The Spyderco Native 5, is one of the latest offerings from Spyderco in their Native line. The Native 5 is offered in a few different models, with the differences being the handle material and blade styles.
Spyderco is one of the most respected knife companies today, so I expected the Native 5 to not disappoint. While it's not perfect, and there were a few flaws, the Spyderco Native 5 is a solid knife.
Key Specs of the Spyderco Native 5
- Overall Length: 7 inches
- Closed Length: 3.9 inches
- Blade Length: 3.1 inches
- Handle: G10 / FRN
- Steel: CPM S35VN
- Weight: 2.6 oz (FRN)
Our Impressions of the Spyderco Native 5
With a blade length just north of 3 inches, and an overall length of 7 inches open, and just 4 inches closed, the Native 5 falls into the medium size for myself. I believe that this knife has a very good blade to handle ratio, and it just feels perfect in my hand.
There are several blade variations: fully serrated, partially serrated, and plain edged. You can also find models with black oxide coated blades, and uncoated blades. The coating will help to prevent rust and surface corrosions.
The blade is made from S35VN steel, which is able to take a razor sharp edge, and maintain it through lots of cutting and slicing, and the flat grind aids in slicing.
The only downside to this steel, is the fact that it is much harder to sharpen compared to most other steels. This is a compromise I am willing to make to have S35VN steel, which is graded as a premium knife steel.
There are two models of the Spyderco Native 5, in regards to handle material. One can purchase this knife with either G10 scales, or FRN scales.
The FRN version is much cheaper, around $70 on Amazon, and is also much lighter than its G10 counterpart.
The FRN handled version weighs in at 2.6 ounces, compared to the G10 version at 3.7 ounces. The FRN scales are roughly textured, aiding in keeping a firm grip on the knife. The G10 Native 5, which retails for around $135 on Amazon, uses the higher quality scale material.
FRN is not bad, but G10 will be more durable, and the texturing on the G10 just feels better in the hand. Both versions utilize a very strong back lock to secure the blade in the open position.
I am personally not a fan of this locking mechanism, not because it is weak, but because it is easier for me to operate a liner lock or frame lock one handed.
Both versions have the same style pocket clip, which is a four way design. This allows one to carry the knife tip up or tip down, right or left handed. As a lefty, this is a plus for me.
One feature that is a signature of Spyderco, is the Spyder Hole opening mechanism. For those unaware, this is a large hole in the blade, near the rear of the spine, where a thumbstud would normally go.
It is widely know as a very effective opening mechanism, and can be opened quite easily. In the Native 5 line, Spyderco uses a new Bushing Pivot System, which allows for smoother opening and closing.
For the time I've spent with the knife, I can tell that the pivot systems makes a difference. I do wonder if that could cause a problem later on, if dirt and debris get into the inner parts of the knife.
Disassembly is easy, however, with the knife using common torx screws, so with regularly oiling and cleaning, dirt and debris should not be an issue.
Overall, I would say that the Spyderco Native 5 is a very solid, well built knife. It wouldn't be my first choice as an EDC knife, but that is due to my dislike of the locking mechanism, not a reflection on the quality of the knife.
If the back lock mechanism isn't a problem for you, I see no reason you wouldn't absolutely love this pocket knife.