Pros: Overall Quality, Handle Feel, Blade Material, Blade Sharpness, Weight, Handle Material, Lock Type
Cons: Pocket Clip, None
A cut above
Boy, did Spyderco hit the sweet spot on this one! The finish and ergonomics are the best I have ever seen from Spyderco. They have seriously upped their game. Fit and finish are better than my other folders from the same folks. The other ones I own are very good---but this is something elevated to a new standard. In terms of materials and size, the closest Spyderco folder I have to this one is the Native 5, with the same size blade (3") and the same handle material (G10). This Para 3 is immediately more friendly to the hand, and weighs considerably less. This is one of a very few knives I own that I will pocket/clip carry in jeans and in a suit or dress pants. It's amazingly light for a knife with G10 sides and steel liners. The liners are thin, but the knife has plenty of rigidity. Basically, this is a Paramilitary 2, downsized and with ergonomic tweaks (e.g., The G10 is rounded off, not left with very square edges, as on the Paramilitary 2). Yes, I know that Spyderco insists that this is a new model unto itself, and not really the 'Paramilitary 3'. Yadda, Yadda. Frankly, it's a downsized Paramilitary 2, with much better ergonomics. And I mean MUCH better ergonomics. I wear XL or XXL gloves, and this is still comfortable in my hand. Very smooth action, solid lock-up with the compression lock, and easy to close. The blade arrived arm-hair-shaving sharp .and bring made of Crucible's terrific S30V, will hold that edge quite well. This is one of very few folders that I didn't up the sharp level as soon as I received it. Nice. And the flat grind makes it a great slicer. With only moderate pressure, it will push-cut through a corncob. This is one of the best EDC folders I've ever touched. A perfect balance between size and function. It's big and solid enough for tactical use in a pinch, and it's also small enough to fit, completely concealed, into the watch pocket in my jeans. My only complaints? The oversize and massively shiny Spyderco hourglass clip ("look, everyone, I have a knife"), and the high carry that results from placing the clip below the lanyard hole. There are other clips available if you want a deep carry (more like the Native 5 clip, incorporating a hole :/ the clip to accommodate the lanyard hole). As for me, I think I'm ok with the carry fit now--but not the massively shiny clip. I called Spyderco, and they're sending me a black clip (the color that really should be on there in the first place). I called to buy one, and they said "no, no, we'll send it for free." Really impressive customer service. GREAT folder. Buy one.