Short of chopping wood or extremely heavy work best…
Price Paid: $105
Short of chopping wood or extremely heavy work best left to a fixed-blade knife, or tool-like versatility you would get with a multi-tool, this is one of my favorites for hiking. This is a folding lock-blade knife that weighs about 3-3/4 ounces and is about five inches long, closed; the blade is 3-1/2 inches long.
Several things to like about this knife. It is very solidly made — nothing loose or wobbly. It has an excellent locking mechanism the company calls a "compression lock," the equivalent of a liner lock but along the spine of the knife. so, it has a strip of metal that springs into place against the wide end of the folding blade, just like a liner lock, when you open the blade.
the lock is right under the knuckle of your index finger. while it takes some getting used to, i like the fact that when i disengage the lock, my fingers don't need to be in the path of the blade as it closes. the blade absolutely will not close by accident.
The scales of the knife are made of G10 — a fiberglass/epoxy composite that is extremely durable. the outer surface is lightly textured, which helps make the knife more grippy, less likely to slip. It's worth noting that the texturing is less aggressive than you will find on some other G10 handles. Because G10 is so durable, scales with very deep texturing tend to scrape anything around them. Not a problem here.
I like the blade because it is relatively wide along the spine for a folding knife this size; because it is a clean, flat-ground blade that makes cutting things a little easier; has a nice, sharp, pointy tip; and because the steel used (CPM S30V) is very durable, stainless, and takes a very long time to dull. It is extremely sharp out of the box and stays that way.
Like many knives Spyderco makes, the blade unfolds via a large round hold at the back of the blade - it is very easy to open, even if you are wearing relatively heavy gloves, by just putting your thumb on the hole and flipping it open. The parts of the blade and handle you are most likely to hold when using the knife for lighter tasks, at the base of the blade, has a series of shallow notches that, like the handle, help keep the knife from slipping.
Finally, the knife has a metal spring clip, if you're one of those people who carries a knife in their pocket, and it has a large round hole at the bottom of the handle - I put a piece of round webbing through the hole and sometimes use it to secure the knife to a carabiner. That's helpful in some situations.
Downsides — if you aren't wearing gloves and really bear down on this knife with a lot of pressure, the compression lock can dig into your palm. Because the locking mechanism is different than more widely-used liner locks or lockbacks, you have to get familiar with it; some might not like it, i guess.
The blade tip is narrow and pointy, which serves a purpose, but it does not seem robust enough for any laborious prying - I could see that breaking the tip. Finally, sharpening any knife blade made from this type of steel is a time-consuming process because the steel is so hard.
This is by no means an inexpensive knife, but it is built to last and works very well. Worth the price in my view.