Knife designer Phil Wilson was the collaborator on Spyderco’s Bow River. Wilson drew upon his experiences as an outdoorsman—as a hunter and fisherman—for this creation.

The Spyderco Bow River features a full-flat-ground, trailing-point blade made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. It has smooth, rounded grip panels of layered black and gray G10. It’s very striking and different. Whether it appeals to you or not, one thing’s for sure: You won’t lose it if you set it down while field dressing a deer.

It comes with a black leather belt sheath. The knife slides deeply into the sheath to keep it secure. It’s a perfect size with its 3.65-inch cutting edge. It is thin, just 0.108 inch thick. Those dimensions, coupled with its slight trailing-point blade shape will make it my ideal for field dressing big game.

Knife Review: The Spyderco Bow River

Its handle is sufficiently wide to be comfortable and secure in the hand during use. The grip is rounded at the butt and fits very nicely in the palm. It wasn’t hunting season when I conducted my tests, so field dressing game was out of the question.

But I did thaw some beef steaks and the Bow River performed well cutting those into strips. I also used it to slice wood shavings that I use typically to start the twig stove I made from an aluminum can.

Some might choose a more robust knife if a knife is your only tool. But pair the Bow River with a hatchet and folding saw and there isn’t much you can’t do when it comes to living outside. I’m a big proponent of that three-tool kit. The Bow River, with a suggested retail price of $54, is a great value.



Overall Length: 8.14 inches
Blade Length: 4.36 inches
Edge Length: 3.65 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.108 inch
Material of Blade: 8Cr13MoV
Blade Configuration: Trailing point
Grind: Full flat
Handle: G10
Sheath: Leather with belt loop
Weight: 3.8 ounces

MSRP: $54


Editor’s Note:

A version of this article first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2022 print issue of Knives Illustrated.