Spyderco has become one of the “go to” manufacturers for knife enthusiasts who want high-quality, expert performance, and reliability in everything from EDC utility knives to tactical weapons (or a mix of the two).
Far from your “bargain box” blades, Spyderco knives are of exceptional quality, and the price tag certainly reflects it. Still, if you’re looking for innovation, consistency, and all-around superior craftsmanship, Spyderco is not known to disappoint.
In the following article, we’re going to be taking a look at the Spyderco Manix 2, a “full service” folding knife that, like all of the company’s products, is made in the USA and boasts some impressive features. How impressive? We’ll just have to see.
See below for our full, detailed Spyderco Manix 2 review.
See below for our full Schrade SCHF9 Review.
Spyderco has had a lot more “hits” than “misses” since opening its doors, and the latter hasn’t stuck around through multiple model years as the Manix 2 has. If what you want this knife for is anywhere under the umbrella of basic utility, self-defense, or survival, it should perform admirably.
|Ambidextrous ball bearing lock provides reliable strength and smooth operation.||Very popular, resulting in lots of fakes being distributed.|
|G-10 handle scales with plenty of jimping for extra grip.||QC issues and customer services issues have been reported regarding this knife.|
|Reversible deep pocket clip for multiple carry options.||Some find the handle design uncomfortable.|
|Large, broad blade with a versatile flat grind.||Is significantly heavier than many similarly-sized knives.|
|Made in the USA craftsmanship.||Some feel the handle is a little too “grippy,” and hard to get out of pants pockets quickly.|
|Longliners support both the blade and handle when deployed.||The thinness of the blade can cause the tip to break under strain.|
Tips to Keep in Mind when Buying a Knife
Before deciding whether or not the Spyderco Manix 2 is THE folding knife for you, you might want to consider whether or not it’s for you at all. That is to say, just wanting a knife doesn’t mean it will fit your needs – unless those needs are putting it on your mantle and never touching it again.
No, there are certain things that we must ask ourselves before investing in any new blade – things that have nothing to do with the knife, but can still dramatically affect our success with it.
Things to Consider
Overall Size – Most folders are designed around tactical use or EDC. That is to say – they’re only as big as they need to be, with pocket-size being the optimum goal. If you buy more knife than you can carry, you’re not going to be a satisfied customer. Buy less, and you’ll spend twice as much time at any task you attempt.
Your Location – Folding knives require a mechanism to move them from position to position. If you live in an area that is extremely wet, dry, hot, or cold, you could see that mechanism – or the blade itself – wear out much faster.
Deployment Mechanism – If its speed or one-handed deployment you’re after, or if safety is a concern, be sure you find out how the knife you’re buying functions.
Portability – EDC knives won’t live up to their name very long if they’re not designed for portability. Know the weight, length, whether it has a pocket clip, and other specs of your blade before committing to a purchase.
Your Budget – A knife you can’t afford is a knife you shouldn’t buy, so make sure you know what you’re looking at price-wise before making your choice. It might also be a good idea to look for the manufacturer’s warranties and other guarantees that might protect your investment.
The Manix 2 deploys to a full 8.03”, with 3.37” of that length dedicated to the durable and corrosion-resistant CPM S30V stainless steel blade. It closes to 4.66”, making it great for side pocket carry but questionable for back pockets (unless they’re extra deep).
It’s heavier than most of the competition, weighing 4.9 oz. (a full ounce more than most other flippers this size). While price points on the Spyderco Manix 2 can differ slightly, overall it is a fairly safe investment thanks to the limited manufacturer’s warranty.
If you still want to know more, we have all the dirty details coming up in the next few sections.
Specifications of the Spyderco Manix 2
Steel: CPM S30V Stainless Steel
Weight: 4.9 oz.
I might as well get out of the way that the Manix 2 is something of a “celebrity” among EDC folding knives. Thanks to the manufacturer’s reputation for quality and innovation, it’s become a widely-used (and widely-copied) knife since its introduction.
Like many of Spyderco’s products, it features a patented 14mm “Spyder Hole” that allows the user to flip it open with their thumb, as well as plenty of jimping and scales to support its natural ergonomic handle design.
