Spyderco: Para 3 Lightweight - Black FRN - CTS-BD1N - C223PBK
The iconic Para 3 folder took all the core aspects of Spyderco's beloved Para Military 2 and compressed them into a more compact, pocket-friendly design. Now Spyderco has taken this concept one big step further, building a Para 3 using injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced-nylon (FRN) scales on top of their patented Compression Lock.
The result is the Para 3 Lightweight, saving nearly 30 percent total weight over the original Para 3. This is thanks not only to the FRN scales but also a linerless open-backed construction that minimizes heavy hardware. The scales are formed with Spyderco's Bi-Directional texturing for a secure grip in a multitude of conditions. The stainless steel lockbar of the Compression Lock is nested beneath the front scale. The full-flat ground blade is made of Carpenter CTS-BD1N stainless steel, boasting high amounts of carbon and the addition of nitrogen to create a balance of hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.
With a total weight of 2.4 ounces, an integrated lanyard hole, and a reversible deep-carry clip, this is one of the most capable and pocketable EDCs you could ask for.
|Made in Golden, Colorado, USA|
|High-performance CTS-BD1N stainless steel with incredible edge retention|
|Deep-carry wire pocketclip|
This is my first Spyderco and I am mad at myself for waiting this long to pull the trigger. Everything about the knife is excellent! Blade came hair popping sharp. Thank you to Knivesshipfree! I ordered on Monday and received my knife on Wednesday. Outstanding service!
Like the prior reviewer, I already had a PM2, but I found it rather too obtrusive and heavy for carry with business wear. When I heard about this, I knew it was something that should work for me. I normally dress in 'business casual' for work, and clipping larger, heavier knives just doesn't work with the pockets on these pants. That's where the Para 3 LWT comes in - the combination of FRN scales with the wire clip ensure two things: First, that your pocket won't be wrinkled or dragged down, and second, the fact you have a knife won't be immediately obvious to one and all. The para 3 is far more unobtrusive than the PM2, and I would surmise the standard Para 3 as well.
I've had it for about two weeks now, and I have to say that carrying it daily is a pleasure. The blade came perfectly centered, the grind is even, and the action is smooth and positive. The blade flicks out quickly and smoothly, and the lock is tight and rigid, with zero play.
Again, the blade came shaving sharp from the box, and so far, it has stood up to all of the light cutting tasks (opening bags and boxes, cutting up fruit etc.) with nary a bobble. Time will tell if the blade steel will hold up and how easy or tough resharpening will be, but so far, I'm impressed and can highly recommend this knife.
I'd been considering getting a Para 3 since it was first announced, to use on weekdays when my Para 2 is a bit too large to be polite in the office. Not that I'm short on sub-3 inch knives, or even 3-inch Spydercos (Sage 5 in hand). But none with compression lock. The cost of S30V, let alone S110V (like my blurple Para 2), was a bit too much just to get that 3-inch compression locker.
Then I got the notice from KSF that Spyderco was planning a lightweight budget version of the Para 3 in BD1N steel, with which I was already familiar. I got one of the Ken Onion Skinner/Hunter knives in BD1N that KSF had on sale over the holidays. Great knife, seems to be holding on to its edge despite frequent kitchen use. Actually, I grabbed two. One for me, one for the brother-in-law with whom I split a pair of Bravo Micros when KSF had them on sale a few years ago. He just keeps one-upping me with his blade collecting prowess (I still don't have an antique bayonet, darn it). But I digress.
I liked the BD1N on the skinner, and wanted a Para 3, Then this lightweight shows up under $100 with desirable steel, a new twist on the beloved compression lock, and weighing in at 2.4 oz thanks to the FRN handle. I've developed a lot of respect for Spyderco FRN. We equate light with "cheap" and heavy with "quality". FRN defies this weight prejudice with great hand tactility, rigidity, stability, and durability. I sense a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song coming on. But I digress. Again.
Then I got the email that KSF had them in stock. It was meant to be. I anxiously awaited arrival of the free-shipped package, which arrived way faster than I expected. I opened the box, took the knife out of its plastic bag, and... opened one of the smoothest out-of-the-box pivots I have ever experienced. Really. I couldn't believe it. It took months for my Sage 5 to get broken in, and this Para 3 was already smoother right out of the box. The blade had a clean, hair popping edge, and I just started grinning.
So, there it is - an amazing amount of knife at a base-level price point (especially if you have some KSF reward points saved up). Spyderco and KSF have another winner.