Spyderco Centofante 3 Review: How Good Is It Actually?
If you're eying Spyderco Centofante 3 Gentleman's folder but unsure if it meets your needs, this guide is for you. Our full review below will give you powerful insights into this knife and help you make a more informed decision.
This knife is designed by Frank Centofante, a legendary custom knifemaker and a former president of the knife making guild, a well-respected group of knife making experts. It comes in the price range of Enduras and Delicas.
Our review below will focus on the key areas of this folding knife, including the handle, the blade, deployment and lockup, ergonomics, how easily it carries in your pocket, and so much more.
Spyderco Centofante 3 Overview and Specs
As we have just mentioned above, this knife was designed following a collaboration between the legendary knife maker and Spyderco. In other words, experts came together to create the Centofante folder. You can easily guess that they didn't disappoint.
This knife comes as the 3rd model in this line of folders, and there's even a 4th model, the Centofante 4.
This gentleman's folder comes designed with a thin-profiled, lightweight FRN handle. A palladium silver Spyderco spider is inlaid into the handle surface as a mark of authenticity and for improved looks.
A back-lock positioned midway on the knife spine allows safe and convenient knife use.
It has a hollow-grind blade made using VG10 steel and jimping to the thumb steady during heavy cutting tasks. A black steel tip-up/tip-down right-hand carry pocket clip is added to this knife to make it easy to carry in your pocket.
Because the knife was made in Seki-City, Japan, you can expect better quality than the Chinese-made Spyderco Tenacious and other models.
Below are the quick facts about Centofante 3:
7 9/16 inches
4 ½ inches
3 1/8 inches
FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon)
The handle material for this knife is the FRN (fiberglass reinforced handle) found in other Spyderco EDC knives like the Delica and Endura. This material comes molded in a classy pattern that gives it a unique and more appealing look.
Also, you'll be awed by the fancy mirror-finished, inlayed palladium Spyderco spider logo sitting on the handle for improved looks.
When you grab this knife, the handle feels quite solid and durable. This is due to the full steel line lying directly beneath. It feels comfortable, and the size is perfect for users with different hand sizes.
While the handle lacks the texturing you get with the G10 scales and other handles, it's not entirely slippery. The two milled swoops (or do we call them lines?) on the opposing side of the pocket clip offer you some level of gripability. The overall smooth matte finish on the FRN handle also has a grippy feel.
There's no lanyard hole on the handle, which is another area where this knife separates itself from the Spydercos.
The handle is 4.5 inches which makes it long enough to comfortably fit various hand sizes
Right on top of the blade lies sharp and aggressive jimping that's angled backward. This gives your thumb excellent when putting some extra force on the blade when you're handling a demanding cutting task.
However, you should be careful when placing this knife in your pocket because the sharp jimping can easily catch your pocket fabric and end up devouring it.
Just be careful, and your pockets will not have to take the beating from this jimping.
The blade is 3 1/8-inch long. This is on the small side and falls in the common ground for most EDC knives. With this kind of knife, you won't have to worry about taking it out and scaring people at work.
It is 5/64 inches thick. If you're looking for a thick blade, sorry, the Centofante is not your type! But if you have no problem with super-thin blades, welcome to the world of modern knives.
The blade also has an attractive shape and has a nice drop-point tip for piercing tasks. This tip is thicker than standard drop points for added durability and bent-free, better piercing capability.
Amazingly, this blade also has a slimmer profile. This is unlike most Spyderco knives which feature a wider profile due to the manufacturer's attempts to make the blade wider to accommodate a big thumbhole.
Such knives tend to take up a lot of room when you close them and put them into your pocket. But this Centofante slim model comfortably fits in any type of pants pocket.
Something rare about this Spyderco is that it has a sharpening choil.
The knife comes with a super-thin blade. What's more, it is a hollow ground—making it extremely thin behind edge and enhancing its slicing capabilities. It will peel pretty much anything!
Japanese VG10 stainless steel is used to make this blade. It takes a fantastic edge and holds it decently well. This means you can use this knife for long without dulling. Coupled with a hollow grind, this steel is pretty easy to sharpen.
The steel is also highly corrosion-resistant for easy maintenance. And it is sharp enough to withstand everyday uses and take a beating without cracking or chipping. VG-10 is not a super-steel but is well-rounded steel and an excellent value for the price of this knife.
You can even use it in your kitchen for food prep, and it might even outdo your paring knife!
Deployment and lockup
Centofante deploys super fast with just the right amount of tension. You can flick it open. It also comes with the signature Spyderco thumbhole for an alternative deploying method.
At first, the action might feel stiff, but it quickly breaks in after a few uses. It will even release faster than assisted open models.
This folder employs a lock-back mechanism to hold your knife in position. The lockup is super-tight, and the blade has no detectable blade movement when the blade is locked into place.
Also worth mentioning is the Boye dent. This is a cutout in the release bar of the knife that helps keep the release bar low profile and close to the knife handle and keeps the blade from disengaging accidentally.
Closing this blade one-handed may be tricky since the knife has its cutting edge extending across the entire knife length and leaving a pretty little unsharpened area near the sharpening choil.
If you put your hand here to close the blade, then you're directly putting it in harm's way, and you might end up injuring yourself.
However, you can practice closing it one-handed by pressing the lock back so that the blade falls halfway closed. Afterward, you can close it the rest of the way with one hand. This still feels scary, but you can get used to it with practice.
This is a knife designed for everyday carry, so you want to know whether it is easy to carry before you purchase it.
You'll get this knife with a right-hand carry only clip with tip-up or tip-down options. This is another letdown as the knife won't favor the lefties.
This clip is designed in such a way that the bulk of your knife hangs backward, further ensuring easy carry.
The steel pocket clip is finished in black paint for discrete carry. Hover, keep in mind that this clip matching paint might fade over time and look ugly. But this isn't really a problem as you can always replace your clip when you need to.
At only 2.5oz., this knife is super lightweight, and you don't have to worry about it weighing you down.
The knife itself has a slim design which further makes it highly portable. Coupled with the compact size, it disappears in your pocket, and you will literally forget you’re carrying it until you get it out to do some cutting.
Fit and finish
The fit and finish you get with the Centofante 3 isn't perfect but is above average.
Thanks to the super-tight lockup, the knife has no blade play in any direction. The centering is good too. However, most users have complained that the edge didn't arrive sharp (well, it might be sharp to some extent, but not razor-sharp like most Spyderco knives).
You can easily see where they molded the handle on the back of the knife handle. They didn't smoothen this area, so you'll find that some stuff has been left out. This isn't really a big deal, only that we're used to precise fit and finish from Spyderco.
The other problem we wish to point out about this knife is the pin construction—this makes it hard for you to take apart the knife for deep cleaning.
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Now you have everything you need to know about Spyderco Centofante before buying it. From our in-depth review above, it's no doubt that this is a great knife designed by experts with years of knife making experience.
It has great action, exceptional cutting ability, and the Spyderco thumb hole for easy opening. Its blade is high-quality and takes a super-fine edge pretty easily. The ergonomics are great, and this knife is a joy to use. The great looks make it the perfect gentleman's knife.
Overall, if you're looking for a solid EDC folder or something gentlemanly to have in your pocket, this Spyderco Centofante 3 is a go-to model. The price point is perfect for the quality and choice of blade steel. This is a perfect gentleman's folder with reasonable pricing.