Tracing its roots all the way back to 1990, the Delica is one of Spyderco’s most enduring and iconic designs. It helped pioneer the concept of the lightweight, injection-molded knife handle and even today, in its fourth-generation form, continues to set the standard in compact, high-performance, cutting tools.
The Delica’s tremendous popularity has spawned an entire family of variations, as well as Sprint Runs, Exclusives, and other “elite” expressions of the design. Spyderco is thrilled to announce the latest addition to this proud family—the Delica 4 Lightweight Wharncliffe.
This unique variant of the Delica 4 was inspired by a request from a member of Spyderco’s Internet forum who is a die-hard fan of the Delica Lightweight model, but, as a warehouse worker, appreciates the cutting performance and edge geometry of common industrial knives and box cutters. The perfectly straight cutting edges of these tools enable them to cut with full power all the way to the point and give them the ability to tackle both detailed tasks and challenging cuts with equal ease. In pocketknife parlance, this style of blade is technically known as a “Wharncliffe”—a pattern with a rich and interesting history that spans nearly two centuries.
The Wharncliffe blade is believed to have taken its name from Colonel James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe (October 6, 1776 – December 19, 1845). Lord Wharncliffe, as he was more commonly known, was a British soldier and statesman who had an affinity for pocketknives. He was also well acquainted with Joseph Rodgers and Sons, a noted cutlery company in Sheffield, England's cutlery manufacturing center. As legend has it, Lord Wharncliffe wanted to design a utilitarian blade that was thick and strong, yet still capable of detailed cutting chores. He presented his design to Joseph Rodgers and Sons who embraced the idea and began introducing Wharncliffe-style blades in their folding knives around 1832.
A Wharncliffe blade is characterized by a perfectly straight cutting edge and a spine that tapers to meet that edge at an acute point. Capable of cutting with both scalpel-like precision and power far beyond its size, Wharncliffes are the blades of choice for many savvy knife users who demand maximum performance out of their tools. Spyderco’s new Delica 4 Wharncliffe combines all the advantages of this unique blade style with the proven features of the Delica’s standard lightweight platform. Available in either a PlainEdge™ or fully serrated SpyderEdge™ format, it features a broad VG-10 stainless steel blade with a fully accessible Trademark Round Hole™ that is positioned high on the blade for excellent leverage during one-handed openings. Its full-flat grind gives it incredible edge geometry that, when paired with the Wharncliffe profile, allows it to cut with impressive power all the way to the point.
The blade is paired with the time-tested Delica 4 Lightweight handle design, which includes skeletonized stainless steel liners, injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced-nylon (FRN) scales and backspacer, a sturdy back lock mechanism, and a four-position pocket clip that supports all carry preferences. Spyderco’s Bi-Directional Texturing™ pattern on the scales ensures a secure grip in even the most demanding circumstances, and the knife’s completely symmetrical design makes all aspects of its carry and operation completely ambidextrous.
One of the most potent pocket-sized cutting tools ever produced, the Delica 4 Lightweight Wharncliffe is also a remarkable fusion of one of our best-selling designs and time-honored pocketknife history.