Spyderco is a knife company founded by Sal Glesser. The very first product that Spyderco ever released was the Portable Hand in 1976. This device was spider shaped and actually gave the company their name. It was a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people with small parts. Since then, they have produced many knives and knife sharpeners. Something unique about Spyderco is that they have actually been the company to pioneer many now common aspects on folding knives, such as the pocket clip, serrations, and the opening hole. Over the years, Spyderco has collaborated with about 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors to produce designs that are innovative.
People all over enjoy using their Spyderco knives because of how simple and reliable they are. Another thing that people tend to love about Spyderco knives is that they have fantastic ergonomics and functional aesthetics. These knives benefit people from every category, including private citizens, law enforcement officers, and fire and rescue personnel. Spyderco has recently released a new knife called the Para 3. This is a high quality, versatile knife that will benefit you in many different situations.
This knife was actually designed through the original concept of the Spyderco Paramilitary series, which is one of Spyderco’s most popular knives, but then they never actually produced it. It was just recently that Spyderco decided to produce and launch the knife.
The blade on the Para 3 is ground out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is produced by Crucible, a United States based company. They designed this steel to be used specifically for knives, so you know that you are getting all of the characteristics hat you long for in a knife. Crucible actually designed this steel to be used on high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. To make this steel truly remarkable, Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides, which helps bring extreme hardness to this steel. In normal steels, when you have extreme hardness, you end up lacking toughness. This is because generally the harder the steel is, the more brittle it will be, and thus the more likely to chip or snap. CPM S30V steel is unique because even though it is crazy hard, it actually still remains most of its toughness. This is a balance that you aren’t going to be able to find in many steels. Not only that, but this steel is extremely rust resistant, cutting down on maintenance and hassle for you. This steel also has fantastic edge retention. A few years after Crucible released this steel, they released an upgraded version of it called S35VN. Because they have released a newer steel, S30V steel is less expensive than it used to be. That means that you get the best balance between all of the characteristics you desire in a knife blade and you won’t break the bank. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is a little bit tougher to sharpen. While it is manageable to sharpen without the help of a professional sharpener, beginners probably won’t be able to get a great edge.
The Para 3 has a plain edge with a flat grind. Flat grinds are useful for any general use task. Spyderco has said that the full flat grind will help with “superior balance of strength, point utility, and low-friction cutting performance”. To finish off the blade, Spyderco chose a satin finish. This is actually the most common and typical knife finish. This finish adds a little bit of corrosion resistance to the blade, but if you are looking for a finish that will really prevent corrosion, you should look for a blade that has a mirror or polish finish to it. The satin finish shows off the lines of the knife and cuts down on reflections and glares. All in all, they have perfected the perfect everyday blade.
The blade on the Para 3 is a leaf blade. This is a signature blade shape of Spyderco. This blade shape gets its name because it resembles a leaf. Spyderco started developing knives with this shape for a few reasons, one is that it set them apart from their competition. But the main reason that they started producing knives with the leaf shaped blade is because it allows room for the Spyderco oversized thumb hole. This thumb hole is what is used to open the knife. This shape of knife has a belly that has a slight curve and then it turns to a harsh point. The belly makes this knife able to slice well. This knife is very similar to a spear point blade, except that it is not a symmetrical blade. The blade can also stab or pierce pretty well. The point on this knife is strong, so you don’t have to worry about the tip of the blade snapping or breaking. This shape of knife blade is excellent for all purpose knives and gives you a great balance between being able to slice and being able to pierce—two of the most important aspects of an everyday knife.
The Para 3 is very slim knife and to keep it that way, it features a lightweight, open backed construction style. The knife features stainless steel liners with textured G-10 scales. G-10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. G-10 is made by taking layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaking them in a resin. This material is compressed and baked under pressure. G-10 is very similar to carbon fiber, but it can be made for a much more inexpensive cost. This material is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong. G-10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. To give texture, G-10 has checkering or different patterns etched into the material. Because the Para 3 has a less obvious texture if you were looking at it, but it is definitely obvious when you hold it. This handle gives you a solid, comfortable grip. The G-10 handle makes it great for an everyday knife or a tactical knife because the material is rugged, yet still very lightweight. This handle is black with a lanyard hole carved into the bottom. There are some fantastic benefits to using a lanyard with your knife. A lanyard helps to secure your knife against loss, adds better visibility to your knife in case you lose it in the wild or the dark, and adds a little bit of your own personal style to your knife. The butt of the handle has a slight flare to it as well as integrated jimping which helps add extra control to any cutting job that you have.
