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Last Updated: March 29, 2020
Back in the day, I didn’t think I would like the Spyderco Dragonfly 2. I’m a big guy, and tend to carry medium size folding knives. I always felt that I would be under-equipped with a small knife. Maybe it’s a macho thing, I really don’t know. I like a good size knife. Something I can use comfortably.
So the thought of packing a massive 5-7/16″ folding knife with me that weighs a whopping 1.2 ounces wasn’t super appealing. That is, until I got my hands on the Dragonfly II. It took me about 2 seconds to realize how badly I had underestimated this little knife. It punches well above its weight, and is one of the best EDC knives on the market. I originally wrote this review back in 2011, and I still carry and use my Dragonfly 2 to this day. This is a long term review that benefits from a decade of ownership. How many reviewers can say that? Let’s give this awesome EDC blade the full run down.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 or “DF2″ has a 2-5/16″ blade, an overall length of 5-7/16” and a weight of just 1.2 ounces. You hear about knives that “disappear” into the pocket. This is one of them. I’ve literally forgotten I’ve had it in the pocket many times. It’s been few the wash a few times too. I love the Dragonfly 2 for Every Day Carry (EDC), it’s perfect for almost any kind of urban environment and it’s got a big enough blade (and more importantly, a comfortable enough handle) for most EDC tasks.
You can see how the Dragonfly II is significantly smaller than both knives. Here’s a video review I did many years ago:
The DF2 comes with a beautiful little leaf shaped blade. The blade almost resembles a dart with its triangular shape. The small swedge running across the top softens the feel of the spine and the whole blade has been given a full flat grind. There is adequate belly and the tip is both fine and strong. This blade excels at opening mail and packages. My only gripe with the blade shape, is that it lacks a sharpening choil. A small notch at the end of the edge that allows you to easily sharpen the entire length of the edge. You don’t have a sharpening choil here, so it will be difficult to sharpen the heel of the blade with a flat stone. Instead I’d recommend a rod sharpener like the corner of a Spyderco Sharpmaker stone.
This knife was made in Japan and like many of Spyderco’s Japanese production knives this one features VG-10 blade steel. VG-10 is a good choice as it holds a good edge and is capable of getting extremely sharp. I say “good” choice, not great, because these days there are better blade steels out there. VG-10 was fine back when this knife was first released, but times have changed. Still, VG-10 is serviceable blade steel and it certainly still works. What I like about VG-10 is how easy it is to sharpen, and how it is resistant to rust and corrosion. Newer, more exotic steels will hold an edge longer, but VG-10 gets the job done. I think it’s fine here, but wouldn’t complain if Spyderco upgraded it to S35VN or something along those lines.
In practice, the Dragonfly 2 cuts well and is an imminently useful knife. I have used my knife for years and years. Mostly for pedestrian things like opening mail and packages, and light food prep. I’ve never prepared dinner with just my DF2, but the knife has no problem with tasks like cutting fruit and cheese. It’s a small blade, but it’s all you need for basic stuff. And it’s a nimble blade. I reach for it when I have a delicate task. The tip is fine, and the angled thumb ramp allows you to get great control over the blade. This knife is a workhorse and it cuts great.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle on the Dragonfly is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) and is covered in Spyderco’s bi-directional texturing. This is the same kind of texturing found on both the Delica and Endura and I find that it offers exceptional grip in both wet and dry situations. Unlike the Delica and Endura, the Dragonfly does not have stainless steel liners. That is not a problem for me because the handle feels plenty strong and it is a big part of the reason why this knife weighs so little. Fans of G10 and steel can rejoice because Spyderco also makes a G10 version. All in all handle construction is solid, I like that they used screws for easy take down and everything feels very well finished.
Ergonomics is where we really start to see this little knife shine. Most smaller blades suffer from poor ergonomics and get kicked out of my pocket pretty quickly. The Dragonfly has extremely refined ergonomics and squeezes big grip out of a small knife. First of all, you have a 50/50 choil and large thumb ramp. Both have been given a large amount of jimping. I am a huge fan of 50/50 choils, it really can transform the way a knife handles and what it’s done for the Dragonfly is no exception. But perhaps my favorite ergonomic feature is the way the back end of the handle has been shaped to support the pinky finger. This gives you a true 4 finger grip and allows for awesome leverage on the knife. In my mind, this little section of FRN is what really makes the Dragonfly work.
The pocket clip is another home run. This is a Spyderco wire clip and is perhaps my favorite pocket clip design of all time (really). Small, but very secure, this little piece of hardened steel gives you a deep and reliable carry. The handle has been designed to allows for ambidextrous tip up carry. My only suggestion would be to anodize it black like on my Sage 1 – then it would be virtually invisible riding in a pair of blue jeans or dress pants.
Here is your pocket clip shot:
Deployment and Lockup
The Dragonfly takes advantage of a 11 mm Spyder-hole. This is a good size for the knife and has been left kind of sharp, which ensures that you thumb will catch on it every time. Deployment is smooth and reliable and you can easily flick this knife open if you like. I have zero complaints with the deployment.
Lockup is achieved through a small lock-back positioned in the middle of the handle. I like the lock-back on this knife, it’s easy to get too and the spring isn’t too heavy. The lock-back makes this a fully ambidextrous knife as well (always a plus – especially when a lefty is writing the review). Lockup is rock solid on the FRN version, with zero play in any direction.
Here is a parting size comparison with a Benchmade Mini Griptilian and a Kershaw Skyline, two other all-star EDC knives:
Spyderco Dragonfly II Review – Final Thoughts
This has been the story of the little knife that could. I seriously have nothing bad to say about the Dragonfly. I am totally impressed by how well this thing works as an EDC blade. Since it weighs nothing I also like pairing this with a larger tactical folder; that way I always have the right tool for the job.
Perhaps the only downside is the price. With a price tag hovering in the $50 range, you are looking at Delica (and almost Endura) territory. Some might have a hard time justifying spending that kind of money on such a small knife, especially given the rest of Spyderco’s product line.
However, I love my Dragonfly II and it has remained one of my all time favorite EDC knives. It is hard to beat this small, lightweight package for daily carry. The knife is imminently useful when you need it, but disappears into your pocket. It has stood the test of time for me, and easily makes my best edc knives list. For fans of Spyderco and ultra lightweight EDC knives, the Dragonfly II is a no-brainer.
- CONSTANT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT - Recently we applied C.Q.I. to the classic Dragonfly creating a new Dragonfly 2. The Dragonfly was one of Spyderco's original lightweight knives and helped to introduce the use of FRN handles.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE - The Dragonfly's success is largely due to its mid-size blade and ergonomic handle that features a front-finger choil and spine cusp.
- ERGONOMIC - Designed as a carry- friendly folder, it comes with a left/right-hand tip-up wire clip, patented Bi-Directional Texturing on the handle, spine and choil jimping and screw-together handle construction
- SUPERIOR QUALITY - The VG-10 blade has a high-performance flat-grind and is available with a PlainEdge configuration.
- POCKET-FRIENDLY - The Dragonfly 2 Lightweight focuses around features which make it ergonomically comfortable including positioning the Spyderco Round Hole in precise relation to the blade's pivot for the smoothest blade opening
If you would like to buy a Spyderco Dragonfly II, I recommend purchasing it at Amazon.com or BladeHQ. Please consider that buying anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.