The Spyderco Tenacious G-10 is a solid performer, edged out only by sophisticated products costing much more. For the money, the Spyderco is a great performer. In this crowded field, this model stands out in that it doesn't stand out. It is solid, simple, and ready for your application. The Editors' Choice Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 has assisted opening, more sophisticated blade, and locking mechanisms, and is slightly smaller. The Top Pick SOG Trident Elite is similar in size, with a similar blade but also adds rescue and tactical features.
Spyderco Tenacious G-10 Review
Cons: No assisted opening
#8 of 14
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Spyderco Tenacious G-10 is a full-size, utilitarian blade with some unique attributes that deserve your attention.
On our weighted, overall scoring rubric, the Tenacious comes out right around the middle. This is a good thing, as we have an excellent sub-selection of the best knives on the market.
In assessing blade and edge integrity, we have to look at a whole range of things. First, of course, is the initial sharpness. No knife will pass muster if it comes from the manufacturer dull. The Spyderco can shave you. That's good. Next, the blade material informs edge integrity and sharpening characteristics, to some degree. The 8Cr13Mov steel that Spyderco uses in the Tenacious knife is highly regarded, but not the best in the business.
For shoppers with a modicum of knife knowledge, the 8Cr13Mov steel is a Chinese interpretation of the famous AUS8 steel you may have heard of and is used in our Top Pick SOG Trident Elite. Finally, the performance of the blade material is informed by the hardening process used. The best steel, unhardened or hardened poorly, is useless. Poor steel, hardened well, can perform quite well. Each knife manufacturer is relatively tight-lipped about its hardening process, and only the most die-hard knife users and reviewers, with special instrumentation, can deduce the worth of the hardening process. Rest assured that Spyderco's hardening process is high. What we end up with, then, is a blade that sits right in the middle of our test roster.
The blades on the Benchmade knives, including the Editors' Choice Mini Barrage 585 exceed the Spyderco in overall performance. Also, the Best Buy Kershaw Leek has a blade that is perhaps more delicate and therefore specialized but performs ahead of the Tenacious, overall. With various pros and cons balancing out, the blades of the other Best Buy Opinel No. 8 and Top Pick SOG Trident Elite roughly tie the performance of the Spyderco.
In most ways, the form of the Spyderco is utilitarian. The handle is rather squared off, and the blade has clean, squared off back edges. The size is decidedly "full," optimized for heavy tasks and big hands. The sprung "liner lock" works fine. The best ergonomic attribute, especially for those who are not accustomed yet to carrying a pocket knife clipped in your pants, is the fact that the pocket clip of the Tenacious can be configured any one of four different ways. It can be hung in your pocket tip up or down, with the blade opening with your left or right thumb, in any combination of these two variables. Whether you don't yet have a strong preference for carrying orientation or you have a preference and cannot find a knife configured how you like, this customizability is welcome.
No other knives in our test have all four configuration options. Regarding size, only the Benchmade Griptillian, Buck Knives 110 Famous Folder, Kershaw Blur, and Top Pick SOG Trident Elite can be considered truly "full size" alongside the Tenacious. For large hands and large tasks, this is great. For most others, however, the slightly downsized Benchmade Mini Barrage or Best Buy Opinel No 08 each offers a better balance of portability and function. We wish the handle of the Tenacious was more rounded, like the SOG and Benchmade.
Full-size knives are bulky. The Spyderco is no exception. By our measured dimensions, the Tenacious is roughly average among the full-size knives. It is a little thinner than the others, but the opposite dimension -let's call it depth- is much greater. It sits, therefore, fairly low profile in your pocket. The aforementioned customizability of the pocket clip ensures that you can carry it exactly how you like. Regardless of the carry options, the bulk of the Tenacious will always hamstring it concerning portability.
The smaller Benchmade Mini Barrage is more portable, while the other full-size knives are roughly the same as the Tenacious. The little knives, including the Top Pick Victorinox Classic, are far more portable. Each of these small knives virtually disappears in your pocket or on a keychain.
There are no other features on the Spyderco Tenacious. This is simply a single-blade pocket knife. For escape and evasion features, check out the Top Pick SOG Trident Elite.
All the knives we tested are well built. To make a tight, durable knife is fairly easy. To stand out, a well-built knife must optimize the other attributes. Using excellent materials and processes in the blade, as well as carefully tuning the portability and ergonomic qualities speak to the underlying construction quality. Finally, doing so at a reasonable weight is crucial. If it easy to make a sturdy knife, it is harder to do so at a moderate to low weight. The Spyderco is among heaviest knives in our review. The old school Buck Knives Famous Folder is more burdensome, and that by a ton. Of the modern-constructed knives, few are more substantial than the Tenacious. This suggests quality, both in initial impression and in a deeper examination.
The Benchmade knives approximate the same construction quality, in much lighter form. The small knives are far more flimsy than the Spyderco, but we overlook that because of the tiny size. The liner lock, for instance, of the Old Timer 180T Mighty Mite is similar to that on the Spyderco, but is stickier and more prone to issues. This is likely due mostly to the diminutive stature of the lock on the Old Timer.
Spyderco's Tenacious knife is exactly that. It is sturdy, long lasting, and won't quit until you do. The materials will last a lifetime of day-to-day tasks. We recommend this for everyday use, provided you have the space to carry it.
Regarding price, the closest competitor is the Best Buy Kershaw Leek. The Leek is just a little more expensive, but offers a better blade and assisted opening function. Of the two, for every day carry by average users, the Leek edges ahead in value. However, the Tenacious is among the least expensive full-size knives we tested. For users with big hands, big pockets (literally. Not in the financial sense), and heavy tasks to tackle the Spyderco is the best value in a full-size form.
Spyderco makes well-regarded pocket knives. They also make great knife sharpening systems. The Tenacious is an excellent, full-size pocket knife at a reasonable price.
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Most recent review: August 21, 2017
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