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Knife Review: Spyderco Blue Endela Lightweight Folder Knife with a Satin K390 Blade

Knife Review: Spyderco Blue Endela Lightweight Folder Knife with a Satin K390 Blade

Posted by SD on Mar 8th 2021

The Spyderco Blue Endela Lightweight Folder Knife with a Satin K390 Blade

The Spyderco Endela is a unique knife because it Spyderco has designed it to literally split the difference between the Spyderco Endura 4 and the Delica 4 Lightweights. This means that the Endela is going to offer all of the highly refined, time-tested features of each of these previous knives, offered as an in-between knife for the two. The blade on this knife is made out of K390 steel with the handle scales being made out of FRN. While these are great features of the knife, the main purpose of this knife is that it has been designed to withstand the rigors of demanding industrial applications, as well as maintaining its super lightweight characteristic. This knife might feel feather-light, but it is going to perform like a heavyweight.

The Blade:

The blade on the Endela is made out of Bohler’s K390 blade steel. Already we know that this steel is going to be able to stand up to the heavy-duty industrial tasks, because Bohler-Uddeholm is known to produce high end steels. However, even in Bohler steels, this blade steel is going to stand apart from the others. This steel has high hardness, with insane edge retention. Both of these qualities are important for the industrial level tasks, because with the hardness, you know that you can rely on the knife not to break on you. And, with the edge retention abilities, you won’t have ot be concerned with your knife dulling when you are in the middle of a task. This steel also can be considered a semi-stainless steel, which does mean that it is going to have good corrosion resistance. This quality of the blade is important for industrial level tasks, because you are most likely going to be working with grease and similar substances. Not every blade steel can withstand work in messier environments and come out with the same integrity. But K390 steel is going to be able to last in this environment. Better yet, this steel is known for having excellent wear resistance, which means that the steel is very hard, and very durable. This steel does have good impact resistance, which is also important, because industrial applications can be demanding and give some shock to the blade. However, with Bohler’s K390 steel, this baby is going to outlast the others. All in all, the advanced alloy composition in this blade steel makes it an exceptional option for this purpose. This steel is also the defining feature of an elite family of Spyderco lightweight knives.

While the blade steel on this knife can’t be beat for its purposes, the blade has been finished with a satin finish. This is a common finish that offers some steady aspects. First off, it looks good. Better than that, it is easy to maintain. Like I mentioned earlier, and like you know, when working in demanding industrial applications, you might not be sure what your knife is going to come in contact with. The satin blade finish is going to withstand this. It adds a decent amount of corrosion resistance to the blade, which is also beneficial.

Finally, the blade has been designed with you in mind. This means that it does have a lowered point, to provide you with more control. However, the biggest design feature of this blade is that it has a very large belly. This is going to give you plenty of cutting edge, making slicing a breeze. The design of the blade is there to complement all of your tasks. Never will you feel that you are fighting with the blade, instead, it’s like it’s your sidekick.

The Handle:

While the blade on the Endela is there to get the job done, the handle has been designed to guarantee that you want this knife to be the one to get the job done. The blade is there to assist you with your task, while the handle has been designed to make the task easier for you.

Spyderco Blue EndelaFirst, the handle has been made out of FRN handle scales, which is a fiberglass reinforced nylon. Basically, this is a nylon polymer that has been mixed with a glass fiber. This combination is then injection molded into the form that it is going to take. There are many, many benefits to this material. First, it is a more inexpensive handle material. Since the blade on the Endela is a high-end steel, it was important for Spyderco to look for ways to keep the knife reasonably priced so that it would still be an exceptional option for you. Other than keeping the cost of the knife down, FRN is super tough, strong, and lightweight. All of these aspects are important for your industrial tasks. The toughness and strength come in handy because you never know what might actually end up happening. This means that the handle is going to be able to take a serious beating without cracking or breaking. The Endela is not going to leave you wanting when you need it the most—the handle is there to support the fantastic blade. The lightweight aspect of the FRN is also important, because you don’t want to be constantly thinking about your knife in your pocket. You probably only want to be thinking about it when you need it. These handle scales keep it that way—it keeps the weight of the knife down, so that you can go about your business until you need the knife.

Better yet, Spyderco has finished the FRN with Bi-Directional Texturing. This is a patented texture pattern that is molded into FRN handles with forward and backward graduating steps that radiate outward from the center of the handle. This pattern works to provide resistance to slipping in the hand. This feature of the knife can feel absolutely critical when you are working in tougher tasks. Sometimes there can just be no room for error, and Spyderco’s Bi-Directional Texturing works so that you don’t have to work as hard.

