Anyone carry a Spyderco Civilian?

Anyone carry a Spyderco Civilian?

This is a discussion on Anyone carry a Spyderco Civilian? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A "last ditch" defense weapon Sal Glesser (Spyderco CEO) designed for DEA agents, it is a wicked tool....

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  1. #1
    Member Array Bald1's Avatar
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    Anyone carry a Spyderco Civilian?

    A "last ditch" defense weapon Sal Glesser (Spyderco CEO) designed for DEA agents, it is a wicked tool.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    I recently had a chance to fiddle with one at a local store and I must say that I was pretty unimpressed. It's overly large and the blade shape is so overspecialized as to be all but useless for most other tasks when compared a standard pocket knife. Now add that there is a complete lack of a trainer for it despite its supposed tactical use and I really don't see the point of it at all.

    The DEA wasted a bunch of money on a lame-o, oversized, and very distinctive knife that their "undercover" agents can't train to use effectively...yay.

  3. #3
    Member Array Bald1's Avatar
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    It is not designed for use for anything other than defense period. Spyderco has always made that very clear.

    From the Spydie web site: "In the 1990s Spyderco was approached by a specialized branch of U.S. law enforcement about making a knife for their undercover agents. These plain-clothes LEOs found themselves in situations where they often could not carry a firearm but carrying a knife was not a problem. Most had no formal training in self-defense tactics or MBC but as a last resort could use a blade to protect or extricate themselves from a life-threatening situation. This was how the Civilian model came to be."

    As for a trainer, James Keating has several variations as well as a video.

    Any other objections?

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    I still have a niche for the Spyderco Civilian, mostly because it is so slim and easy to carry in a particular place. I have mostly trained to use conventional blades and karambits, and in fact my EDC is a Tarani Masters Model Karambit folder, and I also carry a small fixed blade most of the time.

    The Civilian is neither fish nor fowl; it is not used like a straight blade, nor like most other hooked blades.

    Seeing James Keating's Civilian training DVD is VERY educational, whether or not one wants to carry a Civilian.

  5. #5
    Member Array Bald1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    I still have a niche for the Spyderco Civilian, mostly because it is so slim and easy to carry ...... and I also carry a small fixed blade most of the time.
    I too usually carry a small fixed blade (Camillus Talon in either Talonite or 154CM) in a pocket slip sheath. Otherwise either my Simonich Talonite Carnivore folder or a Sebenza BG-42 folder.

    The Civilian doesn't see much carry but when I do it's because it is the best choice for the venue involved. BTW mine is the original #C12 serrated ATS-55, aluminum-kraton handle job.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bald1 View Post
    It is not designed for use for anything other than defense period. Spyderco has always made that very clear.

    From the Spydie web site: "In the 1990s Spyderco was approached by a specialized branch of U.S. law enforcement about making a knife for their undercover agents. These plain-clothes LEOs found themselves in situations where they often could not carry a firearm but carrying a knife was not a problem. Most had no formal training in self-defense tactics or MBC but as a last resort could use a blade to protect or extricate themselves from a life-threatening situation. This was how the Civilian model came to be."

    As for a trainer, James Keating has several variations as well as a video.

    Any other objections?
    Other than the fact that for the cost of a Civilian and about forty bucks I can buy a Delica/Endura (depending on your local jurisdiction), a Delica/Endura trainer, and mercop's IET video and end up with some decent basic training, the tool I need for this training, and a knife that I can and will EDC because it's actually useful as a daily-use tool?

    Not a one...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    How about the fact that the 4-1/8" blade length makes it illegal to carry a Civilian in probably 95%+ of jurisdictions that have a blade length limit?

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Wicked looking, kind of like their Harpy design.
    NRA Life Member


    With great power comes great responsibility.-Stan Lee

  9. #9
    Member Array Bald1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    How about the fact that the 4-1/8" blade length makes it illegal to carry a Civilian in probably 95%+ of jurisdictions that have a blade length limit?
    You must be both retired and on a crusade here. Instead of using a skewed statistic why don't you cite just how much of the US has such draconian laws. Around here the only thing that's a foul are ballistic knifes. Crocodile Dundee would be welcome carrying his big blade

    Bottom line is enjoy your Endura. It's a fine folder and makes for a great EDC. (I'm partial to the Native myself.) Those of us who feel comfortable with specialized pieces such as the Civilian enjoy our freedom of choice.

    There are specialized tools shown here as well:


    Original Bladeforum dot com General Forum Moderator. Talonite Pioneer.
    Last edited by Bald1; June 21st, 2010 at 06:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Member Array Buckles's Avatar
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    for those people that have blade length restrictions, there is always the Matriarch. Its smalller, and a littler harder to come by, but still very cool. Spyderco is actually supposed to do a sprint run of them later this year.

  11. #11
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    Civilian carry

    I do have a civilian but mine is an all metal grip in high polish. Very cool knife. I do not carry it often but love to have it in my collection. My favorite carry blades are my Blade tech MELK, my Boker subcom, and my Zero tolerance ZT 350.
    It's not a problem til they make it one!

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    How about the fact that the 4-1/8" blade length makes it illegal to carry a Civilian in probably 95%+ of jurisdictions that have a blade length limit?
    Legal in Texas, where the limit is 5.5", and where LEOs are exempt from blade length limits, anyway. (Keep in mind the Civi is marketed at LE types.)

    As I understand CA blade law, the Civi is legal there.

    TX and CA alone constitute a huge market. Toss in FL, where the Civi is legal with a concealed weapon permit, and probably legal if carried visibly clipped into a pocket, and that makes up more than 5% of the USA market. Moreover, Spyderco insiders know that the Civi and Matriarch are quite popular in such places as South Africa.

    Anyway, Spyderco only makes a few Civis, for the limited market, and that is fine. Note that Spyderco does not aggressively promote the Civi. Its reputation is by word-of-mouth. Spyderco is not trying to make the Civi the Glock G19 of the knife world.

    To be clear, the Civi is not my main carry knife. It is a secondary blade, or even tertiary, carried when my karambit folder and a straight blade are more accessible. I carry a Civi about 50 hours a week, when dressed a certain way.

  13. #13
    Member Array Buckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog44 View Post
    I do have a civilian but mine is an all metal grip in high polish. Very cool knife. I do not carry it often but love to have it in my collection. My favorite carry blades are my Blade tech MELK, my Boker subcom, and my Zero tolerance ZT 350.
    would you mind posting a pic? ive never seen an all stainless civilian

  14. #14
    Member Array XDshooter's Avatar
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    I really like the Spyderco stuff but I can't afford it. I carry a Gerber Easy-out at work and a Kershaw assisted opener in my jeans. I'm not really picky about the brand of knife that I would carry as long as it's made of good steel and will hold an edge.

  15. #15
    Member Array WvHiker's Avatar
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    I've wanted one of those bad boys for years. Here in WV even an Endura is over the legal limit (three and one half inches, in case you were wondering.) I'd still like to have one though, even if it's just a cool desk knife.

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