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A Review of the Spyderco Dragonfly2 FRN

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Last week I shared with you some photos of the Spyderco Kopa “Pacific Blue” – a collectible knife I added to my knife collection. But my first experience with Spyderco knives actually came from their Dragonfly model series.  I picked up my first Spydero Dragonfly for what many will consider to be among the strangest of reasons to do so – as a photography prop.  As many of my regular readers know, I do a lot of wrist watch photography, and I’m always on the lookout for all sorts of items to make my photographs more interesting – backgrounds, lighting, and props which add interest to an otherwise ho-hum watch photograph.  I got the idea Rolex watch enthusiast and watch photography pioneer “Jocke” who has taken several gorgeous photos of his Rolex watches with his Chris Reeves Sebenza knives.  Inspired by those photos, I began looking around for some knives which I could incorporate into my watch photography as well.  My father traded in both guns and knives when I was younger, so I always had an appreciation for them.  I eventually ran across the Spyderco Dragonfly in stainless steel:

Like most Spyderco pocketable knives, the reverse side of the knife has a handy pocket clip:

When I first received the knife (which I’m thinking was around 2003) I was surprised at how small it was.  What the heck could you use something so small for?  Still, I was extremely impressed with the weight, high-quality feel, most importantly, the sharpness of the blade.  The size also made it perfectly suitable for a watch photography prop – here’s one of the better photos I’ve taken incorporating the Spyderco Dragonfly:

Because I used it has a photography prop, I wanted to avoid getting any scratches on the beautiful brushed stainless steel handles, so I didn’t carry it often.  Many “knife guys” will tell you this particular model is a less than ideal every day carry (EDC) knife, due mostly to the serrated blade (which is not easily self-sharpened and therefore challenging to maintain), the lack of “jimping” on the blade (a patter cut into the blade base making it easier to grip and work with) and the pretty handles which aren’t meant to be “used and abused.”  Which places this particular knife in more then “gentleman’s” or “dress knife” category, much like the fore mentioned Spyderco Kopa.

With a recent renewed interest in knives, I began looking around for a more suitable EDC knife, and discovered that Spyderco has recently introduced a Dragonfly2  model which address many of the above issues which make my stainless steel Dragonfly less than ideal for EDC.  Here’s a photo of the Dragonfly2:

Many knife manufacturers are constructing knives with handles made from FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon) due to its light weight and durability.  Used here on the Dragonfly2 FRN, it entirely transforms the knife – the Dragonfly2 FRN is less than half the weight of the stainless steel Dragonfly model above.  From a tactile perspective, FRN feels a bit like hard plastic, which means its not as readily gripped as would rubber handles, but the grip pattern does much to alleviate the “slickness” of the FRN.  Aesthetically, a lot of guys like the tactical/military look that black FRN handles bring to a knife as well.

You’ll also see that the blade is simple “full-flat ground” and not serrated like the blade of my first Dragonfly – this makes sharpening/maintenance a much simpler task, which is important on a blade you’ll use often.  It’s also constructed from VG-10 steel, which by all accounts is one of the top two or three steel grade choices for most knife enthusiasts.  It has nearly unmatched capabilities for hardness, corrosion resistance, and sharpness retention.  Spyderco is a US based company, but because VG-10 steel seems to be only available in Japan, most of their highest grade knives are made in Seki City Japan.  Note too that Spydero added jimping at both the top and bottom of the blade base which greatly improves the ability to work with the knife without having your fingers slide down the sharp part of the blade.  Here’s a photo of the back of the knife:

The metal pocket clip on the back of the back of the knife seems sturdier and more rugged than the clip on my other Dragonfly – again, the knife just begs to be carried and used.  Dimension and form factor-wise, the Dragonfly2 FRN is pretty identical to the previous version:

At just under six inches in overall length, with a blade length of 2 1/4 inches some may find the knife to be on the small-side.  But for a white collar guy like me, it’s perfect for routine tasks in the office.  The Dragonfly2 FRN carries a retail price of $74.99, but I picked mine up for under $50.00 on eBay.

So now I have 3 Spyderco knifes which I rotate using depending on my activities – they really are great knives!

As a supplement to this written photo review, I’ve also done a video review further discussing the pros and cons of the Spyderco Dragonfly – the video is recorded in HD, and can be run in 1080p, and full-screen if you click on it and go to my YouTube channel.

About John B. Holbrook, II

John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com.

*All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. I don’t know of a Spyderco Dragonfly with wood handles….sorry.

  2. Nick the Enforcer says:

    I just ordered the D2 in FRN plain blade for my son, it should be the perfect size for his small hands. I also like the two areas of jimping the other one I was considering the Ambitious does not, I am growing weary of everything stamped “China” and with the better steel I figure the D2 was a batter value for a few bucks more. I would like to see a partial 1/3 serration. With an investment of a few dollars you can buy circular stones and a few round jewelers files to “dress” up as needed. Of course Spyderco offers free sharpening service if you pay the ship cost [$5] and they do a fantastic job! Also if you plan on the ZDP189, it is much harder steel and most guys have trouble reharpening themself. An EDC in VG10 is the way to go!

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