Gear Review: Spyderco Matriarch 2 W/Emerson Opener & Keen Edge P17 Trainer

Do preppers like knives? I would have to say the answer is yes they do. This would be considered a biased statement as many folks love sharp and pointy objects. I warned you that this year we are going to be diving into many reviews and different subjects. I consider edged weapons to be a skill that should be taken seriously and used wisely if ever needed.

Spyderco Matriarch & Keen Edge P17

Matriarch 2 & P17 sitting on 10 inches of snow

If you have ever looked at knives I am sure you have come across the name Spyderco a few times. Over the years, Spyderco has introduced knife designs into the mass production market that have made blade enthusiasts drool. Our friends at iSurvival Gear have given us the opportunity to field test Spyderco’s Matriarch 2 with the Emerson Wave Opener and the trainer version of this blade, the P17 by Keen Edge Knives. Now just looking at the blade design of this knife makes some people cringe while it makes edged weapon practitioners jump with joy.

Spyderco Matriarch 2 ReviewNow for the initial impression of this knife out of the box. I had been anxious to get my hands on the Matriarch as the pictures made this knife look awesome. But was I in for a surprise when I opened the box. First off, this knife is extremely lightweight. It weighs in at a whopping 3.5 ounces and is just a tad bit under 5 inches when closed. When I opened the blade for the first time my eyes grew bigger as I saw this funky shaped, fully serrated 3.5 inch (razor sharp) blade staring back at me. The reverse “S” shaped, VG-10 blade does carry a threatening look and adding that it is fully serrated will close the deal on anything you present it to. I also was appreciative of the tip up or down and right or left side carry options for the clip. This is a very welcomed option. But there is one more thing we have to check out. The patented Emerson Wave opener.

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Emerson Wave Opener

I set up the clip for my strong side (right), tip up carry. Now I normally use tip down, but I couldn’t wait to try this knife with the wave feature. Oh, mind you this knife feels like you have nothing in your pocket by the way. When I grabbed and pulled the knife to deploy it, all you heard was “click” and it was in my hand with the blade locked in place. The Emerson Wave locked onto my pants pocket and made that blade deploy faster than the eye could catch. With its 8.5 inch overall length in the open position, it is one intimidating knife. If you are into the “wow” factor, then this is the knife for you! The fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle is very grippy and held well in a traditional grip as well as a dagger style grip. I really enjoyed deploying the blade from both strong and weak side. Though this mechanism for opening is not a brand new concept, I think it is an absolute asset to have when needed.

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Fully serrated blade

Now I had to put this wicked looking blade to the test. I grabbed some 1 gallon water jugs and filled them. Why didn’t I use something more realistic like meat? If you look at the blade, you can make an accurate assumption that this blade will cut through soft tissue with ease. So this would be redundant to show you. What I want to know is how it would fair against tougher self defense situations. Remember, it is still cold outside and heck, we just had snow. People (bad guys too) are still wearing layers of clothing. So you need to take this into account it you have to use any edged weapon in a self defense situation. Hence the gallon water bottles.

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Horizontal slash cut

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Devastating blade design

The first bottle was just a test as to see how the blade would fair against the plastic. Not only did it perform better than expected, it humbled this author. While I do have experience with edged weapons training, I have a great respect for them as well. As you can see by the pictures, the Matriarch cut through the plastic flawlessly. As they say “like butter”. It was scary. I purposefully did NOT use pressure while performing two “slashing” strikes (downward and horizontal) using the traditional grip. It was quick and clean. If we take a look at the blade, the reverse “S” design gives the belly a large cutting surface, while the tip hooked tip has the opportunity to dig and tear during the cut. It’s safe to say that you will not miss your target. This aggressive looking blade will live up to the hype.

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Close-up of clean cut

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Vertical slash

Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

Blade tip is amazing

After testing the live blade, I decided to take the P17 Matriarch Trainer for a spin. If you have handled training knives, you know that some are just dull make ups of the real deal. When I mean dull, I mean boring and unrealistic. The P17 definitely does not fall into that category. The solid aluminum is precision cut to match the Matriarch 2 to a tee! I placed them both side by side and they are the same in design and feel. Though we can’t get them to be the same weight, you have to make some sacrifices with a trainer. So I was able to use the P17 in order to familiarize myself with the various grips I could use for the Matriarch. I tried all the traditional style grips, including inverted edge and I was very happy. The paracord handle did not add too much bulk as this kept the feel close to the live blade. After getting comfortable with it, it was time to find my training partner.

I located my “bad guy” and was confronted with a few different scenarios. Let me warn you, if you use the P17 with a tad bit of pressure on your sparring partner, be advised that it does hurt so be careful. In each scenario I was able to apply light press to vital points and still get feedback that this blade design was inflicting some serious pain. Very cool. While I was able to accomplish this in different grips and approaches, I felt very comfortable with the traditional grip. I didn’t need to apply a lot of pressure to get my point across (no pun intended). I could effectively get the attacker off of me and escape to safety. Again, if you are looking to use this trainer, please seek professional training. It will make a world of difference.

The folks at Keen Edge Knives should be proud to produce such high quality training knives. I was very impressed with the P17 and look forward to many years of training with it. It truly made me feel more comfortable with deploying the Matriarch 2’s live blade.

So what do I think about the Matriarch 2? Here are my thoughts:

Pros

Excellent Quality & Design

Unique and razor sharp serrated edge

Emerson Wave feature

Solid back lock mechanism

Cons

None

 

And what about the P17? My thoughts as well:

Pros

Excellent attention to detail

Exact replica of the live blade

Weight

Price point

Cons

None

As you can see, these two are both a win/win combination. If you are looking for a serious self defense blade then the Matriarch 2 is your huckleberry. You MUST get the P17 to accompany it as it will save you some headaches down the road with this unique blade design. While I enjoyed this review, it did give me some insight into self defense reality, so I am going to give some advice. The Matriarch 2 is a serious tool. It is not a knife that you want to use unless you have to as it will inflict serious damage to the person on the business end of the blade. It should be used as a “last resort”,” your life is in danger” option. There was my PSA. The Matriarch 2’s MSRP is $149.95 and the Keen Edge P17’s MSRP is $37.00. These two make an awesome package and won’t break the bank either. Both can be purchased from the folks at iSurvival Gear.

Stay safe out there!

-SP

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Spyderco Matriarch 2 Review

 

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