Spyderco

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Spyderco Knives, Inc.
TypeProprietorship
IndustryManufacturing
FoundedGolden, Colorado (1978)
HeadquartersGolden, Colorado
Key peopleSal Glesser, Founder & President
ProductsKnives
RevenueUS$10 million
Employees138
Websitewww.spyderco.com
 
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Spyderco Knives, Inc.
TypeProprietorship
IndustryManufacturing
FoundedGolden, Colorado (1978)
HeadquartersGolden, Colorado
Key peopleSal Glesser, Founder & President
ProductsKnives
RevenueUS$10 million
Employees138
Websitewww.spyderco.com

Spyderco is a Golden, Colorado, U.S.A. based cutlery company that produces knives and knife sharpeners. Spyderco pioneered many features that are now common in folding knives, including the pocket clip, serrations, and the opening hole. Spyderco has collaborated with 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors for designs and innovated the usage of 20 different blade materials.

History[edit]

Spyderco Warrior knife

The first product Spyderco produced was the Portable Hand in 1976, this "spider-shaped device", which gave the company its name, was a series of angles, ball joints and alligator clips that helped people such as jewelers and hobbyists work with small parts. Spyderco's Founder, Sal Glesser, and his wife Gail, converted an old bread delivery truck into a motor-home and traveled to shows. As they became more successful, they graduated from the bread truck to a truck and trailer. They settled in Golden in November 1978. Spyderco began producing knife sharpeners in 1978, and produced their first folding knife, the C01 Worker, in 1981.[1][2] This knife was the first to feature a round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed opening, which is now the company's trademark.[3] Additionally, the company claims that this was the first knife to feature a pocket clip on the right side of the handle.[4][5][6][7]

Products[edit]

Spyderco Military

Most knives produced by Spyderco are folding knives, of various designs, blade steels, handle materials, and locking mechanisms (including two patented proprietary locks); however, they have also produced fixed-blade knives for various purposes.[8][9]

Spyderco's knives are made with a plain edge, a partially serrated edge, or a fully serrated "Spyder Edge" configuration.[10] Their most common handle material is FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)and G10, although they make knives with steel handles as well as some limited editions with various other handles.[11]

A large part of Spyderco knife production is outsourced to foreign contractors in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Italy, and China.[12] Knives made with CPM S30V steel were previously all made in Golden, Colorado, USA, however Spyderco has recently begun shipping CPM-S30V to Taiwan to have knives produced there using this steel.

Spyderco knives are respected for their simplicity, reliability, good ergonomics and functional aesthetics. They are popular with many markets including law enforcement officers, fire and rescue personnel, and private citizens.[10]

For his many influences in tactical knife design (most notably the pocket clip, serrations, and opening hole) and many collaborations with custom knife makers, Spyderco's President, Sal Glesser, was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame at the 2000 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia.[13]

Blade Steels[edit]

Spyderco Native

Spyderco has experimented with new blade steels over the years.[14] In 1994, Spyderco was the first company to use powder metallurgy in a production knife (in the form of Crucible's S60V tool steel), and the first knife company to use H-1 steel in a folding knife.[15] The blade steel used by Spyderco over the years include:

52100, a ball bearing steel used in the first run of the Mule project.

154CM a high-end American stainless premium cutlery steel

8Cr13MoV, a Chinese stainless steel tempered at the Rc56 to Rc58 range and used in the Tenacious, Persistence, Ambitious, Resilience, Grasshopper, Kiwi3 and Byrd lines of knives. Often compared to AUS-8, but with slightly more Carbon.

9Cr18Mo a higher end Chinese stainless steel used mostly in high-end barbering scissors and surgical tools.

440C, a stainless steel, known for corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening.

Aogami Super,(青紙スーパー) a Japanese exotic, high-end steel made by Hitachi. The "Blue" refers to, not the color of the steel itself, but the color of the paper in which the raw steel comes wrapped.

ATS-55, a performance stainless steel similar to ATS-34 with the molybdenum reduced, used only by Spyderco for knife steels until the early 2000s [16]

AUS-6, similar in quality to 440a, used as a "budget" steel in early Spyderco models.

