The plain-Jane Spyderco Endura 4may be lacking in exotic blade steel and handle material but it is a classic design that is nearing it’s 25th Anniversary! The original Spyderco Endura was released in 1990 and in the decades since it has become the standard bearer for the modern pocket clip EDC knife.
- 4-way Clip; Screw together construction; Skeletonized steel internal liners; Phosphor bronze brushings; David Boye Dent
- FRN Bi-Directional Textured(TM) Handle; Enlarged opening hole; Spine Jimping; Flat saber-ground blade
- Specifications: Closed – 5″; Overall 8-3/4″; Blade – 3-3/4″; Blade Steel – VG-10
- Weight – 3.6 oz.; Handle Material – FRN
- Hole Diameter – 1/2″; Blade Thickness – 1/8″; Plain Edge
The Spyderco Endura 4 has excellent ergonomics. The funky handle shape will never be confused for the classic lines of a Buck 110but it just feels right in your hand. I’ve carried one model of the Endura or another since getting my first one in 2002 and I’ve yet to find one that offers anything but comfort in all grips.
The Spyderco Endura 4 introduced what is called “bi-directional” texturing to the Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) handle. This is an excellent design and I think it really elevates what might be considered a low end handle material into something special. It makes for a positive grip in any reasonable way you might hold onto the knife
The blade on the Spyderco Endura 4 is made of VG-10 steel. Vg-10 is no longer considered a super steel but it still beats out a lot of the competition especially when Spyderco’s excellent heat treatment is factored in (More Than Just Surviving recently had an excellent post on Super Steels, it is worth a look if you are into EDC knives).
The plain-Jane Spyderco Endura 4 has a Sabre grind instead of the Full Flat Grind that a lot of the other Enduras have (Spyderco Endura 4 FFGor the Spyderco Endura 4 ZDP-189). This gives the Spyderco Endura 4 a bit more overall blade strength particularly in the tip where the full flat ground blades are so delicately thin. I wouldn’t start prying open ammo boxes with it but the extra tip strength is noticeable.
In knife circles these days there is a lot of negative hype about the simple lock back style lock that the Spyderco Endura 4 has. I’m not one to bash on it. I think that the Spyderco Endura 4 is clearly an EDC knife and as such I don’t expect to have to take on the Stygian Hordes with it. For all but the most extreme tasks the lock back will be fine. It does have a small David Boye dent for a little more piece of mind that you won’t some how disengage the lock while using the knife. In my personal use I have never accidentally disengaged any lock back folder, so I really think this is just Internet hype.
Carrying The Spyderco Endura 4
What can I say about carrying the Spyderco Endura 4? It is light and compact, it’s 4-way adjustable pocket clip conforms to any typical style of carry, and it lacks any pocket shredding hot spots. I can’t even nit pick on it. It might be a tad big for some office environments but it’s smaller cousin the Spyderco Delica 4is for the indoor crowd.
The Spyderco Endura 4 is a 4.5 out of 5 STARS in my book. It is one of the first knives to combine the features that would become standard in EDC knives. It has a premium steel, a pocket clip, is comfortable to carry, and has a good grip/ergonomics. It only loses out of a 5 Star rating due to the Sabre Grind. In my mind the enhanced cutting ability of the FFG models is what elevates them to 5 Star status. Having said that I still carry my old faithful Spyderco Endura 4 on a regular basis as it has become an old friend by now.