Utility is one of the most beautifully undervalued words in the English language.
Let it roll over your tongue…utility. I’m an unashamed utilitarian. When my father introduced me to backpacking, he may have created a monster. Backpacking requires one to really consider what’s necessary. If you’re hiking very far, ounces become far more important than creature comforts. I’ve seen plenty of people throw away their extra pair of light weight clothes just to shave the ounces in their packs. That may sound silly to you, but hop on the AT for a few, and you’ll sing a different tune.
In high school, while working at a backpacking and mountaineering shop, I was introduced to Spyderco knives. One quickly replaced my existing Gerber, and I never felt the need to go back. I enjoy a wide array of knife brands, but Spyderco options have been among my favorites for years. In particular, I find their little ladybug super handy.
Recently, I’ve been using two knives from Spyderco that scream UTILITY to me.
First up is a budget-oriented option called the Efficient. The Efficient is a liner lock knife with a 3” blade. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel, is full flat ground, and features a drop point profile.
The Efficient weighs in at 4.1 0z, which isn’t too bad considering its fully lined G10 handle.
I like the knife’s design. Especially its blade profile, lanyard loop hole, and well-placed pocket clip.
Second is an EDC blade that’s near and dear to my heart, the Native 5.
The Native 5 is just as tough and efficient as the option above, but it’s made in the good ol’ USA and only weighs 2.45 oz. I love everything about this knife, from her S35VN steel, to her silky smooth bushing pivot deployment system, her classic lock back, and her grippy FRN scale handle. This knife is a backpacker’s dream.
I’d like to talk more about these two knives, but really they aren’t the point of this article.
Utility is. The same reason I really dig Spyderco knives drew me to Glock handguns in my early 20’s. They’ve served me well. Recently, it hit me that Spyderco is kind of the Glock of knives. Or maybe you’d prefer me say that Glock is the Spyderco of handguns. Whichever direction you come from, the connection is clear. It got me thinking, why is the connection so apparent? Is it as simple as they share some style characteristics? No, it goes further than that; it boils down to a shared philosophy, one that prioritizes utility in the order of values their products should exhibit.
Think about the characteristics they share:
- Simple design.
- Rugged dependability.
- Wide availability.
- Easy maintenance.
These values are important to utilitarians like me. There are few (if any) manufactures who fire on these cylinders more consistently than these two.
Now don’t misunderstand. There are other handguns and other knives that I enjoy just as much. There may even be options that I would rather own. If someone asked me which every day carry handgun and knife would serve in the widest number of scenarios, then I’d be hard-pressed to recommend something over the Glock 19 and Spyderco Native 5.
It’s simply hard to imagine a more cost-effective and useful combo.
From my perspective they’re a nearly perfect EDC pair.
What handgun and knife do you find most useful?