If you are looking for the holy grail of EDC knives, then you should make it a point to read the Spyderco Native 5 review. On paper, the Native 5 looks like a truly awesome knife. Its light weight and small footprint make it a great EDC. The featuring of the trademark S30V steel is made from the finest knife-making steel that money can buy. But all that glitters is not gold. That goes for the S30V steel as well. Let us take a closer look at Spyderco’s Native 5 knife.
The Native 5 represents an American revolution in American knife-making. This is due to its bold G10 handle and nitrogen-hardened CPM S35VN blade.
.The Native 5 is Spyderco’s first production folder made using Crucible Inc. powdered technology CPM S35VN steel. Its flat-ground blade is PlainEdged with a weight reducing spine-swedge made using CPM S35VN. Niobium makes steel tougher while improving its resistance to wear and chipping. It also offers improved edge retention over basic smelted high-chromium steels.
Spyderco’s Native 5 showcases the maturation of American knife-making techniques and how today’s modern folders are sharper, smoother and better performing knives than their early back lock predecessors.
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Spyderco Native 5 Review: All Details At a Glance
- Made using materials of the highest quality
- Tested for durability and quality
- The most trusted name in your cutlery needs
- Clip which goes four ways
- David Boye dent
- Enables jimping of spine and choil
- Screw-together construction
- Handle of G-10
- Flat-ground blade
- Fore more information refer to the product page on Amazon
- Blade length of 3 inches
- Closed length of 4 inches
- Overall length of 6-7/8 inches
- Made in Golden, Colorado, USA
- Product dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 inches
- Weight of 4.8 ounces
- Shipping weight of 5.6 ounces
The Native FRN is a lockback folding knife with molded FRN grips, no liners, and a reversible tip-up pocket clip. The S30V spear-point blade is 1/8″ thick and 3.125″ long, with a 2.625″ cutting edge and a fairly deep hollow grind. It is available in both plain-edged and combination-edge models.
.The Native 5 has a lovely spear-point blade which has been made from premium S30V steel. The first inch or so of the blade has a false reverse edge. It is usually advertised by knife makers to save weight. But in my opinion, I do not think that it is true. This is because it hardly weighs a few grams. So removing it would not reduce the weight of the knife significantly. Most probably it has been added for a better penetrating ability. The reverse edge is just flattened enough to not be considered a dirk or dagger.
The tip is quite sharp. It has gotten a decent bit of drop to ensure good control. This makes it great for cutting delicate shapes from construction paper. It is also amazingly good at digging out splinters. However, it may be vulnerable to snapping off if you are slightly careless with it.
Spyderco Native 5 knife is a fairly small knife but with a good grip. The blade has a forward finger choil which forces your hand into choking up on the blade as shown here. The grips have a second choil for your middle finger. The indentation in the pocket clip is perfectly shaped and located to conform to the ball of your middle finger, and the spine of the blade has some aggressive jimping.
All of this adds up to deliver an extremely secure and comfortable grip on the knife, as long as you don’t put it to heavy use. The best part according to me is the David Boye dent on the locking lever. Regardless of how hard I crushed it, it still prevented the knife from closing in on my hand.
.The tip-up pocket clip does its job perfectly. It holds the knife securely in place and lets you draw it out without much effort on your part. However, it is not a deep-carry clip. When it is also clipped into your packet, the knife has a tendency to poke at your other belongings.
However, both these problems were easily solved after ditching the pocket clip. In other words, it is light and thin and also soft-edged, with the exception of jimping. It also simply vanishes in your pocket.
Lock and deployment
The Native uses a lock-back to secure the blade. This is a very sturdy lock and out of the box. Another thing to notice is that the button on this lock-back has a “Boye Dent” – a special Spyderco design feature that is literally a dent in the lock back. This helps to prevent you from accidentally closing the knife when you are gripping it firmly.
Deployment on the Native is accomplished with a Spyderco thumb hole. The hole is partially covered by the handle when closed, which doesn’t make it difficult to open the knife, but makes it difficult to open the knife quickly.
- Pocket clip for securing the knife in pockets
- Spyderco thumb hole for deployment
- Boyd Dent which prevents you from accidentally closing the knife
Spyderco Native 5 Review: The Pros & Cons
- Perfect fit and finish
- Extremely solid and durable knife
- Extremely comfortable to hold in the hand
- Minimal jimping but in all the right places
- Extremely solid lockback locking mechanism
- No accidental closures
- Smooth and easy opening of knife
- Perfect blade shape
- Deep hollow grind is not an efficient rope or cardboard cutter
- FRN grips give a little bit of flex
- Allows the development of knife wobble
- Rivet pivot not easily adjustable
- Pocket clip not entirely discreet
How much does the Native 5 cost? It usually goes for over $200 but we’ve found Amazon sells it for a much (much!) lower price. Enjoy the deal!
Spyderco Native5 Review: Our Notes
After going through the entire Spyderco Native 5 review, it can be said that the knife has a lot going for it, despite the small flaws in it. The near perfect EDC dimensions and a great choice of blade steel are undoubtedly the standout features of this knife. Spyderco really got the basics of this knife right.
Regarding the value of the knife, I think it is quite fairly priced. It is one of Spyderco’s inexpensive offerings. But for a light EDC, I think it makes for a great pocket knife. All in all, I would like to warp up my Spyderco Native 5 review by saying that it is a great knife with amazing quality. It has all the features which you would be seeking in a typical EDC knife.
Where to buy: Amazon (here's a discount link)