Robust, efficient, and innovative - these are just some of the words that the Spyderco knife brand is known for. Today, it’s internationally recognised and earns millions of dollars each year.
But where did it all begin? Here, we discuss the history of the Spyderco brand as well as its specialisation and manufacture.
History of Spyderco
For the past few decades, Spyderco has steadily grown as a brand, and today it’s one of the most well-known in the world. But where did it all begin?
Who were the founders?
Spyderco was founded by Sal and Gail Gesser. Once they had created the Portable Hand, they bought an old truck, converted it into a mobile home and began touring various trade shows.
When was Spyderco established?
The company first came to be in 1976 when Sal Glesser, the company founder, created the Portable Hand. This product had a strange, spider-like shape and was used by jewellers and hobbyists to secure small parts so they could work on them.
Today, Spyderco remains a family-run business with Sal, Gail and their son Eric leading the team of over 130 employees.
Where was Spyderco established?
Sal and Gail travelled to trade shows frequently, and only in 1978 did they decide to settle permanently in Golden, Colorado. Here, they began making knife sharpeners, such as the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, which they sold at trade shows. From here, they began experimenting with the Spyderco folding knives.
They produced the brand's first knife in 1981, named the C01 Worker, which was known for many of its pioneering features that eventually influenced the knife industry. One of the most notable features of this first knife was the round hole in the blade. This allowed users to easily open the knife with a single hand. The design also included a clothing clip so that carriers could attach it to a belt or pocket for easy access.
How did the company get its name?
Sal had a love for high-performance sports cars and noted that these cars often had the term ‘Spyder’ in the name. This, along with the spider-like shape of his first invention, the Portable Hand, sparked his idea for the name Spyderco, as he felt this would aptly portray the high performance of their cutting tools.
Where is Spyderco made?
Spyderco produces various knife models which are made in their respective corners of the world. Some are made in the USA, while others are manufactured in Italy, Taiwan, Japan and China.
What products do they specialise in?
Spyderco specialises in creating knives, having invented over 200 models since 1981. In 2000, Sal’s ingenuity and contributions to the knife industry got him inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame.
Over the years, they’ve also collaborated with some of the world’s top knife makers. In addition to knives, Spyderco also manufactures other tools, accessories and culinary knives.