on May 10, 2012
Look guys you have to do your steel research before you buy this knife. I really like the zdp-189 steel used in the knife blade but I can see where a newer knife owner could run into problems. First if your planning on rubbing this knife against a cheap stone and hoping to bring out a razor edge your going to be really dissapointed. The zdp-189 needs to be worked with quality stones and patients if you want your knife to carry the same razor edge it came with from the factory. If your new to knife EDC carry or knives in general try the vg-10 steel version. It's not that the zdp-189 steel is hard to sharpen (if your experienced) but if you aren't familiar with it or you don't have the proper sharpening equipment you're going to have a hard time getting this knife to perform. The great benefit is that you can really get some razor sharp cutting time out of this steel compared to vg-10. In my experience cutting similar materials (cardboard, wood, and others as part of testing) with both the vg-10 and zdp-189 versions the zdp will far outshine the vg-10 in edge retention almost 55% improved edge retention time with the zdp-189. So in summary do your research and decide what you need. If your looking for good steel with easy sharpening use the vg-10 version, but if your looking for extreme edge retention and you have experience sharpening knives the zdp-189 is the knife for you hands down.
on January 23, 2013
This isn't a knife so much as a folding scalpel. I've never owned a knife anywhere near as sharp as this thing is right out of the box! It just cuts, and does it well. I used it once to open an envelope, and I literally couldn't even feel the edge touch the paper; it was like running the knife through an envelope that was already open. Needless to say, slicing off ribbons from hanging paper is no problem.
I still can't even believe it's this sharp out of the box, and it doesn't appear to be losing its edge one bit. Granted, I haven't tried hacking through a 2x4 or anything like that, but it has sliced right through paper, food, etcetera without any difficulty whatsoever. It has a full flat-ground blade, complete with a thinner tip than, for example, a saber-ground blade would have. Combined with the very hard steel (RC64), it is not suited to use as a pry bar. Quite frankly though, if you want a pry bar, save yourself some coin and get one. This is an incredible, precision blade made for cutting, not a blunt object.
It is a Spyderco, so right off the bat you know it's a quality product. It sits in my pocket very well, and lays flat - no annoying pressure on the side of my leg. It feels nearly weightless too. The pocket clip is a sturdy piece of steel, and it appears that Spyderco has given it a black oxide coating rather than a paint job. This is a good thing, as it means your clip should look good and remain relatively scratch-free for a much longer time than a painted clip. It also looks and feels better to me; it's a nice smooth satin black. Ultimately, however, if you use this knife for every day carry, as I do, it will eventually get scratches of some kind. I've been carrying mine about a month now though, and it still looks brand-new.
For anyone who is on the fence, jump on down and grab this knife. It's a great price for a great blade. I can't recommend it enough, and I will probably pick up a few more to give as gifts, and to increase my personal stash!
on February 10, 2014
I have several Enduras I just didn't have this one and I got it because of the exotic steel. I love the Endura design but I am not crazy about full flat grinds, I like the saber grind better on this knife design, the older version of this knife had the saber grind but all the newer ones are only offered in FFG. I know it is a better slicer but the tip is thinner also, so it is a matter of preference and use. As for the ZDP 189 it is just a little harder than VG10 and retains a better edge and its not as difficult to sharpen as people say I used some diamond rods to get the 30 and medium, fine and ultra fine for the 40 and it worked just fine but needs some extra repetitions. I do think that the edge could chip faster than VG10 but it has not happen to me yet and been cutting some boxes, plastic straps even a coke can and so far so good.
on December 24, 2015
If you have owned lots of knives, after awhile, you understand how important good steel is. That sounds obvious but the type of steels they make now are much better than just a few years ago. This knife has what I think is either the best or in the top 3-4 steels for a pocket knife. That's the reason I bought this knife and I now have several in ZDP-189. I like super sharp blades that stay super sharp and this steel is the best at doing that. The shape of the blade makes this a wonderful slicer, almost perfect. It's big and I like that. I also have a knife just like this but a little smaller and I carry this one way more. If you have big hands or just like a longer blade to work with, this 4 inch thin blade is a great one and it's also very light. Sometimes I like to use a more hefty knife, this is not that, this is really light for the length of it. I think most people probably want the lightest knife that is still very strong, this is great for them.
I could carry this knife only and be happy with it. I have a lot of other knives that I also like to carry or I would only carry this one, no problem. Also, this price at the time of me writing this review, is the best price around, so you can get it here now and save several dollars.
on September 20, 2010
I purchased this particular knife because I love the Endura design (especially w/ a Full Flat Ground blade) and I wanted to try out the ZDP-189 steel. I received the knife and was at first disappointed w/ the initial edge. It was sharp, but not at all what I've become accustomed to with Spyderco products. It almost seemed as if the edge had been rolled. So, after a quick touch up using a ceremic stone and a strop, the blade sung. I got it hair-popping sharp fairly easily... considering the overall hardness of the steel. I'd heard horror stories about sharpening this stuff. That done, I examined my new knife. It is an Endura 4 in every way, except the steel, the full flat grind on the blade, and the racing green frn scales. It seems to fit my hand just right. It's lightweight enough that I hardly notice it's there, but large enough that it could be used for any situation, including self-defense. If I could only carry one type of knife for the rest of my life, it would probably be an Endura. It's a great value. Super Steel... Reasonable Price.
on January 22, 2016
If you're already a fan of the Endura, consider this a five star rating of the ZDP-189 blade. It's hardness and edge retention are fantastic. I accidntally dropped it a few feet on to a vinyl-tiled, concrete floor tip first. It stuck; then it fell over. I know without a doubt any typical, 420HC knife would have suffered some bending or blunting of the tip. This suffered none at all.
