[Editor’s note: reader Nathan uses his knives more in an average workday than most of us do all week. He recently stepped up with a great article about the practical excellence of VG-10 stainless, and here he returns with a user’s review of some of his favorite Spydercos.]
The Delica and the Endura have been in the Spyderco lineup for years. The fourth iteration is seen by many as perfection. They come in a rainbow of colors, full flat grind or sabre grind, one with an Emerson Opener, stainless, serrated, and even trainers. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life . . .
The blade is 3.75” on the Endura and 2.875” on the Delica. The shape is a modified drop point with an excellent belly and a very precise tip. It will not easily flatten, but I did drop my Delica and it’s just slightly rounded now. It’s very good at penetration, cardboard slicing, and precise cutting (more the Delica on that last one). The blade is VG-10, which I spoke highly of in another write-up. It also comes in ZDP-189, which is hardened at a higher Rockwell level. I have no experience with ZDP-189. The blades take an excellent edge, keep that edge, and do not rust.
The grind differs depending on what version you choose. The FRN versions come in a full flat grind while the Emerson versions featuring a sabre grind. And yes, there is a difference in cutting performance. The FFG blade simply slices better. The sabre grind has a more abrupt angle so cardboard tends to get caught up more. I prefer the FFG version, since I cut a lot of cardboard working in a grocery store.
There’s jimping on the ramp just behind the thumbhole, standard for most Spyderco knives. The thumb hole makes it easy to open. When I work in the freezer I wear thick gloves, so I like to have that bit of blade protruding to make up for the loss of dexterity.
The shape of the handle fits just about anyone’s hands perfectly. I have pretty small hands and have no trouble with an Endura. The FRN texture gives good traction for slick environments. They are not lightweight blades, but aren’t super heavy either, considering their liners. The thin profile makes them easy to carry in your pocket, unless you don’t like the thumb hole. One of my female coworkers loves my Delica because she can carry it in her skinny jeans, unlike some other, fatter blades (I’m looking at you, Griptilian).
These are lock-back designs and I have a high level of confidence in the strength of these locks. While maybe not the strongest locks out there, they will serve you well through just about all standard knife tasks.
A nice feature of the lock-back design is it’s the easiest lock to operate when I have my freezer gloves on. The pivot is lined with phosphor bronze bushings, making the opening smooth. I can flick the Endura open with no wrist action about 80% of the time. The Delica some needs wrist action because the blade doesn’t have as much weight to carry itself out. The Emerson opener is the quickest to deploy, since it catches on your pocket as you pull it out.
The pocket clip is Spydero’s hourglass design. It’s a good clip, but will bend after enough use. I caught mine on a shopping cart and it bent pretty badly, but I still use it. It’s not a deep carry clip design, but I’m not a stickler about that. The lanyard hole also goes right through the clip area.
I have had my blue Delica for nearly a year now, my Endura for 6 months and the Emerson Delica for about 2 months. Long story short: they are all magnificent. Carrying at work is no problem, and I’m not afraid to whip them out around customers. Well, pull them out. Whipping them out might actually scare someone. I’m even hesitant to utilize the Emerson Wave.
Without a doubt, these knives can handle just about anything you can use a knife for. Last weekend, after having 3.5 days of decent use, I used my Endura to cut up a slip sheet. Slip sheets are pieces of cardboard that are roughly 5’ x 5’ but sometimes vary. It just kept chugging through it. At the end it still had a usable edge, but couldn’t shave hair. After a few minutes on the Sharpmaker it could shave again. Printer paper and newspaper are no problem at all for this blade. I do not have any thick rope to cut, but it goes through paracord easily.
For $60 or less (currently $54.86 on Amazon), the Endura is probably the best value on the market. If I can only have one knife for the rest of my life and it had to be under $100, it would be the Endura. These are a home run for Spyderco and will easily stand the test of time.