Javier Vogt is one of the few custom knifemakers in Argentina and one of only a handful of craftsmen there to make folding knives. As a child, he was fascinated with swords, but it wasn't until he studied industrial design in his early twenties that his focus changed to knives—specifically folding knives. In 2002, he made his first handmade knife and instantly knew he had found his life's calling.
A self-taught knifemaker, Vogt learned his craft primarily from articles and videos on the internet and through lots of trial and error. Despite his lack of formal instruction, his skills improved very quickly and he soon found himself a full-time knifemaker with a dedicated worldwide following. He now specializes in handcrafting intricate, artistic folding knife designs and often incorporates exotic materials into his work.
In 2016, Vogt contacted Spyderco to license their patented Compression Lock for use in his custom folders. Shortly thereafter, he decided to make a knife for personal use that not only included that lock but also offered three different one-hand opening options. Rightfully proud of his creation, he shared it with Spyderco's management at the Atlanta BLADE Show, who opted to display it with their other concept models and prototypes. Customer feedback on the design was very positive and Vogt's first Spyderco collaboration—the Tropen—was born.
The most distinctive feature of the Tropen is its broad, dramatically curved blade. Precision machined from CPM S30V stainless steel, it includes three different blade-opening options—an index-finger flipper, Spyderco's Trademark Round Hole, and a stylized Emerson Opening Feature, which hooks on the lip of the pocket as the knife is drawn to automatically open it. Together, these features allow a full scope of one-handed opening techniques and are further enhanced by special ball-bearing washers on each side of the blade's pivot that ensure an ultra-smooth, low-friction action.
The Tropen's satin-finished PlainEdge blade is paired with an elegantly styled handle crafted with G10 scales, a partial G10 backspacer, and skeletonized stainless steel liners. The polished scales are gently radiused for a comfortable grip and their interiors precision machined to house the nested liners, which form the foundation of the knife's high-strength Compression Lock mechanism. This advanced construction style ensures impressive structural strength while keeping the knife exceptionally thin, lightweight, and pocket-friendly. To allow instant access and support the proper function of the blade's Emerson Opening Feature, the Tropen includes a stainless steel hourglass clip configured for right-side, tip-up carry.
One somewhat controversial aspect of the Tropen's design is the fact that a small section of the heel of the edge is visible in the lock well when the knife is closed. Intended to maximize the blade's functional edge length, this design feature is also faithful to Vogt's original custom version of the knife. Although some have speculated that it represents a safety concern, when closing the knife, the blade's flipper tab contacts the user's finger well before the edge can enter the lock well. In Spyderco's extensive carry and testing of the design, it has never posed a hazard.
The Tropen is a truly unique folding knife that offers unprecedented versatility in one-hand opening options. It also faithfully reflects the superb craftsmanship and elegant design flair of Javier Vogt's handmade knives and is a proud addition to the Spyderco product line.