Yesterday, I asked Which Knife Do You Carry?, to which there were many great responses. I was somewhat surprised to see that 2 readers mentioned the Spyderco Techno as their EDC (everyday carry) knife of choice. I perhaps shouldn’t have been too surprised, as I too am quite fond of this compact but capable folding knife.
The Spyderco Techno is, in Spyderco’s words, a little big knife. Although vague, this perfectly describes the knife. It might be small, but the Techno feels confidently strong.
Spyderco Techno Specs at a Glance
|Spyderco Techno (C158TIP)|
|Overall Length||5.98″ Open
|Blade Length||2.55″, 2.33″ cutting edge|
|Blade Material||CTS XHP or CPM S30V|
|Blade Style||Plain Edge|
|Lock Style||Frame Lock|
|Pocket Clip||Wire, Left or Right
Why I Bought a Spyderco Techno
I bought the my Techno back in the summer of 2012, and it was my biggest knife purchase yet. There were a couple of notable aspects that contributed to my purchasing decision.
First, it’s a Spyderco. The Techno wasn’t my first Spyderco knife, and it won’t be my last. It was actually the Techno that helped convince me to take a chance on the Spyderco Southard flipper knife, their first knife that opens via flipper mechanism, which is also priced at a premium.
Like Tools? Tool Deals? So do we. Sign up for our Newsletter!
Second, the handle is made from titanium. I was itching to see what all the Ti hype was about.
Third, I was looking for a good solid compact knife. Too often, smaller knives are lightweight and flimsy. I wanted something a little more solid.
Finally, I wanted to see for myself how a $180-190 knife differed from the $30-75 knives I had grown accustomed to using. Surely it would provide a better user experience, right?
I actually stumbled on the Spyderco Techno by accident when looking for a different knife I wanted to order, but its appeal was quick and strong. I hesitated for but a moment before placing the order.
Although I have owned and used this knife for almost 3 years now, I remember my initial impressions, which are still as valid and true as ever.
I’m going to steal Spyderco’s words and say that I found the Techno to be a little big knife, because it really is. It feels small and large at the same time, possibly due to the blade design. But it’s not thick, and it doesn’t feel thick, it just looks that way.
Why? Because the blade is huge. The back of the Techno’s blade measures about 0.175″ near the thumbhole, which is almost 3/16″, if that helps you get a feel for the thickness. Spyderco’s spec sheet puts it at 0.177″, or 4.5 mm. This is thicker than the blades of most if not all of the folding knives I have ever seen, let alone used.
The blue handle spacer is visually striking, but doesn’t steal the show. It’s an elegant accent that definitely helps the Techno in the looks department. Without that large blue spacer, the Techno might look plain and ordinary.
Not a fan of blue? There are a number of custom-made backspacers available through 3rd party craftsman (Google image link).
Spyderco Techno Blade
The blade, although thick at the back, is flat-ground all the way to edge. It’s effective at a myriad of tasks, although it’s not the best knife for making long cuts in material, such as cardboard. It’ll do it, but knives with thinner blades will do it neater.
Yes, the blade is as stout as it looks. Speaking of looks… the knife apparently has a progressive European appearance, according to Spyderco. The knife was designed by Polish knifemaker Marcin Slysz, which probably explain the European styling.
Maybe the Techno does have European styling, maybe it doesn’t. I’m not one that can tell a difference. But what I can tell you is that the knife has stylish curving along the back, and gently curved drop point profile that makes it an effective slicer. It’s also tapered at the point, which makes it okay at piercing tasks, such as opening clamshell packaging.
Spyderco went with a stonewashed finish for the blade, as well as for the handle scales, which adds to the overall visual appeal of the knife.
There are some smaller knives where you could grip the knife scales higher, but this isn’t one of them. The most comfortable grip for me is to place my thumb on the grooved back of the blade, and forefinger right where the lock is. My pinky isn’t left hanging, but it doesn’t have a full grip of the handle. I’ve actually never realized that in use, and only noticed it now that I’m writing about the Techno’s ergonomics.
