First introduced in 1996, the Spyderco Military Model is one of the most iconic and recognizable knives ever produced. Created by Spyderco co-founder Sal Glesser, the original design was his answer to the question, "If your son was going into military service, what knife would you give him?"
Featuring a broad, full-flat-ground blade, lightweight, open-backed handle construction, and a user-friendly LinerLock mechanism, the original Military also included an oversized Trademark Round Hole for swift, ambidextrous, one-handed opening—even while wearing gloves. These defining qualities resonated with a broad audience of knife users and quickly established the Military as one of Spyderco's signature designs.
Initial production of the Military featured ATS-34 blade steel and included both PlainEdge and fully serrated SpyderEdge configurations in satin and black-coated blade finishes. After Sal visited Crucible Industries to inquire about their powder metallurgy process, the Military's blade steel was changed to CPM 440V, which is now known as CPM S60V. This groundbreaking move made the Military the first factory-made knife to feature particle metallurgy stainless steel and was instrumental in increasing Crucible's visibility in the knife industry. Later, the Military's blade steel was changed to another Crucible particle metallurgy steel, CPM S30V, which remains the current standard for this model.
As the Military gained popularity, it spawned several different aesthetic variations. Its original black peel-ply-textured G10 scales were joined by versions featuring digital camouflage scales. Both color options housed blades with either a satin finish or a non-reflective Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating. The knives' handles also featured nested stainless steel liners that formed the foundation of a sturdy LinerLock mechanism and anchored a pocket clip configured for right-side, tip-down carry only.
For left-handed users, the basic satin-finished, black-handled version of the Military was replicated in a mirror-image, left-handed configuration. True to form, its pocket clip offers only left-side, tip-down carry.
In 2009, the G10-handled versions of the Military Model were joined by one with solid titanium scales and a Reeve Integral Lock (R.I.L.) mechanism. A year later, Spyderco added a second titanium R.I.L. version that showcased brilliantly colored solid titanium scales with a meticulously machined fluted texture pattern. Both these versions were ultimately discontinued and today are highly coveted collector's items.
For steel aficionados and knife users seeking extreme edge retention and corrosion resistance, 2016 also marked the introduction of a Military Model featuring a blade ground from premium CPM S110V stainless steel. Like all members of Spyderco's elite CPM S110V family, it features dark blue G10 scales.