I always figured that the Spyderench could not come close to the convenience and reputation of a Leatherman tool. When the second run of Spyderenches came out, my good friend Jurphaas demo’d the Spyderench to me. Needless to say, I began to see the light. A few months ago I got a Spyderench. I had hoped to really put this tool through its paces, but I only came across the odd mundane job here and there, nothing to really challenge the tool. I really need one of my buddies to move or something 😉 .
One of the main advantages of the Spyderench is its carry-ability! It’s not just a tool with a clip slapped on. The closed Spyderench is wonderfully rounded to make this tool truly a clip-on tool. Although I always had a LM Pulse within reach, I never actually carried the tool on my belt because it’s simply too heavy for me. Even with the all steel construction, the Spyderench is light enough to EDC in the front pocket of a pair of jeans or IWB.
Because the tool is easy to carry, along with the one-hand opening blade, the Spyderench is basically a bulkier CE SS Delica 4 with a tip-down only clip, that happens to offer some added tools. The CE option is IMHO the best choice for this tool; the serrations can cut anything you come across and you can do some whittling or carving with the plain edge. Edgeholding was subjectively comparable to a regular D4, the edge is a thinner than the D4 though. When used ‘just’ in knifemode, the ergos are good; much better than a LM.
The tool selection is nice and I even got a chance to use the two halves of the Spyderench as cooperative tools, when assembling a mini soccer goal for my nephew. The short and stubby pliers offer a surprisingly strong grip and bite. The handles also don’t dig in your hand when you use the tool, especially in a right-handed grip. After a bit of practice, the bits are quite fast to access. The magnet inside the bit holder is nice and strong. Once the bit is in, it won’t come out until you want it to. The wrench is also really solid, the selected width of the jaws are maintained throughout the job at hand. I haven’t used the file much, but the pin on the opposite end of the Philips screwdriver came in handy when I needed a stout steel point for poking and prying.
As a knifeknut I would love to see a titanium frame for the Spyderench, then it would truly enter the class of EDC pocket knives. I’m sure the price would go up, a lot, but if the Spyderench lost even more weight, it would really become something extraordinary. There were two tools that I missed a little: needlenose pliers and wire cutters. Maybe it’s because I got so used to them on my LM Pulse. Perhaps the wrench jaws could be made narrower, and the main pliers maybe have some room to add a wire cutter. For wire cutting, the CE blade is a good performer, but it’s less precise.
Another big feature of the Spyderench is the fact that you can get a whole lot of aftermarket bits for it, since the bit holder is universal. Not only can you ‘load’ any four bits that you want, but you could get additional sets of bits at any hardware store. I’m kind of looking for a portable storage system for a lot of bits, maybe Spyderco could offer some sort of sheath system to expand the bits available for the Spyderench.
The Spyderench has replaced my LM Pulse, the latter is delegated to car duty now while the Spyderench lives in my Fatboy. The Spyderench is probably at its best when it replaces the pocket folder, rather than supplementing it. It’s certainly the most carry-able of the multitools (save for the SAKs but they are less robust) and the tools fill my white collar urban needs for 98% (needlenose pliers and wire cutter would make it 100%).