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Last Updated: July 14, 2019
The Spyderco Endura is a knife that you won’t fully appreciate until you hold it in your hand. I remember when I first saw this blade at a local gun show. I had heard a lot about the Endura from friends and on various knife communities but it didn’t click until I picked it up and flicked it open. This knife has a 3.75″ blade, yet it is deceptively thin and light.
Buy the Spyderco Endura at BladeHQ
Spyderco has had the Endura in its catalog for decades, and the latest version features several refinements over its predecessors, and is offered in a variety of handle colors. As a lover of large EDC knives the Endura spoke to me, and it wasn’t long before I had one in my pocket.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Spyderco Endura has a 3.75″ blade, a total length of 8.75″, weighs of 3.6 ounces, and is made in Japan. The appeal to the Endura is that it is a large knife, but is still lightweight and pocketable. You can use this as an Every Day Carry (EDC) knife, although I prefer its little brother the Spyderco Delica or the Dragonfly II for suburban EDC.
Here is a size comparison with the Delica:
The Endura features a long slender blade. It’s a pretty simple drop point shape, perhaps the biggest detail is that Spyderco has produced the 4th generation Endura with a full flat grind. A full flat grind is when the knife is one continuous grind from the spine down to the secondary bevel (the bevel that the edge sits on). Full flat grinds are very common in kitchen knives because they are so effective at slicing. The Endura is a great slicer, and the long slim blade is also good at penetrating soft targets. However, you will want to take care with the tip as it is fairly thin.
Spyderco selected VG-10 for this edition of the Endura. In my opinion, this was a decent choice. VG-10 is a Japanese steel that sharpens easily, offers good edge retention, and has great corrosion resistance. There are many higher end steels on the market these days, but given the price of the knife and its intended use as a working tool, I think VG10 was a reasonable choice here.
Handle Design, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
The Endura has a handle made of fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) with nested steel liners that have been milled to reduce weight. Generally, I like the FRN handle, it keeps the knife light, is comfortable, and comes in a variety of colors, including blue, white, gray, green, brown, orange and yes, even camo. I will say that it isn’t the strongest handle design, even with the steel liners, and that is probably my biggest issue with the FRN Endura. But for light to medium use, the Endura handle should hold up well and provide the user a lot of use.
Ergonomics on the Endura are good. It’s a long knife so you have plenty of room for multiple styles of forward and reverse grips. You can set you hand back on the knife to maximize reach, or choke up and make use of the well jimped thumb ramp for detail work. The FRN has rounded and contoured corners that work well with the aggressively textured flats. The texture is Spyderco’s proprietary “bi-directional texturing” and allows for a firm grip in almost any condition. All in all, the Endura has a solid handle design backed by smart ergonomics.
The Endura has a well implemented pocket clip. It’s a standard Spyderco spoon style clip, and it has been given a black coating. The clip rides decently low and offers good retention in the pocket. I especially like how the clip can be mounted on any of the 4 corners of the knife. This is truly a well done ambidextrous pocket clip.
Deployment and Lock
The Spyderco Endura makes use of a large 13mm thumb hole for deployment. Fans of thumb holes will no doubt be very satisfied with the one on the Endura. The “Spyder Hole” is well placed and provides lots of room for your thumb. My knife opens easily with the flick of a thumb thanks to the smart design and low friction phosphor bronze washers. Spyderco also makes a waved version of the knife, so if you like that kind of deployment you could consider the waved version.
The Endura utilizes a lock back to lock the blade in place. The knife I am reviewing began developing some blade play after months of daily carry. Today the bladeplay can be removed if the pivot is tightened down further, but it makes the deployment more difficult. Having done some research I’ve concluded that slight amounts of up and down blade play are not uncommon on the Endura.
I think this is due to the design of the knife. When you have a knife as long and as lightweight as the Endura with FRN scales and nested liners, it’s just not going to be able to hold up to hard use as well as other designs. If you are looking for a more hard use folder from Spyderco, I recommend checking out the Paramilitary 2.
Speaking of the Para 2, here it is next to the Endura:
Spyderco Endura Review – Final Thoughts
The Spyderco Endura has been a staple in Spyderco’s lineup for decades, and with good reason. This is a knife that is easy enough to carry every day, but big enough to be used as a serious tool or defensive option. Like with many of Spyderco’s offerings the company has been slowly refining it’s designs to improve their products and meet consumer demands. The current iteration of the Endura features an attractive full flat ground blade, a removable 4 position pocket clip, and it comes in a number of different handle colors. These are nice improvements on an already solid design that is based around Spyderco’s philosophy of making useful tools that can be appreciated every day.
I like pretty much everything about the Endura. The materials and fit and finish are both very good, I love how everything is fully ambidextrous, and the choice of handle color is fun. Generally speaking the Endura is a well thought out knife that gets the job done. Spyderco has massaged this design over the years and it remains a classic choice among enthusiasts. Although there are a lot more “gee whiz” options out there today with super steels and fancy materials, the Endura remains a no-nonsense choice for a larger EDC or tactical offering.
