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.
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.
- ENDURA 4 - 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.
- FRN HANDLE - Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon is a polymer mixed with glass fiber then injection molded into formed and textured lightweight high-strength knife handles.
- FULL-FLAT GRIND - 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.
- BI-DIRECTIONAL TEXTURING - Is our patented texture pattern that is molded into our FRN handles. It comes with forward and backward graduating steps radiating outward from the center of the handle.
- SPECIFICATIONS - Closed Length (Inches): 4.98, Overall Length (Inches): 8.78, Blade Length (Inches):3.8, Blade Steel: VG-10, Grind: Full-Flat
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