Spyderco Yojimbo 2

9.7 score
[Editors rating (9.7) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.7)/10

Editor rating: 9.7 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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Spyderco Yojimbo 2 Review Facts

Out of the box, the hollow ground blade picks up light at any angle. It is sharper than some people expect from a knife fresh out of the box. The carriability is great. The shape makes the knife barely noticeable in the pocket. It rests in the pocket and causes no awkward outline. The Yojimbo is designed for self-defense. It translates to a bodyguard. The knife has an excellent feel and grip to it. The Wharncliffe shaped blade has a precise and delicate point control.

It excels in leaps and bounds. No awkward hand positioning is required. The edge is ideal for control. It is neither too far back or forward, culminating in a nifty point. The knife has a unique curve at the blade base makes controlling the tip and edge a lot easier without holding at an awkward angle. Little things make a knife great. The design of the Spyderco Yojimbo 2 makes it stand out. Because the knife is so sharp, it is recommended not to choke up on the blade. Choking up and wrapping the hand around the blade may cause a ‘spyderbite.’

The CPM S30V steel used for the blade is fantastic and has excellent edge retention. Its corrosion resistance is as good or better than 440C. Wear resistance and toughness of the blade receive high ratings.  After use, the blade retains shaving sharpness. No environmental-related rust occurs. There is no scratch from carrying or using the knife. The Wharncliffe blade has no belly. The blade is an excellent cutter and slicer that provides commendable use of the tip.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable handle with excellent ergonomics
  • Excellent finish and fit
  • Hollow ground Wharncliffe blade
  • Perfectly centered, satin finish blade
  • Pocket-friendly size
  • Smoothly opens and closes (bronze washers)
  • Customers reported slight rubbing on a G10 scale and some hot spots in need of sanding around the lock

Primary Use

Yojimbo is a Japanese film depicting two feuding crime bosses attempting to hire a samurai who arrived and is wandering their town. ‘Bodyguard’ is a fitting description of the Spyderco Yojimbo 2. It is an improvement of the original version.

Michael Janich, the founder of Martial Blade Concepts, worked the original proportions int a superior defensive knife. It has been pared down into a knife that is more refined. Janice no longer thought the butt of the knife needed to be used for manipulating or striking pressure points.

The overall handle length was shortened by a half inch. The dimple on the side of the scales is gone. Puppy-teeth-jimping that was on the top of the blade was removed. It irritated the flesh when the knife was employed in a thumb-forward Filipino grip. Some people think the knife has a peculiar folding knife design. Its easily recognized appearance results from a functional, ergonomic tool design rather than applying nylons and lipstick to a pocketknife.

Though it may look curious, it cannot be called undependable or unusable. The knife delivers consistently reliable high-performance. Pure and simple, the knife was designed to be a fighter. The well-built folder stands up to abuse and cuts like nobody’s business.

The Wharncliffe blade and solid tip cut from tip to grip. Those who carry a gun should also carry a knife. There are times when it is illegal or impractical to carry a gun, but the carriage of a folding knife is acceptable.


There is absolutely no play in the play in the blade. It can be grabbed by the tip and force applied in all directions without giving. The CPM S30V steel that was used on the original is used on the Yojimbo 2 also. It is not as angular due to being hollow ground rather than the full flat triangle blade of the original.

All the powerful potential of the original is maintained. The hollow ground makes the blade tip slightly thicker. It has a top line that is a smooth, gentle scallop. The blade rotates open with less thumb ‘English’ than the first run Yojimbo. It is due to the spatial relationship between the pivot point and spyderhole. It is minor but perceptible.

The steel is typically hardened between 59 and 1 Rockwell. It is thought to be among the best blade steel available. A fine metal powder made up of 1.45 percent carbon, 14 percent chromium, four percent molybdenum, and two percent vanadium is sprayed into a crucible before melting to achieve even vanadium carbides distribution that is harder and more effective than chromium carbonate for cutting. The blade provides extreme cutting performance with the transfer of power to the tip.


The Yojimbo 2 can be configured for left or right hand carry in either the tip-down or tip-up position with the four-position pocket clip. It enables rapid deployment when the knife is needed. Accessories for the Yojimbo 2 include titanium deep pocket clips.

One has a stonewash finish and countersunk holes. The clip is made upon order. Another has a dark anodized finish with an angry skull. It has countersunk holes with screws. The deep carry pocket clip lets the knife ride deep inside a pocket.

There are also custom scales. ARAMIS designs them. Two scales are included (right and left). The scales are tried on a Spyderco Yojimbo 2 before being sent. The process guarantees the scales will fit. They will not fit a fake or non-original. The scales are available in red and blue.

Also available is a GITD Glow Punisher knife handle. It provides incredible functionality and a unique look. The scales are ergonomically milled for prolonged fatigue-free cutting. Micarta is the manufacturer. They offer a comfortable grip with a significant weight reduction. The unique design has a checkered surface having a GITD punisher skull. Like the Spyderco Yojimbo 2 knife, it is designed and made in the U.S. There is a GITD backspacer also ergonomically designed for prolonged fatigue-free cutting. It fits and provides functionality and a unique look.


