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Knife chat: The Spyderco Bug- is this the perfect EDC knife?

The Spyderco Bug is the smallest slip joint that knife maker Spyderco have ever offered. Ideal for the keychain, it is almost the perfect Every Day Carry knife, because you can be guaranteed to have it with you when you need it.

Spyderco Bug is tiny
Spyderco Bug

The origins of the Spyderco company were simple. The founders were ‘pitchmen’ who travelled across the US in a converted breadtruck selling their Spyderco Sharpmaker at fairs and trade shows. They went on to design, manufacture and commission hundreds of knifes, selling to military, law enforcement and first responders, while also earning an appreciative following with the general public.

The trademark Spyderco hole in the blade allows one handed opening of most Spyderco knives, but small knives such as the Spyderco Bug require a two- handed opening- grasp the scales with one hand, pinch the hole in the blade between finger and thumb with the other hand and it is easily opened. The Bug is the smallest of a small range of slip-joint knives- the model C133P Bug, model no. C137P Honeybee and model no. C138P Grasshopper. All three have holes in their handle to enable them to hang from a neck lanyard or keychain but the two smaller sizes, Bug and Honeybee, suit the keychain role better.

Spyderco Bug

This knife is made in China with a Chinese 3Cr13MoV blade and stainless steel handle. It comes sharp as new but the full flat grind blade will sharpen and take an edge quite easily. That said, this is a small blade to sharpen and it takes care to do so properly. It has a non-locking slip joint blade and easily falls within UK knife law. There is not a great deal more to the knife. It is metal throughout and the only markings are the Spyderco emblem on one metal scale, the word SPYDERCO on one side of the blade and CHINA on the other.

Spyderco Bug- Specifications:

  • Length, closed: 41mm
  • Length, open: 74mm
  • Blade length: 32mm
  • Edge length: 30mm
  • Blade thickness, across the spine: 1.8mm. This tapers along the blade length to the tip
  • Weight: 10.5g
Spyderco Bug
Spyderco Bug

Three Points of the Compass has never purposely included this little blade as part of a hiking or backpacking kit list. Instead, it has hung from my keychain since purchased for £14 in 2016. The brushed steel finish has lasted well, with just a few added dings and scratches. There is an image of this knife taken when new below.

My keys may frequently be slipped into a pack on dayhikes and from there this knife has frequently been pulled into use. Away from the trail it has been unfolded and used hundreds of times. Other owners will use it to lever with but I would never subject it to that punishment as mine sits alongside a Nite Ize DoohicKey on my keyring.

Spyderco Bug
Spyderco Bug

Despite its diminutive proportions this is a well made product and not the novelty that some might write it off to be. You might expect a simple folder of this size to be poorly designed and poorly executed but as much care has gone into this little keychain offering as goes into their more popular and larger knives. Despite, or perhaps because of, Chinese manufacture, this is a well-finished little knife. There is almost no side play to the blade which has a hidden pivot. You are not going to be able to feather or baton sticks and it will struggle to cut any foodstuff thicker than an inch, but it will handle most small and simple tasks. The underside of the handle has two finger choils that combined with a thumb pressed along the 4mm wide spine, or run on to the spine of the blade, means that it can be held fairly well, though there are no serrations, knurling, jimping or grip provided on the smooth sides.

Spyderco Bug with 'Wet Sand' Victorinox Classic SD Alox
Spyderco Bug with Victorinox Classic SD Alox. This is the ‘Wet Sand’ variant from Victorinox’s 2020 Classic Colors range
16.8g Victorinox Classis SD Alox comes with an only slightly longer blade than the Bug, however it is both narrower and thinner. Though the Classic SD Alox also has scissors, nailfile and flat screwdriver tip.
16.8g Victorinox Classis SD Alox comes with an only slightly longer blade than the 10.5g Bug, however it is both narrower and thinner. Though the Classic SD Alox also has scissors, nailfile and flat screwdriver tip.

Regular readers of this blog will know that Three Points of the Compass is not a big fan of knives with holes in their spines being used for food preparation. Food and other detritus can get caught up in these, speading bacteria to any foodstuff subsequently cut. The 5mm hole on the Spyderco Bug is positioned well back, close to the pivot, but it is there nonetheless.

The Spyderco Bug appears on page 99 of the extensive Spyderco Product Guide from 2016
Spyderco Bug appears on page 99 of the extensive Spyderco Product Guide from 2016

Do note that this knife is tiny. If you want a bigger knife, buy a bigger knife. There are plenty of options. So why does Three Points of the Compass ask if this might be the perfect EDC knife? It is said that the best knife is the one you have with you and the Bug is small enough to be just that; an Every Day Carry. If you want a small lanyard hung, or keychain blade that is always there ready to be pulled into light use, this may be the blade for you. If not, then Three Points of the Compass has looked at quite a few knives and multi-tools that may, or may not, be suitable for backpacking, day treks or Every Day Carry. Links to these can be found here.

There is no denying that the Spyderco Bug is tiny
My Spyderco Bug when purchased new in 2016. You can see how the finish here compares to those images above, that were taken after it had hung from a keychain for six years

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