The Pocket Clip:
This knife comes with a great pocket clip. This clip is silver with the Spyderco logo etched onto it. The clip is kept in place with three screws. This is a reversible pocket clip, so you can carry it left or right handedly. This pocket clip is ambidextrous friendly. The pocket clip is a tip up or tip down carry. The four-way positional pocket clip is truly exceptional.
This knife features Spdyerco’s patented Compression Locking system. Spyderco explains how this system works, “by using a leaf-like spring from a split liner in the handle to wedge laterally between a ramp on the blade tang and the stop pin (or anvil pin).” This locking system provides high lock strength and ease of use. This is a manual knife, so you open and close it using the oversized Spyderco hole. However, the Compression Locking system actually allows you to safely close the blade with only one hand. With this locking system, your hand never actually has to come close to the cutting edge of the blade while you are closing it.
The overall length of this knife is 7.24 inches long, with a closed length of 4.29 inches long. The blade on the Para 3 is 2.95 inches, so on the smaller side of blade lengths. The edge length is 2.62 inches long. The thickness of the Para’s blade is 0.145 inches. This knife weighs 3.4 ounces.
The Pros of the Para 3:
- The steel on this knife is extremely hard and tough.
- The steel maintains its edge very well and can get a fine edge.
- The steel is pretty resistant to corrosion, so maintenance time has been cut down.
- This knife has a full flat grind which is the perfect grind for everyday tasks.
- The satin finish helps cut down on reflections and glares.
- The leaf shaped blade is great for every day uses.
- The leaf blade shape gives you a great balance between stabbing and slicing.
- The leaf blade shape has a strong tip, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
- This is a slim knife that fits excellently in your hand.
- G-10 is tough, hard, and durable, yet still lightweight.
- G-10 is pretty inexpensive, so you get a lot of bang for its buck.
- The texturing on the G-10 scales provide you with a very solid grip.
- The handle comes with a lanyard hole drilled into it.
- The pocket clip is durable and reversible in four different directions.
- The Compression Locking System is strong and easy to use.
- This is the perfect everyday knife; it can really handle anything.
The Cons of the Para 3:
- S30V steel is a little tricky to sharpen, this task is going to be a little more difficult for a beginner sharpener.
- This is a manual folder, so it is not going to open quickly like an automatic knife.
Spyderco is an excellent knife company that has changed folding knives as we know them. They are the company that revolutionized adding a pocket clip to a folding knife, adding serrations to a folding knife, and adding their opening hole to the top of the blade. Spyderco keeps their knives simple yet functional. Every aesthetic option that they add serves a function. The knife company loves the simplicity of Spyderco’s knives while they still function just as well as other company’s knives.
To create another masterpiece, Spyderco based this design off of the beloved Paramilitary series that they have previously produced. They started the blade with a superior stainless steel: CPM S30V. This steel is known for having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Not only that, but it has great corrosion resistance. The shape of the blade is Spyderco’s leaf blade shape, which is a unique, lesser known blade shape. It has similar qualities to a spear point, because it has a belly and a great tip. But it also has very similar qualities as a clip point. Really all you need to know about the leaf blade shape is that it is versatile and the perfect shape for your everyday tasks. The handle is made out of the durable and lightweight G-10. This handle fits in your hand perfectly while also giving you fantastic grip. The butt of the handle is flared to add control to your grip and gives you more security in your cutting. The pocket clip is one of the best—with four way reversible abilities. And last but not least, the Compression Locking system seals the deal at providing you with a masterpiece. This locking system allows you to close the blade with only one hand, all while keeping your fingers out of position from the cutting edge of the blade.
This knife has been designed for quite a while now, but only just made it into production and sales. I would recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a versatile everyday knife–you can get yours here.