My only real gripe is that there is a potential for blade play to develop. For that reason I don’t recommend the Endura as a hard use tool, but rather as a light to medium use EDC knife. If you want a larger EDC or folding tactical knife that is slim and light weight, then the Endura should be high on your list of knives to consider.
- Front-Runner - The Endura 4 sets the standard as one of the best-selling folding knives ever made. All members of the Endura 4 family include a four-position clip, a high-strength back lock mechanism, and Trademark Round Hole.
- Wide Spectrum of Handle Colors - Whether you enjoy bright colors or neutrals, our Endura 4 Flat Ground knives are designed to suit every taste. We offer Black, Blue, Green, Gray, Orange, Purple, Zome Green and Brown.
- Light and Durable - This Endura handle is fabricated with Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon. FRN is a polymer mixed with glass fiber that is injection molded and formed into a sleek textured handle, creating a lightweight yet high-strength knife handle.
- Low Friction - This knife features a blade ground with flat bevels that extend from the spine all the way to the cutting edge. This grind reduces drag during cutting and decreases overall weight.
- A Secure Grip - To provide a non slip grip, these knives are molded with our patented pattern, Bi-Directional Texturing. This texture pattern consists of opposing graduated steps radiating outward from the center of the handle.
If you would like to buy a Spyderco Endura, 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.
The Endura *clearly* does not utilize a liner l0ck.
*Clearly* you are absolutely right. Thanks for catching that typo brotha. 🙂 Stay sharp.
Another great knife. I really like the handle ergonomics on these.
It is a nice change of pace to have them in handle colors other then the standard black.
I am glad to see that it is available in orange now too.
Yes this is a nice big knife with excellent ergonomics. I love the choice in colors and I totally agree – the new orange version is sweet. 🙂
There is an orange out? Have not seen it yet, but I bet it would look pretty sweet in orange. After carrying my Endura for awhile I still love it. Only drawback for me is that I think the actual blade is too long for my EDC tasks. It will work, but it is a bit overkill. Im still carrying mine though. Nice review and pictures!
Hey Seth, great to see you on here! Yes, there is an orange version out. I totally agree – an orange Endura would be pretty wild. I hear ya on the long blade too – I have a buddy who EDCs one and it’s just too much knife for me for an EDC utility knife. It would make a great combo paired with a Delica or Dragonfly – a smaller knife for EDC chores and of course the Endura reserved for if you REALLY needed it.
Anon R.D. says
Amazing, refined larger EDC knife.
The Endura is not exactly small, but it’s slim and very lightweight, even with its steel liners. 3.4 oz puts it in the “forget you’re carrying it” territory. Until, that is, you pull it out for a task, then all of a sudden you’ve got 3.75″ of serious cutting edge in your hand, with a full, roomy and grippy handle to help you use it.
I am amazed at how sharp and eager to cut the flat ground VG-10 blade is. My primitive sharpening skills have no problem coaxing excellence from the knife.
For $60 the Endura FFG’s bang-for-buck is hard to match.
Anon, I couldn’t agree more. It’s not much to carry, but it is still a lot of knife – a little much to EDC for me. VG-10 is a solid steel. I know some people rag on it a little but it gets incredibly sharp in my experience. I really agree, the FFG Endura is a great buy – I’ll be shooting a video review and adding my own pictures in shortly. As always, thanks for stopping by.
Anon R.D. says
Yeah, the Endura’s width (owing to the thumbhole) and length can make it a bit of a pocket hog despite being thin and light.
It fits great in a back pocket of jeans or slacks, with my wallet. You can’t get anything else in there, but that’s an efficient enough use of a back pocket.
Some like to clip their folder to a front pocket for fast access while also carrying keys or other stuff in there. I would not recommend this with the Endura. Its width may get in the way of accessing what’s in the pocket.
I’ve heard some good things about back pocket carry. I know a couple people who keep a little knife back there. I’ve tried it a couple times, and if it’s a slim handle you can’t really feel it.
Personally, when I carry my Endura I Carry IWB. It makes it so I forget it’s there.
I feel like the FFG is a great slicer, but the saber ground is pretty robust in my opinion.
But, I definitely feel like the Lone Wolf Edition, with the Glock Tool and the Emerson Wave feature, makes a pretty sweet folding tactical design (especially when paired with a Glock as a CCW).
I hope they come out with a Endura 5 soon. I think it’d be pretty cool to update the look with something like the powerlock (like on the new Tatanka) or the newer lock back designs that gets rid of the vertical play.
Glen Juntunen says
I ordered the Endura 4 a few years ago. It is a great edc knife but it feels a little bit flimsy and I am having some trouble sharpening the VG-10 steel. I have sharpened my Endura 4 numerous times, and I still haven’t been able to get a nice sharp edge on it. I use a sharpening kit that has guide rods attached to the stones to help maintain the angle. I use the course stone first, and then I use medium and smooth stones to smooth the angle out. I have been sharpening it at the 24 degree mark. I believe in keeping my knives good and sharp. I contacted Spyderco, the gentleman I spoke with said he has never encountered an issue with VG-10 steel when they did a rockwell test.
