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Spyderco Native 5

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Alberta Ed, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Picked up a Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight in CPM S35Vn this week and must say I am super impressed with this dandy little cutter. I’ve been eyeing the Native 5 for some time, both the G10 and the FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) light weight versions. Might have gone for the CPM S110V light weight version if I could have found one, but that steel is a lot more challenging to sharpen (speaking of my Military in S110V). Of all the powder steels, I’d have to say S35Vn is my favorite – it seems like my favorite high carbon steel, 52100, in many ways: takes a very fine edge with little effort and holds it a long time; seems very fine grained. The Native family also comes in CPM S90V, CPM S110V, Maxamet (expensive!), DLC coated, plain, serrated or half serrated. Take your pick.

    The Native 5 Lightweight is the latest version of the Native, which was originally introduced in 1997, and has gone through several evolutions since. It weighs 2.5 ounces, practically disappears in my pocket. Benchmade’s Bugout is even lighter, and I had a look at one of those, too, but I have several Axis lock knives (all great!) and haven’t bought a new lockback for some time. I doubt that the half an ounce or so will make much difference.

    The FRN handle has what Spyderco calls Bi-Directional Texturing, and it does work well – I sliced up a soft peach, slippery stuff, when I got home with it and appreciated the good grip. Could have shaved that peach, too; the spear-point blade (full-flat grind, distal taper) came hair-pinging sharp. It is a superb slicer. Nice slight swedge, too.

    The Native has Spyderco’s patented four-position adjustable clip, which I left as is for tip-up, right hand carry, my usual preference, and a nice lanyard hole. The lockback is very smooth and seems extremely strong; it closes easily. There’s a well-placed index finger choil that allows for four finger grip and some useful jimping on the back for your thumb.

    Some people don’t care for so-called “plastic” handles, but FRN is anything but flimsy. If car bodies were made from this stuff a lot of auto body shops would go out of business. You could hammer on it all day and not make a dent. You can also get carbon fiber, G10, or FRN in pink – Spyderco donates part of the sales of its pink Native 5 models to Guardians of the Ribbon, a charity that provides direct support to women battling all forms of cancer.

    Overall, the Native 5 is a highly developed, very utilitarian knife that’s large enough for most everyday cutting tasks, small enough as to be unintimidating even to most sheeple, and light enough to carry just about everywhere. I just may have to pick up a few of the pink ones for the women in my life. My granddaughter’s coming up to the age where she could use one of these. Ten thumbs up.
  2. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    I've been looking at this model for a while. I'd like to have one with liners and cruwear possibly. It sounds like a nice knife though. I need to go and handle one in person as I've been looking for a smaller version to carry besides my old police. It is a little large for the sheeple when out eating and I need a smaller blade to cut a steak or something. Nice review Thanks,
  3. cbrstar


    Sep 7, 2015
    Really nice review. I'm in Alberta to, and I was wondering where you bought your knife from?
    I just recently bought a PM2 from house of knives and I couldn't be happier.
  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    House of Knives in Market Mall in Calgary -- it was marked down. I usually shop at Cutting Edge at the North Hill Shopping Centre on 16th Ave. as they have a better selection and often good sales.
  5. cbrstar


    Sep 7, 2015
    Next time I'm in Calgary I will have to check out Cutting Edge. Edmonton used to have some great shops but they have all disappeared in the last couple of years.
    One nice thing about House of Knives is they price match. If you can find one cheaper in Canada on the internet they will do it. I got them to go down from $230 to $183 on my PM2 because I found one in Ont which was that much cheaper. I think they will re-price match for 30 days after purchase so if you can find a Native 5 cheaper then what you paid they will refund.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018

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