AUS-8, a frequently used Japanese steel, which is known for taking a very fine edge, due to the inclusion of vanadium. Sharpens easily, and has moderate edge holding and corrosion resistance.

AUS-10, a Japanese stainless steel series made by Aichi with the same carbon content as 440C but with slightly less chromium.

BG-42, a high performance stainless steel formulated for ball bearings, often compared to ATS-34, which has similar properties.

CTS-XHP, made by Carpenter Technology. Often referred to as a stainless version of D2, which has similar properties.

CTS-20CP, Carpenter Technology's version of S90V, with slightly reduced chromium. Features incredible wear-resistance and edge-holding, hardened to about 60 Rc.

CTS-BD1, Carpenter's versions of Gin-1 with improved chemistry. Originally feature in a Mule Team fixed blade.

D2, a high performance tool steel that has 1 percent less chromium than required to classify as stainless steel. Spyderco uses Crucible's version of D2, which is a particle metallurgy ("powdered") version, not wrought. CPM-D2 is found in a sprint run version of the Military model.

G2, aka GIN-1. (銀紙1号)A Hitachi-made low cost stainless steel comparable to, but softer than, AUS-8. Generally hardened in the mid to high Rc 50s. A tough, corrosion-resistant steel.

H-1, is ideal for marine applications, because it substitutes nitrogen for carbon and thus is nearly rust-proof in any normal environment such as salt water exposure though can still oxidize if exposed to extreme heat and chemical attack. It grinds, scratches and has edge retention similar to the low carbide steels such as AUS-6. It is a precipitation hardening steel, which is a particular type of heat treating where the hardness and microstructure is formed through an extended soak.

MBS-26: A Japanese [stainless] steel, very fine grained with high corrosion resistance used in the Catcherman and in most kitchen knives by Spyderco.

N690CO, an Austrian stainless steel hardened to the high Rc50 range. Currently found in the Squeak and previously used in Spydercos manufactured by Fox Cutlery.

CPM-M4 [aka AISI M4] - Has a usual Rc of 62-65, used in special purposes, high-speed steel with combination of high Carbon, Moly, Vanadium, and Tungsten for excellent wear resistance and toughness; a powder-metal, non-stainless steel.

CPM S30V steel an American powder-metallurgy, high-carbide steel developed for the cutlery market.[17]

CPM-S60V, (aka 440V, aka CPMT440V) A modern American super-steel that is wear resistant, but difficult to sharpen. Unfortunately the low level of toughness means that it can only be hardened to around 56 Rc, causing the edge-holding performance to be diminished.

CPM-S90V (aka 420V), similar to Crucible's S60V but designed to be more wear resistant with a very high carbide volume and high vanadium content. Appreciated for extreme edge-holding. S90V was featured in a sprint run of Spyderco's Military in 2008. Since then it has been used in several sprint runs in knives like the Manix 2 and Paramilitary 2. While S90V holds an edge significantly better than S30V, both are usually hardened to about 59-61 Rc.

VG-10,(V金10号)[18] a Japanese super-steel developed for the horticulture industry by Takefu, often hardened around the Rc60 range. Reported to have better corrosion resistance but slightly less edge retention than S30V. Appreciated for taking an extremely fine edge, and being extremely easy to sharpen, while still holding an edge well. Used in most of Spyderco's Japanese-made knives.

ZDP-189, a premium Japanese powdered super-steel made by Hitachi, hardened into the mid & upper Rc 60s, with very high carbide volume. Along with S90V, it boasts some of the best edge-holding of any steel on the market.

Collaborations[edit]

Through the years, Spyderco has collaborated with numerous custom knife makers in the design of various models.[11]

List of Collaborators[edit]

FB02 Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point

Sprint Runs[edit]

Spyderco often produces limited edition models, referred to as sprint runs. These limited runs are generally versions of discontinued models with different blade and handle materials, though some are completely new models, such as the Kopa; a "dress knife" with several variants, each with a different handle material such as micarta, evrina, and tiger coral.

