Worst Spyderco Designs?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Jazz
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#21

Post by Jazz »

The Deacon wrote:Probably the worst, at least in terms of popularity, was the Turnbull T-Mag. Spyderco took a real bath on that one. Great looking little knife, would almost certainly have been a success as a UKPK style SlipIt, and an even bigger one with a midlock or Walker style liner lock, but the very weak magnetic "latch" was a deal breaker for most.
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That's a gorgeous knife. I hope it comes back as a mid lock. Please?
- best wishes, Jazz.
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#22

Post by harronek »

I'd love to hear from someone that owns , likes and uses a Jhot Singh Khalsa it would be a great insight as to how some people's brains work . :)


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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#23

Post by JD Spydo »

Fallen wrote:Ed Schempp Balance
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Jot Singh Khalsa
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I pretty much agree with you on those two models. I've actually had 4 of the Khalsa models (PE & SE). Actually both models ( Khalsa & Balance) are interesting to gaze at but I've held both of them in my hand and I wouldn't actually use either model. Albeit I tend to like Jason Breedens designs i.e. the Captain and his Rescue knife both. But I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like them though.

I think you can throw in the Maddox which was a specialty knife of Spyderco's that never took off. That SPOT model fixed blade just didn't have enough blade to work with at all IMO. The D'Alton TOAD model always seemed like nothing more than a glorified cigar knife to me :rolleyes:

Also I never owned or used any of the Hossum models from the mid 2000 decade. To me they were nothing more than glorified choppers>> I didn't see any practical benefit to owning one at all. To me function is a beauty all it's own. If I can't use it in a practical and useful way I doubt I would even like it's design.
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npad69
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#24

Post by npad69 »

seen a few mentions of the rock lobster in this thread, i dont know but, i really liked how it looked the first time i saw it in pictures. love at first sight and it never happend to me before with a knife lol. i'd buy it in a heartbeat if i can and if its still available and i wouldnt care about the ergos and such. the looks alone would be enough for me
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#25

Post by tap78 »

it could be this.... Introvert

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My spyder:'s: Military Camo, Paramilitary 2 CTS-XHP Orange, Paramilitary 2 CTS-204P Green, Endura 4 ZDP-189 ComboEdge BRG, Endura 4 ZDP-189 FFG BRG, Manix 2 Lightweight Blue, Caly 3 G-10, Salt 1 Yellow SE C88SYL, Ulize, Manix I C95, Manix 2 XL S90v CF, Delica 4 CE Black C11PCBBK, Manix 2 154CM, Military All Black C36GPBK, Stretch SE C90SBK Black FRN, Caly3 CF ZDP-189/420J2, Sage 3 BoltLock CF, Gayle Bradley C134CFP, Squarehead C193TIP, Pacific Salt Yellow SE C91SYL, Pacific Salt Black C91PBK, Ladybug 3 Salt LYL3, Stretch CF ZDP-189 C90CF, Lum Large Chinese Folder C143G, Perrin Street Bowie FB04PBB, Mantra Titanium C202TI, Farid K-2 Titanium C185TI, Para 3 C223GPGYCW Para 3 Cruwear
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Larry_Mott
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#26

Post by Larry_Mott »

wrdwrght wrote:Are we talking eyesores or real sores? I took the OP to mean the latter...
Yes i interpreted it that way too. What i meant is that i can't critisize my choices based on function since i wouldn't touch them with a barge pole :)
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Brock O Lee
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#27

Post by Brock O Lee »

Another one that missed the mark was the redesigned Starmate IMO. I was really excited when it was first announced, but that soon fizzled out when I saw how the design strayed from the original. There were also quite a few quality and fit-and-finish gripes: rattling lanyard holes, unfinished and rough ricasso's and mediocre blade grinds. Such a pity.
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Blerv
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#28

Post by Blerv »

Tmag and Gunting for me. Both theoretically worked on paper but in practice didn't hold-up.
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#29

Post by SF Native »

Lil lionspy.
Hate that the pocket clip bears down on frame lock. Either the pocket clip is loose or you have to bend the clip and frame lock to disengage. Seems like such a terrible design feature.
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#30

Post by zhyla »

Obviously the PM2.

I kid, I kid.
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bh49
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#31

Post by bh49 »

zhyla wrote:Obviously the PM2.

I kid, I kid.
Actually you may be correct. All depends on how to look on this issue. I have no doubts that Para2 caused huge number of Spydie addictions. :) :D
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#32

Post by clovisc »

You could take take the perspective where you define the "worst" designs as the ones that have failed to generate a profit for Spyderco or meet revenue targets/expectations, and were discontinued relatively quickly. However, a lot of the knives which were poor sellers end-up being highly sought-out collectables later due to low numbers being produced; from a collector's perspective, these keep the resale market and collecting process interesting.

You could also say take the point of view that the "worst" designs are the ones that, for whatever reason, never achieved final internal approval for commercial production. However, I would guess that these "never made it" designs would be of great interest to Spyderco enthusiasts and would contain a lot of interesting history.

You could also say that the "worst" designs were the ones hampered by QC issues. However, in the case of designs prone to these issues, there were usually many knives made with zero QC issues. From a collector's perspective, a "problem free" version of one of these designs might be highly desirable. (Ex: Gray FRN Caly Jr.)

