This was SpyderCo’s first ever Scandinavian grind full tang knife, specially designed for a woodland bushcraft environment. It was produced in collaboration with Bushcraft UK, a “tactical bushcrafter” called Chris Claycombe and SpyderCo designers. The anticipation for this knife to hit the market was considerable and with a lot of people excited to get their hands on a true bushcraft knife from one of the worlds top brands, the SpyderCo Bushcrafter certainly had a lot to live up to. It’s therefore interesting that with such a wide team of contributors and the considerable resources at SpyderCo there could be so many issues with this product.
The SpyderCo Bushcrafter had two versions go to the market, an original with a wooden handle made of spalted Maple burl which had specific issues with the scales drying and cracking, and the latest version which uses a much improved G10 handle. G10 is a fantastic material for knife handles as it is indelible, very strong and doesn’t get affected by extremes of humidity, dryness or temperature.
If you use the SpyderCo Bushcrafter G10 as it comes out the box there are annoying issues that prevent the Bushcrafter being totally useable. The sheath is simply not adequate and does not hold the knife securely, moreover it lacks a firesteel holder. The firesteel holder is a pretty minor issue but the fact that the knife can easily slip out of the sheath is a disaster. The design of the sheath allows the leather to become loose around the handle and does not supply the needed grip to secure it. This was not addressed when they updated the product to the G10 version.
After using any knife it’s standard practice to maintain and resharpen the blade, it’s here however that the imperfections of the Bushcrafter’s bevel reveal themselves. The Bushcrafter suffers from a slight convex bevel which prohibits correct sharpening on a flat stone, perhaps this is due to it being made in Taiwan and not the USA.
In order to make the SpyderCo Bushcrafter into an useable outdoor tool I have replaced the sheath and added a micro bevel to the blade edge. Using the SpyderCo TriAngle Sharpmaker its very easy to add a 30° micro bevel as the O1 Tool steal is very easy to sharpen.
The sheath I went for has a firesteel holder and a drop loop dangler. These were options completely missing from the original SpyderCo sheath. Once you have a sheath that works properly and have added a micro bevel it transforms the SpyderCo Bushcrafter into a much better bit of kit.
The micro bevel works very well and makes the edge much stronger and less prone to rolling or getting dinged when working outdoors when compared to a plain Scandi.
Taking the SpyderCo Bushcrafter G10 out into the field once again it feels like a completely different knife but with those amazing ergonomics and performance that were part of this product from the start, what you would expect from a SpyderCo. The handle shape fits very well in the hand but I would say is more suited to medium size hands as I find the palm swell not just big enough for myself. It does work well in all hand grips such as a chest lever, forehand and backhand. The G10 scales do lack a grippy texture and this is something I will consider adding myself at some point.
The O1 Tool steel holds an edge very well and is a dream to sharpen and with SpyderCo being renowned for its steel the G10 Bushcrafter is no let down here. As a high carbon steel it does need to be oiled throughout any trip to prevent rusting and rust it will without suitable care and attention!
I think there is lots of potential for SpyderCo to produce a great knife for bushcraft. I would like to see a version three with an updated sheath and textured G10 scales. In the meantime for the SpyderCo Bushcrafter G10 it’s such a shame that you have to make changes and extra purchases to make it work. In the end it turns out to be a very expensive bit of kit to use.