This post contains affiliate links. We may get paid an affiliate commission if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of the links on this web page.
Last Updated: August 2, 2019
Today I am looking at another beautiful knife, the Spyderco Sage 2. The Sage series is designed to pay homage to various pioneers in the knifemaking industry and to recognize some of the talented custom knifemakers that have helped re-define pocket knives.
The Sage 1 pays homage to knifemaker Michael Walker who invented the liner lock and features carbon fiber scales while the Sage 2 focuses on knifemaker Chris Reeve’s Reeve Integral Lock (or frame lock). For those unfamiliar with Chris Reeve Knives (CRK), his “semi-production” knives are considered to be the holy grail among many knife enthusiasts. They are beautiful pieces and are quite pricey. What appeals to me about the Sage 2 is that you get a lot of what makes the CRK so desirable at a fraction of the cost.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Sage 2 has an overall length of 7 1/8″, a 3″ blade, and weighs of 3.5 ounces. These are great numbers in my opinion. The Sage 2 packs a lot into a small and lightweight package. This is an ideal size for every day carry, and the Sage 1 has proven itself to be one of my all time favorite EDC knives. The Sage 2 is just as carryable and makes for a great upscale EDC. The Sage 2 is made in Taichung Taiwan.
The blade is 1/8″ thick which is nice and beefy, it makes for a stout knife which is still light and agile. Spyderco went with their classic leaf shaped blade, with the full flat grind that many people love. The full flat grind is beautiful and makes this knife a great slicer.
Spyderco selected CPM S30V for the blade steel. Back when I first penned this review in 2011, S30V was a high end steel. Today (late 2016), S30V has lost some of its luster next to steels like S35VN, CTS-XHP, and even more exotic steels like M390, but this is still serviceable steel. It’s a little more brittle than I would like, and can be difficult to sharpen at times, but it’s still reasonably easy to sharpen and holds a good edge. It’s a good steel, but admittedly not a great steel. I’d like to see Spyderco update the Sage series to S35VN at some point.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle is where the Sage 2 really shines. It is made of 2 thick slabs of titanium and is held together by 3 torx bolts. I really like the simplicity of the handle. The titanium keeps this knife lightweight and is nicely finished. The flow through construction and easy disassembly are two other features that I love. They make this an easy knife to clean and maintain.
The ergonomics are also very nice. The handle length is only 4 3/16″ however the jimping on the thumb ramp and choil allow you to choke up real close to the blade. Like most Spyderco knives I have held the Sage 2 feels good in hand and will make an excellent user for someone looking at a high end working knife or EDC item. The handle edges are also well finished with no sharp edges or “hot spots.”
The pocket clip is the Spyderco wire clip. I think that this is a great pocket clip design because it is simple, strong and easy to conceal. Some people do not like the wire clip. I think those people are nuts, but there is plenty of room for multiple opinions.
The retention of the pocket clip is perfect and the deep carry nature of the clip makes the knife almost disappear in pocket. Spyderco designed this knife tip up carry only however the clip is ambidextrous. For me this isn’t a problem although I understand that sometimes people prefer tip down. If that is your desire Spyderco makes plenty of knives with that feature. I tend to prefer blackened clips as it makes them even more discreet, but I can see how that might spoil the aesthetics of the Sage 2.
Deployment and Lock
Deployment on the Sage 2 is a breeze with the standard Spyder-hole and phosphor bronze bushings. The blade moves with very little effort from your thumb and the sound the knife makes when it locks is very fun and satisfying. With the Caly 3 (and other lockback knives) I noticed it takes some effort to flick the blade out but the Sage is practically effortless. That said, retention is still good, it’s not like the blade is falling out of the handle – it’s only once you give it that initial push that you get the incredibly smooth deployment.
Now, the lock is really the first thing I wanted to talk about (since the entire knife is designed to showcase the lock) but I try to keep a method to the madness here and like to do my reviews “in order” so my regular readers know where to find exactly what they are looking for. The Chris Reeve’s designed framelock is a beast and is among the strongest locks you can buy. The lock’s strength lies in its simplicity. The entire titanium handle locks the blade in place.
I am left handed and this is not a left handed knife. That said, this knife is still easy to disengage with my left hand although I would love to see a dedicated lefty version some day.
Spyderco Sage 2 Review – Final Thoughts
The Sage 2 is an excellent knife and a worthy successor to the Sage 1. The materials, fit, and finish are top notch and the design is pure Spyderco. The retail price for the Sage 2 is around $175. I know for some that will be too much money to spend on a knife, but when you compare that to the other titanium frame lock knives on the market (including Hinderer, Strider, and Chris Reeve Knives) the Sage 2 offers a compelling value proposition. Granted, the Sage 2 is made overseas, but Spyderco’s Taiwanese knives are all excellent. There is not a single manufacturing flaw with the knife and I am extremely impressed with the level of fit and finish. I can’t think of another titanium framelock out there that can touch the value and performance of the Spyderco Sage 2 except for perhaps the Boker Urban Trapper.
