Spyderco FB35SBK ARK "Always Ready Knife" Neck Knife 2.5" H1 Satin Serrated Blade, Black FRN Handles, Polymer Sheath


Retail Price: $104.95 | You Save: $36.73 (35%)
Part #: SPFB35SBK | Spyderco Knives
Earn 682 knifeREWARDS Points!
SPFB35SBK: FB35SBK ARK Always Ready Knife
The ARK — or "Always Ready Knife" — is a purpose-designed personal-defense knife with an extremely interesting history. The man behind the design is U.S. Army combat veteran John Shirley, who enlisted one month after the September 11th attacks and served his first tour as an infantryman. After completing his initial enlistment, being called back to active duty, earning two degrees, and becoming a commissioned officer, Shirley deployed to Afghanistan for the second time in 2011. During that tour, he served as the officer in charge of a joint-service team of non-commissioned officers who traveled in two-person teams to remote outposts throughout the country. In addition to the obvious threat of operating in a war zone, Shirley learned that forward-deployed troops faced other dangers as well, including the threat of sexual assault.

Although not widely publicized, an alarming number of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan were victims of sexual assault by foreign nationals and members of coalition forces. Many of these attacks took place in shower facilities, where soldiers were unarmed and often alone. Shirley, a long-time practitioner of the Japanese martial arts, was determined to keep his team members safe and set about designing a weapon that could literally be carried and used anywhere—even in the shower.

Shirley's vision was a small, lightweight neck knife that could be worn constantly and effectively drawn and employed even with wet, soapy hands. Since Shirley is not a knifemaker, he contacted his friend Sam Owens, a talented craftsman and specialist in historic preservation, and explained the concept to him. Owens immediately embraced the project and began crafting concept models and prototypes that he sent to Shirley to test and share with other forward-deployed personnel. Based on their feedback and the results of his testing, Shirley suggested refinements and Owens dutifully incorporated them into further prototypes.

During this process, Shirley also reached out to the knife community through Internet forums and managed to attract the attention of Spyderco's founder, Sal Glesser, with the idea. As Shirley and Owens dialed in the design, Glesser kept tabs on their progress and grew increasingly interested in the project's potential. Ultimately, Glesser and Spyderco formally embraced the project and the ARK was born.

Based on its intended purpose, the ARK needed to be small, lightweight, easily carried, and 100% rustproof. It also needed to provide an exceptionally secure grip and be easy to wield with minimal skills and training. With these criteria in mind, the heart of the ARK is its deeply curved clip-point blade ground from H1 steel—a nitrogen-based alloy that is completely immune to rust. The curved edge and deep hollow grind ensure exceptional edge geometry and pack as much edge length as possible into the compact blade. The clip profile lowers the blade tip closer to the knife's centerline for efficient energy transfer during a thrust and provides a strong, extremely sharp point.

Although original prototypes of the ARK had full tangs, textured G10 scales, and an index-finger groove, the grip they offered was still not adequate for use with wet, soapy hands. Spyderco therefore decided to invest in the tooling to mold a fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) handle directly onto the blade's tang. An FRN handle allowed the use of Spyderco's proven Bi-Directional Texturing pattern, which provides unparalleled grip control even when wet.

To ensure convenient, universal carry with any style of clothing (including none at all) the logical choice was to equip the ARK with a neck sheath. After initial prototyping in Kydex, Spyderco designed an injection-molded polymer sheath that holds the knife securely when inverted, provides an exceptionally quick draw, and is completely immune to water and corrosion. The sheath is purposely wide to lay flat under clothing and keep the knife consistently oriented for a reliable, predictable draw. A rustproof breakaway ball chain easily supports the weight of the knife and resists the force of a rapid draw stroke, but cannot be turned against the wearer as a choking weapon like the paracord lanyards found on many neck knives. Best of all, the ARK and its sheath together weigh only 2 ounces (57 grams), so you'll hardly know it's there—until you need it.

Although the first-generation ARK sheath functioned well, to further increase retention during vigorous activity, Spyderco redesigned it to incorporate an integral retention tab. This tab keeps the knife locked in the sheath during carry, yet can be quickly released with the index finger to facilitate a rapid draw. For joggers and other folks with active lifestyles, this ensures that the ARK will stay securely in place while remaining quickly available when you need it most.

The ARK is a truly unique personal-defense tool that will surely find favor far beyond its intended audience. Shirley and Owens did an outstanding job of driving their vision forward and making it a reality and Spyderco is honored to be involved in this worthy project.
  • Blade Length: 2.5"
  • Cutting Edge: 2.1"
  • Overall Length: 4.98"
  • Blade Style: Clip Point
  • Blade Grind: Hollow
  • Blade Material: H1 Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN)
  • Sheath: Injection-Molded Polymer
  • Weight: 2 oz.
  • Made in Japan
Made in Japan
Made in Japan
The exotic steel Capital of the World, Japan produces and innovates some of the best products, from pocket to kitchen knives and everything in between.
Zytel Handles
Zytel Handles
A nylon polymer that is lightweight and extremely durable, Zytel can be shaped and textured to provide excellent grip.
3.667 (3 reviews)
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
4 out of 5
Dec 29, 2017
Pros: Blade Material, Blade Sharpness, Handle Material, Weight, Overall Quality, None
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard
Beyond sharp, new sheath design awkward
You’ll be surprised at how tiny this little guy is, even after reading the dimensions on paper. That’s a good thing for concealment. Mine arrived ludicrously sharp. It looks and feels like most other Seki-made Spydercos made with H1 alloy and FRN handles. The redesigned sheath is certainly secure but as others have said, may be hard to use if your adrenaline is pumping and you are (God forbid) being attacked. The knife is difficult to reinsert into the sheath and the fit is so tight that I’m seeing new, permanent scratches on the blade from insertion every time I take the knife out. Great knife, fair price. It literally will not rust and is mega sharp, so I have no complaints about the blade. This little guy would be perfect if Sal & company would just do a basic kydex sheath with nice clicky retention. The included sheath is certainly secure! Just almost a bit too secure. For the price, I still think it’s fair. This knife would be fantastic for cyclists, bikers, joggers etc. Just practice sheathing and unsheathing it under duress so you know what to expect. Still a very good value.
5 out of 5
Jun 19, 2017
Pros: Blade Material, Finish, Handle Material, Weight, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
Cons: None
I own several "neck knives" and this is the first one I've owned that I feel comfortable wearing on a daily basis. This is the only one that thinned down the handle so that it doesn't bulge out. It's light and thin and best of all it's got a spyderhole!The sheath seemed a bit cumbersome at first, but a little practice resolved that.I'm very satisfied.
2 out of 5
Feb 08, 2017
Pros: Blade Material, Handle Material, Weight, Overall Quality
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard, None
New Sheath is a Fail
Good luck getting the knife out of the sheath when you're scared. The original sheath had retention problems (knife fell out). They went overboard in the other direction with the new one.
Loading Reviews


Subscribe to our Newsletter for exclusive offers!