This was my first Endura, and I find myself unhappy with the model overall. The first indent in the handle is, for me, one and a half fingers wide. It takes up too much handle for just one finger, and two are crowded. Folded, the knife is nearly two inches wide, so while it is not terribly thick (actually, it is quite slim), it takes up a lot of real estate in the pocket. If you carry other things in the same pocket as your knife, this can be a problem. I am no stranger to large knives. I ordinarily carry a Buck 110. I find this unwieldy in comparison.
Three stars for the model, five stars for the steel--I give it four overall, and I feel that is generous.
on March 23, 2014
I've had this knife for about 2 months now and like it a lot. As the title states it's close to perfect. It could be smoother in operation and the handle material could be better but otherwise it's all good stuff. My specimen has no blade rock side to side or up and down and blade is centered with pretty even secondary edge bevels.
I don't understand the complaints about sharpening or chipping of this steel. I checked factory sharpness which was better than most factory knives then proceeded to put my standard convex stropped edge on it. After it would easily push cut and slice phone book paper and shave hair.
I don't use a knife for things it shouldn't be used for. Everything has limitations and this knife is no different. Bad edge geometry and lateral forces will chip the edge. The worst material I cut is is cardboard, rope, and other fibrous materials like carpet. Thus far I touch the edge up on black and green compound loaded strops to maintain a razor edge.
This steel is not a novice steel. Given its composition and hardness recognizing it's limitations is paramount to performance and longevity.
Bottom line taking into consideration the above, I would totally recommend this knife.
on December 15, 2012
Form follows function. Beauty follows function. Spyderco ZDP-189 has won my heart. These Spyderco ZDP-189 knives come closer to magic than any other steel I have encountered. Roselli fixed blades are awesome and close to magic, but they are fixed blades, and I'm too old to be playing Daniel Boone. The same with Dozier's D2 knives. I'd bet my life on them, but I have them for their beauty. Japanese blue and white steel knives at the high mid-sixties RC are awesome, but I use them in the kitchen. You can't beat Spyderco for EDC (every day carry). I bought the Endura, Delica, Caly3, Dragonfly, and Ladybug, all in ZDP-189, and all because I read the reviews of ZDP-189. I got one, and loved it so much, I bought the others over time just to have them. I bought them not as "in search of magic" knives, but "because they are magic" knives. The Endura is too big for me to carry. It's a big EDC knife, but I love it anyway. It screams, "This guy is carrying a big knife," and that's not good, unless you are a "working man" who needs to carry and use a big knife. If that's the case, it's a great choice. For me, the Endura 4 is a "just in case" knife. It's a fun knife. For EDC by the ordinary man (or woman) the ZDP Dragonfly is tops. The Ladybug is a little small. I tried to carry it, lost it, and had to replace it. The Caly3 is great, but expensive, and a little heavier than the others. It's prettier though. The Delica is my second choice, but I'm thinking about carrying an Opinel 7 sometimes. Both are bigger than I need for EDC, but both are great knives. The Opinel is about one fourth the price. The Delica is about four times the knife. I'm almost seventy years old and have been looking for Excalibur all my life. With ZDP-189, I think I've found it. It comes closer than anything else I have come across-at least for my gentlemanly needs.
on December 21, 2014
It is razor sharp from factory. Belt sanding does almost nothing to it so diamond sanding required however if it is this sharp with factory bring you bet once its narrowed down a bit on bevel then stropped for 5 hours... You'll need another word that's like sharp but akin to a light saber. This knife scary. Plastic grips not so grippy but if I make a wood handle will be sick. Sturdiest lockup I've ever felt on a folder and I've owned a few. There is the stretch model similar size but curvy saber like blade however I like handle thin ness on this one. Very strong lateral tension on blade there's no bendy bendy when carving or cutting. Its not a screwdriver but a highly tuned skinning knife. Made sturdy but slight issues with grip... Dremmel or wood handle time. Its kinda attractive In a badass here I am with a large razor kinda way. Just BE CAREFUL and don't drop it on your shoe. You might just tac your foot to the floor.
on June 3, 2014
Really nice knife that feels like it fits the hand and cuts great. The ZDP 189 is very hard and cuts great. The FRN handles are great, I don't know why you would need anything more expensive. This knife is a pleasure to use, and has a perfect blade shape for work. But it's also comforting to know that I could use this to defend myself if I had to do so. Love this knife.