Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #8 Spyderco Endura

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 70 out of 404 respondents said the Endura should never be discontinued.

People who are less familiar with knives sometimes complain that Spyderco folders look ‘weird’ or even ‘ugly’. Maybe it’s because the first Spyderco they ever saw was the Endura. But as anyone with experience will tell you, once you get the Endura in hand and start cutting, it all makes sense. The knife embodies the function over form philosophy that earned Spyderco its reputation.

The Endura may not be the most aesthetically pleasing knife in the collection, but it tends to see more than its fair share of pocket time. With a sizeable 3.75” blade and a sub-4 oz. weight, the Endura makes a great knife for the outdoors, or, if you prefer a larger knife, a great EDC. Spyderco founder, Sal Glesser designed the Endura and invented the iconic SpyderHole cut into its blade. The lockback design is simple, robust, and reliable. Couple this with durable FRN scales over milled-out stainless steel liners and you have a knife that dominates the sub-$100 price category in terms of value.

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There are a lot of companies who would be afraid to tamper with their most successful models, but Spyderco has been tweaking the Endura for over 20 years. The very first Endura, released in 1990 alongside the Delica, had a different handle shape and a molded FRN clip. The Endura 2 was released in 1997, but it was supplanted the next year by the Endura 3, which looks a lot like the knife we know today: a similar handle profile, VG-10 steel, and Volcano Grip texturing. Finally in 2006 the Endura 4 released, with a rounded, refined handle design, Bi-Directional texturing on the scales, and stainless steel liners for added rigidity. In 2010 the blade was introduced in a full flat grind.

The result is a knife that just feels right in the hand and in use, no matter which model you choose – and there are a lot of choices. The Endura can be had with a sabre or a full flat grind, with FRN or stainless steel scales. The FRN models come in tons of colors. There is a model with an Emerson wave opener. Spyderco has released the Endura in a number of exotic steels. Most recently it came out with a HAP40 tool steel blade.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #7 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Spyderco Endura 4 Black FRN Serrated

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#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
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