The handle has also been designed into a shape that will be comfortable for you to use for long periods of time, while also maintaining a solid grip on it. The spine of the handle is fairly basic—it just is an elongated curve, with the bulge of it being in the center of the handle. However, on the back of the spine, where the handle meets the blade, there is a row of jimping that extends about halfway up the handle. This is one of those details that Spyderco added to set this knife apart even further from its competition than it already was. This jimping is there to provide you with added grip when you need it most. Your finger can easily use this row of jimping as extra grip from the Bi-Directional Texturing for those especially hard or slippery tasks. The butt of the handle cures downward. The belly of the handle is also simple, but just as useful as the spine was. There is a fairly large finger guard, which is going to give you the added protection for you to feel comfortable and confident when working in your industrial applications. After this finger guard, there is a shallow, but elongated finger groove. Following that groove, there are two shorter and shallower grooves. These allow your fingers to fit nicely into place, as well as keeping them from slipping from that place once you have a grip on the Endela. All of these design details are there to keep you feeling safe while using this knife, as well as making the Endela a more comfortable knife to use for your demanding industrial applications.

The Pros:

The advantages of the Spyderco Endela are extensive. For starters, the blade measures in at 3.41 inches long, which is standard for a pocketknife. This length combined with the extended belly offer plenty of cutting surface so that you can complete practically any task. The satin finish on the blade also works to elevate the blade, both by looking classy as well as adding extra corrosion resistance to the blade. However, one of the best parts of the satin finish is 

Spyderco Blue Endela, Clip View

that it is an easy finish to maintain. The satin finish is not finicky, it’s not complicated, it is super straightforward. This finish allows you to worry about the task at hand, and not about your knife. It also makes for easier clean-up if you are working with grease, or other messy materials. The aspect of the Endela’s blade that really sets it apart from its competition though, is the K390 tool steel. This steel has been specially designed to take on these demanding industrial applications. It has very high wear resistance, it is tough, it is durable, and it is strong. It also features incredibly high edge retention abilities. All of these qualities combine to make a serious tool steel that really beats out the other tool steels. The design, steel, and finish of the blade make this a tool that you can easily rely on.

Not only does the Endela feature an amazing blade, but the handle on this knife is also exceptional. The main feature are the blue FRN handle scales. These are lightweight and practically indestructible. In fact, it is so lightweight that the overall weight of this knife comes in at 3.1 ounces. Not only can the handle scales absorb a shock and take a beating, but it also has high wear resistance. This handle material can come in contact with a lot before it begins to wear out. This is a necessity for your demanding industrial applications.

Better yet, the blue FRN handle scales have been given Spyderco’s Bi-Directional Texture, which is some insane texture that improves your grip immensely. This texture allows you to seriously grip this knife without adding stress to your hands. It also works to ensure that no matter what situation you may be in, your grip is not going to be an issue. The handle measures in at 4.69 inches long, which means that the overall length of this knife is going to come in at 8.1 inches long. This is a slightly larger knife, although not so large that you won’t be able to handle it. In fact, it offers a great length and size that will fit comfortably in your hand.

An added detail to the Endela is the black stainless steel 4-way pocket clip. This pocket clip would elevate any knife, but on the Endela, it seems like Spyderco thought of everything. This allows you to carry this knife in the way that is absolutely most comfortable to you. This further means that you are going to be able to handle this knife in a safer way, as you are more comfortable with it.

Of course, you also have Spyderco’s signature round hole. On the Endela, this round hole is extra-large, so that you don’t have to struggle while trying to get this knife open. It is large enough that the hole will be easy to locate, and easy to swing the knife open. Spyderco’s signature round hole allows for easy, ambidextrous, one-handed opening.

Final Thoughts:

The Spyderco Blue Lightweight Endela folder features blue FRN handle scales and boasts a special K390 satin finished blade. The blue Bi-Direction Textured handle is specially reserved for Spyderco knives with the K390 blade steel. K390 MICROCLEAN is a state-of-the-art cold work tool steel made by Bohler-Uddeholm, specially formulated to withstand the rigors of demanding industrial applications, its advanced allow composition also makes it an exceptional blade steel—and the defining feature of an elite family of Spyderco lightweight knives.

The Endela is a hybrid in size to both the Endura and Delica models while still offering the same great positive thumb ramp and the strength-promoting back lock mechanism. Additionally, the patented Bi-Directional Texture of the handle featured on many of their models allows the knife to remain feather-light while performing like a heavyweight.

With detail, after detail, after detail that set the Endela folder apart, if you are in need of a knife that can take on industrial applications, this is the knife for you. Order your Spyderco Blue Lightweight Endela today from BladeOps