The Spyderco Manbug is a unique entry in the Spyderco lineup designed by Sal Glesser himself. Very small and light, the knife is designed to feel like it is barely there, yet is nimble enough for a variety of cutting tasks.
Small enough to fit on a keychain, the knife has a quality blade and handle that makes it a great choice for emergency use. This folder is surprisingly durable and strong despite the shorter length and extremely light weight, making the knife behave like a much larger knife than it is.
For the size, weight, and design we give this knife 4 out of 5 stars.
- Extremely Light Weight
- Fine Detail Blade
- Textured FRN Handle
- No Pocket Clip
- Short Blade
Spyderco Manbug Features
Blade – The blade is a full flat grind clip point made of VG-10 steel. The blade is thin and sharp making and the grind makes it a very good cutting blade for its size.
Suitable for food cutting, opening letters, cutting cloth or bandages, the blade is easily sharpened to maintain a razor edge. The blade features the Spyderco logo and the fingerhole for opening the knife quickly.
Handle – The handle is textured fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN). FRN is injection molded plastic that is designed for flexible grip and heavy duty use. The plastic handle makes the knife extremely durable without adding a lot of weight.
Like the blade, the handle is thin and strong. With ridging on the backside and contouring on the underside it provides plenty of grip space for different tasks with the knife.
Deployment and Lockup – The Manbug features the trademark Spyderhole for rapid opening. The round hole shows partly when the blade is closed and allows the user to pull the blade free with one hand. The design is finger safe to prevent injury to the user.
For lockup the knife features a backlock. The backlock uses a spring and rocker to hold the knife securely open when being used and to safely hold the knife closed when folded.
The backlock runs the length of the handle without adding much heft or weight to the pocket knife to keep the form consistent.
Design – The knife is designed with no studs or pocket clip in order to fit almost completely flat into the pocket or carried successfully on a keychain.
This makes the knife extremely easy to carry and conceal when necessary. The knife is still fully manual, meaning there is no concern for automatic knife restraints.
Blade Shape, Design and Function
The Manbug’s blade is just under 2 inches, making it appear as though it is too short to do much good for serious cutting. However the VG-10 is razor sharp, partly due to the plain finish of the blade and partly because the blade itself is super thin.
VG-10 is cutlery grade Japanese steel meaning that it has a great edge and can be easily sharpened. The full flat grind on the blade makes sure that all the cuts are clean and snag free.
The clip point tip of the blade makes it great for delicate tasks like scaling fish, trimming plants, light garden or food prep. The length of the blade does leave something to be desired for heavier straight cutting, like sawing through thicker material or animal hide. But the blade is sharp enough that in a pinch it’ll cut through whatever you need.
The trademark Spyderco logo and round Spyderhole are on the blade as well giving the Spyderco Manbug a distinct look.
Handle Feel, Function, and Materials
The handle is made from textured fiberglass reinforced nylon (FNR). The benefits of a FNR handle are that like other plastic polymers it is extremely flexible under tension and holds up extremely well over prolonged and heavy use.
The handle itself is rust proof and corrosion proof making the entire knife relatively low maintenance, outside of the occasional blade sharpening.
The ridging along the back side of the handle improves grip and the contoured handle fits large hands well despite being under three inches in length. When closed the knife is just 2.5 inches long.
The handle is very thin, with just enough space to support the back lock and a hole to fit the knife on a keyring or lanyard.
Deployment and Lockup
The round hole on the blade is the primary deployment method for the Manbug, it allows quick opening with one hand.
The back lock that is built into the handle uses a spring and a rocker tipped with a hook which is attached to a notch below the tang of the blade to hold the blade securely in place when open. Similar to other locking mechanisms, the lock back very secure and prevents the knife from folding closed on the user.
When the knife is folded closed the hook on the rocker is raised up and lets go of the blade, letting it rest inside the handle. This keeps the knife secure and also reduces the thickness necessary for the knife to stay more compact.
The back lock runs the entire length of the handle and ensures that there’s no wobble when the blade is not in use.
Spyderco Manbug Review – Final Thoughts
From a size standpoint, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Manbug was good for little more than picking your teeth or cutting a piece of fishing line. The truth is, for the size, the Manbug is a great cutting implement for most tasks.
As a quick use knife it has great sharpness thanks to the cutlery steel used in the blade and the refined clip point makes it great for delicate tasks.
The handle is light and flexible, even when being gripped tightly for really intensive knifework, like pruning plants or making small precise cuts. The backlock and round hole are sturdy and secure means of opening and closing the knife.
This little knife may not have a lot of frills, extra features or flash, but when you need a knife that’s easily accessible to cut something, you can’t go wrong with the Spyderco Manbug.
- POCKET-FRIENDLY - One of Spyderco's smallest lightweight locking knives is the Manbug. Small enough to fit on a keychain, yet capable of taking on serious cutting chores.
- CHOOSE THE BEST FOR YOU - Available with a choice of blade steels and handle colors all of which proudly feature our Trademark Round Hole for convenient, fingernail-free opening.
- LIGHT AND DURABLE - This Manbug handle is fabricated with Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon. FRN is a polymer mixed with glass fiber that is injection molded and formed into a sleek textured handle, creating a lightweight yet high-strength knife handle.