Byrd Brand[edit]

A subdivision of Spyderco, Byrd's logo

Spyderco designs and produces knives under the Byrd brand. These knives use high quality materials and are manufactured in China, allowing much lower prices while retaining most of Spyderco's quality.[39] To differentiate the brands, Byrd knives have a "comet" shaped opening hole in the blade, rather than the trademark round hole found on Spyderco models.

To date, Byrd knives have featured 8Cr13MoV as their blade steel except for the byrd Catbyrd titanium which uses 9Cr18Mo steel.[39] Early Byrd knives were marked 440C, but tests found that the steel was something entirely different from American 440C. This steel was closer to AUS-8 than American 440C, and also went by the name 8Cr13MoV.[39]

The first Byrd models, the Cara Cara, Meadowlark, Flight, Pelican, and Crossbill, initially featured stainless steel handles. This is likely because company owner Sal Glesser believes that "'basic stainless' is the best way to test a 'pattern design'. Function and ergonomics are easily determined without the 'influence' of material." Newer Byrds have featured aluminum, fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN), and G10 handles.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spyderco History Page". Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  2. ^ Sb "Sharpmaker - Brief Article - Evaluation". Whole Earth. Winter 2000. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0GER/is_2000_Winter/ai_68617298
  3. ^ "Spyderco 'Round Hole' explanation". Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Spyderco 'Clipit' explanation". Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  5. ^ Shackleford, Steve. Top Knife Innovations of the Past 50 Years, Blade Magazine, August 2006
  6. ^ Shackleford, Steve."The Most Comfortable Carry Knife of All",Blade Magazine, May 1997
  7. ^ Roy Huntington "Tactical Knives". Guns Magazine. Jan 2001. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_1_47/ai_67717290
  8. ^ Russ Thurman "Spyderco - Knives". Shooting Industry. Dec 2001. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_12_46/ai_81305658
  9. ^ Charles E. Petty "Spyderco Vagabond and stretch knives". American Handgunner. July–August 2005. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_176_29/ai_n13785474
  10. ^ a b Massad Ayoob "To The Rescue". American Handgunner. May 2001. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_152_25/ai_72293240
  11. ^ a b Pacella, Gerard (2002), 100 Legendary Knives, Iola, USA, Krause Publications, 145. ISBN 0-87349-417-2
  12. ^ "SpydercoSource Sort by Manufacture Location". 
  13. ^ "Bob Loveless". Blade Magazine. 7/01/2000. 
  14. ^ "Spyderco steel information". Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  15. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.112
  16. ^ "ATS-55 steel information". Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  17. ^ "CPM S30V" (pdf). Crucible Service Centers. 2003-11-01. Retrieved 2010-03-03. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Spyderco Kiwi - 2003 New Products Gallery". Shooting Industry. April 2003. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_4_48/ai_100606779
  19. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.42
  20. ^ a b Delavigne (2004) p.149
  21. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.36
  22. ^ Spyderco Product Details - Sub-Hilt Folder http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=668
  23. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.150
  24. ^ "Field knife - New Products". Shooting Industry. Oct 2002. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_10_47/ai_93915994
  25. ^ "Spyderco's Torture Tested Jungle Rock!". Tactical Knives Magazine 14 (3): 40. 2008 
  26. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.163
  27. ^ Winter, Butch (2003), "Custom Collaborations", Sporting Knives 2003: 160, ISBN 0-87349-430-X
  28. ^ a b Delavigne (2004) p.131
  29. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.141
  30. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.88
  31. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.172
  32. ^ a b Delavigne (2004) p.145
  33. ^ Rhea, David (September 2005). "Butterfly Knives: Flippin' and Flyin'". Blade Magazine 32 (9): 66–71 
  34. ^ Ayoob, Dorothy (1999). "Armor of New Hampshire". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  35. ^ a b "Slick factory Snodys". American Handgunner Magazine 20 (4). 2004. 
  36. ^ a b Delavigne (2004) p.125
  37. ^ Delavigne (2004) p.215
  38. ^ N. Morris "Knife with Taurus 24/7". Guns Magazine. Jan 2005. FindArticles.com. 07 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_1_51/ai_n7581238
  39. ^ a b c d Mroz, Ralph, "Soaring Byrds". Tactical Knives Magazine. November 2008. Volume 15,(6)p.80

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