Since its introduction, the Spyderco Efficient has earned a loyal following among knife enthusiasts who appreciate a versatile folder that is both pocket and budget friendly. It has also inspired demand for a smaller “gentleman’s” version that carries even more discreetly. The answer to that calling is the Insistent, which scales the Efficient down by about 14 percent and adds a reversible deep-pocket wire clip oriented for tip-up carry. All other features are consistent with its bigger brother, including a full-flat-ground 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade, a choice of PlainEdge or CombinationEdge configurations, skeletonized stainless steel liners, a stainless steel backspacer, a sturdy LinerLock mechanism, and textured G10 scales.
Released in 2016, the Spyderco Efficient was designed from the ground up to be a member of Spyderco’s popular Value Folder family—a series of full-service folding knives priced to fit practically every budget. Like the other members of this family, the Efficient design proudly included all the critical features and benefits that define Spyderco knives, but in a more affordable format. It was also sized to allow ease of carry, conform with the blade-length restrictions of most knife laws, and be consistent with the ergonomic “sweet spot” that most Spyderco users tend to prefer.
Although the Efficient quickly earned a devoted following among performance-oriented Spyderco enthusiasts, as we all know, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” knife. In addition to the obvious physical differences in hand size, individual knife choices are also based on subjective personal preferences, legal considerations, weight, and carry comfort. Not surprisingly, as good at the Efficient was (and continues to be), it wasn’t ideal for some users. Some wanted the same design but in a slightly smaller package; others wanted a plus-sized expression of it that was better suited to large hands and big cutting chores. To answer those callings, Spyderco decided to literally go in both directions, creating the Insistent and the Emphasis, both of which share the same proven design style and performance characteristics as the Efficient.
The Insistent is essentially a more compact “gentleman’s” version of the Efficient. Approximately 14 percent smaller overall, its full-flat-ground drop-point blade is just shy of 2.5 inches in length, making it compliant with even ultra-strict blade-length laws like those in Chicago and Boston. Crafted from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, its broad profile ensures outstanding edge geometry and an index-finger choil (finger groove) at the base of the edge provides a comfortable purchase for a forward grip. “Choking up” on the knife in this way enhances control during precise cutting tasks and easily accommodates a four-fingered grip—even with large hands.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Emphasis, which “emphasizes” the proven features of the Efficient by expressing them in a knife that is roughly 15 percent larger overall. Its extremely capable blade is also full-flat ground from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, has an index-finger choil, and measures a potent 3.58 inches (91mm).
Despite the shorter and longer blades of the Insistent and Emphasis, the “cockpit” of both designs—the key dimensional relationships of the blade pivot, lock, and Trademark Round Hole—are exactly the same as the Efficient. Much like the concept of full-sized, compact, and sub-compact pistols, this consistency means that the basic handling and one-handed operation of all three models is practically identical. Like the Efficient, the Insistent and Emphasis feature broad, drop-point blade profiles, well-centered, utilitarian points, and “humpless” spines that make them narrower and more pocket-friendly when closed. They are also available in both PlainEdge and CombinationEdge formats.
The handle construction of the Efficient is also mirrored in its larger and smaller brothers, which feature full, skeletonized stainless steel liners, stout stainless steel back spacers, and non-slip, textured G-10 scales. This solid framework ensures superior structural strength and balance and provides a foundation for the knives’ sturdy LinerLock mechanisms. Generous cutouts in the obverse-side scales allow easy right-handed access to the blade’s Round Hole, as well as convenient, one-handed release of the locks.
Other than their sizes, the only other significant difference between the Insistent and Emphasis and their inspiration, the Efficient, is their style of pocket clip. Unlike the Efficient’s stainless steel clip, both new models feature low-profile, deep-pocket wire clips that are easily reversible for left or right-side tip-up carry.
Knife selection is a very personal process. While size does matter, proper size matters even more. With the choices afforded by the Insistent, Emphasis, and the original Efficient, you can’t possibly go wrong.