Spyderco Brouwer
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

Track Down This Knife: One Small Change Makes the Spyderco Brouwer an Outstanding Secondhand Buy

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

Brouwer: Specs

  • 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
Spyderco Brouwer - blade
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

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.

Testing

Spyderco Brouwer - design
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

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.

Drawbacks

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.

Spyderco Brouwer - clip
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

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.

Check Availability at Blade HQ