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Spyderco Tenacious C122G Folding Knife Review

Looking for a budget-friendly option from Spyderco? Have you considered the Tenacious? If so, you may want to read this first. Let's take a look at the details.
Spyderco Tenacious Combo Edge

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Before we get going on our opinions and observations in regards to the Tenacious, let’s take a look at what Spyderco says:

Being tenacious means one holds fast. One is persistent and cohesive. It means being tough and tireless until achieving your goal: all knife-worthy definitions for a worthy knife. The mid-sized Tenacious has a black G-10 laminate handle, milled with prolonged fatigue-free cutting in mind. Tucked inside are skeletonized steel liners increasing the handle’s rigidity and strength without adding non-functioning weight or bulky thickness.

The 8Cr13Mov stainless blade is leaf-shaped and ground flat from spine to cutting edge for cutting performance. The blade’s shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allow you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work. A Walker Linerlock (with jimped liner) and a 4-way pocket clip lets you set your carry and draw preference: Tip-up/tip-down left-hand/right-hand. Screw together construction.

Source

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the detailed specifications.

Specifications

Blade Steel:8Cr13MoV
Overall Length:7.76″
Blade Length:3.39″
Closed Length:4.45″
Edge Length:3.39″
Weight:4.1 oz.
Blade Thickness:.118″
Handle Material:G-10
Handle Thickness:.455″ (excluding clip)
Clip Position:Ambidextrous
Tip Carry:Tip-Up or Tip-Down
Lock Type:LinerLock
Grind:Full-Flat
Country of Origin:China
MSRP:$73
Street Price:$51

Where is Spyderco Tenacious made?

The Spyderco Tenacious is made in China and was actually one of the first large lines of knives by Spyderco to be made there. For the seasoned expert, you can probably find various nuances particular to Spyderco’s made in China knives. However, I would guess a majority of folks could not tell the difference in terms of manufacturing.

Spyderco has excellent quality control and I’ve found all of their knives to be well made. To me, it’s not necessarily the country of origin, but the materials that make the difference. With that being said, I still prefer their American-made knives, but I own a variety from various other countries as well.

If price is a concern, buying one of these made in China knives can save you a nice chunk of money. Everyone’s buying preferences are different and it’s up to you to make the call as to what you want.

In regards to Spyderco’s made in China knives, there may be others, but I believe the Tenacious, Persistence, and Byrds are all made there.

Weight

Weighing in at 4.1 oz., the Tenacious weighs enough to feel like a working knife, without weighing so much it becomes a nuisance. Typically, I find I can only pocket carry really heavy knives when I’m wearing jeans or heavier weight pants (think canvas work pants). They can sometimes weigh down lightweight fabrics often found in breathable materials or summer weight clothes.

The Tenacious seems to walk right in the middle. I don’t find it too heavy, but it’s not a lightweight knife either. There have been a few times it has seemed a little heavy for what I was wearing, but that’s not the norm.

Handle material

The Spyderco Tenacious comes with handles made of G-10, which is a composite material consisting of a fiberglass laminate. Think of it kind of like you would in reference to fiberglass boat hulls (kind of).

It’s basically, layers of glass cloth and epoxy resin that is pressed (compressed) while utilizing heat. Once it cures, you have a robust material with good strength to weight ratio.

Some people love G-10 and some hate it. Like most things, it all comes down to personal preference. I, for one, really like G-10 handles on my knives. I really like the longevity of the material and how well it holds up to degradation. It also works really well in a variety of environments, including extremely wet scenarios.

Handle thickness

Handle thickness is a concern for some folks and not for others. Depending on hand size, etc., handle thickness can greatly affect the comfort of a knife. This is especially true during times of heavy use.

Handle thickness can also make a difference when it comes down to carry comfort. The ‘thicker’ a knife is the more discomfort it can potentially cause when carrying. This is in addition to a number of factors like clothing, overall size/weight, method of carrying, etc. All these come into play when it comes down to comfort and ease of carrying.

Spyderco Tenacious blade

Spyderco utilizes s leaf shape design for the Tenacious. The leaf point shape is really similar to a spear point and is often confused with it as well. However, the leaf shape is not completely symmetrical like the spearpoint, which is a distinguishing feature between the two. 

