For all the knives I have tested, and all the Spydercos I have owned over the years — I’ve never owned the Dragonfly 2. It’s a hugely popular model, but one I had oddly never owned. When my Discord let me know about a sprint run using Super Blue steel, I figured why not. After all, I’ve disliked every Spyderco I’ve bought over the last two years, so what’s one more?
I don’t dislike this knife though, but I don’t like it either.
(Sprint run product page is here.)
Materials and Stuffs
The Dragonfly 2 is a tiny little knife with a lock back blade. It’s basic and simple — those are compliments. The blade length is 2.3”, but don’t get too excited because, as with all Spyderco’s, a decent bit of that length is wasted with no cutting edge. Leaving a 1.88” length on which you can cut things. It’s enough blade for my daily tasks, no complaints there.
It is a featherweight knife too, at 1.2oz all in. Impressive.
The real talk on this one is the steel, which is Japanese Super Blue, or more specifically: Super Blue/SUS410. If like me, you don’t know what that is, here’s what Spyderco says:
This limited-edition Sprint Run™ expression of the Spyderco Dragonfly™ 2 features a three-layer laminate blade with an Aogami Super Blue tool steel core and SUS410 stainless steel outer layers. The pinnacle of Hitachi’s three premium-grade high-carbon steels, Aogami Super Blue combines the same superior-quality iron sand used to craft legendary Japanese swords with high-tech alloys including tungsten, molybdenum, and vanadium to create a steel capable of achieving extreme sharpness and edge retention. To further optimize its performance, it is clad between SUS410 outer layers that enhance its structural strength and overall toughness.
You completely understand now, right? Yeah, I didn’t either. In talking with people and sleuthing out more information, what I have come to learn is basically:
- This steel takes an insane edge.
- It is decently strong.
- The edge retention is excellent if you are cutting non-abrasive, fleshy things like food. But not great if you are cutting open packages from Bezos.
So most of you use knives to open boxes, this is not the ideal steel for that. My experience mimics that. This knife gets sharper than anything I own if you even wave it near a strop. It holds that edge well enough, certainly along the line of S30V if you are cutting boxes. But it’s not the ideal steel for box cutting use. It’s interesting for sure though.
Carry and Use
I’ve been carrying this knife a bunch since getting it, and I don’t love carrying it. But, I do love using it. So I need to break these two things apart to talk about them better.
This is a very small and lightweight knife. So right out of the gate, carrying it was an issue as it was hard to fish out of my pocket — even if clipped into a pocket organizer or the top edge of my pocket. Gripping it to pull out the knife was annoying and frustrating. I remedied this with a lanyard and lanyard bead — this resolved my ability to easily grip and find the knife.
The next issue is the clip: it’s too small and doesn’t work well, and is not deep carry. Then there’s the interplay between the scales and the clip, which creates an area of high friction such that the knife does not easily come off anything it is clipped to. That’s great since it means you are unlikely to lose the knife, but it’s also not great as it means I am unlikely to want to try and bother pulling the knife out. And I don’t carry knives just to have them, I carry them to use them.
A lot of times when I say I don’t like carrying a knife, it is because it’s too large/awkward to fit easily in my pocket. That’s not the case here, rather it’s too annoying to easily stow the knife using the clip, or withdraw the knife when it is clipped to something.
Ok, but I do like using the knife. In hand it really feels great. It’s small, a two-to-three finger knife only, but it has a lot of control and as always a great Spyderco blade shape. I really enjoy using this knife as it feels like a highly precise tool, and matching that with the razor like edge — it’s a gem to use.
Closing the knife isn’t a big deal, as you can easily do it one handed, letting the finger choil drop onto the back of your finger as you squeeze the lock back to drop the blade. I was worried closing would be the issue, but it’s not.
The actual issue with using this knife is the deployment of the blade. Even with the lanyard, it’s too small to smoothly open the blade. Sure, you can Spydie-flick or whatever, but I just want to open it without feeling like I am one false move from dropping the razor edge onto myself. I can only smoothly open the blade about 65% of the time — that’s absurd for how much use I have put on this. Maybe my fingers don’t have enough dexterity, but my hands are not overly large — it’s odd.
And that’s my issue with the knife. It’s not that I dislike using it, or carrying it — two things which I have troubles with most Spyderco knives. No, on this knife my issue with it is getting to use the knife. Either getting it out of my pocket, or opening the blade.
Often when I need a knife, I have one hand free, and I quickly fish out the knife and deploy the blade so I can use it. I simply cannot do that with this knife. I need to finagle it out/off of my pocket. Then I need to reset my hand position to make sure I am holding it just right, so that I can smoothly deploy the blade without it feeling like it might flip from my hand and slice my pants, or impale my toe.
That’s too much fiddling for me. I can most certainly open the blade cleanly when I am focused on the knife, but only if I set my hand position up correctly. That’s like ‘lab settings’, in real world use it’s a fumbler of a knife.
I like the blade. I like the feel in my hand. The steel is a neat novelty. But getting this knife out of my pocket with the blade deployed and ready to us is a true pain in the ass. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this knife generally. It might be great for those with smaller hands, but I have no idea.