Para 3 Action?

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Jan 28, 2016
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In looking to purchase my first knife over $100 I ordered a Para 3 Lightweight because of the incredible reviews it receives from seemingly everyone.

I love the size of the knife and the sharpness, but the opening/closing action on it is awful. It's somewhat difficult to thumb open and if you try to use the compression lock to open or close it with one hand, it's impossible - the blade won't budge no matter how hard I flick my wrist. I thought I might just need to work with it for a while to get it loosened up. It's been over a week and it's still just as stiff as when I got it.

For comparison I tried a Sage 5 (same compression lock) and the one hand opening/closing on it using the compression lock is silky smooth. Completely open with a slight flick of the wrist and immediately drops when you press the compression lock.

After reading all the amazing reviews for the Para 3 I'm thinking I may have just gotten a "bad apple" with mine.

Has anyone else had the same problem with the Para 3 (BD1N)?

I really thought the Para 3 LW would be the standout when I was looking at the Sage 5, Bugout, Mini Griptilian, and the Mini Bugout for my first $100+ EDC, but right now because of the horrible action (leading to low fidget fun factor) it's bring up the rear.

Thanks for any help!

TripleB67
 
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Joined
Mar 24, 2020
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I dontbhave a para 3.
Yet all my compression locks have a fantastic action.

Try loosening the pivot screw a little and some oil.
I think you just need to dial in the sweet spot.
 

StoneAndSteel

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Feb 24, 2019
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I LOVE the Para3. But my Para3 LW doesn’t have nearly as smooth of an action as my regular Para3 or my ParaMilitary2’s. I’ve fiddled with the pivot screw and it doesn’t seem to be able to “get there” the way the normal Para3 does. I still like the LW, but won’t be buying another.
 
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Sounds like the pivot is tightened down too much. Try loosening it by a few mm turn.

Try loosening the pivot screw a little and some oil.
I think you just need to dial in the sweet spot.

Thank you for these recommendations!!!

I LOVE the Para3. But my Para3 LW doesn’t have nearly as smooth of an action as my regular Para3 or my ParaMilitary2’s. I’ve fiddled with the pivot screw and it doesn’t seem to be able to “get there” the way the normal Para3 does. I still like the LW, but won’t be buying another.

Thanks for letting me know that...it's good to hear the regular Para 3 (PM2) doesn't have this problem. Unfortunately can't go up to the cost of the regular Para 3 with my budget.

I figured "lighter" knifes might have more of a problem with the flick opening (not as much mass in the blade) but the Sage 5, which is almost the exact same weight as the Para 3 LW, and even the Bugout from Benchmade, had silky smooth one hand opening/closing.

I appreciate each of you taking time to respond.

TripleB67
 
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Yeah, just loosen the pivot and if that doesn't work, send it back.

My Para 3 LW has as good or better action than my G10 Para 3's.
 

StoneAndSteel

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Feb 24, 2019
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My Para 3 LW has as good or better action than my G10 Para 3's.

Yeah, my LW could certainly be an anomaly and it's not so bad that I want to send it in. But my two Para3's both have better actions.

good to hear the regular Para 3 (PM2) doesn't have this problem. Unfortunately can't go up to the cost of the regular Para 3 with my budget.

I completely understand that--my knife budget has been $0 for years... somehow I still end up buying knives... weird. But if your budget every DOES allow for the Para3 or PM2, they are both fantastic knives.
 

NWPM2

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Jan 30, 2019
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I don't have any experience with a Para 3 LW, but I do have several compression lock Spydercos. Some have been a little tight and others have had drop shutty actions. If adding a small drop of oil to the washers didn't loosen things up, I would also adjust the pivot on all of the ones that were tight. One or both of those things "fixed" them all. Some were a little more finicky that others. By finicky, I mean that a very small adjustment of the pivot screw to the left made the action perfect and a very small turn to the right made the action tight.

Some models had a little more leeway on the pivot tension than others, but I've managed to get the action to where I wanted on all of them. Once I got the knives to where I wanted, I took the pivot screw out, added a little bit of blue loctite, and put the screw back in at the same tension. I'll usually let the loctite set up for a day or more so that the pivot screw won't move when I do use the knife.

I believe the Para 3 LW only has one washer so I'm not sure if you'd put a drop of oil on both sides or just the washer side. Either way, I'm sure you could get the action you wanted if you made some small adjustments to the pivot.

I personally use the stubby Wiha driver with Wiha bits. I find that the easiest to use to make very small adjustments on the pivot.
 
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Sounds like the pivot is tightened down too much. Try loosening it by a few mm turn.

I did this and it works very well now. Almost as silky smooth as the Sage 5 LW.

Another question for everyone:

How much better is the S30V blade (Sage 5 LW) than the BD1N (Para 3 LW) steel?

As a side note, both blades cut smoother than the Bugout, Grip, and Mini Grip.

Thanks!

