When I first received these two folding knives roughly the size of a dog tag, I thought to myself, there's nothing too small to be useful if it has the right design...but Spyderco's DOG TAG Folder Gen4 and SQUAREHEAD folding knives bring the innovation!
The original Spyderco DOG TAG featured an unprecedented form factor that made for an excellent and unique everyday carry (EDC) knife. In its latest iteration, Spyderco takes designer Serge Panchenko’s fourth-generation design and takes it to the cutting edge of the dog tag form factor.
The Dog Tag's key feature, of course, it its compact sheepfoot-style 1.23in (31mm) blade made from premium CPM S30V particle metallurgy stainless steel with a stonewashed finish. To protect the edge when closed, the blade is chisel ground with a single flat bevel on the front side—an unusual feature for a Spyderco knife.
The company’s Trademark SpyderHole in the blade allows easy opening, and a subtle swedge (unsharpened bevel) and a decorative fuller (groove) near the spine add a touch of style. The blade’s pivot is also accentuated by a round aluminium disk that provides stability and structural strength as well as an aesthetic touch. The shape not only takes up a smaller footprint (making it ideal for this knife in particular), but also helps in strengthening the blade's tip when the cutting gets tough.
Since the DOG TAG isn't designed to be a locking folder, an integral spring bar and ball-bearing detent secures the blade both in and out of use. This is built into the knife's aluminium handles, which keeping it as light as possible when carried—or worn—just like its namesake. At 3.23in (82mm) overall length it only weighs 0.9oz (26g) this is a great EDC knife.
The Spyderco SQUAREHEAD offers cutting performance far beyond its diminutive size and does it with a high-precision, high-tech flair.
The heart of the SQUAREHEAD is its uniquely share-shaped sheepfoot blade (1.30in/33mm) machined from CPM S30V powder metallurgy stainless steel. Its single-sided, flat chisel grind provides excellent edge geometry and strength and allows the PlainEdge cutting edge to lie safely against the handle scale. A trademark SpyderHole in the blade identifies the SQUAREHEAD as a Spyderco product and allows easy one or two-handed opening.
The SQUAREHEAD’s unique single-sided handle is machined from a solid piece of titanium. Its one-piece construction includes an integral back strap that also serves as a blade stop and a guard for the edge when the blade is closed. It also houses an integral LinerLock-style mechanism that locks the blade securely in the open position. Amazingly small and lightweight, the SQUAREHEAD does not include a pocket clip, but features a wide slot in the handle for easy attachment of a chain, fob or lanyard. Assembled with screw-together construction to ensure the precise alignment of all parts, the blade, handle, and other key components of the Squarehead feature an attractive matte stonewash finish.
At 3.30in (84mm) overall length, weighing only 1.1oz (31g), this is just a little larger than the Spyderco DOG TAG Folder Gen4, and a very useful EDC knife.