TTAK Knife Madness 2017: Hogue vs. Spyderco


Facebook Readers: Click “Like” for Hogue, Click “Love” for Spyderco.

There are no losers in today’s matchup, though someone will win when the dust settles. Both companies are incredibly well respected, and among my favorite companies in the industry. This should be an interesting contest in the penultimate matchup in the American – Modern division.

Remember: You can vote twice. Once at this Facebook link, and once in the comment section of the blog.


Hogue is probably best known for their grips and firearm accessories, but they got their start, and still make thousands of other consumer products. Knives are actually a recent addition to their lineup, but they chose to hire award-winning designer Allen Elishewitz to run their knife program. It is a complete coincidence that Allen lives just a half hour away from me, and an even greater coincidence that yesterday was the day I had a chance to meet Allen and spend about 4 hours visiting and interviewing him. More on that later today.

From‘s “About Us” page:

Welcome to Hogue, Inc., home to a proud family tradition of American quality and innovation since 1968. Every Hogue product – from handgun grips to long gun stocks to AR components to specialty knives to gear and accessories – is built in the spirit of fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete dedication to the legacy of founder Guy Hogue, carried into the next generation by his sons Aaron and Patrick, by Hogue Tool & Machine Company president Jim Bruhns, by his grandson Neil, and by each and every employee at Hogue, Inc.

Fit, function, superior performance and world-class design are hallmarks of the Hogue name. When you purchase a Hogue product you’re carrying a piece of our family history, designed from the ground up to enhance and improve your sporting experience. Our brightest ideas, the finest materials and the world’s best manufacturing practices are united under the Hogue name, under the direct supervision of the best and brightest people we can find to carry the Hogue legacy. We’re proud to be the first choice of law enforcement, handgun manufacturers, competitive shooters and firearm enthusiasts worldwide for products that reflect our passion, our proud history and our commitment to bringing you a full range of products designed and manufactured to enhance your sporting experience for years to come.

We have only done one review of a Hogue knife, the EX-03 Tanto, though I hope to add to this soon.

We have a bunch of Hogue tagged content, most notably our post on their falling prey to the Obama administration’s Operation Choke point, where because they “manufacture weapons” they were denied banking services by Wells Fargo – the only knife company that this has happened to to my knowledge.

Twitter: @hogueknives
Instagram: @hogueinc
Facebook Page
YouTube Channel



Spyderco is one of those companies whose name reaches beyond enthusiasts and to emcomass almost the entirety of knife users. I don’t remember their complete methodology, but when our friends at Knifenews did their big survey of top brands, Spyderco blew everyone else out of the water in terms of consumer awareness, with only Benchmade and Kershaw coming anywhere close. The rest of the field got lapped.

They say the plural of anecdote is data, so I will provide the anecdote. I started on SAKs in Scouts, was certainly aware of classic Buck and Case knives, but that was about it. I became aware of Spyderco sometime in Jr. High, and saved up my camp-staff money and bought my first Endura in High School. I carried it clipped to my pocket every day at school. In college I bought a Rescue and carried it as a Firefighter/EMT. I bought a Native when I was working at Newman Outfitters, a local REI-type establishment. It wasn’t until that point that I first heard of a Benchmade.

I lost my original Native, and replaced it with an S30V version. I got my Tenacious when I joined Knife Rights, and I plan on someday buying a Paramilitary 2. So as you can see I have a long history with the company.

Which leads me to company history.


Spyderco was founded in 1976 by Sal and Gail Glesser. Initially, the company focused on selling our first product—the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker™—primarily at fairs and trade shows around the country.

In 1981, the Glessers put down roots in Golden, Colorado and introduced the first Spyderco folding knife. That knife pioneered the concept of a round hole in the blade for one-handed opening, a clip on the handle for carry at the top of the pocket, and the option of a serrated edge for aggressive cutting performance. Those features revolutionized the knife industry and literally defined the form of the modern folding knife.

Since then, Spyderco has steadily grown to become one of the leaders in the cutlery industry. In addition to a worldwide distribution network and manufacturing resources in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Italy, and China, our innovation has also earned us an impressive portfolio of patents, trademarks, and industry awards. More importantly, it has allowed us to earn the trust and loyalty of countless thousands of dedicated knife users around the world—an audience to whom we are extremely grateful.



I actually had a chance to interview Sal Glesser at the 2015 Blade Show, but the quality of the audio was not of sufficient to run the video on the site. If someone has experience cleaning/enhancing audio please contact me at I hope to someday be able to use it, because Sal is an interesting man and an industry legend.

Here at TTAK we have done a ton of Spyderco reviews. Delica and Endura, Tenacious, CAT G-10, Rescue Assist and Atlantic Salt, Proficient,  Manix 2, and Native FRN .

You can see the rest of our extensive archive of Spyderco content here.


