Spyderco Techno Review

by Anthony Sculimbrene

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Spyderco Techno Review

Introduction

There is a lot to love about the Spyderco Techno.  The materials, the design, the deployment method, the size, the fit and finish.  This is a superior knife and a superlative EDC blade.  You could spend twice as much or even venture into the custom world and the Techno would still be a competitive blade.  There are a few drawbacks, but they are small in the overall scheme of things. 


Here is the product page for the Techno with all of the specs.  My independent verification has found them to be accurate, as is always the case with Spyderco specs. Here is my Techno that I received as a Christmas gift.

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Product Description

The Techno is a small folding knife.  It uses a thumb hole for deployment.  It has a wire, over the top, deep carry pocket clip.  The handle scales are made of stonewashed titanium.  The blade is an almost classic drop point blade made of the American made Carpenter steel CTS-XHP.  Here is the datasheet on CTS-XHP.  The blade is also stonewashed.  The knife uses a frame lock, also known in the Spyderco literature as the Reeve Integral Lock.  There is a bright blue G10 backspacer.  The knife is a production version of the Mouse (the Mouse is on top and the Techno below), a custom knife made by Polish knifemaker Marcin Slysz (pronounced “Sleesh”).  The differences between the two are very slight.  The Mouse has more crisply cut jimping on the spine of the blade and an additional screw to hold the knife together.  The size and weight of the knife are basically identical.  The Techno is produced for Spyderco in Taichung, Taiwan, one of the most highly regarded of Spyderco’s OEMs, see here for more.  The entire knife is very stout with thick handle scales and very thick blade stock, especially for a knife of this size.  The grind is a very, very high (but not full) flat grind.  The retail is around $155.  

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Design

Aside from a little extra weight and thickness, the Techno is very close to an ideal EDC knife in terms of design.  The blade length is good, with a nice amount of belly and a true choil in front of the ricasso (the choil is the small cut out in the blade in front of the ricasso, that portion of the blade that is unground and near the pivot).

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The true choil allows the user to sharpen the entire length of the edge and is very uncommon on Spyderco knives, which typically have a finger choil instead of a true choil.  The shape of the handle fits the hand nicely, with a little bit of a curve away from spine of the knife.  The handle is completely chamfered to make the knife comfortable in the hand.  There is jimping, but it is pretty useless.  As a design on paper, there is little to complain about.   Even the weight and thickness is not too much of an issue as the extra material isn’t excessive and lends a confident feel to the knife in hand. 

Build Quality

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Don’t let that slab thickness scare you.  This is a very refined build.  I have handled and owned knives that are more than ten times the price.  I have extensive experience with some of the more renowned knives on the market—the XM-18, the Sebenza, the Strider PT CC.  In terms of build quality, tuning, and fit and finish, the Techno can run with the big dogs.  I wouldn’t compare it to a Michael Burch knife or a Begg custom, but in terms of production knives there isn’t anything that is clearly better (the ZT0560 and ZT0561 are its equal).  Even the vaunted Sebenza doesn’t blow the Techno away.  In fact, I actually like the Techno a little better.  The pivot is smoother, the detent is better, and the lock up is just as good.  Finally, unlike my XM-18, PT CC, and Sebenza, the pivot screw on the Techno has remained locked in place.  Three weeks of intensive use has proven to me that the Techno is a very well built blade, as all of the Taichung, Taiwan Spydercos have been.  Lock up is rock solid in all directions and very early, around 25%. 

One small ding, noted by many reviewers, is the flimsy wire pocket clip.  There are two styles of Spyderco wire clips, ones with higher tension like those found on the Spyderco Dragonfly II and ones like the clip on the Caly3 (purchase), which has a bit more flex to it.  The Techno’s clip is clearly in the second group.  It moves around a lot and has even burnished a mark into the Ti clip.

Performance

The grind on the Techno is pretty acute, as it has to be, to get the massive slab of steel down to a cutting edge.  But the cutting bevel (the small secondary grind that actually does the cutting) is wide allowing for a surprising amount of a slicing ability.  During the three weeks I have had the knife I did a lot of basic fire starting tasks, making kindling and shave wood for tinder, and the Techno’s blade did very well.  I liked the knife even in higher pressure tasks.  Folding knives are inherently inferior in terms of handles and grip, but the Techno wasn’t bad. 

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Its not a dream like the Spyderco Caly3 or the Strider PT CC, but it is pretty darn good. 

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The Techno carries decently.  The length and width are just right, but the thickness is surprising.  Additionally the spring cutout at the rear of the lock bar can sometimes snag when you are pulling the knife out of your pocket.

Though the clip is a wiggler, it works well and the smooth handle aided in retrieval.  The knife also flicks open like a flipper thanks to a silken pivot and excellent detent.  The blade steel is a new favorite of mine, holding an edge like ZDP-189 without the coloring issues.  I did a lot of fire prep and it is still shaving sharp.  The steel can whittle and chop with aplomb, validating the claim that CTS-XHP is a true stainless D2.  D2 is pretty damn good to start with and fixing its one big weakness means this one hell of a knife steel.  Disengaging the lock is a bit hard given how small the knife is, but once you train your fingers the finger yoga is very manageable.  The jimping is purely decorative, but I have never been sold on the value of jimping in a purely EDC knife. 

Conclusion

The Techno is a great EDC knife.  Following in the tradition of small collab Spydercos it is miles better than the awkward in the hand Leafstorm (sorry Bernard).  This is, for all intents and purposes, a small Spyderco’d Sebenza, but with better blade steel.  If you are looking for a superior production blade, this is it. It pairs very well with a small light, such as the Mk. II Aeon, seen here:

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Using the Amazon scale (since it is so ubiquitous and easy to understand) the Techno is an unquestionable 5 star knife.  The heft and clip are only minor drawbacks and it would score an 18 out of 20 on my 20 point scale (losing a point for Carry because of the heft and the potential to hook your pocket on the lockbar cut out and losing another point for Retention Method for the wiggly clip). 

Amazon Score: 5 stars

20 Point Score: 18/20

Spyderco Techno (purchase)

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