Overall, it’s a well-sized, slightly weighty, but reliable folding knife that is well-suited to hard use in a warehouse, on the street, or in the woods. First, we’ll list the knife’s PROs and CONs, then we’ll pick apart each component to see how well they reflect the reputation of the whole.
Blade Design and Steel
The blade shapes on Spyderco’s folding knives don’t seem to vary much at first. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that there’s some conscious thought going into the subtle differences from model to model.
In the case of the Manix 2, both the spine and the cutting edge of the blade slope dramatically, forming a spear point that the manufacturer intended to offer lots of cutting versatility. However, that point has also ended up contributing to the knife’s chief complaint: the fragile tip.
To put it plainly – if you’re looking to pierce anything harder than particle board, you might want to reconsider this knife.
If piercing isn’t your goal, however, the Manix 2 will happily slice, feather, slit and carve pretty much anything you want it to – holding a great edge the entire time. Plus, the CPM S30V is reliable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to sharpen and maintain.
As I mentioned above, the spear point 3.37” blade is highly-versatile – designed for slicing, carving, and feathering a wide range of materials. This type of performance, in many cases, is precisely what most you will want in an EDC knife. However, not everyone will be thrilled with the blade’s inability to puncture and pierce. In fact, since the knife’s 0.125” thickness is almost completely unsupported, some users have reported instances of tips breaking off or blades bending, even though the length is a stout 3.37”.
To be fair, we can’t tell what type of activities these users were performing or materials they were attempting to pierce when this happened, so how much fault goes on the knife and how much goes on the user is anyone’s guess.
Overall, the blade of the Manix 2 is a logical design for a knife where versatility is a sought-after factor. In fact, it may have more tactical / self-defense applications than many other utility knives of its kind. Still, if “breakage” is a word that comes up at all in a review, you can’t blame people for wanting to know more.
CPM S30V is a hardened, vanadium carbide-rich stainless steel. It has a very refined grain and is built to be tough, durable, and resistant to “brittling” over time. Most knife manufacturers have given the steel extremely high marks, and it is overall considered a “premium” grade knife steel.
That being said, CPM S30V is quite expensive, and it has a dramatic effect on the price of the knives that feature it. Some also find it problematic that, though the steel maintains a razor-sharp edge for a long time, the carbides can actually wear out sharpening belts at a record pace.
This steel, armed with a nice full flat grind courtesy of the folks at Spyderco, will make for a heck of an impressive tool. Providing you take care of it, it should serve you well for years to come.
The Manix 2’s handle is 4.66″ of high-quality G-10, and the manufacturer claims it is designed to facilitate a “secure, but comfortable grip.” From wet to dry, hot to cold, with gloves or without gloves, G-10 is a pretty reliable material and one of the most popular handle materials among knife makers the world over.
To further maximize grip beyond what the G-10 scales offer, there are several sections of jimping on the handle (near the thumb ramp, on either side of the generous choil, and around the perimeter). In a few cases, this additional jimping has proven somewhat problematic, mostly because some users feel it hinders their ability to get the knife out of their pocket easily.
All things considered, it’s hard to argue with a utility knife that has a grippy handle. Of course, I haven’t had the pleasure of having to dig one out of my pants pocket in a pinch. All in all, it sounds like a problem most users will be able to live with.
Deployment & Locking Mechanism
The Manix 2 utilizes a ball bearing mechanism to deploy and lock the blade into place. This is facilitated mainly by Spyderco’s most recognizable feature, the “Spyder Hole.” With a simple flick, it can instantly deploy the knife while ensuring the fingers remain safely out of the blade path.
The ball bearing mechanism is widely considered one of the strongest, smoothest mechanisms out there, and is rated for more force than anyone is going to generate with average jobs. For those not familiar with the mechanism, it works like this:
1. A hardened steel ball bearing sits in a polymer cage.
2. When the knife is deployed, a spring-loaded plunger pushes the ball-bearing forward.
3. The ball bearing slides onto a ramp on the back of the blade. This wedges the blade in place.
4. Pulling back on this cage releases the lock and allows the blade to pivot closed.
Perhaps the best thing about the Manix 2 is its full-sized stainless-steel liners. Rather than just being a flimsy scrap of metal, these liners are actually part of the handle design, adding to its “solid” feel in the hand and its overall strength.
