Spyderco Native 5 – The Revenge of the Lockback

Spyderco Native 5
Some years ago the Spyderco Manix was hitting the ground with a mighty THUD!: a leaf blade and a back lock strong beyond any standards.
Then came a mini Manix with a sub 4 inches blade and a stout feeling.
Now imagine a refined version of this Manix: this is what the Native 5 is all about: a little big knife in a gentleman knife size.
At the Amsterdam Minimeet 2011 the Native 5 G10 and Flutted titanium were revealed.
Spyderco Native 5
IMHO they were the clever answer from Spyderco to the Triadlock of Coldsteel: better engineering and tighter tolerance for a stronger and solid felt lock.
This is all about Spyderco philosophy: improving and being good when no one is watching. This is also what refinement in invention is all about.
The “Native” project is an American project, providing a Made In The USA knife and starting the production in the Golden Colorado plant.

Now this is a very compact hard working folder with a stout lock and high perf edge. It has the perfect size to be carried in a Denim’s watch pocket !
The blade is smooth like butter and only gravity helps you to close it once the lock is release. This is pure jewellery.

Again the construction is made to such high tolerances you can even tight the pivot, the blade movement will remain as smooth as before.
This is a again one of Spyderco “Little Big Knife” with no hot spots on the handle and an ergonomy beyond expectation.
Of course mine has been sanded and I have used some diamond file on the choil to smooth it a little more.

But the edge was so sharp out of the box, only some leather stropping and I was able to cut hairs without even touching the skin.
S35VN seems to be a very stropping friendly steel and I’m heading forward using it as my new EDC.

The Native 5 is a real EDC: short and easy on sheeples. But it’s also a very capable and polyvalent tool. My favorite lockback so far.
This was Eric Glesser project to improve the Native to this fifth incarnation: this is an instant classic !
More to come soon.
Spyderco Native 5

Something about the engineering: Spyderco uses an induction wire cutting system for high precision tooling of the lock. This is so special and precise. Sal and Eric are very proud of the production quality and the High Tech standard and you can easily understand why. And when you unlock the blade you got the safe feeling the sharp guillotine won’t touch your precious knuckles: the fall of the edge (in fact it’s the choil) is blocked gently before it touches your finger. This is a very secure knife to operate ! 🙂
Here is the link to the CPM100V Sprint Run version of the Native 5.

Thanks to our friend JD here is a VIDEO link about this cutting system:

Spyderco Native 5


13 thoughts on “Spyderco Native 5 – The Revenge of the Lockback”

  1. Ciao Nemo,

    Nice one! Great clear pictures.

    I remember this one well, it felt very solid and smooth. A tank of a knife. I agree that it is more in de Manix than in the old FRN Native tradition. I am very much interested to see how this one will hold up in the long run. Especially the advanced lockback.



  2. Nice review and spectacular pictures! I hope I can hold off on getting this one; I really only ‘need’ one Native 5 and it has to be the Ti fluted version.



  3. Hello,

    Great write up on the Native 5. Out of curiosity, where did you get that black pocket clip? Did you take a black clip from a delica or endura and install it on the Native 5? Thanks!!


      1. Nemo, thank you! I recently purchased the Native 5 and it is a phenomenal knife. It is everything you said and more! The tip on this knife is very pointy and I love it. I have a Sage 1 also, but the Sage’s tip is not as pointy as the Native 5. My only dislike about the Native 5 is the silver pocket clip and when I stumbled upon your site and saw that you had black clip on your Native, I instantly said to myself, “I want that!” lol. Thanks again and keep up the amazing work!


  4. I’m looking for a nice EDC Spyderco and I really like the Native5. Is there any other model in the size and price range that I should consider?


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