C165 Autonomy

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The C165 Autonomy is an automatic knife, introduced in 2013, following a design request from U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers.

Appearance in catalogs

The C165 Autonomy appeared in the following catalogs:


Sal Glesser

History, mentionings from the forums etc.

Information from the Spyderco catalog on the web

"The Spyderco Autonomy was developed in response to a request from the U.S. Coast Guard for a cutting tool that would meet the demanding mission requirements of their rescue swimmers. They needed a high-performance knife that could be easily deployed with only one hand while wearing heavy gloves, is impervious to salt water, could be easily maintained and, above all, would cut with extreme authority. The result was the orange-handled Autonomy automatic, which is approved for use by Coast Guard personnel.

Specifically designed to be carried in a dedicated pocket in the rescue swimmer’s vest, the original Autonomy had no need for a firing-button safety or pocket clip. However, because many of the features of the design were so revolutionary, Spyderco soon received requests for a version that was suitable for pocket carry and still featured the high-visibility orange handles of the original. The result is an orange-handled Autonomy with a safety and a pocket clip.

The heart of this remarkable knife is its voracious SpyderEdge™ blade, which is ground from H-1® steel—an extraordinary nitrogen-based alloy that is completely immune to corrosion. Its sheepfoot profile and blunt tip make it ideal for rescue applications, while still providing a high degree of point utility. The auto-opening blade is powered by a corrosion-resistant coil spring nested within a removable module. Specifically designed for end-user maintenance, this patented feature allows the module and spring to be easily removed with the tool in Spyderco’s spring replacement kit (sold separately) without disassembling the entire knife.

The Autonomy’s ergonomic, finger-grooved handle is constructed with full stainless steel liners flanked by textured orange G-10 scales. Its oversized firing button is powered by a spring that is integral to one of the liners and includes a sliding safety that prevents unintentional activation. The handle’s other metal hardware—including its reversible wire pocket clip—is also made exclusively from rustproof materials.

Winner of the “Most Innovative American Design” award at the prestigious Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair, the Autonomy represents a groundbreaking achievement in automatic knife design."[1]


The C165 Autonomy is made in Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth, and features a:

  • right-hand automatic blade-opening mechanism
  • G-10 handle
SKU Handle Edge(s) Steel From/To MSRP Note Number made Grind Clip Clip positions Collectors club
C165GOR Orange G-10 SE H-1 2013- $319,95 (2017) N/A Hollow Stainless wire clip RH, TU Main
C165GBBK Black G-10 SE H-1 2013- $360 (2019) Features a black DLC coated blade, button, screws, liners and clip N/A Hollow Stainless wire clip RH, TU Main
C165G2 Black G-10 PE LC 200 N 2018- $290 (2019) N/A Full Flat Stainless wire clip RH, TU Main

Most collectible variation

Questions regarding collecting the C165

Some interesting questions we are looking for an answer to:

Questions with an answer:

Technical information

Measurements (mm and grams) of the C165 Autonomy:

Variation Length overall Length closed Length blade Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
C165GOR 219mm 125mm 94mm 89mm 9.7mm 2.9mm 150g
C165GBBK 219mm 125mm 94mm 89mm 9.7mm 2.9mm 153g
C165G2 214mm 125mm 89mm 86mm 9.7mm 2.9mm 159g

Measurements (inches and ounces) of the C165 Autonomy:

Variation Length overall Length closed Length blade Length edge Hole Ø Blade thickness Weight
C165GOR 8.62" 4.92" 3.70" 3.51" 0.19" 0.114" 5.3oz
C165GBBK 8.62" 4.92" 3.70" 3.51" 0.19" 0.114" 5.4oz
C165G2 8.44" 4.94" 3.50" 3.37" 0.19" 0.114" 5.6oz


  1. The C165 Autonomy in [1]


The C165GOR Autonomy, opened and closed.
The all-black C165 Autonomy, opened and closed.
The C165 Autonomy 2, opened and closed.

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