Brad Southard’s lifelong passion for knives began at the tender age of eight, when he received his first knife from his grandfather. Years later, his love of woodworking led him to start making his own chisels and hand planes and ultimately inspired him to try his hand at knifemaking. As a student of Industrial Design in college, he added machining and advanced metalworking to his skill set and by 2009 had transformed his knifemaking hobby into a full-time profession. He has since earned an enviable reputation as one of the most meticulous and detail-oriented custom makers in the industry.
A former Colorado resident, Southard was also a frequent visitor to Spyderco’s Factory Outlet store during his early years as a knifemaker. Jokingly referred to as “furniture” in the store, he literally spent hours examining every detail of our knives and their construction. When he became a full-time knifemaker, he was therefore a natural choice as a design collaborator.
Southard’s first collaboration with Spyderco was the Southard Folder™, a production version of one of his most popular custom designs. Its release in 2012 was a milestone event, as it was Spyderco’s first knife to include a “flipper” opening mechanism. Pioneered by the late custom knifemaker Kit Carson, a flipper is a small integral tab that extends from the tang of the blade on the cutting edge side. When the knife is closed, the flipper protrudes from the back of the handle to offer a small lever. Pressing or stroking the lever with your index finger overcomes the tension of the ball-bearing detent that holds the blade closed and swiftly pivots into the open, locked position.
Although the flipper feature was a significant departure from our signature Trademark Round Hole™, it was very well received by Spyderco enthusiasts and soon inspired demand for both more Brad Southard designs and more flipper models. In 2015, we responded to those callings with a second Southard collaboration—a sleek, flipper-opening gentleman’s folder called the Positron™. It delivered serious cutting capability in a compact, pocket-friendly size and set a standard that paved the way for our newest Southard collaboration, the Hanan.
Meaning “gracious” or “gracious gift” in Hebrew, the Hanan is a unique synergy of a flipper-style opener and Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock™ mechanism. This powerful combination provides a convenient, reliable, one-handed opening action and a solid, trustworthy blade lock-up. Since the Compression Lock’s release is located in the spine of the handle, it also allows the blade to be easily closed one handed without ever placing your fingers in the path of the edge.
The Hanan’s blade is full-flat ground from CPM® S30V® particle metallurgy stainless steel and has a handsome stonewashed finish. Its PlainEdge™ cutting edge is slightly recurved and has a sweeping belly that terminates at an acute, utilitarian point. Although the blade includes a small Trademark Round Hole™ as a symbol of its Spyderco lineage, it is purpose designed for flipper opening only and optimized to work best with a “push-button” opening stroke of the index finger. Thanks to special phosphor-bronze ball-bearing washers on each side of the blade, the Hanan’s opening action is incredibly smooth.
Faithfully replicating Southard’s flawless custom craftsmanship, the Hanan’s handle is built with full titanium liners, titanium bolsters, and G-10 scales and backspacer. The bolsters and scales meet seamlessly at a sweeping arc and are precisely radiused to ensure a comfortable grip. They are supported by thick titanium liners that are skeletonized to reduce weight and painstakingly machined to create the knife’s high-strength Compression Lock mechanism. All the handle’s titanium parts feature a handsome matte finish that matches the distinctive custom pocket clip, which mounts into machined recesses in either scale to offer a choice of left or right-side tip-up carry.
The Hanan is an exquisitely crafted folding knife that truly captures the magic of Brad Southard’s coveted custom designs. If you like flippers, gentleman’s folders, Southard designs, or all the above, it will not disappoint you.