Overall Quality and Features
Taking a closer look at the Manix 2 and its various components, I have to admit that it stands up to scrutiny quite well. It’s blade design and overall blade performance are lacking, but only insomuch as they aren’t flat out amazing. The “Achille’s Heel” of the knife seems to remain its inability to pierce hard or thick materials without potentially breaking the non-reinforced tip. However, if piercing isn’t the game you’re looking to play, then the Manix 2 is a near-flawless EDC.
As for quality – it is apparent in the mechanism, the steel, and the craftsmanship that this knife is built to live up to its reputation and its price tag. As long as you buy from a certified dealer and keep your eye out for QC problems or knock-offs, chances are you’re going to be happy with your purchase.
Some Alternatives for the Spyderco Manix 2
There are alternatives to the Spyderco Manix 2 if you want to check out other options. Here is a look at some of the best ones.
#1 Benchmade – Mini Griptilian 555HG Knife
Benchmade’s Griptilan series have a similar reputation to that of many Spyderco knives. If you’re looking for something that will weight less than the Manix 2 and take up less pocket space, this is an excellent alternative. At only 2.56 oz., the Mini Griptilian still has a good 2.91” of cutting surface. The blade itself is a modified sheepsfoot, which is versatile enough for most jobs (though it won’t solve the “piercing problem” that comes with the Manix 2).
Like the Manix 2, the Griptilian is made in the USA – only this model comes with a full lifetime guarantee. Overall, it’s a “get the job done” type of knife that’s easy to take with you virtually anywhere.
Benefits / Features:
- 154CM stainless steel holds an excellent edge and is naturally corrosion-resistant.
- Glass-filled nylon handle is comfy and fairly large for a small knife.
- AXIS lock is very reliable as well as fully ambidextrous.
- Lifetime warranty and LifeSharp Service like all Benchmade products.
- Modified Sheepsfoot blade shape is ultra-versatile.
- 2.8” blade, 3.87” handle length, 6.78” overall length.
#2 Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1605CKTST)
For those who want a more budget-friendly EDC knife that mimics some of the Manix 2’s best features, the Kershaw Clash is a fair consideration. With a partially-serrated, 3.1” drop-point blade made out of 8Cr13Mo stainless steel, this 8.2” flipper is ready to tackle almost any job, be it in the woods or in the warehouse.
Like most Kershaw products, the Clash features dual liner locks that provide a nice, secure feeling, as well as the lightning-quick SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. All in all, it’s a fair competitor to the Manix 2, though it still shares the same problems of weight (4.3 oz.) and pocket space.
Benefits / Features:
- A budget flipper with some impressive attributes.
- 3.1” 8Cr13Mo stainless steel blade (black oxide coating)
- Comfortable and durable glass-filled nylon handle.
- SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism.
- Dual locking liners.
- Reversible pocket clip
- Partially-serrated, drop point design for everyday tasks
#3 Spyderco Paramilitary 2
If you love the majority of the aspect of the Manix 2, but you want to see a few different features, maybe it would be worth checking out the Spyderco Paramilitary 2. One of the highest-rated knives in the world, this 8.2” folder features a 3.4” blade with a more versatile clip-point design, the same high-quality steel, and a deployment system that’s considered one of the best in the business.
It still won’t pierce much better than the Manix 2, but it will weigh less and offer more handle and blade to play with.
Benefits / Features:
- Utilizes the “Bushing Pivot” deployment system.
- “Spyder Hole” one-handed deployment.
- Reversible deep pocket clip.
- Versatile clip-point blade design.
- Made in the USA.
- Ambidextrous carry, deployment, and lock-up.
- CPM S30V Stainless Steel holds a great edge and is naturally corrosion-resistant.
I like to think that we didn’t pull any punches in reviewing the Manix 2, but it’s still hard to walk away feeling that it’s any less than a great EDC or utility knife. Sure, the blade is thin and won’t support a lot of piercing, but if you’re piercing something that will buckle or break this knife, it’s hard to take “user error” out of the equation.
In my esteemed opinion, the Manix 2 would be a welcome addition to anyone’s arsenal. With its reliable deployment and locking mechanism, ultra-premium steel, an impressive list of features, this isn’t a knife that will leave a lot of shoppers with “buyer’s remorse.”
For more details on the Spyderco Manix 2, click the link below.