The New Asher Spiro in Black Micarta

Okay… I’ve now had the new Spiro for a week. I originally thought the previous version of the knife was pretty much the perfect EDC. But Asher completely upped the game on this one, making real improvements in both the blade and the handle.

As for the blade, it has the same incredible profile that I fell in love with with the original. But where the original edge extended all the way to the plunge grind and formed a bit of a recurve, the updated blade has a sharpening choil (see below). In addition, Asher added a fuller to the top of the blade, making Spidey-flicking a breeze; not that that’s important either because I kind of suck at it. But it’s nice to have several deployment options. Speaking of deployment, the fatter thumb studs are a nice touch. They’re bulkier than the original, but they’re still unobtrusive in that they sit right above the sharpening choil and out of the way of the cutting line.

And just like the original Spiro, the detent is perfect. It locks the blade in place when stowed and is strong enough to keep it in place. But once you deploy the blade, it flies out and locks in place with a snick. It’s a very pleasing sound. Lock-up is perfect. There’s no blade play whatsoever. And from what I understand, Asher is using slightly larger caged ceramic bearings based on early feedback from the prototype that used significantly smaller bearings. The action is smooth and FAST.

I think out of all the folders I have, the Spiro and my Spartan Astor have the most comfortable handles. They sit so nicely in my hand and are so comfortable that cutting things is incredibly comfortable. But I also appreciate the minimalist approach of the handle on the Spiro. This iteration of the knife sports fewer screws and a smaller deep-carry clip than the original. With my original Spiro, I was always having to remove the clip and bend it back into place. The new, shorter, narrower clip.

The micarta is done really well on this knife. The texture is great, though it looks much smoother than it actually feels, which is an interesting effect. I love that Asher used a milled titanium back spacer. The original had a G10 and it was fine, but as a cosmetic touch, the Ti is nice.

One nice feature that I do love is that there’s no lanyard hole drilled into the scales. Instead, the back spacer has a notch and a post is used between the scales to tie a lanyard. This is a very thoughtful design choice as it keeps the lanyard area unobtrusive with the rest of the knife. Personally, I’m not much into attaching lanyards to my knives, so for me at least, not having this visible is a great thing.

Finally, I really appreciate what several makers are doing by offering great blades with premium steel at an affordable price. This version of the Spiro cost $104, which might seem a little high considering I originally paid $75 for my first one. But Asher made some great updates in the blade and materials and the cost reflects the improvements made to the knife.

But that price is still far below and equivalent knife by one of the big houses like Benchmade or Spyderco. And other makers like Spartan Blades, QSP, and even Kizer and Civivi are following that trend of high-end steel blades at reasonable prices.

So it makes me wonder why knives with similar characteristics cost over $200. I myself will never get a knife that expensive. But that’s just me. I’m more of a value shopper when it comes to knives so I could never justify the expenditure.

That’s not to say that the more expensive knives aren’t worth it. I know they are very well made. But at least for me they come at a steep price that far exceeds their value.

Believe me, I’m no expert when it comes to knives. And I may very well be totally off my rocker when it comes to then. But when I hold and use a knife like the Spiro and feel how well-constructed it is, you’d be hard-pressed to tell me a Benchmade Bugout with micarta scales that costs $175 is a better knife. All things being equal, I will go for the less expensive option.

Asher has a titanium scale frame lock version coming out soon. Personally, I’m not very interested in that knife primarily because titanium seems so boring to me. I actually prefer G10 and micarta. But if you like titanium scales combined with that great blade shape and geometry, this would be a knife worth getting!