Tag Archives: Michael Di Mercurio

Spyderco Para3 – Let there be light!

So here I am, minding my own business.  (Always wanted to start a review with that kind of sentences… à la Michael Di Mercurio.)
I love heft. A heavy knife is sexy in my book.
Bought in the 80’s, one of my German version of a Buck110 was an anchor and I loved it.
I dig the Fred Perrin PPT for its massive butt balance but I’m quite certain Fred would love a lightweight para3 as he loves to hide light tools on himself. 😉

But now.

Now Spyderco has always been about Performance. Performance in geometry, ergonomics, in locking mechanism, steel’s heat treating, choice of materials… and refining refining and refining… Constant Quality Improvements they say.

That Para4 lightweight is born from that CQI state of mind.
Remember the Military ? It always been a lightweight because every kilograms counts when you are carrying a weapon and ammo. At first the C36 was using only one nested liner if I remember well. The fight against weight was hard and not understood by many.
Just look at some heavyweight folding brick found nowadays… No comment.

So Sal loves sport cars and racing boats. His passion for sailing is oozing from his designs.
He has just release a lightweight version of his Police knife.
That Para3 got only one liner like is first Millie.

So lightweight is an obsession as much is lock reliability in folders.
Just like in the Ford V. Ferrari (Le Mas 66 for Europe) james Mangold’s movie.
BTW Spyderco has just release a Lightweight Sage with a compression lock too.

You need need to have a great confidence in the materials you are using too to implement a Compression lock in a plastic handle because the lock needs tension. But FRN is considered as strong as aluminium and Fiber Reinforced Nylon is something Spyderco explores and masters for more than 25 years now.
I remember self defense instructors driving with their trucks on their FRN Delicas (pre liners version) just to show how strong this lighweight folders were.

The lightweight handle brings also great balance to a very “alive” knife. The Para 3 lightweight is something your enjoy playing with. It can be open and close it in a blink. This is really fun and elegant.

The texture is perfect when my hands were wet and greasy. The Bi Direction Texturing is perfect near the pivot: my thumb meat is gripped by the FRN in the forward direction.
It feels so secured in my wet hands ! Also the bi-texturing works in the other direction for pulling the knife out of the pocket. In term of security, not dropping your tools which is like glued in you hand, it is a must. The wonderful Carbon Fiber of my Kapara can not compete with that. It feels like a soap compares to my Para 3.So for the pragmatics, you can reach for your knife, pull it out and use it even with oil on your hands. This is so great and really rare in the knife industry. Sal’s inventor’s mind again.

Like many compression locks including the beautiful Kapara,  you can get soared hands when using the knife without gloves. It comes form the area on the top of the pivot which bites your hand skin. My friend Pascal got reported blisters from his Paramillie 2 for the same reasons. The space between the thumb and the index needs to have a surface to rest or it will hurt. Some Youtubers got that issue when cutting ropes for edge testing too.

This details has been featured in the Ray Mears Wolfspyder. You can use your knife for hours !

See the difference ?
Whittling and bushcrafting ask for the maximum of confort.

Also look at the C36 Military: again there is a surface to rest your hand avoiding soar and blisters hence its great ergos when whittling.

So let assume the Para3 is a light user or at least design as such. Nothing bad about it they are plenty of other designs and even better great fixed blade like Puukkos when working on wood and hard materials for a long session.

But what a great light user it is. It is versatile. With a powerful blade and solid point.
Easy to clean. Anti slippery handle. Non threatening design. Light and invisible once clipped. What not to love about it ? This is a milestone in my book.
And I do favor heavy knives. My Maxamet Para3 got a copper handle.

I have thinned the edge to my taste.

And now the leather is enough to keep it razor. M390 heat treated by Golden is a must.