Reese reviewed one of my favorite knives of all time, the Spyderco Ladybug 3 Hawkbill, the other day. I was reading over the article and noticed that he included links to some of the different variations, and I think one included a straight-edged drop-point knife. If you want my opinion (and if you’re reading the Daily Knife Slice, I assume that you do), a straight-edged knife of less than 2″ doesn’t give you a lot of slicing room. That’s why I like the talon version of the Ladybug 3.
However, if you really prefer a straight-edged knife with a good deal of belly for slicing, I recommend the slightly larger Spyderco Dragonfly 2. This is still a small knife, but it’ll fit in your pocket fine, has a good grip, and is a durable little bugger.
- Total Length: 5 7/16″
- Blade Length: 2.38″
- Blade Material: K390 Microclean Carbon Steel
- Blade Shape: Drop Point
- Deployment: Manual
- Lock Type: Liner Lock
- Handle Material: Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon
There’s not much to dislike about the Spyderco Dragonfly 2. It really comes down to your personal preference, especially regarding this knife’s size. It has a great grip, fantastic sharpness, and carries securely in your pocket. It’s not as easy to lose as its smaller cousin, the Ladybug 3, but still isn’t large enough to have to worry about it taking up your whole pocket. The biggest downside is the price, as Spyderco tends to charge for its brand.
Table of Contents
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is like a larger version of the Ladybug 3. The blade is about 2.25″ long, and the entire knife is only 5.56″ long when opened. The handle is made of the same fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) that the Ladybug is made out of, making it not much heavier than said knife.
The beauty of the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 lies in its nice, big belly. When you combine the blade shape (see our Guide to Blade Shapes here) with the ergonomically-friendly handle, you have a lightweight knife that’s easy to maneuver and doesn’t feel like it’s going to slip away from you. Yes, this even works for people with larger hands. One of my friends has this knife and big hands to go with it. No problems. Zilch.
Basically, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is the little knife that could. You won’t regret it if you purchase it.
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 has a 2 5/16″ blade that, when extended, makes this knife 5 7/16″ in length. While larger than a Ladybug 3, that’s still a small knife. It’s a knife that will disappear into your pocket, or, for the ladies, it’ll fit nicely into your small pockets. Don’t believe me? Ask Reese how many times I’ve chewed him out after hearing it clunk around in the washer.
This blade has a nice belly (full flat grind) that slices and dices with the best of them. The VG-10 steel is fine for blade steel, although I prefer the “salt” variations of Spyderco blades, as those use H-1 steel.
What’s bad about VG-10? VG-10 is finally catching on in America and is a great mid-range steel, but for the price that Spyderco asks us to pay for this knife (we think we’re being charged for the privilege of being able to own a Spyderco product and a generic brand made of the same stuff would be cheaper), they could’ve used steel that isn’t quite so prone to chipping. I prefer H1, but that’s neither here nor there.
VG-10 steel is certainly not a bad steel. It’s a hard metal that gets insanely sharp. For a kind of hard steel, it’s also not too difficult to sharpen if you’ve had some practice.
I recommend, if you haven’t sharpened too many knives, that you:
- Learn how. We have some suggestions for books on knife and tool sharpening here at Daily Knife Slice, but you can also check out some YouTube videos and see if it’s something you’d like to try. It’s not quite as easy as most videos make it look, and they vary wildly in quality, but you’ll know what you’re getting into.
- Once you know all the ways to sharpen knives, you’ll have a good idea of what system will work best for you and your knives. Again, we have some suggestions depending on what you’re looking for, but just head over to Amazon and grab your favorite system.
- Practice on a knife you aren’t wedded to. Seriously, you’re likely to destroy your blades the first few tries, so don’t use anything it would crush your soul to have demolished.
It comes out of the box sharp, too. While not of immediate value to this review, I’ll also add that if you get a version with serrations, you’ll have one of the toughest, sharpest serrated blades I’ve ever encountered. Just throwing that out.
I’ve used the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 to open packages, slice cheese, and even slice apples. I don’t use my EDC knives to prepare dinner (Reese would kill me and I prefer my beautiful kitchen knives), but for feeling snacky, I have no trouble using this knife to prepare my cravings.
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 uses fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN), which is both lightweight and surprisingly strong. It’s not the most expensive material on the planet when it comes to knife handles (again, this knife is a tad more expensive than it ought to be), but it does the job well and is fantastic.
Of course, if you’re the type who prefers heftier knives, then this may not be what you’re looking for. Small knives can be heavier than you think (I’d recommend something like the Kershaw Leek if you prefer heavier pocket knives), but the Dragonfly 2 isn’t one of them. You might be surprised by how good it feels in your hand (the grip is excellent) and decide the lightweight is something you can deal with, but it depends on how high of a priority that is for you.
The handle is textured and has grooves for your grip, so even when wet (think boating trips) it doesn’t slip around in your hand. I’ve never felt like the knife was going to get away from me.
We should get rid of this category because I’ve already written a lot about how light it is.
Anyway, this knife is very light, largely thanks to the FRN handle. That being said, it still feels strong and is a very durable and capable knife. You might not feel it in your pocket, but you don’t have to worry about it breaking when you try and cut stuff.
Carrying and Deployment
The Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is fantastic to hold and carry. When it comes to FRN, Spyderco is amazing at bringing out its best qualities. It has a 50/50 choil, which is the unsharpened bit of the blade near its base, protecting your thumb. This means that you can do a lot with this knife while not having to fear accidentally slicing yourself.
It’s not only comfortable in your hand, but the pocket clip is amazing. Spyderco often uses this little wire clip that allows the knife to cling steadfastly to your pocket while not squeezing the life out of it, making it difficult to remove and replace. I’ve never been afraid of my Dragonfly 2 slipping out of my pocket. Nor have I dreaded having to try and pry it out of my pocket to open a package. This gets a big thumbs up from me!
Before I forget, the clip is also reversible. This means that if you want to carry your knife in your left pocket using the clip, you can.
The lockup is accomplished using a lock-back in the middle of the blade, which is deployed in the manner typical of Spyderco’s manual openers. Basically, an 11 mm ‘Spyder-hole’ allows you to slip your thumb into a hole on the blade and deploy it. The edge catches on your thumb pretty well, so even I can deploy it with one hand if I have to.
As with the Ladybug 3 before it, we’ve decided to go ahead and include some of the variations here. Some (anything with the word ‘salt’ in the title) are going to use H1 steel, which offers more corrosion resistance. Otherwise, the biggest difference is in the blade shapes. If you see one you like better than the drop point, straight-edged Dragonfly 2, you won’t be disappointed. Most of my thoughts for this Dragonfly 2 apply to the other variations.
It’s really hard to go wrong with this knife, or one of its variations, as your go-to EDC. It’s not a large knife, but it’s not tiny, either. It’s sturdy, sharp, and carries extremely well. All in all, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 is for anyone looking for a great EDC knife that isn’t too large.