TripleB67
 
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Nov 8, 2020
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I did this and it works very well now. Almost as silky smooth as the Sage 5 LW.

Another question for everyone:

How much better is the S30V blade (Sage 5 LW) than the BD1N (Para 3 LW) steel?

As a side note, both blades cut smoother than the Bugout, Grip, and Mini Grip.

Thanks!

TripleB67
Glad to see you fixed your Para 3. I was going to suggest loosening the pivot slightly. My Para 3 LW has a perfect action, but I have heard generally the G10 is more consistently smoother. Makes sense when you look at how each is built.

Variables in heat treat etc. aside, S30V should be a slight improvement in edge retention, but slightly worse for toughness and ever so slightly worse for corrosion resistance. BD1N should be a lot easier to sharpen unless you have diamond stones or SiC. In real world use, I doubt any of these factors would be noticeable in most cases except for possibly ease of sharpening depending on what system you use.
 
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Variables in heat treat etc. aside, S30V should be a slight improvement in edge retention, but slightly worse for toughness and ever so slightly worse for corrosion resistance. BD1N should be a lot easier to sharpen unless you have diamond stones or SiC. In real world use, I doubt any of these factors would be noticeable in most cases except for possibly ease of sharpening depending on what system you use.

I appreciate that comparison between the steels...for someone who's never owned a $100+ knife, I think you're correct in the fact that I won't be able to notice a difference!

My choice for my first $100+ knife has come down to the Para 3 LW, the Sage 5 LW, and the Benchmade Bugout - all three have their advantages!

For anyone: one of the choices for the Para 3 LW is the Black DLC BD1N blade...how well with the black on this blade hold up to use/sharpening before the black gets scratched up and I would be wishing I went with the regular satin colored blade?

Thanks again for everyone's help!

TripleB67
 

winnerone23

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Feb 16, 2012
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I've Had my share of BM and Have my share of Spyderco's. I buy BM's to sit on a shelf(currently only 2 left) and EDC Spyderco's.
A majority of my EDC rotation, is DLC Spyderco's and I work construction.
The DLC from Spyderco will last years of use. It doesn't scratch off..
 

Ajack60

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Apr 21, 2013
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I appreciate that comparison between the steels...for someone who's never owned a $100+ knife, I think you're correct in the fact that I won't be able to notice a difference!

My choice for my first $100+ knife has come down to the Para 3 LW, the Sage 5 LW, and the Benchmade Bugout - all three have their advantages!

For anyone: one of the choices for the Para 3 LW is the Black DLC BD1N blade...how well with the black on this blade hold up to use/sharpening before the black gets scratched up and I would be wishing I went with the regular satin colored blade?

Thanks again for everyone's help!

TripleB67


It will all depend on what you do with your knife as to how well the DLC will hold up. Of the ones I use, I’ve got one with scratches and one that has a worn look with no scratches. IMO, a stonewashed/satin finish will blend most light personality marks better than DLC.
 

353

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Feb 20, 2015
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Sold my PM3LWM390 pretty fast.

Washer on only on side made my specimen impossible to adjust without gettint side to side bladeplay.
 

Evany

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May 7, 2007
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The Bugout, despite being roughly the same size closed, has significantly more cutting edge. It's also quite a bit lighter than your other choices. The light weight comes at the expense of some rigidity, but the Bugout is one of my personal favorites.
 

Sigsog226

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Dec 3, 2013
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Dlc holds up very well. It will start to look dirty and scuffed up rather quickly, but I've found wiping it off with magic eraser and rinse with water will bring it back to almost new rather quickly. The coating pretty much never goes away or chips off unless it rubs/scratches against sapphire/diamond, or the steel gets scratched so deep that it removes metal in my experience with it.
 

Sigsog226

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PXL_20210206_220217975.jpg PXL_20210206_220202389.jpg PXL_20210206_220338152.jpg PXL_20210206_220247944.jpg Purple Cruwear-new condition/not used

Red 20cv- used light-moderate for maybe 2 months worth

Black bd1n-used at least 5days a week for about a year. 6 months in construction like environment. This pic is right after I cleaned it. I'll try and find an old one with it scuffed up.

Black xhp- is just to show the bare steel at the plunge lines of the grind(above the finger choil). This was from it rubbing and scraping across a sharpening rod I was told(I bought it used).

So even the marks you see on the black bd1n para 3 near the edge, are actually still black, just a little shiny now. Dlc/pvd is pretty much bonded on to the blade steel(think infused to the surface of the blade). Where cerakote/duracoat/most Benchmade coatings, are a coating that covers the blade, like a fancy ceramic based paint.
 
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A majority of my EDC rotation, is DLC Spyderco's and I work construction.
The DLC from Spyderco will last years of use. It doesn't scratch off..

Glad to hear that...where I work I can't carry a knife and when I am able to carry my EDC (after work, weekends, when I retire soon) I more than likely won't be using it for any major cutting such as construction. Hearing that it doesn't scratch off may have just made my decision as to which knife to go with. Love the look of the all black Para 3 LW. Thanks for the input!

