The Spyderco® Matriarch 2 folding knife has its origins in the C12 Civilian, one of Spyderco’s oldest and most unique designs. According to Spyderco, the Civilian was developed at the request of a US federal law enforcement agency that wanted an easily concealed knife for its undercover narcotics agents that could serve as a potent last resort defensive weapon when wielded with gross motor skills and a minimum of training.

Defining feature of the Matriarch 2 is its Reverse “S” SpyderEdge blade.

The Civilian was designed by Spyderco’s founder, Sal Glesser, to meet this need. It’s a purpose-designed personal protection tool whose defining feature is the patented Reverse “S” SpyderEdge™ blade that replicates the function of an animal’s claw to maximize the cutting performance of the entire edge.

The Matriarch was inspired by a request from Spyderco’s South African distributor for a smaller and more economical version of the Civilian for use as an EDC personal protection tool for women. The concept evolved into the Matriarch 2 which integrates the a Civilian-style aggressive Reverse “S” blade shape to the lightweight, injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) handle of the popular Spyderco Endura™ 4.

The Matriarch 2 has a 3.57-inch (91 mm) fully-serrated SpyderEdge Reverse “S” hollow-ground blade made of VG-10 for extreme cutting performance. VG-10 is a cutlery grade Japanese high-carbon stainless steel. VG-10 stands for V Gold 10, with the Gold designating gold standard quality. It has excellent corrosion resistance and can be sharpened to a very fine and durable edge. 

Spyderco’s SpyderEdge consists of a two-step serration pattern consisting of one-large and two small serrations. This pattern increases the cutting edge’s surface area by up to 24 percent. The Matriarch 2 features a thicker point than the Civilian for increased strength and to nest discreetly in the handle when closed. The Matriarch 2

The Reverse “S” blade was developed around the Filipino martial arts concept of “defanging the snake” by targeting key muscles, tendons and blood vessels to disarm an assailant by inhibiting a limb’s function and thus stopping the attack. Although the Matriarch 2 is a powerful slashing weapon that’s highly effective in its intended role, the trade-off is that it gives up stabbing capability. You can of course stab with it but the blade curvature limits penetration.

Matriarch 2 Emerson Opener provides two opening methods – the Trademark Round Hole and Emerson Wave Feature.

The Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener provides you with two opening options. In addition to the patented Spyderco Round Hole™, the knife also has the patented Emerson “wave” opener, which Spyderco licensed from Ernest Emerson. It allows you to automatically open the blade as it clears the pocket by catching the wave on the edge of the pocket. Short of a fixed blade, there’s no faster method of deploying a knife than the wave, and there’s no reliance on fine motor skills as would be the case with other folder opening methods, whether manual or automatic.,

According to Ernest Emerson, the Emerson wave opener actually originated when some US Navy SEALs asked him to design a knife with a “blade catcher” that would stop a blade from sliding up the back of a knife in a knife fight. Quite by accident, Emerson discovered that the knife would self deploy when being pulled from the pocket with the right motion. The rest is history.

All versions of the Matriarch 2 features a back-locking mechanism. Back lock knives, also known as lockbacks, have one of the strongest locking mechanisms according to independent testing. A Boye Dent in the lock bar on the Matriarch 2 helps prevent unintentional lock release when the knife is gripped. Lockup is secure with no blade play whatsoever.

The FRN handle scales on the Matriarch 2 family have stainless steel liners, which provides an ideal balance of light weight and strength. The scales feature B-Directional Texturing™ that along, with the handle ergonomics, provide an exceptionally secure, non-slip grip under all conditions. The knife feels good in the hand.

Stainless steel Torx (star) screws are are utilized to attach the scales and pocket clip, as well as for the blade pivot screw. The Matriarch 2 features a four-position blackened stainless steel hourglass clip that is adjustable left- or right-side tip-up or tip-down carry. It supports all carry positions and makes carry and operation completely ambidextrous.

Matriarch 2 has a four-position stainless steel pocket clip.

The Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener is an outstanding knife for its intended role, although its EDC utility uses are very limited. Great for personal defense. Not so great for utility. Fit, function and workmanship on the sample provided to me are excellent, as would be expected with any Spyderco product.

The Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener is available with either a satin finish or black titanium carbonitride (TiCN) coated blade. The Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener (C12BK2W) has a MSRP of $160.00. The Matriarch 2 Emerson Opener Black Blade (C12BBK2W) has a MSRP of $180.00. Spyderco warrants its knives to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product.

Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener

Manufacturer: Spyderco
Model Name: Matriarch 2 FRN Emerson Opener
Type: Manual Folder
Lock: Back Lock
Edge Type: Reverse “S” w/ full serrations
Closed Length: 4.98 in / 126 mm
Overall Length: 8.55 in / 217 mm
Blade Length: 3.57 in / 91 mm
Edge Length: 3.27 in / 83 mm
Blade Length: 0.118 in / 3.0 mm
Blade Finish: Satin finish or black titanium carbonitride
Steel: VG-10
Grind: Hollow
Weight: 3.5 oz / 99 g
Handle: FRN
Clip: Ambi
Carry: 4-position
Origin: Japan
MSRP: $160.00 (C12BK2W); $180.00.00 (C12BBK2W).
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen provides intelligence and security consulting services. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California. His byline has appeared in numerous national and international journals and magazines.

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