A spear point blade is typically symmetrical with equal amounts of curve on the top of the spine and the bottom of the blade. In addition, leaf shaped blades usually have more of a refined point over a spear point blade. Despite the acute tip, I do find this blade shape has a strong tip when it comes to actual use.

People usually love a leaf shape design or hate it. I happen to kind of like it.

Keep in mind, this blade design also adds overall size to the Tenacious. In order to accommodate a larger overall blade profile, it adds height to this knife. In other words, if you have the tenacious folded up in a closed position and sitting vertically on the spine of the handle, this blade will add some height to the profile. This is inevitable with wake shaper blades. Some folks find this added size to be uncomfortable in the pocket.

You can get this knife in either a combo edge or plain edge. Overall, I prefer plain edge knives, but the combo edge definitely has its uses. To me, the biggest downside of a serrated blade is the difficulty in sharpening it. Therefore, I tend to do most of my cutting with the plane edge and reserve the combo edge for times that I really need it.

Blade length

Most of the knives I use for everyday carry typically have a blade length between 3” and 4”. There are always exceptions to this, most typically fall in this range.

The blade of the Tenacious is 3.39” in length, and falls right in with pretty much most of my carry knives. Again, blade length is highly subjective and you need to find what works for you. However, I find a blade of this length to work pretty well as an all-around option.

Blade steel

The Tenacious utilizes 8Cr13MoV stainless steel as the metal of choice for this blade. I would consider this steel choice as a low-end option. That doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily all bad, and it’s definitely a solid choice for the budget-minded.

In terms of corrosion resistance and wear resistance, you get what you pay for. It is okay for the price, but there are much better steels out there. They come with a larger price tag as well.

Edge retention

Edge retention on this knife is okay, but not the best. If you actually use your knives, and this one should definitely be a user, you will find yourself sharpening it regularly. Especially if you use it for heavier, more aggressive work.

Blade angle

This blade features a full flat grind, meaning the grind goes all the way from the spine to the edge of the blade in a straight line. The Tenacious seems to have a good balance on this grind, not being too thick or too thin. It seems to fall right in the middle and is a good all-around choice.

Jimping

Like most of the other knives any Spyderco lineup, the Tenacious has pretty good jimping on the spine. Once the blade is deployed, your thumb naturally comes to rest right on the jimping to offer you a solid grip during heavy use.

Spyderco Tenacious pocket clip

The clip is solid, offering multiple positions with 4 options. You can have the pocket clip oriented either right or left-hand with tip-up or tip-down carry. Whatever your flavor of choice, you should be able to set this knife up for success.

Is the Spyderco Tenacious a good knife?

The two questions I hear most often is if the Tenacious is a good knife or if it’s worth the money? I would say yes to both of those. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a solid option oh, you should consider this knife. It offers a lot of value for such a low cost. 

However, there are some other options from Spyderco that give it a run for its money. The Spyderco Efficient has a lot of similarities but in a slightly smaller package. It’s definitely worth a look as well.

Spyderco Tenacious for EDC?

If overall size is a concern for you, this knife can be a little too large for some to comfortably carry for an EDC option. If that ends up being the case, there are some smaller alternatives to consider, like the Spyderco Persistence, Ambitious, or Efficient.

However, I don’t have any issues carrying it daily and never even notice it is there until I need to use it. As you well know, a lot of this comes down to personal preference and what you are used to. 

If you’re used to carrying a slightly larger knife you won’t notice any difference with this one. If you normally carry something much smaller, or you don’t regularly carry a knife utilizing a pocket clip, it may take a little bit of an adjustment.

I’m a big fan of G-10 and I really like the leaf shape blade design as well. The jumping is adequate, it has solid lock up, and the ergonomics work really well for me.

Overall, with a $50’ish price tag, I say give it a shot as I feel it is a solid option. At best, you find something you really like and put it to use, or at worst, you throw it in a toolbox or tackle box as a backup. Either way, it’s a win-win. Heck, at this price point they make perfect gifts as well.

Let me know your thougts.

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