Serge Panchenko and Spyderco were ahead of the trend when they released the first Dog Tag in 2014. They are now on the 4th Generation of the popular micro-knife, and the industry is full of both micro-knives and cleaver-shaped EDC blades.
Its diminutive size coupled with its non-locking design make the Dog Tag legal just about anywhere. It utilizes a spring and detent system, which clicks the knife into both the open and closed position.
Spyderco describes the Dog Tag thusly:
Custom knifemaker Serge Panchenko’s original Dog Tag Folder redefined the concept of the ultimate “carry anywhere” folding knife. Designed to replicate the look, size, and convenience of a military dog tag, its variations have earned a devoted following among knife fans and gear enthusiasts alike.
Spyderco’s latest expression of this unique theme is the Dog Tag Folder Gen4. Based on Panchenko’s fourth-generation design, this handy cutting tool features twin, matte-finished aluminum handle scales for a comfortable, secure grip and enhanced protection of the blade’s sharp edge. A purpose-designed non-locking folder, it features an integral spring bar and ball-bearing detent in the larger scale that help hold the blade in place in both the open and closed positions, but do not mechanically lock it. Unlike its chisel-ground predecessors, the blade of the Gen4 is double-beveled and saber-ground to provide a symmetrical edge angle that is more easily sharpened and allows greater control during use. Precision machined from American-made CTS® BD1 stainless steel, the compact sheepfoot blade proudly features Spyderco’s Trademark Round Hole™ for fingernail-free ease of opening.
Still one of the most novel and innovative everyday cutting tools available, the Dog Tag Folder Gen4 may be the ultimate constant cutting companion.
Stats (as reported by Spyderco):
Overall Length 3.23″ (82mm)
Blade Length 1.18″ (30mm)
Steel CTS BD1
Closed Length 2.05″ (52mm)
Edge Length 1.18″ (30mm)
Weight 0.9oz (26g)
Blade Thickness 0.118″ (3.0mm)
Clip Position N/A
Tip Carry Position N/A
Lock Type Slipjoint
The Dog Tag is certainly diminutive, but it is a more than functional cutting tool. One imagines that the primary role this knife would serve is to be handy when one needs to break down a box or cut out a “Box Top” for your kid’s school. The mini-cleaver tip does a good job with detail cut-out work. The Dog Tag is more than capable of most light EDC tasks.
The detent definitely does a good job holding the knife shut in a pocket. It is a little less effective at holding it open despite imperfect cutting technique (an artifact of its small size).
The fit and finish are excellent, and overall it is a fun little knife to have as a secondary or tertiary carry.
Since I can’t do much more than fiddle with the knife, I am relying on outside sources for independent review. The folks at Loadout Room have me covered.