Guest Knife Review: Spyderco Proficient

(Editors Note: Jeremy Longmire is an aspiring knifemaker and TTAK reader. He runs his own blog JKL Knives, where he writes about gear, knifemaking, and life around his horse farm. Visit him there or on his YouTube Channel, Outside for more of his work. We hope we can share more of his excellent work in the future). 

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The Spyderco Proficient is an excellent mid-sized bushcraft knife.

The Proficient checks almost every box on my dream knife wish list. It has a comfortable handle. It is crafted from durable carbon fiber and S90V. The fit and finish are excellent. The full flat grind blade with distal taper cut very well. The edge came razor sharp. Sounds great right, what’s the catch? The two big ones are the steep price, MSRP $489, $250 street and it’s not made in the United States. That being said S90V along with carbon fiber are expensive labor intensive materials and the Taiwanese craftsmanship is spot on.

The one fault I will level at the Spyderco Proficient is that the sheath does not fit the knife properly. More specifically the plastic insert is too small to allow the knife to fully seat into the sheath. Luckily this is easily remedied by removing the plastic liner.

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Specs:

length overall: 8.75″ (222 mm)
blade length: 4.00″ (102 mm)
blade steel: CPM S90V
cutting edge: 3.89″ (99 mm)
weight: 6.3 oz (179 g)
blade thickness: 0.14″ (3.5 mm)
handle material: Carbon Fiber

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The Proficient and Bushcraft share the best handle design of any knife I have ever used. They have smooth contours, palm swell, rounded pommel and radiused edges. In use all grip positions are comfortable and secure. The carbon fiber scales feel warm to the touch similar to wood. They are also slightly grippier than the bushcraft’s G10.

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The full flat grind blade makes food prep a breeze. The Proficient feels right at home in the kitchen and work nearly as well as purpose built kitchen cutlery. The stainless steel nature of S90V means that I don’t have to worry about every acidic food and stray water drop causing rust.

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In the woods the the full flat grind works great for feather sticks, notching and fine tip work. I typically use an axe to split wood but the Proficient would do in a pinch. The spine is ground flat with a sharp edge which works great on ferro rods. The full flat grind carves well but can be a little unpredictable due to the continuously curved blade and distal taper. The blade really bites in deep making stop cuts for notching.

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The knife work excellent for opening feed bags, cutting twine and removing low hanging branches around my farm. Friction holds the knife securely in the sheath even when it is shaken upside down. Walking around the farm I quickly forget I am carrying it. The weight of the knife and sheath seem just right, not too light or heavy.

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CPM S90V claims to have substantial greater wear resistance than 440C or D2. So far I have no reason to dispute that. I have used the knife for every cutting task in this review and many more over the course of a week and the edge is still hair popping sharp.

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In conclusion, is this the last knife I will ever buy? Probably not. Does it do the job of cutting a variety of different materials with ease? Yes. Is it absolute the best grind and geometry for all knife related cutting and splitting tasks? No one knife is. Is it an absolute joy to hold and use? Absolutely. Will this knife provide years and years of cutting utility? I don’t see why not. Would I recommend this knife to a friend? You bet.

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Has anyone else had a chance to put the Spyderco Proficient to work?

comments

  1. sagebrushracer says:

    looks like a very expensive mora. Its a easy to follow a Mora design but nearly impossible to beat them in quality vs cost area.

    still nice looking knife, like the carbon fiber handle.

  2. cmeat says:

    what were they thinking with that plastic insert?
    the birds eye view of the handle reminds me of the cutco stuff my neice used to sell, but softened a bit.
    more belly than i want. just like me.

    1. I can only guess they were trying to add an additional layer of safety with the plastic insert. As to why it is not fitted properly to the knife I have no idea. I am just glad it is easy to remove. Without it in the sheath it works just fine.

  3. stuartb says:

    Nice review, thanks. Would love to see a more detailed head to head against the Bushcraft and see how the different blade shapes and grinds effect things (given all else seems equal between the two knives).

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I am planning to do a video review of the Proficient shortly. I may roll a comparison with the Bushcraft into it.

  4. Nice job on those photos Jeremy. Good stuff! Hope to see more of you around here 🙂

    1. Thanks, my day job is as a graphic designer/photographer/web developer. I have enjoyed reading your posts David. I plan to continue contributing as time allows.

  5. Sam L. says:

    Just finished my March BLADE magazine; the Proficient is shown on pg67 under What’s New.

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Guest Knife Review: Spyderco Proficient

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