Chaparral Vs Native 5?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by irons, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. irons


    Oct 19, 2018
    Was thinking that after Xmas I'd buy one of these two knives. I'm not bothered about the small difference in size too much.
    But was wanting to know peoples thoughts on the ergonomics and the blade steels (s30v vs cts-xhp) I've heard the steels are similar, but would like the opinions of guys in the know. Thanks.
  2. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    I've owned a Native 5. The ergos are great to me, but there are folks who say it doesn't agree with them. Part of it is you have to use the forward choil for a comfortable grip. But it's a great little work knife. Nice solid grip. The Chaparral strikes me more as a dress knife or for EDC, it's small, slim and slicey.
  3. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    Chaparral is a better slicer but the native 5 is more polyvalent

    I think if you are in an office / urban environment the chaparral may be a better companion

    I like more substantial blades so I would pick the native 5
    Actually I am planning to by one in 2020
  4. vintagebob

    vintagebob Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 2, 2019
    The Chaparral is smaller and thinner. To me, the biggest difference is the back lock key. Since the Chaparral key is noticeably smaller and thinner (see last pic) it tends to be just a little more difficult and uncomfortable to operate.

    I would say, for a gentlemen's carry that won't be used very often I would go with the Chaparral but if you plan to use the knife a lot I would stick with the Native 5 since it will be more comfortable to operate multiple times.

    I would not get hung up on the steel differences...



  5. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    OP, you are going to get a lot of opinions on your question. It's probably best to try to handle each and see which one you like the most.

    I have had a Native and it was "meh" to me. I also have a Chaparral CF and I really like it. Native sold, Chaparral kept. I prefer the steel on the Chaparral, it's size & weight, and how it feels in my large hands as compared to the Native. YMMV.
    sodak, BenjaminRush and vintagebob like this.
  6. irons


    Oct 19, 2018
    Thanks everyone. As I do work in an office, and it's purely for EDC I'm leaning towards the Chapparal. I have a couple of s30v knives, so it might be good to try the cts-xhp steel.
    Living in the UK walking into a local store and trying them out isn't really an option. I could order both and then return one I suppose. Thanks again.
    vintagebob and on_the_edge like this.
  7. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    I like the clip better(one screw vs 3 and the wire looks cheaper) and larger size of the Native, but I like larger knives since I am in the US of A.
    vintagebob likes this.
  8. BenjaminRush

    BenjaminRush Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2015
    I like both, but kept the Chaparral. I personally prefer the wire clip, and the ergos work a bit better for me. I love how slim and slicey it is, and I think XHP is a better steel than S30V.

    That biggest difference I perceived in hand though was that the Native 5 was noticeably thicker (or probably more appropriately the Chap was significantly thinner).
    orangejoe35 likes this.
  9. P2P

    P2P Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    If I carried only one knife, I’d choose native.

    I always have a big folder on me, so I’d choose the the chaparral as a compliment to my bigger folders.
    nephron likes this.
  10. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I just got my first Native 5 (Maxamet) and I like it because the handle is THICKER than the Delica. I love the Delica but wish the handle was thicker more like the Endura.

    What the Chaparral has going for it is the thinness. Very thin blade (which is always my first preference) . . . thinness of handle (which is good in the pocket but I think I would not like in hand). I don't have one but perhaps someday I will give in.

    As far as s30v vs cts-xhp I say CTS-XHP all day over the S30V. I have and use the latter but XHP I have a lot of faith in from actual experience doing some crazy stuff like shaving rough burs off steel parts which I do all the time with it. Mild steel parts now and a wide angle edge profile but still. I don't think S30V would put up with that very well at all to the point of never having tried it.

    Bottom line : I think the idea of the Chaparral is really great but every time I get to the brink of pulling the trigger on one I realize it's probably not the knife for me.

    For instance I now have a Spyderco with a VERY thin blade that fills the role of the Chaparral and it looks like this. With this Franken knife in hand I can't rationalize buying the Chaparral. Kind of sad in a way but there it is. Yuuuup that's a HAP-40 blade.
    marcus52AR likes this.
  11. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Yes the wire clip is just fine. High quality hardened wire . . . no problem.
  12. David Richardson

    David Richardson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2018
    Agree that it would be best if you could hold both of them. While similar in size they're quite different in the hand and somewhat different on the pocket. The Native is quite a bit more stout. There's no office task I would come across that the Chaparral wouldn't handle well. For harder use you may want the Native. I like them both.

    The Raffir Noble Chap is probably my favorite office carry knife. Some people don't care for it.
  13. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    More thoughts and things to think about :
    Note in VintageBob's excellent photos how the blade edge on the Native when open drops well below the handle. I think that is a really good design for actual use; at least it is for me.

    Note in VintageBob's excellent photos of the Chaparral the nice lines and the over all finished way the handle blends into the blade when the knife is closed. That is just freekin' ELEGANT and very satisfying for me to look at.

    I think if I had a Chaparral I would mostly hold it with my thumb on one side of the handle and my index finger on the opposite side of the handle. It would be brilliant in that grip.
    One photo is worth a bunch of typing.
    This is obviously my Native 5 but the grip I would use often on the Chaparral.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  14. ucfgrad93


    Dec 13, 2017
    I love my Native 5. It practically disappears in my pocket.
  15. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Agreed, the thicker handle isn't a problem.
    PS : but I got the Native only for the Maxamet; if that blade was sandwiched between two tongue depressors I probably still would have ordered it. :rolleyes: :D
    The Native is good stuff though. ;)
  16. spydercoke


    Nov 15, 2019
    I'm a big fan of both Native 5 and Chaparral. I have 6 Chaparrals and 4 Natives. If I have to make a choice, it will be the Chaparral. It has a very efficient design with a 3.6 inch handle holding a 2.8 inch blade. While Native 5 is a stronger blade, Chaparral is a better choice for EDC and daily light-duty tasks due to its shorter handle and extremely thin profile. More importantly, its 2mm thick blade stock makes it a much better slicer.
  17. David Richardson

    David Richardson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2018
    You have me beat. I have 3 Chaps and 2 Natives. My Maxamet Native gets a lot of use.
  18. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Oh no . . . you've got me thinking it might not be too extravagant to have my thin Delica AND a Chaparral.
    Dang it . . .
  19. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I just did a hundred mile an hour research foray on the Chaparral (just to be sure).
    Again :rolleyes:
    What threw me over the fence was how much I love my Spyderco UKPK in spite of how thin the handle is ! ! !
    Not a fan of the S110V but am a HUGE fan of the CTS-XHP (better for polished push cutting edges which is my thing).
    I had nothing in mind for a Christmas present for my self ; I have everything (except for stuff that isn't available anywhere) . . . with that in mind and after taking three knives off my save for later shopping cart that were just whims sitting there . . . I squeeeeezed that trigger and she's on her way (well soon I hope).
    :mad: You're all a dambed bunch of enablers that's all I'm saying.
    ( :):thumbsup::thumbsup: )

    My lovely (how nice it is to use) UKPK
  20. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    I have one N5, and two Chaparrals (FRN and Raffir). The raffir chaparral gets the most pocket time. The handle of the raffir chaparral is almost 1mm thicker than the FRN, and it feels like more than that. The CF chaparral is between the FRN and raffir in handle thickness. And the raffir would look more dressy in an office environment.
    colin.p and vintagebob like this.

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