Spyderco: the company history
Spyderco Inc. is a company started in 1978 by Sal Glesser. Sal and his wife Gail started with the production of sharpening stones and then went on to make knives in 1981 with the C01 Worker being the first model.
In 1976 working in Redding, California, Sal Glesser took his Portable Hand from its initial concept through the design, testing, patenting procedure, production to marketing the finished product. The Hand was designed to hold objects securely freeing up hands so intricate work could be more easily completed. It had a multitude of uses in industry and the home. The company name Spyderco came from the hand looking like a spider.
During the five years that the Hand was being manufactured Sal invented the Tri-angle Sharpmaker and the first Clipit knife, the Worker. In little more than 20 years Spyderco have revolutionised the knife industry!
So how did Sal and his crew do it. It all boils down to knowing what the end user really wants. Sal, his wife Gail and the Spyderco team attended fairs and shows all over the US talking to people and finding out what they needed in a knife. Demonstrating and selling the Sharpmaker must have won over huge numbers of knife owners who would come up to the booth with a blunt knife and walk away with a scary sharp blade.
Their early success at these venues funded their research and development. When Sal was unable to find a manufacturer in the US that could meet his quality requirements Al Mar introduced him to some of his business contacts in Japan who they were able to convince that the Clipit was worthy of their involvement. Sal adopted Al Mar’s front lock design for his Clipit and in turn Al used the Spyderco serrations and clothing clip on his knives. The principle of sharing knowledge is still used by Spyderco today. The clip was an idea Sal had when he found how useful a brass frog key holder was. The frogs front legs and feet held onto the top of your pocket with the frogs head peeping out. The keys were always readlily available, not lost amongst the rest of your pockets contents. Sal started working on the knife clip.
Larger premises were needed to house the factory and the mail-order business and eventually in 1998 Spyderco moved to its current location on the outskirts of Golden, Colorado. High performance was and still is the trade mark of a Spyderco knife. As one Spyderco brochure puts it “Our success rests on the simple theory that consumers will always gravitate towards the better performing product. Since 1981, Spyderco has been developing pocket cutlery with original features that have become industry standards worldwide, and each represents the performance, simplicity and longevity that you can expect from each knife in the Spyderco Clipit line.”
The Clipit featured the patented hole in the blade for single hand opening; a razor sharp edge; a clip for use on the belt, waistband, boot or even bra and a locking blade.& nbsp; What a combination! Spyderco wanted to make the ultimate “using” knife. To provide every day carry knives to people whose jobs or circumstances required a no-nonsense highly effective cutting tool. They certainly succeeded!