To shore up the Yojimbo 2 integral steel liners provide an inboard framework of black G10 slabs. The Yo 2 retains the compression lock due to the knife’s high strength. Spyderco is dedicated to research and development of better performing materials with reliability and function being key.

The company repeatedly test for optimal heat-treating, wear, and stress. They search for performance-enhancing materials and steels. The Spyderco Yojimbo 2 displays the company’s commitment to the incorporation of excellent craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

Nested stainless steel liners form the compression lock mechanism backbone and give structural strength. The G10 handle is fiber reinforced. The material is impervious to cracking, chipping, splitting, contraction, expansion, and moisture absorption.

The improved Spyderco compression lock is among the company’s strongest locks. The updated grind and blade shape provide a point that is stronger than the original, which received complaints of being prone to breakage. It is a rock solid knife. Used right, left, up or down it does not budge.


The handle of the Spyderco Yojimbo 2 is light but durable. The high-speed opening is supported by the mass of the blade for either ‘flick of the wrist’ or manual opening. Open-back construction reduces weight and makes cleaning easy. The spine is thicker than some self-defense knives. More mass is given on swings and strikes. The knife weighs 4.58 ounces. Each person has a different handle, balance, and weight preference.

Knives are lighter, smaller, and easier to carry than a firearm. The knife has to be compatible with the lifestyle and wardrobe of the person who carries it. A giant, crew-served knife may tuck in a waistband or pocket of a pair of jeans, but when wearing shorts, the clothing no longer supports the bulk and weight of the knife.

Dressed in a suit or business-casual attire causes a large knife to stick out and can make those around the carrier nervous. A reasonable, non-threatening knife like the Yojimbo 2 that blends with what is worn is more likely to avoid detection.


One tester remembers thinking how dumb looking the Yojimbo 2 was. The Spyderco Yo 2 displays the company’s unusual thinking about the design of a folding knife. It is designed to be a personal security tool. The knife reflects the lessons Mike Janich learned from the first Yojimbo knife. Everything on the Spyderco Yojimbo 2 is aligned and symmetrical. There are no outliers or bumps on any part, edge, or ridge.

It is smooth when closed or opened. There are no sharp edges. The design of the Yojimbo 2 is more forgiving in the pocket and the hand than the original. It is more user-friendly. Complementing the premium steel blade, Spyderco incorporated textured, contoured, G10 handle scales that are designed to ensure maximum contact between the handle of the knife and the user’s hand.

It also complements the natural contour of the hand. The Wharncliffe blade has full cutting power along the blade to the point. It penetrates better than the majority of other blade profiles. The handle length is about the same size as the popular Spyderco Delica model.

It is compact and suitable for carrying in a pocket if the clip is not used. The ’pivot detent’ of its predecessor has been eliminated. The hourglass clip structure is superior to the original. The handle has 420J stainless steel liners that are nested in black textured G10.


The primary safety components of a knife are the blade and the handle. The knife has an amazing, strong, and versatile compression lock. It has to points of contact that prevent the blades from moving. The design allows the user to close and open the blade without getting in the way. Fewer bites occur. If the compression lock were to fail, an unnatural bend occurs that makes it durable. If the user forgets to remove the hand, a safety feature prevents closure on the hand.

The patented feature uses a leaf-like spring that wedges between the stop pin and a blade tang ramp that lets the user release the lock with the right or left hand. The clip is positioned to permit the knife to fall into the correct opening position for drawing and deployment of the knife. The shape of the handle fills the hand, particularly the palm. It is better than the original while continuing to provide a solid integral guard and exceptional ergonomics.


Mike Janich envisioned a folding knife in a denim-colored G10 having a matching pocket clip. It was cost prohibitive, so the original Yojimbo had off-the-shelf blue scales. Janich did achieve a redesign with the Yojimbo 2 that has been sold out at least two times.

An extra shift at the manufacturing plant was implemented to keep up with the demand. The MSRP $189.95. Amazon sells the knife for $139.40 with a plain G10 edge blade. The knife with a CPM 20CV blade retails for $227.47.

Purchasing a Spyderco Yojimbo 2 means the product bought is a reliable, high-quality, cutting tool manufactured and designed for ergonomic comfort and peak performance. One of the testers gave the Yojimbo 2 a five out of five rating for ‘Value for the money.’

Key Features

* 0.141-inch blade thickness
* 0.54-inch handle thickness
* 3.15-inch blade length
* 4.45-inch closed length
* 4.58-ounce weight
* 7.6-inch open length
* Compression lock
* CPM S30V steel blade
* Right/left hand carry with tip up or down

Bottom Line

Though the Spyderco Yojimbo 2 is an unconventional design, it keeps with the Spyderco philosophy of designing tools that are functional and ergonomic. The knife incorporates premium materials and is subject to meticulous quality control.

It is meant to last a lifetime. The company thinks beyond established knife industry barriers. Radical innovations have been introduced that include single-hand opening and a clip that attaches the knife to a pocket.

The mounting positions of the clip conceal the knife well. It makes use of deep-pocket carry that is very popular. The Spyderco trademark has a blade hole that provides excellent support for various opening techniques that include the conventional thumb, ‘Spyder Drop,’ ring finger, and ‘marble shooter’ opening.