I think that every Spyderco contains a lot of history, design savvy, innovation, and elements of pushing the boundaries of convention. Changing the status quo is never easy. I see every Spyderco as part of a long history of continually improving what the world of knife manufacturing/design is able to offer consumers.

Therefore, I don't see any Spyderco being a bad design!
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Able Dog
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#33

Post by Able Dog »

Regarding the above mentioned QC problem models, the example I can think of best is the Herbst.

From my understanding the original Ti version had to be discontinued rather quickly because of QC issues, and finding one that ISNT a factory second is a big score.

Having failures, or at the very least less than successful attempts, is inevitable for a company that tries as many innovative designs as Spyderco.

Case in point, ATS-55. Spyderco tried to formulate an improved blade steel, and it didn't really prove successful.

When you keep inventing, you're going to discover a few dead ends.
Last edited by Able Dog on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SolidState
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#34

Post by SolidState »

tap78 wrote:it could be this.... Introvert

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Just from a designer perspective on this - I totally expected my knife to have shown up on here a lot more than it has. I think my knife is ugly, but I know why I love her and it ain't her looks. It's actually based upon another knife that I couldn't even get - the Bi-Fold. Some might call that one a legal and commercial flop - I call it genius. Eric is a pioneer.

The point of going with Spyderco in the first place was that they have a ton of knife experience, and a nuanced perspective on evolution. They put ideas out there in the realms of geometry, locks, materials, and ergonomics that are ages ahead of other companies. As you amass a collection of their products, you can watch global makers have a conversation about knives.

What I learned working with them is that Eric will foster certain designs, and Sal will foster others. Other makers exchange tons of valuable information as well. A ton of their designs evolve from previous challenging designs. The Manix is made out of the information gotten from the Poliwog and the Dodo. The Manix lines show up all over the place.

Ed's blade angle is phenomenal. The pinch point on the Caly is perfection, and is carried all over the place. The palm swell on the Endura is pure excellence. Put those things together, and you get something that may sound like what you want, but looks like the girl you wouldn't dance with. Even worse, there are physical limitations on geometry and lock. Lock -> factory in most cases, and the list moves forward.

I like them because, as a company, they have the single best library of innovation in all knife arenas in my lifetime. Many of the things I study now are actually the "flops" because a good idea may not look good at first. The ideas within are more important than the knife itself. Just look at the sage series - a library of innovation. Great companies take risks.
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MichaelScott
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#35

Post by MichaelScott »

I'd say the only "bad" design is one that fails to meet stated design requirements. A filet knife that filets poorly, a skinner that is difficult to use properly, a clip carry knife that doesn't clip or carry comfortably, a one-handed opening feature that is too difficult or cumbersome to open. Otherwise, "worst" is a useless adjective outside a very personal, therefore subjective concept.

I prefer the Bradley 2 over the PM2. Which is "worst"? Not a relevant question. Which designs do I prefer, cost not being a consideration? That, and why, are more interesting to me.
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Fanch_Man
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#36

Post by Fanch_Man »

This has turned into a wonderful conversation with excellent points made by all. Mr. Knutson, thank you especially for your "insider" industry perspective!

I knew that putting "worst" in the title was likely a bit inflammatory, especially among such dedicated enthusiasts, but I've really enjoyed seeing what different people value in terms of aesthetic and function. Certainly it's variety that is the spice of life, and Spyderco does not disappoint! There's truly something for everyone.

Back to the topic at hand, I think MichaelScott brought up an interesting - but as yet, untouched - point about cost. I'd like to reverse it a little, though. Minimizing form and function, if value becomes the key factor, which designs/models become the "worst?"

An example off the top of my head would be the Kiwi. The original model, replete with a lock back and gorgeous inlays and manufactured by some of Spyderco's finest craftsmen in Japan, was a beautiful example of what Spyderco could do with the "gentleman folder" concept. The follow-on model - a stainless steel slip-it produced in China - became what many have deemed to be but a shell of its former glory...a Kiwi in name only.

Since we've determined that "worst" can take different subjective forms, couldn't this also apply? A model, once both highly esteemed and relatively scarce, brought low to the "unwashed masses" for public consumption?

Conversely, could there be Spyderco models disproportionately expensive relative to their design elements that make them a contender for the "worst" design?
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#37

Post by Pinetreebbs »

Fallen wrote:Ed Schempp Balance
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][attachment=0]3.jpg
I disagree, on the Balance. It's the perfect gentleman's knife. I have gifted several and all are much used and appreciated. It may be strange looking to some knife aficionados, but the balanced appearance itself is very, well, balanced. The knife functions very well and shines brightly opening plastic blister packs.
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#38

Post by Pinetreebbs »

My nomination is the Leaf Storm, I know I'm in a minority here, it is a great looking knife, but I always worried about my index finger contacting the edge of the blade.

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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#39

Post by twinboysdad »

The Dodo is ugly AF, but performs fine
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Re: Worst Spyderco Designs?

#40

Post by ZrowsN1s »

I'm a karambit enthusiast, i own 6, but the karahawk always seemed like it was lacking something. I know it's a very well made knife, but it looks cheap if that makes sense, and for a karambit it's not very intimidating. Maybe if they upgraded the steel, reinforced the ring a little, and added a compression lock. And maybe put a swedge or serrations or anything to make it look a little more scary like the matriarch 2?
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