As my first Spyderco knife, I’m more than happy with the Efficient. This inexpensive little pocket knife packs plenty of features into a small package. For its entry-level price, you get more than you pay for, in my opinion. If you’re looking for a gift for someone, or just need a decent every day carry knife for yourself, read on.
While its MSRP is $64.95, you can often find it priced online around $40 or so. What do you get for $40? Quite a bit, actually. For a good grip, the G-10 scales with their fine texture are hard to beat. The blade is made with 8Cr13MoV steel. If you’re not familiar with this steel, it’s a “value steel”, which doesn’t mean cheap. Instead, it’s a steel that is easy to sharpen, but won’t hold an edge as long as more expensive blades. As prices go up, you may get a better steel, but they are generally more difficult to sharpen. Not so much with the Efficient – I can touch it up easily with a $10 sharpener. Heck, even the bottom of a ceramic coffee mug will work in a pinch.
Actual specs for the Efficient are just about right for EDC. The blade comes in at 2.98 inches, of which 2.65 inches has an edge. It’s 4.09 inches when closed, and 7.07 inches when open. At 4.1 ounces, you’ll hardly notice it clipped to your pocket. Speaking of clips, it includes a nicely polished one, which is reversible. For tip up or tip down carry, it rides deep.
This is a knife that just feels really good in your hand. Spyderco’s famous Round Hole™ makes it easy to open with one hand, and it’s nicely balanced. From there, a liner lock ensures it stays open. Note that there was zero wiggle on my test knife when locked. Combined with the flat ground, drop-point blade, this is a simple, no-nonsense knife. Easy to open, easy to close, easy to sharpen. Of course, it’s easy to use too. The choil at the base of the blade, and jimping on the spine both ensure good grip and control for fine work. For heavy cutting, or precise whittling, it handles well.
I carry a knife every day, and can’t imagine not having one handy. There are so many times throughout the day that I find myself needing one. From opening packages and boxes, to that loose thread on my jacket, it’s always something. Outside of work, there is even more. Around the house and yard, I need to cut twine, irrigation hose, and slice open bags of mulch or soil amendments. I’ve even used a pocket knife to lay sod for my dogs. After a thorough wash, I’ve used them to slice lunch, cut veggies, or even split a sandwich or slice of pizza. For chores like that, the Efficient is ideal.
Like every other knife I own, the Efficient saw some rough use. For instance, recycling cardboard boxes will take the edge off any blade. It held up pretty well, and as mentioned, it’s easy to touch up the edge. I also used it to carve some hard plastic. The ergonomics of this knife gave me confidence to tackle this task. I’ve got a scar from a deep cut which resulted from a knife with a sharp blade but poor grip. No worries about that with the Efficient.
Overall, I’d say this is one of the best knives I’ve reviewed at this price point, or even a bit above it. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with Spyderco. And if you’re not familiar, I suggest you check out their site. I especially like the page that explains their edge grinds, as well as the one that lists all the various steels. They also have a great forum, with members more than willing to share their knowledge and experience. Clearly, this is a company that makes products their customers are proud to own. Spyderco.com
A special thanks to Spyderco for providing their Efficient for this review. After years and years of seeing the “the knife with the hole in the blade”, it’s great to be able to share one with our readers.