Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 FRN review

Spyderco Dragonfly 2 FRN

Click on the photos to view a larger version.

The Spyderco Dragonfly has been around for a long time. You might call the dragonfly the little brother to the Delica and the Endura . As with many Spyderco knives, the Dragonfly2 is a result of Sal Glesser (owner of Spyderco) and Co. constantly listening to and considering feedback from their end users. They call their evolutionary process of refining knives their C.Q.I. (Constant Quality Improvement) process. Sal, his son and their staff are well known in the knife industry and among enthusiasts for their constant interaction via email exchanges and on the various forums around the net (including their very own at www.spyderco.com). One thing is very evident; they listen. The Dragonfly2 is the result of improvements suggested by end users.

MATERIALS

The Dragonfly 2 uses FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) as it's scales or handle. If' you've ever owned a spyderco, you know what these scales feel like. They are nice and grippy. The Blade is made from one of my favorite steels, VG-10. VG-10 was originally designed for the Japanese cutlery market but was picked up by Spyderco for use in several of their knives. VG-10 lies in the mid range for RC hardness at around 59 or 60. I have found in use that I can (personally) sharpen VG-10 to a sharper edge than any blade material that I own. I can routinely get my VG-10 blades to razor or shaving sharp. Even better, they hold that edge for a long time. Not too hard, not too soft and it's stainless. I really like VG-10 steel.

Spyderco chose to utilize screws to hold everything together rather than the pins they used to use. I think this just exudes more quality than the pins and it allows for repairs or cleaning. 

BLADE

As stated above, the VG-10 blade is one of my favorite steels. This knife blade is a miniscule 2.25 inches and the cutting edge due to the choil is a mere 1 7/8 inches. In use however, this little blade can accomplish 80% of my every day cutting tasks and does so very well. The blade is available in plain edge or serrated (AKA Spyderedge). Despite the small size of this blade, it is very capable.

LOCK

The lock is a standard yet capable lockback style. Nothing fancy but it works and works well for a knife in this category as long as it's used for it's intended purposes. I wouldn't do any spine wacking experiments on it though :)

FIT AND FINISH

The fit and finish on my knife was very well done. All screws were tight, the clip was tight and the blade was reasonably centered. When open, there is VERY little side to side blade play and zero up and down.

ERGONOMICS

As stated previously, this is a small knife. I ordered this knife online due to so many people recommending it. I was admittedly a little apprehensive about such a small knife and thought it's uses would be limited. Further, I never expected to be able to flick it open like my larger Spyderco's. I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. While ergonomics are mostly a personal issue, I found this knife to work way better than expected in my hand. I'm a big guy (6'1") and have big hands but this little knife just works. I have found that the choil is very useful when performing small cutting tasks and find myself laying a index finger along the spine during many tasks. The ergonomics are very good in my book.

POCKET CLIP

While I like most all of the clips that come on Spyderco's knives, I like some better than others. On the little Dragonfly2, Spyderco has utilized a tip up (right or left) recessed wire clip. I like this clip better than most because it doesn't have the tenancy to loosen and wiggle back and forth like some of the other clips. It clips very well into the pants (or like I carry it) into a shirt pocket. It is held in place by a single screw and it holds it in place well.
The very nice wire pocket clip on the Dragonfly

SIZE AND WEIGHT

This knife weighs in at a feathery 1.2 ounces. Clipped into the pocket, you can honestly easily forget that it is there. I actually had a kydex neck sheath made for mine and it works great as a neck knife and "running knife". It's closed length is only 3 5/16 inches. Below is a photo of the Dragonfly 2 next to it's bigger cousin the Endura 4.
The Spyderco Dragonfly and it's bigger cousin, the Endura

and next to a Casio G-Shock watch:
For size comparison, the dragonfly and my G-Shock watch


SMOOTHNESS OF OPENING

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the Dragonfly 2. It opens very smoothly AND I can flick it open just as fast as my other Spyderco's with a snap of the thumb.

USES

If I have to nit pick anything on this knife I guess it would be that because it's small size, there are a few cutting tasks that it cannot handle well. It's not long enough to cut through large onions or tomatoes and would probably be the last knife I would reach for in a life or death situation (although it's better than nothing). Fortunately, it was not made for these purposes so this must be taken into consideration. It does VERY well, opening envelopes, peeling apples, opening boxes, cutting out splinters and scraping off cactus spines. In fact, I  used it on today's date just for that purpose. I think it will handle 80% of cutting tasks that most folks may encounter.

Being a runner, I often run in bad or rural areas. It's always a good idea to carry a last ditch self defense tool with you when you run alone be it for animals or someone wishing to do you harm. Many folks in the country let their dogs run loose and a person running often triggers a dogs "Prey Drive"; or the dog(s) could just be a biter; I have been bit.  While I often carry pepper spray for these dogs, sometimes spray fails to deploy due to expiration or faulty propellant or since most jogger sprays are small one can run out quick. In these cases, a knife makes a good backup. I have found that the Spyderco Dragonfly's weight makes it a perfect joggers knife. I carry it in one of two ways, either clipped to the outside of my shorts or in a custom made kydex neck sheath that I bought off of an ebay vendor. It has worked very well for jogs, hikes and bike rides. I think the FFG Delica would work well/better for the same purpose. The Dragonfly setup I use for Jogging, hiking and biking is below; it works well.
My Dragonfly2 jogging rig / neck knife

Even real Dragonfly's give their approval :)

CONCLUSION

As long as you consider this little knife within the scope of it's intended use, I don't think you can buy a better little "big" knife. I was a little skeptical reading all the rave reviews thinking I probably wouldn't like such a small knife. This knife however has won me over. I carry it every day in my shirt pocket on my LEO uniform. It is VERY sheeple friendly and can be easily sharpened to a razor edge.  If you are looking for a small bladed knife but want something with a bit more heft and strength than a standard small Swiss army knife and made with very good Japanese VG-10 steel, then I would highly recommend looking at the Spyderco Dragonfly2.

Ergonomics: 8/10 (feels surprisingly good despite it's small size, snaps open like a bigger Spyderco)
Looks: 9/10
Materials: 9/10 (For it's size, I love the materials. Good blade steel and FRN is perfect for a knife of this size)
Fit and Finish: 9/10 (Very good for a knife of this price range)
Camp Use: 6/10 (more suited as a gentleman's folder )
Hard/Military/Police Use: 3/10 (would have to be a last ditch tool)
EDC Use: 9/10 (a sheeple friendly but surprisingly useful blade)
Food Prep: 5/10 (a little small for this purpose but peels apples very well)
Skinning/Game Prep: 4/10 (too small for this purpose for all but very small game such as birds)
Warranty: 8/10
Zombie Usefulness: 3/10 (I guess you could put out their eye)



2 comments:

  1. El Cascabel, I found your blog while browsing bladeforums. Man you are an excellent photographer and I have spent the last half hour pouring through some of your old reviews. Love the Dragonfly 2 in the FRN, and couldn't agree more with your positive review.

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