Spyderco Civilian vs Matriarch – Which One to Choose?

Weapons have been developed and used for warfare for hundreds of years. The evolution of these weapons is impressive, but the most common weapon is the knife.

During the various periods of development, people brought great changes in the material and design of knives according to their usage needs. As a result of this change, a new and effective closed-combat knife emerged called the tactical knife. There are two different types of tactical knives – one is the tactical fixed blade blade knife and the other is the tactical folding knife.

Many people use a tactical pocket knife for many reasons, such as self-defense and standard day practices. But there are two top contenders in this area that look similar, the Spyderco Civilian Folding Knife and the Spyderco Matriarch Folding Knife. And here comes the problem of which utensil is best and why. Let’s get this clear today.

Spyderco Civilian Signature Folding Knife – C12GS

Spyderco Civilian Signature Folding Knife - C12GS

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Folding Knife – C12SBK2W

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Folding Knife - C12SBK2W

What Is the Difference Between Matriarch 2 and Civilian?

As mentioned earlier, although both tactical army knives look similar, there are several major differences between them that will greatly influence your purchasing decision. I will break these differences down into a few parts to make it easier for you to understand. These are –

  • Blade
  • Handle
  • Opening and Locking
  • Pocket Clip
  • Measurement
  • Price

Blade Comparison

Although the blade alloy and design of the two knives are similar, there are some subtle differences between them.

All About Spyderco Civilian’s Blade: Back in 1990, Spyderco was requested by the DEA to develop a knife for undercover agents. This would become a fantastic opportunity since the company began taking off in their industry. Soon, the Spyderco Civilian knife was created.

The blade is made with VG-10 steel and is measured to be 4.1″. The VG-10 originated from Japan and was traditionally used for high-end Japanese kitchen knives. The high chromium content within the VG-10 blade also allows the blade to be more resistant to corrosion and discoloration. The premium-grade VG-10 steel holds an edge well and is easy to sharpen to ensure the knife maintains a super sharp edge for an extended period.

The hawkbill blade is built with a hollow grind and is fully serrated. Furthermore, the Civilian blade has the reverse S shape where the tip of the blade curves forward a little bit, and at its widest portion, the blade arcs backward slightly. This idea was used to imitate a claw during combat.

Just as mentioned, the blade’s purpose is combat and nothing more. The company strongly advises against using the Civilian for everyday use because the knife tip could snap from jobs as simple as opening boxes. This is where the Matriarch comes in.

Spyderco Civilian vs Matriarch 2 - Blade

All About Spyderco Matriarch’s Blade: The Matriarch can be seen as a smaller version of the Civilian with a few minor tweaks. Its blade is made of the same VG-10 steel, allowing it to resist corrosion and discoloration.

The knife also has a hollow grind, is fully serrated, and has the same reverse S shape as the Civilian, maintaining its sharpness. However, the blade is shorter as it is measured to be 3.57″. The tip of the Matriarch is a little thicker than the Civilian.

Nevertheless, this does not give free rein to the Matriarch. Spyderco still advises against using the knife for utility uses. It is another knife to look forward to operating in combat, but it still needs the strength to withstand specific jobs.

Note: Since both are fully serrated folding knives, the manufacturer strongly recommends that they be used for self-defense purposes only.

Handle Comparison

Although the handles of the two knives look similar, there are major differences in their materials, structure, and grip patterns.

All About Spyderco Civilian’s Handle: A handle is an essential part of any knife. The handle is a key feature that provides security to its user. Depending on how a handle is crafted can be a blessing or a curse to those wielding the knife.

The scales of the Spyderco Civilian handle are made from a G-10 material which consists of layers of glass cloth and epoxy resin. The G-10 material is strong and provides extreme support when using the knife.

The Civilian handle comes in black and has an ergonomic shape. This makes the hold comfortable for the user and keeps a tight grip, which is extremely important when using a combat knife.

Spyderco Civilian vs Matriarch - Handle

All About Spyderco Matriarch’s Handle: Unlike the Civilian, the Spyderco Matriarch handle comprises fiberglass reinforced nylon, or FRN, with skeletonized stainless steel liners. This makes the handle stronger and more enforced than the G-10 handle on the Civilian knife.

In addition, the handle of the Matriarch has a Bi-Directional texture and jimping which gives more traction and solid grip during use.

The critical difference between the G-10 materials and the FRN is that the FRN is similar to molded plastic and can be more flexible, while the G-10 is more rigid with a heavy rubbery surface.

Furthermore, FRN costs more than G-10, which is cheaper to set up but requires more labor. Nevertheless, both handles are made with solid materials guaranteed to support their blade with any job.

Opening and Locking Comparison

To use any knife, you must understand the mechanics of making a knife function properly. Many knife users analyze a knife’s opening and locking mechanisms to ensure it works correctly.

Each knife has its own unique system. For instance, the Civilian and the Matriarch have a Lockback locking mechanism. The back lock encompasses a pivoting rocker arm that meets the blade’s spine.

Once the lug of the arm meets with the notch of the knife, the blade will be adequately secured. This locking system is standard in many folding knives and has shown to be extremely useful.

Furthermore, both knives are also equipped with a Boye Dent on the back lock button. The Boye Dent, created by knifemaker David Boye, ensures the blade stays securely in place even when the handle is tightly gripped to prevent any unfortunate mishaps. This mechanism is significant for Civilian and Matriarch knives because they are commonly used in combat.

