The Navaja is a legendary folding knife. For the first time in History, a folding knife was considered as the poor man sword in a country were sword fencing was the highest art. Actually they were three schools in fencing: the French, the Italian and the Spanish school. In Spain however, everybody were encouraged to be armed with a sword at the end of the 15th century. It was the time of Isabelle de Castille (born a 22nd of april) and Ferdinand II d’Aragon who both were in charge of the greatest occidental power of that time.
Early navajas were not much smaller than swords
La Navaja was the first Tactical Folding Knife. It was born in the 16th century in Andalusia for one main purpose—fighting. For the first time a folding knife was not made as a tool but as a weapon. James Loriega, wrote two great books about it: Sevillian Steel and the Manual of Baratero and I can only encourage you to read them !
For Randy (Ransom) Price: “These magnificent knives have an ominous appearance when open and it’s easy to understand why many people believe the early navaja was the original inspiration for the Bowie knife. No doubt a navaja unfolded before an unsuspecting victim must have had the same effect as Jim Bowie unsheathing his monster fixed blade. ”
Here come the Spyderco reboot and hommage to the mighty Navaja. The Golden princes of tactical folding knives take a bow to the queen of spanish edge.
There is a very strong “spirit” in this design: centuries in refinement which were really inspiring Ed Schemp.
The knife is gorgeous. Made in Taiwan with the highest quality material ( S30V steel blade, Carbon Fiber handle and Stainless Steel bolsters) the C147 is simply a pleasure to the eyes and to the hand.
Opening the blade and you got the “sound” of Caracas. I really like it. It’s discreet and sound like an old camera to me. It gives something dramatically “mechanical” to the opening and closing of the blade. Respecting its heritage, the edge is a little on the thick side and totally weapon oriented. This is minor and it can be improved with some elbow grease to have it turned into a better push cutter. Something I’m planning to do as S30V is a very forgiving steel to convex and to polish. Also the fact that the belly doesn’t start at the ricasso like on a Paramilitary for exemple, change the way you use the knife on hard matter but again, Ed thought about everything and It’s easy to choke up the blade with its very large choil and work with full control.
The long handle gives also the opportunity to have a much better range/reach. Again this is a reminiscence of the 17th Century Navaja made as edge weapon. The balance of the C147 is actually just in front of the index finger when holding the knife that way. The blade is fast and “alive”, easy to control and prompt for backcuts. This is really a fighting folding knife.
But when closed the Navaja keeps all its elegance as this is really a knife to admire in all circonstances.
OK, now this was not a real review as I need to test the knife in my EDC rotation. But as it’s a beauty, I wanted to share it with you.
I’ll be back on this.
The Paramillie 2 and the Navaja: two beauties ! Notice the difference in the belly.
The Navaja in the spring roses.
A fang at the ready !
Detail of the blade.
The beautiful bolster announcing the Sage 4 ?
This is the pure concept of elegance.
A grip with a long reach.
The folded beauty.
Details of the pivot.
Quoting Ed Schempp:
My goal in knife design is to put a very usable blade in the hands of the ELU. I chose the Corsican version as inspiration for the knife. I own a handmade Corsican Navaja made by my Corsican friend Alexander Musso. My interpretation is stylized with Spyderco and my style influences.
The Carraca mechanism is self destructive. The mechanism in the Spyderco Navaja is not part of the lock and on a different axis of impact from the original inspiration for this piece. This knife should bring Spyderco’s reliable high performance to this centuries old ethnic design.
I hope that you get a chance to handle and use this piece…Take care…Ed
Now I wanted to convex the edge of the Navaja to really turn the weapon into an EDC tool.
The tools of the trade are not really fancy: sandpaper, sharpmaker and white compound…
And elbow grease…
Nonw the edge is convexed. Some passes on the white ceramic of the Sharpmaker to erase the burr… and it’s a Razor !
Closed the Navaja is as big as the Paramillie 2 ! But, once open… it’s another story ! 🙂