If necessity is the mother of invention, then, in the knife world, legal restrictions are the parents of innovative design.
When switchblades were banned in the 1950s a wave of new knives came out that worked around the law. Today, with modern materials and super tight tolerances, flippers, free of any assist or spring, are as fast as the infamous “Greaser Knife.”
Similarly, when the TSA announced that it would allow knives on flights again (the regulation was never approved), a number of companies started making blades that fit these regulations.
The only one that made it to market was the Spyderco Roadie.
Spyderco Roadie Review
The Roadie ($80 retail, $46 online) is a great little slipjoint knife with an innovative opener, good steel, and a size and weight that lets it disappear in your pocket. If you want as people friendly a blade as possible, the Roadie is it. It also happens to have the most quintessential of all Spyderco trademarks–amazing ergonomics (and you thought I was going to write “Spydie Hole”…it has that too).
The opener, a small dished out circle near the front of the knife works very well and is a great improvement on the classic nail nick. No need to fight a backspring with your fingernail — you can just pinch the blade in the right spot and open the Roadie.
Opened, the Roadie offers a surprise. It is a very small knife, but as if by a miracle, Spyderco has coaxed a full four finger grip out of the handle. This is, in part, thanks to a good half-and-half choil (the notched, unsharpened base and spine of the blade used for grip). I have medium sized hands, so take that into account, but, either way, you’ll be shocked at how many digits you can get on the handle.
Once the knife is open and in hand, you’ll realize that you can do some real work. It’s not a locking knife, but the finger choil helps prevent it from closing. It also has a half-stop, a place where the blade pauses before it closes shut, for added safety.
The knife runs a good flat ground blade and though it’s a thick piece of N690 steel, it slices well. The bulbous nose of the knife not only makes it safer–reducing the point — it also makes the knife more people friendly. Even the most squeamish anti-knife person would call the Roadie cute.
Overall, I was very surprised at how much I liked this little blade.
- Price: $80 retail, about $50 (in a variety of colors) online
- Steel: N690Co
- Blade Length: 2.09 inches
- Overall Length: 5.08 inches
- Weight: 1 ounce
- Made in: Italy