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5 Wharncliffe Knives That Should Be on Your Radar

Spyderco just revealed a big batch of new knives and nearly a third of the collection comes with the same unifying feature: a Wharncliffe blade.


Spyderco, the American knife company known for the circular cutout that allows for the one-handed opening of its blades, just unveiled an entire batch of new knives. The new collection includes updates to some of the brand’s well-known models and collaborations with notable designers. Still, most significant might be the number of knives that have Wharncliffe blades.

Wharncliffe denotes a particular blade shape with a straight edge and a spine that curves and tapers from handle to tip. It’s a practical form that’s ideal for slicing and often results in a broader tip, which is less likely to produce an accidental puncture. As such, Spyderco optimized its new set of Wharncliffes for everything from self-defense to rock climbing. All of them are due out this summer.

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Spyderco worked with combat specialist Kelly McCann to create a folding knife with self-defense at its core. The knife comes with high-quality CPM S30V stainless steel, a reinforced tip and a strong lock.

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Yojumbo is a tongue-in-cheek reference to this knife’s inspiration, the Yojimbo. This new version is 20 percent larger, with a four-inch blade and an overall open length of over nine inches. All that, and it still weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

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Designer Marcin Slysz drew on the designs of 19th century English jackknives for the Swayback, which calls to mind classic Wharncliffe blades more so than any other in Spyderco’s modern collection. It comes with premium steel and titanium handle scales.

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With rock climbers and other outdoor adventurers in mind, Spyderco made the Rockjumper all about reliability. It uses low-maintenance VG-10 steel, has a reliable locking mechanism that’s easy to operate with one hand and is fully ambidextrous. It’s also lightweight at 3.1 ounces and should go unnoticed in a pack.

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The Swick comes in two sizes, but both come with the same unique profile and features. It’s the only fixed-blade Wharncliffe in Spyderco’s new collection and was designed by the company’s founder, Sal Glesser. Glesser drew inspiration from the French designer Fred Perrin, but his signature cutout is the defining feature of the knife; here, it functions as a grip for self-defense purposes.

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