Is the Spyderco Tenacious Worth It in 2019?

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When it comes to making no-nonsense tactical knives that are perfect for everyday carry, Spyderco tops the list with high-quality designs made in a manufacturing language that is uniquely their own. There are plenty of everyday carry knives to choose from, but none cut quite the same look and perform the same in hand as a Spyderco. Unfortunately,  you usually have to spend a pretty penny to get your hands on one. But when Spyderco introduced the Tenacious, it turned that idea on its head. That’s because the Tenacious was made to provide just about everything that made a Spyderco knife great for EDC at a much more accessible price point than many other Spyderco models. While it was a budget knife, it punched above its weight, making it a strong value for the money that was hard to ignore. But it’s been a decade since its introduction, and we’ve seen a lot of changes in the EDC knife industry since then. So, is the Spyderco Tenacious worth it today? Read on to see whether it’s still the choice to make, and how it holds up against the competition.


Learn more about this EDC

For a budget knife, the Spyderco Tenacious offered plenty to be excited about. It started with the hallmark Spyderco leaf-shaped blade, available with a full-flat grind straight edge or a combination edge featuring aggressive serrations. At 3.39” long, the 8Cr13MoV edge gave you more than enough cutting power to act as your daily driver, and the use of that imported steel both made the Tenacious cheaper to own and easier to maintain compared to the more premium blades in their line. The moderate size of the knife is matched by the approximately 4.5” handle, big enough for you to get a firm grip on it during use and augmented with aggressive and grippy G-10 nylon scaling for the ultimate in control. To hold everything together, the Tenacious featured a strong stainless steel liner lock, with a large hole cut into the handle for easy one-handed access.

Is It Worth Buying One Today?


If you had your eyes set on buying specifically a Spyderco knife without spending too much money, the Tenacious is still a good buy in 2019. However, it faces significant competition against Spyderco’s newest budget knife offering, the Efficient. There are a lot of similarities between the two: a similar blade shape, the same kind of blade steel, G-10 scaling on the handles, and a liner lock. The big difference between the two, aside from their relative age, is their size. The Efficient is built to be a smaller knife, it has a shorter 2.98 full-flat ground edge, and a shorter 4” handle. To get a full grip on the Efficient, you have to also grip the blade at its choke. A smaller footprint can also be more pocketable and certainly more light, but it does mean that they are different knives with different use-cases. And since both are set at similar price points, I’d recommend you pick between the two based on your size needs first and foremost.

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Other Options to Consider

But if you decide the Tenacious (or the Efficient, for that matter) doesn’t meet your needs, you’re in luck. There are a few options to consider as an alternative:

  • Spyderco Polestar: the Polestar is slightly more expensive than the Tenacious, but it makes up for it by upping the game by giving you a higher-quality CTS-BD1 stainless steel blade in return. CTS-BD1 is an American-made high-carbon (0.9%) stainless steel that’s uniquely melted in a vacuum making for a premium cutting experience that’s similar to 154CM. But it does this while still being a budget-conscious knife, able to be had for under $100 today. (~$65)
  • Spyderco Para 3: If you decide budget isn’t your primary concern when picking up a great Spyderco EDC knife, the Para 3 should be your first stop. From its premium S30V stainless steel blade to its ultra-reliable and ambidextrous compression lock at the spine, this is the real-deal full Spyderco experience. (~$130)
  • OKC Rat I D2: If you’re open to other brands but still want an excellent value budget knife at around the 3.5” blade length range, consider the Ontario RAT I D2. It’s still hard to beat in 2019 at the 40 dollar range. It features a hardworking D2 stainless steel, lightweight FRN handles, and a familiar liner lock to secure its beefy blade while in use. (~$40)

Do you still EDC a Spyderco Tenacious? If not, did you upgrade? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Header image courtesy of Nigel in Brunei.

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