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As everyday carry (EDC) knives go, I find the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 a bit small — but that’s the point, too. For everyday carry, I prefer a knife with a bigger blade, but sometimes I’m going places where local regulations only permit smaller-bladed pocket knives.
Enter the lightweight Spyderco Dragonfly 2.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Knife Review
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 features a blade that’s only 2.25″ long. When opened, it’s just 5.563″ and when closed, just 3.313″ long. Spyderco makes it in a few different versions, including the very similar original Dragonfly. With the lightweight FRN handle, it weighs about 1.2 ounces.
What drew me to the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is the wide blade shape, combined with a handle design that includes a front-finger choil with the base of the blade. This means that a guy with big hands can actually have a hope of holding the knife safely and putting it to work. I can attest, that while a larger knife is easier and may even be safer, the blade and handle design of the Dragonfly 2 let you hold the knife more securely than I originally expected.
In short, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is surprisingly usable despite its small size.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Review: The Clip
For an EDC knife, I’m a big fan of clips that let you keep your knife handy while also keeping it secure. The downside to such a light knife is that you can forget it’s there, and the force of gravity does little to help it stay put in your pocket. The wire Dragonfly 2 clip, it turns out, does a great job of securing the knife to your pants.
For me, it’s only ever popped out once, and it happened when I was playing frisbee. I’m not sure if I caught it with my hand or with the frisbee or if it just worked its way loose. Either way, the clip is pretty solid, and while I check to make sure the knife is where it ought to be a few times a day, I don’t worry about it.
In case you prefer left-pocket carry — so that your left thumb slips into the iconic Spyderco Round Opening Hole — the clip is reversible.
The FRN-type handle I have is super light but also strong. FRN stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon. It’s a great material but it’s more flexible than G-10, which is another handle material you might run into, which is also a bit more expensive.
I’m not a knife fanatic, so I’m not going to try to tell you that a G-10 handle is better or that carbon fiber or titanium is the way the go. Many knife manufacturers create a variety of versions of popular styles, but ultimately, the differences are mostly cosmetic . . . unless you’re a serious knife aficionado or happen to have a job where your EDC knife is in constant use in tough conditions. As for FRN, it looks and feels like a very strong plastic. (If you prefer a more substantial material, go with G-10 or stainless steel.)
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is surprisingly well balanced for such a small EDC knife.
The Dragonfly 2 even looks good closed.
Notice the blade and handle design for thumb and forefinger grip.
Spyderco’s “SpyderEdge” serrations come out-of-the-box sharp.
The Dragonfly 2 is easy to open one-handed, despite its small size.
The Dragonfly 2 wire clip is sturdy and works great.
Spyderco Draonfly 2 Review: The Blade
Similar to handle materials, knife manufacturers create popular versions with different grades or types of steel. In general, harder types of steel are more expensive and tend to hold their edge longer . . . but they are also harder to sharpen. So if you’re unskilled in the art of knife sharpening, you can work yourself into a fit trying to figure out if a more expensive grade of steel is worth it.
My advice is simple: Don’t worry about it. Seriously. If you’re reading this review, your first order of business is to choose an EDC knife you want to carry. That’s most important, and it’s based on size, shape, and price. Next, you buy another knife or two just because you want to try something new . . . or because you’ve learned that you really need something larger or smaller or lighter or heavier.
Once you use your knife enough to make it dull — which usually takes most guys quite some time — you’ve got a chance to learn something new. In this case, wouldn’t you rather practice on a less expensive knife with a more forgiving grade of steel? In case you’re wondering, the Dragonfly 2 uses VG-10 steel, and it’s better than what you’ll find in most cheaper knives.
When you’ve learned enough about knives to appreciate — and desire — the very best, splurge on the version you want. In reality, though, as near as I can tell, by the time someone really starts to appreciate knives . . . they start owning whole collections of them!
The most common choice for most people, I believe, is less about the type of steel and more about the cut of the blade itself — a flat-grind blade or a flat and serrated mixed blade, which Spyderco calls a SpyderEdge.
In my experience, a blade with a serrated portion near the base of the blade gives you a more versatile blade for the average user — that is, when you need to hack through something tough, like through some cord or a stick, I like the serrations. I particularly appreciate the serration when I’m trying to open some ridiculous retail packaging. However, if you’re doing a bunch of fine work, the serrations become less useful. That said, serrated edges are harder to sharpen. As for Spyderco, the company says that serrations improve edge retention because the tips of each serration initiate the cut and reduce the amount of force you need to place on the rest of the blade to make the cut.
Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Review: Best Lightweight EDC Knife?
All-in-all, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 knife is a lightweight little wonder of a knife that has an innovative handle and blade design that work together to make it more usable than most knives with 2.25-inch long blades. In my mind, it’s a great compromise EDC knife for those who need to spend a lot of time in public buildings that might have regulations around pocket knife blade lengths.
In addition, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is so lightweight, I find it perfect for hot summer days when you’re wearing shorts. While a pair of jeans or sturdy pants can hold a larger EDC knife with no annoying sag, I don’t like heavy knives when I’m wearing nylon cargo shorts or even swim trunks at the beach.
If you’re looking for a small, lightweight EDC knife, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is a sweet little knife that’s easy to recommend — it’s definitely one of the best lightweight EDC knives available today.
Update: I’ve carried this knife many days over the last three years — and it’s still going strong. In fact, I lost it for nearly a month . . . and just when I knew I needed to replace it with the same model, I found it. It’s back where it belongs, in my pocket.