Spyderco Endura 4 Review Facts
Imitation is the finest form of flattery, or so they say. If you have a good, high quality product, there are going to be those less than honorable types who will lose no sleep over trying to replicate that item, ride the coattails of a good reputation, and sell cheap knock-off trash that cannot keep up with the real thing. This is the scenario that Spyderco deals with on a daily basis, and it has to leave you wondering: is their product really all that impressive that others would try to imitate it? The simple answer is yes, it is.
The primary intended use for all knives is exactly the same: to cut. The specificity of what shall be cu
t and why are more situational and are therefore secondary in purpose. The style of blade edge, size of the blade, and the design and manufacturing will factor into the intended field of use for a specific knife
. In the instance of the Endura 4, there are three different styles of edge, which makes it capable of covering a wider variety of needs and purposes. The Plain Edge is a smooth edge, making it ideal for slicing things such as tape on boxes. The Spyder Edge, being serrated, is more for cutting things such as rope, etc. The Combination Edge is the most versatile, making it useful for both smooth and serrated edge needs. Depending upon what sort of life you lead, what sort of work you do, and what intended purposes you have for your blade will direct your choices from the available editions and iterations of the Endura 4. There are plenty of options to choose from, so it is likely you will find one that suits your needs.
There are three different configurations of blade style for the Endura 4: Plain Edge, Combination Edge, and Spyder Edge. The Plain Edge is just what it describes: plain, smooth, and sharpened. The Spyder Edge is a repeating pattern of one large and two small serrations down the blade’s edge, offering a 24 percent increase to the blade edge’s surface. The Combination edge is – likely unsurprisingly – a mixture of Spyder Edge and Plain Edge going along the length of the sharpened blade. Additionally, the Emerson edition of the Endura comes with a hook on the blade’s spine in order to snag and quickly pivot open. This is intended for a quick draw, and was invented by the edition’s namesake, Ernest Emerson. In addition to the variation in design, the Emerson opener blade is also slightly longer, which renders the overall length of the opened knife longer as well. The difference is barely noticeable, going from a standard 3.75 inches (or 96 millimeters) blade length to 3.812 inches (or 97 millimeters), or in the case of the overall length the original is 8.75 inches (or 222 millimeters) long, whereas the Emerson is 8.812 inches (or 224 millimeters) long. It should also be noted that not every finish and blade combination is available. The Emerson, for example, only comes in Plain Edge. Other finishes will not come in the Combination or Spyder Edge. In every case, however, the blade is made of saber-ground VG-10 stainless steel. Sometimes, in certain finishes, the blade is issued in black, but the configurations are all otherwise the same. The blade thickness is always .125 inches (or 3 millimeters). The steel is always VG-10 stainless steel. The edge is always 3.438 inches (or 88 millimeters) in length, regardless of whether or not the blade is an Emerson edition.
Being as versatile a knife as the Spyderco Endura 4 is renders accessories almost un-needed. There are, depending upon where you obtain your knife, possible engraving options offered. The limit on character types, fonts, and character minimums and maximums will vary based on where you go, naturally, but be sure they are reputable before you hand over your knife for the blade to be permanently engraved with something. As for other accessories, there is not terribly much out there designed specifically for the Endura 4. Blade sharpening kits
are a possible consideration. Another accessory that may come up in your searches is a leather neck sheath, to be offered as an alternative to the 4-way pocket clip functionality that comes standard on the knife. Check the location from which you found the sheath and confirm authenticity and compatibility before purchasing. It is always possible that an aftermarket accessory not offered by the manufacturer may not be properly designed to suit the product; it could also void any warranty you may possess, if you use something not specifically approved by Spyderco.
Being made from skeletonized stainless steel liners, injection molded handles, and stainless steel VG-10 blades, the Spyderco Endura 4 is a knife designed with quality in mind. Assuming you acquire your knife from a reputable dealer who only handles genuine product, Spyderco has a lifetime warranty for the product you purchase. If you send your knife to their repairs and warranties department they will sharpen or repair your knife as needed (see their online total warranty explanation at spyderco.com). The Endura 4 is called the “four” because this is the fourth edition release of this knife – Spyderco is a 30 year old company with a fierce protection of its quality craftsmanship and reputation. Simply put, if they were not an impressive knife, they would not have counterfeiters trying to peddle knock-off knives as genuine Spyderco product. Your knife should be something that can be guaranteed for its lifetime; if it is authentic, Spyderco will do everything in its power to back up their reputation and maintain their integrity. If you find yourself wielding a Spyderco logo stamped knife and it is not only underwhelming, but downright poor quality, first as yourself whether or not it is possible this is a fake, because there is a difference between a durable knife needing upkeep from hard use and a shoddy knife falling apart on you because it was made cheaply and poorly.
Like most pocket knives of this size, the Endura 4 is not exceptionally heavy, weighing in at 3.6 ounces (or 103 grams). Having such a light overall heft makes this knife light enough to potentially be clipped on and forgotten as you go about your day, when other knives might have tugged at your pockets, weighed down your pants, or simply been uncomfortable to wear.
