The Spyderco SpyOpera folder hits all the high notes.
Reliable. Curves in all the right places. Silky surfaces, artfully shaped, and easy on the eyes. No, I’m not describing the kind of lady you might desire as a mate, nor a comely feline. I’m describing the SpyOpera, a lovely little EDC folder from Spyderco, designed by Italian custom knifemaker “Max,” that hits all the right notes.
SPYDERCO SPYOPERA NOTE BY NOTE
When my SpyOpera first arrived, I was a little surprised at how small and light it was. This was my bad, because I probably hadn’t carefully read the specs before selecting it to review. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how perfect the size was for EDC and carrying out tasks at home. Open, the knife measures 6.9 inches and closed, it comes in at a little over 4 inches.
“… The Round Hole works just as intended, allowing you to deftly open the blade with one hand by snuggling your thumb into it and flipping the blade out.”
Featuring Spyderco’s signature “Round Hole,” which serves in place of a traditional nail nick, the SpyOpera has a fairly modest 2.9-inch, plain-edge, drop-point blade. The blade features a full-flat grind made in collaboration with LionSteel, a company originating in Maniago, Italy, which is also where this knife is made. The steel is M390 stainless steel, one of the most rigid premium steels on the market, and it is stamped with the (cute) Spyderco spider logo.
Skeletonized titanium liners house the blade in a closed-back, elegantly tapered handle. The blade’s spine, the lockbar and the backspacer are all contoured with a smooth crown. The scales are silky-smooth, brown canvas Micarta, punctuated with two “sheriff-star” pins. It’s not the most attractive color for me (I like things a little flashier), but I’m sure most menfolk would find it appealing. The handle features a nice little front quillion, an ambidextrous, deep-carry wire pocket clip and a (possibly too) small lanyard hole. The SpyOpera is configured for tip-up carry. Its MSRP is $262.50, which feels a little high for this size of a blade, and one that is maybe not the most versatile you could buy, but you get what you pay for, and Spyderco knives are top-notch.
The SpyOpera is a sweet little thing that’s ideal for EDC. At under 3 ounces, the folder’s light weight and sleek contours make it a joy to carry around the office or home. Its size was perfect for me and my snug/small lady-pant pockets, and the clip held fast.
My favorite thing about this knife is how it feels in hand. It’s incredibly smooth; every single edge (except for the one that matters) has been meticulously sculpted and all the little pokeys removed. Even the back corner of the blade (which is exposed when the knife is closed) has been filed down so there isn’t a sharp edge—now that is attention to detail! The back lock takes just the right amount of pressure to allow the blade to unlock, and the Round Hole works just as intended, allowing you to deftly open the blade with one hand by snuggling your thumb into it and flipping the blade out. Chef’s kiss!
Right out of the box, the SpyOpera was sharp as all get-out. Its smaller size makes it require a little more strength than a beefier blade, but even so, I found no hotspots as I made my way through everything from rope to plastic tubing. It definitely took more energy to piece apart plastic and nylon rope, but that’s surely due to its size and not a lack of sharpness. The blade especially had a taste for paper, apples, and cardboard, which are among the main things you’d use this little fellow for, anyway.
“Spyderco is known for its quality and ingenuity, and it certainly does not disappoint with this knife.”
There are only two things I would mention that could be construed as less than perfect. One is that the SpyOpera once sprang out of my pocket and onto pavement (my pant pockets were impractically small that day and I was getting out of a car), and two minuscule chips came off of the edge of a scale. They are nearly invisible, but I can feel them with my thumbnail when I run it along the edge, and I am minorly concerned that they may open up more over time. No biggie. Micarta can take a beating.
The other thing has more to do with personal preference than the quality of the knife. Although extraordinarily crafted, the SpyOpera is a little dainty for me and not as versatile as some knives. It truly is more of a domestic EDC blade, more suited for opening packages, fine-detail work or tamer endeavors, rather than anything woodsy. It could serve you well for less-urban things, too, like slicing snacks on a picnic, whittling, or cutting fishing line. But if you like a stocky, rough-and-tumble, masculine blade, the SpyOpera may not call to you with its siren song.
Let’s end on the SpyOpera’s many high notes. First, the craftsmanship, detail and feel of this folder in your hand is flawless. Spyderco is known for its quality and ingenuity, and it certainly does not disappoint with this knife. The size and weight is ideal for urban EDC, and its sexy, upswept handle curve and smooth surfaces will have you wanting to spin it around in your hand and attempt tricks. It seriously has the hand appeal of one of those fidget spinners. Best of all is Spyderco’s patented Round Hole; I am not a fan of nail nicks, so this design is preferable to me (although not everyone will love the broader profile).
Most important, the SpyOpera is sharp and the handle-to-blade ratio is just right for any smaller tasks you can find for it. It really shines with peeling fruit, slicing cardboard, and feathering (fairly soft) sticks for tinder.
If you (or the gal in your life) are looking for a premium folding pocketknife to accompany you through opening all of life’s packages (and for other menial tasks), the SpyOpera will serve you well.
Blade Length: 2.90 inches
Blade Edge Length: 2.72 inches
Blade Edge: Plain
Blade Steel: M390
Blade Thickness: 0.118 inch
Overall Length: 6.90 inches
Closed Length: 4.03 inches
Weight: 2.70 ounces
Lock Type: Back lock
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WHAT’S WITH THE ROUND HOLE?
Granted a U.S. utility patent in 1981, Spyderco’s iconic Round Hole serves as a thumb hole in place of a traditional nail nick or thumb stud. The hole lends the blade a unique profile, doesn’t interfere with the blade’s cutting action, and provides more surface area to grip and flip open the blade with one hand. You don’t even need an assisted opening mechanism if you have a thumb hole. If you’re not used to Spyderco knives, the Round Hole may look a little odd to you. But once you try it, you’ll see why it was a revolutionary design choice.