The Spyderco Autonomy was developed in response to a request from the U.S. Coast Guard for a cutting tool that would meet the demanding mission requirements of their rescue swimmers. They needed a high-performance knife that could be easily deployed with only one hand while wearing heavy gloves, is impervious to salt water, could be easily maintained and, above all, would cut with extreme authority. The result was the orange-handled Autonomy automatic, which is approved for use by Coast Guard personnel.
Because many of the features of the Autonomy were so revolutionary, Spyderco also decided to create an all-black version of the knife with a safety and a pocket clip that is ideal for other end users. The heart of this knife is its voracious SpyderEdge sheepfoot-style blade, which is ground from H-1 steel—an extraordinary nitrogen-based alloy that is completely immune to corrosion. To optimize its function in tactical environments where light discipline is a requirement, it receives a tough Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating to reduce its reflective signature.
The Autonomy's finger-grooved handle is constructed with full stainless steel liners flanked by textured black G-10 scales. Its oversized firing button is powered by a spring that is integral to one of the liners and includes a sliding safety that prevents unintentional activation. Made exclusively from rustproof materials, the handle's other metal hardware—including its reversible wire pocket clip—is also cloaked in a stealthy black coating.
The auto-opening blade of the Autonomy is powered by a corrosion-resistant coil spring nested within a removable module. Specifically designed for end-user maintenance, this patented feature allows the module and spring to be easily removed with the tool in Spyderco's spring replacement kit (sold separately) without disassembling the entire knife.