The Spyderco Rhino Pocketknife: The Full Nick Shabazz Review

Today, we’re going to take a look at a little knife with a lotta attitude, the Spyderco Michael Reinhold Rhino.


Walter W says:

I have big hands and left-handed. Compression locks that are for right-handed don’t work well for me even on the PM2. This would be unusable with my left hands.

Tim Lara says:

Totally agree that they should have used a wire clip. In fact I said the same thing when the prototype photos were going around on the forum. I would also say that in my experience, the one thing that Taichung is still not as good at as Golden is compression lock action. My Sage 5 is similar in that it doesn’t flick shut as well as any of my Golden models like the PM2 or Yojimbo, granted those are heavier blades. Small sample size, but that’s about the only thing I can find to complain about with Taichung.

Justin WatkinS says:

Sounds like to me the dragonfly is better in basically every way.

Nolan says:

I hope spyderco realizes soon rather than later that throwing the comp lock on any random knife doesn’t always work

hovan2yourknives says:

I don’t understand why they chose to make this knife with the compression lock…a back-lock would’ve been a lot easier to operate one-handed on a knife that size. Not sure there’d be enough room for that kick (ricasso) without changing the profile a bit but I’m sure they could’ve done something with it. Still want to get one in my hands though…

Ethan Blake says:

Hi nick!

Nicholas Wilson says:

The left handed opening issue is something that crops up with Spyderco models from time to time and as a lefty I actually find it strange when Spyderco have made such an effort with other models?! 😐

Oscar Medina says:

To all the social misfits who have a hard time making friends, can we stop with the LBH jokes? It’s getting super annoying to beat a dead horse.

Bob says:

With a name like Rhino it should be much bigger IMO. I was really looking forward to this knife, but I was disappointed with the size and end cost.

Mark Tudor says:


Toadstkr says:

Maybe it’s just my hands but I thought the ergonomics sucked the clip and the high scale on the clip side (the little ridge) was just terrible generally I hated

Timothy Allen says:

Thanks for making this one a no. I liked the look but that’s too many misses on a what could’ve been a great design.

Chinook Outdoors says:

Really appreciate this review. I waited for the Rhino since first laying eyes on the prototype photos, and drove over to Golden (thankfully only a 30 minute drive) as soon as I heard it was out. At first my Rhino’s action was very stiff and required two hands to close fully, but after breaking in and tuning the pivot tension, it’s completely loosened up and closes very easily one handed (though not as easily as a bigger or heavier blade like in the Para series). As for the left-handed operation, yes I have to agree that you can’t open it with the normal thumb opening, however there is still the middle finger flick which works very well. Lefty one-handed closing is where I have the real issue, just not much to get a good grasp on which results in precarious one-handed closing action. I’ve come across a few photos of clip swaps with a Benchmade Bugout clip which look quite intriguing, unfortunately BM was backordered on the 535 clips when i called. I have a regular deep-car clip coming, hopefully it will fill the lack of a deep cary or wire clip. I’m REALLY happy to see Spyderco making more slim knives without a huge hump, and very much hope we start seeing more humpless and slender Spydercos in the future.

Brad Griffin says:

I like the blade style, but it looks like it would be a bit too fiddly for me, being a Lefty.

Iammightymeaty says:

Austentatious austenite

Jameson Cross says:

Make it a flipper, on bearings, with a wire clip and it would be 100% better. This knife is a miss.

Richard Huntsman says:

“All told this is definitely a knife” not the best in business for nothing.

The4cp says:

I’m going to ask this in all seriousness. What is it with most lager cities and knife size laws? Why so small? Is it out of fear a larger knife will be used as a weapon? Being in Ohio I just dont understand Cleveland having such different laws from where I live.

Jim M says:

For me, this is a solid gem! I disagree completely with your ugly for closing technique! How much did you use & carry this before your review, Nick?!? You’re not rushing reviews now, are you?

It took 2 weeks of break in, some lube, and a slight pivot adjustment. Now mine pops open with a thumb flip and closes easily one handed. A “modified Delica” approach works great for closing; side of the thumb against the compression lock and a dab of the wrist gets the blade half closed with the “blade-guard/ricaso ridge” against my index finger. I can also close it PM 2-style with a wrist flick, but it definitely doesn’t drop free yet (maybe never) as the blade is quite light.

The blade to handle proportions do look a bit off; but the large belly and upswept tip make the blade act longer than it is. This knife has been beyond amazing for detailed cutting and small EDC tasks. The build quality is far in excess of the Dragonfly, though the DF is still a great knife.

I think making this knife in Golden (capacity issues?) and definitely a DEEP CARRY WIRE CLIP would be improvements. Incidentally, the screw spacing for the clip is not Spyderco standard. It’s Benchmade spacing for some reason.

This isn’t the first time I’ve disagreed with you Nick; it’s the first time we’re miles apart though.

The Avid Picker says:

I love my Caribbean sheepfoot from Taichung and the compression lock on it allows for a nice and easy flick to close and I imagine that in more time it will get even smoother. However, the small blade on the rhino is probably not the best to match up with a compression lock. It just seems like a good reason to not pick one up. I love the compression lock in a lot of various other spydercos but it just doesn’t make sense to use it for a knife with such a small blade.

Adam Hastings says:

I agree it would have looked way better with the wire clip instead of the same clip they use on the tenacious series

Sven Krull says:

Hey nick,i live in germany and here the rhino costs 190€ ….pretty expensive


We have a similar model that was just designed right here in USA. It’s coming out soon

Matthew Forrest says:

Paramilitary 2 still bes5 execution of the compression lock. No nubs protruding into finger area when closing, great action. The Caribbean shaman all the flippers….. they just are not there yet. Also compression lock is not as good as a ti frame lock for a salt knife, just saying

Brian Del says:

Nick do a review of a balisong, also known as a fan knife, butterfly knife or Batangas knife. It’s way out of your genre of knives, but I think your review would be interesting and probably pretty funny.

Adam Hastings says:

I was gonna get this little guy when it was gonna be around 60 bucks when they first revealed it at shot show 2017. Now im not sure over 100 bucks a year later id have to get my hands on it first to decide. Great review nick

TheCosaNostra13 says:

Wish Spyderco would hurry up and use real CF. The laminate is an easy way out. It’s starting to peel away on my sage 5 after relatively minimal usage.

CSLFiero says:

Is there any spyderco with full steel liners and the wire clip? If not, that’s called design language, nick. Collectors appreciate that.

Adam Szuszkiewicz says:

AFAIK here in chicago there isn’t a restriction in blade length unless you’re in certain establishments like schools etc and then it’s 3 inches but don’t quote me on that, it might have changed

1fareast14 says:

Pretty sure you meant seki, Japan when you said taiwan

Biscuits Beatbox says:

I wish it didn’t lock

Stahlwerk88 says:

You said this is purely anti-lefty because of that random hump on the clip-side scale, but it seems like it would still be very Spydie-flickable, something you can’t do with your right hand- again, because of that protrusion on the scale.

ThroatScratch says:

I really, really like the design and size of this guy but the inability (or at least inconsistency in the ability) to use the compression lock with one hand is gonna be a deal breaker for me. That’s too bad.

Philip England says:

Chicago is 2.5 and under, just confirming.

Terry Franks says:

Breath Nick Breath.In through the nostrials out thorugh the

Woody Balto says:

I got my Rhino about 3 weeks ago and with a small adjustment to the pivot, a little polish and a little lube this knife can be flicked open and closed one handed. It requires a bit more practice than the PM 2 because the blade is so light in the Rhino. The blade shape is not the best but what would you expect with a name like Rhino?

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