Spyderco Domino C172CFTI – Flipping High Quality EDC – The JD / Nemo exchanges

For this post I have invited my friend JD to discuss together about the Domino.
It’s a on going project and the post will be updated regularly instead of letting the discussion rolls afterward. Also more pics will be released later.

Spyderco Domino Nemo Knives Review

When I first heard about the release of the Domino and being not present at the Minimeet. Well, I was not excited. Another Spyderco flipper, why not, the more the merrier. On the picture I have found that the hole on the blade was made to much forward for my test giving to the knife an unbalanced look.
But that was on the picture.

Spyderco Domino Nemo Knives Review

Now I got the chance to own the Domino. I have change my mind.
My new impressions were:

– The knife is compact.
– The action is smooth.
– The knife is perfect balanced.
– The blade is stock is thin pointy with a nice belly.

Immediately I have changed the clip into a tip down carry, giving me the possibility to easy spyder drop open the knife. It works great.

So, as my friend JD in the Great Kingdom of Holland got the same Domino, I have asked him to test it together and update that post with our different point of view.

So is the Domino the best EDC Golden can provide to us in 2013 ? Let’s find it out.


Alright, here we go! I did handle the Domino for the first time at the mini-meet and thought it was a nice modern folder but probably not for me. It is somewhat bigger than the knives I normally carry and use. Knives like the Spyderco Air and Pingo. Practically 6cm of edge is all I need in a pocket knife.
Since the meet I have become more interested in the modern, state-of-the-art, folders. Folders with bearings, titanium frame-locks, steel lockbar inserts, flippers and high-carbite steels. Watching Youtube video’s from Elliot Williamson (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCue1SJON3WBgfY0KGUNXImw) and John Grimsmo (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8SC-01ZKmzTIa2Usn6fexQ) certainly helped spark my interest in this folder genre.
During the summer the Domino came out and received positive reviews. So when I went to Paris to visit Nemo and go to the SICAC this was a knife I was hoping to reacquaint myself with. When I did I was impressed with the build quality and, importantly for me, the lean edge grind. The grind in not in Opinel territory, few modern style folders are, but it is one of the thinnest I have seen on any Spyderco or other modern folder. Good work Spyderco! So, besides all the fun modern bells and whistles, it has the potential to be a good cutting tool too. I decided to get one to give it a spin to see how it would work for me.
First impressions out of the box confirmed what I had seen in Paris. Great build quality! The only thing was that the clip was to strong to easily clip to my pocked. After a little careful bending it is now the way I like it. Time to carry it, use it, and report back…

30/09/2013 at 07:02 (Edit)


The Domino’s blade is wide but it’s a leaf shape. One of Eric Glesser’s favorite shape.
Here we got a nice belly and a very pointy tip.
It gives you very powerful cuts in wood as the belly works like a guillotine.
This is one of the feature which made the Dodo such a great wood cutter.
The very pointy tip creates almost a recurve edge. It’s providing a great penetration power.
All in all, the blade design seems to have been shrunk to provide great power in a compact package.
More to come soon.

30/09/2013 at 07:11


Yes, this is a pure Spyderco design!
Some observations after a little carry and use:
– The factory edge will cut newsprint and receipt paper with just a few small hangs but has very little bite while slicing, so it would not cut the plastic packaging material a sample thee back came in for instance.
– I carry mine right side, tip up. When I draw the knife from the pocket I have to make sure my last three fingers are on the clip and not on the lock bar. If they rest on the lock bar the detent is pushed in to the blade to much for it to flip. If the lock bar is free drawing and flipping is fast and smooth.
– Still getting used to how much bigger and chunkier it is compared to what I used to carry.
– The flipper is addictive 🙂

01/10/2013 at 07:10

Spyderco Domino and Pekka Tuominen Urban II


Oh, That nice belly is really powerful on pushcut in hard materials and the steel CTS XHP is really a great alloy. This is my second experience with it since my Techno.
I have fumbled with my Domino which has fallen on the tiles of my kitchen. I was certain that the tip wuldbe damaged. But no. Nothing. CTS XHP so far is a very forgiving and easy to get scary steel.
I have only used leather yet.


I have given my Domino its first sharpening. I started with the Norton Medium Crystolon to set the edge bevels. The bevels I put on are at a lower angle than the factory ones. I do not know the exact angle, the hump over the hole was about 5mm above the hone. During this first sharpening stage I noticed that the edge had been sharpened asymmetrical at the factory. The right (back) side took longer to sharpen and ended up with a bigger edge bevel than the left (face) side.
I refined the edge on the other side of the stone, which is a Norton Fine India. Before each sharpening I de-stressed the edge (cut into the stone with the weight of the blade) to make sure I was working on ‘clean’ steel. I noticed that the steel burred readily once the apex was reached and that those burrs took quite a number of high angle, light passes, alternating sides into the stone, to be removed. This might be from the steel being damaged during power sharpening at the factory. This is not unusual and usually goes away after more sharpening. I will keep you posted on developments…
The Norton India cut the steel well but was slow going. Diamond would have cut faster, but this is the only bench hone I have is this grit range. I have the impression that this steel is about as high a carbide steel as you would want to sharpen on this stone.
I finished sharpening on the diamond side of the Fallkniven DC4. I have more experience with using pocked hones so they give me the most control. After more burr hunting I ended up with a nice toothy edge that would whittle hair and easily cut newsprint and phonebook paper. Back in pocket she goes and time to see how this edge works out!

03/10/2013 at 07:26

A few words on build quality: impressive! With the exception of the edge I can not find anything to fault, what should be straight is straight, what should be curved is curved. The blade is perfectly centered. There is no blade play and non of the screws have worked loose after over a week of flipping. The lock-up is at 40% and inspires confidence but is easy to disengage when it comes time to close the knife. The detent sucks the blade into the handle the way a good detent should! Oh, and did I mention she is smooth? Well done Spyderco-Taiwan!

05/10/2013 at 08:22

Yesterday I sharpened the Domino for the second time. I only used the Norton Fine India stone and it took me 25 minutes to get a sharp edge. It shaved arm hair and easily cut phonebook paper. There were still a few stubborn burrs but at the end the edge formed cleanly. Pretty happy with the results. 🙂

08/10/2013 at 06:49


7 thoughts on “Spyderco Domino C172CFTI – Flipping High Quality EDC – The JD / Nemo exchanges”

  1. Third sharpening: Same method as before. This time it took less than 15 minutes to go from a de-stressed edge to easily shaving arm hair. The burrs were smaller and easier to remove. It is getting better all the time.
    When the opening action became a little less smooth a little nano-oil made it fly open again. 🙂


  2. Realy great review, good to see you two get teamed up and provide us little bit different and same time fresh article.


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