The handle of the Endura 4 is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon, or “FRN” as a choice of material. Like most pocket knives, the Endura 4 is offered in various handle finishes for aesthetic purposes. There are quite a few: flat ground (which comes in several different colors, that will vary in availability based on your retailer), black handle, black blade and handle, British Racing Green, Foliage Green, the Emerson Opener, Mahogany Pakkawood Plain Edge Exclusive, Stainless Steel, TI Damascus, Zome Green, Zome Orange, and the V-Toku Sprint. All of these finishes come in one of three blade edges: Plain, Combination, or Spyder. Additionally, as part of the handle, there is a bi-directional texturing to ensure a firm, slip-resistant grip when you hold the knife. The pocket clip is hourglass style and holds 4 positions, rendering it able to be clipped to the left or right side of the body with the tip up or down. After all of these options and specifications and versions, there is still one that has not yet been mentioned: the trainer. This knife is intended for exactly what it is called: training
. The handle is always designated as a red color, so you know right away what you are looking at when you see one. Another point of note is that, being a training blade, there is no sharpened edge. It will take on the appearance of a smooth edged version, or “Plain Edge” as Spyderco calls it, but there will be no sharpness to it. If you are intending this knife for someone as their first pocket knife, it is likely you may want to consider giving them the trainer first, so as to practice getting used to the weight and feel of the Endura 4 first in a safe way. Let them practice opening and closing it; let them find their most comfortably favored pocket, side, and clip direction before they ever have to touch a sharp-edged version of the knife. Not every knife offers something so close from blunt to sharp, so it may be worth considering if you want to have the wielder get used to something at full weight first, and then simply swap out the color for a non-trainer indication handle. Maybe you are taking your children fishing
, and your elder child is old enough to start learning to use the knife, but the younger now wants a knife to hold as well. This might be a nice way to avoid arguments between your children – as well as with your spouse – and still let your younger child feel “like a grown up” and enjoying responsibility, while you can rest easy knowing they cannot cut themselves open on the blade by mistake.
The Endura 4 is designed to require only one hand to open, a feature that is made ambidextrous not only by the 4-position clip but also by the round hole opening option, as opposed to a thumb stud or nail nick. This design makes it easy and quick to open with your thumb, the rest of the fingers holding the handle – drawing this blade out for use is a breeze. The solid lock-back mechanism
ensures that once you have the blade opened it will stay there securely until you are ready to close it. This combined with the clip on the outside of the handle makes this blade safe to keep in your pocket, since it can be made to point whichever way you need for whichever hand you prefer, leaving you with the best possible combination of hand-dominance and dexterity, along with a secure, in-place spot on your pocket
. You will not injure yourself reaching into a pocket to blindly grope for the knife that has slid down somewhere inside; you will not be forced to carry a blade on your non-dominant side due to a one-sided clip, leaving you potentially fumbling ungracefully with the sharp blade as you open it. Being your off-hand means less finesse, and in some cases, it also means less control. These minute design points of the Endura 4 work together to keep this knife in the safest place for your best wield. Even with all of these advantages on your side, it is always possible to injure yourself or others when wielding a knife. No matter how long you have carried a knife, worked with knives, or wielded knives, please exercise due caution at all times and respect them for the hazardous
tool they are. Anything in the hands of a reckless person has the potential to be dangerous; keep your motions fluid and your grip sure, but also keep your head level and your movements un-rushed. You owe it to yourself to carry you knife with capability and confidence, not cockiness and flippancy.
The price of a Spyderco Endura 4 is a special point of discussion because it is one of the easiest ways to spot a counterfeit knife. The retail cost of a genuine Spyderco knife is $125 USD, minimum, with special editions or engravings of course driving the price up, however slightly. If you find a Spyderco knife for less than this because a dealer with a good reputation is closing up shop to retire, or is going out of business, and can otherwise prove it is a guaranteed Spyderco, then congratulations, you have found a great deal. If you are shopping online for a knife and find a Spyderco knife for dirt cheap, look more closely. Is it genuine? Is the tiny spider logo stamp deserving of being there, or is it illegally stamped on a fake? Does it bear the circular hole method of opening? Is it an FRN handle, and genuine VG-10 stainless steel? More often than not, if something looks too good to be true, the chances are very good that it is. You might have found a real sale of the genuine article, but you also might have just been swindled out of eighty dollars because you did not want to spend $125. Pause to consider what you might be giving up by shaving that forty-five dollars off of the price tag. If your blade turns out to be junk, Spyderco will not back it up as their product. You may not be able to tell a counterfeit on sight, but they can, and if you send them an inauthentic blade in the hopes of having a repair job done, they will refuse and will send it back to you at your expense with the unfortunate reveal that you were swindled. Is it worth the cost of roughly a tank of gas to lose out on the benefits that come from purchasing the real deal? The answer is generally ‘no’ to such a question, but if you find yourself willing to gamble, remember that the odds are usually slanted in favor of the house – in this case, the shoddy supply point you are willing to work with.
-single-hand ambidextrous wielding
-4-position hourglass pocket clip
-over 10 finishes, 3 blade edge styles
Having a good product means there are going to be imitators. As long as you shop diligently, learn to know what to look for, in order to protect yourself, and verify your purchases, you will have a great blade that will offer you peace of mind as a knife wielder. If you do your homework – as well as report any peddlers of fake blades you come across – then Spyderco will do theirs, doing everything they can to ensure that the product you find on the market is only their high quality, warranty-covered product and not a cheap imitation. As much as you do not want to be swindled, Spyderco does not want to be privy to learning that their product is earning a bad name from someone who thinks they had a real Spyderco and did not, only to complain to the world that their Spyderco knife was awful. A company with that much honor and integrity can be trusted – especially after thirty years – to make a product worthy of so passionate a defense. Find yourself an original Spyderco Endura 4, and it will serve you well. Do not be afraid to pay good money for good quality; be afraid of trying to cut corners and find yourself saving no money in the long run when you have to replace a cheap fake inside of three months. Seek the real Endura 4, and you will not be sorry.