1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Spyderco Native 5 Performance Testing and Review.

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Ankerson, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    I ran the Native 5 through my full testing process on rope, cardboard and wood. I reprofiled the edge to 30 degrees inclusive on my Edge Pro finish off with the 400 Grit SIC Congress stone then stropping to remove the burr on a SIC loaded strop.

    The edge wasn't touched once the testing began as per my process of testing.

    First up was the rope, I made 80 slicing cuts through 5/8" Manila Rope, Manila rope is very hard on the edges and found nothing but normal edge wear going on, the knife would still slice paper easy after the rope.


    This is the edge after the rope cutting stage, a few small shiny spots, but nothing out of the ordinary from what I have seen in the past testing other knives and steels.



    Next up is the cardboard cutting, I cut up 3 large TP boxes and the knife would still slice paper easy and clean, note the edge wasn't touched after the rope.




    Last was the wood cutting, I whittled wood taking thin and thick slices out and then really pushed the edge twisting and torquing the edge while cutting, saw no issues and the knife still will slice paper clean.




    The Native 5 performed extremely well and S35VN seems to be a very good steel based on my testing, Spyderco did an excellent job with it. With all the questions about S35VN lately all I can say is it performed well in my testing of the Native 5 and it and the NAtive 5 is highly recommended by me.
  2. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Nice review, Jim. Excellent illustrative pictures, as well.

    My experience matches yours. I did a side-by-side comparison of a Native5 vs a Buck Vantage Pro in S30V slicing manila rope. I couldn't tell the difference in edge retention performance. I'm aware of the brouhaha about the performance of S35VN. Based on my observations, not to mention yours, Spyderco did a good job with it and it is fair dinkum stuff with edge retention performance very similar to that of S30V.
  3. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

    Thanks Frank.

    Seems to be a lot like S30V edge retention wise to me also based on my testing also, the Mules and this N5.
  4. Mike157

    Mike157 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Thanks for the review Jim, I always enjoy them and find them informative. What I particularly like about this review is that I already have the Native 5 so I'm not experiencing that terrible emptiness and craving and possible loss of funds that comes as a result of many of your reviews.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  5. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Thanks Mike.
  6. JNewell

    JNewell Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Really great review, thanks. I had looked at the N5 and thought it looked good on paper but not necessarily anything special. After reading your various posts I might try to find the free cash to buy one. :thumbup:
  7. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    It really is a very nice knife. :)
  8. Reeek


    Aug 16, 2008
    Excellent, Jim - thank you very much . . .
  9. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Great review as always Jim now you've got me wanting a native-5. You really went through some rope and a truck full of cardboard. :eek: Keep it up and you'll have arms like the hulk. :D:thumbup:
  10. presz

    presz Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    Great review!
    I'd love to see how well the ZT 0550 compares. Is the blade thin enough for you to test?
  11. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

    Yeah I tested the 0551 in ELMAX.
  12. Taonari


    Jun 25, 2011
    Great work Jim. Always enjoy your tests. They are well thought out and fair. :thumbup:
  13. streicher708


    Mar 6, 2006
    Great review! Thanks for taking the time to do it, great pics.
  14. Nemo


    Oct 16, 1998
    Great work on that tests, Jim. :)
  15. Algonquin


    Jun 17, 2008
    Great work Jim!
    I looked forward to the release of the Native 5, but then I heard the problems with the S35VN. I was even planning to purchase the PPT instead. After looking at your video I had another look at the N5 and picked it up the other night. I'm glad I did as I find the ergos on this knive to be amazing. Sal must have the same sized hand as I do!
  16. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    Nice review, good pics! I would like to like this knife, but what holds me back is - too much handle/choil to actual cutting edge. I would love it if Spyderco could moderate its love affair with edge-eating choils.

  17. Noctis3880

    Noctis3880 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    They did okay in that regard on the Para2. Though I didn't see much of a point for it on the Moran Featherweight simply because the choil wasn't well-shaped to put a finger in there without the risk of having the finger slip onto the blade. Though I think it has more to do with the shape of the blade rather than the choil. I prefer something more upswept like the Para2 and Moran as opposed to the Native and Manix. Also makes me a bit sad that I didn't pick up the Chinook. Though hopefully the upcoming M390 Military will fit me well.
  18. barrabas74


    Jul 27, 2005
    Ankerson, your costing me too much money! Excellent review with real world use. I like this new version of the Native and was really tempted by it as I do not yet have a S35vn blade. Now I must have one...specifically this one.
  19. edgeobserver


    Apr 9, 2011
    Great review. I've been looking at this knife for a little while and think you may have just sold me one. Thanks, I look forward to checking out your next.
  20. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Older thread, but since my new son-n-law has one of these that I touched up on a Shapton 2k glass bench stone for him, I was pretty pleased at how well it took an edge, and your review adds to that fact, mine should arrive this week ;)

    Thanks again for all your reviews!

Share This Page