Spyderco Dragonfly Review — Assaulter Arts and Crafts Hour

By Clay Martin
Posted in #EDC
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Spyderco Dragonfly Review — Assaulter Arts and Crafts Hour

June 22nd, 2019

3:50 runtime

I‘ve encountered a vast array of blades, from the elegantly simple to the mechanically complex. I’ve seen trends come and go, but one matter remains constant: the need for a durable edged weapon that can be used for self defense without incurring legal problems.

That’s where the Spyderco Dragonfly comes in.

In this digital photograph, the author shows us how he created a better way of carrying the Spyderco using a custom Kydex holster or knife sheath that he uses on his belt.
In this Spyderco Dragonfly review, the author rigorously tests the knife and comes up with an ingenious way to improve its functionality when carried for defensive use.

The Dragonfly, which I am reviewing here, is a credible option as a personal protection tool. I’m no stranger to the Spyderco lineage, and I was consequently intrigued by this particular model’s potential.

Due to it’s relatively small size, the Spyderco Dragonfly might appear unassuming, perhaps even insufficient for this need. I’ve learned that size isn’t always an indicator of effectiveness. The devil is, as they are want to say, in the details.

Join me as we explore whether this small wonder is truly worthy of the high stakes it claims to serve.

Ergonomics and Size

In my experience, few knifemakers continuously deliver high-quality knives like Spyderco does. I had high expectations for the Dragonfly.

Ergonomics is one of the important aspects of a knife. It should fit the hand well while also ensuring that your hand will not slide out of position. The Dragonfly slides into my hand easily with good comfort even though it is compact.

In this photo, you can see the Dragonfly is a small folding knife. As you can see here, it locks open easily using the company's iconic thumb hole on the blade.
The Dragonfly is a small folding knife. As you can see here, it locks open easily using the company’s iconic thumb hole on the blade.

The choil – that’s the curve between the handle and blade fit for your finger – conveniently cradles the index and encourages a firm grip. It helps you to hold onto the knife handle when used.

Spyderco characteristically integrates a thumb ramp complete with jimping – notched for traction – at the spine of the blade. I found the jimping helps to securely lock the thumb in place during use and give you more cutting power. For a knife envisioned for self-defense, this feature cannot be overstated. 

Blade Material and Edge Retention

Spyderco used VG-10 steel for the blade. VG-10 is an excellent high-carbon vanadium steel created in Japan. It is classified as a stainless steel. It’s often used in good quality knives, and is considered as “exceptional” by any enthusiasts for maintaining an edge. Through a series cutting tests, the edge remained sharp, able to slice paper with ease. 

As with many of the knives from Spyderco, the Dragonfly uses a thumb hole in the blade to allow for one-handed opening of the little knife. The task is easy to accomplish as the opening pivot is smooth. 

Locking Mechanism

Journeying into locking mechanisms, I view the back-lock system of the Dragonfly as ideal. It is simple to operate under stress, and it is also incredibly strong. In fact, I think it is one of the strongest knife locking systems available on an EDC blade.

Fully snapping into place with an audible (and rather satisfying) click, there’s immediately a sense of security that the blade will not give way when used.

Pocket Clip Versatility

Spyderco uses a wire pocket clip design on the Dragonfly. The clip can be fitted to either side of the knife handle. However, you are limited to “tip up” carry. You cannot swap ends for the clip and carry tip down.

An Area for Improvement – Handle Texture

If there is an area of improvement that I’d like to see, it would be the handle material. Spyderco uses its traditional plastic handle – that tends to work well on larger folding knives. However, on a small folder like this one, they are sub-optimal.

In this photo, the author shows how he holds the knife to create maximum cutting power by placing his thumb on the jimping.
Spyderco’s jimping on the spine of the blade helps you control the knife and build cutting power.

I’d like to see Spyderco use G10 laminate with an aggressive texture for the handle. The scales you can machine into the handle makes it easier to grip and control a tiny little knife like Spyderco’s Dragonfly. 

Additional Thoughts

While the knife is great as it is, I found a great way to carry it that is legal in most states while improving your ability to deploy it in an emergency. 

If you are in a state that prohibits the concealed carry of a fixed blade knife, but allows the carrying of a folding knife, you can make or purchase a Kydex sheath that will allow you to carry the knife in the open position. Check with your local laws on this, but it might be an option for you. 

[Be sure to read our article on folding knives vs. fixed blades.]

I love this knife. It holds an edge, is easy to carry and has a blade length that is long enough for defensive use while remaining legal in most areas of America. I’ve been carrying this knife for a while, and I expect to acquire the updated Dragonfly 2 version of the knife when it becomes available.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Clay Martin

Clay Martin

Clay Martin is a former USMC Infantryman, Reconnaissance Marine, and Scout/Sniper. Cross decking to the US Army in 2003, he retired as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant from 3rd SFG (A). Clay has been a competitive shooter in USPSA, 3 Gun, and PRS disciplines, as well as a contract instructor for marksmanship and Close Quarters Battle. Aside from being a gunslinger, Clay is the author of Last Son of the War God, and the soon to be published Sword of the Caliphate series. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, sons, and pack of feral dogs.

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