On the internet, nothing is ever truly gone. So, if you find the out-of-production Spyderco Brouwer, make a bid and know you did the right thing.
The Caly3, the Slycz Bowie, the PM2, or the Dragonfly — the crown for best Spyderco blade is widely debated. I am not sure, but one knife that absolutely deserves to be in the conversation is the Spyderco Brouwer.
This is a knife that has recently gone out of production, but given its impeccable design, it is definitely worth tracking down. When it was initially released, I was obsessed with its flaws.
Over the years, I have come to appreciate its features and my estimation of the knife has improved (on my personal site, it received a 14/20 initially, but I wrote another review later reflecting its improved standing).
Spyderco Brouwer Review
- Steel: S30V
- Grind: Full Flat Grind
- Lock: Framelock
- Blade length: 2.82 in.
- Handle length: 4.00 in.
- OAL: 6.82 in.
- Weight: 2.8 oz.
- Price: $199
- Country of origin: Taiwan
This knife is a production collaboration between Spyderco and Jerry Brouwer, based on his custom design called the Flanker. It is a titanium framelock with a show scale made of British Racing Green G10.
Unlike many Spyderco knives, the Brouwer is humpless, making for a very slim profile and a nice knife to carry. The entire thought process behind the Flanker/Brouwer is to create an ideal everyday carry knife capable of doing general utility tasks exceptionally well.
The blade shape is a visually pleasing and useful drop point and the knife has a full forward finger choil. Like almost all Spydercos, the Brouwer has a clip. Consider this foreshadowing.
I have owned and carried the Brouwer since its initial release and it has served me well. In many ways, this is the very epitome of an EDC knife — small, broadly useful, and well-made.
The action on the Brouwer, along with the fit and finish generally, is superb. The Taichung Taiwan OEM Spyderco uses has long produced some of the most well-made knives in the Spyderco lineup, and the Brouwer continues that heritage.
The in-hand feel of the Brouwer is among the best of any production knife I have handled. Thanks to a small profile, chamfered edges, and a great choil, this knife practically melts into your hand.
The blade shape is also a high point here — drop points have always been eye-catching designs all the way back to their Loveless origins clothed in green micarta and red felt. It is a non-threatening, highly functional design.
There are three things to complain about the Brouwer, other than its now-OOP status.
First, the steel, S30V, is a bit long in the tooth. It’s not a bad steel, just an older one. For the money, I’d like to see a better steel.
Second, the blade stock is a bit thick. The Brouwer will still slice and not split an apple, but it could be thinner. I suppose thicker stock makes the knife slightly more versatile, but for me, thin is always better. Both of these are minor gripes in the grand scheme.
The real problem is the stock clip. In an effort to shoehorn in both a clip and a lanyard hole, Spyderco had to offset the clip a bit on the lock side.
The brand also chose one of its larger off-the-shelf designs. The result is a huge clip on a smallish knife. It causes hotspots, looks ugly, and ruins the overall feel of the knife. It just doesn’t work.
Fortunately, there are dozens of outfits offering replacement clips. In particular, I swapped out the stock clip with a titanium number of Casey Lynch, and the knife has been great ever since.
Spyderco Brouwer: Conclusion
Despite the “cliptastrophe,” the Brouwer is an excellent design, perhaps the best Spyderco not designed by a Glesser.
It works well in the pocket regardless of the task and isn’t exceptionally expensive. You should buy one while they remain in stock; just be sure to add an additional $30 to the price for a replacement clip. Highly recommended.