It will all depend on what you do with your knife as to how well the DLC will hold up. Of the ones I use, I’ve got one with scratches and one that has a worn look with no scratches. IMO, a stonewashed/satin finish will blend most light personality marks better than DLC.

The DLC black look may be like my black car...nothing prettier when it's new and/or clean, but when it gets dirty it looks a mess! I appreciate the input!

The Bugout, despite being roughly the same size closed, has significantly more cutting edge. It's also quite a bit lighter than your other choices. The light weight comes at the expense of some rigidity, but the Bugout is one of my personal favorites.

I really like a lot about the Bugout: the Axis lock, how it disappears in my pocket, how I don't even know I'm carrying it because of the light weight, the long cutting edge, etc. One thing that bugs (no pun intended) is the thumb studs. My (well, now my sons) Rat 2 had perfect thumb studs (IMO) - perfect size, perfect placement, perfect shape, etc. So I compare all thumb stud knives to it and the Bugout's thumb studs (for me) aren't quite large enough, don't stick out far enough, and don't have enough room between them and the handle making it tough for me to get my pudgy thumb in there easily.

Maybe it's because I'm used to the thumb hole but deployment is so much easier for me with the thumb hole. The Spyderco's, for me, with their compression lock have a much higher fun fidget factor...I couldn't open and close them with the compression lock (or the hole) and enjoy it a lot more than opening/closing the Bugout. If I ever need the lightness of something like the Bugout I feel like I can just carry my Dragonfly 2 for all the lightweight tasks I typically have to perform with my knives.

I appreciate the input...I can see why the Bugout is so popular. When I first tried it I didn't care much for it at all but the more I got used to it I really like a lot about it.

Thank you for your input!!!

Dlc holds up very well. It will start to look dirty and scuffed up rather quickly, but I've found wiping it off with magic eraser and rinse with water will bring it back to almost new rather quickly. The coating pretty much never goes away or chips off unless it rubs/scratches against sapphire/diamond, or the steel gets scratched so deep that it removes metal in my experience with it.

That's fantastic to hear! I was really worried that if I got the black blade it would get scratched up immediately and then I'd be wishing I'd went with the satin blade...even though I think the black (for me) looks like a sharper knife in use. Thanks for the tip about using the magic eraser...that will definitely come in handy!

I appreciate the help!

Black bd1n-used at least 5days a week for about a year. 6 months in construction like environment. This pic is right after I cleaned it. I'll try and find an old one with it scuffed up.

So even the marks you see on the black bd1n para 3 near the edge, are actually still black, just a little shiny now. Dlc/pvd is pretty much bonded on to the blade steel(think infused to the surface of the blade).

WOW - those are some beautiful knives!!! Incredible, 5 days a week for 6 months in construction? That says/shows a lot in that one pic!

After seeing those pics you may have just made my mind up for me - I've got a Para 3 LW with the black DLC blade coming in on Monday...if the centering is spot on like the Sage 5 LW I'm trying it if it's action is as good as the Sage 5 LW I've been trying or the Para 3 LW with the satin blade after I adjust it, I think it just may be "the one."

Such a beautiful knife and if it will hold that look for a long time I'm not sure I can find a better knife for the price to fit all my needs!!!

Thank you for taking the time to post the pics and to explain how each knife had been used...it really is a tremendous help!!!!!

TripleB67
 
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pcguy23

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Jan 14, 2014
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708
I own both the para 3 lw and the sage 5 lw
Two of each actually
Both of the Sage's have outstanding actions and with the pivot pushing in the lw model I find the action the best of any compression locks I own or have owned with out having to touch the pivot to tune it
With a Casey Lynch wire clip replacement, the Sage finds its way into my pocket most often.
I keep a manbug in zdp189 loose in my other pocket for daily cutting chores, talk about a small knife that can take abuse!!
When you start thinking about your next spyderco, which I'm sure will happen, I recommend the Sage 5 lw as another knife that won't break the budget
Just my thoughts
 
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Jan 28, 2016
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I own both the para 3 lw and the sage 5 lw
Two of each actually
With a Casey Lynch wire clip replacement, the Sage finds its way into my pocket most often.
I keep a manbug in zdp189 loose in my other pocket for daily cutting chores, talk about a small knife that can take abuse!!
When you start thinking about your next spyderco, which I'm sure will happen, I recommend the Sage 5 lw as another knife that won't break the budget

Thanks for information...so the Sage 5 LW is definitely your choice between the Sage 5 LW and Para 3 LW, if both had original clips?

Your thoughts on your Manbug sound similar to my thoughts on my Dragonfly 2 - it's been so good I have thought about purchasing another knife until now.

"When you start thinking about your next spyderco, which I'm sure will happen, I recommend the Sage 5 lw as another knife that won't break the budget." So which knife are you recommending I purchase first?

Again, I appreciate your feedback!

TripleB67
 
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