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The Spyderco Story: The New Shape of Sharp

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Author: Kenneth Delavigne

Published: Paladin Press, 2000

ISBN: 1-58160-060-7

I've carried a Spyderco knife every day for the past 15 years. I've had a Spyderco Clipit on me while wearing a tuxedo in several weddings, hiking in Italy, and riding the Tokyo subway.

So you can see why I eagerly looked forward to the release of Paladin Press' new book, The Spyderco Story: The New Shape of Sharp. Author Kenneth Delavigne describes the history behind the company and its knives that have developed such a cult following.

Delavigne describes how Spyderco grew from a tiny knife shop to the innovative company it is today. Features like edge serrations, thumbhole one-hand opening, and the ubiquitous pocket clip were almost unknown before Spyderco came onto the scene.

Delavigne also records the creative thinking behind some of Spyderco's most popular designs, including the my favorites--the  Worker, Copilot, Police, Civilian, and Q. Delavigne shows you how the form followed the intended function--why the designers shaped a blade a certain way, or placed the pocket clip on one end of the knife or the other. Breakthrough innovations like the thumbhole are covered in detail. Even the original patents are reproduced in the book.

The book devotes a sizable section to Spyderco's high-end line, with designs from top custom knifemakers like Bob Terzuola or Wayne Goddard. The side lines of the Kitchen series and Spyderco's first product, the Tri-Angle Sharpener are also covered.

Spyderco knives have long been a favorite of knife-carrying martial artists. The one-handed opening and easy-access pocket clip made the Clipit and its progeny effective, always-at-hand, yet legal self-defense tools. These features ended up key attributes of all tactical folders; prime examples are Benchmade's AFCK (Advanced Fighting/Combat Knife), Emerson's CQC (Close Quarters Combat) 7, and Cold Steel's Gunsite tanto folder.

This book is a must-read for Spyderco fans. Although some may find the price a bit steep at $69.95, that price isn't out of line compared to other collectors' books for other great names of the knife trade such as Remington, Buck, and Randall. For Spyderco aficionados like me, knowing the history and story behind my faithful daily companion is definitely worth it.

Buy this book at Amazon.com.

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