittling wood. I just love it, perfect size (big enough to be useful, compact enough to have with you 24/7), great ergonomics, and good blade design.
I think of it mainly as a tool, but I wouldnít hesitate to depend on it as a last ditch defensive weapon. The handle affords very secure purchase for strong slashing cuts and stabs, the lock is strong and the blade is easy to deploy quickly.
I left the best for last: it costs around $35. It has to be one of the best bang for your buck knives in the market right now.