I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have visited the Spydercrew in their natural habitat, i.e. the Spyderco HQ in Golden. Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t had a chance to see the crew at all, since most shows were cancelled. Luckily, the pandemic is waning and we got to travel across the pond again. Our first destination: Golden, Colorado, U.S.A, Earth.
Meeting the people who make my favorite knives is always a treat. It’s a lot of fun to connect with the people. Meeting and talking with everyone also provides a deeper understanding in the work each crew member performs, to bring those cool designs to life. Even if you’ve been around these knives for a number of years, like myself, there is always something new to learn. If you get a chance to meet the Spydercrew at the SFO, a show or meet, do take that chance. They love talking knives and you’ll learn so much more than just from your IG feed.
For example, it was pointed out to me that for unscrewing those single-sided clip-screws in the FRN handle of the Lightweight Para 3, it is important to lay the knife down on a table top and to exert enough downward pressure. A screw that didn’t want to come loose, now did come loose. As I said, there’s always something new to learn.
More importantly, it was good to reconnect with my ‘tribe’ again. My daughters have crawled around the SFO before as toddlers, and now they share their experiences in fluent English, of the trip and school and friends back home. Luckily for Mom, their interest in the candy drawer upstairs proved a lot stronger than the knives at the SFO downstairs. 😉
When I visited New Mexico last year and went through Santa Fe, I simply had to stop by Santa Fe Stoneworks. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wirtel who gave me a quick tour of the shop and factory. He was also kind enough to let me shoot some video of the excellent knives on display. All the Spyderco knives in this video are part of his personal collection and were -sadly- not for sale. They can make another one though if you’d like one. I encourage any knifeknut to visit SFSW if you get the chance. Check out their website at: http://www.santafestoneworks.com/
A quick tour of my visit to the Spyderco Factory Outlet. I found this one in my archives from my visit to Spyderco last year. It features a quick tour of the factory outlet store, showing the display cases with what they have on offer, the World Trade Center Memorial ‘corner’ and the the display about the Native program for US troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other side of this display case features the evolution of the Spyderco Native: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ENOAx…
For a better quality version click on the Youtube logo to view the video on Youtube. Select HD720 or higher for best quality. I tried different rendering settings etc… but I’m thinking that the low light inside the store (for cameras) and the fast moving camera are the main culprits for the macroblocking and flickering lights in the video.
A discussion on the Spyderco forums about factory tours reminded me that I had some pictures of the Spyderco factory and the SFO or Spyderco Factory Outlet. Now, Spyderco does not offer factory tours but following the links below you should get a pretty good impression of what you can see at 820 Spyderco Way, Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth.
Click on the images or titles to see the post with pictures from my visit that year.
Since it’s a recurring question on the forums, I added a button on the navigation menu at the top of this screen to keep these pictures easy to find.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was in the US again and very close to Golden. So I couldn’t help myself and pop over to attend the annual factory seconds sale, where less-than-perfect-but-fully-functional-spydies are sold at bargain prices. I didn’t take much pictures because there were so many fellow knifeknuts to talk to. I did notice a few new items at spyderco’s HQ.
For one thing, there is now a huge(!) US flag indicating where Spyderco HQ is located. You really can’t miss it when you drive past the factory on the I-95. Inside, some steel relics from the World Trade Center are displayed. Spyderco used parts of these authentic girders to make the inlays on the D’Allara WTC commemorative knife.
The lettering and design has changed into the current black and red box design, it looks very nice!
Following our great experiences of our visit to Spyderco last year, we couldn’t resist and planned another vacation of beautiful Golden, Colorado. This time, I took plenty of pictures inside the Outlet Store.
Entering the Spyderco Factory Outlet Store, I immediately noticed the great H1 display. It was set up to look like a fish tank!
Naturally, I had to get some shirts. The monthly Native giveaway for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is much appreciated. Many servicemen sent thank you letters and souvenirs from their unit to Spyderco (right).
This display features all the Native models that have been made. The other side (right) features more details about the Native giveaway for US troops.
Onto the knives, time to do some shopping! The display cases were organized by theme: Outdoor folders, Save and Serve models, Byrd knives etc…
More Save and Serve Models and some of the knives I sampled (right) before purchasing most of them!
In 2005 I got married and my wonderful wife recommended we used our honeymoon to go to Colorado to visit Spyderco HQ and see what else the Golden area has to offer to tourists. How could I refuse?
Driving on the I-95 north out of Golden we passed this tiny sign (below left) and we followed its instructions. Passing the building pictured in the middle we wondered if that was ‘it’. We found out later that it was used for ‘special projects’ ;-). Making our way to the main parking lot in front of the factory we noticed another hint that we were in the right spot…
Note the license plates on this SUV. The Spydercrew uses this car for attending knifeshows that can be reached by car. Turning around we saw the large Spyderco sign in all its glory, we were at the ‘source’! The font and lettering on the facade was in the style of the old white boxes (packaging), while the doormat featured the design on the grey knife boxes.
The reception desk and the waiting area for visitors on the right. Notice all the knife awards, there were lots. Behind the reception desk is a large atrium filled with plants and…
…plenty of plaques on the wall. Some were donations like this one in the middle from the SEALs. Apparently SEAL Team 5 carries serrated edge. The glass ornament was made by a local artist. It’s visible from this window in the atrium looking into the Outlet Store.
The second floor features offices and the walls are adorned by a lot of patents. Sal tinkers with more than just knives, and I use the term ‘tinkering’ carefully. The center picture shows a view on the reception desk from the second floor. My picture taking pretty much ended at the front door of the Outlet Store (right). I wanted both hands free to sample all the knives!
I will confess that I was in the passenger seat on our drive back to the hotel. I needed my hands free to peek into all the little boxes I bought and to go through all the catalogs and magazines! I paused to take this picture close to the entry on the I-95. Spyderco is located on 820 Spyderco Way.
The visit was great! I can really recommend this part of Colorado, even without visiting Spyderco HQ. The surrounding mountains and towns were really nice. The food was awesome and the tour of the Coors factory included plenty of free and full size samples!