One to Watch: Spyderco Domino
Tony Sculimbrene 09.10.13
When the Spyderco Southard was announced, people were genuinely excited because it was both Spyderco’s first flipper and its first bearing pivot. Many people love that knife. Some folks, including me, don’t. You’d be hard pressed to find someone that thinks that it is a bad knife — it is expertly well-made, but it just lacked a few refinements that fans of Spyderco have come to expect.
The Spyderco Domino, designed by Eric Glesser, fixes those flaws in a definitive way. This is a Spyderco flipper, as opposed to a flipper made by Spyderco. Gone is the awkward pocket clip and the strange, pointy routed edges, and in its place is pure, simple Spyderco.
(Image courtesy of Spyderco, used with permission. Thanks JL!)
The strange, humped blade shape has been replaced by a tried and true leaf shaped blade. The thumb ramp created by the thumb hole has returned as well (with purposeful jimping included). The classic spoon pocket clip is back as well.
Some of the basics of the first flipper carry over though. This is a framelock, like the Southard. The Domino also has a bearing pivot. The world is crazy for Ti framelock flippers right now, so why not scratch that itch and release another?
The Domino bears many Eric Glesser trademarks, as it appears to be something like a Manix2 sized and shaped flipper. There is a well defined finger choil and a roughly 3.1 inch blade. But unlike the normal Manix2, this knife comes in a super premium steel, Carpenter’s CTS XHP, which is commonly billed as stainless D2. The TCC data backs that up, as this is an incredibly hard and durable steel. The show side scale is a special glass fiber weave that looks like extra shiny carbon fiber. The knife is also made in one of the finest production factories in the world–Spyderco’s Taichung, Taiwan facility. Among the Spyderco legion, their knives are often regarded as the best in terms of fit and finish, even compared to those made in Golden, CO, USA, Earth. All of this adds up to a knife, on paper, that can compete with the ZT0560 and still please the Spyderco faithful in a way that the Southard did not.
The price is clearly designed to compete with the ZT knives, coming in around $200 street. One wonders what this will do to the Benchmade flipper, the 300SN, as it is just a little cheaper than the Domino with none of the flash or high tech steel.
The Domino seems to be a robust design, as the Titanium lock is complemented with a steel overtravel device. So the flipper market just got a bit more crowded. The amazing thing about the Domino is that it weighs only 4.1 ounces, which is quite good for a knife of this size with a metal handle scale and a bearing pivot. That is less than both the ZT and the Benchmade and the same weight as the Southard.
History will judge the Southard, and reveal whether collectors and fans rate it highly or not. But it seems to me that the relative safe and very traditionally Spyderco design of the Domino all but guarantees that it will be fondly remembered and sell well. If the quirks of the Southard turned you off, but you still want a Spyderco flipper, the Domino is probably the knife you will probably buy next.