The Smock folder is one of the most anticipated Spyderco knives to be released in recent history. Incorporating both a sleek front flipper and a unique button-release Compression Lock™, it is also our first collaboration with custom knifemaker Kevin Smock.
Smock’s fascination with knives goes all the way back to his childhood and fond memories of hunting and fishing with his father, but it wasn’t until about 2012 that his interest really turned serious. After watching a TuffKnives video in which Geoff Blauvelt (aka “tuffthumbz”) modified a Spyderco Para Military™ 2, Smock decided to try his hand at customizing a factory-made knife. He began cautiously with a budget-friendly Tenacious™ and was extremely pleased with the results he achieved. After sharing his work on the Internet with his own video, he soon began receiving requests from other people who wanted him to customize their knives. Smock’s hobby quickly blossomed into a part-time business, so he started a company called Bower Bladeworks and began specializing in modifying and embellishing various production knives.
A professional product designer by trade, it was only a matter of time before Smock combined his experience in that field with his passion for knives to create his own “outside-the-box” knife designs. Building on the skills he developed as a knife customizer—and with the generous help of fellow Spyderco collaborator Brad Southard and other knifemakers—Smock learned to craft knives from raw materials. He soon became a true custom knifemaker, changed his business from Bower Bladeworks to Smock Knives, and ultimately decided to pursue knifemaking full time. Smock specializes in stylish everyday-carry pocketknives, but is willing and able to tackle everything from camping to kitchen knives.
A longtime fan of Spyderco designs, in 2015, Smock requested permission to license Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock™ mechanism and our Trademark Round Hole™ for use in a custom folding knife design called the “SK23.” To make the release of the Compression Lock even easier, he added a button to the mechanism. Pleased with the result, he showed it off to the Spyderco Crew at the Atlanta Blade Show. We were impressed with his craftsmanship and the uniqueness of the design and asked to display it with our other concept models and prototypes at the show. The design attracted a lot of interest and feedback on it was overwhelmingly positive. A collaboration was born.
Faithfully accurate to Smock’s SK23 design, the Spyderco Smock is a slim, high-performance folding knife ideal for everyday carry. Its hollow-ground blade is precision machined from CPM® S30V® stainless steel and features a unique profile that balances low-friction edge geometry, tip strength, and point utility. The blade includes both a Trademark Round Hole and an elegantly simple index-finger flipper for swift, ambidextrous, one-hand opening. Unlike most flippers, which protrude from the spine of the handle when the knife is closed, the Smock’s forward-positioned flipper is simply a corner of the blade’s tang that flows seamlessly into the lines of the closed knife. Despite its understated appearance, it offers excellent leverage and, when stroked with the index finger, instantly propels the blade into the open position. A pair of special ball-bearing pivot washers enhance the flipper’s operation, ensuring an ultra-smooth action and reliable, positive lock-up. Spyderco’s expression of the design also includes a dedicated detent mechanism separate from the knife’s lock that keeps the blade safely closed during carry and provides optimal resistance for the flipper.
The Smock’s handle is built on a framework of full, skeletonized stainless steel liners that also form the basis of the knife’s stout Compression Lock mechanism. They are capped by textured carbon fiber/G-10 laminate scales with matching skeletonizing holes that further reduce weight and contribute to the knife’s unique style. Instead of the traditional lock release on the spine of the handle, the Smock’s Compression Lock is complemented by a button nested in the obverse (near-side) scale. Pressing the button releases the lock and allows the blade to be easily closed with only one hand without ever placing your fingers in the path of the edge. The handle’s open-backed design further minimizes the knife’s weight and simplifies cleaning, while its lined lanyard hole and reversible tip-up hourglass clip provide convenient, ambidextrous carry.
Spyderco’s Smock folder truly captures Kevin Smock’s unique approach to knife design and pushes the envelope of our time-tested Compression Lock. We are proud to add this remarkable knife to our line and hope that you are as excited about it as we are.