We recently put the Spyderco Native5 #EDC knife through it's paces & here's what we learned.
The Spyderco Native5 folding pocket knife by Golden Colorado knife maker, Spyderco, has been around in its’ many various iterations since 1997 and has been a mainstay in the company’s lineup of ‘everyday carry’ knives. The 5th generation of the Native, aptly called the Native5, carries on the tradition of user-friendly & useable blades. With that in mind, we took the Native5 out for several weeks of Basin & Range Field Testing to get to know the knife and the Colorado company that makes it.
The 5th major iteration of the Native has some variations within its’ own lineup, so it’s worth mentioning that the model we’re testing is the C41PBK5 which means that the knife includes a fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle, a plain (non-serrated) edge and Crucible Steel’s S35VN hardened, sintered, wear and corrosion resistant stainless steel. Not a bad combination of characteristics.
- Blade length: 2.95″
- Overall length: 6.95″
- Closed length: 4.0″
- Weight: 2.5 oz.
- Blade material: CPM-S35VN
- Handle material: FRN
- Locking mechanism: Lock Back
- Country of origin: Golden, Colorado, USA
- MSRP: $140
Since a knife’s blade is really where the rubber meets the road so let’s start our reviewing here. The Spyderco Native5’s blade is full flat-ground and comes to a well manicured spear tipped point. At roughly 3″ in blade length, the ~2.4″ cutting edge and 0.125″ thickness bely Crucible’s efforts in creating a premium grade knife steel. It’s worth noting that the steel is so expensive that it along strongly affects the price of the knife and is largely used in many higher-end knives. Buck for instance, calls it the “absolute best blade steel available.” Not a bad letter of recommendation. Conveniently for the owner, it’s also easily sharpenable then many other stainless steels blades in it’s class.
If you like knowing you have the best of the best, but are shy about spending heaps of cash of other more expensive custom knives, then the Native5 comes through in spades here.
Feel in Hand
They wouldn’t call it an EDC if it couldn’t be used every day which is why it is important to discuss how usable this knife is, how it feels to use, and how well it carries. The Spyderco Native5 combines enough desirable characteristics to come through our B&R Field Test as a capable, comfortable, and usable every day knife. At only 2.5 ounces, the knife feels like to hold onto and carry and is well balanced for a back-locking unit. The scaly design of the FRN handle grips the skin well and easily gives you the leverage against the knife you need to open the blade using the tried and true Spyderco trademark thumb hole. While in pocket, the knife is kept in place using a classic bent spring clip and is attractive and simple enough in its’ design to be unobtrusive, functional and minimalist. Likewise, the back-lock style locking mechanism performs with an assuredly positive click once the blade is completely opened – allowing for “eyes off” & tactile use of the knife. It’s neither too hard nor too soft to engage and Spyderco has really perfected this locking mechanism style.
Basin & Range Field Test:
So what is a knife review without some actual real world testing? To bring you the goods, we decided to carry the knife every day (get it!) as our primary EDC for just over 2 weeks to gave it a solid workout along the way. Because the blade was already blisteringly sharp right out of box, we refrained from sharpening it any further once we opened it up. Throughout the couple of weeks, we performed the usual standard tasks that most would of us conduct during every day use. These included cutting rope, opening packages, some occasional minor food prep, and whatever else just came to mind.
The full flat-ground shape of the blade made the most of most any task we through at it. Cutting garlic into thin slices? Check. Need a paring knife? Check. Unboxing the latest shipment from Amazon? Check. Likewise, the FRN handle made for a positive, lock tight grip even when wet.
At the end of our two weeks we went back and double checked the blade’s remaining sharpness and found that the Spyderco Native5 with S35VN held up super well and put up with every task we wrung it through. The sharpness of the knife seemed held up extremely well with the blade still performing about well as when we unboxed it.
The Native5 is a super bargain for a great quality knife, especially when you factor in the stainless steel used to make it. It’s high-end without being too precious. It’s basic without being intentionally retro. It’s priced at a point where you don’t have to panic if it ends up lost. It’s durable without being too heavy. Its traditional though modern. And did we mention that it’s made in America? Golden, Colorado to be exact. Something that not all knife makers can say these days.
In the end we found the Spyderco Native5 to be a perfect all around knife – fit for duty in the backcountry, on the trail, at the office, at home and even in the kitchen.