Sage 5 LW Review: Spyderco’s Best Features in One Capable EDC


Its middle-of-the-road size, light weight, midtier price, and tour de force of great Spyderco features make the Sage 5 LW a superb EDC.

Spyderco makes dozens of excellent folders of different designs, sizes, and prices. Among a catalog chock full of classics and hot new blades, the Sage 5 LW sits quietly as one of the best knives for most people.

In short: Because of Spyderco’s reputation and the fact that there have been half a dozen other Sages, it’s difficult for this knife ($141) to rise above the crowd. But the Sage 5 LW’s compression lock, handle texture, clip, thumbhole opener, and razor-sharp, spear-point blade make it a more-than-capable EDC nonetheless.

Let’s get into the specs.

Spyderco Sage 5 LW
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

Spyderco Sage 5 LW Review


  • Steel: S30V
  • Grind: Full flat grind
  • Lock: Compression lock
  • Blade length: 3″
  • Handle length: 4.13″
  • OAL: 7.13″
  • Weight: 2.7 oz.
  • Price: $141 shipped
  • Country of origin: Taiwan
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Most ‘Spyderco’ of Knives

The Sage 5 LW is quite certainly the most “Spyderco” of knives. It’s everything the brand is known for distilled into one remarkable knife: the leaf-shaped blade; compression lock, bidirectional texturing on the FRN handle, wire clip, and, of course, the thumbhole opener.

Spyderco Sage 5 LW - weight
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

The knife’s pivot includes a bushing that makes the action snappy and the best you’ll find on a compression lock. The texturing is perfect — grippy but not shreddy.

And the blade — oh, the blade. It’s not paper-thin, but thin with an impeccable grind. Down to the edge, this spear-point is absolutely razor-sharp. And thanks to the full flat grind, it cuts like a kitchen knife.

Some folks that like smaller designs might prefer the Chaparral, which is even slice-ier, but the Sage is a great, general-use EDC.

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It’s hard to think of a flaw on the Sage 5 LW, but if there is one, it’s the S30V steel. It’s certainly good steel, and Spyderco’s heat treats are really dialed in.

But in terms of sharpening, few steels have a worse work-to-reward ratio. It’s not impossible to sharpen, but the effort exceeds the results. But that’s a minor ding on an otherwise great, if underrated, knife.


Spyderco Sage 5 LW - size
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

In an evergreen lineup as stacked as Spyderco’s, it’s hard for even a great knife to stand out. But you should take another look at the Sage 5 LW.

If you’re particularly smitten, try the Blade HQ exclusive. For an additional $23, you’ll get mint-green scales and a coated M4 blade.

Check Price at Blade HQCheck Price at Amazon

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