Matriarch 2 is a purpose-designed personal-protection tool that’s based on the Spyderco Civilian, which was designed for federal undercover narcotics agents.
Matriarch 2 is a purpose-designed personal-protection tool that’s based on the Spyderco Civilian, which was designed for federal undercover narcotics agents.

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

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 a Civilian-style aggressive Reverse “S” blade shape and the lightweight, injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) handle of the popular Spyderco Endura™ 4.

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

The Matriarch 2 has a 3.57-inch 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 of one large and two small serrations. This pattern increases the cutting edge’s surface area by up to 24%. The Matriarch 2 features a thicker point than the Civilian for increased strength and to nest discreetly in the handle when closed.

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, as the blade curvature limits penetration.

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

The Matriarch 2 with Emerson Opener provides 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 lets you 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 is no faster method of deploying a knife than the wave, and there’s no reliance on fine motor skills, as is the case with other folder opening methods, whether manual or automatic.

The Emerson wave opener originated when U.S. Navy SEALs asked Ernest Emerson to design a knife with a “blade catcher” that would stop an opponent’s blade 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 feature a back-locking mechanism, one of the strongest locking mechanisms according to independent testing. A Boye Dent in the lock bar helps prevent unintentional lock release when the knife is gripped. Lockup is secure, with no blade play whatsoever.

Matriarch 2 has four-position clip.
Matriarch 2 has four-position clip.

The FRN handle scales on the Matriarch 2 family have stainless steel liners, providing an ideal balance of light weight and strength. The scales feature Bi-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 utilized to attach the scales and pocket clip, as well as for the blade pivot screw. The Matriarch 2 features a blackened stainless steel hourglass clip that is adjustable for left- or right-side as well as tip-up or tip-down carry. It supports all carry positions and makes carry and operation completely ambidextrous.

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

The Matriarch 2 with Emerson Opener (C12BK2W) has a suggested retail price of $152.95. The Matriarch 2 with Emerson Opener Black Blade (C12BBK2W) has a retail price of $154.95.

Spyderco warrants its knives to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product.


(800) 525-7770





Matriarch 2 Emerson Opener


Reverse “S” with full serrations


4.98 inches


8.55 inches


3.57 inches


0.118 inch


3.5 ounces


Satin finish or black titanium carbonitride





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