Does the Native Chief feel a bit off to you?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by cbrstar, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    Been wanting a Native Chief since they first came out. But being in Canada it's been a wait for them to become available again.
    Well it was my birthday, and a store 2 hours away actually had one in stock. So I rushed down to get one.

    I love my large Spyderco's I have a few Police and a couple Military's and thought a NC would be perfect.

    But IMHO the knife just didn't feel right at all. It's basically way too curved!

    When I choked up on the choil it felt ok. But when I moved my hand back to the normal position things just felt off. I have fairly large slender hands but my thumb fell short of the jimping. Like I said before the blade felt far too forward and curved.

    The store also had a CF Gayle Bradley in the same price range, which felt right and i'm going back on pay day.

    But anyone else feel the same way about the Native Chief? Is it one of those knives that get better with use? Or should Spyderco be looking at making it a little more straighter?
  2. Enactive


    Nov 30, 2018
    For me, the answer is a resounding NO. Of course we all have different hands and preferences.

    I totally dig the design of the Chief and am eager for Cruwear and LC200n Salt variants. I find the Chief to be supremely excellent ergonomically and in cutting tasks while still being slim in the pocket. I quite enjoy the negative blade angle and the cutting advantages that come with that geometry-- so would not appreciate it "a little more straighter." Since you are happy with your Police and Military models, i don't see a need to mess with the Chief's design.

    Enjoy your Bradley! Cheers.
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  3. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    The Native Chief feels fine to me. On the other hand, the handle on the Empahsis that I recently received does feel a bit too "curved" but not enough for me to be concerned or bothered about.

    Here's a picture of the Native Chief (top) with the Emphasis (center) and Efficient (bottom):



    After I pulled the knives below out to take the photos, I confirmed that the Native Chief fits best in my hand, especially when holding the handle in a natural grip w/my index finger in the handle indentation.

    Both the Emphasis and Efficient however to not feel "good" in my hand unless I have my index finger in the blade choil or my middle finger in the handle indentation and, even so, the handle on the Efficient feels a bit too short to be held in this way.

    When I hold these knives w/my index finger in the handle indentation, the blade points down and is not in a comfortable position for use. You can see that in the curve of the blade/handle together. They actually both feel better when I choke up and hold them w/my index finger in the blade choil, which would be best for closer/more controlled use.

    The Emphasis and Efficient also have a fatter handle (to accommodate the wider blades) and, although I like the wire clip on other knives, I wish they had used the same chrome clip on the Emphasis to match the Efficient, because they are supposed to be members of the same knife "family."

    The Native Chief on the other hand has less of a curvature which keeps the blade tip pointed straight ahead when held in a natural grip and a thinner handle (because it has a thinner blade) which also makes it feel better in my hand and fit better in my pocket. It also has the advantage of using S30V steel (vs 8Cr13Mov in the other knives). So, this is why I like the Native Chief best.

    Liked it so much, I decided to put away my fluted Ti Millie and carry it instead. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  4. Mike45ACP


    Nov 29, 2014
    Love my chief! Fits my hands perfectly! Police, Military, or Chief, if I could only have one it'd be a very hard choice!

  5. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    I guess it's one of those if you use it you will like it sort of things. But the sales clerk at the store mentioned that there was a few people who said the same thing as me, and also passed up on the knife. So I thought I would ask here.
  6. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    See the additional comments and photos that I posted above.
  7. D17A1


    Mar 30, 2019
    I don't think it feels 'off', but it IS one of the knives that I'm more careful when handling. The length of the blade and thinness of the tip sometimes results in making contact with with something (whatever you're piercing) before you THINK you're going to be making contact with that thing...which can be interesting.

    Love the knife though...can't wait for an LC200N version which I will buy immediately.
    cbrstar likes this.
  8. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    So, is native chief a military killer or not? I have 5 millies but none chief. This might change when a limited run of chief comes out.
  9. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Not at all, the Military IMO, is an iconic part of Spyderco not to be rivaled with. Granted, the Chief is ergonomically is a better fit, but that's because the handle is shorter and has a little more curve to it. But, that's just me. I have a medium hand size. I like the design of the knife and if one ever comes out in M4, I'll buy it.
    Here's a pic of the Chief next to a Military. It's not a good comparision of the spine difference, only in size.
    Almost forgot, to answer the OP question, no not at all does it feel off.

    sharp_edge likes this.
  10. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    I have 5 Millies and 5 Police in different variations. And, I'd buy 4 more NC variants, if there were a good reason for me to do so.
  11. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    man those are three good folders. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  12. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    How you describe the Emphasis is almost exactly how I felt about the NC. Might sound weird but it just felt like it was 1/2" too far forward and unbalanced to me but I think I was putting my index finger on the finger groove and not my middle. Imho I don't really see the benefits of a negative blade angle unless your cutting something fast and repeatedly like food.

    When you look at how much the handle is curved on the military. Maybe it's the lack of thumb ramp that's throwing me off so bad?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  13. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    Kinda thought maybe I didn't give it a fair go. Sooo I bought one today. Gonna take a few days to show up. But I think I will like it much better once I start using it.
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  14. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    I m a big fan of the Military. I like the looks of the Chief. I think I ll go down to my b and m store and see if they have one.
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  15. cistercian

    cistercian Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    I hope you like it! I like mine a lot. I try not to pay much attention to what the herd says is a
    great knife...and have made some good buys. The Para 2 is not one of them. I ordered one to see
    what the fuss was and then bought 2 more of them. It is as cool as they say!

    I think the chief is wonderful as a big, light, slicey/stabby blade. And since I love my Lil Native
    I had to own it. Displaying both at one time is epic! The baby knife and the Big One...hilarious!

    My Chief arrived with a stiff to open action, and I thought it was the pivot. It was the tension
    of the lockbar on the blade. The surfaces just needed broken in. I got bitten when I fully pressed
    the lock release and the blade fell FAST on my finger. The cut was very clean, so it healed fast.
    When you get yours be careful to look out for this. Mine has zero blade play yet it falls shut
    like a well loved Para 2.
    If you like big folders that are not heavy the Chief makes lots of sense.
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