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It’s not often a knife review that is really about a new steel. But the Spyderco Native with the brand’s exclusive SPY27 blade is just that.
Two trends are currently driving knife production: small, limited runs (known in the industry as “sprints”) and the use of increasingly exotic steels – from versatile stainless steels to ultra-hard, rust-damn, high-carbon tool steels. When you combine these two trends, you get highly coveted knives that are haunting collectors in a Pokemon-like fever.
But Spyderco outperformed everyone in 2020 when it announced an exclusive steel. CPM SPY27. Here is a technical summary of the internet knife community’s favorite scientist, Knife Steel Nerds. As can be seen from the description, SPY27 is a good all-round knife steel that can be serviced by the user. In contrast to practically all high-end steels available on the market today, it is a powder steel that sharpens like 440C.
Spyderco released one Paragraph 3 with SPY27 Early 2020, but the shape of the handle and the compression lock forced me to skip the Para 3 for the next SPY27 knife – the ergonomically superior one Native 5. The moment it fell off (I know because I set a calendar reminder) one was on the way.
Spyderco Native 5 in SPY27
The bones of the Native 5 LW (LW: light) are extraordinary – light, compact and sliced. The clip, a standard Spyderco spoon-style clip, could use an update but is effective. Lockbacks are definitely not on trend right now, but they are ambidextrous, easy to use, and can be closed without a finger in the blade path. And frankly, that Native 5‘s lockback is great.
If you need a medium-sized folder, the Native 5 should be on your shortlist.
But this isn’t really about the knife; It’s about his steel. I’ve had the Native 5 for 2 weeks and have put it through its paces, used it in my woodworking workshop, prepared food and fire, and disassembled boxes for recycling.
I used this knife exclusively and tried very hard to find cutting jobs. The SPY27 held its edge pretty well, roughly the equivalent of the S35VN. It was also quite resistant to corrosion.
After a few cuts, it lost its hair-raising edge. So I made it to Ken onion work sharpand after a few passes the knife was laser-sharp again. The key was time.
While in this state the S35VN would have taken more than 30 or 40 passes on different belts to return to a sharp edge, this is the SPY27 On the highest grit belt I had, it took about 10 passes and it was practically a razor. This difference is important – SPY27 is basically S35VN that sharpens like 1.4116 or 440C. It is a super steel that is constantly sharpening and keeping an eye on user maintenance.
This experience is consistent with data from Knife Steel Nerds, which means my experience is likely representative of all steel.
If you are looking for a good EDC folder and actually use and sharpen your own content, this is it Native 5 LW in SPY27 is probably the best choice on the market.
This is an easy choice. The price of around $ 130 is very fair for what you are getting in the market today. Highly recommended!