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Spyderco – Who are they and what makes them so popular?

Where it all began


Putting it plainly, Spyderco is a world renowned brand. They are market leaders in the production of folding blade knives and knife sharpening tools. They are innovators, taking the market to the next level by constantly evolving and adapting. Finally they make good products, not any old products, they actually make knives you want and need.


Enough of the loving (for now) let’s look at Spyderco’s history . . .


Spyderco is now headquartered in Golden, Colorado, however it started from humble beginnings in the late 1970’s by husband and a wife team (Sal Glesser and Gail Glesser).


As the story goes the same as many big name brands, the company didn’t start off in the industry it now finds itself in. Instead Sal’s first invention was actually a device to be used by jewellers, hobbyists, and technicians. The ‘Portable Hand’ was born. This device worked by securely holding items in place, leaving both hands free for other purposes. Later versions add other helpful tools, such as magnifying glasses.


How does this relate to the Spyderco we know and love today? Well you may have notice the portable hand has many limbs, which bears a striking resemblance to a spider. You can guess where the story goes next . . .


Sal Glasser’s Portable Hand


So when did they move to knives?


After travelling around various shows the Glesser’s settled in Golden, Colorado (1978). It is here that the Spyderco we know today was born. This is because it is the time Sal invented the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. This product in itself is revolutionary, and weathering the test of time with great ease. It’s simple and effective, and that’s why it’s still bought in large quantities by all people who use a whole range of knives. Want to see how it’s done? We found a pretty cool video that shows you how


Spyderco Tri-angle Sharpmaker


However it wasn’t until three years later that Spyderco brought out their first knife. This was to become an iconic knife, with features that have become associated with the Spyderco brand. The C01 Worker is the knife we are talking about! This knife contained two core features that have now become a staple with not only Spyderco knives, but many knife brands around the world! These features are the Spyderco Round Hole (for single hand and ambidextrous opening), and the pocket clip for easy carrying.


Following those two initial additions, Spyderco took another leap forward with the addition of serrated and part-serrated blades. This small adaptation has changed the market with the majority of knife makers now incorporating plain, part serrated and fully serrated edges into their product lines.


Spyderco Worker – Sprint Run


(Spyderco Worker – Sprint Run)

Spyderco today – Where is the company now?


They have stuck to their philosophy of building quality, practical knives that do the job that they are designed for. A quote from Sypderco’s website reads:

“Someone once said to Sal Glesser, Spyderco’s owner, “You must design in the dark because your knives look so strange.” True again. Our recognizable appearance is a result of designing ergonomic functional tools rather than applying lipstick and nylons to a pocketknife.”


Spyderco now have over 200 different knife models many of which have become household names in the UK such as: The Squeak and The UK Penknife for UK friendly (UK legal) carry knives, then the Tenacious, Military, Delica and The Dragonfly.


Spyderco TenaciousSpyderco DelicaSpyderco Dragonfly G10Spyderco Military


We love this brand and rightly so, they build quality, ergonomic, functional knives that are designed to be used. They aren’t the prettiest knives you’ll ever see. They aren’t the cheapest knives you’ll ever see. But you 100% get what you pay for!


2 thoughts on “Spyderco – Who are they and what makes them so popular?

  1. Anonymous - 12:27 am 10/09/15

    Awesome knives USA innovation!!!

  2. ROB - 12:50 pm 21/10/16

    Have always carried a Spyderco
    Love the easy way u open them
    With the serrated blade that can cut rope + wire with ease
    Just wish they still made their remote reallease knife
    With a spring slide to unlock knife from keyring

    Hope they start making this knife again soon

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