I really appreciate the time and research you put into the knife reviews and pictures. It has to be a lot of work.
I’ve been on a knife buying spree not to mention a knife comment spree (I apologize). Really want to add my 2 cents on the Endura. On paper , it seems excellent and I agree with your review. The Endura is lightweight, has a beautiful blade, decent lock, VG10 is very good steel, nice colors, and a nice price.
It has so many good points, it’s hard to notice anything bad. I own a couple Enduras. A saber grind and FFG. I have a couple complaints about them. One due to my size and the other quality.
Before purchasing, I read dozens of reviews on how the Endura fits large-Xlarge hands. My extra large hands don’t wrap around the narrow handle well. The biggest problem is the ridge just after the choil. The ridge that helps lock the users fingers in. With a forward grip, I put my index finger in front of it. My middle finger fits partially in front but mostly rests on ridge. It’s OK for a couple of short cuts but becomes very uncomfortable. I can get a fairly comfortable grip holding the rear part of knife. My index finger will sit in front of ridge and my other fingers behind it. However, the knife feels really unwieldy in this grip. I hope this makes sense.
I have the same problem with the Delica. I can only hold it one way in saber grip and again, my middle finger rests on the ridge. It’s more comfortable then the Endura in forward grip but still not good,
I should have noticed this problem right away. Reading all the glowing internet reviews, I think my mind kind of glossed over it. I’m not saying the reviews were wrong. Also, I’ve only used the knives a very little.
The other problem is blade centering. My Enduras are well off center. Not rubbing the liner but close. I know I can loosen screws including pivot etc. and retighten. Sometimes this will make it better. On my Enduras, I’ve had a couple body screws come loose. I’m lucky I didn’t lose them. The blade grinds are uneven. My Delicas clip screws came loose. Never cut anything, just handled . Over all F and F on all isn’t great. There’s no excuse for it. I’ve read on forums what people have said to others with similiar problems- ‘it’s only a $65 production knife’. ‘What do you expect ? It’s not a Sebenza’. For blade play you should ‘disassemble knife, polish washers (might be a burr)’. ‘Just use the knife and forget it’…Yeah right…Again, there’s no excuse. My $30 Kershaw Injection, CRKT Drifters and Ontario Rat dont have any of these problems. I’ve noticed the Seki City knives have been real sloppy recently (2014 on). Bad grinds and off center blades being the biggest offenders. I have quite a few very good Spydercos but this Ps me off. Spyderco is going in a different direction.
So, I’m one of the few that is not a big Endura/Delica fan. Up until recently, the Delica was an excellent knife for most people. IMO, the Endura just does not work well. It has too big of a blade with the narrow FRN handle. Again, it’s unwieldy even with a good grip.
I’ll post my complaints on the proper forum. I’ll last about 2 posts. I don’t post many negative things about knives but these are blatant problems. Sorry for the long rant but I actually deleted all my Boston sarcasm.
Nice review and great comments section too that’s keeping the review alive since 2011! I stumbled on this review of the Endura while looking at Dragonfly reviews. I’ll add my 2 cents to the observation on blade play. I was dismayed when I started using my Endura that it had vertical blade play. Royally peeved to say the least. But then I realised the culprit was the lock mechanism despite the David Doyle dent it allowed your palm to depress it when the handle was gripped resulting in the lock being released slightly but never fully unlock. Well at least this was the case for mine. So what I did was file the dent down almost flat so that it was below the “grade” of the scales. The amount filed off was really the “edges” or “sides” of the dent, if you get what I mean, so I was not worried it would compromise the strength of the locking bar. Note, disassembly and reassembly of the folder is pretty straight forward. Now it has no more blade play. I can grip it as hard as I like and its all good. Perhaps this might be the issue for some folks? Not sure. So a design flaw or a QC issue, at least on mine. BTW I like to carry mine tip down in my front breast pocket along with an edc pen or two. Very convenient for me. But thats just me.
An excellent review. I will relate my first sale of the original Enduras at the time of the First Gulf War. In came a hurry up call from a USMC unit for a number of the blades. After putting in the order with Spyderco, and this being a new knife on the market I asked why?
When they related how they were deliberately abused – like cutting through metal drums – I said that there were better knives on the market. The response that they expected to break the blades and use them until there was no longer a nub and then order more!
My mode of thinking changed. I stopped desiring safe queens, specialized steels, knife batons, “only one knife” and started thinking in terms of daily and varied usages wherein other people in the circle had the same affordable knife.
All these years later, I have a box dedicated to Spydercos – mostly Enduras and Police models. In this uncertain time, I ramped up the two knives at the computer – Police model fully serrated and Police model plain edge. At couple more at the front door in the mail basket. Used to be Enduras there.