Spyderco Mini-Dyad

Oct 5, 1998
I purchased a Spyderco Mini-Dyad a couple of weeks ago. It has two lockback blades: one is a sharply pointed flat ground plain edge, and the other is a curved serrated blade that looks like an alligator's jaw. Both blades are very sharp, and I'm very happy with the knife.
On Spyderco's web site, and other places on the Net, the serrated blade is pictured as being a sheepsfoot shape. Can anyone tell me whether mine is a newer or older model, and why they made the change?

tepstein -

The picture that you saw of the Mini Dyad on the Spyderco site is of the prototype. The reason why the serrated sheepfoot blade on the production Mini Dyads are shaped like an alligator's jaw is because Spydie decided to grind the blade spine down more (hence the curvature) to make it easier to access the blade hole of the plain clip point while the sheepsfoot blade is closed. The knife's small blade hole size makes this almost necessary - if not, getting at the clip point blade might be a bit difficult. Clear as mud?
Hope this info helps.
Sure, that's clear; but it only explains the back of the blade's curve, not the cutting edge. Did they curve that to match just for aesthetics?
One question I have always had re: the Dyad is:

How comfortable is in in hand when one blade is open and the other closed?


tepstein - my guess to why they curved the cutting edge is to amplify the blade's cutting power, in conjunction with the serrations.

Clay - that curve of the sheepfoot's spine accommodates the grip well - it will not get in the way.

[This message has been edited by Dexter Ewing (edited 10-27-98).]
I'm glad this came up, because I think the Mini-Dyad is one of those undersung, little great ideas in the knife world. I also just purchased one about a month ago, and I think this thing should be lauded more than it is. What a neat little knife, and what a neat idea. No wonder Spyderco is on top of it's field. On the sheepsfoot vs. alligator jaw thing that tepstein originated this thread about, all I can say to me, (besides what Dex said), it looks as if Spyderco just "upswept" the blade, so to speak, to make it a more "form fit" in the handle. I've looked at mine over and over, and that is the only thing I can come up with, but seems logical. One little critique on my example though, and that is the Micarta scales. They are finished unevenly on the edges. Not a big deal, and has no effect on usage, but not quite up to Spyderco's usual standards. This is only the second Spyderco I have ever owned with even a small cosmetic flaw. Like I said before, I hope Spyderco is not resting on it's laurels. This little knife though, is one of the most creative and useful little guys I have ever seen. To me, (besides mini-tools), it is the ultimate little pocket knife, (is small, two blades that will handle any cutting chore, has a clip, and will fit into a pocket and be comfortable). I just wish Spyderco would make one with the Micarta scales smoothed, and buffed to a high polish. And the blades polished to a high luster, (or maybe gold TiN coated, along with the clip). Now that is a gent's knife I would buy right now, (along with a serrated Military with the same treatment).


Do all the Dyads you have looked at have the problem with the uneven micarta scales?

I would bet Spyderco would be glad to fix it under warranty service. I have had nothing but good experience with their customer service folks (unlike a certain competitor of theirs). You might consider giving it a shot.

Just for the record, I sent the same questions via email to Spyderco, and they have yet to respond. I'm still curious which was the earlier model. Probably the sheepsfoot.

My micarta isn't bad, but a steady hand with a dremel tool could probably improve it. Maybe emery paper on the surface? The edges, though, are great.
Well, I have a Dremel. Where am I supposed to get a steady hand though...?


Guess I should have the knife first anyways...

It's really out of character for Spyderco not to get back to you. The gentleman I usually deal with, and has been very helpful in the past is Patrick Kelley. Try E-mailing them back, and put it to Mr. Kelley's attention. I think tepstein, what Dex said about the flat sheepsfoot being the prototype, is probably correct. When Spyderco contacts you, let us know what they say.

Yeah, I thought about doing just that, but like I said earlier, it really is not very bad. I am a VERY PICKY guy, and have been used to almost flawless knives from Spyderco. I have a Calypso Jr. that has high polished Micarta scales, and they ARE flawless. I guess it spoiled me. Unfortunately, this Mini-Dyad that I have is the only example I've examined so far, so I have nothing to compare it to. Like tepstein said I could smooth the edges out with some very fine emery cloth. But like all my knives I use them, so I'm not that bothered. It's going to see alot of use so it'll get knocked around pretty good. Don't let my critique scare you away Clay, this is one neat little pocket knife. Go ahead try one, I think you'll like it.
I've had one for about 4 months now and agree that it is a "sleeper" as far as popularity goes. This knife has not failed me yet and as a bonus, when I open it, I don't get any of those strange looks. You know, the look you get when you pull out a full size tactical tool to open the UPS shipment. I'm in a new work environment lately and don't want to scare anyone right off, there's plenty of time later! But back to the Dyad; I took the clip off mine and carry it in the little watch pocket of my jeans; it rides securely and un-noticed till needed and is close to hand. I'm waiting to see if Spyderco does come out with a larger version, it was rumored here before. I'll get one if they make it!!
I actually like the finish of the micarta scales on the Mini-Dyad. There is a slight texture to the surface that I like as opposed to the highly polished smooth surface like the Calypso Jr. has. And I don't know what kind of coating is on the surface, but after months in my pocket, there's not one scratch on the micarta scales of the Mini-Dyad.

Spyderco finally did reply. The photo on their web site is the prototype. They put the curve on the blade because they felt it would make it more useful. (?)
Really, not to beat a dead horse, but I think that is what Dexter and I told you all along. I am glad Spyderco finally got back to you. Their explanation, (that co-insides with Dexter's), leaves me wondering though. The "alligator's jaw" configuration, WOULD amplify the cutting power of the serrations, but at the expense of the middle serrations of the blade. This would be opposed to a "true" sheepsfoot blade, which would dull evenly across the whole blade's surface, and last alot longer. I really like "sheepsfoot" blades alot, and think they are the "unsung" heroes of the blade world. When you use a sheepsfoot blade, you realize just how handy a blade this is. I "salute" Spyderco as the first company to give us a serrated sheepsfoot, (or "alligator's jaw" as you say), AND a flat ground blade, in one handy little knife. Thanks for letting us know Spyderco's slant on all this.
Hmmm...sounds like we may have a new blade pattern emerging here - "alligator jaw".
I'd like to see limited edition runs of the C14 Rescue and C36 Military models with alligator jaws

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

[This message has been edited by Dexter Ewing (edited 11-03-98).]
I think we have a misunderstanding going on here. I referred to the blade shape as an "alligator's jaw" to distinguish it from a sheepsfoot blade, which I always thought only applied to a blade with a straight sharpened edge and a dull point. While the blade on the Mini-Dyad has a dull point, it is not straight, but curves in the opposite direction of the Harpy, for example, and many other rigging knives I have seen. The latter curve would seem to help keep the knife on the rope being cut; I have been curious as to the benefits of the opposite curve. An if there already is a name for this style of blade, I'm curious about that, too.
Guess what Spyderco said?! The Dyad is getting a big brother though they declined to say when. Frick! I hate waiting. I want to beat the person who first said "anticipation of the thing is better than the receiving".

- Triangleman

"Work is the curse of the drinking class."
- Humphrey Bogart