Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sharps: Spyderco Para-Military2

Spyderco's unusual designs first caught my eye back in the mid-'80s, and I've owned various patterns over the years. These days I have an Endura4, a Delica4 and a LadyBug3, as well as an Endura II that I bought used. I deploy a second-gen Chicago at work every day.

Each of those Spydies is a keeper; all, as it turns out, were minted offshore, in either Japan or Taiwan. It wasn't until late last year that I picked up my first US-made model -- the Spyderco Para-Military2.
Right out of the box the Para-Military2 is impressive. It doesn't inspire the same wow as, say, a Reeve or a Hinderer -- rather a nicely done, especially in light of its price (MSRP $175, street $100).

The knife's fit and finish are excellent, with no evidence of shortcuts or sloppiness. The pivot is smooth and precise, best of the Spydies I've owned and rivaling my Benchmade 755 MPR. The compression lock -- a type of liner lock, this one featuring a release tab on the spine -- is solid and easy to use. The CPM S30V stainless-steel blade, sporting a full flat grind, came shaving-sharp and has stayed that way through three weeks of warehouse duty.

The Para-Military2 falls between the Endura4 and the Delica4, size-wise -- not too big, not too small. Its textured G-10 scales feel just right and the handle shape allows for a variety of grips.

I'm especially fond of Spyderco's choice to employ jimping both on the thumb ramp and on the integral choil. Together they aid in no-look indexing and make the grip that much more secure.

Honestly, I've found nothing to dislike about this knife. And while that may sound like I'm damning it with faint praise, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Spyderco Para-Military2 isn't flashy, nor does it possess the cachet of more expensive überfolders. But like certain other all-business/no-drama knives -- Benchmade's Griptilians come to mind -- it's easy to like a solidly built tool that just flat works.

To boot, the made-in-USA Para-Military2 can be had for a hundred bucks. If someone were to call this Spyderco the ideal EDC folder, I'd be hard-pressed to argue the point.