Editors note: Article originally published on Breach Bang Clear by Mad Duo.

The Spyderco Civilian is one of those iconic tactical knives with a dark pedigree. In the 1990s, the bulk of Spyderco’s catalog included knives named for their intended use or user’s occupation: Police, Military, Worker Co Pilot, Mariner, etc. One of their models was named the Civilian.

Some of our pseudo-tactical friends dismissed it as a working man’s knife on the name alone, and longed for the “Gunge-Fuck Model”. But the Civilian’s purpose was as a quick last-ditch backup weapon for law enforcement officers who had no particular training in hand-to-hand combat or knife fighting. All that the officer needed to know was how to slash and stab and possibly break off that slender tip in a bad guy if that’s what it took to stop him.

Of course, if you judge knives by their names only, you’re probably better suited to carrying nail clippers and an emery board for your working needs.

The Civilian had one of the longest blades ever found on a Spyderco folding knife at 4 1/8″. The cutting edge seemed longer as this claw-like blade was ground in what Spyderco refers to as their “Reverse S Curve”, with a tip that looked like a vicious fish hook ready to rend flesh. The original version featured a fully serrated blade with a thin tip and deep belly. It wears a Spyderco pocket clip in the tip-down position, relies on Spyderco’s round hole for deployment, and is a lock back. The latest models feature VG-10 steel.


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