Simple Steel: Cost-‘Efficient’ Knife Review

Knife prices push regularly into the hundreds of dollars for a good blade. The Efficient by Spyderco offers quality for a fair price.

The cost of high-end production knives has risen dramatically. It used to be knives north of the $330 “Sebenza Barrier” (the acclaimed Chris Reeve Sebenza knife) were rare. Now there are hundreds of blades that cost more.

The top of the range jumped from around $700 for a Rockstead, to $1,600 for the 3D-printed Lionsteel TM-1, to the jaw-dropping $2,400 Rockstead Nehan.

But 2017 has been the year of great “budget blades.” Spyderco released a trio of cool knives, including the Efficient, which I see as an exceptional value at less than $50.

Review: Spyderco Efficient

The Efficient is one of the few Chinese-made knives at Spyderco. It runs 8Cr13MoV, a lesser steel on the market today, but besides that one major drawback it’s a solid everyday knife. It has many of the design cues that make Spyderco knives beloved.

This is a humpless Spyderco—a rarity, and a benefit. It’s a design feature that limited the width of the knife in the pocket, a common complaint I have with many medium-size folders made at the brand’s Golden, Colo., facility.

Here, the Efficient also runs an effective forward finger choil, letting you choke up for precise cuts and allowing larger hands to use the modest folder. I also appreciate the liner lock and access cutout.

In this case, the access cutout works for both the Spyder-hole and liner lock itself, a clever design redundancy. Toss in the excellent spoon-style clip and the perfectly textured G10 handles, and you have a winner.

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But this is more than a bland, cost-friendly Spyderco (like the Tenacious). Here, the Efficient elevates above other $35 knives because it is simply a solid build.

Not only does the knife have solidity that is often missing in affordable blades, but it has refinement.

The edges of the handle, for example, are nicely rounded and comfortable. The liners are perfectly flush, something rarely seen in budget blades, and the blade finish was bright satin on an even full-flat grind.

Buy It, Try It, or Skip It

While Spyderco lists the Efficient at $65, you can find it at Cabela’s for $50 or sometimes online at budget sites for as low as $40.

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In short, this is the costwise Spyderco you want. It has all of the features and niceties at about half the price of a comparable blade.

Other than the 8Cr13MoV steel, which honestly isn’t that bad, you get everything you’d want out of a blade from Spyderco.

Don’t mess around. From “buy it, try it, or skip it, this is definitely a BUY IT.

–Find this knife at Cabela’s for $50.