This isn’t the most comfortable knife I’ve ever used, but it fits my hand nicely. Sometimes the pocket clip digs into my palm, but the tiniest adjustment of my hand fixes that. This mainly happens when the Techno hasn’t been in my EDC rotation for a while and my hand forgets which knife it is holding.
Scroll back up and take another look at the nice jimping – the grooves on the spine of the knife blade – that Spyderco engineered into the Techno. It provides a nice place to rest your thumb and is grippy without being aggressive.
Opening, Frame Lock, and Closing
Righties can open the knife with one hand, via the large Spydie hole.
Although the pocket clip can be switched from one side to the other, lefties will probably need to use two hands to open the knife. The frame lock gets in the way of left-opening, and is only easily operated one-handed with your right hand. Sorry lefties, this is one knife you’ll have to use with your right hand.
The knife locks up strongly and securely, via a Chris Reeve Integral Lock (R.I.L.), otherwise called a frame lock. With this design, a section of the left side handle scale springs inward when the knife is opened, blocking the blade from closing unintentionally.
You can disengage the lock by applying pressure against the frame lock bar, holding it clear of the blade with your thumb, and then rotating the blade to its closed position.
The Techno is easy to open one-handed, and while you can close it with one hand as well, it’s easiest and safest to close with two hands.
The pocket clip is a simple bent spring wire affair, and removable if you don’t like it. Or you can move it to the opposite side of the knife, where it can be reattached using a single Torx screw.
It’s designed to allow for deep carry, meaning very little of the knife will poke above the edge of your pocket.
At the rear of the knife there is also a small lanyard hole, which you could use with a paracord or leather pull. This makes it easier to fish the knife out of a pocket, pouch, or bag.
My Techno’s blade is made from Carpenter CTS XHP stainless steel. Some versions of the knife are made with Crucible’s CPM S30V stainless steel, another premium blade alloy. CTS XHP is a specialty knife and blade powdered metal alloy that I’m not very familiar with, but it’s said to have high hardness and good corrosion resistance (XHP spec sheet).
Indeed, it does seem to have high hardness and great edge retention, as my Techno arrived sharp in the box and there hasn’t been a need for me to sharpen it yet. I must have honed it once or twice, and might give it another quick honing one of these days.
After looking at the S30V PDF spec sheet, it’s clear that the Carpenter and Crucible alloys are competitively positioned. Their alloy compositions are slightly different, but after a bit of research, I don’t think there will be much of a performance difference in real-world applications. The pricing doesn’t seem to be different either.
Final Comments About the Techno’s Size
Despite the Techno’s small size, there is some heft to it, at least compared to slightly larger pocket and folding knives that have plastic composite handle scales.
The knife measures a hair less than 3.5 inches when closed, and about 1-3/8 inches at its widest. It’s definitely an usually shaped knife, but this adds to its character. I would be hesitant to call it a wide knife, as it’s not much wider than most larger EDC-sized folding knives. The unusual aspect ratio might play tricks with your perception.
The Techno is one of my smallest knives, but not the most compact. It carries well in my pocket, but I prefer longer and more slender knives in a tool, photo, or travel bag. Or a multi-tool to save space.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This Spyderco Techno is a cherished part of my EDC knife rotation and collection. It’s a great performer, and I am much more confident in its strength and usefulness than many of my other knives. While small, the Techno has a very robust blade and excellent frame lock, giving it the rigidity to tackle almost any cutting task I might come across.
I really like this knife, and would definitely buy it again. It’s small and elegant, but without any of the adornment that you see on gentleman’s knives. The Techno’s somewhat accented but overall utilitarian appearance goes hand-in-hand with its proven standing as a hard worker.
I heartily recommend it, but with a few caveats. For making long slicing cuts in materials with the meat of the blade, instead of the tip, you’ll want a knife with a thinner blade.
How Much, and Where to Buy?
Like the Spyderco Southard I reviewed, the Techno is made in Taichung, Taiwan. Don’t let that deter you – the quality that comes out of Spyderco’s Taiwan operations is amazing.
As of the time of this posting, Amazon seems to have the best price ($177.11, less through 3rd party sellers).