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Unconventional: Spyderco ‘Zulu’ Knife A Radical Design

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[leadin]This knife is avant-garde and, some may say, simply weird. But the Spyderco Zulu is nonetheless exceptional in the hand.[/leadin]

spyderco Zulu

If you apply the concept of the avant-garde to knives, you will arrive at something like a Jens Anso (pronounced “Yens ANsue”) design. Anso, one of the most popular custom knife and tool makers, has had a number of production collaborations, some with Fox, some with Boker, but his best collab knife, in my opinion, is the Spyderco Zulu.

The Zulu was the second of this three collaborations with the company, and it is certainly the best.

Knife As Art

Despite the striking design, the Zulu is one hell of work knife. Its swooping belly and pronounced recurve make it an excellent cutter and a very good knife in the kitchen.

The front portion of the cutting edge works something like a tanto’s secondary cutting edge, but with the curve built-in you can process food products with quick rocking motions.

The larger recurve portion chews up rope and cord. It also tackles fire preparation tasks with gusto.

spyderco zulu folding knife

The handle is also something entirely different from the crowd. The Zulu’s handle has a corrugated pattern cut into the G10, a pattern that looks something like fish scales but really locks the hand in place.

‘Anso Pattern’

The design, an Anso original, has come to be copied throughout the knife world and known as the “Anso pattern.” Like the knife blade itself, the pattern looks very unconventional yet sings once it is in your hand.

All of these amazing design features come together on a fabulously well made knife produced by Spyderco in its Taichung, Taiwan, factory. Over the last few years, this factory’s reputation has soared as it has produced knife after knife of superb quality.

Consensus in the knife world is that these are among the best Spyderco knives made, including those produced in the Golden, Colorado, factory.

spyderco zulu 2

Hard To Find

The only bad thing about the Zulu? Aside from the unconventional looks, if you count those as a bad thing, it is currently out of production.

It can, nonetheless, be tracked down both on forums and eBay and on specialty retailer sites that deal in knives, like Bento Box Shop. If you can find one and the looks don’t freak you out, you’ll be treated to one heck of a knife.


  • Price: MSRP $195; usually sells for about $130 as new stock (higher on the secondary market)
  • Steel: S30V
  • Blade Length: 3.03 inches
  • OAL: 6.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Review / Product Page


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