Review: Spyderco Herbst

Nov 14, 1998
For those that might be considering the Spyderco Herbst, I just recieved mine, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Originally, I wanted to get a more formal folder for the times when my larger tactical and utility folders would be likely to offend. So, I had been thinking Benchmade Pardue 850. Real classy looking piece with an impressive list of features. And the prices I found for the 850 were close to half off Benchmade's list. I was just about sold- until I saw a scan of the Herbst. The Spyderco was more asthetically appealing to me than the Pardue. (to each his own, right?)

The only other Spyderco I've had was a small clip-it my dad gave me years ago. So I don't quite remember it for comparisons sake. I was pretty leery of the 440C blade as well. Overall though, I'm very pleased with it. The first thing I noticed and liked was the ultra-cool "Cardassian" inspired design of the blue electroplated inlay. (Credit where it's due- the design is Mr. Herbst's-wonder how many of you will get the Cardassian thing?) Opening this knife is really easy- I never thought too highly of the thumb hole- but the blade swings open quickly and smoothly. Although it's not mentioned in the specs, I have been told the bushings are teflon. There is a hex head screw for pivot tension adjustment, mine was set up nicely out of the box. This knife also incorporates a linerlock, which isn't the thickest I've ever seen but locks up well and is easy to get at with your thumb. I had read the spec sheets on the Herbst, but was still surprised at it's size and substantial heft. Don't get me wrong, it's not heavy at 4 oz., and it's only 7.1" long overall. Just impressed me when I held it, not quite the little folder I thought it would be. Feels very rigid due in no small part to the titanium handles. The handles have a nice matte finish but the inlay design is only on one side. The other side of the handle is covered mostly by the stainless steel pocket clip, positioned for tip down carry. (not reversible, but removable)

All of the edges on the handle are rounded off and make the Herbst easy to fondle. The drop point blade should fit the role of a utilty blade very well. I've only sliced up some cardboard so far, and it does so with ease. I realize the 440C is no ATS steel, but should sharpen easily enough. Oddly, though- the blade has these weird traction notches cut into the bottom of the blade tang. If you were looking at the knife locked open and belly up, you'd see these directly above the linerlock. I'm not sure why these are there, as you can't even get to them- the notches lie in a plane below the sides of the handle slabs. Not sure what the idea was there.

Although this is a Spyderco in name, the Herbst is made in Germany by/with/through Boker. If you look at the base of the blade, there is a Spyderco stamp on one side, and a Solingen Germany stamp on the other. Early models of this knife had quality problems, but judging by mine, these have been solved. You can get this one in either plain or partially serrated blades. I went for the plain edge so I could fly with it. I don't think it's quite as formal as a Benchmade 850, but I really like the appearance a lot. If it had to get by on looks, it could. Fortunately, it not only looks great, it works very well. Smooth all the way around.

Even though it's not really in the same style category per se, like the Pardue 850, in this case looks were more important to me than performance. If you're in the market for a nice non threating-looking folder that you can actually use, the Spyderco Herbst offers alot of nice features. I'm glad I bought it and I've already started looking at other Spydercos more closely.

I'd recommend the Spyderco Peter Herbst to anyone. It's the kind of knife that would attract even non-knife people. To compare again though, the Benchmade 850 would probably disappear well in your pocket, this one rides best for me with the clip. Which kind of defeats my original intent. The high polish clip is a real attention getter.

Sorry if I rambled- if you want the other tech specs, check the net dealers pages. You won't be disappointed with this knife. Thanks to Dexter Ewing for his thoughts on this knife as well.


Where did you get it plain??

I was to understnad it is avaiable only 50/50????

One may want to keep an Eye out for my review of the Bob Kasper designed, Kevin Gentile modified AFCK and interview of Bob Kasper.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, and Martial Series; Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle; REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu

i like the kningon designed knives better. more dammageing blade and a disruptor in the hilt.
I got my Spyderco through Knifecenter of the Internet. Yes, both plain edge and "Spyder-Edge" are available.

You can see the Herbst at Recently, the Herbst has also been pictured on their home page as well.