What is a Spey Blade and What is it Used For?

spey blade knife

Knives come in all different shapes and sizes. You can find knives as small as your pinky, or knives as long as your arm, but did you also know that there are different blade types that serve different purposes?

Yes, in most cases people that carry an EDC knife are just looking for something sharp they can use to open boxes, cut rope, use while camping or fishing… just an overall sharp knife in case they need it. Most of the time they aren’t thinking about what specific purpose that blade serves, but a lot of the blades were originally designed for a reason.

What is a Spey Blade?

Let’s look at the spey blade, for example. This blade has a flat sharp edge that runs parallel to the spine that goes into a curved tip allowing for easy cutting, but a low risk of puncture. The tip tends to be a little duller than say a clip blade or a spear blade, and that, as we said, is to help reduce the possibility of puncture, which will make more sense when we explain exactly what a spey blade was designed for.

Spey blades are becoming a bit more popular these days for those that are just looking for a utility-type knife and not necessarily a sharp-tipped knife. These blades tend to be attached to more traditional handle and are a popular blade amongst farmers.

What is a Spey Blade Used For?

The word spey means to castrate or desex an animal, so can you guess what a spey blade is used for and why it’s popular amongst farmers?

The spey blade was designed to allow for farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to safely and easily castrate livestock. Because the spey blade has a sharp edge, but a dull, more rounded, tip, it allows for easy slicing without fear of accidentally puncturing the animal. A puncture in the wrong place while performing a castration could lead to massive blood loss or other complications due to the different veins and arteries in that area.

Other Uses for a Spey Blade

While the spey blade got its name from its use case on the farm, there are other uses for the blade that can relate more to everyday life.

It’s a great blade for cutting string, rope, and paper. You can use it around the house or campsite fire things like spreading peanut butter or jam, you can use it to cut small pieces of meat if you want. The design of the blade makes it ideal in that you usually won’t slip and accidentally cut or stab yourself.

We’ve found it great for opening packages and envelopes as well as peeling fruit. The spey blade is an extremely versatile blade design that can be used in all different situations. We like it a lot because, while the blade edge itself is sharp, the tip and rounded edge are fairly dull, which leads to less accidents.

Our Favorite Spey Blade Knife

When it comes to spey blades, you’re normally going to find them as a secondary blade within a pocket knife as opposed to on its own. This is nice because then it gives you the ability to have multiple blades in your pocket as opposed to just one.

Buck 371 Stockman

The Buck 371 Stockman is a reasonably priced knife that contains three different blades – a clip blade, a spey blade, and a sheepsfoot blade. All of the blades are made fro 420J2 steel and are extremely durable.

This knife has a very classic look and feel which we love, and with a closed length of 3-7/8” and a weight of just 3.1 ounces, this is a perfect spey blade knife for EDC.

Favorite Spey Blade

Spey blades are named for their use by farmers, cowboys, and ranchers in castrating and desexing livestock on the farms. While that is still it’s most common use, there are plenty of other reasons a non-farmer would want to carry a spey knife. Spey blades are a great, versatile blade, that can be handled easily and safely, while also being able to slice and cut through different types of material. If you’re looking for something a little different than your clip blade this is a great option.

Zach Belmont has been working in the outdoor apparel industry in one form or another for over 20 years. During his career, he has worked at some of the most well-known adventure brands including Patagonia and The North Face in marketing, operations and product development. Zach currently lives in Wyoming with his wife and 2 kids.

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