In this Spyderco Cara Cara 2 review I share why this knife is still a great choice for a cheap folder in 2019. Technically, the full name of the knife is the Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara 2. Byrd knives are engineered by Spyderco, made in China and are held to the same quality standards as other Spyderco knives. If you need a larger, affordable folder with a lock back this might be what you are looking for.
I’ve been using the Cara Cara 2 below for about four years now. It has proven to be a great performer for its price point and blade steel quality.
Disclosure: Links to Amazon.com may be affiliate links that generate me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Cara Cara 2 has a FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon) handle which is heavily textured to assist with gripping the knife securely.
It uses a very beefy pocket clip to secure the knife’s position within your pocket.
Comet hole opener and lock back
The Spyderco Cara Cara 2 uses the “comet” hole for opening the knife. It opens easily and locks into place with a loud click. You can’t open this knife as quickly as an assisted opener, but with a little practice you should be able to open it more than fast enough.
The lock back is disengaged by pressing down on the lock. It takes a fair amount of pressure to disengage the lock. With some practice you can close the knife with one hand. If you need a knife that you can quickly close with one hand I suggest one with a liner lock.
Here is a reverse view of the opened Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara 2. When using the knife the blade has no side play. Fit and finish is excellent for a knife at this price point.
The knife came from the factory sharp with a good edge. It’s a sub $30 knife using 8Cr13MoV blade steel. Typically, knives in the $20 – $50 range use this quality blade steel.
This is a larger folder, but still suitable for everyday carry (EDC).
Blade and handle jimping
The Spyderco Cara Cara 2 uses jimping on the back of the handle and back of the blade to ensure a secure grip. The thumb fits nicely against the blade jimping.
If you choose to use an alternative grip, there is additional jimping at the base of the cutting edge as well:
As I mentioned earlier, the Cara Cara 2 uses 8Cr13MoV blade steel. This is a slightly softer blade steel and although it came nicely sharpened from the factory, you’ll still need to touch it up occasionally to keep a good edge on it. Regardless of the knife you buy and the quality of the steel, I highly recommend learning to sharpen your knives. Dull knives (besides being useless) can be more dangerous than a sharp knife.
The Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara 2 is a little over 8.5″ in length when opened. The blade is approximately 3.75″ in length.
When closed the knife is approximately 4.75″ in length:
Note that the tip is positioned where it should be and none of it is exposed. In some cheaper folders you may actually have fit and finish issues where the blade tip is partially exposed. In the case of the Cara Cara 2 it’s safely tucked away.
At least on my knife, the blade is centered and spaced correctly. This is more than I can say for some of my more expensive knives. So fit and finish on the Cara Cara 2 is about as good as it gets in a sub $30 folder.
The clip is securely held in place with three screws:
Note that the handle allows you to change the clip position which is particularly useful for folks that draw the knife with their left hand.
Spyderco Cara Cara 2 review conclusion
Would I suggest a Spyderco Cara Cara 2 to a friend? If an affordable, decent knife by a well known manufacturer is what they need, this would be a good place to start. In this Spyderco Cara Cara 2 review I’ve shared my impressions of this knife based on four years of use. Hopefully, the detailed photos will make it easier to decide if this a knife to add to your EDC rotation.
Pros: Good fit and finish, very affordable, Spyderco engineering, lock back for stout blade security
Cons: Not the best looking handle, some might consider it too large for everyday carry.
See more everyday carry reviews.