Spyderco has long advertised its belief in “Constant Quality Improvement” (C.Q.I.), which emphasizes continuous upgrades and evolution, bit by bit. No knife strikes this message home more to me than this version of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2. From a design that arose in the mid 90’s, we now have a little big knife with bleeding edge material and second-to-none fit and finish.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Small EDC Knife – Amazon / Blade HQ
Aesthetically, the Dragonfly 2 is a Spyderco through and through. The leaf blade shape and over-sized choil echo the styling queues of the Sage series (1, 2, & 3) and the Lil’ Temperance, which I think most would agree is certainly not a bad thing. I personally lean towards these unique little slabs of steel as great examples of functional art. Yes, it does look quite odd for a knife, especially when you take into account that the overall length is only 14 cm (5.51 inches), but it’s good looking nonetheless.
The ZDP-189 blade is 57 mm (2.25 inches) long, which provides an interesting amount of cutting power into what is actually a very small package. The Spyderco Dragonfly 2, Balance, and Urban, among many others, are designed as small knives that can perform cutting tasks larger than their size would usually suggest. This is why they are often labelled “little big knives.”
The full flat ground ZDP-189 blade is a pleasure to use. I talked before about the advantages of super steels and whilst the VG-10 version of the Dragonfly 2 is definitely high performance enough for EDC uses, I do personally prefer the super steel version whenever possible, if only for the placebo of having “the best” regardless of real world/practical advantages.
The blade of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is roughly 3.18 mm (0.125 inches) thick, which is plenty enough for a knife this size. One might imagine that the grinds are super thin, but in reality, I found that the edge and tip were ground for utilitarian applications – definitely not super slicers. The tip is certainly sturdy enough to pry packages without undue fear of the tip snapping off.
I recently unboxed my first Kershaw Leek, and its anemic grinds and needle tip have actually skewed my understanding of what thin is to the extreme. I am sure to a lot of people the Dragonfly 2 is pretty damn thin, but after playing with the Kershaw Leek, it’s hard for me to think so!
Spyderco chose to use a mid lock for the Dragonfly 2. This one is particularly well implemented, with the deep Boye dent feature to stop the blade from accidentally disengaging should the knife be gripped too tight. All in all, I will always gravitate towards locks that support open construction, as I find the advantages in ease of cleaning and reduced weight outweigh any negatives, but I definitely don’t feel “under knifed” for rougher use with the Dragonfly 2. The lock is rock solid and features zero blade play in any direction.
At the end of the day, the lock is superbly implemented and biases aside, that’s all that matters. My two cents.
As I have often mentioned, I tend to prefer Spyderco’s wire clip whenever possible. In this particular instance, I think the utilitarian option would clash with its sleek styling, and thus I am glad that that Spyderco chose to use a small hourglass clip. The Dragonfly 2 doesn’t carry particularly deep, but it’s such a diminutive knife that I don’t think it garners that much attention – even when in hand.
Most definitely a sheeple friendly knife. If you live in an area were people might not take kindly to even us normal knife carrying folk – this one should still work out fine for you!
That stainless steel construction throws the balance off somewhat. Obviously, I would prefer a more neutral in-hand feel, but taking into account that this is an extremely small EDC knife, I think its comfort in use is acceptable. I imagine the FRN version provides a more neutral balance point due to having a similar lightweight backspacer to the the FRN Delica 4 and Endura 4 knives.
I talked about the grinds earlier. They’re very nice and even with functionally excellent jimping throughout the choil and thumb ramp. A decent utility cutter with a clean taper. A swedge on the spine emphasizes the piercing power and the illusion of super-thin blade stock.
The Nishijin weave glass fiber scales are quite honestly gorgeous. Elise owns the Spyderco Lum Chinese in the same material, and it’s probably her favourite handle material. The weave is extremely uniform, and is quite mesmerizing at specific angles. It deservedly gets a lot of attention from non-knife people!
The fit and finish on the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is very close to flawless, and as can be expected, the centering is dead center. The photograph below may suggest different (the camera angle must have been off), but trust me (I have the knife on my desk as I type this) it’s basically perfect. Top notch construction and finish with only the blade having uniform grind marks.
The stainless steel liners are skeletonized; thankfully, as this knife ain’t no featherweight. The Dragonfly 2 weighs in at roughly 56 grams (2 ounces), so anything to lessen the weight is more than welcome. Interestingly, Spyderco cut a banana shape portion out of the scales instead of simply cutting holes right through.
Side note: Online data says the Dragonfly 2 weighs 34 grams in FRN, and 56 grams in G-10. Not exactly sure how much this particular version (with the Nishijin Glass Fiber scales) weighs. Though this Amazon product page says it weighs 142 grams, that seems to be off to me.
Check out those flush liners with that stainless steel backspacer! Beautiful work from Seki, Japan. If they all came like this, then the Taiwanese Spydercos would have some serious competition!
Deployment is smooth and effortless, I don’t anticipate anyone having issues based on the handle size. The Spyderco hole is plenty large enough, and the lack of a hard detent makes gaining momentum trivial for consistent deployment.
Much like the Spyderco Sage series, the Dragonfly II features an oversized choil. Your digits are 110% safe, even in the unlikely scenario of the lock failing.
For a knife of such small stature, I found a forward grip with my pointing finger on the choil to be ideal. The in-hand retention was on par with knives much larger than the Dragonfly 2. This is probably one of my favourite little big knives to date, even besting the Balance!
Choking back with the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is non-optimal. Your hands can only manage a 3-finger grip, which in my opinion is not secure enough for serious work. With that said, the Dragonfly 2 does have a lanyard hole, so if you wanted to you could (by lanyard extension) get a full purchase on this teensy folder.
Reverse grip is adequately comfortable. The butt of the knife tapers to a point, so bare that in mind. I wouldn’t consider the Dragonfly 2 to be a tactical knife based on design choices, however, so that shouldn’t be held against it.
And finally, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in pinch grip is above average. Unfortunately, the lack of open frame construction means clean up would be hellish should you chose to perform messy tasks like field dressing with this little tyke, but it’s possible to use as such if you really have nothing else around.
One of the best looking Spydercos to date. Beautifully finished hardware, and incredibly unique scales that grab your attention like nothing else on the market!
Offerings like the ZDP-189/Nishijin Fiber scale edition of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 really make me question the value of custom knives.
This is quite possibly the most premium feeling knife at an absurdly low price point for what your getting. This knife is a limited edition sprint run as far as I know, so for the collectors out there, it’s definitely rare enough. It has a premium blade steel, scale materials, and is one of the most well-finished knives I have handled in recent years. It’s a remarkable feat at only $140 with extremely limited availability.
If you are on the fence about getting this I would snag it up- if you don’t like it you could always flip it down the line for a profit.
Jeff Bilbro says
Is the pocket clip reversible on this knife?
Thomas Xavier says
‘fraid not. :( The FRN version has reversible pocket clips however.