You can identify fake or clone Spyderco knives by taking a closer look at the handle design, the blade quality, and some accessories like the foam. Fake Spyderco handles have sharp edges, screws with a star-shaped cutout, and come with see-through foams. But you can find more subtle clues that may indicate an alleged Spyderco knife is a fake or a clone version.
Of course, you also need to consider who’s selling you the knife and in under what conditions.
Are There Fake Spyderco Knives?
Yes, there are countless fake Spyderco pocket knives on the market. People that sell these counterfeit knives use the brand’s logo to give the knives a semblance of legitimacy. Other times, the Spyderco knockoff knives are almost identical until you inspect the build and notice cheap materials. Even then, telling apart a fake Spyderco from a real Spyderco is becoming harder and harder.
The Spyderco brand does its best to battle these fake knives, to the point that company representatives are willing to stand in Congress to testify. You can also do your part and avoid scams if you purchase knives from Spyderco’s own brand or an authorized dealer.
Chinese e-commerce companies like Alibaba or AliExpress are a no-no if you’re looking for a genuine Spyderco. If you’re buying a second hand knife from a friend, you must be cautious and inspect the knife first. Ensure that the manufacturing location isn’t China and that real Spyderco knife makers produce it.
How to Identify Fake or Clone Spyderco Knives – 4 Best Tips
The handle design, hardware quality, blade shape, knife package, knife handle, and other accessories are usually a dead giveaway that the alleged Spyderco knife is fake. Let’s talk all about these elements in detail now.
By Checking Out the Knife Packaging
Your first contact with a counterfeit knife is through the box, which is also the first method you have to identify the knife’s genuineness. Here’s what you can do.
- Look for spelling mistakes! This method is probably the easiest one to spot a fake Spyderco box. You will find several paragraphs and contact information like emails on the back of the box. Take a bit of time to read all of it and you’ll be glad you did it. If it’s a knock-off knife, you will likely find spelling errors.
- Take a close look at the Spyderco logo at the front of the box, right at the mouth/nose of the spider. The original logo has a smallish pivot inside, similar to a heart-like shape. On the other hand, a fake knife has a logo with a sharper design, sometimes creating a perfect triangle.
- The shape of the spider logo is another difference. In the real one, the design shows a rounded spider. A fake box has a larger spider, more like a rectangle.
- Grab the box from the sides, and move it up and down to check if there’s a visible stripe below the logo on the front. If the logo slightly fades and shows a stripe, it’s real. However, if the logo doesn’t fade even a small amount and the stripe isn’t there, it’s fake.
- Fake Spyderco knives may come in boxes without an identification sticker. Sometimes they have the stickers, but the font used to identify the knife model is different. In the real box, the font is bold.
- After you take the knife and papers out of the box, look at the foam. Fake Spyderco knives usually come with foams that fit in the box perfectly, and you can see through them. Nonetheless, a genuine Spyderco tends to have undersized foams and are dense enough that you can’t see through them.
Pro Tip: If you already have a real Spyderco knife but have any doubt about a second hand knife you bought, you can compare the two packages.
- The red color of a fake Spyderco box is lighter in orange tones, whereas an original Spyderco box is a darker red.
- You will find the Spyderco logo and printing on top of both boxes. The box of genuine Spyderco products has thinner and smaller letters, and the fake one has more prominent and broader text.
By Checking Out the Knife Handle
You can find significant differences between real and fake Spyderco knives on the handle scales and the hardware used to put the handle together.
- If you grab the handle and it feels too smooth, you may have a fake Spyderco at hand. These usually have a wider pattern that doesn’t feel grippy. Genuine Spyderco handles have narrower patterns that make them feel rough and grippy.
- You also want to take a closer look at the screw head design. The clip is almost too similar to tell, but knock off Spyderco knives have screws featuring a perfect star-like shape with sharp edges. Premium-quality Spyderco knives have screws with a real Torx shape design. This difference is significantly noticeable in the factory Spyderco Paramilitary 2.
- Open the knife, and turn it sideways with the inner part towards you. If it’s a counterfeit, you may notice that the G10 handle layers are visible. The finish doesn’t look as polished as it would in an original Spyderco.
- The product description of the called Spyderco knife should indicate the materials used to create it. Go online, find the materials of the exact genuine product model, create a picture set, and compare the two. If you confirm the knife has a plastic or low-quality steel, you have a fake.
Once again, you can try spotting a fake Spyderco if you already own premium-quality knives from this brand. Here’s how you can do it by identifying poor workmanship on the handles.
- The lanyard hole is often smaller in fake Spyderco knives.
- A real Spyderco knife has thinner and lighter handle scales, whereas a fake one has thicker and heavier handle scales.
- Turn the knife around and look closely at the back of the handle. Genuine Spyderco knife handles usually have a large cutout section near the compression lock. However, the cutout section on the counterfeit version is considerably smaller.
- A fake Spyderco knife handle has sharper edges around the lock mechanism area, but the edges of an authentic version are round and smooth.
By Checking Out the Knife Blade
The blade is another element that might indicate a Spyderco is fake with subtle hints. While it’s harder to spot counterfeit Spyderco through the blade unless you have a genuine Spyderco for comparison, here are a few things you can inspect.
- Look out for spelling errors on the blade. Spyderco knives have some writing on the blade indicating the steel type or where the company made it. A real Spyderco may read “Golden, Colorado. U.S.A. Earth,” whereas a fake one might read “Golden.ColoradoU.S.A.Earth.”
- Release the blade and look at the cutting edge. A counterfeit is likely to have thicker blades, which are very noticeable. It’s something you notice if you’re sharpening a knife or sharpening them regularly.
- If you purchased a knife with a Spyderco logo or printing that is too light or fades away entirely, chances are it’s fake. Genuine Spyderco knives have darker logos with attention to each fine line and detail.
- Look for an image of the real Spyderco knife online, and compare it to the one you’re buying. You may notice that the blade’s shape differs from one another. In some cases, the belly of the fake is more prominent and it slopes up to the tip gradually. Real Spyderco may have a shallower belly and a sharper point.
- Counterfeit Spyderco knives often have more metal where the thumb hole’s top and the knife’s spine meet. The spider logo doesn’t have as many details as the real one, and it doesn’t look as dark. Lastly, the original Spyderco has a seamless transition from tang to blade, whereas fakes look less polished.
By Checking Out the Knife Seller
One of the easiest methods how to spot a fake Spyderco knife is by reviewing the seller and the deal conditions. This principle applies whether you’re buying a knife regardless of the brand, be it Spyderco, Cold Steel, Benchmade, or Buck Knives.
- As common sense dictates, you want to avoid purchasing a knife if the ads price is too low or too high. The average price of a Spyderco Tenacious is $82.50, but a counterfeit may be half the price or less. Unless it’s a good deal from reputable dealers or certified vendors, you shouldn’t come close to those fake sellers. Stick to authorized sellers only.
- Watch out for the seller’s reputation, and learn what other people have to say about it. If you intend to buy a Spyderco Para 3, Shaman, or any model, do thorough research first. Look for Youtube videos or pictures on sites like eBay. You may also checkout Spyderco’s official forum and get help from experienced users.
Get familiar with the features of each knife model to know what the real thing should look like before investing your money.