Spyderco is known for their incredible folding knives, but they also have a few automatic knives that embody the high quality standards the brand has built a reputation on. The Spyderco Citadel is a fully automatic knife that has the sleek design and sturdy construction that Spyderco is known for. The Citadel comes in two different blade styles and sizes: a black blade version and a satin, and in 83 mm or 92 mm sizes.
The firing button and the safety are located conveniently on the upper front side of the handle. The design make retrieving the knife from your pocket and firing it into the open position a quick and comfortable process. The action on this knife is reliable and will fire the blade into locked position every time you use it. It has a plunger lock push button that deploys the blade easily. The knife has a textured aluminum handle that make it easy to maintain a grip with bare or gloved hands. It also includes a reversible pocket clip that can be worn tip up or tip down. The lightweight construction and sleek design make this a great choice for an every day carry automatic knife.
The only negatives with the Citadel have to do with the automatic features of the knife. Although the knife opens good, it can seem a little sluggish when compared to a top of the line side-opening-auto like a Protech. Oiling and breaking the knife in can ease this problem overtime, but some people will still find the quickness of the auto action a little disappointing. Another issue that this knife can have is concerning the safety switch. It varies for each knife, but some of these will have a very sticky safety switch. It will require a lot of force to switch the safety from on to off position. Some people will view this as a negative but others will not mind because it will prevent accidentally switching the safety off and opening the blade.
Everything from centering to lock up to spring reliability are excellent on the Citadel. The Spyderco Citadel is a great choice for anyone who loves the high quality knives Spyderco is known for. I would not however recommend this automatic knife to anyone who is accustomed to the intense firing power of a Protech automatic knife. If you are more concerned with reliability than sheer firing power than you will love the Citadel.
In December of 2011 I gave myself the gift of a Spyderco Chaparral knife. I was drawn in by its relatively compact size, good looks and Spyderco’s reputation for top-notch product quality.
I’m a snob about the knives I carry, not in a stuck up— I’m better than you way, but I feel that the knife one carries is a reflection of the individual. That being said, I don’t feel that my taste in knives will necessarily reflect your taste in knives, nor do I think my taste is the only thing resembling “good” taste.
The Spyderco Chaparral has a modern design that is reminiscent of both the Sage 1 and Caly folders, which are among my favorite knives. The Chaparral really got my attention because it has all the class of the Sage and Caly folders in a super slim, compact platform. The handle on the Chaparral is a mere 1/3” thick and just over 3-1/2” long. For those with large hands this might be a little small, but for me this knife is the perfect size.
The aesthetics of a knife are in many ways as important as any other characteristic. I am a big fan of the Chaparral’s leaf-shaped blade with its full flat-ground edge and ambidextrous thumb hole. This is a slicer blade with a thin 2 mm thickness and razor sharp edge, which is great for a multitude of tasks. The blade has a clean design that flows perfectly through the handle when the blade is open or closed. The handle and blade transition is seamless thanks in part to the index choil below and thumb ramp on the spine. The overall feel of the Chaparral is comfortable and allows me (or any user) to choke up on the blade for the most precise of cuts. I recently cut thick strips of vinyl with ease using my Chaparral and felt an extra degree of confidence with my hand close but safely separated from the blade’s edge. The twill carbon fiber scales on the Chaparral have a light textured as opposed to being polished. I enjoy the grip-ability of the light texture because it doesn’t tear up my jeans and it is gentle on my hands. The Chaparral utilizes a back lock, which has its pros and cons. I like being able to open and close my folders easily with one hand, but the back lock is more easily released with two hands. On a positive note, the back lock is an ideal mechanism for ambidextrous users and quite strong. The Chaparral also features Spyderco’s wire clip for deep tip-up carry and it is reversible. The wire clip is a minimalist design that puts the knife safely and comfortably in my pocket, something that I simply demand of any EDC I carry.
I’ve known quite a few people with Spyderco knives and they swear by them. My experience over the past few months with the Chaparral reinforces what I’ve heard. The Chaparral is manufactured in Taiwan with high tolerances and it has performed flawlessly for me. My high expectations for Spyderco have been exceeded with the Chaparral.
When I purchased my Spyderco Chaparral last December I was drawn in by its good looks and size. Since then I have used it for the usual everyday cutting tasks and find it to be a highly proficient knife in every way. It’s a knife I can wear with jeans, shorts and even a suit. It’s the perfect accessory: functional and classy without being cumbersome. This is a versatile everyday carry knife that hasn’t disappointed me and continues to be my go-to EDC and knowing it’s a Spyderco I feel confident it will provide years of reliable use.