Last year, Jim Ankerson made a Military CPM110V test and was able to “cut 6,000 linear ft of cardboard checking every 500 ft for phone book paper sharpness, would still slice phone book paper after this stage, zero edge damage.” He had stopped but ” it could have cut a lot more. I try and keep the cardboard to a reasonable amount.”
For Euros, this is 1829 meters ! CPM110V is so special to him that it’s his Bladeforum’s profile picture. This is special stuff as seen in my Manix 2 review here.
It’s been three years since I got my Native 5 in CPM110V and 6 years since I use a Native 5 as one of my EDC: friendly size, great ergos… Time to look at it.
First of all, I have never touched up the blade. Some stropping but not a single ceramic touch. With its factory edge, the blade looks like new: no scratches at all and the Carbon Fiber handle is pristine. Those materials are hard and made to last no question this folder is a knife made to be some kind of time capsule. Its backlock is one of the strongest in the knife industry behind the triadlock and has developed zero play which is great because I got many backlocks with vertical play even out of the box. Spyderco backlocks have undergone many refinements and through better manufacturing tolerances are among the safest and easiest locking systems to operate. To quote a forumite: “the engineering wizards at Spyderco have (IMO) outdone themselves”.
The Native is a must-have for any knifenut and got a near cult following aura. First thing, it’s an all American made knife which is IMHO better than the Seki’s and also it has been designed to be a great EDC. A totally polyvalent knife. It has even been chosen to be the symbolic knife of Spyderco’s 40th Anniversary with a Thor Damasteel blade special CF edition. Now it also exists with flutted titanium handle, full carbon fiber handle and S90V blades and lightweight with Maxamet and 110V…
It’s easy why people are collecting them and clipping them with pride.
Eventually, during this 3 years I have never used “hard” my Native 5. Simply because the false edge is not thumb friendly. I do push the blade with my left hand thumb when whittling. It has been used in the kitchen, but not that much as its blade is short. It has been used for sausages processing and mondaine tasks. I would have use it as much as my Chaparral… And as the Native is overbuilt, it handles on those task with ease.
Also the handle is a little on the squarish side. I have sand it but even though it is not as ergonomic as a Yojimbo2, the Manixes or the guardless Nilakka. So it is not appealing me to use it hard even if I know the construction can handle it.
My Native is some kind of overbuilt Gentleman folder. I carry it mainly in the city or in office environment. I know it will 200% reliable and with his thin edge the cutting tasks will be done in a blink. Unless It has failed on a cutting the plastic bottle butt but it was not its fault. The plastic was 4mm thick !
If you want to learn more about Natives:
A 2012 video from MrBlonde (Spydercollector) shows the history of the Native.
Also Paul Beretta (The Deacon) has a great post on his site about it.
The Native was also used for Bladeforums exclusive knives many years.