Apologies for reviving a long-dormant thread; I wanted to share my experience with the Spyderco Introvert and figured that instead of starting a new thread, I would post it here instead so that the community can have easy access to Introvert designer Chris Knutson's firsthand account of what went into the knife's design (it's the first post in this thread). Anyway, enough of the preamble, here are my thoughts on the knife.
Why did I buy this knife?
I use folding knives every day at my warehouse job, where I routinely cut heavy-duty polyester pallet straps, pallet load edge protectors (made from thick and quite dense cardboard), and cardboard bins and boxes of varying thicknesses. While I am perfectly content using my current work knife rotation (Native 5 Lightweight, Delica 4, Alcyone, Salt 2, Para 3 Lightweight, Byrd Knives Crow 2), lately I'd been feeling the itch to try something different as far as a work-capable utility knife (by “work-capable utility knife”, I mainly mean a knife that has a reasonably conventional blade shape). Additionally, I'd been meaning to try something with an FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) bent—I do not currently practice FMA ( I briefly studied the basics of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis system many, many years ago) but I still maintain a strong interest in the subject, mostly as a means to keep a connection to my heritage. After doing some online research, I finally came upon Chris Knutson's Introvert, a knife which seemingly fulfilled the criteria I had set out for my latest knife purchase. I handled the knife in person at the Blades Canada store in Vancouver (an excellent brick & mortar store with a wide selection of knives and very friendly and knowledgeable staff), and after spending a day mulling the purchase (and making sure I could afford it—we all have bills to pay after all and this thing wasn't inexpensive at $199.99 CDN plus taxes), I put in an order at the Blades Canada website and received my new Spyderco within a couple of days.
Here is the Introvert (4th from the top) compared to the Dragonfly 2, the Native 5 Lightweight, the Delica 4, and the Polestar:
And here is the Introvert compared to the Schempp Rock, a knife that—along with the Fred Perrin-designed Swick and the Sal Glesser-designed S.P.O.T.—heavily influenced the Introvert's design:
And apropos of nothing, here it is compared to my late father's traditional Filipino kris:
My biggest initial concern with the Introvert's ergonomics was the index-finger hole. Would it be big enough to comfortably accommodate my finger? Would I be able to use it while wearing work gloves? I am glad to report that yes, the index-finger hole works alright with my bare and gloved hand, although it is important to note that I have small-to-medium sized hands and I wear size medium Mechanix M-Pact gloves.
I did not find the drastically negative angle of the blade relative to the handle to be an issue, although your mileage may vary: My preferred knife grip is what Michael Janich calls the “Filipino grip”—fingers choked all the way up to the heel of the blade, thumb fully extended and relatively high up on the blade's spine, the fatty part of the palm maintaining as much contact with the back of the handle as possible.
There's no way around it: The closed Introvert is fairly wide in the pocket compared to something like the Native 5 or the Delica 4. Here is a picture comparing it to a Native 5 Lightweight Salt (note that the entire folded profile of the Native can fit within the Introvert's):
That said, it doesn't feel all that large in the pocket in practice because most of the extra width is at the bottom of the folded knife. In addition, the knife is reasonably light (110 g/3.9 oz.) given its G-10 & stainless steel liner construction and it is very thin on cross-section, at least a millimetre thinner than a Native 5 Lightweight and about a hair thinner than a Delica 4
The wire clip gives the knife a discreet look in pocket, although it isn't a deep-carry clip: The clip doesn't “fold over” the retention screw, and is more similar to the Manix 2 Lightweight clip than, say, the Para 3 Lightweight clip. My biggest issue with the Introvert is probably with the wire clip's interface with the handle texture. I am used to the FRN handles on the Native 5 Lightweight and the Delica 4, where the clip “lands” on a smooth Spyderco logo. The Introvert's G10 handle is uniformly (roughly) textured, and it takes slightly more effort to pull it out and push it back into the pocket, and I wonder if this will result in more pocket wear over time.
I've only had one work shift's worth of experience with the Introvert but my initial impressions are that it is a perfectly capable work knife (keeping in mind my specific work knife tasks). The blade was very sharp out of the box—offhand I think it was ground between 30 ° and 35° inclusive. The blade's negative angle relative to the handle made for a shorter opening arc, making deployment feel fast. There were no noticeable hot spots on the handle.
At the purchase price of $199.99 CDN, the Introvert isn't cheap... indeed, it's downright expensive if one were to simply equate price with the knife's build materials of VG-10 steel and G-10 scales. But I personally think that solid design is worth paying a premium. I also value stain/corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening (which VG-10 excels at) in my work knives, at least as much as edge retention and toughness. Still, it's unfortunate that the Introvert has been discontinued—I'd love to see it in CTS-BD1N: similar stain resistance and ease of sharpening to VG-10 with arguably superior edge retention, at a lower price.
I very much like the Spyderco Introvert. As a work-capable utility knife, it does everything I need it to do. It's all the extras, though—the “FMA-friendly” design, the idiosyncratic-but-nonetheless-functional ergonomics and carry—that have earned it a permanent place in my work knife rotation. I never buy “back-ups” of my knives, but I just might make an exception for this one, budget willing. Thank you, Chris Knutson, for designing this knife and thank you Spyderco for putting it into production, however briefly.