Twitter: @spydercoknives
Facebook Page
YouTube Channel


Good luck to today’s competitors.

Yesterday’s match between Microtech and TOPS was a blowout upset. #8 TOPS beat the pants off #1 Microtech 49-4. This was certainly influenced by TOPS sharing our post on their Facebook page, which opened the floodgates and led them to victory.

Of course the seedings are completely random within each division, and all is fair in love, war, and TTAK Knife Madness 2017.


  1. Cubbie says:

    Sypderco was the very first brand of knife I was aware of, spoken of by my middle school classmates hoping to save up for one. The only product I have is their Sharpmaker, and it puts a good edge on my knives without much effort. They’ve got my vote.

  2. Cadeyrn says:

    Hogue all the way. Their knives are simply amazing. Rugged, dependable, beautiful.

  3. Sam L. says:

    My first Spyderco was a little all-serrated knife I got for subscribing to BLADE magazine. I don’t know Hogue, but I do Spyderco.
    Spydie for me.

  4. Willie Pfisterbottom says:


  5. Peter Kennedy says:


  6. David says:

    I got one of the very last Spyderco Mariners with the stainless steel handles back in 1994. I carried it and used it for almost 20 years. Eventually the serrations sharpened down until it wasn’t serrated any more. I now have two newer models that are fantastic.

  7. stuartb says:

    Despite being an arachnophobe I vote Spyderco

  8. Jon says:

    I thought Spyderco made really ugly knives until I tried one. Their motto should be “Spyderco, the knife that grows on you.” Spyderco wins this round.

  9. Arctodus says:

    Really have no experience with Hogue, but I have many Spyderco knives that I like very much.

  10. Daniel J says:

    I love my spydercos. Voting for them
    I predict a landslide for spyderco.

  11. cmeat says:

    spyderco, because you don’t get hits when you type “hogue knife lot” into ebay…

  12. Amanda belmont says:

    Hogue knives!

  13. Kurt grimes says:

    Hogue knives are the shizzle I will own one some day

  14. Trenton Mitsuoka says:

    Hogue Knives!

  15. Jesse Alcorta says:

    Spyderco has been go EDC for as long as I can remember

  16. Morgan says:

    Hogue knives hands down

  17. Brittni says:

    Hogue. The quality and craftsmanship shows the company cares about each knife they send out!

  18. Taylor Ryan says:


  19. Steve Foster says:

    Hogue Knives!

  20. Paul Dandini says:

    Hogue – Awesome quality!

  21. Mindy Hand says:

    Hogue Knives!!! Great quality products

  22. Eric Martin says:


    They are awesome knives and great folks

  23. Nelson says:

    Hogue are the most inovative knives on the market. Thier steel is one of the best and they take care of thier customers.

  24. stuartb says:

    “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”

  25. Nikianne O. says:

    Hogue- by far.

  26. stuartb says:

    I guess your “All is fair in love and war” holds true, I’ll wait to see how this plays out, why not, sure looks like the best playoff yet!

    1. Yeah. I mentioned it to Elishewitz yesterday, and he passed it along to Hogue’s social media folks who shared it widely. To us that is a feature, not a bug.

      I tagged Spyderco on FB and Twitter, but they didn’t act on it.

      I actually shared the post myself to a couple of Spyderco fan groups on FB but it doesn’t appear to have made a difference.

      Fact of the matter is from a strictly business perspective, being able to have a “Spyderco vs. Benchmade” post would have been search engine gold. But it doesn’t look like that is in the cards.

      I have a feeling that Spyderco is going to be ok 🙂

  27. Steve says:


    1. That is tomorrow…Zero Tolerance vs Benchmade. Spread the word.

  28. Chase M. says:

    Spyderco! Great knives, favorite sharpener!

  29. Heather Machado says:

    Hogue is where it’s at!!! Love their grips and knives!!

  30. James Chapman says:

    I have spyderco knife and there good knifes but I will have to cast my vote for Hogue knifes they are the Cadillac of knifes! Fantastic quality! Love my Hogue knifes! I can’t seem to stop collecting them!

  31. Michael Favorite says:

    I have 3 of each, have bought more as gifts. Spyderco is legendary an deserving of praise. Hogue is the more recent entry, appeaeantly building their legend. The Hogue family and company have been big supporters of the outdoor sporting community and I thank them for that. I will keep both knives thank you.

  32. Chris says:

    Hogue is really in a class by itself. Really the very best!!

  33. MiamiC70 says:


  34. Bob says:

    I own knives (all lock blades) from both Hogue and Spyderco and ignoring the fact that I think Hogue is a poorly managed company their knives are superior to Spyderco’s in almost every respect. It’s not even a fair fight in my book.

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TTAK Knife Madness 2017: Hogue vs. Spyderco

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