At the same time, the knives were made with different opening mechanisms.

Most folding knife handlers wish to have a knife that is smooth to open and prepared for anything. Likewise, when you have a tactical self-defense pocket knife, you want to ensure the knife, and yourself are ready to defend.

The Civilian has the traditional Spyder-hole, allowing you to easily open the blade with one hand. This will help the user deploy the blade quickly during self-defense as the lock does not show unexpected resistance and the blade opens smoothly.

Likewise, the Matriarch has a Spyder-hole or thumb hole as well as a feature called the Wave Opener or “Emerson Opener.” Developed by Ernest Emerson in the 1990s, the Emerson Opener is a blade shape that allows users to open the knife instantly as it is pulled from their pocket.

This becomes a convenience for the user because they no longer have to worry about fumbling with their knife. Instead, the blade is quickly deployed and ready for combat.

Pocket Clip Comparison

There are some differences in knife pocket clip that completely influence the decision of one class of buyer (left-handed users).

All About Spyderco Civilian’s Pocket Clip: The pocket clips of the Civilian knife and the Matriarch are formatted differently. The Civilian pocket clip is traditionally black to blend in with the G-10 handle. The pocket clip has two positions so you can set the knife up for tip-up or tip-down carry.

However, if left-handed, you can not switch the blade to the other side. The pocket clip lowers the knife when worn but does not entirely disappear. The knife is concealed chiefly for being such a large knife and sits comfortably in your pocket.

Spyderco Civilian and Matriarch - Pocket Clip

All About Spyderco Matriarch’s Pocket Clip: Unlike the Civillian, the Matriarch pocket clip is built with a four-position clip. Whether you prefer to carry your knife with the tip up or down, the versatile clip of this knife allows you to do either.

You can also switch the clip to either side of the knife, making it optimal for both left-handed and right-handed individuals. No need to struggle with an uncomfortable carry; this knife is designed to accommodate your preferences and needs.

Similar to the civilian model, the Matriarch knife features a black-colored clip that perfectly matches the color of the handle. The clip is designed to sit low in your pocket, making it a comfortable and discreet carry.

Although not entirely hidden, the knife is still pretty inconspicuous, with only the clip showing. So, you can easily carry it around without drawing too much attention to yourself.

Measurement Comparison

When it comes to measurement, there is quite a difference between Spyderco Matriarch 2 vs Civilian.

All About Spyderco Matriarch’s Measurement: On the other hand, the Matriarch is a sleek and compact knife with a 3.57-inch blade and a 4.98-inch handle. When the blade is fully extended, the Matriarch measures 8.55 inches long and weighs only 3.50 ounces. This makes the Civilian lighter and more compact, perfect for carrying around on the go.

All About Spyderco Civilian’s Measurement: The Civilian has a more extended blade of 4.09 inches and a handle of 5.19 inches and overall 9.29 inches, making it 0.74 inches longer than the Matriarch when both blades are fully deployed.

Since the Civilian is slightly larger in size than the Matriarch, the weight (4.75 ounces) is also slightly heavier. The weight difference between the two is 1.25 ounces, which may not seem like much, but it can make all the difference in certain situations.

Price Comparison

When comparing the price of Spyderco Matriarch vs Civilian I found so much difference between them that it will directly affect 50%-70% of buyers.

Prices for knives are always challenging as they are constantly changing and can vary depending on updates and designs. Typically the Matriarch is cheaper than the Civillian by $120 less.

This is likely because the materials for the knives vary in price and size. We can see the vast difference between the knives’ weight, shape, and more. Both knives show a remarkable talent for self-defense. They are sturdy and are more than capable of handling themselves.

Check the latest price of these two knives

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Folding Knife – C12SBK2W

Spyderco Civilian Signature Folding Knife – C12GS

Spyderco Civilian or Matriarch – Which One to Choose and Why?

In summary, both knives have the same VG-10 blade steel regarding blade steel and materials. Moving on to the blade edge and design, both knives feature the fully serrated and reverse “S” blade shape that gives you an aggressive cutting edge.

However, the Civilian boasts a military-grade G-10 handle, while the Matriarch flaunts an FRN handle with skeletonized stainless steel liners that are tough and durable. Additionally, their handles are designed to fit snugly in your hand, ensuring a comfortable and secure grip

Regarding the locking mechanism, both knives are equipped with the back lock mechanism, which keeps the blade firmly in place and makes it easy to use.

As for the size and dimensions, the Civilian is slightly longer than the Matriarch when both blades are fully locked out. However, this difference is negligible when you consider the overall functionality of the knives.

Regarding the pocket clip and carry position, the Civilian features a two-position adjustable clip that you can set up for either tip-up or tip-down carry. Meanwhile, the Matriarch takes it up a notch with a four-position adjustable clip that can be swapped to either side of the knife, providing greater flexibility and convenience.

Finally, let’s talk about price comparison. The Matriarch comes with a significantly lower price tag than the Civilian, saving you around 112 dollars! That’s about half the price of the Civilian, making the Matriarch a more affordable option without compromising on quality.

In the end, I would definitely choose the Matriarch knife. The reason for choosing Matriarch is that it is lighter, stronger, more efficient, and more compactly built than the Civilian knife. Also, the Matriarch knife has more mechanisms than the Civilian. What’s more, the Matriarch is just as reliable as the Civilian for half the price.

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