Ladybug 3 By Spiderco
Editor: Johnny LeMaster
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Just the Facts:
It attaches to your key chain and is nearly as small as your car keys. One of Spyderco’s smallest lightweight locking knife is the Ladybug.
Made of VG-10 stainless steel, the hollow ground blade comes in a SpyderEdge or PlainEdge configuration. This modified clip-point blade style is matched up with a black, lightweight handle of fiberglass-reinforced nylon resin making the entire knife weigh only 0.6 of an ounce (16.4 grams). The LBK3 doesn’t have a clip but rather a lanyard hole for attachment to a key chain or lanyard.
Like its larger counterparts (and all Spyderco knives) the Ladybug3 packs tremendous cutting power and can take on both fine and heavy cutting tasks.
Overall Length: 4.375″ (111mm)
Blade Length: 1.938″ (49mm)
Closed Length: 2.438″ (62mm)
Edge Length: 1.687″ (43mm)
Weight: .6oz (18g)
Blade Thickness: .078″ (2mm)
To me a knife is one of the most important tools a person can have. I believe in always having a knife on me at all times. You never know when you might need one or what you might need one for. You may need to open a letter, cut some rope, pry open something, or defend yourself. A knife is one of the most useful human creations.
It is hard-pressed that you will every catch me without a knife on my. I typically gravitate towards a slightly larger pocket knife. I like a blade with a little length to it, something similar to the 3.75 inch blade of the Spiderco Endura, which I have carried for the last 12 years. When I first got a hold of the Spiderco Ladybug, I immediately was trying to figure out how and when I would put this to use. It is tiny compared to what I typically carry. I was afraid it would get lost in my pocket the very first time I carried it. Let me tell you that this knife surprised me a bit after carrying it. It is small enough to carry with out it printing, yet large enough as to not be completely lost. Spiderco opted to not have a pocket clip on this little knife making it more slender and incognito. This knife is perfect for carrying when you refuse to leave home without leaving your knife behind but yet do not necessarily want to advertise you are carrying the tool. It sits well in the pockets of your jeans, dress pants or even in a purse or other small bag. The Lanyard hold in the base of the handle works well for attaching the knife to you key chain, or to a small lanyard for quick access and accountability.
I started carrying the Ladybug daily after receiving it. I wanted to get a good feel for it, see how it performed in day to day use, and what my opinion of it would develop into. The first few days I actually felt a little “naked” not feeling my knife in the corner of my pocket. I could not just reach down and feel the pocket clip and the top of the knife peaking out of my pocket. The Ladybug is not build as a quick access defensive weapon, but rather as comfortable powerful tool made to endure the rigors of everyday use. The Spiderco thumb hole one the blade used for opening the knife allows the knife to still be opened with one hand. However, on the smaller blade it lacks the speed and ease of opening found in the larger Spiderco knives. The VG-10 steel the blade is made out of is phenomenal. This steel was typically used in kitchen cutlery in Japan, but has been used by Spiderco and other companies for utility based knives. It creates a steal that can achieve a very sharp edge, and holds the edge fairly well. The Ladybug is able to be sharpened to be one of the sharpest knives I own. The knife will dull from the immediate edge put on it without tremendous usage, but I have found that it holds the slightly dulled edge (still fairly sharp) for more extended usage. The thumb rest with the jimping provides a secure place for gaining extra leverage when really trying to cut into things.
After using the Ladybug for some time I decided it was time to touch up the edge with the Spiderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker knife sharpener. This is a very simple to use knife sharpener that comes with both written instructions and a disk with featuring how to use the sharpener. The sharpener has two preset angles, 30 degree and 40 degree along with two sets of stones, both medium grit for getting the edge set, and fine grit for getting the professional edge you desire. With a little trial and error I was able to produce a great edge back on the Ladybug. I am very pleased at how relatively easy and quickly the Ladybug took the edge that was as good or better than the factory edge it came with.
In carrying this knife as my main day to day knife I have used it for everything from cutting rope, opening mail, cleaning harvesting birds, to shaping wood during repairs of wooden play structures, cutting food, and everything in between. I have found very few limitations to what this knife is capable of. The only thing that seems to hold this knife back in the slightest bit is its small size. It keeps the knife limited to use on smaller tasks, but this is nothing out of the ordinary for carrying a smaller knife. It is the trade off that you choose when making the selection carry the smaller blade with all of the benefits it comes with. Don’t think that I am talking down about the small stature of the Ladybug. The limitations I speak of are minor. As a whole this knife will out perform what you would expect for a blade of this size. It handles most tasks with the ease of a larger knife, but has the elegance, and agility that can only come from the smaller size of this knife.
This knife is one that I will gladly carry with confidence. Whether because I want to be able to carry a knife in a situation where printing is not ideal, in my suit, or just want to have less weight and room taken up in my pocket. This is a knife that can handle all of your day to day needs and go above and beyond.
Where to find it:
What can be done better:
I am very pleased with the performance of the Spiderco Ladybug 3. This knife lived up to the quality expected from Spiderco, and was able to perform under the demands of daily use. I am happy with it the way it is.