knife review

The Spyderco Shaman is Overrated: Knife Review & Comparison by 555 Gear

The Spyderco Shaman is a popular new big “hard use” folding knife with handsome contoured g10 scales, a proven compression lock, and a stout leaf blade. However, there are some design issues which to me make the knife problematic. In this review I cover the things I like about the knife as well as pointing out what I see as flaws and problems in the current design, and then I make comparison to a variety of other knives which I feel like are equally or better up to the task a being a hard-use larger knife.

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Blade Length: 3.58″

Closed Length: 4.70″

Overall Length: 8.00″

Cutting Edge: 3.01″

Blade Thickness: 0.145″

Blade Material: CPM-S30V Stainless Steel

Blade Style: Spear Point

Blade Grind: Full-Flat

Blade Finish: Stonewash

Blade Edge: Plain

Handle Material: G10

Handle Color: Matte Black

Locking Mechanism: Compression 

Pocket Clip: Tip-Up/Down, Right/Left Carry

Model Number: C229GP 

Model Name: Shaman

Weight: 5.2 oz.

Made in the USA, Golden Colorado, Earth

Price: $187.85 (winter 2019)

Knife provided for review to the Apex Pass Around Slack Group by Valtac Tactical Gear.

18 replies on “The Spyderco Shaman is Overrated: Knife Review & Comparison by 555 Gear”

I head about the "flaw" of the nub hitting your finger when I was researching this model, and I'm glad it didn't dissuade me from buying it. Your finger needs to come off the locking lever for the knife to stay closed no matter what. If the nub bumps your finger off the lever so that the detent can engage properly then that's not an issue at all. I love this model. Its just an extra beefy PM2 in my book. I use it instead of the PM2 when I have to do something that requires holding onto the knife and applying a lot of force for an extended period of time (like carving an axe handle or wedge).

Also, the Benchmade comparison is silly. You think a 940 is better for hard use? An average adult male can't even get a full grip on a 940 because the handle is so small. C'mon. The 940 is a letter opener compared to the Shaman.

I like the Spyderco Shaman these minor flaws do not bother me, however the cost is too much for the knife that is my complaint for a folder no matter the steel or maker. The best EDC knife for the money is a Lion steel M4 fixed blade in M390 steel. Easy to conceal and for field use and EDC and at $155.00 is a bargain compared to any overpriced Spyderco in the $180.00 and more price range , I own a Spyderco Native in G10 but for the money and quality the Lion steel M4 is just a better choice . The Resilience is ok but made in China and cheaper steel and I do not trust liner locks . No folder can compare to reliability like a good fixed blade, Just my opinion buy what you like.

I just gotta point out… This review made me hesitate on picking up the Shaman! Now that I finally pulled the trigger, I am way more impressed than I thought I'd be with it. It is SUPER burly, to the point where if I had to I think I could even baton wood with it if I wanted to. Good luck with that on a 940. The Shaman admittedly isnt perfect, but the flaws pointed out in some of these reviews are wildly overstated!

Nice review. No new info though. Check out the Nick Shabazz review of this knife. I love my Shaman. One of my favorites.

You sound like a picky little shit mate, the Shaman is easily one of Spydercos best knives in years. And comparing the 940 to the Shaman for hard use? That made you come across as a real uneducated reviewer, either that or you know nothing about structural integrity when it comes to knives. The 940 is pretty tough for it's size, strong scales, nested liners inside them, good tip, but tiny washers and very small coverage of tang inside that handle when you look at lateral support, plus the axis lock is good for ease of use but not as secure as most think. All in all, not a fan of your review in the slightest.

wow. just wow. 940 more sturdy than the shaman? 😑 a bias review with con points that are more pocky to you than to everyone in general.

It's not just that its smooth. Its 3d contoured in America which is expensive to machine. Same reason why the g10 griptilian is so expensive

I personally love the satin finishes way more than the finish on that blade. But thata why spyderco offers so many options on their knives. They try to please everyone

Your critiques of the knife are certainly valid. But for me, they're not consequential enough to go negative on it. I love the ergos, it just fits my hand really well, I find the countoured g10 so comfortable. The weight doesn't bother me a bit. I pocket carry a firearm so a 5 oz. knife isn't a big deal. Mine is a free dropper and with a little practice I've mastered moving my finger out of the way when closing the knife. You didn't mention the jimping which I think is a real positive. I haven't had any chipping issues so far, I put a mirror polish on the edge with my KME. Also replaced the pocket clip with an mxg gear deep carry clip. Honestly it's one of my favorite spydercos. I like it so much that I have the carbon fiber limited edition model on pre-order. Also I don't think the BM 940 is a good comparison. The Shaman definitely has a harder use blade. I did own a resilience and liked it very much, but sold it. I just needed to free up some cash for something else, but I would probably buy another at some point. Maybe I'm a contrarian but the pm2 doesn't impress me as it does most folks. I much prefer the manix 2 over it. And the manix 2 xl is far superior to the resilience. I have a spydiechef on back order as well. It's always interested me but I never got around to buying one.
All that said, if they did release a Shaman v2 and address some of the issues you brought up, I'd be all over it. Been carrying a BM superfreek for a few months now, I think Benchmade knocked it out of the park with it. Look forward to more of your well thought out reviews, this one was very well presented.

Some of your points were valid but I about died laughing when you compared the 940 for heavy use. I love my 940 but I would not consider it a hard use knife by any stretch of the imagination. Thanks for taking the time to give a review.

Interesting take on this knife! Always good to hear different opinions. I personally really like the Shaman which is honestly a big surprise as it’s not the type of knife I would typically carry.

You’re supposed to release your finger from pressed position on the lock tab as soon as you give it a little wrist swing, break it in enough and get the flick close down so that you’re letting go before it fully retracts

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