Spyderco Dog Tag Folder is Small Enough, Functional Enough to be Worth Taking Everywhere
OutdoorHub Reporters 08.13.19
At some point with any mini or micro tool, the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it becomes too small to be of any real use. After all, a human hand is a human hand. There are large ones and small ones, sure, but most are about four to five inches wide. Depending on our hands and the tools we carry in them, we can only manage so much dexterity with smallish items. Plus they get lost easily.
You’d think a tool measuring 2”H x 1”W x .25”D would be too small for average human hands to operate effectively. But with the Spyderco Dog Tag Folder, a small folding knife about the size of a military dog tag, it’s actually not. In fact, you can carry this tool with ease and, even better, retrieve and deploy this knife with one hand.
Dog tags are meant to be worn on a chain around the neck and so is this Spyderco knife. But I prefer to carry it loose in a shirt pocket or pants pocket or maybe as a keychain tool. The advantage of pocket carry over wearing it on a chain around my neck is that I can easily retrieve it from a pocket. And I can more easily feel the knife in my pocket — more so than I can when it is dangling around my neck. Plus it’s just too much trouble to retrieve it when it hangs from a neck chain.
Most days, I carry a more traditional Spyderco knife clipped to my front pants pocket. So most days, the Dog Tag Folder serves as a backup or utility knife. At less than an ounce in weight and small size, it hardly adds anything to a pocket.
It’s easy enough to put my hand in my pocket and get a hold of the knife, but it takes a second to orient it in my hand — something I do after I draw it from whatever pocket I retrieved it from. Deploying the knife via the familiar Spyderco thumb hole requires use of your thumb, index and middle finger. A smooth snap and it’s in place, held by a detent (i.e, no lock). The CPM S30V blade measures 1.23” in length, .118” thick and is sharpened on only one side. Open, overall length is 3.23”. Still small, but manageable.
The carbon fiber/G-10 handle is strong and lightweight and comfortable and offers an well-designed back strap which the blade meets when closed. Both the blade and the metal hardware around it are black titanium carbon nitrite coated. I’ve carried the knife you see here for years and it has taken a beating. But it has never failed and it shows no signs of meaningful wear.
The Spyderco Dog Tag Folder gets called on for mundane tasks such as opening mail or packages, cutting string, and other household duties. But it primarily serves as a backup tool to my pocket folder and a last-ditch self defense tool I can access and hold in my hand without it actually being seen. With a standard key ring attached to the neck chain hole, it does well as a keychain tool and in this configuration even allows a bit more purchase because your other fingers can hang on to the keys while your first two fingers and a thumb do the work of deploying the blade.
The Dog Tag Folder retails for $87.00 and has proven small enough and functional enough to be taken everywhere. Keep in mind, though: It’s diminutive size is both a positive and a negative. It’s small and light and easy to drop in a pocket, yes. But that means it could be easily forgotten, too. Hopefully, it’s not the TSA that helps you find it as you’re checking in at the airport.