Goddard/Spyderco Limited Edition Folding Knife
By Chuck Hawks
In May 2006 Spyderco introduced a new, limited edition (only 600 produced) of their excellent Wayne Goddard designed lightweight utility/hunting/tactical folding knife. There have been three previous special editions of this basic design, which has never been offered as a regular production item. The first edition had a micarta handle, the second a black FRN handle, and the third edition came with a gray FRN handle. The handle of this new edition is a burgundy color and a "Wayne Goddard" signature appears on one side of the blade. (Those who are interested in the lineage of these knives can read Wayne's "Goddard/Spyderco Clipit, a Short History" on the Outdoor Accessories Page.)
Wayne Goddard is an American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith, the author of three books, and writes a monthly column for Blade magazine. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, so we are not very far apart. I found out about the Spyderco Wayne Goddard knife while discussing the re-blading of my old, custom built Goddard folder with Wayne (see the article on the Outdoor Accessories Page), and bought one on the spot.
As with previous Spyderco Wayne Goddard knives, this model has a special drop-point style blade devised by Wayne in the middle 1970's and since copied by practically everyone, especially for tactical knives. This blade pattern results in a stronger tip than conventional drop point styles while retaining a sharp point.
Wayne Goddard was also one of the modern pioneers of scalloped knife blades. Approximately 2/3 of this knife's blade has a smooth sharpened edge, while the inside 1/3 bears Spyderco's scalloped SpyderEdge. This is a patented, repeating pattern of one large and two small serrations. The SpyderEdge part of the blade is primarily intended for use on hard to cut materials such as seat belts, rope, rubber, and leather.
The Spyderco version of Wayne's blade design is hollow ground and made of VG-10 steel. Like all Spyderco knives, it is produced in Japan.
As with other Spyderco folding knives, there is a round hole in the blade to facilitate easy opening and closing of the knife with one hand. The location of this patented hole also facilitates a slight, tactile hump on the back of the blade that creates a thumb rest to allow for increased cutting pressure when required.
Wayne recommended sharpening this blade on a conventional hard Arkansas whetstone. He told me that he did not like the round, diamond steels often recommended for serrated blades. He feels that they start out very aggressive and decrease with use, so that they are never the same twice. He also told me that only the tip of the serrations normally dulls and a few swipes across a flat sharpening stone at the same angle used to sharpen the smooth part of the blade will touch-up these points when required (which isn't often).
The Spyderco Wayne Goddard knife's lightweight Volcano Grip handle is made of fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN). This is a nylon polymer mixed with glass fiber that is injected into a mold for making knife handles. The knife's handle shape is intended to allow a secure grip while at the same time preventing the fingers from sliding forward onto the blade during hard cutting jobs. Wayne originated this grip design in the mid-1970's. In fact, he showed me the seminal custom-built folder, which he made about 1975, that originated both the nominal blade shape and handle shape later used in many of his knives, including his Spyderco knife. That original knife is now a collectors item valued at $2,000.
"Volcano Grip" is Spyderco's trademarked name for the waffle pattern used in their FRN knife handles. This continuous pattern of small squares offer a better grip when cutting, while the structural FRN handle eliminates the need for steel liner panels and contributes to the ultra-light weight of the Spyderco Wayne Goddard knife.
This handle is provided with an ambidextrous Spyderco CLIPIT, allowing this large folder to be clipped inside of the waistband or to the edge of a pocket for comfortable, convenient carry and easy access. Spyderco CLIPITs are designed to be used with the knife on the inside of the pocket and the clip on the outside. The knife sits flat along the inside of the pocket for comfortable carry regardless of size (within reasonable limits, of course). The original Spyderco CLIPIT was introduced in 1981, making Spyderco the first company to use a clothing clip as part of the knife design.
Following are the basic specifications of the limited edition Spyderco Wayne Goddard Lightweight folding knife.
This is an attractive, ultra-light, and very functional multi-role knife. It is well designed, well made, and its size and blade shape is such that it can be used for both field dressing and skinning big game. It would also be a serious weapon in trained hands. Like every Spyderco knife that I have ever used, the Wayne Goddard knife is extremely sharp and ready for use right out of the box. If you would like to e-mail Wayne Goddard directly to arrange the purchase of a knife, you can do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2007 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.