If you are in the market for a titanium frame lock knife, but aren’t ready to shell out the big bucks for Chris Reeve, or similar offering, then I can absolutely recommend the Spyderco Sage 2. The Sage 2, along with the Sage 1, are some of my all time favorite EDC knives. These are top shelf knives that can both be had for a reasonable amount of money.
- Deep-pocket wire clip for left or right hand carry
- Closed Length (Inches): 4.19, Overall Length (Inches): 7.19, Blade Length (Inches):3, Blade Steel: CPM S30V, Grind: Full-Flat
- A spear-point shaped, full-flat ground CPM S30V blade
- All screw constructed titanium handle
- Michael Walker Linerlock with ball bearing detent
I recommend purchasing the Spyderco Sage 2 at ]Amazon, or BladeHQ.
Terry Torgerson says
I have had sebenzas and sold them and kept the Sage 2. I’m not saying it’s a better knife than a sebenza. It fits my hand ergonomically much better and appoaches the sebenza in quality. The sebenza is a better knife but the Sage 2 is a better value.
Well said! For well less than half the price of a Sebenza, the Sage 2 represents an exceptional value. In fact, it’s tough to find much of anything that really compares with it for the price (the Bradley Alias could be one, but it’s typically closer to $200). And I happen to agree, from an ergonomic perspective I do prefer the Sage 2 over the small Sebbie.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, and the very insightful points.
Anon R.D. says
Absolutely superb knife. Deceptively simple in design but nothing goes wanting.
I am picky enough that I could find something to complain about with even as refined a design as the Sage 1. The Sage 1’s liner lock tab was a little too prominent, which made me worry about accidental disengagement. Also, something was slightly off with the edge grind on my Sage 1 that impaired cutting.
None of those problems are present with the Sage 2. The frame lock is rock solid (yet easy to use) and the thing cuts like a laser.
Easily one of the top five Spydercos ever.
I agree. This is one of my favorites. After 3 years of use my only gripe is that the clip could be springier. It seems to have lost some tension over the years and it fell out of my pocket once. Aside from that, great knife in my book.
I also just cannot say enough about the Sage 2…and this from a Chris Reeve collector! I have one of Chris’ older small sebbies in BG-42 and it was always my bellweather for mid-sized, great EDC knives. I think Sal and Co. eclipsed the small sebbie in ergonomics. The Sage 2 simply fits my hand better than the sebbie. Add to it one feature not mentioned: The Sage 2’s flat grind is about a thousand percent easier to sharpen than the sebbie’s hollow grind. I’ve seen entire videos on ways to sharpen the sebbie; some even try to articulate a three-grind process to match Chris’ factory finish. Sage 2 time to sharpen? About 30 seconds for touchup on the whites of a Sharpmaker; maybe a minute or two if really dull. The Sage just blows the sebbie away on sharpening ease.
Only gripe for me is I would have liked a lanyard hole and I might just add that myself.
Dollar for dollar, the Sage 2 is the absolute best value on the EDC market today. At any price point.
Amen, pruman. The Sage 2 is one hell of a knife!
Just writting to see of you still love and use your Sage 2?
To be honest I do not still own my Sage 2 – not because it’s not an awesome knife, but because I was on a tight budget at the time and could not afford to keep it and continue to review other knives. I still have my Sage 1 and use it (and love it), and can say with certainty that if money was no concern I’d still be enjoying my Sage 2 as well. I hope this helps.
I love the sage 2 but as far as comparing it to a sebenza, there is no comparison. Better value you say? Well maybe if we added a pivot bushing, rounded off all the sharp edges on the blade, put that perfect crk stonewash finish that hides scratches so well on the blade, then put that grippy sand blast finish on handle and used a ceramic detent that will last much longer without flattening out and weakening and then put that crk treatment on the lockbar. Add all these features and then offer it at a cheaper price and ill buy into the whole “better value ” thingy. All that said, i love that the sage has the spydie hole and a forward choil if crk made a sebenza that had a hole and a choil it would be my grail knife.
Fair points and well said!
looks nice but seems pretty expensive for made in Taiwan- just my opinion, as i prefer USA made knives
Thanks, Dan. You may enjoy our USA Made EDC knife section then! All blades made in the USA.
You mean “discreet”, not “discrete”. Don’t feel bad, it is a very common mistake.
David, Thanks for pointing that out. You are absolutely right! I learned something new today. Thanks again.